The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture

1st Edition

Edited by Anna McFarlane, Lars Schmeink, Graham Murphy


488 pages

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Hardback: 9780815351931
pub: 2019-12-17
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In this companion, an international range of contributors examine with the cultural formation of cyberpunk from micro-level analyses of example texts to macro-level debates of movements, providing readers with a snapshot of cyberpunk culture and also cyberpunk as culture.


With technology seamlessly integrated into our life and our selves, and social systems veering towards globalization and corporatization, cyberpunk has become a ubiquitous cultural formation that dominates our 21st century techno-digital landscapes. The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture traces cyberpunk through its historical developments as a literary science fiction subgenre to its spread into other media such as comics, film, television and video games. Moreover, seeing cyberpunk as a general cultural practice, the Companion provides insights into photography, music, fashion, and activism. Cyberpunk, as the chapters presented here argue, is integrated with other critical theoretical tenets of our times, such as posthumanism, the Anthropocene, animality, or empire. And lastly, cyberpunk is a vehicle that lends itself to the rise of new futurisms, occupying a variety of positions in our regionally diverse reality and thus linking, as much as differentiating, our perspectives on a globalized technoscientific world.


With original entries that engage cyberpunk’s diverse ‘angles’ and its proliferation in our life worlds, this critical reference will be of significant interest to humanities students and scholars of media, cultural studies, literature, and beyond.

Table of Contents

01. Cyberpunk as Cultural Formation

Anna McFarlane, Graham J. Murphy and Lars Schmeink


I: Cultural Texts

02. Literary Precursors

Rob Latham

03. The Mirrorshades Collective

Graham J. Murphy

04. Bruce Sterling: Schismatrix Plus (Case Study)

Maria Goicoechea


05. Feminist Cyberpunk

Lisa Yaszek 

06. Pat Cadigan: Synners (Case Study)

Ritch Calvin

07. Post-Cyberpunk

Christopher D. Kilgore

08. Charles Stross: Accelerando (Case Study)

Gerry Canavan

09. Steampunk

Jess Nevins

10. Biopunk

Lars Schmeink

11. Non-SF Cyberpunk

Jaak Tomberg

12. Comic Books

David M Higgins and Matthew Iung

13. American Flagg! (Case Study)

Corey K. Creekmur

14. Manga

Shige (CJ) Suzuki

15. Early Cyberpunk Film

Andrew M. Butler

16. Strange Days (Case Study)

Anna McFarlane

17. Digital Effects in Cinema

Lars Schmeink

18. Blade Runner 2049 (Case Study)

Matthew Flisfeder

19. Anime

Kumiko Saito

20. Akira and Ghost in the Shell (Case Study)

Martin de la Iglesia and Lars Schmeink

21. Television

Sherryl Vint

22. Max Headroom: Twenty Minutes into the Future (Case Study)

Scott Rogers

23. Video Games

Pawel Frelik

24. Deus Ex (Case Study)

Christian Knöppler

25. Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Curtis Carbonell


26. Shadowrun (Case Study)

Hamish Cameron

27. Photography and Digital Art

Grace Halden

28. Fashion

Stina Attebery


29. Music

Nicholas C. Laudadio

30. Janelle Monáe: Dirty Computer (Case Study)

Christine Capetola


II: Cultural Theory

31. Simulation and Simulacra

Rebecca Haar and Anna McFarlane

32. Gothicism

Anya Heise-von der Lippe

33. Posthumanism(s)

Julia Grillmayr

34. Marxism

Hugh Charles O’Connell

35. Cyborg Feminism

Patricia Melzer

36. Queer Theory

Wendy Gay Pearson

37. Critical Race Theory

Isiah Lavender III

38. Animality

Seán McCorry

39. Ecology in the Anthropocene

Veronica Hollinger

40. Empire

John Rieder

41. Indigenous Futurisms

Corinna Lenhardt

42. Afrofuturism

Isiah Lavender III and Graham J. Murphy

43. Veillance Society

Chris Hables Gray

44. Activism

Colin Milburn


III: Cultural Locales

45. Latin America

M. Elizabeth Ginway

46. Cuba’s Cyberpunk Histories

Juan C. Toledano Redondo

47. Japan as Cyberpunk Exoticism

Brian Ruh

48. India

Suparno Banerjee

49. Germany

Evan Torner

50. French and Québécois

Amy J. Ransom

About the Editors

Anna McFarlane is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Glasgow University with a project entitled "Products of Conception: Science Fiction and Pregnancy, 1968-2015." She has worked on the Wellcome Trust-funded Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities project and holds a Ph.D. from the University of St Andrews on William Gibson’s science fiction novels. She is the editor of Adam Roberts: Critical Essays (2016) and has served as blog and reviews editor for the journal BMJ Medical Humanities.

Graham J. Murphy is professor with the School of English and Liberal Studies (Faculty of Business) at Seneca College (Toronto). In addition to more than two dozen articles published in a variety of edited collections and peer-review journals, he is also co-editor of Cyberpunk and Visual Culture (2018), Beyond Cyberpunk: New Critical Perspectives (2010), and co-author of Ursula K. Le Guin: A Critical Companion (2006).

Lars Schmeink is project lead at the "Science Fiction" subproject of "FutureWork," a research network funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. He was the inaugural president of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung from 2010–19 and has published extensively on science fiction and posthumanism. He is author of Biopunk Dystopias: Genetic Engineering, Society, and Science Fiction (2016) and co-editor of Cyberpunk and Visual Culture (2018).

About the Series

Routledge Companions

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Science Fiction & Fantasy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies