Here at Scifi Methods, we love Science Fiction. I mean, we really love it and it's a part of everything we do. Films, novels, short stories, music, games, design - if it's scifi, we want to know about it so we can put the best of it up here. And although we love everything encompassed by the wider scifi genre, our main focus is the "Cyberpunk" subgenre, and we are particularly concerned with scifi works which feature Cyberpunk characteristics or themes, even if they wouldn't be considered a wholly Cyberpunk work themselves.
So now I've used the word, here's the obligatory "What is Cyberpunk?" explanation, which will likely mutate into a whole separate article eventually. But for the time being, here's the layman's introduction. Although each fan will have their own subjective way to describe it, there are a great deal of common elements which often overlap in a Cyberpunk world. These may be themes in a novel, visual styles in a film, or sonic aesthetics in music. I'm going to pick three related elements here to give you a broad summary.
1. The most predominant of these is the exploration of humanity's ugliest traits through technology: corruption, addiction, sexual fetishes, and social disorder all have fresh new realities when humans are able to utilise cybernetic implants, interact with artificial intelligences and mastermind hacking cyber-crimes (often utilising technologies developed originally for a less-sinister purpose).
2. The next is the mental and or physical fusion of man and machine through surgical augmentation, mass media communication and the seamless, ubiquitous flow of information.
3. My last common theme is the one I find most intriguing. Through the constant availability of information and a shared "cyberspace", the concept of nationality is diluted and human beings associate their identity with megacorporations and subcultures or gangs much more than with a particular nation-state.
As a great deal of Cyberpunk fiction was written in the 1980s, we see many of these fictional themes actually manifested in the modern world today. For this reason, some Cyberpunk literature is considered retro-futuristic, portraying an alternate version of today's reality, sometimes by the intention of the author and sometimes not. Some musicians may be considered to "be Cyberpunk" although this is down to their association through dystopian themes, using technology to create a nihilistic sound and generally looking like The Borg, rather than a specific tie to Punk Rock music (the "punk" part of the word "Cyberpunk" comes from anti-hero characters being "Punks"; as in "Lowlife", "Scumbag" etc). Bands with Cyberpunk characteristics are usually active in or are influenced by the "Industrial" music genre.
Are you still here? If you've made it this far you may just enjoy the rest of the site. Because if you share this passion, we're going to get on swimmingly. If however you don't have much time for speculative entertainment with an uncomfortable streak of human nature and an open mind, it isn't going to work out so well. And remember, if there's one thing we like almost as much as scifi, it's feedback. So, please get in touch if you have a comment or suggestion, or even feel like you could contribute in some way.
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