cyberspace n.

the notional environment within which electronic communication occurs, esp. when represented as the inside of a computer system; space perceived as such by an observer but generated by a computer system and having no real existence; a virtual reality environment

SF Encyclopedia


  • 1982 W. Gibson Burning Chrome in Omni July 72/2 page image William Gibson bibliography

    I knew every chip in Bobby’s simulator by heart; it looked like your workaday Ono-Sendai VII, the ‘Cyberspace Seven’, but I’d rebuilt it so many times that you’d have had a hard time finding a square millimetre of factory circuitry in all that silicon.

  • 1984 W. Gibson Neuromancer (1989) i.i.4 William Gibson

    A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly.

  • 1984 W. Gibson Neuromancer (1989) ii.iii.51 William Gibson

    Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts…A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.

  • 1991 G. Keizer Explorations in Omni Jan. 16/2 page image

    From telepresence (the ability to direct machinery from afar) to cyberspace (shared environments that enhance electronic communications), virtual reality jumps across traditional lines of technology.

  • 1992 B. Sterling Hacker Crackdown xii Bruce Sterling

    Since the 1960s, the world of the telephone has crossbred itself with computers and television, and though there is still no substance to cyberspace—nothing you can handle—it has a strange physicality now. It makes good sense today to talk of cyberspace as a place all its own.

  • 1992 B. Sterling Hacker Crackdown xi-xii Bruce Sterling

    Cyberspace is the ‘place’ where a telephone conversation appears to occur. Not inside your actual phone, the plastic device on your desk. Not inside the other person’s phone, in some other city. The place between the phones.

  • 1993 SFRA Review May 121

    Join the SFRA section in GEnie, where the SFRT…has a private category where SFRA category where SFRA members meet in ‘cyberspace’ to conduct business.

  • 1993 Locus June 56/2

    Most people spend more time in cyberspace than in real life.

  • 1993 Science Fiction Studies Nov. 451

    In a hypertext digressions of any length can be hidden in the cyberspace ‘behind’ any word or image on the screen.

  • 2003 C. Stross Nightfall in Asimov’s Science Fiction Apr. 13 page image Charles Stross bibliography

    Every false night—for there is no way to know how fast time is passing, outside this cyberspace pocket—Sadeq sits and thinks.

  • 2012 M. Atwood Arguing Against Ice Cream in In Other Worlds 136 page image Margaret Atwood bibliography

    Maybe we can be born again, this time out of an artificial head instead of a natural body, and download the contents of our brains into machines, and linger around in cyberspace, as in William Gibson’s novels. Though if you’ve read William Gibson, you’ll know the place is a queasy nightmare.

Research requirements

antedating 1982

Earliest cite

WIlliam Gibson

Last modified 2021-12-22 15:32:02
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.