Criticism: Feminism And Cyberpunk - Essay

Nicola Nixon (essay date 1992)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Cyberpunk: Preparing the Ground for Revolution or Keeping the Boys Satisfied?”1 in Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2, July, 1992, pp. 219-35.

[In the following essay, Nixon questions the feminism of cyberpunk.]

In the 1970s feminist writers made successful intrusions into the genre of the popular SF novel, a genre whose readership, then and now, is assumed to be one who can appreciate, for example, that taking blue mescaline inspires the confidence “you'd feel somatically, the way you'd feel a woman's lips on your cock” (Shirley, Eclipse 74). One hardly needs recourse to Althusserian models to determine who the interpellated...

(The entire section is 8235 words.)

Anne Balsamo (essay date 1994)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Feminism for the Incurably Informed,” in Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture, edited by Mark Dery, Duke University Press, 1994, pp. 125-56.

[In the following essay, Balsamo examines the effects of techo-culture on women and the feminist implications of cyberpunk.]

All we ever want (ever wanted) was to be on that mailing list.

—Ron Silliman, What

My mother was a computer, but she never learned to drive. Grandmother was an order clerk in a predominantly male warehouse; she did all the driving for the family, having learned to drive...

(The entire section is 12010 words.)

Karen Cadora (essay date 1995)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Feminist Cyberpunk,” in Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3, November, 1995, pp. 357-72.

[In the following essay, Cadora contrasts early, male-dominated, cyberpunk with the later wave of the movement led by feminists.]

Rumor has it that cyberpunk is dead, the victim of its own failure to live up to its extravagant pretensions (Easterbrook 378). Initially touted as an imaginative engagement with the postmodern condition, cyberpunk envisions human consciousness inhabiting electronic spaces, blurring the boundary between human and machine in the process. Cyberpunk's deconstruction of the human body first appeared to signal a revolution in political art....

(The entire section is 7936 words.)

Mary Catherine Harper (essay date 1995)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Incurably Alien Other: A Case for Feminist Cyborg Writers,” in Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3, November, 1995, pp. 399-20.

[In the following essay, Harper presents an overview of feminist cyberpunk criticism and argues that feminist cyborg literature is the seminal movement in a changing sociopolitical worldview.]

Somewhere, very close, the laugh that wasn't laughter. He never saw Molly again.—William Gibson, Neuromancer

He stared hard at her. He had never seen—he hadn't expected. He threw his head back—all his white artie teeth showed—his shining carmine...

(The entire section is 11317 words.)