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Consuming YouthVampires, Cyborgs, and the Culture of Consumption$
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Robert Latham

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226468914

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226467023.001.0001

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Teenage Mutant Cyborg Vampires: Consumption as Prosthesis

Teenage Mutant Cyborg Vampires: Consumption as Prosthesis

(p.216) Six Teenage Mutant Cyborg Vampires: Consumption as Prosthesis
Consuming Youth

Rob Latham

University of Chicago Press

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

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