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Cyberpunk deals with several pressing themes of today's culture and technology as discussed by theorists such as Donna Haraway and Sandy Stone: the interfacing and commingling of humans and machines; the passage to the so-called *Information Age*; and the new relationships between gender and science; etc..

The term cyber, from the Greek word kubernetes (meaning helmsman or steersman), has many meanings that have all been appropriated to meet certain agendas. It has been called postmodernist, deconstructionist, and feminist, among other terms. But in juxtaposition with the word punk, it is a term designating both a progressive and reactionary response to a world in flux and a fiction of stagnation: "What unites all of these artists [punks to cyberpunkers] is what might be termed a shared 'attitude'-- an attitude of defiance towards cultural and aesthetic norms; an attitude of distrust towards rationalist language and all other forms of discourse required by legal, political and consumer capitalism" (McCaffery 288). Is cyberpunk a product of popular culture or a revolt against science fiction placidity? The technological emphasis of the "movement" is undeniable and owes much to the computer revolution and virtual reality techniques, but what does this mean in terms of the conventional science fiction community? The primary goal of this writing class is to investigate these claims, while negotiating popular culture's interpretation of what constitutes "cyberpunk."
In the words of Bruce Sterling:

Anything that can be done to a rat can be done to a human being. And we can do most anything to rats. This is a hard thing to think about, but it's the truth. It won't go away because we cover our eyes.

This is cyberpunk.
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