The Arc of Our Destruction: Reversal and Erasure in Cyberpunk

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Easterbrook, Neil. "The Arc of Our Destruction: Reversal and Erasure in Cyberpunk." SFS #58, 19.3 (Nov. 1992): 378-94.

In the debate on whether cyberpunk is radical and subversive or mostly conservative of "corporate culture," NE looks at the imagery and finds cyberpunk conservative. Concentrates on W. Gibson's Neuromancer and B. Sterling's The Artificial Kid. Excellent comments on cyberspace, the image of the wasps' nest, the opening line of Neuromancer, and the ethical implications of the cyberpunk handling of technology and life within what we would call a corporate apparat (see 382-83). Argues that there is "a neat reversal" in cyberpunk "of the natural/artificial opposition and an erasure implied by that reversal: advanced technology erases human morality. . . . Logos is replaced by logo, an affirmation of great corporate houses that ushers in the inconsequence of individual will"—which NE regrets (394; Abstract). Cf. and contrast R. Schmitt's "Mythology and Technology: The Novels of William Gibson" and J. G. Voller's "Neuromanticism: Cyberspace and the Sublime." (RDE, 21/03/93)