The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture
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In this companion, an international range of contributors examine the cultural formation of cyberpunk from micro-level analyses of example texts to macro-level debates of movements, providing readers with snapshots of cyberpunk culture and also cyberpunk as culture.
With technology seamlessly integrated into our lives and our selves, and social systems veering towards globalization and corporatization, cyberpunk has become a ubiquitous cultural formation that dominates our twenty-first century techno-digital landscapes. The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture traces cyberpunk through its historical developments as a literary science fiction form 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, and 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
03. The Mirrorshades Collective
Graham J. Murphy
04. Bruce Sterling: Schismatrix Plus (Case Study)
05. Feminist Cyberpunk
06. Pat Cadigan: Synners (Case Study)
Christopher D. Kilgore
08. Charles Stross: Accelerando (Case Study)
11. Non-SF Cyberpunk
12. Comic Books
David M Higgins and Matthew Iung
13. American Flagg! (Case Study)
Corey K. Creekmur
Shige (CJ) Suzuki
15. Early Cyberpunk Film
Andrew M. Butler
16. Strange Days (Case Study)
17. Digital Effects in Cinema
18. Blade Runner 2049 (Case Study)
20. Akira and Ghost in the Shell (Case Study)
Martin de la Iglesia and Lars Schmeink
22. Max Headroom: Twenty Minutes into the Future (Case Study)
23. Video Games
24. Deus Ex (Case Study)
25. Tabletop Role-Playing Games
Curtis D. Carbonell
26. Shadowrun (Case Study)
27. Photography and Digital Art
Nicholas C. Laudadio
30. Janelle Monáe: Dirty Computer (Case Study)
II: Cultural Theory
31. Simulation and Simulacra
Rebecca Haar and Anna McFarlane
Anya Heise-von der Lippe
Hugh Charles O’Connell
35. Cyborg Feminism
36. Queer Theory
Wendy Gay Pearson
37. Critical Race Theory
Isiah Lavender III
39. Ecology in the Anthropocene
41. Indigenous Futurisms
Isiah Lavender III and Graham J. Murphy
43. Veillance Society
Chris Hables Gray
III: Cultural Locales
45. Latin America
M. Elizabeth Ginway
46. Cuba’s Cyberpunk Histories
Juan C. Toledano Redondo
47. Japan as Cyberpunk Exoticism
50. France and Québec
Amy J. Ransom
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 a professor with the School of English and Liberal Studies (Faculty of Arts) 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 to 19 and has published extensively on science fiction and posthumanism. He is the author of Biopunk Dystopias: Genetic Engineering, Society, and Science Fiction (2016) and co-editor of Cyberpunk and Visual Culture (2018).
"The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture [...] makes for an excellent and accessible reference work for those interested in how techno-cultural changes made throughout our present information-saturated age have been addressed in science fiction and beyond. There is no other scholastic work on cyberpunk that goes as broad or runs as deep, and this will likely remain the case for quite some time."
-- Mark Player, University of Reading, from Configurations, Volume 28, Number 3, Summer 2020
"The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture is as thorough and careful a study of worldwide cyberpunk as we could have hoped it would be. The writing and the bibliographical apparatus are both of high quality, and the enthusiasm of the writers for their topics matches their professionalism [...]. Every companion volume is as much a spur toward conversation and argument as it is a compass reading in the field it tackles, and in that respect as in many others, this Companion represents a remarkable achievement."
-- Simone Caroti, Full Sail University, from Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, Volume 30, Number 3, 2020
"Emphasizing such a far-reaching impact and manifestation of cyberpunk, this anthology is best suited for scholars seeking a helpful companion for undergraduate courses focused on this topic or emerging scholars desiring a guiding resource through this cultural terrain. Moving beyond the most influential cyberpunk texts, it provides a broader understanding of how cyberpunk permeates disparate genres and media including video games, music, fashion, role-playing games, manga and anime, comic books, novels, and films and therefore enables scholars to re-envision cyberpunk as not merely a North American genre of speculative fiction but instead in a more accurate sense as a global response to late capitalism."
-- Michael Pitts, from SFRA Review, vol. 52, no. 1, 241-42