One of the most striking features of Fawcett and Sirkis’s cyberpunk narratives is their emphasis on race. On a superficial reading, the role of race in the novels would seem to be another repetition of a central trope from the US cyberpunk novels. As a number of critics have pointed out, racial distinctions play an important part in Gibson’s fiction. In her analysis of racial politics in the representation of cyberspace in US mass culture, Lisa Nakamura argues that cyberpunk fiction works to reaffirm “nostalgic and familiar” identity positions, including racial identities, at a time when these identities are being “reconfigured and re-envisioned.”1 Nakamura argues that although the increasing technological mediation of everyday communication seems to render identity more “fluid,” undermining the solidity of racial and gender stereotypes by making them seem contingent and manipulable, these stereotypes are more often than not reproduced and reaffirmed in the digital world. “Cybertypes” is the term she uses for the reaffirmation of racial and gender stereotypes as a way of “stabilizing a sense of the white self and identity that is threatened by the radical fluidity and disconnect between mind and body” that was celebrated by so much early cyberculture.2 We see this process of “shoring up nostalgic and familiar” identity positions most clearly in Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy in which Rastafarian communities (Neuromancer) and voodoo practitioners (Count Zero) represent a resistant force of essentialized embodiment against the disembodying forces of cyberspace.


Gender Stereotype Science Fiction Racial Category Visual Mode Cultural Logic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lisa Nakamura, Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet (London and New York: Routledge, 2002), 62.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    Quoted in Juan Ignacio Muñoz Zapata, “La fin du monde et ses échecs dans le cyberpunk latino-am é ricain: le cas Santa Clara Poltergeist,” Post-Scriptum.ORG 12 (2010), 1.Google Scholar
  3. 15.
    Žižek, “Multiculturalism, or, the Cultural Logic of Multinational Capitalism,” New Left Review 1:225 (1997), 37.Google Scholar
  4. 16.
    Bernd Reiter and Gladys L. Mitchell, “The New Politics of Race in Brazil,” in Brazil’s New Racial Politics (London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010), 4.Google Scholar
  5. 18.
    Dênis de Moraes, “Comunicação virtual e cidadania: Movimentos sociais e políticos na Internet,” [accessed July 27, 2011].Google Scholar
  6. 19.
    Hal Foster, The Return of the Real: Avant-garde at the End of the Century (London: The MIT Press, 1996), 222.Google Scholar
  7. 21.
    Claudia Springer, “The Pleasure of the Interface,” in Cybersexualities: A Reader on Feminist Theory, Cyborgs and Cyberspace ed. Jenny Wolmark (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999), 49.Google Scholar
  8. 23.
    David Brookshaw, Race and Colour in Brazilian Literature (London: The Scarecrow Press, 1986), 92.Google Scholar
  9. 24.
    Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830–1914 (New York: Cornell University Press, 1990), 43.Google Scholar
  10. 25.
    Andrew Smith, “Beyond Colonialism: Death and the Body in H. Rider Haggard,” in Empire and the Gothic: The Politics of Genre ed. Andrew Smith and William Hughes (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 103.Google Scholar
  11. 28.
    Antônio Callado, Esqueleto na Lagoa Verde (Rio de Janeiro: Paze Terra, 1977), 112.Google Scholar
  12. 33.
    Ivana Bentes, Corpos virtuais: Arte e tecnologia (Rio de Janeiro: Centro Cultural Telemar, 2005), 5.Google Scholar
  13. 36.
    Roberto Schwarz, Misplaced Ideas: Essays on Brazilian Culture trans. John Gledson (London and New York: Verso, 1992)Google Scholar
  14. 37.
    Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, The Spectacle of the Races: Scientists, Institutions, and the Race Question in Brazil 1870–1930 trans. Leland Guyer (New York: Hill and Wang, 1993), 15.Google Scholar
  15. 38.
    Thomas E. Skidmore, Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974), 39.Google Scholar
  16. 39.
    Liv Sovik, “We Are Family: Whiteness in Brazilian Media,” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 13:3 (2004), 315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 40.
    Amelia S. Simpson, Xuxa: The Mega-Marketing of Gender, Race and Modernity (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1993), 6.Google Scholar
  18. 43.
    Karl Marx, Capital (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999 [1867]), 43.Google Scholar
  19. 44.
    Žižek, The Plague of Fantasies (London: Verso, 2008), 131.Google Scholar
  20. 48.
    Martin Jay, “Scopic Regimes of Modernity,” in Vision and Visuality ed. Hal Foster (Seattle, WA: Bay Press, 1988), 10.Google Scholar
  21. 51.
    Serge Gruzinski, Images at War: Mexico from Colombus to Blade Runner (1492–2019) trans. Heather MacLean (Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2001), 225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 52.
    Denilson Lopes, Nós os mortos: Melancholia e neo-barroco (Rio de Janeiro: Sette Letras, 1999), 7.Google Scholar
  23. 54.
    Judith Roof, “Display Cases,” in Victorian Afterlife: Postmodern Culture Rewrites the Nineteenth Century ed. John Kucich and Dianne F. Sadoff (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 116.Google Scholar
  24. 57.
    Susan Antebi, Carnal Inscriptions: Spanish American Narratives of Corporeal Difference and Disability (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 60.
    Randal Johnson, Black Brazil: Culture, Identity and Social Mobilization (Los Angele, CA: UCLA Latin American Centre, 1999), 263.Google Scholar
  26. 61.
    Madhu Dubey, Signs and Cities: Black Literary Postmodernism (Chicago, IL, and London: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 63.
    Esther Gabara, Errant Modernism: The Ethos of Photography in Mexico and Brazil (Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2008), 110.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Edward King 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward King

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations