No Future! Cyberpunk, Industrial Music, and the Aesthetics of Postmodern Disintegration

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Novotny, Patrick. "No Future! Cyberpunk, Industrial Music, and the Aesthetics of Postmodern Disintegration." In Political Science Fiction ed. Donald M. Hassler and Clyde Wilcox (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1997): [99]-123.

Long essay on (and paean to) cyberpunk, with a substantial and useful list of Works Cited (pp. 120-123); for music, note Douglas Rushkoff's Cyberia: Life in the Trenches of Cyberspace (HarperSanFrancisco, 1994), Mark Devy's "Cyberpunk: Riding the Shockwaves with the Toxic Underground" (Keyboard 15.9 [May 1989]: 74-89), and Bruce Sterling's Preface to Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology.

Note for asserting that "Cyberpunk is the first genre of science fiction to grapple with the reality of prosthetic limbs and biotechnological implants as well as the potential of virtual technology" — VR (?) — "and computer networks to create spaces and terrain for social political and cultural struggle" — cyberspace. "Cyberpunk is a radical disjuncture with traditional science fiction imagery, projecting dystopian images of decrepit and corrupted technology" (p. 107). Note here Damon Knight's 1968 "Masks" and C. L. Moore's 1944 "No Woman Born."

See pp. 113 f. for cyberpunk and "Industrial" music (etc.).

Cyberpunk's works are infused with references to popular culture, paintings, sculpture, architecture, science fiction films, computer and technical journals, and popular music ranging from reggae to punk, industrial[1] and techno music[2] [...]. The flourishing of rave and techno youth culture, with its hallucinogenic drugs, techno music, infusion of psychedelic culture, and its hip-hope esthetic and sensibility, and hand-held cameras and electronic mail and computer discussion lists to record the all-night energies of raves, could have come from the pages of a cyberpunk novel. (pp. 113-14) * * *

The detournement[3] of the situationist movement has found its heir apparent in cyberpunk literature and the blaring, synthesized fusion of industrial music. Industrial and postindustrial music share an aesthetic moment with the writings of [William] Gibson and other cyberpunk authors (see Devy). Like cyberpunk, the industrial music scene is a street-level cultural intervention, the extension of detournement to everyday noises and sounds. (p. 115)

RDE, finishing, 19Dec21