Terminal Boredom: Proto-Cyberpunk, Mindless Violence, and Predicting the Future | Agitator Podcast

I went back on Agitator Pod! they had me on to talk about Terminal Boredom by Japanese proto-cyberpunk writer Izumi Suzuki


4 minutes

This week I had the pleasure of returning as a guest on everyones favourite weeb show Agitator Pod!

The boys had me on to talk about Terminal Boredom (2021) the short story collection by Japanese proto-cyberpunk writer and actress Izumi Suzuki (1949-1986)

This episode is a particularly unique moment in Agitator’s history… The show stays largely on track! We actually talked about the book!

I say largely on track, look at these show notes!

On this episode we have the host of 301, Jay Springett, on to talk about Izumi Suzuki’s proto-cyberpunk, character-based short story collection Terminal Boredom. This is a unique episode of Agitator, in that we actually talk about the book. As Jay puts it, it’s “punk as f**k.”

We talk about:

Foghorn Leghorn, guests who listen to the show, Hit Parade of Tears, Suzuki’s hand in inventing cyberpunk, her husband’s jazz, SF Magazine, mothers becoming chairs, Black Mirror style, not believing what you see on TV, natural vs. artificial insemination, the GETOZ, cyberpunk vs. slice of life future fiction, sleeping with your phone, people who can’t talk and drive, unlocking the formula of Suzuki’s storytelling, entering people’s dreams, sci-fi as a tool to find out what’s wrong with society, nostalgic for a time when you could make money writing, Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets, Endless Waltz, talking to people who are off Twitter, you can just turn shit off, where podcast traffic comes from, Kelby reads Izumi Suzuki’s Wikipedia page, keypunch operators, Violence Without a Cause, IZUMI, this bad girl, getting offered a lot of money to narrate a controversial book, the prepper mindset, “it’s not deepfakes to worry about, it’s things being fake deep,” Holly Herndon’s PROTO, getting job interviews with Chat GPT, the difference in Americans vs. British e-mail style, our favorite Suzuki stories, writing lessons we can take from Terminal Boredom, the benefit of translation, Murakami writing Norwegian Wood to become a bestseller, the invention of cell phone culture, figuring out the dumbest thing people can do with technology, primitive time travel, the Mandela Effect, and Cyberpunk 2077 with new ray tracing effects.


Agitator Z is out Monday (much to my on air grumbling as a patron) and runs for another 90mins. That conversation was all over the place. Super nice to hang out on air on one of my favourite podcasts.

I think my favourite bit was when we were talking about the different email styles between British people and Americans. Then David suggested that my preferred state of affairs was: Me sending short/direct emails and that everyone else should send me nice and polite replies in return.

Here’s the full list of topics covered:

Voting on whether to drop the episodes all at once, listening to podcasts at 3x speed, LitRPGs, the Cradle series, SimLit, KickFlipLit, finding yourself fascinated by things you “shouldn’t” like, Beware of Chicken, Travis Baldree’s books, Scott McClanahan, prose doesn’t always have to be amazing, The Corporation Wars, Alan Watt’s The Book, Vedanta, people as expressions of the universe, David’s Achille’s Heel, being able to understand conspiracy theories, knowing when to privately understand something and play dumb, Victorian hollow earth books, the Flat Earth psyop, “thinking with” ideas, Boomers believing everything they see on the internet, Puffy Coat Pope drip, the dissociation of art with human effort, where do humans go from here?, and internet end times guy, talking in virtual reality, Dream’s MSP roleplaying server, the way D&D reshaped people’s relation to story, the popularity of “lore,” Hamlet on the Holodeck, Synthetic Worlds, hypertext novels, interactive fiction, the failure of “chat room” as a metaphor, Royal Road stories, fandoms influencing a story, protecting your potential vs. using it, the whirlpool element of writing, the fluoride stare you get when you talk about self-publishing, focusing on readers instead of prestige, getting over the idea of “selling out,” succeeding too soon, what we like about writing, getting the cover before you write the book, Rick Rubin’s book as a bible, and the shift away from expertisism.

Subscribe to the Agitator Patreon for Agitator Z

You can also catch me on Agitator #76 back in January talking to David about 2000’s era boxing anime Hajime No Ippo.

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