Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Science Fiction

Overview


The term “cyberpunk” entered the literary landscape in 1984 to describe William Gibson’s pathbreaking novel Neuromancer. Cyberpunks are now among the shock troops of postmodernism, Larry McCaffery argues in Storming the Reality Studio, marshalling the resources of a fragmentary culture to create a startling new form. Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, multinational machinations, frenetic bursts of prose, collisions of style, celebrations of texture: although emerging largely from science fiction, ...
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Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk & Postmodern Science Fiction

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Overview


The term “cyberpunk” entered the literary landscape in 1984 to describe William Gibson’s pathbreaking novel Neuromancer. Cyberpunks are now among the shock troops of postmodernism, Larry McCaffery argues in Storming the Reality Studio, marshalling the resources of a fragmentary culture to create a startling new form. Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, multinational machinations, frenetic bursts of prose, collisions of style, celebrations of texture: although emerging largely from science fiction, these features of cyberpunk writing are, as this volume makes clear, integrally related to the aims and innovations of the literary avant-garde.

By bringing together original fiction by well-known contemporary writers (William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Kathy Acker, J. G. Ballard, Samuel R. Delany), critical commentary by some of the major theorists of postmodern art and culture (Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, Timothy Leary, Jean-François Lyotard), and work by major practitioners of cyberpunk (William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley, Pat Cadigan, Bruce Sterling), Storming the Reality Studio reveals a fascinating ongoing dialog in contemporary culture.

What emerges most strikingly from the colloquy is a shared preoccupation with the force of technology in shaping modern life. It is precisely this concern, according to McCaffery, that has put science fiction, typically the province of technological art, at the forefront of creative explorations of our unique age.
A rich opporunity for reading across genres, this anthology offers a new perspective on the evolution of postmodern culture and ultimately shows how deeply technological developments have influenced our vision and our art.

Selected Fiction contributors: Kathy Acker, J. G. Ballard, William S. Burroughs, Pat Cadigan, Samuel R. Delany, Don DeLillo, William Gibson, Harold Jaffe, Richard Kadrey, Marc Laidlaw, Mark Leyner, Joseph McElroy, Misha, Ted Mooney, Thomas Pynchon, Rudy Rucker, Lucius Shepard, Lewis Shiner, John Shirley, Bruce Sterling, William Vollman

Selected Non-Fiction contributors: Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida, Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger, Fredric Jameson, Arthur Kroker and David Cook, Timothy Leary, Jean-François Lyotard, Larry McCaffery, Brian McHale, Dave Porush, Bruce Sterling, Darko Suvin, Takayuki Tatsumi

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Editor McCaffery here collects over 50 essays, short stories, novel excerpts, literary criticism, poetry, artworks, and a comic strip that illustrate the influences on and of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction and its distinctive sensibility. Most of the space goes to the two godfathers of cyberpunk, William Gibson (whose Neuromancer , Berkley, 1984, won the science fiction triple crown--Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick awards) and Bruce Sterling ( Schismatrix , LJ 6/15/85), but most other major cyberpunk writers are represented. McCaffery does not limit cyberpunk to science fiction but puts it in the context of postmodern literature and 1980s popular culture. The only flaw is that Sterling's preface to Mirrorshades ( LJ 12/86), often considered a cyberpunk manifesto and constantly referred to in the essays, is not presented until the end of the nonfiction section. An important work; highly recommended for all sf, literature, and pop culture collections. (Illustrations not seen.)-- Keith R.A. DeCandido, ``Library Journal''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822311683
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/1991
  • Pages: 405
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.18 (d)

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