CFP: Beyond the Reality Studio: Cyberpunk and the New Millennium, eds. Graham J. Murphy and Sherryl Vint. Contributions are invited for a critical anthology focussing on the contemporary relevance of "cyberpunk" in the new millennium.
Cyberpunk was an immensely popular movement in science fiction (SF) and, as Bruce Sterling writes in Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, it was a "a product of the Eighties milieu" in its focus on multinational corporations, cybernetic and virtual technologies, posthuman cyborg embodiments, postmodernist tendencies, and punk fashion aesthetic. Cyberpunk generated attention from such diverse areas as SF fandom, popular media outlets, mainstream film and television, and academic scholarship, much of which is explored in a defining anthology that encapsulated the then-fledgling movement: Larry McCaffery's Storming the Reality Studio (1991).
Pronouncements as to cyberpunk's demise amidst cultural acceleration and economic commodification quickly followed its meteoric success. Yet, eulogies for cyberpunk may be premature. Like the avant-garde whose death, according to Paul Mann, need not be its "termination, but its most productive, voluble, self-conscious and lucrative stage," cyberpunk has continued to be both productive and voluble. Its post-Eighties authors - including Neal Stephenson, Melissa Scott, Laura J. Mixon, and, more recently, Richard K. Morgan, Lyda Morehouse, Jeff Noon, Justina Robson, and M. M. Buckner - have expanded the genre beyond its initial first-generation tropes while its motifs continue to find resonance in a variety of cultural contexts, notably in such media forms as movies and video games. However, a critical anthology that provides an academic overview of the more-recent manifestations of cyberpunk has been lacking.
Beyond the Reality Studio: Cyberpunk and the New Millennium seeks to redress this oversight by presenting a more expansive understanding of cyberpunk in its contemporary focus. The scope of the anthology is twofold. First, it will offer selected reprints of academic articles published post-Storming the Reality Studio that address the changes in cyberpunk scholarship in the last two decades. Second, contributions are being sought for new articles that provide post-millennial considerations of contemporary cyberpunk. Topics of investigation might include (but are not limited to): the current state of cyberpunk; American vs. British thematic tropes; representations in film; cyberpunk in gaming environments, including video and online; posthuman embodiment in post-millennial cyberpunk; cyberpunk and the graphic novel; new theoretical approaches to cyberpunk; and/or, race or queer studies of cyberpunk.
This volume seeks to highlight the mutation of cyberpunk by blending a sampling of recent academic scholarship with new critical approaches in an anthology that can be readily accessible to academics, scholars, teachers, and students alike. Finally, Beyond the Reality Studio has already generated significant interest from an academic publisher. One-page abstracts (Word, WordPerfect, or RTF) and brief bios are invited by April 15, 2006. Submissions and queries can be sent to Dr. Graham J. Murphy (GrahamMurphy AT trentu.ca) and/or Dr. Sherryl Vint (svint AT stfx.ca). Snail mail addresses will be provided upon request.
Now the question is, do I try and write something on Greg Egan or return to my old haunts and write more on William Gibson's Bridge trilogy?