Cyberdecks, Neural Laces, And the Total Body Prosthesis

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2023-05

Authors

Nacci, William

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Abstract

Cyberpunk is a relatively new subgenre of science fiction focusing on how technology might look when it becomes increasingly integrated into human minds and bodies. The genre is known for pessimistic and dystopic views towards these future worlds, where advancement has led to increased inequality, created new forms of harm, and has been unable to solve many of humanity’s basic flaws. In contrast to the obvious displays of technological pessimism in these works, I argue that there is a greater degree of optimism present in many cyberpunk works than is often realized, and that this optimism is primarily tied to the relationships between characters and their bodily-integrated technologies, or augmentations. To support this perspective, I chose a broad group of cyberpunk works to analyze. I will first characterize the technological pessimism held by these works, and then show how their optimistic characterization of augmentations can overshadow some of their pessimistic perspectives. Lastly, I will discuss how this analysis may be relevant from differing perspectives.

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