The Style That Defines Cyberpunk Essay

1603 words - 6 pages

The Style that Defines Cyberpunk

A movement is an organized action by people working toward a goal. A literary movement may be based on the goals of writing about a particular subject or writing about many subjects while using the same type of style or language. The latter is the classification of literary movements under which cyberpunk falls. Cyberpunk is a literary movement in which the authors are working toward the goal of writing fiction that focuses on the actual or projected technological nature of society and that utilizes sexual imagery as a representation of the importance of sex in our culture. The cyberpunk authors use the technology and sex to add a realistic feel to their prose.

The elements that make up the technological nature of our society include nuclear science, fusion of organic and inorganic matter, computers, artificial organs, genetic engineering, the internet and virtual reality. The brief list consists of some of the many technological advances in our society and in the futuristic societies created by cyberpunk writers.

The subject of sex is used in cyberpunk prose because it is so pervasive in society. Sex is everywhere. The president of the US pointed out the bad taste of the Calvin Klein commercials which contained children in sequences where a photographer asks them to do perform certain poses. One gets an ugly feeling that uncle perv is asking them to do these poses and somehow enjoys it. Sex is so pervasive that it is present in advertising, film and television. The cyberpunk authors create futuristic societies that contains sex in an amount equivalent to present day society to add a realistic feel to their view of the future. The use of technology and sex are evident in the following story.

"The Gernsback Continuum," by William Gibson contains many examples of the prose that utilizes technological and sexual language. Gibson uses the following sentences to poke fun at 1930s American futuristic ideal when he refers to pollution that present-day America is plagued with, "The Thirties dreamed white marble and slipstream chrome, immortal crystal and burnished bronze, but the rockets on the covers of the Gernsback pulps had fallen on London in the dead of night, screaming. After the war, everyone had a car-no wings for it-and the promised superhighway to drive it down, so that the sky itself darkened, and the fumes ate the marble and pitted the miracle crystal"(Gibson 5).

"The Gernsback Continuum" is a literary work in which the vices, follies, etc., of Hugo Gernsback's vision of what America would be is ridiculed. Gibson uses the current level of advancement in technology to paint a bleak picture of the actual nature of society in the story. The image is a sharp contrast from the grandiose visions Hugo Gernsback. The American ideal proposed by Hugo Gernsback in his science magazines predicted the invention of great new products that would make the world a better place to live.

Gibson tries to...

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