Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cyberpunk Inhabits Us

“For [cyberpunk writers], the techniques of classical 'hard SF' – extrapolation and technological literacy – are not just literary tools, but an aid to daily life. They are a means of understanding, and highly valued.” - Bruce Sterling, 1986, Preface to Mirrorshades

“Breifly, we believe that the signature obsessions of cyberpunk are: Presenting a global perspective of the future; engaging with developments in infotech and biotech, especially those invasive technologies that will transform the human body and psyche; striking a gleefully subversive attitude that challenges traditional values and received wisdom; and cultivating a crammed prose style that takes an often playful stance toward traditional science fiction tropes.” - James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel, 2007, “Hacking Cyberpunk”, Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology

“I think we live in an incomprehensible present. And what I'm actually trying to do is illuminate the moment, and...and make the moment accessible. I'm not even really trying to explain the moment. I'm just trying to...trying to make it accessible.” - William Gibson, 2000, No Maps for these Territories

“In the '80s, when I became known for a species of science fiction that journalists called cyberpunk, Japan was already, somehow, the de facto spiritual home of that influence, that particular flavor of popular culture. It was not that there was a cyberpunk move-ment in Japan or a native literature akin to cyberpunk, but that modern Japan simply was cyberpunk. And the Japanese themselves knew it and delighted in it. I remember my first glimpse of Shibuya, when one of the young Tokyo journalists who had taken me there, his face drenched with the light of a thousand media-suns—all that towering, animated crawl of commercial information—said, "You see? You see? It is Blade Runner town." And it was. It so evidently was. Japan lives in the future; it has lived there for a century. Hot-wired by repeated onslaughts of technologically driven change, temporally dislocated, deeply traditional yet subject to permutation without notice, we all, today, must to some extent feel ourselves to be warped, alien, disfigured. The Japanese have simply had a head start.” - William Gibson, 2001, “The Future Perfect” Time Asia


Dillon said...

Anonymous the Younger said...

Which is why Cyberpunk is a more important phenomena than a digital Jeff Bridges. But that's an interesting comparison to make. I'll have to ruminate on that some more.