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Cyberpunk – Wikipedia

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a futuristic setting that tends to focus on “a combination of low life and high tech”[1] featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order.[2]

Much of cyberpunk is rooted in the New Wave science fiction movement of the 1960s and 70s, when writers like Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny, J.G. Ballard, Philip Jose Farmer, and Harlan Ellison examined the impact of drug culture, technology, and the sexual revolution while avoiding the utopian tendencies of earlier science fiction. Released in 1984, William Gibsons influential debut novel Neuromancer would help solidify cyberpunk as a genre, drawing influence from punk subculture and early hacker culture. Other influential cyberpunk writers included Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker.

Early films in the genre include Ridley Scotts 1982 film Blade Runner, one of several of Philip K. Dick’s works that have been adapted into films. The films Johnny Mnemonic[3] and New Rose Hotel,[4][5] both based upon short stories by William Gibson, flopped commercially and critically. More recent additions to this genre of filmmaking include the 2013 film Snowpiercer, the 2017 release of Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to the original 1982 film, and the 2018 Netflix TV series Altered Carbon.

Lawrence Person has attempted to define the content and ethos of the cyberpunk literary movement stating:

Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.

Cyberpunk plots often center on conflict among artificial intelligences, hackers, and megacorporations, and tend to be set in a near-future Earth, rather than in the far-future settings or galactic vistas found in novels such as Isaac Asimov’s Foundation or Frank Herbert’s Dune.[7] The settings are usually post-industrial dystopias but tend to feature extraordinary cultural ferment and the use of technology in ways never anticipated by its original inventors (“the street finds its own uses for things”).[8] Much of the genre’s atmosphere echoes film noir, and written works in the genre often use techniques from detective fiction.[9]

The origins of cyberpunk are rooted in the New Wave science fiction movement of the 1960s and 70s, where New Worlds, under the editorship of Michael Moorcock, began inviting and encouraging stories that examined new writing styles, techniques, and archetypes. Replacing the celebration of conformity to norms intrinsic in conventional storytelling, New Wave authors attempted to present a world where society coped with a constant upheaval of new technology and culture, generally with dystopian outcomes. Writers like Roger Zelazny, J.G. Ballard, Philip Jose Farmer, and Harlan Ellison often examined the impact of drug culture, technology, and sexual revolution with an avant-garde style influenced by the Beat Generation (especially William S. Burroughs’ own SF), dadaism, and their own rhetorical ideas.[10] Ballard attacked the idea that stories should follow the “archetypes” popular since the time of Ancient Greece, that these would somehow be the same ones that would call to modern readers, as Joseph Campbell argued in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Instead, Ballard wanted to write a new myth for the modern reader, a style with “more psycho-literary ideas, more meta-biological and meta-chemical concepts, private time systems, synthetic psychologies and space-times, more of the sombre half-worlds one glimpses in the paintings of schizophrenics.”[11]

This had a profound influence on a new generation of writers, some of whom would come to call themselves “Cyberpunk”. One, Bruce Sterling, later said:

Ballard, Zelazny, and the rest of New Wave was seen by the subsequent generation as delivering more “realism” to science fiction, and they attempted to build on this.

Similarly influential, and generally cited as proto-cyberpunk, is the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, first published in 1968. Presenting precisely the general feeling of dystopian post-economic-apocalyptic future as Gibson and Sterling later deliver, it examines ethical and moral problems with cybernetic, artificial intelligence in a way more “realist” than the Isaac Asimov Robot series that laid its philosophical foundation. This novel was made into the seminal movie Blade Runner, released in 1982, one year after another story, “Johnny Mnemonic” helped move proto-cyberpunk concepts into the mainstream. This story, which also became a film years later, involves another dystopian future, where human couriers deliver computer data, stored cybernetically in their own minds.

In 1983 a short story written by Bruce Bethke, called Cyberpunk, was published in Amazing Stories. The term was picked up by Gardner Dozois, editor of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and popularized in his editorials. Bethke says he was made two lists of words, one for technology, one for troublemakers, and experimented with combining them variously into compound words, consciously attempting to coin a term that encompassed both punk attitudes and high technology.

He described the idea thus:

Afterward, Dozois began using this term in his own writing, most notably in a Washington Post article where he said “About the closest thing here to a self-willed esthetic school would be the purveyors of bizarre hard-edged, high-tech stuff, who have on occasion been referred to as cyberpunks Sterling, Gibson, Shiner, Cadigan, Bear.”[14]

About that time, William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer was published, delivering the glimpse of a future encompassed by what became an archetype of cyberpunk “virtual reality”, with the human mind being fed light-based worldscapes through a computer interface. Some, perhaps ironically including Bethke himself, argued at the time that the writers whose style Gibson’s books epitomized should be called “Neuromantics”, a pun on the name of the novel plus “New Romantics”, a term used for a New Wave pop music movement that had just occurred in Britain, but this term did not catch on. Bethke later paraphrased Michael Swanwick’s argument for the term: “the movement writers should properly be termed neuromantics, since so much of what they were doing was clearly Imitation Neuromancer”.

Sterling was another writer who played a central role, often consciously, in the cyberpunk genre, variously seen as keeping it on track, or distorting its natural path into a stagnant formula.[15] In 1986 he edited a volume of cyberpunk stories called Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, an attempt to establish what cyberpunk was, from Sterling’s perspective.[16]

In the subsequent decade, the archetypes so perfectly framed in Gibson’s Neuromancer became increasingly used as tropes in the genre, climaxing in the satirical extremes of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash in 1992.

Bookending the Cyberpunk era, Bethke himself published a novel in 1995 called Headcrash: like Snow Crash a satirical attack on the genre’s excesses. It won the key cyberpunk honor named after its spiritual founder, the Philip K. Dick Award.

It satirized the genre in this way:

The impact of cyberpunk, though, has been long-lasting. Elements of both the setting and storytelling have become normal in science fiction in general, and a slew of sub-genres now have -punk tacked onto their names, most obviously Steampunk, but also a host of other Cyberpunk derivatives.

Primary exponents of the cyberpunk field include William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, Bruce Bethke, Pat Cadigan, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley and Philip K. Dick (author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, from which the film Blade Runner was adapted).[18]

Blade Runner can be seen as a quintessential example of the cyberpunk style and theme.[7] Video games, board games, and tabletop role-playing games, such as Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun, often feature storylines that are heavily influenced by cyberpunk writing and movies. Beginning in the early 1990s, some trends in fashion and music were also labeled as cyberpunk. Cyberpunk is also featured prominently in anime and manga:[19] Akira, Gunnm, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, Serial Experiments Lain, Dennou Coil, Ergo Proxy and Psycho Pass being among the most notable.[19]

Cyberpunk writers tend to use elements from hardboiled detective fiction, film noir, and postmodernist prose to describe an often nihilistic underground side of an electronic society. The genre’s vision of a troubled future is often called the antithesis of the generally utopian visions of the future popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Gibson defined cyberpunk’s antipathy towards utopian SF in his 1981 short story “The Gernsback Continuum,” which pokes fun at and, to a certain extent, condemns utopian science fiction.[22][23][24]

In some cyberpunk writing, much of the action takes place online, in cyberspace, blurring the line between actual and virtual reality.[25] A typical trope in such work is a direct connection between the human brain and computer systems. Cyberpunk settings are dystopias with corruption, computers and internet connectivity. Giant, multinational corporations have for the most part replaced governments as centers of political, economic, and even military power.

The economic and technological state of Japan is a regular theme in the Cyberpunk literature of the ’80s. Of Japan’s influence on the genre, William Gibson said, “Modern Japan simply was cyberpunk.”[21] Cyberpunk is often set in urbanized, artificial landscapes, and “city lights, receding” was used by Gibson as one of the genre’s first metaphors for cyberspace and virtual reality.[26] The cityscapes of Hong Kong[27] and Shanghai[28] have had major influences in the urban backgrounds, ambiance and settings in many cyberpunk works such as Blade Runner and Shadowrun. Ridley Scott envisioned the landscape of cyberpunk Los Angeles in Blade Runner to be “Hong Kong on a very bad day”.[29] The streetscapes of Ghost in the Shell were based on Hong Kong. Its director Mamoru Oshii felt that Hong Kong’s strange and chaotic streets where “old and new exist in confusing relationships”, fit the theme of the film well.[27] Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City is particularly notable for its disorganized hyper-urbanization and breakdown in traditional urban planning to be an inspiration to cyberpunk landscapes.

One of the cyberpunk genre’s prototype characters is Case, from Gibson’s Neuromancer.[30] Case is a “console cowboy,” a brilliant hacker who has betrayed his organized criminal partners. Robbed of his talent through a crippling injury inflicted by the vengeful partners, Case unexpectedly receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be healed by expert medical care but only if he participates in another criminal enterprise with a new crew.

Like Case, many cyberpunk protagonists are manipulated, placed in situations where they have little or no choice, and although they might see things through, they do not necessarily come out any further ahead than they previously were. These anti-heroes”criminals, outcasts, visionaries, dissenters and misfits”[31]call to mind the private eye of detective fiction. This emphasis on the misfits and the malcontents is the “punk” component of cyberpunk.

Cyberpunk can be intended to disquiet readers and call them to action. It often expresses a sense of rebellion, suggesting that one could describe it as a type of culture revolution in science fiction. In the words of author and critic David Brin:

…a closer look [at cyberpunk authors] reveals that they nearly always portray future societies in which governments have become wimpy and pathetic …Popular science fiction tales by Gibson, Williams, Cadigan and others do depict Orwellian accumulations of power in the next century, but nearly always clutched in the secretive hands of a wealthy or corporate elite.[32]

Cyberpunk stories have also been seen as fictional forecasts of the evolution of the Internet. The earliest descriptions of a global communications network came long before the World Wide Web entered popular awareness, though not before traditional science-fiction writers such as Arthur C. Clarke and some social commentators such as James Burke began predicting that such networks would eventually form.[33]

Minnesota writer Bruce Bethke coined the term in 1980 for his short story “Cyberpunk,” which was published in the November 1983 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories.[34] The term was quickly appropriated as a label to be applied to the works of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Pat Cadigan and others. Of these, Sterling became the movement’s chief ideologue, thanks to his fanzine Cheap Truth. John Shirley wrote articles on Sterling and Rucker’s significance.[35] John Brunner’s 1975 novel The Shockwave Rider is considered by many[who?] to be the first cyberpunk novel with many of the tropes commonly associated with the genre, some five years before the term was popularized by Dozois.[36]

William Gibson with his novel Neuromancer (1984) is arguably the most famous writer connected with the term cyberpunk. He emphasized style, a fascination with surfaces, and atmosphere over traditional science-fiction tropes. Regarded as ground-breaking and sometimes as “the archetypal cyberpunk work,”[6] Neuromancer was awarded the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards. Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) followed after Gibson’s popular debut novel. According to the Jargon File, “Gibson’s near-total ignorance of computers and the present-day hacker culture enabled him to speculate about the role of computers and hackers in the future in ways hackers have since found both irritatingly nave and tremendously stimulating.”[37]

Early on, cyberpunk was hailed as a radical departure from science-fiction standards and a new manifestation of vitality.[38] Shortly thereafter, however, some critics arose to challenge its status as a revolutionary movement. These critics said that the SF New Wave of the 1960s was much more innovative as far as narrative techniques and styles were concerned.[39] Furthermore, while Neuromancer’s narrator may have had an unusual “voice” for science fiction, much older examples can be found: Gibson’s narrative voice, for example, resembles that of an updated Raymond Chandler, as in his novel The Big Sleep (1939).[38] Others noted that almost all traits claimed to be uniquely cyberpunk could in fact be found in older writers’ worksoften citing J. G. Ballard, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Stanisaw Lem, Samuel R. Delany, and even William S. Burroughs.[38] For example, Philip K. Dick’s works contain recurring themes of social decay, artificial intelligence, paranoia, and blurred lines between objective and subjective realities.[40] The influential cyberpunk movie Blade Runner (1982) is based on his book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.[41] Humans linked to machines are found in Pohl and Kornbluth’s Wolfbane (1959) and Roger Zelazny’s Creatures of Light and Darkness (1968).[citation needed]

In 1994, scholar Brian Stonehill suggested that Thomas Pynchon’s 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow “not only curses but precurses what we now glibly dub cyberspace.”[42] Other important predecessors include Alfred Bester’s two most celebrated novels, The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination,[43] as well as Vernor Vinge’s novella True Names.[44]

Science-fiction writer David Brin describes cyberpunk as “the finest free promotion campaign ever waged on behalf of science fiction.” It may not have attracted the “real punks,” but it did ensnare many new readers, and it provided the sort of movement that postmodern literary critics found alluring. Cyberpunk made science fiction more attractive to academics, argues Brin; in addition, it made science fiction more profitable to Hollywood and to the visual arts generally. Although the “self-important rhetoric and whines of persecution” on the part of cyberpunk fans were irritating at worst and humorous at best, Brin declares that the “rebels did shake things up. We owe them a debt.”[45]

Fredric Jameson considers cyberpunk the “supreme literary expression if not of postmodernism, then of late capitalism itself”.[46]

Cyberpunk further inspired many professional writers who were not among the “original” cyberpunks to incorporate cyberpunk ideas into their own works,[citation needed] such as George Alec Effinger’s When Gravity Fails. Wired magazine, created by Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe, mixes new technology, art, literature, and current topics in order to interest today’s cyberpunk fans, which Paula Yoo claims “proves that hardcore hackers, multimedia junkies, cyberpunks and cellular freaks are poised to take over the world.”[47]

The film Blade Runner (1982)adapted from Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?is set in 2019 in a dystopian future in which manufactured beings called replicants are slaves used on space colonies and are legal prey on Earth to various bounty hunters who “retire” (kill) them. Although Blade Runner was largely unsuccessful in its first theatrical release, it found a viewership in the home video market and became a cult film.[48] Since the movie omits the religious and mythical elements of Dick’s original novel (e.g. empathy boxes and Wilbur Mercer), it falls more strictly within the cyberpunk genre than the novel does. William Gibson would later reveal that upon first viewing the film, he was surprised at how the look of this film matched his vision when he was working on Neuromancer. The film’s tone has since been the staple of many cyberpunk movies, such as The Matrix trilogy (1999-2003), which uses a wide variety of cyberpunk elements.

The number of films in the genre or at least using a few genre elements has grown steadily since Blade Runner. Several of Philip K. Dick’s works have been adapted to the silver screen. The films Johnny Mnemonic[3] and New Rose Hotel,[4][5] both based upon short stories by William Gibson, flopped commercially and critically. These box offices misses significantly slowed the development of cyberpunk as a literary or cultural form although a sequel to the 1982 film Blade Runner was released in October 2017 with Harrison Ford reprising his role from the original film.

In addition, “tech-noir” film as a hybrid genre, means a work of combining neo-noir and science fiction or cyberpunk. It includes many cyberpunk films such as Blade Runner, Burst City,[49] Robocop, 12 Monkeys, The Lawnmower Man, Hackers, Hardware, and Strange Days.

Cyberpunk themes are widely visible in anime and manga. In Japan, where cosplay is popular and not only teenagers display such fashion styles, cyberpunk has been accepted and its influence is widespread. William Gibson’s Neuromancer, whose influence dominated the early cyberpunk movement, was also set in Chiba, one of Japan’s largest industrial areas, although at the time of writing the novel Gibson did not know the location of Chiba and had no idea how perfectly it fit his vision in some ways. The exposure to cyberpunk ideas and fiction in the mid 1980s has allowed it to seep into the Japanese culture.

Cyberpunk anime and manga draw upon a futuristic vision which has elements in common with western science fiction and therefore have received wide international acceptance outside Japan. “The conceptualization involved in cyberpunk is more of forging ahead, looking at the new global culture. It is a culture that does not exist right now, so the Japanese concept of a cyberpunk future, seems just as valid as a Western one, especially as Western cyberpunk often incorporates many Japanese elements.”[50] William Gibson is now a frequent visitor to Japan, and he came to see that many of his visions of Japan have become a reality:

Modern Japan simply was cyberpunk. 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-sunsall that towering, animated crawl of commercial informationsaid, “You see? You see? It is Blade Runner town.” And it was. It so evidently was.[21]

Cyberpunk has influenced many anime and manga including the ground-breaking Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ergo Proxy, Battle Angel Alita, Megazone 23, Neo Tokyo, Goku Midnight Eye, Cyber City Oedo 808, Bubblegum Crisis, A.D. Police: Dead End City, Angel Cop, Extra, Blame!, Armitage III, Texhnolyze, Serial Experiments Lain, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Psycho-Pass.

There are many cyberpunk video games. Popular series include the Megami Tensei series, Deus Ex series, Syndicate series, and System Shock and its sequel. Other games, like Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, and the Matrix series, are based upon genre movies, or role-playing games (for instance the various Shadowrun games). CD Projekt Red is currently developing a cyberpunk game called “Cyberpunk 2077”.[51]

Several RPGs called Cyberpunk exist: Cyberpunk, Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk v3, by R. Talsorian Games, and GURPS Cyberpunk, published by Steve Jackson Games as a module of the GURPS family of RPGs. Cyberpunk 2020 was designed with the settings of William Gibson’s writings in mind, and to some extent with his approval[citation needed], unlike the approach taken by FASA in producing the transgenre Shadowrun game. Both are set in the near future, in a world where cybernetics are prominent. In addition, Iron Crown Enterprises released an RPG named Cyberspace, which was out of print for several years until recently being re-released in online PDF form.

In 1990, in a convergence of cyberpunk art and reality, the United States Secret Service raided Steve Jackson Games’s headquarters and confiscated all their computers. Officials denied that the target had been the GURPS Cyberpunk sourcebook, but Jackson would later write that he and his colleagues “were never able to secure the return of the complete manuscript; […] The Secret Service at first flatly refused to return anything then agreed to let us copy files, but when we got to their office, restricted us to one set of out-of-date files then agreed to make copies for us, but said “tomorrow” every day from March 4 to March 26. On March 26 we received a set of disks which purported to be our files, but the material was late, incomplete and well-nigh useless.”[52] Steve Jackson Games won a lawsuit against the Secret Service, aided by the new Electronic Frontier Foundation. This event has achieved a sort of notoriety, which has extended to the book itself as well. All published editions of GURPS Cyberpunk have a tagline on the front cover, which reads “The book that was seized by the U.S. Secret Service!” Inside, the book provides a summary of the raid and its aftermath.

Cyberpunk has also inspired several tabletop, miniature and board games such as Necromunda by Games Workshop. Netrunner is a collectible card game introduced in 1996, based on the Cyberpunk 2020 role-playing game. Tokyo NOVA, debuting in 1993, is a cyberpunk role-playing game that uses playing cards instead of dice.

Some musicians and acts have been classified as cyberpunk due to their aesthetic style and musical content. Often dealing with dystopian visions of the future or biomechanical themes, some fit more squarely in the category than others. Bands whose music has been classified as cyberpunk include Psydoll, Front Line Assembly, Clock DVA and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Some musicians not normally associated with cyberpunk have at times been inspired to create concept albums exploring such themes. Albums such as Gary Numan’s Replicas, The Pleasure Principle and Telekon were heavily inspired by the works of Philip K. Dick. Kraftwerk’s The Man-Machine and Computer World albums both explored the theme of humanity becoming dependent on technology. Nine Inch Nails’ concept album Year Zero also fits into this category. Fear Factory concept albums are heavily based upon future dystopia, cybernetics, clash between man and machines, virtual worlds. Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk drew heavily from cyberpunk literature and the cyberdelic counter culture in its creation. 1. Outside, a cyberpunk narrative fueled concept album by David Bowie, was warmly met by critics upon its release in 1995. Many musicians have also taken inspiration from specific cyberpunk works or authors, including Sonic Youth, whose albums Sister and Daydream Nation take influence from the works of Philip K. Dick and William Gibson respectively.

Vaporwave and Synthwave are also influenced by cyberpunk. The former has been interpreted as a dystopian[54] critique of capitalism[55] in the vein of cyberpunk and the latter as a nostalgic retrofuturistic revival of aspects of cyberpunk’s origins.

Some Neo-Futurism artworks and cityscapes have been influenced by cyberpunk, such as [21] the Sony Center in the Potsdamer Platz public square of Berlin, Germany.[56]

Several subcultures have been inspired by cyberpunk fiction. These include the cyberdelic counter culture of the late 1980s and early 90s. Cyberdelic, whose adherents referred to themselves as “cyberpunks”, attempted to blend the psychedelic art and drug movement with the technology of cyberculture. Early adherents included Timothy Leary, Mark Frauenfelder and R. U. Sirius. The movement largely faded following the dot-com bubble implosion of 2000.

Cybergoth is a fashion and dance subculture which draws its inspiration from cyberpunk fiction, as well as rave and Gothic subcultures. In addition, a distinct cyberpunk fashion of its own has emerged in recent years[when?] which rejects the raver and goth influences of cybergoth, and draws inspiration from urban street fashion, “post apocalypse”, functional clothing, high tech sports wear, tactical uniform and multifunction. This fashion goes by names like “tech wear”, “goth ninja” or “tech ninja”. Important designers in this type of fashion[according to whom?] are ACRONYM, Demobaza,[57] Boris Bidjan Saberi, Rick Owens and Alexander Wang.

The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong (demolished in 1994) is often referenced as the model cyberpunk/dystopian slum as, given its poor living conditions at the time coupled by the city’s political, physical, and economic isolation has caused many in academia to be fascinated by the ingenuity of its spawning.[58]

As a wider variety of writers began to work with cyberpunk concepts, new subgenres of science fiction emerged, some of which could be considered as playing off the cyberpunk label, others which could be considered as legitimate explorations into newer territory. These focused on technology and its social effects in different ways. One prominent subgenre is “steampunk,” which is set in an alternate history Victorian era that combines anachronistic technology with cyberpunk’s bleak film noir world view. The term was originally coined around 1987 as a joke to describe some of the novels of Tim Powers, James P. Blaylock, and K.W. Jeter, but by the time Gibson and Sterling entered the subgenre with their collaborative novel The Difference Engine the term was being used earnestly as well.[59]

Another subgenre is “biopunk” (cyberpunk themes dominated by biotechnology) from the early 1990s, a derivative style building on biotechnology rather than informational technology. In these stories, people are changed in some way not by mechanical means, but by genetic manipulation. Paul Di Filippo is seen as the most prominent biopunk writer, including his half-serious ribofunk. Bruce Sterling’s Shaper/Mechanist cycle is also seen as a major influence. In addition, some people consider works such as Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age to be postcyberpunk.

Cyberpunk works have been described as well-situated within postmodern literature.[60]

Role playing game publisher R. Talsorian Games, owner of the Cyberpunk 2020 franchise, trademarked the word “Cyberpunk” in the United States in 2012.[61] Video game developer CD Projekt, which is developing Cyberpunk 2077, bought the U.S. trademark from R. Talsorian Games, and has filed a trademark in the European Union.[62][63]

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Cyberpunk – Wikipedia

Review: Stylish cyberpunk series tells a scattered story …

This review contains spoilers for Altered Carbon.

If Blade Runner posed the question What does it mean to be human? then Netflixs latest series, Altered Carbon, asks, What does it mean to live? Or, at least it tries to.

In the distant future, humanity has beaten death sort of. Human consciousness is stored in a cortical stack, a biomechanical disk implanted at the base of the neck. These stacks enable humans to transfer their consciousness into any body, provided they have the money. The result is a dystopian cyberpunk intergalactic system that grants the rich immortality. The immortals are called meths after Methuselah, a biblical figure said to have lived 969 years.

Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) is a disgraced member of a military sect and was put in stasis for 250 years after joining a pro-death revolutionary group. Hes reawakened in Bay City to solve the murder of Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), a powerful meth. Along the way, he encounters a sentient hotel, biomodded mutants, a religious zealot, a flying sex fortress, clones, androids, alien trees, gang leaders, virtual torture, fight clubs and a convoluted conspiracy.

Overwhelmed yet?

Thats the fundamental flaw with Altered Carbon it tries to cram too much plot into too few episodes. The first half of the show has a singular vision; it centers on Laurens death and Takeshis mission to find the killer. But as the show progresses, it loses this focus and starts exploring pointless, plodding tangents. By the final episode, the characters are so far from where they started that Takeshi and friends feel like theyve stepped into another show thats more like a soap opera than a cyberdrama.

The conclusion is built around Takeshis relationship with his sister, Reileen (Dichen Lachman), their rocky past and her attempts to win his loveby murdering everyone he cares about. Not only is her motivation downright cartoonish, but her actions are inconsistent and often work against her end goal to secure a stable life for herself and her brother. She tries to save Takeshi as often as she tries to kill him.

But Takeshi himself isnt worth caring about. His character is styled after a noir detective, but he does less sleuthing than whining. It takes 10 episodes for Takeshi to understand the simple idea that some people actually like him and can help him on his journey. In seemingly every episode, he casts his friends aside, tries to isolate himself and then runs, desperate, to their aid when his negligence puts them in danger. Its an exhausting cycle that repeats and repeats and eventually becomes dull.

Equally frustrating is the contrived romance between Takeshi and police Officer Kristin Ortega (Martha Higareda). The show builds their relationship and establishes the trust between them, only to undermine it entirely in the final episode. It feels cheap, manipulative and disrespectful of the viewers time. The problem isnt that they dont end up together spoilers, they dont but that the reason for their split serves only to fuel a second season.

Even the visuals feel hectic and overdone. The streets look like rough approximations of Blade Runner. A neon glow casts the crowds of prostitutes and degenerates in shadow. Holographic women advertise sex shops, while musclebound monstrosities promote fight rings. For a television series, it certainly has a cinematic scope, but, like the story, the aesthetic lacks consistency. The show bounds from grimy streets to glittering castles above the clouds without pausing to acknowledge the change in tone.

The only unquestionable joy in Altered Carbon is Poe (Chris Conner), an AI in charge of a long-abandoned hotel. Poe is charismatic, sympathetic and ultimately more human than the rest of the cast.

Altered Carbon suffers from tonal whiplash. It jolts viewers back and forth between a military drama, a sci-fi philosophy piece, a revolutionary adventure and a family drama. Its difficult for a viewer to invest in any one facet of the story because the moment their interest is piqued, the show gets sidetracked.

Theres enough material for a second season, but Altered Carbon is better off dead.

Continued here:

Review: Stylish cyberpunk series tells a scattered story …

Cyberpunk 2077 to Feature thrilling Combat Encounters

Cyberpunk 2077is supposed to feature exciting combat encounters, as stated by a job listing from CD Projekt RED. At the present moment, the company is looking for a combat designer so as to help create exciting combat encounters for the approaching CD Projekt RED.

The person is supposed to be doing work with the quest designer so as to help produce wonderful and detailed combat situations. Level Designers, Open world designer,and Environment Artists are all going to be working with the combat designer.

Cyberpunk 2077 is supposed tofeature more than 60 hours of story contentand that is in addition to the side quests that we are supposed to get. Making exciting combat encounters is vital for the game so as to keep the players engaged for that much of hours.

Further focus is beingput on animationsin addition to striking graphics quality.

Cyberpunk 2077 is to get presented on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, supposedly, anytime in the next year.

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Cyberpunk 2077 to Feature thrilling Combat Encounters

Cyberpunk Music | What we listen to

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Everyone can listen using Playlister. Click the link below or the other one on the /r/Cyberpunk sidebar.

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CYBERPUNK PLAYLIST

Once the page loads, just click “Play” in the top right-hand corner.

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Cyberpunk Community Soundtrack: free compilation with a cyberpunk theme.

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Cyberpunk Music | What we listen to

Cyberpunk Noir | Author Jacey Holbrand

SINthetic

The New Lyons Sequence #1

by J.T. Nicholas

Genre: Science Fiction Cyberpunk Noir

Pub Date: 1/23/2018

The Artificial Evolution

They look like us. Act like us. Butthey are not human. Created to perform the menial tasks real humansdetest, Synths were designed with only a basic intelligence andminimal emotional response. It stands to reason that they have norights. Like any technology, they are designed for human convenience.Disposable.

In the city of New Lyons, DetectiveJason Campbell is investigating a vicious crime: a female body foundmutilated and left in the streets. Once the victim is identified as aSynth, the crime is designated no more than the destruction ofproperty, and Campbell is pulled from the case.

But when a mysterious strangerapproaches Campbell and asks him to continue his investigation insecret, Campbell is dragged into a dark world of unimaginablecorruption. One that leaves him questioning the true nature ofhumanity.

And what he discovers is only the beginning . . .

J.T. Nicholas was born inLexington, Virginia, though within six months he moved (or was moved,rather) to Stuttgart, Germany. Thus began the long journey of themilitary brat, hopping from state to state and country to countryuntil, at present, he has accumulated nearly thirty relocations. Thisexperience taught him that, regardless of where one found oneself,people were largely the same. When not writing, Nick spends his timepracticing a variety of martial arts, playing games (video, tabletop,and otherwise), and reading everything he can get his hands on. Nickcurrently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, a pair ofindifferent cats, a neurotic Papillion, and an Australian Shepherdwho (rightly) believes he is in charge of the day-to-day affairs.

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Cyberpunk Noir | Author Jacey Holbrand

Netflixs Altered Carbon misses the point of cyberpunk …

Netflixs new science fiction TV series Altered Carbon ticks all the boxes for a modern-day cyberpunk series. Based on a 2002 novel by Richard K. Morgan, its about a hardboiled investigator named Takeshi Kovacs who lives in a world where human consciousness can be stored on a chip called a stack, and transferred between bodies (now known as sleeves.) The rich have effectively become immortal, sequestering themselves far above the gritty streets of futuristic San Francisco. The masses use flashing holograms to sell copious sex, drugs, and violence, beneath a perpetually dark and rainy sky. The series offers a Blade Runner-tinged aesthetic that many people adore, me included.

But that aesthetic, paradoxically, is why Altered Carbon fails, as both good television and good cyberpunk.

Films like Blade Runner and classic cyberpunk novels like Neuromancer, helped transform science fiction by imagining how new inventions would intersect with existing culture, particularly outside respectable bourgeois society. Early cyberpunk posits that technology will shape humanity, but that ordinary people will also shape technology, and that much of the future will simply be a remixed version of the present. The specific tropes its associated with like city streets inspired by Tokyo and Hong Kong, omnipresent advertising, and hardboiled mystery plots emerged from these larger philosophical underpinnings.

As Gavia Baker-Whitelaw at The Daily Dot and Ryan Britt at Inverse have pointed out, though, modern cyberpunk is basically a kind of retro-futurism. Its an often predictable genre that meticulously copies 30-year-old ideas of what tomorrow might look like including dated gender roles; an ARPANET-era vision of computer use; and perhaps most importantly, a culture that hasnt spent several decades imagining a cyberpunk future. Blade Runners groundbreaking visual style has been sanded down into a gorgeous prefab kit thats applied to futures without any consideration for what makes a given science fiction society unique or distinctive. And in Altered Carbons case, that kit isnt just derivative. It sabotages the genres truly timeless aspects, stretching out surface-level tropes like an ill-fitting skin.

Altered Carbon is a far future that looks inexplicably near. The exact date is ambiguous, but a description puts it at over 300 years from now, compared to a few decades in Blade Runner. Humans have colonized other planets, discovered the remnants of an alien civilization, and conquered death. They also favor fashion that looks like a noir-inspired H&M collection, back-alley brothels with tacky holographic signs, distinctly 20th-century skinhead tattoos, and grimy urban architecture. (Morgans novel Altered Carbon takes place even later. But as a book, it has the freedom to leave these kinds of details to the imagination, or pause to explain their backstory.) Kovacs wakes from a 250-year stint in a disembodied stack prison the equivalent of a Revolutionary War prisoner jumping forward to 2018 and his flashbacks are barely distinguishable from the main setting.

Altered Carbon seems basically uninterested in its own premise

That choice could have been used for compelling worldbuilding. Altered Carbons neo-San Francisco is ruled by multi-centenarian Methuselahs or Meths, and it would make sense if theyd held onto nostalgic relics like some nightmare version of the Baby Boomers. But the show seems basically uninterested in the implications of body-swapping and immortality, unless it directly affects Kovacs journey, or advances simplistic social commentary. Altered Carbon doesnt use anachronistic details to explore how we got from the present day to the 24th century. Theyre just convenient narrative shorthand for downtrodden prostitute or street tough, or more generally, dark and gritty future.

This undercuts the themes of social division and class consciousness that Altered Carbon is supposedly exploring, and cyberpunks general penchant for vibrant, complex settings. The rich and poor seem so completely divided in this series that theres no reason for all culture to freeze just because the rich are living in amber or if there is a reason, Altered Carbon doesnt make a case for it. In fact, the series would be much stronger if a high-tech but stagnant society of immortals periodically appropriated fresh pop culture from a short-lived underclass. It would combine present-day social concerns with strange new technology, while still letting Altered Carbon indulge in retro-futurism.

But instead of treating stacks and sleeves as unpredictable forces, Altered Carbon depicts them as a cudgel that decadent immortals use against the helpless poor in dully predictable ways. Theres one piece of uniquely creepy depravity in the series: a woman whose pet snake apparently contains a human mind. Otherwise, after several hundred years of life, Altered Carbons Meths have settled on two hobbies: admiring the middlebrow neoclassical decor of their private sky mansions, and killing poor people. Theyre not even particularly creative about it apparently low-budget snuff scenarios and clumsy zero-gravity death matches never get old.

Technology isnt an unexpected force, its a predictable cudgel

These temporary deaths are all horrible, of course, as is the Meths overall callousness. But theres such a monotonous, unimaginative tread of cruelty that it loses any shock value or allegorical heft. Beneath its serious grown-up science fiction trappings of nudity and sexual violence, Altered Carbon is less incisive than the equally heavy-handed young adult series The Hunger Games, which mixed on-the-nose class commentary with genuine futuristic weirdness.

Part of the problem is that unlike many cyberpunk protagonists, Kovacs isnt really part of Altered Carbons world hes a newcomer being handsomely paid to investigate a Meths (temporary, but mysterious) murder. Actual members of the underclass are rarely given goals or agency, unless theyve been personally liberated by Kovacs and his infinite expense account. Theyre doll-like bodies waiting to be smashed up, so Kovacs can either justify his rage or establish his good-guy status with paternalistic advice. (You shouldnt let anyone hurt you. Youre worth more than that, he helpfully tells one brothel worker.) We know more about how the poor people of this society die than how they live.

A couple of running subplots delve into Altered Carbons specific vision of the future, and unsurprisingly, theyre the best parts of the series. A sentient Edgar Allan Poe-themed hotel which interacts with guests using an avatar based on Poe himself offers a window into an intriguing AI service economy, including virtual poker nights with a labor union. Poe strikes up a friendship with a sleeveless woman, which emphasizes the fuzzy line between an artificial personality and a human who only exists on a chip. And Kovacs police officer partner Kristen Ortega has a neo-Catholic family thats split over Gods view of resurrecting a loved one. In these cases, Altered Carbon pushes past its Blade Runner fetish and reflexive cynicism to find something human.

But when the larger world is so thin, its hard to put something like neo-Catholicism in a larger context. Characters have had centuries to get used to the idea of stacks. Why do so many still seem blindsided by their existence? And why do so few people, including the dour Meths, seem to be doing anything interesting with the technology?

Altered Carbon trades thoughtful writing and design for a blinkered focus on polemic and prefab dystopia. Instead of imagining what a future full of body-shifters would look like, the series seemingly starts with an aging visual style, adds the premise that rich immortals enjoy hurting people, and work backward from there. It has all the superficial hallmarks of a cyberpunk classic like Blade Runner, but it would have been far better cyberpunk without them.

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Netflixs Altered Carbon misses the point of cyberpunk …

DPS Research (Cyberpunk) George Dennis

Starting off as a literacy movement, the term Cyberpunk soon evolved into a subculture organism. Defining the term Cyberpunk is difficult as it has reached a level of complexity that requires multiple definitions at this point since it has become both a culture and genre. In short, Cyberpunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that features advanced technologies in an urban, dystopian future. On one side youd typically have the powerful corporations and private security companies whilst on the other youd have the attractive, dark and gritty underworld of illegal trade, gangs and drugs. Amongst all of this, the genre contains traits of politics, corruption and social upheaval traits of common goals amongst Youth within the modern world.

In the view of the genre being a sub-culture, social reactionhas been mostly negative as a result of the foundations that it stands itself upon. However, since books and films that follow this subculture have recently become drastically commercialised, it has gained a noticeable following and is alluring to the masses. Examples of this are Bladerunner 2049, Ghost In a Shell and the Matrix series.

By masses, this mostly entails the younger generation with the majority being younger boys in their teenage years. Since Cyberpunk is so closely related to the Hacking culture that is prominent within our age of information, it is very much favoured by the Youth as Youth is about transition from a world of paternal authority, where the parents dictate how things are done, to a world of responsibility, where youth make decisions for themselves. The transition is marked by rebellion, defiance and a seemingly single-minded focus on defiance. All of above being underlying traits of the culture that the Cyberpunk genre has cultivated over the decades that it has been present.

Historically, this genre was born at the perfect time for its cultivation as the Youth of the 1980s and 1990s grew up more technologically literate than their parents since they were the first generation to gain commercial access to these devices. And with computing itself being a cultivation of rebellion with a different representation of doing things; the culture was soon blown up to a massive scale. However, the chapter of Cyberpunk during those years has concluded and is a finished chapter in history. The form of Cyberpunk that we are presented with today is still lively and is in the process of ever-goingtransformation.

With Cyberpunk being such a diverse genre/culture, I think it suits the theme of Equality & Diversity almost perfectly as one of the common strives within a Cyberpunk story is to fix the dystopian society that characters find themselves amongst and rid the gap between the underground and corporations; an almost perfect reflection of our current world.

Alongside this, Cyberpunk very much focuses on the more gritty and dark traits of the world we live in. However, the genre often makes sure to portray the contrast of works; the diversity of cultures within these imaginative worlds.

Is.muni.cz. (2018).Cite a Website Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://is.muni.cz/th/74895/ff_b/FINAL_THESIS.pdf [Accessed 21 Feb. 2018].

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DPS Research (Cyberpunk) George Dennis

Steampunk – Wikipedia

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.[1][2] Although its literary origins are sometimes associated with the cyberpunk genre,[3] steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a future during which steam power has maintained mainstream usage, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. However, steampunk and Neo-Victorian are different in that the Neo-Victorian movement does not extrapolate on technology and embraces the positive aspects of the Victorian era’s culture and philosophy.[citation needed]

Steampunk most recognizably features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era’s perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art.[citation needed] Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or of the modern authors Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfeld, Stephen Hunt, and China Miville.[original research?] Other examples of steampunk contain alternative-history-style presentations of such technology as steam cannons, lighter-than-air airships, analogue computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine.[citation needed]

Steampunk may also incorporate additional elements from the genres of fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history, or other branches of speculative fiction, making it often a hybrid genre.[citation needed] The first known appearance of the term steampunk was in 1987, though it now retroactively refers to many works of fiction created as far back as the 1950s or 1960s.[citation needed]

Steampunk also refers to any of the artistic styles, clothing fashions, or subcultures that have developed from the aesthetics of steampunk fiction, Victorian-era fiction, art nouveau design, and films from the mid-20th century.[4] Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual artisans into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical “steampunk” style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk.[5]

Steampunk is influenced by and often adopts the style of the 19th-century scientific romances of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mary Shelley, and Edward S. Ellis’s The Steam Man of the Prairies.[6] Several more modern works of art and fiction significant to the development of the genre were produced before the genre had a name. Titus Alone (1959), by Mervyn Peake, is widely regarded by scholars as the first novel in the genre proper,[7][8][pageneeded][9] while others point to Michael Moorcock’s 1971 novel The Warlord of the Air,[10][11][12] which was heavily influenced by Peake’s work. The film Brazil (1985) was an important early cinematic influence that helped codify the aesthetics of the genre. The Adventures of Luther Arkwright was an early (1970s) comic version of the Moorcock-style mover between timestreams.[13][14]

In fine art, Remedios Varo’s paintings combine elements of Victorian dress, fantasy, and technofantasy imagery.[15][pageneeded] In television, one of the earliest manifestations of the steampunk ethos in the mainstream media was the CBS television series The Wild Wild West (196569), which inspired the later film.[6][16]

Although many works now considered seminal to the genre were published in the 1960s and 1970s, the term steampunk originated in the late 1980s as a tongue-in-cheek variant of cyberpunk. It was coined by science fiction author K. W. Jeter,[17] who was trying to find a general term for works by Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates, 1983), James Blaylock (Homunculus, 1986), and himself (Morlock Night, 1979, and Infernal Devices, 1987)all of which took place in a 19th-century (usually Victorian) setting and imitated conventions of such actual Victorian speculative fiction as H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine. In a letter to science fiction magazine Locus, printed in the April 1987 issue, Jeter wrote:

Dear Locus,

Enclosed is a copy of my 1979 novel Morlock Night; I’d appreciate your being so good as to route it to Faren Miller, as it’s a prime piece of evidence in the great debate as to who in “the Powers/Blaylock/Jeter fantasy triumvirate” was writing in the “gonzo-historical manner” first. Though of course, I did find her review in the March Locus to be quite flattering.

While Jeter’s Morlock Night and Infernal Devices, Powers’ The Anubis Gates, and Blaylock’s Lord Kelvin’s Machine were the first novels to which Jeter’s neologism would be applied, the three authors gave the term little thought at the time.[20]:48 They were far from the first modern science fiction writers to speculate on the development of steam-based technology or alternative histories. Keith Laumer’s Worlds of the Imperium (1962) and Ronald W. Clark’s Queen Victoria’s Bomb (1967) apply modern speculation to past-age technology and society.[21][pageneeded] Michael Moorcock’s Warlord of the Air (1971)[22] is another early example. Harry Harrison’s novel A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! (1973) portrays a British Empire of an alternative year 1973, full of atomic locomotives, coal-powered flying boats, ornate submarines, and Victorian dialogue. The Adventures of Luther Arkwright (mid-1970s) was the first steampunk comic.[citation needed] In February 1980, Richard A. Lupoff and Steve Stiles published the first “chapter” of their 10-part comic strip The Adventures of Professor Thintwhistle and His Incredible Aether Flyer.[23]

The first use of the word in a title was in Paul Di Filippo’s 1995 Steampunk Trilogy,[24] consisting of three short novels: “Victoria”, “Hottentots”, and “Walt and Emily”, which, respectively, imagine the replacement of Queen Victoria by a human/newt clone, an invasion of Massachusetts by Lovecraftian monsters, and a love affair between Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.

Superficially, steampunk may resemble retrofuturism. Indeed, both sensibilities recall “the older but still modern eras in which technological change seemed to anticipate a better world, one remembered as relatively innocent of industrial decline.”[2]

One of steampunks most significant contributions is the way in which it mixes digital media with traditional handmade art forms. As scholars Rachel Bowser and Brian Croxall put it, “the tinkering and tinker-able technologies within steampunk invite us to roll up our sleeves and get to work re-shaping our contemporary world.”[25] In this respect, steampunk bears more in common with DIY craft and making.[26]

Many of the visualisations of steampunk have their origins with, among others, Walt Disney’s film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954),[27] including the design of the story’s submarine the Nautilus, its interiors, and the crew’s underwater gear; and George Pal’s film The Time Machine (1960), especially the design of the time machine itself. This theme is also carried over to Six Flags Magic Mountain and Disney parks, in the themed area the “Screampunk District” at Six Flags Magic Mountain and in the designs of The Mysterious Island section of Tokyo DisneySea theme park and Disneyland Paris’ Discoveryland area.[citation needed]

Aspects of steampunk design emphasise a balance between form and function.[28] In this it is like the Arts and Crafts Movement. But John Ruskin, William Morris, and the other reformers in the late nineteenth century rejected machines and industrial production. On the other hand, steampunk enthusiasts present a “non-luddite critique of technology”.[29]

Various modern utilitarian objects have been modified by enthusiasts into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical “steampunk” style.[14][30] Examples include computer keyboards and electric guitars.[31] The goal of such redesigns is to employ appropriate materials (such as polished brass, iron, wood, and leather) with design elements and craftsmanship consistent with the Victorian era,[22][32] rejecting the aesthetic of industrial design.[28]

In 1994, the Paris Metro station at Arts et Mtiers was redesigned by Belgian artist Francois Schuiten in steampunk style, to honor the works of Jules Verne. The station is reminiscent of a submarine, sheathed in brass with giant cogs in the ceiling and portholes that look out onto fanciful scenes.[33][34]

The artist group Kinetic Steam Works[35] brought a working steam engine to the Burning Man festival in 2006 and 2007.[36] The group’s founding member, Sean Orlando, created a Steampunk Tree House (in association with a group of people who would later form the Five Ton Crane Arts Group[37]) that has been displayed at a number of festivals.[38][39] The Steampunk Tree House is now permanently installed at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware.[40]

The Neverwas Haul is a three-story, self-propelled mobile art vehicle built to resemble a Victorian house on wheels. Designed by Shannon OHare, it was built by volunteers in 2006 and presented at the Burning Man festival from 2006 through 2015.[41] When fully built, the Haul propelled itself at a top speed of 5 miles per hour and required a crew of ten people to operate safely. Currently, the Neverwas Haul makes her home at Obtainium Works, an “art car factory” in Vallejo, CA, owned by OHare and home to several other self-styled “contraptionists”.[42]

In MayJune 2008, multimedia artist and sculptor Paul St George exhibited outdoor interactive video installations linking London and Brooklyn, New York, in a Victorian era-styled telectroscope.[43][44] Utilizing this device, New York promoter Evelyn Kriete organised a transatlantic wave between steampunk enthusiasts from both cities,[45] prior to White Mischief’s Around the World in 80 Days steampunk-themed event.[46]

In 2009, for Questacon, artist Tim Wetherell created a large wall piece that represented the concept of the clockwork universe. This steel artwork contains moving gears, a working clock, and a movie of the moon’s terminator in action. The 3D moon movie was created by Antony Williams.[47]

From October 2009 through February 2010, the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, hosted the first major exhibition of steampunk art objects, curated and developed by New York artist and designer Art Donovan,[48] who also exhibited his own “electro-futuristic” lighting sculptures, and presented by Dr. Jim Bennett, museum director.[49] From redesigned practical items to fantastical contraptions, this exhibition showcased the work of eighteen steampunk artists from across the globe. The exhibition proved to be the most successful and highly attended in the museum’s history and attracted more than eighty thousand visitors. The event was detailed in the official artist’s journal The Art of Steampunk, by curator Donovan.[50]

In November 2010, The Libratory Steampunk Art Gallery[51] was opened by Damien McNamara in Oamaru, New Zealand. Created from papier-mch to resemble a large subterranean cave and filled with industrial equipment from yesteryear, rayguns, and general steampunk quirks, its purpose is to provide a place for steampunkers in the region to display artwork for sale all year long. A year later, a more permanent gallery, Steampunk HQ, was opened in the former Meeks Grain Elevator Building across the road from The Woolstore, and has since become a notable tourist attraction for Oamaru.[52]

In 2012, the Mobilis in Mobili: An Exhibition of Steampunk Art and Appliance made its debut. Originally located at New York City’s Wooster Street Social Club (itself the subject of the television series NY Ink), the exhibit featured working steampunk tattoo systems designed by Bruce Rosenbaum, of ModVic and owner of the Steampunk House,[53] Joey “Dr. Grymm” Marsocci,[31] and Christopher Conte.[54] with different approaches.[27] “[B]icycles, cell phones, guitars, timepieces and entertainment systems”[54] rounded out the display.[31] The opening night exhibition featured a live performance by steampunk band Frenchy and the Punk.[55]

Steampunk fashion has no set guidelines but tends to synthesize modern styles with influences from the Victorian era. Such influences may include bustles, corsets, gowns, and petticoats; suits with waistcoats, coats, top hats[56] and bowler hats (themselves originating in 1850 England), tailcoats and spats; or military-inspired garments. Steampunk-influenced outfits are usually accented with several technological and “period” accessories: timepieces, parasols, flying/driving goggles,[57] and ray guns. Modern accessories like cell phones or music players can be found in steampunk outfits, after being modified to give them the appearance of Victorian-era objects. Post-apocalyptic elements, such as gas masks, ragged clothing, and tribal motifs, can also be included. Aspects of steampunk fashion have been anticipated by mainstream high fashion, the Lolita and aristocrat styles, neo-Victorianism, and the romantic goth subculture.[13][58][59]

In 2005, Kate Lambert, known as “Kato”, founded the first steampunk clothing company, “Steampunk Couture”,[60] mixing Victorian and post-apocalyptic influences. In 2013, IBM predicted, based on an analysis of more than a half million public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites, and news sources, “that ‘steampunk,’ a subgenre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian society, will be a major trend to bubble up and take hold of the retail industry”.[61][62] Indeed, high fashion lines such as Prada,[63] Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Chanel,[64] and Christian Dior[62] had already been introducing steampunk styles on the fashion runways. And in episode 7 of Lifetime’s “Project Runway: Under the Gunn” reality series, contestants were challenged to create avant-garde “steampunk chic” looks.[65] America’s Next Top Model tackled Steampunk fashion in a 2012 episode where models competed in a Steampunk themed photo shoot, posing in front of a steam train while holding a live owl.[66][unreliable source]

The educational book Elementary BASIC – Learning to Program Your Computer in BASIC with Sherlock Holmes (1981), by Henry Singer and Andrew Ledgar, may have been the first fictional work to depict the use of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine in an adventure story. The instructional book, aimed at young programming students, depicts Holmes using the engine as an aid in his investigations, and lists programs that perform simple data processing tasks required to solve the fictional cases. The book even describes a device that allows the engine to be used remotely, over telegraph lines, as a possible enhancement to Babbage’s machine. Companion volumesElementary Pascal – Learning to Program Your Computer in Pascal with Sherlock Holmes and From Baker Street to Binary – An Introduction to Computers and Computer Programming with Sherlock Holmeswere also written.

In 1988, the first version of the science fiction roleplaying game Space: 1889 was published. The game is set in an alternative history in which certain now discredited Victorian scientific theories were probable and led to new technologies. Contributing authors included Frank Chadwick, Loren Wiseman, and Marcus Rowland.[67]

William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s novel The Difference Engine (1990) is often credited with bringing about widespread awareness of steampunk.[16][68] This novel applies the principles of Gibson and Sterling’s cyberpunk writings to an alternative Victorian era where Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage’s proposed steam-powered mechanical computer, which Babbage called a difference engine (a later, more general-purpose version was known as an analytical engine), was actually built, and led to the dawn of the information age more than a century “ahead of schedule”. This setting was different from most steampunk settings in that it takes a dim and dark view of this future, rather than the more prevalent utopian versions.

Nick Gevers’s original anthology Extraordinary Engines (2008) features newer steampunk stories by some of the genre’s writers, as well as other science fiction and fantasy writers experimenting with neo-Victorian conventions. A retrospective reprint anthology of steampunk fiction was released, also in 2008, by Tachyon Publications. Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer and appropriately entitled Steampunk, it is a collection of stories by James Blaylock, whose “Narbondo” trilogy is typically considered steampunk; Jay Lake, author of the novel Mainspring, sometimes labeled “clockpunk”;[69] the aforementioned Michael Moorcock; as well as Jess Nevins, known for his annotations to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (first published in 1999).

Younger readers have also been targeted by steampunk themes, by authors such as Philip Reeve and Scott Westerfeld.[70] Reeve’s quartet Mortal Engines is set far in Earth’s future where giant moving cities consume each other in a battle for resources, a concept Reeve coined as Municipal Darwinism. Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy is set during an alternate First World War fought between the “clankers” (Central Powers), who use steam technology, and “darwinists” (Allied Powers), who use genetically engineered creatures instead of machines.

“Mash-ups” are also becoming increasingly popular in books aimed at younger readers, mixing steampunk with other genres. Suzanne Lazear’s Aether Chronicles series mixes steampunk with faeries, and The Unnaturalists, by Tiffany Trent, combines steampunk with mythological creatures and alternate history.[71]

While most of the original steampunk works had a historical setting,[citation needed] later works often place steampunk elements in a fantasy world with little relation to any specific historic era. Historical steampunk tends to be science fiction that presents an alternate history; it also contains real locales and persons from history with alternative fantasy technology. “Fantasy-world steampunk”, such as China Miville’s Perdido Street Station, Alan Campbell’s Scar Night, and Stephen Hunt’s Jackelian novels, on the other hand, presents steampunk in a completely imaginary fantasy realm, often populated by legendary creatures coexisting with steam-era and other anachronistic technologies. However, the works of China Miville and similar authors are sometimes referred to as belonging to the “New Weird” rather than steampunk.

Self-described author of “far-fetched fiction” Robert Rankin has increasingly incorporated elements of steampunk into narrative worlds that are both Victorian and re-imagined contemporary. In 2009, he was made a Fellow of the Victorian Steampunk Society.[72]

The comic book series Hellboy, created by Mike Mignola, and the two Hellboy films featuring Ron Perlman and directed by Guillermo del Toro, all have steampunk elements. In the comic book and the first (2004) film, Karl Ruprecht Kroenen is a Nazi SS scientist who has an addiction to having himself surgically altered, and who has many mechanical prostheses, including a clockwork heart. The character Johann Krauss is featured in the comic and in the second film, Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), as an ectoplasmic medium (a gaseous form in a partly mechanical suit). This second film also features the Golden Army itself, which is a collection of 4,900 mechanical steampunk warriors.

Since the 1990s, the application of the steampunk label has expanded beyond works set in recognisable historical periods, to works set in fantasy worlds that rely heavily on steam- or spring-powered technology.[16] One of the earliest short stories relying on steam-powered flying machines is “The Aerial Burglar” of 1844.[73] An example from juvenile fiction is The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.

Fantasy steampunk settings abound in tabletop and computer role-playing games. Notable examples include Skies of Arcadia,[74] Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends,[75] and Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura.[6]

The gnomes and goblins in World of Warcraft also have technological societies that could be described as steampunk,[76] as they are vastly ahead of the technologies of men, but still run on steam and mechanical power.

The Dwarves of the Elder Scrolls series, described therein as a race of Elves called the Dwemer, also use steam powered machinery, with gigantic brass-like gears, throughout their underground cities. However, magical means are used to keep ancient devices in motion despite the Dwemer’s ancient disappearance.[77]

The 1998 game Thief: The Dark Project, as well as the other sequels including its 2014 reboot, feature heavy steampunk-inspired architecture, setting, and technology.

Amidst the historical and fantasy subgenres of steampunk is a type that takes place in a hypothetical future or a fantasy equivalent of our future involving the domination of steampunk-style technology and aesthetics. Examples include Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s The City of Lost Children (1995), Turn A Gundam (19992000), Trigun,[78] and Disney’s film Treasure Planet (2002). In 2011, musician Thomas Dolby heralded his return to music after a 20-year hiatus with an online steampunk alternate fantasy world called the Floating City, to promote his album A Map of the Floating City.[6]

Another setting is “Western” steampunk, which overlaps with both the Weird West and Science fiction Western subgenres.[examples needed] Several other categories have arisen, sharing similar names, including dieselpunk, clockworkpunk, and others. Most of these terms were coined as supplements to the GURPS role playing game, and are not used in other contexts.[79]

Kaja Foglio introduced the term “Gaslight Romance”,[20]:78 gaslamp fantasy, which John Clute and John Grant define as “steampunk stories … most commonly set in a romanticised, smoky, 19th-century London, as are Gaslight Romances. But the latter category focuses nostalgically on icons from the late years of that century and the early years of the 20th centuryon Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes and even Tarzanand can normally be understood as combining supernatural fiction and recursive fantasy, though some gaslight romances can be read as fantasies of history.”[80] Author/artist James Richardson-Brown[81] coined the term steamgoth to refer to steampunk expressions of fantasy and horror with a “darker” bent.

Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, set near the end of the 21st century after a plague had brought down civilization, was probably the ancestor of post-apocalyptic steampunk literature. Post-apocalyptic steampunk is set in a world where some cataclysm has precipitated the fall of civilization and steam power is once again ascendant, such as in Hayao Miyazaki’s post-apocalyptic anime Future Boy Conan (1978),[78] where a war fought with superweapons has devastated the planet. Robert Brown’s novel, The Wrath of Fate (as well as much of Abney Park’s music) is set in A Victorianesque world where an apocalypse was set into motion by a time-traveling mishap. Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker series is set in a world where a zombie apocalypse happened during the Civil War era. The Peshawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling is set in a post-apocalyptic future in which a meteor shower in 1878 caused the collapse of Industrialized civilization. The movie 9 (which might be better classified as “stitchpunk” but was largely influenced by steampunk)[82] is also set in a post-apocalyptic world after a self-aware war machine ran amok. Steampunk Magazine even published a book called A Steampunk’s Guide to the Apocalypse, about how steampunks could survive should such a thing actually happen.

In general, this category includes any recent science fiction that takes place in a recognizable historical period (sometimes an alternate history version of an actual historical period) in which the Industrial Revolution has already begun, but electricity is not yet widespread, “usually Britain of the early to mid-nineteenth century or the fantasized Wild West-era United States”,[83] with an emphasis on steam- or spring-propelled gadgets. The most common historical steampunk settings are the Victorian and Edwardian eras, though some in this “Victorian steampunk” category are set as early as the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and as late as the end of World War I.

Some examples of this type include the novel The Difference Engine,[84] the comic book series League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the Disney animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire,[6] Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy,[85] and the roleplaying game Space: 1889.[6] The anime film Steamboy (2004) is another good example of Victorian steampunk, taking place in an alternate 1866 where steam technology is far more advanced than it ever was in real life.[86] Some, such as the comic series Girl Genius,[6] have their own unique times and places despite partaking heavily of the flavor of historic settings. Other comic series are set in a more familiar London, as in the Victorian Undead, which has Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson, and others taking on zombies, Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, and Count Dracula, with advanced weapons and devices.

Karel Zeman’s film The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (1958) is a very early example of cinematic steampunk. Based on Jules Verne novels, Zeman’s film imagines a past that never was, based on those novels.[87] Other early examples of historical steampunk in cinema include Hayao Miyazaki’s anime films such as Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986) and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), which contain many archetypal anachronisms characteristic of the steampunk genre.[88][89]

“Historical” steampunk usually leans more towards science fiction than fantasy, but a number of historical steampunk stories have incorporated magical elements as well. For example, Morlock Night, written by K. W. Jeter, revolves around an attempt by the wizard Merlin to raise King Arthur to save the Britain of 1892 from an invasion of Morlocks from the future.[16]

Paul Guinan’s Boilerplate, a “biography” of a robot in the late 19th century, began as a website that garnered international press coverage when people began believing that Photoshop images of the robot with historic personages were real.[90] The site was adapted into the illustrated hardbound book Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, which was published by Abrams in October 2009.[91] Because the story was not set in an alternative history, and in fact contained accurate information about the Victorian era,[92] some[specify] booksellers referred to the tome as “historical steampunk”.

Fictional settings inspired by Asian rather than Western history have been called “silkpunk”. The term appears to originate with the author Ken Liu, who defined it as “a blend of science fiction and fantasy [that] draws inspiration from classical East Asian antiquity”, with a “technology vocabulary (…) based on organic materials historically important to East Asia (bamboo, paper, silk) and seafaring cultures of the Pacific (coconut, feathers, coral)”, rather than the brass and leather associated with steampunk.[93] Other authors whose work has been described as silkpunk are JY Yang[94] and Elizabeth Bear.

Steampunk music is very broadly defined. Abney Parks lead singer Robert Brown defined it as “mixing Victorian elements and modern elements”. There is a broad range of musical influences that make up the Steampunk sound, from industrial dance and world music[59] to folk rock, dark cabaret to straightforward punk,[95] Carnatic[96] to industrial, hip-hop to opera (and even industrial hip-hop opera),[97][98] darkwave to progressive rock, barbershop to big band.

Joshua Pfeiffer (of Vernian Process) is quoted as saying, “As for Paul Roland, if anyone deserves credit for spearheading Steampunk music, it is him. He was one of the inspirations I had in starting my project. He was writing songs about the first attempt at manned flight, and an Edwardian airship raid in the mid-80s long before almost anyone else….”[99] Thomas Dolby is also considered one of the early pioneers of retro-futurist (i.e., Steampunk and Dieselpunk) music.[100][101] Amanda Palmer was once quoted as saying, “Thomas Dolby is to Steampunk what Iggy Pop was to Punk!”[102]

Steampunk has also appeared in the work of musicians who do not specifically identify as Steampunk. For example, the music video of “Turn Me On”, by David Guetta and featuring Nicki Minaj, takes place in a Steampunk universe where Guetta creates human droids. Another music video is “The Ballad of Mona Lisa”, by Panic! at the Disco, which has a distinct Victorian Steampunk theme. A continuation of this theme has in fact been used throughout the 2011 album Vices & Virtues, in the music videos, album art, and tour set and costumes. In addition, the album Clockwork Angels (2012) and its supporting tour by progressive rock band Rush contain lyrics, themes, and imagery based around Steampunk. Similarly, Abney Park headlined the first “Steamstock” outdoor steampunk music festival in Richmond, California, which also featured Thomas Dolby, Frenchy and the Punk, Lee Presson and the Nails, Vernian Process, and others.[101]

The music video for the Lindsey Stirling song “Roundtable Rival”, has a Western Steampunk setting.

The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (1958), directed by Karel Zeman.

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (1962), directed by Karel Zeman.

The 1965 television series The Wild Wild West, as well as the 1999 film of the same name, features many elements of advanced steam-powered technology set in the Wild West time period of the United States.

Two Years’ Vacation (or The Stolen Airship) (1967) directed by Karel Zeman

The BBC series Doctor Who also incorporates steampunk elements. During season 14 of the show (in 1976), the formerly futuristic looking interior set was replaced with a Victorian-styled wood-panel and brass affair.[103] In the 1996 American co-production, the TARDIS interior was re-designed to resemble an almost Victorian library with the central control console made up of an eclectic array of anachronistic objects. Modified and streamlined for the 2005 revival of the series, the TARDIS console continued to incorporate steampunk elements, including a Victorian typewriter and gramophone. Several storylines can be classed as steampunk, for example: The Evil of the Daleks (1966), wherein Victorian scientists invent a time travel device.[104]

Dinner for Adele (1977), directed by Oldich Lipsk

The 1979 film Time After Time has Herbert George “H.G.” Wells following a surgeon named John Leslie Stevenson into the future, as John is suspected of being Jack the Ripper. Both separately use Wells’s time machine to travel.

The Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians (1981), directed by Oldich Lipsk

The 1982 American TV series Q.E.D. is set in Edwardian England, stars Sam Waterston as Professor Quentin Everett Deverill (from whose initials, by which he is primarily known, the series title is derived, initials which also stand for the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, which translates as “which was to be demonstrated”). The Professor is an inventor and scientific detective, in the mold of Sherlock Holmes.

The plot of the Soviet film Kin-dza-dza! (1986) centers on a desert planet, depleted of its resources, where an impoverished dog-eat-dog society uses steam-punk machines, the movements and functions of which defy earthly logic.

In making his 1986 Japanese film Castle in the Sky, Hayao Miyazaki was heavily influenced by steampunk culture, the film featuring various air ships and steam-powered contraptions as well as a mysterious island that floats through the sky, accomplished not through magic as in most stories, but instead by harnessing the physical properties of a rare crystalanalogous to the lodestone used in the Laputa of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travelsaugmented by massive propellers, as befitting the Victorian motif.[105]

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., a 1993 Fox Network TV science fiction-western set in the 1890s, features elements of steampunk as represented by the character Professor Wickwire, whose inventions were described as “the coming thing”.[106]

The short-lived 1995 TV show Legend, on UPN, set in 1876 Arizona, features such classic inventions as a steam-driven “quadrovelocipede” and night-vision goggles, and stars John de Lancie as a thinly disguised Nikola Tesla.[citation needed]

Alan Moore’s and Kevin O’Neill’s 1999 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel series (and the subsequent 2003 film adaption) greatly popularised the steampunk genre.[58]

Steamboy (2004) is a Japanese animated action film directed and co-written by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira). It is a retro science-fiction epic set in a Steampunk Victorian England. It features steamboats, trains, airships and inventors.

The 2007 Syfy miniseries Tin Man incorporates a considerable number of steampunk-inspired themes into a re-imagining of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Despite leaning more towards gothic influences, the “parallel reality” of Meanwhile City, within the 2009 film Franklyn, contains many steampunk themes, such as costumery, architecture, minimal use of electricity (with a preference for gaslight), and absence of modern technology (such as there being no motorised vehicles or advanced weaponry, and the manual management of information with no use of computers).

The 20092014 Syfy television series Warehouse 13 features many steampunk-inspired objects and artifacts, including computer designs created by steampunk artisan Richard Nagy, a.k.a. “Datamancer”.[107]

The 2010 episode of the TV series Castle entitled “Punked” (which first aired on October 11, 2010) prominently features the steampunk subculture and uses Los Angeles-area steampunks (such as the League of STEAM) as extras.[108]

The 2011 film The Three Musketeers has many steampunk elements, including gadgets and airships.

The Penny Dreadful (2014) television series is a Gothic Victorian fantasy series with steampunk props and costumes.

The 2015 GSN reality television game show Steampunk’d features a competition to create steampunk-inspired art and designs which are judged by notable Steampunks Thomas Willeford, Kato, and Matt King.[109]

Based on the work of cartoonist Jacques Tardi, April and the Extraordinary World (2015) is an animated movie set in a steampunk Paris. It features airships, trains, submarines, and various other steam-powered contraptions.

Tim Burton’s 2016 film Alice Through the Looking Glass features steampunk costumes, props, and vehicles.

A variety of styles of video games have used steampunk settings.

The Chaos Engine (1993) is a run and gun video game inspired by the Gibson/Sterling novel The Difference Engine (1990), set in a Victorian steampunk age. Developed by the Bitmap Brothers, it was first released on the Amiga in 1993; a sequel was released in 1996.[110]

The graphic adventure puzzle video games Myst (1993), Riven (1997), and Myst III: Exile (2001) (all produced by Cyan Worlds) take place in an alternate steampunk universe, where elaborate infrastructures have been built to run on steam power.

The SteamWorld series of games has the player controlling steam-powered robots.

Both Thief: The Dark Project and its sequel, Thief II are set in a steampunk metropolis.

Mattel’s Monster High dolls Rebecca Steam and Hexiciah Steam.

The Pullip Dolls by Japanese manufacturer Dal have a steampunk range.

Because of the popularity of steampunk, there is a growing movement of adults that want to establish steampunk as a culture and lifestyle.[111] Some fans of the genre adopt a steampunk aesthetic through fashion,[112] home decor, music, and film. While Steampunk is considered the amalgamation of Victorian aesthetic principles with modern sensibilities and technologies,[13] it can be more broadly categorised as neo-Victorianism, described by scholar Marie-Luise Kohlke as “the afterlife of the nineteenth century in the cultural imaginary”.[113] The subculture has its own magazine, blogs, and online shops.[114]

In September 2012, a panel, chaired by steampunk entertainer Veronique Chevalier and with panelists including magician Pop Hadyn and members of the steampunk performance group the League of STEAM, was held at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. The panel suggested that because steampunk was inclusive of and incorporated ideas from various other subcultures such as goth, neo-Victorian, and cyberpunk, as well as a growing number of fandoms, it was fast becoming a super-culture rather than a mere subculture.[115] Other steampunk notables such as Professor Elemental have expressed similar views about steampunk’s inclusive diversity.[116]

Some have proposed a steampunk philosophy that incorporates punk-inspired anti-establishment sentiments typically bolstered by optimism about human potential.[117]

Steampunk became a common descriptor for homemade objects sold on the craft network Etsy between 2009 and 2011,[citation needed] though many of the objects and fashions bear little resemblance to earlier established descriptions of steampunk. Thus the craft network may not strike observers as “sufficiently steampunk” to warrant its use of the term. Comedian April Winchell, author of the book Regretsy: Where DIY meets WTF, cataloged some of the most egregious and humorous examples on her website “Regretsy”.[118] The blog was popular among steampunks and even inspired a music video that went viral in the community and was acclaimed by steampunk “notables”.[119]

2006 saw the first “SalonCon”, a neo-Victorian/steampunk convention. It ran for three consecutive years and featured artists, musicians (Voltaire and Abney Park), authors (Catherynne M. Valente, Ekaterina Sedia, and G. D. Falksen), salons led by people prominent in their respective fields, workshops and panels on steampunkas well as a seance, ballroom dance instruction, and the Chrononauts’ Parade. The event was covered by MTV[120] and The New York Times.[13] Since then, a number of popular steampunk conventions have sprung up the world over, with names like Steamcon (Seattle, WA), the Steampunk World’s Fair (Piscataway, NJ), Up in the Aether: The Steampunk Convention (Dearborn, MI),[121] Steampunk NZ (Oamaru, New Zealand), Steampunk Unlimited (Strasburg Railroad, Lancaster, PA).[122] Each year, on Mother’s Day weekend, the city of Waltham, MA, turns over its city center and surrounding areas to host the Watch City Steampunk Festival, a US outdoor steampunk festival.

In recent years, steampunk has also become a regular feature at San Diego Comic-Con International, with the Saturday of the four-day event being generally known among steampunks as “Steampunk Day”, and culminating with a photo-shoot for the local press.[123][124] In 2010, this was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest steampunk photo shoot.[125] In 2013, Comic-Con announced four official 2013 T-shirts, one of them featuring the official Rick Geary Comic-Con toucan mascot in steampunk attire.[126] The Saturday steampunk “after-party” has also become a major event on the steampunk social calendar: in 2010, the headliners included The Slow Poisoner, Unextraordinary Gentlemen, and Voltaire, with Veronique Chevalier as Mistress of Ceremonies and special appearance by the League of STEAM;[127][128] in 2011, UXG returned with Abney Park.[129]

Steampunk has also sprung up recently at Renaissance Festivals and Renaissance Faires, in the US. Some festivals have organised events or a “Steampunk Day”, while others simply support an open environment for donning steampunk attire. The Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on the Wisconsin/Illinois border, featured a Steampunk costume contest during the 2012 season, the previous two seasons having seen increasing participation in the phenomenon.[130]

Steampunk also has a growing following in the UK and Europe. The largest European event is “Weekend at the Asylum”, held at The Lawn, Lincoln, every September since 2009. Organised as a not-for-profit event by the Victorian Steampunk Society, the Asylum is a dedicated steampunk event which takes over much of the historical quarter of Lincoln, England, along with Lincoln Castle. In 2011, there were over 1000 steampunks in attendance. The event features the Empire Ball, Majors Review, Bazaar Eclectica, and the international Tea Duelling final.[131] [132] The Surrey Steampunk Convivial, held in New Malden, southwestern London (not far from where H. G. Wells used to live)[133] started as an annual event in 2012, and now takes place thrice a year, and has spanned three boroughs and five venues.[134][unreliable source] Attendees have been interviewed by BBC Radio 4 for Phil Jupitus[135] and filmed by the BBC World Service.[136] The West Yorkshire village of Haworth has held an annual Steampunk weekend since 2013,[137] on each occasion as a charity event raising funds for Sue Ryder’s “Manorlands” hospice in Oxenhope.

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Steampunk – Wikipedia

Cyberpunk Tuesdays 80s The Eldritch Paths

Its no secret that I love the cyberpunk aesthetic. That said, the art and style of cyberpunk nowadays seems markedly different that in the past. Now Im no 80s aficionado, but I feel the 80s and cyberpunk gel extremely well. Here is some art that feels like cyberpunk from the 80s. As subjective as this is going to be, Id like to think I have my pulse on the feeling of cyberpunk from the 80s.

I do my best to give credit to the original artist if I can find out who it is. If you dont believe Ive given your artwork proper credit, please let me know and I will change it.

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Cyberpunk Tuesdays 80s The Eldritch Paths

Mute Is an Excellent Film Noir That Just Happens to Be Set in …

A scifi tale by virtue of its setting, but an old-school film noir at heart thanks to its story, Mute is a puzzle with eccentric pieces that eventually all fit togetherperhaps a bit too neatly, given its fondness for jagged edges. But its love of sleazy neon and some unusual themes do much to make up for its contrivances.

Duncan Jones latest is set in the same universe as his 2009 debut, Moon, ahead of an as-yet-unnamed third film in his planned trilogy. The films have a loose connection that we wont spoil here, but its not a giveaway to say that Mute takes place right after the events of Moonso, sometime soon after 2035. But it begins 30 years earlier, at the scene of a boating accident that leaves a boy named Leo half-drowned and fully mute. That brief moment sets up just about everything we need to know about Leo in the movies present (where hes played by Alexander Skarsgrd). Alsotold you there were some unusual themeshes Amish.

Though hes not totally devout, hes still the most lo-fi person in Mutes futuristic version of Berlin; its a grimy place, full of tawdry bars, brothels, faux-American diners, and tech thats seemingly used solely for instant gratification. Leo, who flexes his Amish woodworking skills in his spare time, is definitely the odd man out. Granted, hed already be unique because he cant talk, but being freakin Amish just ups the ante. That, and the fact that he appears to be the only person in the city whos motivated by the purest of causes: True love.

Leo is an earnest guy in a bad town, and since this is a noir tale, the object of his affections goes missing early on. His wordless search for his beloved, a blue-haired beauty named Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh)of course, he carries an actual photograph of her around, being stubbornly old-fashionedleads him into some dark places, though hes not a complete outsider in that world. Leo and Naadirah meet while working at a shifty nightclub called Foreign Dreams, a place where, of course, Berlins foreign transplants mingle and engage in various black-market activities alongside robotic go-go dancers.

That said, a boring old coffee shop is where Leo first crosses paths with Cactus Bill (Paul Rudd), another American expat whos on his own desperate quest. Its a seemingly random encounter that echoes throughout the rest of the story at louder and louder frequencies.

Cactus, fond of cigars and loud Aloha shirts, is a surgeon and former military man who served in the Middle East with Duck (Justin Theroux), a fellow doctor who now has a successful practice crafting bionic body parts. That said, hes happy to help his best buddy mend bullet-riddled gangsters in an underground clinic, a gig Cactus has only taken because hes desperate to get the money and necessary documents to flee the country. (To reveal why would be saying too much.) The dynamic of Cactus and Ducks friendship is one of the weirdest things about Mute, but it makes a strange kind of sense. They became friends under extreme circumstances, and though they may not like each other all the time, theres a bond there that cant be broken. Also, theyre both total assholes. Straight up.

Cactus and Leo, on the other hand, are total oppositesand the fact that Leo keeps popping up like a bad penny spins the already rage-filled Cactus into an even more dangerous fury. He provides necessary contrast to Skarsgrds silent characterthey are two tightly coiled men pursuing their own very specific, very urgent agendas who otherwise couldnt be more different in every way. Also, it must be said that while Skarsgrd is fine as the lovelorn Leo, seeing the normally likable Rudd rip into such an obnoxious and morally corrupt character is one of Mutes biggest selling points. Why is he rocking a 1970s porn stache in a futuristic cyberpunk movie? Well, why not?

Joness story for Mutehe shares a screenwriting credit with Michael Robert Johnsonends up tilting way more toward film noir than scifi in the end. It unfolds on a way smaller scale than something like Blade Runner 2049, the most high-profile recent example of scifi noir. Mute feels like a much more personal story, putting a small network of damage-prone relationships under a microscope and discovering that emotions can be just as raw and real even when the people feeling them are surrounded by artificial flash.

Mute is not a perfect movie. A lot of its quirkier beats end up fitting too neatly into its conclusion, which can feel a bit forced once the storys dominoes start falling over. (The woodworking thing? Yeah, it comes back in a big way.) But if Mute feels tenuously tied to Moon in terms of story, theres a deeper connection in that both films take the time to question what makes us truly human, no matter the circumstances. Mute also offers a downbeat yet relatable vision of the future, with tech that seems eminently plausible (food delivery via drone!) as well as some more worrisome projections, like the idea that genuinely good people are probably an endangered species.

Mute debuts today, February 23, on Netflix.

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Mute Is an Excellent Film Noir That Just Happens to Be Set in …

Cyberpunk 2077 to Feature thrilling Combat Encounters

Cyberpunk 2077is supposed to feature exciting combat encounters, as stated by a job listing from CD Projekt RED. At the present moment, the company is looking for a combat designer so as to help create exciting combat encounters for the approaching CD Projekt RED.

The person is supposed to be doing work with the quest designer so as to help produce wonderful and detailed combat situations. Level Designers, Open world designer,and Environment Artists are all going to be working with the combat designer.

Cyberpunk 2077 is supposed tofeature more than 60 hours of story contentand that is in addition to the side quests that we are supposed to get. Making exciting combat encounters is vital for the game so as to keep the players engaged for that much of hours.

Further focus is beingput on animationsin addition to striking graphics quality.

Cyberpunk 2077 is to get presented on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, supposedly, anytime in the next year.

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Cyberpunk 2077 to Feature thrilling Combat Encounters

Cyberpunk Shooter ‘RUINER’ Receives Annihilation Update

Developer Reikon Games have released the new Annihilation Update to their critically-acclaimed shooter RUINER for free on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. The games final update includes a new Arena Mode + online leaderboards and an accompaniment of finishing moves, outfits, and gameplay updates. RUINERs Annihilation Update is available now on all platforms with a 50% off discount on PC and PlayStation 4 while a 50% off discount on Xbox One arrives in March.

RUINERs Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Annihilation Update also includes the previous PC-only Savage Update that added in a New Game+ Mode, Speedrun Mode, and new weapons, finishing moves and outfits as well. If you or someone you love is looking to become an unstoppable psychopath with a super sweet video helmet strapped to their face, RUINER is the game you al should be playing.

For more on RUINER be sure to read our full written review.

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Cyberpunk Shooter ‘RUINER’ Receives Annihilation Update

Nerdvania: Witness the Cyberpunk World of "Megalo Box" in …

The April 2018 release date is just around the corner forMegalo Box, an upcoming TV anime that celebrates the classic boxing mangaAshita no Joeby updating the story into a futuristic setting, and what better way to experience the cyberpunk worldview of the new series than with a music video featuring animation fromMegalo Boxand the stylings of lady rapper COMA-CHI?

The video highlights the disparity between the “Licensed District”, with its gleaming skyscrapers, and the “Unlicensed District” where people struggle to survive from day-to-day amid the crumbling infrastructure.

Megalo Boxis directed by Yo Moriyama and features animation by TMS Entertainment. The story follows J.D. (“Junk Dog”), a boxer who descends into the underground world of “Megalo Box”, in which fighters combine their training with special gear technology to create the ultimate martial art.

Megalo Boxwill broadcast on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) and BS-TBS beginning in April of 2018.

Source: Ota-suke

Paul Chapman is the host ofThe Greatest Movie EVER! Podcastand GME! Anime Fun Time.

via http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2018/02/20/witness-the-cyberpunk-world-of-megalo-box-in-coma-chi-rap-video

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Nerdvania: Witness the Cyberpunk World of "Megalo Box" in …

Cyberpunk – Wikipedia

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a futuristic setting that tends to focus on “a combination of low life and high tech”[1] featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order.[2]

Much of cyberpunk is rooted in the New Wave science fiction movement of the 1960s and 70s, when writers like Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny, J.G. Ballard, Philip Jose Farmer, and Harlan Ellison examined the impact of drug culture, technology, and the sexual revolution while avoiding the utopian tendencies of earlier science fiction. Released in 1984, William Gibsons influential debut novel Neuromancer would help solidify cyberpunk as a genre, drawing influence from punk subculture and early hacker culture. Other influential cyberpunk writers included Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker.

Early films in the genre include Ridley Scotts 1982 film Blade Runner, one of several of Philip K. Dick’s works that have been adapted into films. The films Johnny Mnemonic[3] and New Rose Hotel,[4][5] both based upon short stories by William Gibson, flopped commercially and critically. More recent additions to this genre of filmmaking include the 2013 film Snowpiercer, the 2017 release of Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to the original 1982 film, and the 2018 Netflix TV series Altered Carbon.

Lawrence Person has attempted to define the content and ethos of the cyberpunk literary movement stating:

Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.

Cyberpunk plots often center on conflict among artificial intelligences, hackers, and megacorporations, and tend to be set in a near-future Earth, rather than in the far-future settings or galactic vistas found in novels such as Isaac Asimov’s Foundation or Frank Herbert’s Dune.[7] The settings are usually post-industrial dystopias but tend to feature extraordinary cultural ferment and the use of technology in ways never anticipated by its original inventors (“the street finds its own uses for things”).[8] Much of the genre’s atmosphere echoes film noir, and written works in the genre often use techniques from detective fiction.[9]

The origins of cyberpunk are rooted in the New Wave science fiction movement of the 1960s and 70s, where New Worlds, under the editorship of Michael Moorcock, began inviting and encouraging stories that examined new writing styles, techniques, and archetypes. Replacing the celebration of conformity to norms intrinsic in conventional storytelling, New Wave authors attempted to present a world where society coped with a constant upheaval of new technology and culture, generally with dystopian outcomes. Writers like Roger Zelazny, J.G. Ballard, Philip Jose Farmer, and Harlan Ellison often examined the impact of drug culture, technology, and sexual revolution with an avant-garde style influenced by the Beat Generation (especially William S. Burroughs’ own SF), dadaism, and their own rhetorical ideas.[10] Ballard attacked the idea that stories should follow the “archetypes” popular since the time of Ancient Greece, that these would somehow be the same ones that would call to modern readers, as Joseph Campbell argued in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Instead, Ballard wanted to write a new myth for the modern reader, a style with “more psycho-literary ideas, more meta-biological and meta-chemical concepts, private time systems, synthetic psychologies and space-times, more of the sombre half-worlds one glimpses in the paintings of schizophrenics.”[11]

This had a profound influence on a new generation of writers, some of whom would come to call themselves “Cyberpunk”. One, Bruce Sterling, later said:

Ballard, Zelazny, and the rest of New Wave was seen by the subsequent generation as delivering more “realism” to science fiction, and they attempted to build on this.

Similarly influential, and generally cited as proto-cyberpunk, is the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, first published in 1968. Presenting precisely the general feeling of dystopian post-economic-apocalyptic future as Gibson and Sterling later deliver, it examines ethical and moral problems with cybernetic, artificial intelligence in a way more “realist” than the Isaac Asimov Robot series that laid its philosophical foundation. This novel was made into the seminal movie Blade Runner, released in 1982, one year after another story, “Johnny Mnemonic” helped move proto-cyberpunk concepts into the mainstream. This story, which also became a film years later, involves another dystopian future, where human couriers deliver computer data, stored cybernetically in their own minds.

In 1983 a short story written by Bruce Bethke, called Cyberpunk, was published in Amazing Stories. The term was picked up by Gardner Dozois, editor of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and popularized in his editorials. Bethke says he was made two lists of words, one for technology, one for troublemakers, and experimented with combining them variously into compound words, consciously attempting to coin a term that encompassed both punk attitudes and high technology.

He described the idea thus:

Afterward, Dozois began using this term in his own writing, most notably in a Washington Post article where he said “About the closest thing here to a self-willed esthetic school would be the purveyors of bizarre hard-edged, high-tech stuff, who have on occasion been referred to as cyberpunks Sterling, Gibson, Shiner, Cadigan, Bear.”[14]

About that time, William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer was published, delivering the glimpse of a future encompassed by what became an archetype of cyberpunk “virtual reality”, with the human mind being fed light-based worldscapes through a computer interface. Some, perhaps ironically including Bethke himself, argued at the time that the writers whose style Gibson’s books epitomized should be called “Neuromantics”, a pun on the name of the novel plus “New Romantics”, a term used for a New Wave pop music movement that had just occurred in Britain, but this term did not catch on. Bethke later paraphrased Michael Swanwick’s argument for the term: “the movement writers should properly be termed neuromantics, since so much of what they were doing was clearly Imitation Neuromancer”.

Sterling was another writer who played a central role, often consciously, in the cyberpunk genre, variously seen as keeping it on track, or distorting its natural path into a stagnant formula.[15] In 1986 he edited a volume of cyberpunk stories called Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, an attempt to establish what cyberpunk was, from Sterling’s perspective.[16]

In the subsequent decade, the archetypes so perfectly framed in Gibson’s Neuromancer became increasingly used as tropes in the genre, climaxing in the satirical extremes of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash in 1992.

Bookending the Cyberpunk era, Bethke himself published a novel in 1995 called Headcrash: like Snow Crash a satirical attack on the genre’s excesses. It won the key cyberpunk honor named after its spiritual founder, the Philip K. Dick Award.

It satirized the genre in this way:

The impact of cyberpunk, though, has been long-lasting. Elements of both the setting and storytelling have become normal in science fiction in general, and a slew of sub-genres now have -punk tacked onto their names, most obviously Steampunk, but also a host of other Cyberpunk derivatives.

Primary exponents of the cyberpunk field include William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, Bruce Bethke, Pat Cadigan, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley and Philip K. Dick (author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, from which the film Blade Runner was adapted).[18]

Blade Runner can be seen as a quintessential example of the cyberpunk style and theme.[7] Video games, board games, and tabletop role-playing games, such as Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun, often feature storylines that are heavily influenced by cyberpunk writing and movies. Beginning in the early 1990s, some trends in fashion and music were also labeled as cyberpunk. Cyberpunk is also featured prominently in anime and manga:[19] Akira, Gunnm, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, Serial Experiments Lain, Dennou Coil, Ergo Proxy and Psycho Pass being among the most notable.[19]

Cyberpunk writers tend to use elements from hardboiled detective fiction, film noir, and postmodernist prose to describe an often nihilistic underground side of an electronic society. The genre’s vision of a troubled future is often called the antithesis of the generally utopian visions of the future popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Gibson defined cyberpunk’s antipathy towards utopian SF in his 1981 short story “The Gernsback Continuum,” which pokes fun at and, to a certain extent, condemns utopian science fiction.[22][23][24]

In some cyberpunk writing, much of the action takes place online, in cyberspace, blurring the line between actual and virtual reality.[25] A typical trope in such work is a direct connection between the human brain and computer systems. Cyberpunk settings are dystopias with corruption, computers and internet connectivity. Giant, multinational corporations have for the most part replaced governments as centers of political, economic, and even military power.

The economic and technological state of Japan is a regular theme in the Cyberpunk literature of the ’80s. Of Japan’s influence on the genre, William Gibson said, “Modern Japan simply was cyberpunk.”[21] Cyberpunk is often set in urbanized, artificial landscapes, and “city lights, receding” was used by Gibson as one of the genre’s first metaphors for cyberspace and virtual reality.[26] The cityscapes of Hong Kong[27] and Shanghai[28] have had major influences in the urban backgrounds, ambiance and settings in many cyberpunk works such as Blade Runner and Shadowrun. Ridley Scott envisioned the landscape of cyberpunk Los Angeles in Blade Runner to be “Hong Kong on a very bad day”.[29] The streetscapes of Ghost in the Shell were based on Hong Kong. Its director Mamoru Oshii felt that Hong Kong’s strange and chaotic streets where “old and new exist in confusing relationships”, fit the theme of the film well.[27] Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City is particularly notable for its disorganized hyper-urbanization and breakdown in traditional urban planning to be an inspiration to cyberpunk landscapes.

One of the cyberpunk genre’s prototype characters is Case, from Gibson’s Neuromancer.[30] Case is a “console cowboy,” a brilliant hacker who has betrayed his organized criminal partners. Robbed of his talent through a crippling injury inflicted by the vengeful partners, Case unexpectedly receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be healed by expert medical care but only if he participates in another criminal enterprise with a new crew.

Like Case, many cyberpunk protagonists are manipulated, placed in situations where they have little or no choice, and although they might see things through, they do not necessarily come out any further ahead than they previously were. These anti-heroes”criminals, outcasts, visionaries, dissenters and misfits”[31]call to mind the private eye of detective fiction. This emphasis on the misfits and the malcontents is the “punk” component of cyberpunk.

Cyberpunk can be intended to disquiet readers and call them to action. It often expresses a sense of rebellion, suggesting that one could describe it as a type of culture revolution in science fiction. In the words of author and critic David Brin:

…a closer look [at cyberpunk authors] reveals that they nearly always portray future societies in which governments have become wimpy and pathetic …Popular science fiction tales by Gibson, Williams, Cadigan and others do depict Orwellian accumulations of power in the next century, but nearly always clutched in the secretive hands of a wealthy or corporate elite.[32]

Cyberpunk stories have also been seen as fictional forecasts of the evolution of the Internet. The earliest descriptions of a global communications network came long before the World Wide Web entered popular awareness, though not before traditional science-fiction writers such as Arthur C. Clarke and some social commentators such as James Burke began predicting that such networks would eventually form.[33]

Minnesota writer Bruce Bethke coined the term in 1980 for his short story “Cyberpunk,” which was published in the November 1983 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories.[34] The term was quickly appropriated as a label to be applied to the works of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Pat Cadigan and others. Of these, Sterling became the movement’s chief ideologue, thanks to his fanzine Cheap Truth. John Shirley wrote articles on Sterling and Rucker’s significance.[35] John Brunner’s 1975 novel The Shockwave Rider is considered by many[who?] to be the first cyberpunk novel with many of the tropes commonly associated with the genre, some five years before the term was popularized by Dozois.[36]

William Gibson with his novel Neuromancer (1984) is arguably the most famous writer connected with the term cyberpunk. He emphasized style, a fascination with surfaces, and atmosphere over traditional science-fiction tropes. Regarded as ground-breaking and sometimes as “the archetypal cyberpunk work,”[6] Neuromancer was awarded the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards. Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) followed after Gibson’s popular debut novel. According to the Jargon File, “Gibson’s near-total ignorance of computers and the present-day hacker culture enabled him to speculate about the role of computers and hackers in the future in ways hackers have since found both irritatingly nave and tremendously stimulating.”[37]

Early on, cyberpunk was hailed as a radical departure from science-fiction standards and a new manifestation of vitality.[38] Shortly thereafter, however, some critics arose to challenge its status as a revolutionary movement. These critics said that the SF New Wave of the 1960s was much more innovative as far as narrative techniques and styles were concerned.[39] Furthermore, while Neuromancer’s narrator may have had an unusual “voice” for science fiction, much older examples can be found: Gibson’s narrative voice, for example, resembles that of an updated Raymond Chandler, as in his novel The Big Sleep (1939).[38] Others noted that almost all traits claimed to be uniquely cyberpunk could in fact be found in older writers’ worksoften citing J. G. Ballard, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Stanisaw Lem, Samuel R. Delany, and even William S. Burroughs.[38] For example, Philip K. Dick’s works contain recurring themes of social decay, artificial intelligence, paranoia, and blurred lines between objective and subjective realities.[40] The influential cyberpunk movie Blade Runner (1982) is based on his book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.[41] Humans linked to machines are found in Pohl and Kornbluth’s Wolfbane (1959) and Roger Zelazny’s Creatures of Light and Darkness (1968).[citation needed]

In 1994, scholar Brian Stonehill suggested that Thomas Pynchon’s 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow “not only curses but precurses what we now glibly dub cyberspace.”[42] Other important[according to whom?] predecessors include Alfred Bester’s two most celebrated novels, The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination,[43] as well as Vernor Vinge’s novella True Names.[44]

Science-fiction writer David Brin describes cyberpunk as “the finest free promotion campaign ever waged on behalf of science fiction.” It may not have attracted the “real punks,” but it did ensnare many new readers, and it provided the sort of movement that postmodern literary critics found alluring. Cyberpunk made science fiction more attractive to academics, argues Brin; in addition, it made science fiction more profitable to Hollywood and to the visual arts generally. Although the “self-important rhetoric and whines of persecution” on the part of cyberpunk fans were irritating at worst and humorous at best, Brin declares that the “rebels did shake things up. We owe them a debt.”[45]

Fredric Jameson considers cyberpunk the “supreme literary expression if not of postmodernism, then of late capitalism itself”.[46]

Cyberpunk further inspired many professional writers who were not among the “original” cyberpunks to incorporate cyberpunk ideas into their own works,[citation needed] such as George Alec Effinger’s When Gravity Fails. Wired magazine, created by Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe, mixes new technology, art, literature, and current topics in order to interest today’s cyberpunk fans, which Paula Yoo claims “proves that hardcore hackers, multimedia junkies, cyberpunks and cellular freaks are poised to take over the world.”[47]

The film Blade Runner (1982)adapted from Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?is set in 2019 in a dystopian future in which manufactured beings called replicants are slaves used on space colonies and are legal prey on Earth to various bounty hunters who “retire” (kill) them. Although Blade Runner was largely unsuccessful in its first theatrical release, it found a viewership in the home video market and became a cult film.[48] Since the movie omits the religious and mythical elements of Dick’s original novel (e.g. empathy boxes and Wilbur Mercer), it falls more strictly within the cyberpunk genre than the novel does. William Gibson would later reveal that upon first viewing the film, he was surprised at how the look of this film matched his vision when he was working on Neuromancer. The film’s tone has since been the staple of many cyberpunk movies, such as The Matrix trilogy (1999-2003), which uses a wide variety of cyberpunk elements.

The number of films in the genre or at least using a few genre elements has grown steadily since Blade Runner. Several of Philip K. Dick’s works have been adapted to the silver screen. The films Johnny Mnemonic[3] and New Rose Hotel,[4][5] both based upon short stories by William Gibson, flopped commercially and critically. These box offices misses significantly slowed the development of cyberpunk as a literary or cultural form although a sequel to the 1982 film Blade Runner was released in October 2017 with Harrison Ford reprising his role from the original film.

In addition, “tech-noir” film as a hybrid genre, means a work of combining neo-noir and science fiction or cyberpunk. It includes many cyberpunk films such as Blade Runner, Burst City,[49] Robocop, 12 Monkeys, The Lawnmower Man, Hackers, Hardware, and Strange Days.

Cyberpunk themes are widely visible in anime and manga. In Japan, where cosplay is popular and not only teenagers display such fashion styles, cyberpunk has been accepted and its influence is widespread. William Gibson’s Neuromancer, whose influence dominated the early cyberpunk movement, was also set in Chiba, one of Japan’s largest industrial areas, although at the time of writing the novel Gibson did not know the location of Chiba and had no idea how perfectly it fit his vision in some ways. The exposure to cyberpunk ideas and fiction in the mid 1980s has allowed it to seep into the Japanese culture.

Cyberpunk anime and manga draw upon a futuristic vision which has elements in common with western science fiction and therefore have received wide international acceptance outside Japan. “The conceptualization involved in cyberpunk is more of forging ahead, looking at the new global culture. It is a culture that does not exist right now, so the Japanese concept of a cyberpunk future, seems just as valid as a Western one, especially as Western cyberpunk often incorporates many Japanese elements.”[50] William Gibson is now a frequent visitor to Japan, and he came to see that many of his visions of Japan have become a reality:

Modern Japan simply was cyberpunk. 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-sunsall that towering, animated crawl of commercial informationsaid, “You see? You see? It is Blade Runner town.” And it was. It so evidently was.[21]

Cyberpunk has influenced many anime and manga including the ground-breaking Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ergo Proxy, Battle Angel Alita, Megazone 23, Neo Tokyo, Goku Midnight Eye, Cyber City Oedo 808, Bubblegum Crisis, A.D. Police: Dead End City, Angel Cop, Extra, Blame!, Armitage III, Texhnolyze, Serial Experiments Lain, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Psycho-Pass.

There are many cyberpunk video games. Popular series include the Megami Tensei series, Deus Ex series, Syndicate series, and System Shock and its sequel. Other games, like Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, and the Matrix series, are based upon genre movies, or role-playing games (for instance the various Shadowrun games). CD Projekt Red is currently developing a cyberpunk game called “Cyberpunk 2077”.[51]

Several RPGs called Cyberpunk exist: Cyberpunk, Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk v3, by R. Talsorian Games, and GURPS Cyberpunk, published by Steve Jackson Games as a module of the GURPS family of RPGs. Cyberpunk 2020 was designed with the settings of William Gibson’s writings in mind, and to some extent with his approval[citation needed], unlike the approach taken by FASA in producing the transgenre Shadowrun game. Both are set in the near future, in a world where cybernetics are prominent. In addition, Iron Crown Enterprises released an RPG named Cyberspace, which was out of print for several years until recently being re-released in online PDF form.

In 1990, in a convergence of cyberpunk art and reality, the United States Secret Service raided Steve Jackson Games’s headquarters and confiscated all their computers. Officials denied that the target had been the GURPS Cyberpunk sourcebook, but Jackson would later write that he and his colleagues “were never able to secure the return of the complete manuscript; […] The Secret Service at first flatly refused to return anything then agreed to let us copy files, but when we got to their office, restricted us to one set of out-of-date files then agreed to make copies for us, but said “tomorrow” every day from March 4 to March 26. On March 26 we received a set of disks which purported to be our files, but the material was late, incomplete and well-nigh useless.”[52] Steve Jackson Games won a lawsuit against the Secret Service, aided by the new Electronic Frontier Foundation. This event has achieved a sort of notoriety, which has extended to the book itself as well. All published editions of GURPS Cyberpunk have a tagline on the front cover, which reads “The book that was seized by the U.S. Secret Service!” Inside, the book provides a summary of the raid and its aftermath.

Cyberpunk has also inspired several tabletop, miniature and board games such as Necromunda by Games Workshop. Netrunner is a collectible card game introduced in 1996, based on the Cyberpunk 2020 role-playing game. Tokyo NOVA, debuting in 1993, is a cyberpunk role-playing game that uses playing cards instead of dice.

Some musicians and acts have been classified as cyberpunk due to their aesthetic style and musical content. Often dealing with dystopian visions of the future or biomechanical themes, some fit more squarely in the category than others. Bands whose music has been classified as cyberpunk include Psydoll, Front Line Assembly, Clock DVA and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Some musicians not normally associated with cyberpunk have at times been inspired to create concept albums exploring such themes. Albums such as Gary Numan’s Replicas, The Pleasure Principle and Telekon were heavily inspired by the works of Philip K. Dick. Kraftwerk’s The Man-Machine and Computer World albums both explored the theme of humanity becoming dependent on technology. Nine Inch Nails’ concept album Year Zero also fits into this category. Fear Factory concept albums are heavily based upon future dystopia, cybernetics, clash between man and machines, virtual worlds. Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk drew heavily from cyberpunk literature and the cyberdelic counter culture in its creation. 1. Outside, a cyberpunk narrative fueled concept album by David Bowie, was warmly met by critics upon its release in 1995. Many musicians have also taken inspiration from specific cyberpunk works or authors, including Sonic Youth, whose albums Sister and Daydream Nation take influence from the works of Philip K. Dick and William Gibson respectively.

Vaporwave and Synthwave are also influenced by cyberpunk. The former has been interpreted as a dystopian[54] critique of capitalism[55] in the vein of cyberpunk and the latter as a nostalgic retrofuturistic revival of aspects of cyberpunk’s origins.

Some Neo-Futurism artworks and cityscapes have been influenced by cyberpunk, such as [21] the Sony Center in the Potsdamer Platz public square of Berlin, Germany.[56]

Several subcultures have been inspired by cyberpunk fiction. These include the cyberdelic counter culture of the late 1980s and early 90s. Cyberdelic, whose adherents referred to themselves as “cyberpunks”, attempted to blend the psychedelic art and drug movement with the technology of cyberculture. Early adherents included Timothy Leary, Mark Frauenfelder and R. U. Sirius. The movement largely faded following the dot-com bubble implosion of 2000.

Cybergoth is a fashion and dance subculture which draws its inspiration from cyberpunk fiction, as well as rave and Gothic subcultures. In addition, a distinct cyberpunk fashion of its own has emerged in recent years[when?] which rejects the raver and goth influences of cybergoth, and draws inspiration from urban street fashion, “post apocalypse”, functional clothing, high tech sports wear, tactical uniform and multifunction. This fashion goes by names like “tech wear”, “goth ninja” or “tech ninja”. Important designers in this type of fashion[according to whom?] are ACRONYM, Demobaza,[57] Boris Bidjan Saberi, Rick Owens and Alexander Wang.

The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong (demolished in 1994) is often referenced as the model cyberpunk/dystopian slum as, given its poor living conditions at the time coupled by the city’s political, physical, and economic isolation has caused many in academia to be fascinated by the ingenuity of its spawning.[58]

As a wider variety of writers began to work with cyberpunk concepts, new subgenres of science fiction emerged, some of which could be considered as playing off the cyberpunk label, others which could be considered as legitimate explorations into newer territory. These focused on technology and its social effects in different ways. One prominent subgenre is “steampunk,” which is set in an alternate history Victorian era that combines anachronistic technology with cyberpunk’s bleak film noir world view. The term was originally coined around 1987 as a joke to describe some of the novels of Tim Powers, James P. Blaylock, and K.W. Jeter, but by the time Gibson and Sterling entered the subgenre with their collaborative novel The Difference Engine the term was being used earnestly as well.[59]

Another subgenre is “biopunk” (cyberpunk themes dominated by biotechnology) from the early 1990s, a derivative style building on biotechnology rather than informational technology. In these stories, people are changed in some way not by mechanical means, but by genetic manipulation. Paul Di Filippo is seen as the most prominent biopunk writer, including his half-serious ribofunk. Bruce Sterling’s Shaper/Mechanist cycle is also seen as a major influence. In addition, some people consider works such as Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age to be postcyberpunk.

Cyberpunk works have been described as well-situated within postmodern literature.[60]

Role playing game publisher R. Talsorian Games, owner of the Cyberpunk 2020 franchise, trademarked the word “Cyberpunk” in the United States in 2012.[61] Video game developer CD Projekt, which is developing Cyberpunk 2077, bought the U.S. trademark from R. Talsorian Games, and has filed a trademark in the European Union.[62][63]

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Cyberpunk – Wikipedia

AfroCyberPunk | The Future of African Science Fiction

AfroCyberPunk has now moved to a permanent home at http://www.afrocyberpunk.com.

The most valuable natural resource to a societys development is its ore of ideas.

Much more than a brand of esoteric entertainment, science fiction has long been a source of prophetic knowledge that has influenced the destiny of humankind. From 1984 (Orwell, 1949) to Neuromancer (Gibson, 1984), the course of history has continually been altered by the ripple effect of this unique brand of ideas on our immediate future.

Already a challenging art form, science fiction is rapidly growing in complexity in the age of high technology, as anyone imagining a future society is forced to explore the consequences of several new trends on innumerable disciplines interwoven through many layers of society. However, each accurate guess proves to be well worth the effort, to ever-increasing orders of magnitude.

Of course, future prediction is old business, having been pursued by the most inquisitive minds throughout human history, from ancient Greek philosophers to our contemporary career futurists. Yet, in the widening grey area between the document in a scientific journal and the novel on your bookshelf, there lies a multiplicity of universes begging to be explored.

Science fiction is a fragile network of bridges between the scientific world and the general public.

It is hardly an easy task to expose the many dynamic relationships between the lab and the street, and less so to fashion them together into a coherent, gripping piece of entertainment. But when well-executed, it allows the average person to grasp the critical underlying factors of these relationships and gain some skill in uncovering these patterns on their own.

Science fiction takes the thoughts of a few individuals and feeds them into the collective processing machine of an entire society. Instead of being confined to a roomful of academics, these ideas are freed into the Darwinian domain of coffee houses and dinner tables, to be prodded and picked apart from all angles until a refined vision resurfaces through natural selection.

Under the guise of entertainment, science fiction spearheads the formation of vital discourses into the complex cause-effect relationships between technology and social phenomena, sharpening the collective awareness of trends within a society. The more people are exposed to these trends, the more they are inspired to study them, and the more they aspire to influence them for the better.

You dont know where youre going if you dont know where youre from. Or is it the other way around?

Simply knowing what problems lie around the bend spurs the proactive development of solutions before those problems have time to take root. As we visualize what could be in our future, we gain insight to the implications of the actions we take today, putting our current reality into a grander perspective.

For instance, cyberpunk literature played a significant role in streamlining the regulation of information technology because of the huge discourse community that surrounded cyberspace as it was still in its infancy. The graphic detail in which cyberpunk described the possible abuses of the Internet provided specific objectives to achieve while guiding its development in the West.

This is likely the most recent example of a highly probable scenario being averted just as it began to materialize. There are lessons in here for Africa to learn, particularly as a disturbingly similar kind of situation shows signs of appearing on our continent. And the learning process begins with the simple dissemination of an idea.

A society without science fiction may be standing in the light, but is surely stepping into darkness.

It is clear that exposure to science fiction today has a significant impact on those who go on to build the societies of tomorrow. Had African leaders of the past been given a glimpse of the effects globalized technology would have on our geo-political landscape, we would most likely be living on a vastly different planet today.

As Africa marches onward into the future it is important that we as Africans begin to critically visualize the developments that will take place on our own soil. Its not enough to import science fiction and translate it into the local languages. Our vision must be based on our own unique reality cut from the cloth of our own societies and tailored to our specific needs.

Its about time our youth had a realistic vision of their future, so they know exactly what paths to follow and can be prepared for whatever lies along the way. Africa desperately needs science fiction to expand the frontiers of the African thinkers imagination, to free it from the past, guide it through the present, and follow it into an unbound future.

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AfroCyberPunk | The Future of African Science Fiction

Cyberpunk derivatives – Wikipedia

A number of cyberpunk derivatives have become recognized as distinct subgenres in speculative fiction.[1] These derivatives, though they do not share cyberpunk’s computers-focused setting, may display other qualities drawn from or analogous to cyberpunk: a world built on one particular technology that is extrapolated to a highly sophisticated level (this may even be a fantastical or anachronistic technology, akin to retro-futurism), a gritty transreal urban style, or a particular approach to social themes.

One of the most well-known of these subgenres, steampunk, has been defined as a “kind of technological fantasy”,[1] and others in this category sometimes also incorporate aspects of science fantasy and historical fantasy.[2] Scholars have written of these subgenres’ stylistic place in postmodern literature, and also their ambiguous interaction with the historical perspective of postcolonialism.[3]

American author Bruce Bethke coined the term “cyberpunk” in his 1980 short story of the same name, proposing it as a label for a new generation of punk teenagers inspired by the perceptions inherent to the Information Age.[4] The term was quickly appropriated as a label to be applied to the works of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, John Shirley, Rudy Rucker, Michael Swanwick, Pat Cadigan, Lewis Shiner, Richard Kadrey, and others. Science fiction author Lawrence Person, in defining postcyberpunk, summarized the characteristics of cyberpunk thus:

Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.[5]

The relevance of cyberpunk as a genre to punk subculture is debatable and further hampered by the lack of a defined cyberpunk subculture; where the small cyber movement shares themes with cyberpunk fiction and draws inspiration from punk and goth alike, cyberculture is much more popular though much less defined, encompassing virtual communities and cyberspace in general and typically embracing optimistic anticipations about the future. Cyberpunk is nonetheless regarded as a successful genre, as it ensnared many new readers and provided the sort of movement that postmodern literary critics found alluring. Furthermore, author David Brin argues, cyberpunk made science fiction more attractive and profitable for mainstream media and the visual arts in general.[6]

Biopunk emerged during the 1990s and focuses on the near-future unintended consequences of the biotechnology revolution following the discovery of recombinant DNA. Biopunk fiction typically describes the struggles of individuals or groups, often the product of human experimentation, against a backdrop of totalitarian governments or megacorporations which misuse biotechnologies as means of social control or profiteering. Unlike cyberpunk, it builds not on information technology but on biorobotics and synthetic biology. As in postcyberpunk however, individuals are usually modified and enhanced not with cyberware, but by genetic manipulation of their chromosomes.

Nanopunk refers to an emerging subgenre of speculative science fiction still very much in its infancy in comparison to other genres like that of cyberpunk.[7] The genre is similar to biopunk, but describes a world in which the use of biotechnology is limited or prohibited, and only nanites and nanotechnology is in wide use (while in biopunk bio- and nanotechnologies often coexist). Currently the genre is more concerned with the artistic and physiological impact of nanotechnology, than of aspects of the technology itself. Still, one of the most prominent examples of nanopunk is Crysis video game series. And much lesser famous examples is Generator Rex and Transcendence.[8]

As new writers and artists began to experiment with cyberpunk ideas, new varieties of fiction emerged, sometimes addressing the criticisms leveled at the original cyberpunk stories. Lawrence Person wrote in an essay he posted to the Internet forum Slashdot in 1998:

The best of cyberpunk conveyed huge cognitive loads about the future by depicting (in best “show, don’t tell” fashion) the interaction of its characters with the quotidian minutia of their environment. In the way they interacted with their clothes, their furniture, their decks and spex, cyberpunk characters told you more about the society they lived in than “classic” SF stories did through their interaction with robots and rocketships.Postcyberpunk uses the same immersive world-building technique, but features different characters, settings, and, most importantly, makes fundamentally different assumptions about the future. Far from being alienated loners, postcyberpunk characters are frequently integral members of society (i.e., they have jobs). They live in futures that are not necessarily dystopic (indeed, they are often suffused with an optimism that ranges from cautious to exuberant), but their everyday lives are still impacted by rapid technological change and an omnipresent computerized infrastructure.[5]

Person advocates using the term “postcyberpunk” for the strain of science fiction he describes. In this view, typical postcyberpunk stories explore themes related to a “world of accelerating technological innovation and ever-increasing complexity in ways relevant to our everyday lives” with a continued focus on social aspects within a post-third industrial-era society, such as of ubiquitous dataspheres and cybernetic augmentation of the human body. Unlike cyberpunk its works may portray a utopia or to blend elements of both extremes into a more mature (to cyberpunk) societal vision. Rafael Miranda Huereca states:

In this fictional world, the unison in the hive becomes a power mechanism which is executed in its capillary form, not from above the social body but from within. This mechanism as Foucault remarks is a form of power, which “reaches into the very grain of individuals, touches their bodies and inserts itself into their actions and attitudes, their discourses, learning processes and everyday lives.” In postcyberpunk unitopia ‘the capillary mechanism’ that Foucault describes is literalized. Power touches the body through the genes, injects viruses to the veins, takes the forms of pills and constantly penetrates the body through its surveillance systems; collects samples of body substance, reads finger prints, even reads the prints that are not visible, the ones which are coded in the genes. The body responds back to power, communicates with it; supplies the information that power requires and also receives its future conduct as a part of its daily routine. More importantly, power does not only control the body, but also designs, (re)produces, (re)creates it according to its own objectives. Thus, human body is re-formed as a result of the transformations of the relations between communication and power.[9]

The Daemon novels by Daniel Suarez could be considered postcyberpunk in that sense. In addition to themes of its ancestral genre postcyberpunk might also combine elements of nanopunk and biopunk.[10] Often named examples of postcyberpunk novels are Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age and Bruce Sterling’s Holy Fire. In television, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has been called “the most interesting, sustained postcyberpunk media work in existence”.[11] In 2007, SF writers James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel published Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology. Like all categories discerned within science fiction, the boundaries of postcyberpunk are likely to be fluid or ill defined.[12]

As a wider variety of writers began to work with cyberpunk concepts, new subgenres of science fiction emerged, playing off the cyberpunk label, and focusing on technology and its social effects in different ways. Many derivatives of cyberpunk are retro-futuristic, based either on the futuristic visions of past eras, especially from the first and second industrial revolution technological-eras, or more recent extrapolations or exaggerations of the actual technology of those eras.

The word “steampunk” was invented in 1987 as a jocular reference to some of the novels of Tim Powers, James P. Blaylock, and K. W. Jeter. When Gibson and Sterling entered the subgenre with their 1990 collaborative novel The Difference Engine the term was being used earnestly as well.[13] Alan Moore’s and Kevin O’Neill’s 1999 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen historical fantasy comic book series (and the subsequent 2003 film adaption) popularized the steampunk genre and helped propel it into mainstream fiction.[14]

The most immediate form of steampunk subculture is the community of fans surrounding the genre. Others move beyond this, attempting to adopt a “steampunk” aesthetic through fashion, home decor and even music. This movement may also be (perhaps more accurately) described as “Neo-Victorianism”, which is the amalgamation of Victorian aesthetic principles with modern sensibilities and technologies. This characteristic is particularly evident in steampunk fashion which tends to synthesize punk, goth and rivet styles as filtered through the Victorian era. As an object style, however, steampunk adopts more distinct characteristics with various craftspersons modding modern-day devices into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical “steampunk” style.[15] The goal of such redesigns is to employ appropriate materials (such as polished brass, iron, and wood) with design elements and craftsmanship consistent with the Victorian era.[16]

Dieselpunk is a genre and art style based on the aesthetics popular between World War I and the end of World War II. The style combines the artistic and genre influences of the period (including pulp magazines, serial films, film noir, art deco, and wartime pin-ups) with retro-futuristic technology[17][18] and postmodern sensibilities.[19] First coined in 2001 as a marketing term by game designer Lewis Pollak to describe his role-playing game Children of the Sun,[18][20] dieselpunk has grown to describe a distinct style of visual art, music, motion pictures, fiction, and engineering. Examples include the movies Iron Sky, Rocketeer, K-20: Legend of the Mask, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Dark City, and the games Crimson Skies, Greed Corp, Gatling Gears, BioShock and its sequel BioShock 2, The Legend of Korra and Skullgirls.[21]

There have been a handful of divergent terms based on the general concepts of steampunk. These are typically considered unofficial and are often invented by readers, or by authors referring to their own works, often humorously.

A large number of terms have been used by the GURPS roleplaying game Steampunk to describe anachronistic technologies and settings, including stonepunk, bronzepunk, sandalpunk, candlepunk, and transistorpunk. These terms have seen very little use outside GURPS.[22]

Stonepunk refers to works set roughly during the Stone Age in which the characters utilize Neolithic Revolutionera technology constructed from materials more or less consistent with the time period, but possessing anachronistic complexity and function. The Flintstones franchise and its various spin offs, Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC, and the flashback scenes in Cro fall under this category. Literary examples include Edgar Rice Burrough’s Back to the Stone Age and The Land that Time Forgot, and Jean M. Auel’s “Earths Children” series, starting with The Clan of the Cave Bear.[23]

Clockpunk portrays Renaissance-era science and technology based on pre-modern designs, in the vein of Mainspring by Jay Lake,[24] and Whitechapel Gods by S. M. Peters.[25] Examples of clockpunk include Astro-Knights Island in the nonlinear game Poptropica, the 2011 film version of The Three Musketeers, the game Thief: The Dark Project, and the game Syberia.

The term was coined by the GURPS role playing system.[22]

Nowpunk is a term invented by Bruce Sterling, which he applied to contemporary fiction set in the time period (particularly in the post-Cold War 1990s to the present) in which the fiction is being published, i.e. all contemporary fiction. Sterling used the term to describe his book The Zenith Angle, which follows the story of a hacker whose life is changed by the September 11, 2001 attacks.[26]

Decopunk is a recent subset of Dieselpunk, centered around the art deco and Streamline Moderne art styles, and based around the period between the 1920s and 1950s. In an interview[27] at CoyoteCon, steampunk author Sara M. Harvey made the distinctions “shinier than dieselpunk, more like decopunk”, and “Dieselpunk is a gritty version of steampunk set in the 1920s1950s. The big war eras, specifically. Decopunk is the sleek, shiny very art deco version; same time period, but everything is chrome!” Its fandom arose around 2008.[citation needed] Possibly the most notable examples of this are the first two BioShock games, and the cartoon Batman: The Animated Series which included neo-noir elements along with modern elements such as the use of VHS cassettes.

Atompunk (sometimes called “atomicpunk”) relates to the pre-digital short twentieth century, specifically the period of 19451965, including mid-century Modernism, the Atomic Age, Jet Age and Space Age, Communism and concern about it exaggerated as paranoia in the U.S. along with Neo-Soviet styling, underground cinema, Googie architecture, Sputnik and the Space Race, early Cold War espionage, superhero fiction and comic books, the rise of the US military/industrial powers and the fall-out of Chernobyl.[28][29] Its aesthetic tends toward Populuxe and Raygun Gothic, which describe a retro-futuristic vision of the world.[28]

Cyberprep is a term with a very similar meaning to postcyberpunk. The word is an amalgam of the prefix “cyber-“, referring to cybernetics and “preppy”, reflecting its divergence from the punk elements of cyberpunk. A cyberprep world assumes that all the technological advancements of cyberpunk speculation have taken place but life is utopian rather than gritty and dangerous.[30] Since society is largely leisure-driven, uploading is more of an art form or a medium of entertainment[citation needed] while advanced body modifications are used for sports, pleasure and self-improvement. An example would be Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series.

Elfpunk is subgenre of urban fantasy in which traditional mythological creatures such as faeries and elves are transplanted from rural folklore into modern urban settings and has been seen in books since the 1980s including works such as War of the Oaks by Emma Bull, Gossamer Axe by Gael Baudino, and The Iron Dragons’ Daughter by Michael Swanwick. During the awards ceremony for the 2007 National Book Awards, judge Elizabeth Partridge expounded on the distinction between elfpunk and urban fantasy, citing fellow judge Scott Westerfeld’s thoughts on the works of Holly Black who is considered “classic elfpunkthere’s enough creatures already, and she’s using them. Urban fantasy, though, can have some totally made-up f*cked-up [sic] creatures”.[31]

Catherynne M. Valente uses the term “mythpunk” to describe a subgenre of mythic fiction which starts in folklore and myth and adds elements of postmodern literary techniques. As the -punk appendage implies,[32] mythpunk is subversive. In particular, it uses aspects of folklore to subvert or question dominant societal norms, often bringing in a feminist and/or multicultural approach. It confronts, instead of conforms, to societal norms.[33] Valente describes mythpunk as breaking “mythologies that defined a universe where women, queer folk, people of color, people who deviate from the norm were invisible or never existed” and then “piecing it back together to make something strange and different and wild”.[32]

Typically, mythpunk narratives focus on transforming folkloric source material rather than retelling it, often through postmodern literary techniques such as non-linear storytelling, worldbuilding, confessional poetry, as well as modern linguistic and literary devices. The use of folklore is especially important because folklore is “often a battleground between subversive and conservative forces” and a medium for constructing new societal norms. Through postmodern literary techniques, mythpunk authors change the structures and traditions of folklore, “negotiatingand validatingdifferent norms”.[33]

Most works of mythpunk have been published by small presses, such as Strange Horizons,[34] because “anything playing out on the edge is going to have truck with the small presses at some point, because small presses take big risks”.[32] Writers whose works would fall under the mythpunk label include Ekaterina Sedia, Theodora Goss, Neil Gaiman, Sonya Taaffe, Adam Christopher, and the anonymous author behind the pen name “B.L.A. and G.B. Gabbler”. Valente’s novel Deathless is a good example of mythpunk, drawing from classic Russian folklore to tell the tale of Koshchei the Deathless from a female perspective.[35]

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Cyberpunk derivatives – Wikipedia

Cyberpunk – High Tech, Low Life. r/Cyberpunk

What is cyberpunk?

A genre of science fiction and a lawless subculture in an oppressive society dominated by computer technology and big corporations. Hmmm…It feels like the world we live in today.

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Cyberpunk – High Tech, Low Life. r/Cyberpunk

List of cyberpunk works – Wikipedia

This is a list of works classified as cyberpunk, a subgenre of science fiction. Cyberpunk is characterized by a focus on “high tech and low life” in a near-future setting.[1][2]

Note: most of the films listed are cyberpunk-related either through narrative or by thematic context. Films released before 1984 should be seen as precursors to the genre.

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List of cyberpunk works – Wikipedia


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