A ‘near future’ science-fiction genre which has roots in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The genre is concerned with the emersion of humans in cyberspace and therefore the relationship between humans and machines, particularly robots, cyborgs and AIs. A focus is often placed on the way the interfacing changes humans and definitions of humanity. They often have elements of dystopia, noir and detective fiction. Other stock characters include clones, hackers and faceless corporations.
Cyberpunk works are often set in Japan, typically Tokyo or Chiba, or are heavily influenced by Japanese culture. There may be a war or apocalypse of some kind in the near past or still ensuing.
The settings are usually slums and cities more like the grimy future of ‘Alien’ than the shiny future of ‘Star Trek‘.
Notable Examples Edit
Notable examples include novels such as William Gibson’s Neuromancer and films such as Tron and The Matrix. Examples in manga and anime include Ghost in the Shell, Neon Genesis Evangelon and Serial Experiments: Lain.
Although they are not concerned with cyberspace, one could argue Akira, Bladerunner and I-Robot are cyberpunk as they explore the issues of a not far off future where humans rely heavily on technology.
- Truth vs. illusion
- Mind / body duality
- Mortality / immortality