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Blade Running to Cyberpunk Essay

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Blade Running to Cyberpunk

Labels are a product of too many ideas that describes a field. Cyberpunk fiction is a genre that has only recently received its due respect as an art form. This label is the cause of great controversy when it comes to actually defining cyberpunk. To any definition, there are arguments to its validity and consistency, but there are some generally accepted traits of Cyberpunk (CP). CP is a reflection of the pop-culture of the eighties, an extension of Science Fiction that entangles hard and soft technology, and its stories contain realism.

The eighties began the era of the CP movement. CP's early works reflected raw, young ideas of people who "refused the limits offered them by mere custom and habit (Sterling p 3--"Cyberpunk in the Nineties)." Across the world, technology was interfacing with the general population. The underground of New York, Tokyo, and London (Sterling p xii--"Preface to Mirrorshades) was writhing with desire for release. CP was an answer to that. It integrated the rock videos, synthesized music, and new technology of the decade, put it in context with the current social scene and then fast-forwarded it. The writers tended to have disregard and even disrespect for traditional publishing. In the nineties, the edge of the movement has worn off with the acquisition of maturity and success. "Good" CP retains most of those qualities today, with minor adjustments in style, such as having finer narrative, superior character development, and more insightful futurism (Sterling)." The integration of technology and narration has always been present.

Uneducated readers may see CP as the same thing as Science Fiction. Any Cyberpunk would beg to differ. Though CP is derived from Science Fic...


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...berpunk was not visible to most of the literary public. Some of those fantastic components in Bladerunner are realistic in modern day.

So many opinions exist about what is and isn't Cyberpunk Fiction. Three elements have been (generally) agreed upon to be traits of the genre. They include reflections of the pop-culture of the eighties, combining of hard and soft technology, and an element of realism. Cyberpunk is more than an extension of Science Fiction, it is a literary movement that is growing and maturing. Though it has lost some of its young rawness, Cyberpunk remains a saucy defiance to the mainstream.


Sources and Bibliograpy

Bruce Sterling. "Peface to Mirrorshades". New York: Ace Books, 1986

Tonya Browning. "Writing about Cyberpunk Packet" Fall 1995

Bruce Sterling "Cyberpunk in the Nineties"

Larry McCaffery's Interview with William Gibson


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