This is a continuation of the Science Fiction / Fantasy Genre Glossary Project posts. For the complete genre index click here.
What is Cyberpunk?
A subgenre of science fiction. Cyberpunk depicts dystopian near-future world’s and issues of high-tech are explored via the underbelly of society. Protagonists are plucked from the fringes of society: criminals, hackers, the displaced and poor. There is frequently an undercurrent of rebellion, of trying to preserve individualism in a world of corporate interests. Elements of noir and crime fiction are also featured.
Frequently explored themes:
- Impact of technology on society
- Access to information
- Artificial intelligence
- Corporate control of society
- Fusion of human and machine
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Blade Runner, Akira, The Terminator, Ghost in the Shell, The Matrix.
Some articles suggest that cyberpunk is a genre long past it’s peak. Was cyberpunk, like the new weird, a literary movement rather than a genre? Is cyberpunk dead?