Selections from cyberpunk

A very brief primer on science-fiction’s enduring subgenre.

Laeta Kalogridis recently updated STYD on the adaptation of Ghost In The Shell that she’s working on, and there’s been news that the live-action Neon Genesis Evangelion will in fact be going ahead after all. With that in mind, we’ve prepared a brief primer on cyberpunk – the offshoot of science-fiction that seems to be the most prescient to date.

neuromancerNeuromancer
William Gibson

The novel most closely associated with cyberpunk, and widely credited with igniting the subgenre during the Eighties. William Gibson’s name is now inextricably linked with the literary movement.

bladerunnerBlade Runner
Ridley Scott

Cited as arguably the most complete vision of cyberpunk on screen. Its visuals have gone on to inspire countless other films and some major blockbusters, including the cyberpunk-influenced hit, The Matrix.

stars_my_destination_masterworksThe Stars My Destination
Alfred Bester

Cyberpunk owes a great debt to Alfred Bester for his novels The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination. The latter in particular is more or less an archetypal novel of the subgenre, decades before Neuromancer.

lain012Serial Experiments Lain
Ryutaro Nakamura

This surreal and bizarre anime series borrowed heavily from cyberpunk in its approach, and has been relentlessly studied in academic as well as science-fiction circles since its release in 1998.

do-androids-dream-of-electric-sheep1Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
Philip K Dick

Electric Sheep was the novella upon which Blade Runner was based, but Dick’s writing generally is seen as an important foundation for the cyberpunk subgenre, dealing with many of the themes and ideas seen as integral today.