The Consumptive Significance of Images and Interface Values in Cyberpunk Cities

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.10.15

Keywords:

cyberpunk, the City, image, interface, novum, capsule

Abstract

Cyberpunk is one of the latest genres in the development of science fiction. The genre emerged during the 80s and 90s, and in it the characters are confronted by an abundance of images and interface values. As a result, these images and values have become key identifying motifs of this genre. Referring to the theoretical conceptualizations of Adam Roberts about novum, and Lieven De Cauter on capsules and capsulization, the present study argues that the reason for the abundance of images and interface values is due to their facilitation of the consumption of novelties in cyberpunk cities. Within a scientific and rational discourse, images and interface values combine familiar and unfamiliar concepts and package them both as convenient commodities to be consumed by the characters of cyberpunk fiction. One of the key outcomes of such a combination, the study argues, is that the characters of cyberpunk fiction rely on the consumption of images and interface values as a convenient means to handle the overwhelming presence of technological and cybernetic advancements in the represented cities. This outcome turns the need to see and consume the cyberpunk world through images and interface values into an ideological necessity—or what can also be called a defense mechanism—for the characters against the technological shock of cybernetic advancements; a necessity whose qualities will be discussed in the study, as well.

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Author Biographies

Hossein Mohseni, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran

Hossein Mohseni holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from Shahid Beheshti University, Iran, where he also completed his B.A. and M.A. in the same field. He worked on cyberpunk fiction in his PhD dissertation which is entitled “City Spaces in Cyberpunk Fiction.” “Formable Fluidity: The Key Consequence of Information Flow in Cyberpunk Fiction” and “The Eye/I of the Storm: The Hollowness of Identity and Knowledge of Posthuman Subjects in Cyberpunk Fiction” are two of his recent publications. Coauthored by Kian Soheil, the mentioned articles have respectively been published in American and British Studies Annual and Critical Language and Literary Studies. His interests include science fiction, literary theory and criticism, and modern drama.

Kian Soheil, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran

Kian Soheil is Assistant Professor of English Literature at the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Iran, where he has taught since the completion of his PhD at King’s College London, UK, in 1999. His interests include mythology, Victorian Literature, and drama.

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Published

2020-11-24

How to Cite

Mohseni, H., & Soheil, K. (2020). The Consumptive Significance of Images and Interface Values in Cyberpunk Cities. Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, (10), 236-256. https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.10.15