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© 1996-2008
æthereal FORGE ™

The MUD Slide

Iconoclast -- Glossary

i*con*o*clast, i*kon'o*klast, n, [Gr. eikon and klastes, a breaker, < klao, to break.] One who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions; one who destroys or opposes the veneration of religious images or icons.

Iconoclast is a fusion of Gothic and Cyberpunk elements.


1. A style of architecture
2. Uncivilized
3. Literature or movies featuring dark, shadowy characters and plots filled with darkness and mystery. Think Dracula and Frankenstein and such.
4. Nickname for a GOTH, properly called a "Genetically Optimized Thoroughbred Humanoid"

Cyberpunk is a fusion of high tech and lowlifes. Cyberpunk usually involves 4 factors: bleeding edge cybernetic technology, an oppressive government or corporate "system," an overdose of style, and enough attitude to kill a cow at 50 paces. Cyberpunk can refer to, among other things:

1: a science fiction genre
2: the writers of that genre
3: anyone who mixes high tech with a punk attitude
4: an album by Billy Idol (it's not that bad)

The following list of cyberpunk works is by no means complete or in any way authoritative. In cases where there might be confusion, we have indicated the medium of the movie or story, but in most cases we have not. Suffer. Look on the web. For more information than you'll ever need on the subject, visit www.cyberpunkproject.org/idb/index_txt.html

Stage 1 (1981-1991)
Key writer - William Gibson - (6)
Key actor - Arnold Schwarzenegger - (5)
Key theme - Cyborgs - (11)
Key anime - Akira
Key year - 1984

Cyberpunk as a literary genre hit its peak in the mid-to-late 1980s, and was declared "dead" by the time Time magazine published a cover story on the movement in 1993. Since the Internet itself only really became popular in 1993-1994, this first main glut of cyberpunk fiction was really just that - fiction. Authors writing during this period were no doubt heavily influenced by the punk movement, which saw its peak in the early 80s with bands like The Ramones, The Clash and The Sex Pistols and then quickly died out.

1981 Johnny Mnemonic (short story), Escape From New York
1982 Blade Runner, Tron
1983 Videodrome
1984 Neuromancer, Terminator
1985 Max Headroom, Subway, Brazil
1986 Burning Chrome, Hardwired, Count Zero, Mirrorshades, Aliens, Highlander
1987 Robocop, Akira, Bubble Gum Crisis, Predator, The Running Man (film)
1988 Mona Lisa Overdrive
1989 Tetsuo:The Iron Man, Cyborg (film)
1990 Hardware, Total Recall, Edward Scissorhands, La Femme Nikita (film)
1991 Storming the Reality Studio, Synners, Terminator 2, Highlander 2

Stage 2 (1992-2000)
Key writer - Neal Stephenson - (3)
Key actor - Keanu Reeves - (2)
Key theme - Cyberspace - (11)
Key anime - Ghost in the Shell
Key year - 1995

Novels published during this period were able to push things in a new direction, as they now had a whole decade's worth of material to influence them. This second stage of cyberpunk fiction was well aware of what it was (witness Gibson's cameo in Wild Palms). People were convinced cyberpunk had died, a theory fueled by Time Magazine's "Cyberpunk" cover story, Billy Idol's Cyberpunk album and articles like Arthur & Marilouise Kroker's "Johnny Mnemonic: The Day Cyberpunk Died," published after the release of that film. Authors writing during this period were probably influenced by edgy music released in the previous period, which includes industrial artists like Ministry, nine inch nails, Front 242, Die Warzau and others (although Stephenson has admitted that he was influenced by the Seattle sound of bands like Soundgarden as well).

1992 Snow Crash, Lawnmower Man, Freejack, Universal Soldier, Alien 3,
Agrippa: A Book of the Dead, Sneakers
1993 Virtual Light, Nemesis, Wild Palms, X-Files pilot, Crashcourse
1994 The Hacker and the Ants, Clipjoint, Leon (The Professional), The Crow
1995 The Diamond Age, The Net, Hackers, VR 5, Johnny Mnemonic, Psykosis,
12 Monkeys, City of Lost Children, Ghost in the Shell
1996 Idoru, Iconoclast (MUD), Eraser, T2 3-D, Escape From LA
1997 The Fifth Element, Alien Ressurection, The Crow 2, Nirvana
1998 Gibson/Maddox X-Files episode "Kill Switch," Soldier, Dark City
1999 The Matrix, Cryptonomicon
2000 The Sixth Day, Dark Angel
2001 Terminator 3, Total Recall 2, The Crow 3

The word "cyberpunk" was officially added to the American Heritage College Dictionary, 3rd edition, in 1993. Whatever that means.

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