Science Fiction: A Genre based on Imagined Future Scientific

Topics: William Gibson, Human, Science Pages: 6 (1893 words) Published: January 9, 2012
Science fiction is a genre that is based on “imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes” that can challenge and disrupt traditional perspectives of morality and behaviour. Each science fiction text explores but one of the numerous possibilities of the speculative and extrapolative ideas, with the author’s own views being placed throughout the text both intentionally and unintentionally. The genre concerns itself with the understanding of both past and present societies, with the futuristic visions being the outcome. These futuristic ideals are projections of our societies throughout time and space, given that science fiction also deals with varied contexts along the space time continuum, depending on which sub-genre the text belongs to within science fiction. The genre disperses into various types of science fiction including hard-core science fiction, social science fiction, and heroic science fiction, just to name a few. The sub-genre discussed throughout this critical reading is cyberpunk, “a genre of science fiction set in a lawless subculture of an oppressive society dominated by computer technology.” This sub-genre gives us a wide viewpoint as to the challenging of traditional perspectives, particularly in regards to morality and behavior. Numerous science fiction texts delve into the understandings of morality and behaviour, with the ideas within challenging traditional perspectives of the aforementioned aspects. Neuromancer, by William Gibson, is just one of these texts that explores technology – or in this case, the controlling, and parenting attributes of technology – through the embodiment and disembodiment of the main characters, Case and Molly. Stepping Razor in Orbit: Postmodern Identity and Political Alternatives in William Gibson’s Neuromancer by Benjamin Fair, as well as The Narrative Construction of Cyberspace: Reading Neuromancer, Reading Cyberspace Debates by Daniel Punday, are two articles that have supported the ideas of technology parenting the human race, the glorification of disembodiment, as well as the desire to become something more. The articles explore the experimentation with these ideas to extend on a person’s understanding of how science fiction challenges and disrupts traditional perspectives. Technology has driven the human race to the point that it has become a necessary part of our existence, influencing our morals and behaviour throughout every day life. Neuromancer demonstrates this, with the human body being a dystopia for Case. “A sense of disembodiment is the ideal” for the man driven to achieve his “homecoming that brings him back into contact with a network of human information,” the Matrix. Throughout Neuromancer we are shown the ways in which Case bases his identity on “an alienating system that the Matrix represents and enacts,” with his “distant fingers caressing the desk, tears of release streaking his face” when finally he is able to reintegrate with the systematic database he has been denied so long. The idea that we have become dependant on technology resonates through Gibson’s novel, with Case’s addiction to reconnecting with the Matrix driving the anti-hero to serve others while keeping his own motives in mind. Case has an urge, a need, to leave the body and connect solely with the Matrix, with this desire being positioned deep in self-loathing. This self-loathing passion for disembodiment fuels the idea of technology, and drives the anti-hero to demonstrate the ways in which technology has become a leading power within our lives, influencing our morals and behaviour, whilst challenging our traditional perspectives. Juxtaposing this fulfilling desire of disembodiment, however, we have a “reference to embodiment that affirms [physical identity] as the source of [Case’s] power.” Despite the original idea of the human body being a hindrance to the technologically advanced society, we eventually see “the prison of...
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