Cultural Gutter: Kungfu-Powered Afrocyberpunk Pulp


On The Cultural GutterKungfu-Powered Afrocyberpunk Pulp is a look at Steven Barnes’ 1983 novel Streetlethal, which is sort of cyberpunk meets Mack Bolan starring Luke Cage in a story about magic orgy mushrooms.

The central character is Aubrey Knight (because they’re always someone or other Knight), a luminary in the world of nullboxing, which is basically MMA fighting in zero gravity. Before that he was an enforcer for the Ortega crime family in Los Angeles (which has been ravaged by a massive earthquake), and the Ortegas didn’t take too kindly to the moral awakening that led to Knight walking away from the family. They frame him for murder, getting him sent to an underground (literally) prison where, among other things, the warden engages in a healthy trade in illegally harvested organs. Knight has only one thing on his mind: revenge.

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