Neuromancer & Cyberpunk

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I had students read William Gibson's classic science fiction novel Neuromancer. In class we discussed the emergence of cyberpunk as an important vision of the future in the popular imaginary. Cyberpunk seemed to be a break with past - especially in terms of the ways it depicted technology. I juxtapose this with blockbusters like Star Wars. The first part of the presentation outlines some of the major themes motifs in cyberpunk as an aesthetic genre by drawing on examples from Neuromancer.

In the" Influence" section I pull some filmic examples that influenced Gibson: hard-boiled detective films, the femme fatale, and violence in films (Noir, Kubric, Blade Runner).

The we look at examples of how the legacy of cyberpunk as a vision of the future is still compelling.

Finally we examine themes from Neuromancer and look at specifics from the novel. The assignment is to have them create a book cover for Neuromancer meant to appeal to a new generation and draw from major themes, ideas, and motifs.

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Neuromancer & Cyberpunk

  1. 2. Cyberpunk Negative impact of technology on humanity                                   Fusion of man and machine Emerges in the 1980s          Corporate control over society Narratives focus on the underground                    Ubiquitous access to information Cyberpunk visuals and style                      Postmodern sensibility A generic or non specific future
  2. 3. Neuromancer , William Gibson
  3. 4. World View
  4. 5. World View matrix : Defined for  N —in children's terms—on p. 51; note in addition the dictionary definitions: "1. orig., the womb; uterus   2. that within which, or within and from which, something originates, takes form, or develops . . . ; 5.  Math.  a set of numbers or terms arranged in rows and columns . . .  7.  Zool.   a ) any nonliving, intercellular substance in which living cells are embedded . . .  b ) the formative cells from which a nail, tooth, etc., grows".
  5. 6. Topicality retro
  6. 7. Future  forecasting
  7. 8. Influence
  8. 9. Influence
  9. 10. Influence
  10. 11. Influence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7qzTb0M9qE
  11. 12. Influence
  12. 13. Influence
  13. 14. Influence
  14. 15. Influence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS3z_saBqE0
  15. 16. Influence
  16. 17. World View postmodern man vs. technology media literacy biblical allegory

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