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A List of Cyberpunk Science Fiction Books to Read in 2016.

Updated on March 19, 2016

The best cyberpunk science fiction books and novels

I started to write down a list of the best cyberpunk books because to me cyberpunk is a scifi genre that comes closest to reality. It gives you a mirror to look at your own society and how it can develope.

Cyberpunk is set in the not so far future with a believable description of social and political possibilities.

Cyberpunk centers it's plots often around hackers and the internet, the information age and nano technology. The world of cyberpunk is quit believable because it is closely connected with the world of today. It is not a science fiction genre with aliens or time travel. The cyberpunk literature shows us more a near future world. A world only 50 or 100 years from now. 50 years may not seem much, but remember in 1960 there was no internet, no mobile phones, hardly a computer. Just in a generation time, the world can chance into something completely different.

As our world chances into a market with a global economy, more and more the it is dominated by a vew companies. In the cyberpunk novels you will often find a dystopia described where only a few mega corporations rule the world and where information is money. Sounds familiar !!!

Some of the top hard core cyberpunk sci fi writers are William Gibson, Bruce Sterling and Philip K. Dick.

The film Blade Runner made in 1982 is a classic example of a cyberpunk Sci-Fi motive. It was based upon a cyberpunk book of Philip K. Dick called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Cyberpunk is closely related to Steampunk and Alternate History sci-fiand often the sci-fi genres are swapping themes. and is it difficult to categorize a book. But this is only theoretical. The only thing that is important is to enjoy the book.

To me the best cyberpunk books are :

Virtual Light a classic by William Gibson.

Snow Crash another classic by Neal Stephenson

Spares a shocking page turner that makes you think by Michael Marshall Smith

The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer Another great read by Neal Stephenson

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The inspiration for the movie blade Runner by Phillip K. Dick

Heavy Weather Climate Change as a subject for a Cyberpunk novel by one of the founding fathers of the cyberpunk genre Bruce Sterling

Cyberpunk sci-fi books

Hard core science fiction

The cyberpunk sci-fi books listed below are dazzeling good and some of them I've read more then once. Others are still on my wish list. Since cyberpunk started in the 80's it evolved and transformed science fiction literature. The English writers like Iain M Banks and Peter F Hamilton do have there roots in the cyberpunk genre of Gibson, Sterling and Philip K Dick.

The science fiction genre changed our perception of the world. How we use the internet, what hackers are capable of and how secure our privacy is. Questions that were asked in the early days of cyberpunk sci-fi.

Neuromancer - William Gibson
Neuromancer - William Gibson

Neuromancer a classic under the cyberpunk scifi novels

Neuromancer - 80s sci fi cyberpunk

William Gibson and his cyberpunks / cyberspace

In the early 80's, cyberpunk was used as a label to describe a new fresh form of science fiction. Before the hard edge cyberpunk sci-fi, science fiction was about utopias, dreamy worlds, ufo's and space colonies in a future far away.

5 writers in particular though changed the traditional sci-fi. They started to write about a nearby future where technologies changed the social environment. They where more visionaries and set there stories in a world not completely alien to the present day world.

William Gibson started the cyberpunk genre and had a big impact on the movement with his novel Neuromancer. Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley and Lewis Shiner helped to bring the sci-fi genre to the public.

A new science fiction genre started with nano tech and cyberspace.

Eighties cyberpunk can then be categorized by three basic elements found in Neuromancer,

The first is the novel/book is placed in a ruined society, the global environment is changed by a nuclear war or climate change.

The second characteristic shows us the close bond between humans and technology. Neurological connections in the brain are adopted to nanotechnology.

The third theme in cyberpunk sci-fi literature is the impact huge corporations have in the society and how information is a commodity that can be sold or bought,

Remember that the book Neuromancer from Gibson was written in the early eighties. Internet was only in it's cradle. The word cyberspace, now wildly used was first coined by William Gibson. And the cyberpunk sci-fi, just like many good sci-fi was an extreme forerunner of times to come.

Blader Runner - Best Sci-Fi Movie
Blader Runner - Best Sci-Fi Movie

The cyberpunk book that inspired the best sci-fi movie ever : Blade Runner

Philip K. Dick's top cyberpunk novel : Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep ?

Blade Runner is a top notch cyberpunk sci-fi film directed by Ridley Scott. It was one of the first cyberpunk films made and has become the symbol of the cyberpunk movie genre.

The film is based on the cyberpunk book of Philip K. Dick. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The film Blade Runner is not a traditional movie in the sense that it has a social theme and tells us about the value of life and the importance of making most out of it. One of the other themes of this sci-fi classic is woven around the question : what is more valuable - humans without emotions or machines with emotions ?

Synopsis

In the year 2019 (not so far away anymore, but the movie was made in 1982...) Los Angelos is a city full of chaos and debris. There are some replicants on the loose, artificially created humans for hard labor in the colonies.

Rick Deckeard is a Blade Runner, a bounty hunter, a policeman of the future who hunts down and terminates escaped replicants. Replicants were declared illegal after a bloody mutiny on an Off-World Colony, and are to be terminated upon detection. Man's obsession with creating a being equal to himself has back-fired.

This film questions what it is to be human, and why life is so precious. A classic under the cyberpunk sci-fi films.

A must read for cyberpunk science fiction fans. - Ever wondered which book inspired the movie Bladerunner ?

Bladerunner, one of the best science fiction movies ever was based on a novel created by Philip K. Dick. An extremely creative writer who wrote science fiction novels which are not easy to label.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: The inspiration for the films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: The inspiration for the films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049

The novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep may not be so famous but it had a huge impact via it's movie Bladerunner. The classic sci-fi film Bladerunner changed the Science Fiction genre in the media.

 

The latest cyberpunk novel by Neal Stephanson - A great new cyberpunk novel.

Neal Stephanson exploded his career as a writer with the cyberpunk bestseller Snowcrash. But he wrote more, much more. Cryptonomicon and The Diamond Age secured his name as a cyberpunk author for good. Now, after his Baroque Cicle he wrote another page turner. It is a great techno thriller and a 1000 pages thick!! but worth every page. You won't sleep until you've read it all.

In the world of Ribofunk, biology is a cutting-edge science. It's cyberpunk but in a setting where cellulair bioligy rules the world. If you love William Gibson, You've got to read this one. It's a book with 13 collected short cyberpunk stories. Or should I say Ribofunk, the term Ribofunk is a combination of Ribosome and cyberpunk. Although the world funk gives it a more sexy and funky swing.

It's a good summer read. And makes you think.

science fiction or fantasy ? - Cyberpunks or Dwarfs ?

The Matrix cyberpunk sci-fi
The Matrix cyberpunk sci-fi

Are you more a science fiction fan or a fantasy fan ?

See results

Pandora's Star - by Peter F. Hamilton

An amazing and stunning tale of the perfect future threatened...

A book of epic proportions not unlike frank Herbert's Dune...

A complex story with a large cast of characters, each with his own story. It brings depth and variety to this grand hard edge sci-fi book.

Pandora's Star (The Commonwealth Saga)
Pandora's Star (The Commonwealth Saga)

Pandora's Star is an amazing book from one of the most thrilling Science Fiction writers today. Peter F Hamilton writes fluidly and has the capability to intertwine plots to a galactic scale. Pandora's Star is the first book set in a great universe, Judas Unchanged is the second and last one. So starting the series won't let you drift into a never ending story like many fantasy novels do.

Peter F Hamilton is a hard edge sci-fi writer with a huge imagination and with Pandora's Star he created an amazing original sci-fi novel.

 

Cyberpunk - The Roleplaying Game Of The Dark Future - 2020

Cyberpunk 2020 - The Second Edition

Cyberpunk 2020 is a good old pen and paper RPG (Role Playing Game) and one of the best. Playing CyberPunk will open your eyes to the world and the direction it is heading in and also opens your creativity and imagination.

Cyberpunk 2020 is a RPG or role-playing game based upon the books of the cyberpunk writers Bruce Sterling and William Gibson among others.

In the game you use high tech weaponry and cybernetic modified items. Artificial Intelligence and genetic engineering are also possible in the game.

Cyberpunk 2020 takes place in the year 2020 hence the name... The game is set in the fictional city Nigh City located between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The setting is dark and the economy is in a socio-economical collapse. The United States is rules by mega corporations and they rule as they like.

This game got 5 stars at Amazon !!!!

Cyberpunk - The Roleplaying Game of the Dark Future

Cyberpunk Sci-Fi

The word cyberpunk combines the two words cybernetics and punk. The term was first mentioned by the author Bruce Bethke. He wrote a short story called cyberpunk in 1980.

Blood Music by Greg Bear - the e-book version

cyberpunk ebooks Science Fiction High Tech

Blood Music - by Greg Bear.

Blood Music is written in the tradition of the hard edge cyberpunk novels. It explorse the destuction of mankind and the fear of high tech advancements. Blood Music is based upon the present-day events where the fears about a nuclear annihilation of the planet subsided after the Cold War. And the fear of chemical warfare became real. An amazing breakthrough in genetic engineering made by Vergil Ulam is considered too dangerous for further resurch...

Johnny Mnemonic - a classic cyberpunk movie

Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds

(Poseidon's Children) [Hardcover]

Yes, the latest book of Alastair Reynolds is now out and in the stores. It's a start of a magnificent series.

It is set in Africa, but not the Africa as we know it today. The date isone hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war, disease and poverty have been banished to history,

The protoganist Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left alone on a quite place, so that he can continue his studies about elephants.. But his family, the vast Akinya business empire, has other ideas. After the death Geoffrey's grandmother some secrets are on the brink of being exposed on the Moon, and Geoffrey is asked "nicely"... - to go up there and make sure the family's name stays suitably unblemished. But little does Geoffrey realise - or anyone else in the family, for that matter - what he's about to unravel. Eunice's ashes have already have been scattered in sight of Kilimanjaro. But the secrets she died with are about to come back out into the open, and they could change everything. Or shatter this near-utopia into shards ...

It's an interesting book, with Africa not in the role as a poor continent. Africa is a cultural, economical and scientifically strong continent, and one of the main characters of Blue Remembered Earth is African and speak Swahili. Luckily for us, the book is in plain English!!

Alastair Reynolds and Revelation Space.

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St Andrews Universities and has a Ph.D. in astronomy. He gave up working as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency to become a full-time writer.

He wrote an impressive series of cool hard edge science fiction, some being placed in a fast universe but always based upon technology and cyberpunk. A great writer who won the English Science Fiction Award. Alastair Reynolds has been nominated three times for the Arthur C. Clarke Award as well, for his novels Revelation Space, Pushing Iceand House of Suns.

Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology - Hard-edged, street-wise prose

A review by John Kwok

Unquestionably, this is one of the most important books of cyberpunk fiction, showing who were its most important practitioners in the 1980s. While the literary quality may not be as refined as that you'd find in William Gibson's "Burning Chrome", there are quite a few excellent tales here. Those unacquainted with John Shirley's or Pat Cadigan's work may be pleasantly surprised with their gritty, lyrical stories. Others who craft excellent tales include Gibson, Bruce Sterling, and a surprise entry from Greg Bear, who is not usually included among the cyberpunks.

Spares - a sci-fi cyber thriller by Michael Marshall

Spares

by Michael Marshall Smith

The plot, characters, pace, action, setting and themes of Spares, everything about this cyberpunk sci-fi book is thrilling and asks you to think about your own society once again - it's hard to imagine how it can ever be out-done and like 'Neuromancer' it probably never will be.

Michael Marshall Smith is a top notch cyberpunk science fiction author addressing social problems and issues in his novels that are worthy of contemplating, you will not see your own world the same again after reading his books. Spares is one of his best cyberpunk novels in my opnion. A great book with a great story.

Shadow of a Dead Star by Michael Shean

The first book of the cyberpunk trilogy, The Wonderland Cycle.

In the dark futuristic book of Micheal Shean, Shadow of a Dead Star, we follow agent Thomas Walken of the Industrial Security Bureau in Seattle. Date 2078. The world where technology and commercialism is God. Walken intercepts a shipment of smuggled Princess Dolls, little girls turned into sex toys. Walken has to find out who is behind it and where they are coming from.

It sounds like a cheap detective story set in the future. But it's more then that. The brand new Cyberpunk book Thomas Walken the protagonist is well thought out and the story line has twists and turns that makes it a worthwhile book reading. It is the first book of the cyberpunk trilogy : The Wonderland Cycle. It's definitely a recommendation for those who like to try something new in the cyberpunk sci-fi world

© 2012 PeterStip

Cyber away, electronic comments are welcome

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    • bat115 profile image

      Tim 24 months ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Good list, I have read all of these already, though :(

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow, you have a nice sci-fi library here. I know what you like to read. :)

    • indigomoth profile image

      indigomoth 5 years ago from New Zealand

      I love the cyber-punk aesthetic.

    • Mauhro profile image

      Mauhro 5 years ago

      interesting lens. I grew up with tolkien and asimov's books. So, it's hard to choose between scifi and fantasy.