EXCERPT from "Cyberpunk Remastered: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Postmodernism" by K. Ceres Wright in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction
Change Is Good, No?
Many stories of the Golden Age of Science Fiction (GA) promised utopia—gleaming futures with flying cars, pristine cities, and Three-Lawed robots. Characters flew off to work with personal jet packs, enjoyed disease-free lives, and took nourishment from meals-in-a-pill. GA writings were mainly consigned to pulp magazines, kept safely away from "serious literature," and made to languish in the science fiction ghetto. Then rebellion hit, in a movement called the New Wave. New Wave science fiction writers mocked the GA tropes and experimented with taboo subjects such as sex, politics, the distrust of man’s superior intellect and the decline of society. They also brought science fiction into the literary mainstream with an attention to style not witnessed in the pulps, and a focus on inner man, not outer space. This New Wave rode the trend of postmodernism, which challenged and rejected the mores and principles of established culture. However, as the New Wave genre was subsumed into the mainstream, the rebellion lost steam. But as rebellions are wont to do, this one did not disappear, it merely changed form. Enter cyberpunk.
K. Ceres Wright is a writer and editor for a management consulting firm. Her story, "The Haunting of M117," appears in Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction, Book 1. Her poem, Doomed, was nominated for a Rhysling award. She lives in Maryland with her son, Ian, and daughter, Chloe.