Whither CyberPunk

So, I had some time to spare and I had this old book lying around, Neuromancer, by William Gibson. Neat book. I enjoyed it. So after the book, I looked around to see if anything had come out since then. Nada. There hasn’t been any significant work in the genre since the 1980’s or very early 1990’s.

I did a search out on the internet. Again… access denied. Most of the references are to old Usenet FAQs or to old role-playing games. If you don’t count the MATRIX, I think the literary genre is dying. Even if you look at the MATRIX, you will find it lacking the diversity of the 80’s CyberPunk.

If you look around further, a lot of the stuff related to CyberPunk is also not so popular anymore. Where did Virtual Reality go? Where are the goggles and the gloves? I guess it takes a long time for things like this to materialize. Also, I doubt you will see some of this stuff materialize out of the existing computer standards and infrastructure ( HTML & CSS, C/C++, etc. 🙂 , c’mon)

It will be interesting to see if any new books come out that really reinvigorate the genre and entertain us.

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2 Responses to Whither CyberPunk

  1. terry chay says:

    I didn’t follow Cyberpunk so my history is probably off.

    I think from there, it became a subgenre and a whole bunch of trashy stuff came out–I remember reading some of it in high school.

    However, there have been notable books since then in the genre. A book “The Difference Engine” created a sub-sub-genre called “steam punk” which formed the basis of the movie Wild Wild West. Also, I think Neal Stephenson revived the genre with his book, “Snow Crash” which is well done, unlike most Cyberpunk stuff.

    As my Physics thesis advisor once said, “When the main character is a samurai sword-toting pizza delivery man, you know it’s going to be a good book.”

    Take care,


  2. Dru says:

    Hey Terry, yes, interesting stuff. I didn’t explicitly mention Neal Stephenson, but after your comments and some emails, I better mention him. I look forward to reading Snow Crash, but I have read the Diamond Age. He’s a good writer. However, his cyberpunk work effectively ended in the early 90’s.

    I still stick to my beliefs that the genre is dormant. There really hasn’t been any major book since that era. I agree with your Physics Prof. We need more sword-totin pizza delivery guys!

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