After publishing the feature “Cyberpunk’s Not Dead“, we received an email from a reader asking for reading cyberpunk book suggestions. We’re happy to oblige.
Science-fiction is a predictive genre, with a sometimes wary eye always cast toward the future and what it may bring, both good and bad. Cyberpunk is perhaps one of the most cynical of the bunch. Having risen in the eighties, cyberpunk’s message is more relevant than ever: Our technology is more than a tool, cyberpunk says, in time it will define us, control us, and enable the worst of our impulses.
One thing every reader should consider that as technology has changed, and with it, our definition of cyberpunk. Bitcoin cyberthefts, and the Arab Spring’s use of Twitter to organize and launch a rebellion are both pretty darn cyberpunk, for example. You just don’t notice it because all of this stuff is part of everyday reality.
Here’s a few books suggestions for the new cyberpunk reader, old and new. Some of them are canonical works. Others are cyberpunk-inspired or related, as they play with similar themes: technology’s effect on humanity and society, creeping corporate power, and techno-noir criminal schemes.