Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Cyberpunk & Cyberculture: Science Fiction and the Work of William Gibson
Cyberpunk is the fiction of a culture saturated by electronic technology. Its vocabulary is the language of cybernetics, biotechnology, corporational greed and urban subcultures. Massively succesful in both book and film form, cyberpunk has redefined not only contemporary science fiction but also, through its capacity to anticipate "technology" and its cultural impact, analytical work in the social science and humanities. This text explores the work of a wide range of writers, setting their work in the context of science fiction, other literary genres, genre cinema and contemporary work on the culture of technology. Seven main themes are addressed: the impact of virtual technologies on identity, space and community; the interplay of technological and mythological motifs; reconfigurations of the body initiated by technoscience; issues of gender and sexuality; the siginificance of the sprawling megacity; cyberpunk's Gothic traits of monstrosity, transgresison and social unrest; and the editing of history and memory.