Debating the Existence of Cyberpunk Today



The last two weeks I have been conducting a literature review to see what I could find about the existence of cyberpunk today. My first research objectives was to get a clear definition of what cyberpunk is, so I could create some sort of criteria for examining modern texts.

I came to the consensus that cyberpunk can be defined as the intersection between science fiction and postmodernism. It is a type of science fiction that deals with real world technologies and near futures and sets them against a cyber-fantasy backdrop.

“Cyberpunk is the integration of technology and literature in a world where the gap between science fiction and reality is rapidly closing” (Guven 1995).

From my research of the themes found in the cyberpunk genre and through my understanding of cyberpunk in the films I watch, I made this checklist …

High tech – Low Life

Futuristic Dystopian…

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2 thoughts on “Debating the Existence of Cyberpunk Today”

  1. I’m interested expanding on the idea you proposed about cyberpunk being a fusion of science fiction and postmodernism, because postmodernism itself is a huge topic that exists with its own separate ideologies and nuances. I don’t think you’ve necessarily addressed how it fits in with cyberpunk in your post, but it’s definitely interesting to think about – and probably background research anyway. I know word limits can be pretty tight. The high-tech fantasy future of science fiction melded with the breaking down of socially constructed order of postmodernism certainly seems reminiscent of cyberpunk ideals and aesthetics. I can see an interesting parallel between the idea of cyberspace and “traversing” data planes of cyberpunk and the postmodern idea of deconstructing space to re-imagine our understanding of how we exist in it.

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  2. Sterling’s quote really resonates strongly with me as it definitely seems Cyber-punk texts are becoming out-dated as reality seemingly catches up to the fantasies which are fundamental to the genre. As much as I would love to see new cyber-punk texts appearing, I feel technology has come to far, apart from maybe space techs, (space cyber-punk?). For my research I am looking at the imagined objects within Cyber-punk texts and their social and historical contexts, and I have noticed it is definitely hard to find recent objects from texts as technology seems to be outlandish enough in reality, look at VR and self-driving cars. I will definitely be following your research closely as I am extremely interested in seeing if Cyber-punk will prevail.


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