Being computer geeks, many of us tend to focus a lot on the “cyber” part of cyberpunk. Yet, there is that “punk” part, arguably the root of the word. What does it really mean in the context of the genre?
Punk was originally a genre of music that came about in 1970s. It was a progression of previous rock-n-roll music that came before, but it was also a challenge. Punk rockers felt the music of the 70s had become tame and boring and the label “rock-n-roll” had been appropriated by record executives to apply to a wide range of acts. Some fans were worried that the music was losing it’s authenticity, so the punk rockers came on the scene to take back the sound. They rebelled against staid musicians and a boring society to introduce a sound that was so loud and powerful it couldn’t easily be ignored. As with all good rebellions, the young people got interested and followed with enthusiasm.
This is the “punk” that helped form “cyberpunk” of the 1980s. Let’s take a closer look at other aspects that influenced the genre, even today.