proto-cyberpunk adj.

of or relating to works that prefigure the themes of cyberpunk n. 1; cf. postcyberpunk adj.

SF Criticism


  • 1987 D. Fratz in Thrust (#26) Spring 26/2 (review of Bruce Sterling’s anthology Mirrorshades) page image Doug Fratz bibliography

    The only solo William Gibson story is merely proto-cyberpunk, his first published story, ‘The Gernsback Continuu’m.

  • 1988 B. Balfour Antihero in Spin Feb. 64/2

    He [sc. Alan Moore] wrote a series of stories of 2000 AD, the English comic magazine that featured the proto-cyberpunk Judge Dredd tales.

  • 1991 Extrapolation Fall 279

    The posthuman becomes, to use the title from Anthony Burgess’s 1963 protocyberpunk novel, a clockwork orange.

  • 1994 J. Kessel Books in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Apr. 24/1 page image John Kessel

    They include hard science stories like…Fred Pohl’s in-your-face assault ‘Day Million’, a proto-cyberpunk hymn to accelerating social and technological change.

  • 1995 P. Di Filippo On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Oct. 168/1 page image Paul Di Filippo

    In focusing on pantropy (a useful term coined by James Blish to designate the retrofitting of humanity to their environment) as opposed to the currently more popular terraforming, Pohl explored an overlooked Mars-colonizing approach that strikes one as still fresh. With its occasional references to hackers and jacking in, as well as its subtly foreshadowed climax involving spontaneous AI’s evolving out of ‘the net,’ this book is plainly a neglected proto-cyberpunk ancestor.

  • 2001 G. Dozois Interview in G. Dozois & M. Swanwick Being Gardner Dozois 23 Gardner Dozois

    So I worked in clones and people with no digestive tracts whose nourishment was beamed to them by broadcast matter, and various other things like that. Just to get a sense of far-future alienness, of how different these people were from us… I think what I was doing here…was groping towards a sort of proto-cyberpunk aesthetic.

  • 2019 T. Tatsumi The Future of Cyberpunk Criticism in Arts (Vol. 8, no. 1) Mar. 1 巽孝之

    The cyberpunk movement very naturally initiated me into the rise of cyborg feminism, as presaged by the proto-feminist and proto-cyberpunk writer James Tiptree, Jr in the 1970s

Research requirements

antedating 1987

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1991 cite from Lance Olsen's "The Shadow of Spirit in William Gibson's Matrix Trilogy", in Extrapolation. Jeff Prucher submitted a 2001 cite from Gardner Dozois in "Being Gardner Dozois". Mike Christie submitted a 1994 cite from John Kessel in F&SF. Irene Grumman submitted a 1995 cite from a review by Paul Di Filippo in Asimov's.

We would like cites of any date by other authors.

Last modified 2022-09-30 12:54:26
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.