Teenage Mutant Cyborg Vampires: Consumption as Prosthesis

Rob Latham

in Consuming Youth

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780226468914
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226467023 | DOI:
Teenage Mutant Cyborg Vampires: Consumption as Prosthesis

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This chapter examines the cyberpunk subcultures of the 1980s and 1990s, where bold figurations of youth-machine hybrids explicitly emerged. It describes the work of Richard Calder, whose Dead trilogy (1992–97) proposes a decadent retro-futuristic vision actually featuring teenage cyborg vampires. The ways that teen hacking has come to figure as a liberatory cultural practice are explained. Poppy Z. Brite's horror novel Drawing Blood and Iain Softley's film Hackers are then considered. These two texts illustrate how widely cyberpunk themes and iconography have been disseminated throughout contemporary popular culture. Calder's Dead trilogy chronicles the strange relationship between narrator Ignatz Zwakh and Primavera Bobinski. This trilogy and Cythera capture the dialectical logic in which every prosthetic empowerment of consumers both enmeshes them further in a predatory system and promises an amplification of their collective desire and will.

Keywords: cyborg vampires; Richard Calder; iconography; teen hacking; Poppy Z. Brite; Drawing Blood; Iain Softley; Hackers; cyberpunk; Cythera

Chapter.  19238 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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