Cyberpunk Women, Feminism and Science Fiction

A Critical Study


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About the Book

This analysis of cyberpunk science fiction written between 1981 and 2003 positions women’s cyberpunk in the larger cultural discussion of feminist issues. It traces the origins of the genre, reviews the critical reactions and outlines the ways in which women’s cyberpunk advances points of view that are specifically feminist. Novels are examined within their cultural contexts; their content is compared to broader controversies within contemporary feminism, and their themes are revealed as reflections of feminist discourse around the turn of the 21st century. Chapters cover topics such as globalization, virtual reality, cyborg culture, environmentalism, religion, motherhood and queer rights. Interviews with feminist cyberpunk authors are provided, revealing both their motivations for writing and their experiences with fans. The study treats feminist cyberpunk as a unique vehicle for examining contemporary women’s issues and analyzes feminist science fiction as a complex source of political ideas.

About the Author(s)

Carlen Lavigne holds a Ph.D. in communications studies. Her publications include works on genre fiction, gender, queer studies and television, and she teaches communications at Red Deer College in Alberta.

Bibliographic Details

Carlen Lavigne

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6653-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0178-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction 3

1. The Movement: Signs and Signifiers 9
2. Contributions and Critiques: Women and Cyberpunk 21
3. Alienating Worlds: Globalization and Community 43
4. Gendered Flesh: Embodiment and Virtual Reality 62
5. S/he, Robot: Cyborgs and Artificial Intelligence 82
6. “A Bitch, a Butch, and a Wild Woman”: Cyberpunk Ecologies 98
7. Techno-Spirituality: Mythology and Religion 114
8. Cybermoms and Techno-Children: Motherhood
and Reproduction 131
9. Queer Zones: A Kinsey Scale of Cyberpunk 145
10. Fictions in Context: Audiences and Authors 161
Conclusion 178
Works Cited 187
Index 199

Book Reviews & Awards

“A well-researched, accessible discussion of feminist retakes on cyberpunk…recommend”—Science Fiction Studies

“Traces the origins of the cyberpunk genre, reviews critical reactions, and outlines the ways in which women’s cyberpunk advances feminist points of view”—Reference & Research Book News