Original Research

Cyber against punk: Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels as metamorphosed cyberpunk

M. F. Blatchford
Literator | Vol 15, No 3 | a677 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v15i3.677 | © 1994 M. F. Blatchford | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 May 1994 | Published: 02 May 1994

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Abstract

Recent American science fiction (which commercially dominates world science fiction) incorporates two schools of thought, ‘cyberpunk' and ‘hard SF’. which may be read to embody, respectively, radical/liberal and patriotic/ conservative propaganda. This article, after attempting to define aspects of these schools, examines Queen of Angels by Greg Bear (who before producing that text had been a proponent of hard SF). This text is shown to have strong elements of cyberpunk (possibly, to judge by one critical review, appealing to a cyberpunk audience) but to have transformed and inverted the radical and liberal themes of cyberpunk into conservative themes. The text thus illuminates philosophical and technical differences between the schools. It is suggested that the imagery of cyberpunk, and perhaps that of science fiction in general, is liable to such reversals of ideological significance.

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