1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture

Edited By Anna McFarlane, Lars Schmeink, Graham Murphy Copyright 2020
    474 Pages
    by Routledge

    474 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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 D. 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. 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