Author Sasha Mitchell compares how cyberpunk is defined by Stieg Larsson, by Hollywood, and by Google. Mitchell compares Lisbeth Salander to William Gibson’s heroines (arguing that she’s a combination of Gibson’s female and male protagonists), but saying the ultimate message of her archetype is “screw labels”. (“Does she really need to be sexualized to the extent … Hollywood illustrators would have her be?”)
In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth “spreads resistant messages despite powerful mechanisms of top-down control,” which is ultimately a more empowering message than what you get from searching “cyberpunk” on Google Images. (“Note, if you will, how many topless, pantsless, or pigtailed schoolgirls you see here.”) But even Gibson himself once argued the cutting-edge of cyberpunk is too unfamiliar to be defined.
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