a subgenre of science fiction typified by a bleak, high-tech setting in which a lawless subculture exists within an oppressive society dominated by computer technology
Surely the wild and woolly ‘outlaw fantasy’ Waldrop began producing in the '70s played some part in shaping the esthetics and literary style of the ‘cyberpunk’ movement.
But of all the labels pasted on and peeled throughout the early Eighties, one has stuck: cyberpunk.
Welcome to the weird universe of cyberpunk, where all data reside in a vast global matrix.
It’s the ultimate synthesis between science fiction, cyberpunk, and horror.
‘This is well written, but—why does it have to be so weird, so pessimistic, philosophical, black?’ As Bruce Sterling was saying with cyberpunk, noir is the color.
Don Keller and Teresa Nielsen Hayden joined Don Keller for a panel to seriously discuss Keller’s description of major trend in modern fantasy literature, to lampoon cyberpunk.
I write terse, punchy cyberpunk prose.
Cyberpunk, as its label implies, had two general distinguishing features. First, its writers had a compelling interest in information technology, an interest akin to science fiction’s earlier fascination with space travel. And second, these writers were ‘punks’ with all the distinguishing features that that implies: Bohemian artiness, youth run wild, an air of deliberate rebellion, funny clothes and hair, odd politics, a fondness for abrasive rock and roll; in a word, trouble.
Many of us no longer conceive of…a world where computers and electronic networks and free exchange of information enhance our lives rather than creating the grisly world of cyberpunk.
McCaffery’s Casebook does an admirable job of placing SF (generally) and cyberpunk (specifically) within the larger field of postmodernism, citing such precursors as Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein…and the ‘protopunk’ debut album, Andy Warhol Presents the Velvet Underground and Nico.
If cyberpunk has an enduring characteristic, it is not so much the fusing of information technology and Chandleresque noir, but the rejection of the monolithic futures of traditional science fiction in favour of fragmentation, plurality and a gleeful inversion of the accepted power-structures.
Following The Artificial Kid, a now-rare hardcover in which he broke through into (and possibly invented) cyberpunk, he emerged as the suddenly hot writer.
The Shapers/Mechanists Factions stories…combined pulp sensibilities and plotting, Stapledonian perspective, and cyberpunk incandescence.
Gardner Dozois, in the Washington Post
Last modified 2020-12-20 18:37:51
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.