"Hip, poetic, and posthuman. A form of late 20th century literature, film and art which reflected the altered perceptions of that time. The primary example of the field and its main referent is William Gibson's science fiction novel Neuromancer , published in 1984. (This book was to 'cyberpunk' what Jack Kerouac's On the Road was to 'beat'.) The word itself first appeared as the title of a short story by Bruce Bethke.

"Primarily, a special development in the field of science fiction writing, with a particular focus on the growing intrusiveness of the technological environment and the structural 'normalcy' of alterable personalities. Its continuing influence on literary, scholarly, technological, and social spheres has resulted in the stimulation of quite a few minds." --Henry W.Targowski (in Mark/Space , 1994).

"Literate SF that's easy to read, has a lot of information, and talks about the new thoughtforms that are coming out of the computer revolution." --Rudy Rucker (in "What Is Cyberpunk", October 1985).

"Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life is impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive technological changes to the human body." --Lawrence Person (in a personal e-mail, August 1997).

"Like punk music, cyberpunk is in some sense a return to roots. The cyberpunks are perhaps the first SF generation to grow up not only within the literary tradition of science fiction but in a truly science-fictional world. For them, the techniques of classical 'hard SF' -- extrapolation, technological literacy -- are not just literary tools but an aid to daily life. They are a means of understanding, and highly valued." --Bruce Sterling (in the Preface to Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology , 1986).

"The supreme literary expression if not of postmodernism, then of late capitalism itself." --Fredric Jameson (in Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism , 1991).

"This sub-genre of science fiction deals with a junked-up future of virtual realities, console cowboys and bodies held together with implants, bio-engineering and hard drugs." --Marianne Brace (in The Guardian , Wednesday 16 March 1994).

"Cyberpunk has opened a new area of space -- the space behind the monitor screen. It promises the imagination new game variations, it gives the feeling of omniscience, of being everywhere at once. It promises, above all, a new form of existence, loosed from the bonds of the physical body with all its biological limitation and its vulnerability. Here we have uncanny new territory and a bundle of fascinating effects which capture the imagination of all those who, sitting before a screen, suddenly become aware of the possibility of transcendence in the software." --Wolfgang Jeschke (in "Three Points of No Return -- Glimpses of the Future?", 25 August 1990).

"The inevitable collision of punk sensibility -- the unrest, the rebellion -- with desk-top computers." --Pat Cadigan.

"The cyberpunk is a person who takes navigational control of cybernetic/electronic equipment and uses it not for the army, or the government, or Lufthansa Airline, but for his or her own purpose." --Timothy Leary.

Glossary Index
Cyberpunk Index

Additional Links

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Glossary Index
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Of Related Interest

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