“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
Eds. Jason Heller, Joshua Viola
November 8, 2016

Cybernetics, neuroscience, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, hacktivism, transhumanism: Each is an area of interest that overlaps, to some degree, with the subgenre of cyberpunk. And it is under this broad umbrella that Hex Publishers is assemblingCyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow.

The anthology will showcase cyberpunk, postcyberpunk, and cyberpunk-adjacent stories from top authors, emphasizing the wide range of diversity and possibility inherent therein. The writers that will appear in Cyber World include Paolo Bacigalupi, Saladin Ahmed, Nisi Shawl, Richard Kadrey, Madeline Ashby, Chinelo Onwualu, Cat Rambo, Isabel Yap, E. Lily Yu, Stephen Graham Jones, Minister Faust, and Alyssa Wong.

“This outstanding collection is set in a near-future society with intriguing technological advances, but the social and cultural implications of these developments vary widely…Artificial intelligence features in several stories, creating virtual realities in Matthew Kressel’s “The Singularity Is in Your Hair”…a myriad of characters and styles highlights the variety of voices and ideas in current science fiction, and the authors gleefully expand the already-fluid definition of cyberpunk. The stories that focus on individual relationships highlight the most lasting and powerful effects of technological changes, showing them to be beneficial, destructive, and sometimes both at once.” —Publishers Weekly

“‘The Singularity is in Your Hair’ by Matthew Kressel — can I use the word ‘sweet’ about one of these? Probably not, but this tale about VR helping a person with a debilitating disease experience more than many people is very close to it.” — Irresponsible Reader

“‘The Singularity Is in Your Hair’ (Matthew Kressel) – A severely crippled 16-year-old freelance coder teams up with an AI in the virtual world to create premium synesthetic experiences. Kressel uses real technology such as hackable exploits and public key cryptography to craft a VR world with real brand names and is highly relatable. A powerful story that deals with technology’s deeper value and our rush to have it.” — Edge of Infinity

“Matthew Kressel’s ‘The Singularity Is in Your Hair’ functions the same way when it appears six stories into Cyber World. Cyberpunk, almost by definition, carries a dystopian sway in it swaggering journey along technology’s potential. Star Trek’s world of plenty, where you work only because you want to contribute, is not cyberpunk, no matter how many holodecks you install on the Enterprise. Cyberpunk is the pulpy noir of sci-fi, where tawdry escapism into the altered states of VR and pharmaceuticals have lured all or most of the world over to the wrong side of the tracks. So the flare of hope that appears in Kressel’s story is a refreshing reprieve from the gloom, even if it is a false hope that only darkens the shadows of despair in the stories that surround it.” — Fiction Unbound

“The little reminders of the narrator’s humanity scattered through the story (e.g. “Mom’s gotta change my diaper”) keep us aware of her terrible situation, and her bravery through it all is heartbreaking. Especially when we see how her one source of hope has evaporated… Clever use of VR and AI. 4/5 stars.” —Rocket Stack Rank