The technophilic body: on technicity in William Gibson's cyborg culture

Summer 1989

Tomas looks at William Gibson’s cyberpunk novels and short stories in relation to the human body, technophilia and the cyborg. He argues that body modification quickly spills into techno-modification and technofetishism, and that in such works there is a model of technological kinship (‘technicity’) which displaces ethnicity in Gibson’s imagined highly creolised cultures and subcultures. There are repercussions for identity and memory - where exactly does memory inhere, in the meat of human flesh or in a computer chip? Tomas argues that while cyberpunk owes much to the history of Science Fiction, its proximity to real-world technological developments lends it an added importance as a genre, with a function of preparing its readers for potentially very real dilemmas and situations.

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