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Other Comments on What Cyberpunk Is


alt.cyberpunk FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions list for alt.cyberpunk newsgroup is a definitive cyberpunk authority. Maintained by Frank <>.
One older and different version of the FAQ.

Why Cyberpunk?
One man's definition of what cyberpunk is about.
By Phantom Writer.

Cyber-Punk: Final Solution
A cyber-dadaistic definitional essay by Mark Downham.

Cyberpunk Cut-and-Paste Manifesto
A "C-Word" sampler assembled by Gareth Branwyn.

Politics of Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk in mainstream media.

What is Cyberpunk?
Interviews with cyberpunk authors: William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Tom Maddox...

Cyberpunks: Where are they?
"You don't need to have a hacked cellular phone and be a member of the 2600 club to be a 'cyberpunk.' The author describes a cyberpunk as anyone who '...embraces the music or the tech...'"
By Anthony M. Horos.

Cyberpunk in the 90's: Accepted or Scorned?
"Though there was agreement that the cyberpunk is essential to society's evolution, the question arises of where to draw the line between "productive counter-culture" (an oxy-moron?) and radical extremist?"
By Anthony M. Horos.

Cyberpunk: Good and Bad!
Timothy Leary cited. "Cyberpunks are individuals who are constantly alert. They not only have their own thinking, but they also question the authority.
By Ying Chieh Ko.

In May 29, 1993 in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, they defined cyberpunk as:
"[...] an emerging youthful sub-culture, fusing punk rock's anti-authoritarianism with a love of cutting-edge technology."

Extracts from Computer Underground Digest (CDU),
Issue #3.24, July 3, 1991:
"Cyberpunks are characterized by their resistance to oppressive authority (which makes them a form of freedom fighter), but the resistance tends to be highly individualistic. I wonder if cyberpunks might be based on the anti-hero model of westerns (Shane) or earlier science fiction in which the marginal but basically decent outsider steps in to use marginal skills to save the town, country, or civilization?"
"The cyberpunks I know are those who, as the word implies, have taken the punk ethic of disrespect for authority (and often for self, even to the point of nihilism) and applied it to the cyber world. Cyberpunks are those who think that the street has its own uses for technology (they're out there decoding the signals from Mattel Powergloves). They think that corporations are often a bigger threat than governments, though they dis both - sometimes to the point of breaking laws. The only freedom these people are interested in is the freedom to be left alone, both physically and, in the data world, to be left out of the ubiquitous info files being accumulated on us all."

Cyberpunk Anarchy.
This comment is from John Shirley, cyberpunk science fiction writer:
In a recent computer-crime scandal, credit for the idea was given to John Brunner's Shockwave Rider. That's very encouraging to me. You could say that cyberpunk intrinsically anarchistic. It's endlessly antiauthoritarian, and it can be employed like a weapon, like a computer virus, injecting new information by means of the existing mechanisms. The pop image of anarchism has always been a bomb - yeah, well, this is an ideological bomb that has been planted in the culture. I just saw a New York Times headline that used the term cyberpunk to describe a computer virus hacker - as if it were already part of the language.

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Well, we are back where we started... In conclusion we can say that cyberpunk is undefinable. Maybe you'll find your own way, if you'll one.


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