Sex, Death and Resurrection in Altered Carbon

Essays on the Netflix Series

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About the Book

The 2018 Netflix series Altered Carbon is a vital contribution to the cyberpunk renaissance, among such titles as Snowpiercer or Blade Runner 2049. This collection of new essays answers the question: is this increasing popularity of cyberpunk a sign of recognition of the genre’s transgressive aspects, such as a stark critique of capitalism, or is it the opposite—a sign of the genre’s failure to successfully criticize modernity?

The contributors consider the series as taking on current issues, from a critique of neoliberalism, through the ethical aspects of biotechnology, up to thanatology. They provoke questions about what it means to be human in a world in which death does not exist. Essays evaluate the surging popularity of the series and cyberpunk at large from a variety of critical perspectives, shedding new light on a challenging and inventive series.

About the Author(s)

Aldona Kobus is a professor in the department of cultural studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland. She specializes in fan studies, popular culture studies and research concerning women’s authorship.
Lukasz Muniowski (Ph.D., American literature, University of Warsaw) has written numerous articles on such topics as gentrification, geek culture, American literature, video games and television series.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Aldona Kobus and Łukasz Muniowski
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7962-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3846-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction
Aldona Kobus and Łukasz Muniowski 1
Sex
“Technology advances, but humans don’t”: ­Neo-Noir Women,
Psychoanalysis and Transhuman Love (Alexander N. Howe) 15
The Flinching Edge: Sex, Consensual Death(lessness)
and the ­Limit-Experience in Altered Carbon (Kwasu David Tembo) 27
Functions of Sex Scenes in Altered Carbon (Michał Klata) 39
Sleeves
The Materiality of Reality: The Floating Consciousness in Altered Carbon (Esra Köksal and Burcu Baykan) 51
Embodiment in Altered Carbon (Lars Schmeink) 67
Wearing Wellness on Your Sleeve: On Meths, ­Self-Control
and Capitalism (Łukasz Muniowski) 81
New (Cloned) Bodies for the Old: Biopolitics in Altered Carbon (Aline Ferreira) 90
“Meths” versus “Quellists”: Altered Carbon as the Battleground of Two Ideologies (Damla Pehlivan) 105
Look Who’s Talking: Haunted Bodies and Uncanny Voices
in Altered Carbon (Dariusz Brzostek) 118
Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk Resleeved: How Netflix’s Altered Carbon Reformats
Its Cyberpunk Ancestry (Adam Edwards) 129
Another Kind of War: The Manufacturing of History
in Altered Carbon (Kenneth Matthews) 144
The Present of the Dead: Spectral Ideology in Altered Carbon (Aldona Kobus) 155
Nevermore! Poesque Thanatophobia as ­Counter-Narrative (Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns and Emiliano Aguilar) 177
About the Contributors 191
Index 195