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Why the two seperate forums?

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  • Why the two seperate forums?

    Surely Cyberpunk IS Science-Fiction. Or rather an element of it.
    19
    Yes
    57.89%
    11
    No
    42.11%
    8

  • #2
    Good point. Short answer is we were asked to create the four forums - but no reason I guess why CP can't be a sub-forum in SF. What do people think?
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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    • #3
      To be honest, I rather wondered the same. Can't imagine that it would get more traffic, if it was in the SF forum, though.

      And, (seeing as I've just finished 'The Difference Engine') would 'Steampunk' be a sub-forum in the new sub-forum?
      You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

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      • #4
        You could make the same argument about Fantasy and S&S.

        Cyberpunk isn't just science fiction: It encompasses things outside literature such as art, fashion, and (arguably) critical theory. Of course whether people want to discuss any of that here is another matter...

        Not sure how much mileage there would be in a Steampunk forum: We'd all just agree that Mike did it first and best with the Bastable books, and then there would be nothing left to say

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        • #5
          johneffay, even Mike is a huge China Mieville fan, so that would be a debatable point to say the least (I'm also a big proponent of Gibson and Sterling's Difference Engine for "pure" Steampunk).

          Of course you run into some overlap between the various genres and sub-genres pretty quickly. Mieville mixes the fantasy side of Steampunk with the SF side pretty seemlessly.

          I do however agree that Cyberpunk is a direct subgenre of science fiction. Though arguably Gibson deconstructed that by writing Pattern Recognition and setting it in the present. The fashion, art, and so on of Cyberpunk is all descendent from SF nonetheless.
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          • #6
            I've added a poll to this thread - please vote now.
            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dead-Air
              johneffay, even Mike is a huge China Mieville fan, so that would be a debatable point to say the least
              Not the fact that Mike did it first. Mieville was not even born when The Warlord of the Air was first published.

              Originally posted by Dead-Air
              I do however agree that Cyberpunk is a direct subgenre of science fiction. Though arguably Gibson deconstructed that by writing Pattern Recognition and setting it in the present. The fashion, art, and so on of Cyberpunk is all descendent from SF nonetheless.
              And SF is descendent from earlier forms of literature; that proves nothing. The question is whether cyberpunk can still be contained within the genre. I'm not convinced that it can.

              After all, whilst early cyberpunk may have SF themes, the actual style of writing of novels such as Neuromancer arguably owes as much to hard boiled detective fiction...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by johneffay
                Not the fact that Mike did it first. Mieville was not even born when The Warlord of the Air was first published
                Yes, but you said, "first and best", and that which is first is not always best. Don't get me wrong, I love the Bastable books, but I'm not even sure if they qualify as "Steampunk" or not as they are more about Multiversal alternate realities/timestreams. My only point was that your "slamdunk" approach that Mike did it "first and best" seemed to imply that people shouldn't read several incredibly good works by other authors, which would be a shame. If I misinterpreted what you were saying, then lets just drop it.


                Originally posted by johneffay
                And SF is descendent from earlier forms of literature; that proves nothing. The question is whether cyberpunk can still be contained within the genre. I'm not convinced that it can.

                After all, whilst early cyberpunk may have SF themes, the actual style of writing of novels such as Neuromancer arguably owes as much to hard boiled detective fiction...
                Cyberpunk is not merely "descendent" from SF, it follows all of the rules of the genre pretty much all of the time. With the possible exception of Pattern Recognition, which Gibson probably wouldn't call Cyberpunk himself, CP is always set in the future, and deals primarily with the human interaction with technology. That's what science fiction has always done, which isn't to say that CP authors might not add some new twist - one would hope they do or they wouldn't be worth reading.

                As for the the "style" being influenced by hard boiled detective fiction, that has always been something that was mixed into SF by all manner of authors, long before Neuromancer. Asimov's Caves of Steel and Naked Sun were actual detective stories written in the '50s. David Brin has been quoted as saying that a writer should always make their first book a detective story (which his, Sundiver, in fact was.) Of the hard-boiled style we of course have the Stainless Steel Rat, and Mike McQuay's Mathew Swain.

                What CP brings new to SF is the type of tech - virtual reality being the big one, but that hardly creates a new genre, as SF has long embraced new technology and examined the way it changes our humanity. That's what the genre does!
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dead-Air
                  Yes, but you said, "first and best", and that which is first is not always best. Don't get me wrong, I love the Bastable books, but I'm not even sure if they qualify as "Steampunk" or not as they are more about Multiversal alternate realities/timestreams. My only point was that your "slamdunk" approach that Mike did it "first and best" seemed to imply that people shouldn't read several incredibly good works by other authors, which would be a shame. If I misinterpreted what you were saying, then lets just drop it.
                  I'm sticking by the 'first', but all I meant by 'best' was that as we are on an MM forum, we're all MM fanboys. I like steampunk and would hate to think I was putting people off reading anything whatsoever!

                  I'm definitely interested in responding to your other points (even as I was typing the hardboiled bit, I thought 'I bet he brings up Asimov'), but do not have the time right now. I hope to get back to it tomorrow.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Fair enough, however, the Asimov while obvious in terms of SF history is undoubtedly less significant in CP evolution than either the Stainless Steel Rat or Mathew Swain (who is Raymond Chandler in the 21st Century all the way!)
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dead-Air
                      Cyberpunk is not merely "descendent" from SF, it follows all of the rules of the genre pretty much all of the time.
                      Only if you limit the genre to fiction. My point is that cyberpunk is more than that. Theorists such as the Krokers and their contributors at CTheory or artists such as Stelarc are taking this stuff and acting it out in the here and now. So cyberpunk is not 'always set in the future' and transcends it's SF heritage by becoming more than a literary genre.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Interesting points...

                        I agree that cyberpunk has moved beyond literature, particularly with respect to some academic work. I would also argue that it has as much in common with nonfiction writing in technology as it does with science fiction (if not more so--read some of Bruce Sterling's nonfiction. It reads just like his fiction.) And Gibson certainly read some detective novels...

                        Steampunk is certainly different. I might add that Mieville owes a far greater debt to M. John Harrison than to Mike's work (although Mike Harrison is very clearly influenced by MM).

                        On the topic Mike's pioneering steampunk work, I would argue that the Warlord of the Air (and the rest of the Bastable books) are far more about politics than either establishing a genre or device or developing the multiverse.

                        Hope this conversation continues...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by johneffay
                          Only if you limit the genre to fiction. My point is that cyberpunk is more than that. Theorists such as the Krokers and their contributors at CTheory or artists such as Stelarc are taking this stuff and acting it out in the here and now. So cyberpunk is not 'always set in the future' and transcends it's SF heritage by becoming more than a literary genre.
                          O.k., I can buy all that, but I believe we are talking about the literary genres here. The category is after all in "Genre Discussion" here. Now that might also include movies and other media as well as literature (so if anybody wants to talk about Billy Idol's 1995 album called Cyberpunk, I suppose they can... )

                          Perhaps then Cyberpunk needs to be moved to a different section instead? Or are all of those tech aspects already covered in the tech sections? It seems here that so far everybody has just posted about books for the most part - and that follows in the Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Sword & Sorcery sections. Of course there is quite a bit of fashion, theory, and lifestyle stuff that could be connected to Fantasy as well if anybody were up for it.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dead-Air
                            O.k., I can buy all that, but I believe we are talking about the literary genres here. The category is after all in "Genre Discussion" here. Now that might also include movies and other media as well as literature (so if anybody wants to talk about Billy Idol's 1995 album called Cyberpunk, I suppose they can... )
                            I queried this myself a while back, and debated whether the entire 'Genre Discussions' forum shouldn't just be a sub-forum in the "Books" forum in the Media Catagory. As it happens, our intention with these forums is that they *not* just be for literary discussions but for discussions about the genres themself regardless of medium. In a site whose primary focus is the work of one author, it's not surprising that most discussions here will be of a literary mode, but that shouldn't be assumed to be a 'given' on anyone's part.

                            The problem - and this may explain why traffic to these forums is particularly light - is if you're going to start a thread on The Matrix films, are you going to do it in the 'Movies' forum or in the 'Cyberpunk' one? Likewise, if you want to discuss REH's Conan stories is 'Books' or 'Sword & Sorcery' your forum of choice?

                            It's possible that the precise reasons why these Genre forums exist hasn't been properly thought out. It is of course down to the members of the site to utilise them as they think best. If they're not actually needed, there's no reason why they have to remain.
                            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dead-Air
                              Of course there is quite a bit of fashion, theory, and lifestyle stuff that could be connected to Fantasy as well if anybody were up for it.
                              As I said earlier about cyberpunk, it's a question as to whether people are up for discussing such stuff. It is surely not a good sign when the only active thread on a forum is one discussing whether it should be downgraded...

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