, Lawrence Person
published an article called Towards a Postcyberpunk Manifesto in the small-press magazine Nova Express
in which he identified the emergence of a postcyberpunk genre
of science fiction
Like its predecessor, postcyberpunk depicts realistic near-futures rather than space opera-style deep futures. The focus is on the social effects of Earth-bound technology rather than space travel. He argues that postcyberpunk is distinct from cyberpunk in the following ways:
- Cyberpunk typically dealt with alienated loners in a dystopia. Postcyberpunk tends to deal with characters who are more involved with society, and act to defend an existing social order or create a better society.
- In cyberpunk, the alienating effect of new technology is emphasised, whereas in postcyberpunk, "technology is society".
Other possible characteristics:
- A more realistic depiction of computers
- A change in emphasis from metallic implants to biotechnology
Why did postcyberpunk emerge? Perhaps because SF authors and the general population began using computers, the Internet and PDAs to their benefit, without the expected massive social fragmentation.
Examples of postcyberpunk:
The validity of the postcyberpunk label is suggested by the fact that it has been taken up by some of the authors it has been applied to. However, there are many works which explore postcyberpunk themes in a dystopian way - e.g. Paul McAuley's Fairyland. Some authors are hard to classify. For example, Greg Egan's work is arguably so inventive as to defy classification into a "movement" or "sub-genre".
See also: Transhumanism