Paul Di Filippo's answer to cyberpunk. He wrote a collection of linked short stories with this title, and it was shortlisted for all those cool SF prizes. Like all the best entries, it didn't win.

But I digress. Ribofunk has at its heart a simple concept: the future is going to be about the mind twisting possibilities of genetic technology, not computers and miniaturized mechanical hardware. Biology not technology. Animal human half breeds. Bioengineered plants and implants. Genetic behaviour modifications. Sculptured children.

And the attitude, the attitude isn't right either. Not much in the way of rock and roll or revolution. Instead cool people will be all smooth and sultry. Clever and likeable, but always looking out for the main chance. Funky.

Of course, like all science fiction authors, Di Filippo is writing about the present (i.e.: the late 90's) as much as the future. There are many precursors of ribofunk in cyberpunk SF, especially in Schismatrix and Blood Music. Di Filippo traces it all the way back to The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Even if you think all this 'movement' stuff is bankrupt, Filippo is a talented writer, and Ribofunk is a pretty cool book. Give it a look sometime.

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