Cyberpunk The Evolution of Science Fiction

Science fiction has been an important genre in movies, although the genre existed in dramas and books before the movie era, the movie era has given shape and weight to science fiction. Early science fiction movies were made of various dreams and visions. In the 1930s the superhero revolution started with the release of “Superman”, which changed the face of science fiction forever. More and more superheroes came into existence. The 1960s faced a huge dramatic shape shift in science fiction with the releases of two franchises “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and space fantasy or space fiction took over. Technology evolved with the movies and space fantasy is still dominating the movie world, James Cameron’s Avatar is a wonderful example of how creative this genre can go.

 At the end of the twentieth century, the world saw the evolution of computers and digitization of the world. This marvelous technology introduced a new genre into science fiction, which is technically called cyber-punk, and commonly known as robotic, future fiction and various other names. Cyberpunk is a postmodern science fiction genre noted for its focus on “high tech and low life.” It features advanced science, such as information technology and cybernetics, coupled with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order.

Cyberpunk plots often center on a conflict among hackers, artificial intelligences, and megacorporations, and tend to be set in a near-future Earth, rather than the far-future settings or galactic vistas found in novels such as Isaac Asimov’s Foundation or Frank Herbert’s Dune. The settings are usually post-industrial dystopias but tend to be marked by extraordinary cultural ferment and the use of technology in ways never anticipated by its creators (“the street finds its own uses for things”). Much of the genre’s atmosphere echoes film noir, and written works in the genre often use techniques from detective fiction. The most popular movie franchises of this genre is The Terminator series and The Matrix series.


“Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.” – Lawrence Person

Over the years cyber-punk has become a culture among technology lovers from being a mere genre. The growing skylines of big cities such as Tokyo,Shanghai,Dubai,Mumbai and Manila bridges the genre to reality. This genre was introduced into the Indian cinemas by Rajnikanth’s Robot which recieved an amazing response by the people.

Satish Kumar

I m a person dangling between the choices - To be or Not to be?!

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