Cyberpunk is a curious beast – it feels just as virtual as cyberspace itself, and yet it’s based in shocking reality. There’s an art to it all; with all the dingy alleyways, cyborg fashions and towering industrial complexes we see in comics, films and games, cyberpunk feels more fantastical than it wants us to believe. Of course, it is a theme within science fiction – just like space opera, steampunk and raygun gothic adventures – but it’s always felt so much more real, and dare I say, achievable than the others.
I’m not really qualified to talk about how cyberpunk works through exposing realistic human conditions, and I would be stating the obvious when citing its ‘near future’ setting, rather than the distance of a re-imagined past or alien world. That’s all a given. Instead I wonder, how is it that cyberpunk manages to look and feel like it’s only one turn away down a street corner?