This week’s discussion topic is Cyberfunk and the subgenres Cypherfunk and Biofunk. The definitions of the three Categories of African American speculative science fiction is as follows
Cyberfunk - Like the genre from which it gains inspiration, Cyberpunk, Cyberfunk is a genre of Speculative Fiction centered on the transformative effects of advanced science, information technology, computers and networks (“cyber”) coupled with a breakdown or radical change in the social order. Unlike Cyberpunk, however, Cyberfunk is expressed through an Afrikan / Black lens (“funk”). Often possessing a dark, gritty and cynical tone, Cyberfunk includes elements of Film Noir, hard-boiled Detective Fiction and postmodern deconstruction.
Cypherfunk - is any African activist advocating widespread use of strong cryptography, the art of writing or solving codes as a route to social and political change. Cypherfunkateers communicate through some type of online electronic mailing list, informal groups aimed to achieve privacy and security through proactive use of cryptography. Cypherfunks as with their Cypherpunk counterparts, have been engaged in an active movement since the late 1980s.
Biofunk - is a subgenre of African American speculative science fiction that focuses on biotechnology. It is derived from cyberpunk/cyberfunk, but focuses on the implications A derivative of cyberfunk involving bio-hackers, mega-corporations, and oppressive government agencies that manipulate human DNA. Most often keeping with the dark atmosphere of cyberfunk, biofunk generally examines the dark side of genetic engineering and represents the low side of biotechnology. Common ideas of this sub-genre are biotechnologies in the context of the gap between the rich and poor, the value and nature of life and humanity, human enhancement, misusage of biotechnologies for social control and profit.
The Questions I pose to my creative writers and artists are:
1) Out of these three sci-fi genres defined above, which could bring forth greater creative expression, storytelling, timing, design and environment in your work?
2) Since the beginning of Black History Month we have discussed AFROFUTURISM, ROCOCA, STEAMFUNK, and DIESELFUNK. Which combination with CYBERFUNK (or any of its subgenres) would inspire creative motivation and why?
For me, I believe the BIOFUNK genre appeals to my creative energies best because it is the most diverse, subjective and timeless. Stories of cures for cancer, AIDS, mental illness and other more HUMAN issue can be addressed. I believe I could communicate the character’s anxiety of self, society and/or corporate misuse, through mood and relating it with the struggles african americans on both north and south continental scale. My second choice would be creating a CYPHERFUNK story. It would be a “challenge” but I am attracted to the idea of motivating social change through African centered GLYPHS, codes and the world wide web.
If I ever enter into a project involving a combination of genres, I believe my first choice would be a time traveling CYPHERFUNK/CYBERFUNK story. The characters would travel through time somehow to the STEAMFUNK era and for some unfortunate reason one of them would be trapped there for a minute. A bit “Octavia Butler” - ish, yes I know but I believe I could swing it to make it completely different yawn. Well, hopefully more than a yawn…. LOL.
Your thoughts, creative BSFS friendz, fanboiz and fangirlz, Afrikanist and Five per Centerz!