I discovered this genre back in the Eighties, but it’s being rediscovered lately due to our obsession with dystopias. I found a good definition of Cyber Punk on cyberpunkreview.com.
“In a cyberpunked near-future, technology runs rampant, and usually manipulates most societal interactions. Dystopian near futures are very common, but so are futures where the impacts of specific technologies are played out in a world only slightly different from the present. Sacred societal boundaries are often crossed with regularity. Often the earth is severely damaged. Crime and drug use are often key supporting themes.
“Cyberpunk almost always has an ever powerful controlling entity that directs society. Most often this is represented as a corporation. Some times its simply an ever present singular government. A common theme for corporate control involves a futuristic dystopia, where the last traces of high civilization exist only in an enclosed and protected city, where civil liberties are removed under the guise of protecting humanity.
“Cyberpunk almost always focuses on the underground of society. While the story may lead to revolution and toppling the power structure, the perspective is always that of the oppressed or the punk, anti-hero of the oppressed.
“Cyberpunk often deals with the continual spread and access to information. Hacker themes and ever-connecting internets are common. Additionally, the connection of humans to this omnipresent information stream leads to the blurring of the virtual with the real.”
Sounds cool, huh? It really is–I remember holing up with Gibson’s Neuromancer and reading it in just a couple days. Some well-known examples are books like Neuromancer by William Gibson, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner) by Philip K. Dick. Some movie examples are The Matix, A Scanner Darkly, Total Recall and the recent Surrogates. This is a great genre for fans of Cory Doctorow and Orson Scott Card and all science fiction fans !
Now for the best news: a visit by the godfather of the genre!
Saturday, September 11Th: William Gibson 1 pm Q&A and book signing.
Legendary Science Fiction author William Gibson will be here this Saturday afternoon to discuss and sign his new book Zero History.
Hollis Henry is an investigative journalist, on assignment from a magazine called Node. Node doesn’t exist yet, which is fine; she’s used to that. But it seems to be actively blocking the kind of buzz that magazines normally cultivate before they start up. Really actively blocking it. It’s odd, even a little scary, if Hollis lets herself think about it much. Which she doesn’t; she can’t afford to. Hollis Henry, former rock singer turned journalist, has very unwillingly forced by global economic collapse to work once again for the secretive Belgian finance genius Hubertus Bigend, who hired her in SPOOK COUNTRY. She finds herself entangled in a threatening mesh of postmodern marketing, corrupt American military contractors, and belated romance. She is reunited with the Russian translator Milgrim, who spent SPOOK COUNTRY in a haze of prescription drugs, but is now fresh out of a very expensive private detox facility in Basel, and is now also working for Bigend.
2476 Telegraph Ave
(between Dwight Way & Haste St)
Berkeley, CA 94704