Book: the mysteries of cyberpunk

This article is from the magazine Les Indispensables de Sciences et Avenir n°209 dated April/June 2022.

The term “cyberspace” was coined in 1982 by American William Gibson in his short story “Etched on chrome“, then developed in his book “Neuromancer”. The incipit –“The sky above the harbor had the color of a television on a defunct channel” – sets the tone. It is not only a question of revealing the virtual world constructed by technology, but of showing that it has penetrated, as if by contagion, reality.

A savage society

Chips are implanted in the brain, arm prostheses or artificial eyes abound. Techno is not there to soften the world: we are in a savage society, dominated by everyone for themselves, shaped by hypercapitalism where big companies have more power than states. Did you say Gafam? Here is the “cyberpunk”this “recognizable and scrupulously extrapolated future of our modern society”according to writer Bruce Sterling, a specialist in the genre.

neuromancer“, William Gibson, Au Diable Vauvert, 2020. Credit: Au Diable Vauvert

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See also the interview with Yannick Rumpala, lecturer at the University of Nice, published in September 2021 on the website of Science and Future : sciav.fr/cyberpunk

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