By Carlen Lavigne
This research of cyberpunk technology fiction written among 1981 and 2003 positions women's cyberpunk within the greater cultural dialogue of feminist concerns. It strains the origins of the style, stories the serious reactions and descriptions the ways that women's cyberpunk advances issues of view which are in particular feminist. Novels are tested inside their cultural contexts; their content material is in comparison to broader controversies inside modern feminism, and their issues are published as reflections of feminist discourse round the flip of the twenty first century. Chapters disguise subject matters reminiscent of globalization, digital truth, cyborg tradition, environmentalism, faith, motherhood and queer rights. Interviews with feminist cyberpunk authors are supplied, revealing either their motivations for writing and their reports with fanatics. The research treats feminist cyberpunk as a different motor vehicle for interpreting modern women's concerns and analyzes feminist technological know-how fiction as a posh resource of political principles.
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Extra info for Cyberpunk Women, Feminism and Science Fiction: A Critical Study
Subsequent discussions sparked by this exchange and others expanded across multiple fanzines as feminist writers gained more publicity and stronger public voices; debates about Russ’s work, feminism in general, and the perceived militancy of the women’s movement were spread across the pages of fan publications such as Notes from the Chemistry Department, The Alien Critic, and Algol/Starship (Merrick 62–68). Larbalestier marks this decade as a tipping point, one in which the discourse of “battle-of-the-sexes” ﬁction became the domain of women writers instead of men, speciﬁcally as situated in feminist utopian stories (149); the 1970s brought the publications of the overtly feminist fanzines The Witch and the Chameleon and Janus, the advent of feminist science ﬁction convention WisCon, and Hugo Award-winning work from Ursula K.
She achieves riches, beauty and a boyfriend, but the cyborg’s numbed senses repress both P. Burke’s identity and sexual desires. Notably, her happiness is unsustainable — only death results, as P. Burke strives for an impossible heterosexual fairy tale ending that she will never achieve within the conﬁnes of her duplicitous, restricted role. Moore and Tiptree provide early looks at how technologies could be used to commodify the body; their stories are pre-cyberpunk examinations of cyborgs, capitalism and computers, all centered on the exploration of gendered themes.
But it is not merely the protagonist’s gender that distinguishes Cadigan’s work from other stories in the text; it is also how that character is otherwise portrayed. Gina is distinct from the other female characters in Mirrorshades because she is not presented as a sex symbol, nor does she assume an overtly sexual role within the text. Although her “rape”— by the band making her synthesize — is metaphoric, it never becomes literal. Moreover, although we discover in Synners that Gina is black, with dreadlocks, in “Rock On” she doesn’t describe herself except as forty-something, with hair that doesn’t grow long enough to cover the metal plugs in her skull — a sharp contrast to the other, mostly young punk-rocker girls within Mirrorshades, the ways in which they are described, and the sexualized roles they play.
Cyberpunk Women, Feminism and Science Fiction: A Critical Study by Carlen Lavigne