The Advent of CYBERPUNK and Literature of the Digital Age
The Big Question • What makes humans, “human?” • Ideas??? (From clip or your own)
But First…An Introduction • Kyle Fauss • Born in Jacksonville, Florida • Lived in Australia (3 years) • Moved back to Jacksonville • Moved to Aurora, Colorado in 2004 and STAYED • (Though my parents just moved back to Jacksonville….)
Now It’s Your Turn! • Make a Name Tag • Name • Image of some sort
Back to Business…Sort of. • Before we can talk Cyberpunk, we need to talk Science-Fiction, and where Cyberpunk fits in to a much larger genre.
From the Beginning • What is Science-Fiction? • Guesses? • In an EXTREMELY general sense, science-fiction is a genre that deals with the positive and negative aspects to scientific advancement (though there’s still much more to it than that).
Early Predecessors • Who wants to guess the earliest example of something that resembles the Science-fiction genre? • In 150 AD, Lucian of Samosata was experimenting with the idea of interplanetary travel in Vera Historia (“True History”), a parody of the “official truths” that historians before him had recorded.
Early Predecessors • The most notable forerunner to contemporary understandings of science fiction, however… • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) • Dealt with the idea of a scientist trying to surpass God—cosmic power struggle • Monstrosity—the Monster that Frankenstein creates • Is it human? • What responsibility does the creator have to his/her creation?
Early Predecessors • Another was H.G Wells • The Time Machine (1895) • Time Travel and the Encounter between Humans and Aliens • The War of the Worlds (1898) • Alien Invasion
“Modern” Science Fiction • 1926—Hugo Gernsback’s Magazine Amazing Stories first published • Did two things: • Inspired many future successful science fiction writers • Put out some really cut-rate literature, leading to the downgrading of the genre in the public and critical eye • Described as “hackneyed adventure tales with heroes outfitted in dubious space metal wrecked alien worlds and rescued space maidens.”
The Golden Age • Among those inspired by Gernsback was John W. Campbell and his magazine Astounding Stories. • Really started focusing on the impact of technology. • Included writers such as Isaac Asimov (wrote the laws of Robotics seen in I, Robot)
The Golden Age (cont.) • Lasted from 1930’s-40’s • Themes like robots, alternate worlds, faster than light travel, meetings of humans and aliens (and the consequences that arise), and, esp. in the 1940’s, nuclear power.
Example (1977) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gvqpFbRKtQ
New Wave • In the 1950’s technology’s negative implications came more into the forefront—especially in the context of every day life and not as much distant times • British publication New Worlds (1946-70) • Dealt with environmental depletion, urban overcrowding, and the relationship between technology, crime, drug addiction, and sexuality
Example (2012) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-eI5oLlIeY
Cyberpunk!! • Where did the term come from? • Bruce Bethke wrote a short story entitled “Cyberpunk” in 1980 (pub. 1983). • Used in 1984 to describe the William Gibson’s Neuromancer (which we will be reading in later on) • The big question: “What aspect of humanity makes us human?”
Themes of Cyberpunk • “Cyber”: Cybernetics • “Punk”: Defiant attitude seen in characters. • Often on fringe of society: outsiders struggling to survive. • What does Cyberpunk do? • It “distorts our sense of who or where we are, of what is “real” at all, and what is most valuable about human life.” • Challenges everything we know to be real, normal, natural.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8e-FF8MsqU • How was this different from Golden Age or New Wave? How is it similar?
What to Look for in the Genre • Cybernetics • Ways in which humans and machines are connected through technology (i.e. “Biotechnology”) • Namely, implants that enhance one’s physical or mental performance in some way, shape, or form, provided that this implant is technological in nature. • Examples: • An arm that doubles as a sword • Ways to completely alter your personality • Relocating your brain in a robot body • Reprogramming yourself
Examples • GIVE THEM TO ME!! • Think-Pair-Share
Now onto something completely different! (Kind of…)