Biopunk

Authored by: Lars Schmeink

The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815351931
eBook ISBN: 9781351139885
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351139885-10

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Abstract

This chapter argues that biopunk developed out of cyberpunk, using biotechnology instead of information technology as its scientific paradigm, but it too developed beyond strict genre confines and evolved into a cultural formation that expresses aspects of genetics and biotechnology as part of posthuman discourses, and its impact with the Anthropocene. Not limited to print fiction, biopunk can nowadays also be found in film, television, comics, and video games—all of which this chapter addresses. Moreover, the original theme of genetics in biopunk has inspired cultural practices in the form of do-it-yourself biology and corresponding activism against, for example, the patenting of genes by big pharma, or activism for freedom of expression in one’s genome. In sum, this chapter argues that biopunk is a central example of how science-fictional discourse has come to impact day-to-day political and social interactions.

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