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  1. 1. Cyberpunk 101 The beginning of a long, strange voyage into the future.
  2. 2. Cyberpunk is a science fiction genre noted for its focus on “high tech and low life.” The name, derived from “cybernetics” and “punk,” was originally developed as a marketing term and coined by Bruce Bethke in his short story “Cyberpunk” written in 1980. It features advanced science such as information technology and cybernetics, coupled with a degree of breakdown or a radical change in the social order.
  3. 3. "Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.” – Lawrence Person
  4. 4. Cyberpunk plots often center on a conflict among hackers, artificial intelligences, and mega corporations. They tend to be set in a near-future Earth. The settings are usually post-industrial dystopias, but tend to be marked by extraordinary cultural ferment and the use of technology in ways never anticipated by its creators. Much of the genre's atmosphere echoes film noir, and written works in the genre often use techniques from detective fiction.
  5. 5. The Setting Cyberpunk writers tend to use elements from the hard-boiled detective novel and film noir to describe the often nihilistic underground side of an electronic society. In some cyberpunk writing, much of the action takes place online, in cyberspace, blurring the border between the actual and the virtual reality. Another idea in the genre is a direct connection between the human brain and computer systems. Cyberpunk depicts the world as a dark, sinister place with networked computers which dominate every aspect of life. The alienated outsider's battle against a totalitarian is a common theme in cyberpunk.
  6. 6. "Anything that can be done to a rat can be done to a human being. And we can do most anything to rats. This is a hard thing to think about, but it's the truth. It won't go away because we cover our eyes. That is cyberpunk.“ – Bruce Sterling, author
  7. 7. The Hero Protagonists in cyberpunk writing usually include computer hackers, who are often patterned on the idea of the lone hero fighting injustice: Robin Hood, Zorro, etc. They are often disenfranchised people placed in extraordinary situations, rather than brilliant scientists or starship captains intentionally seeking advance or adventure, and are not always true "heroes.” Many cyberpunk protagonists are manipulated, placed in situations where they have little or no choice, and although they might see things through, they do not necessarily come out any further ahead than they previously were. These are anti-heroes —criminals, outcasts, visionaries, dissenters and misfits.
  8. 8. Society Cyberpunk is often used as a metaphor for the present day-worries about the failings of corporations, corruption in governments , alienation and surveillance technology. The power is nearly always clutched in the secretive hands of a wealthy or corporate elite. Cyberpunk stories have also been seen as forecasts of the evolution of the Internet. The virtual world of what is now known as the Internet often appears under various names, including "cyberspace", "the Wired", "the Metaverse" or "the Matrix". Interesting questions about possible A.I. rights have been introduced using cyberpunk stories as a springboard. Uploads of human minds consider themselves to have intelligence and self-awareness. This raises the question as to whether intelligence comparable to humans should give them comparable legal and moral standing. The Internet, as seen in some cyberpunk.
  9. 9. In many ways, Cyberpunk is now.