Scifi Sunday: Cyberpunk

A sub-genre of science fiction, Cyberpunk is slowly entering mainstream media through movies and books. Cyberpunk is near-future setting where the majority of the world is controlled with computers or other cybernetic instruments.  The genre’s vision of a troubled future is often the opposite of a utopian world, with dark undertone of population control by a larger entity, either corporate or government. You’ve probably been exposed to cyber punk as both The Matrix and Blade Runner are considered to be Cyberpunk movies.

The word ‘Cyberpunk’ was coined in the early 80’s by Bruce Bethke in the title of his novel of the same name, and was combined to reflect the elements of his novel, which were both cybernetic and ‘punk’. Since then, Cyberpunk has developed its own sub-genre which have come to include Post-Cyberpunk, Decopunk, Clockpunk and the relevantly new one of Nanopunk.

Cyberpunk could be considered the future setting of the Steampunk world as both are technology-heavy where the darker part of science and technology is allowed to flourish. With the rise in popularity of Steampunk, it’s safe to bet that the popularity of Cyberpunk won’t be that far behind.

Scifi Sunday – Soft Science Fiction

There are many sub-genres of Science Fiction. Last time I talked about Hard Science Fiction and this time around, I want to discuss Soft Science Fiction.

Soft scifi is often considered stories that revolved around the characters and their lives; the social aspects instead of the technology. While the technology is important, it’s more of a backdrop for the story.  As with most character driven novels, they rely heavily on the reader’s connection to the characters, instead of how plausible the technology might be.

This genre came into being in the late 60’s and early 70’s, but there are no real set boundaries between the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’. In the early science fiction movies that I grew up with, many of them focused on the science for the plot, with the characters there to explain and fight, but over the years, character interaction became more of a focus than the actual science, but that could be changing. For instance, the Star Trek franchise is a mixture of both, with the technology sometimes playing a larger role than the story of the characters.

Personally, I prefer the softer side to both read and write, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to create new technology to help my characters achieve their goals.

What about you? How do you like your scifi? Soft or hard?

%d bloggers like this: