cyberpunk n. 1

a subgenre of science fiction typified by a bleak, high-tech setting in which a lawless subculture exists within an oppressive society dominated by computer technology

SF Encyclopedia


SF Criticism



  • [1983 B. Bethke in Amazing Stories Nov. 94 page image Bruce Bethke bibliography


  • 1984 G. Dozois Science Fiction in the Eighties in Washington Post Book World 30 Dec. 9/3 Gardner Dozois

    Surely the wild and woolly ‘outlaw fantasy’ Waldrop began producing in the '70s played some part in shaping the esthetics and literary style of the ‘cyberpunk’ movement.

  • 1986 B. Sterling Mirrorshades Pref. p. ix Bruce Sterling

    But of all the labels pasted on and peeled throughout the early Eighties, one has stuck: cyberpunk.

  • 1991 L. Niven, J. Pournelle, & M. Flynn Fallen Angels 89 Larry Niven Michael F. Flynn Jerry Pournelle bibliography

    It’s the ultimate synthesis between science fiction, cyberpunk, and horror.

  • 1991 Locus Sept. 5/2

    ‘This is well written, but—why does it have to be so weird, so pessimistic, philosophical, black?’ As Bruce Sterling was saying with cyberpunk, noir is the color.

  • 1992 B. Sterling Hacker Crackdown 146 Bruce Sterling

    Cyberpunk, as its label implies, had two general distinguishing features. First, its writers had a compelling interest in information technology, an interest akin to science fiction’s earlier fascination with space travel. And second, these writers were ‘punks’ with all the distinguishing features that that implies: Bohemian artiness, youth run wild, an air of deliberate rebellion, funny clothes and hair, odd politics, a fondness for abrasive rock and roll; in a word, trouble.

  • 1992 Science Fiction Age Nov. 70/2

    Many of us no longer conceive of…a world where computers and electronic networks and free exchange of information enhance our lives rather than creating the grisly world of cyberpunk.

  • 1992 SFRA Review July–Aug.–Sept. 46

    McCaffery’s Casebook does an admirable job of placing SF (generally) and cyberpunk (specifically) within the larger field of postmodernism, citing such precursors as Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein…and the ‘protopunk’ debut album, Andy Warhol Presents the Velvet Underground and Nico.

  • 2000 Interzone Feb. 52/1

    If cyberpunk has an enduring characteristic, it is not so much the fusing of information technology and Chandleresque noir, but the rejection of the monolithic futures of traditional science fiction in favour of fragmentation, plurality and a gleeful inversion of the accepted power-structures.

  • 2000 M. Swanwick User's Guide to Postmoderns in Moon Dogs 266 Michael Swanwick

    Following The Artificial Kid, a now-rare hardcover in which he broke through into (and possibly invented) cyberpunk, he emerged as the suddenly hot writer.

Research requirements

antedating 1984

Earliest cite

Gardner Dozois, in the Washington Post

Last modified 2020-12-20 18:37:51
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.