Ever see the so called Ridley Scott ‘classic’ Blade Runner? If you said yes you either did Advanced English in year 12 in Australia or really like the cyberpunk genre. The movie staring the one and only Harrison Ford is one of the better known cyberpunk texts going around these days. It shows what the future is predicted to look like, a dark dystopia full of neon lights big buildings and no sun.
But what really is cyber punk?
Tandt (2013) describes cyberpunk as a science fiction subgenre mapping social relations generated by information and computer technologies. If anything I would describe it as a way of predicting the future. Science fiction has a unique ability to be able to predict the future. You see stuff in old science fictions shows like star trek that now exists today.
We are now even reaching a time where cyborg parts are becoming readily available. Imagine losing a limb like an arm or leg and receiving a robotic limp to replace it. In ‘The Technophilic Body’ by David Thomas (2000) it is discussed that humans should and will eventually adopt machines into our own bodies. Sound familiar? That’s because it is one of the key ideas in the cyberpunk genre. Machines integrating into humans, having cyborgs running around the street. These are just some of the ideas cyberpunk is predicting will happen. Today we have Prosthetic limbs, cochlear implants and bone and joint replacements. Our technology is rapidly advancing to create our own“Technophilic Bodies”. In the future who knows what we will have created, maybe an arm that works like a normal arm, connected to the nerves and controlled by your brain.
Cyberpunk is a interesting take at looking into the future, I wouldn’t be hesitant to say at least some of the ideas that cyberpunk end up becoming reality.
David Tomas. “The Technophilic Body: On Technicity in William Gibson’s Cyborg Culture.” The Cybercultures Reader. Ed. David Bell and Barbara Kennedy. London: Routledge, 2000. 175-89.
Tandt DC, (2013) ‘Cyberpunk as Naturalist Science Fiction’ Studies in American Naturalism, vol 8. issue 1, pp 93-110