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Tags: Bog Carlen Lavigne Science fiction

Efter at have læst Mirrorshade Women: Feminism and Cyberpunk at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century af Carlen Lavigne er der et par tanker, der melder sig, som jeg gerne vil dele med andre.

For det første, for at give lidt begreb om, hvad bogen handler om, en (ukomplet) liste over grundigt behandlede værker:

  • Lisa Mason’s Arachne (1990)
  • Marge Piercy’s He, She and It (1991)
  • Pat Cadigan’s Synners (1991)
  • Melissa Scott’s Trouble and Her Friends (1994)
  • Kathleen Ann Goonan's Queen City Jazz (1994)
  • Lisa Mason’s Cyberweb (1995)
  • Sage Walker’s Whiteout (1996)
  • Edith Forbes’s Exit to Reality (1997)
  • Laura J. Mixon’s Proxies (1998)
  • Lyda Morehouse’s Archangel Protocol (2001)

Og så lidt flere tanker. For det første: hvem er det der finder på at køre løs 20-30 sider uden så meget som en blank linje, hvor læseren kan trække vejret? For det andet, er det bare mig der finder formuleringer som disse pinligt kvindelige?

In this sense, my approach dovetails more with those of Karen Cadora and E.L. McCallum – Cadora, who in 1995 first defined “feminist cyberpunk” as the Movement’s successor, and McCallum, who compares Cadigan’s work to Neuromancer, Islands in the Net, and Snow Crash in the same breath (369). This is not to position myself contrarily to other frameworks of analysis; it is only to observe that the boundaries of cyberpunk are blurry at best, and there are multiple ways of viewing these materials.

These works concentrate more on language play and societal positionings than technologies or their effects – which is not to belittle their innovative concepts, but only to say that they do not have a great deal in common with cyberpunk.

To evaluate the genre as a whole, live or die, based on the single criteria of gender would indeed be fallacy, and my intent in doing so is certainly not to somehow approve or deride cyberpunk in total; however, that does not mean that gender is not an important angle from which to view this material.

While it may seem trite or indeed self-evident to argue that women authors are distinguished by being more likely to write women protagonists, it is at least worth acknowledging that such is the case.

While a case may be made for the same idea of community in other works of the time, such as Islands in the Net, I am not trying to make the argument that only women write about community or embodiment or a hopeful environmental future – rather, I would acknowledge that each author, whether male or female, is distinct, and that I am only analyzing general trends.

This is not to assert that he somehow tried and failed to write “traditional” cyberpunk; it is only to observe that ecological themes seem to have called for a different paradigm

This is not a function of an overwhelming relation between family issues and queer rights, though strong links certainly exist. Rather, it is a result of the way these two issues mesh so particularly within women’s cyberpunk and cyberfiction.

Judith Butler has bemoaned the appropriation of drag as an overly simplified example to explain her notions of gender performativity (19), so it is with apologies that I nudge the argument a step farther in noting that online gender performance constitutes a sort of virtual drag – one acknowledged in novels such as He, She and It (1991), where Malkah admits to maintaining an online flirtation as a man (74), or Trouble and Her Friends (1995), where Cerise finds that the “woman” she had sex with on the nets is a man in real life (283).

Skabt: 15. oktober, 2010 - Sidst ændret: 15. oktober, 2010 - Kommentarer (0)