If you’re a fan of science fiction and fantasy books about advanced technology and gritty, dystopian societies, you might be looking for the best cyberpunk books. This guide can help! We’ve chosen some of the best cyberpunk books available, covering everything from individual threats to global crises.
So, if you’re a true cyberpunk enthusiast, be sure to check out our recommendations and enjoy diving into these exciting reads.
What is Cyberpunk?
You may be a sci-fi lover or trying to find out where to begin reading the genre. Many subgenres can be explained by themselves. Many subgenres have other genres in their names unrelated to sci-fi.
This makes it simple to understand the purpose of these subgenres. Most people are familiar with sci-fi action, sci-fi romance, military sci-fi, sci-fi fantasy.
Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction that features a future where advanced science and technology have become the dominant cultural and economic forces. It often focuses on the impact of these advancements on society, especially those of artificial intelligence, cyborgs, and the internet.
The stories often feature a gritty, dark and sometimes dystopian vision of the future, where humans are challenged by the consequences of technological progress. The subgenre was popularized in the 1980s and 90s through works such as William Gibson’s “Neuromancer”.
What Defines A Cyberpunk Book?
Term cyberpunk is a term that many people don’t know much about. However, it is easy to identify books in this distinct genre. While cyberpunk books can be very different, some common themes and backgrounds are the basis of most science fiction books. These are some of the critical elements that make good cyberpunk books.
- Modern technology
- Universal concerns
- Urban setting
- Monolithic bad guys
Top Rated Best Cyberpunk Books To Read
Here is a list of the best cyberpunk novels this will allow you to enter futures that are both futuristic and familiar but at the same time blindingly high tech that Penn Book recommended for you:
The Stars My Destination By Alfred Bester
A narrative of anger and revenge. Bester strips off humanity’s civilized face to show the urges that drive us.
The protagonist, Gully Foyle, goes via a few of the most intriguing character arcs in science fiction. They are shifting out of an unthinking brute to a person far more computing and harmful.
Gulliver Foyle is stranded in outer space after Nomad is attacked. He lives to pursue the crew of a rescue ship that intended to leave him to death.
This cyberpunk classic inquires the reader if they believe humanity is ape or angel?
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
There are just a few cyberpunk books wilder than Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash.
The book combines sword fighting with cyberspace and historical Sumerian legends. And that is not the degree of its weirdness.
Some will adore Snow Crash, but others have found it somewhat impenetrable. If you are prepared to forgo a modest storyline pace for some superb worldbuilding, then that cyberpunk classic is for you.
The Stars My Destination is the first cyberpunk book. Neuromancer is the job that codified a lot of what’s interchangeable with the genre. However, Snow Crash is the book that amuses the cyberpunk soul. You can read our review.
In Snow Crash, Hiro Protagonist is a pizza delivery man in reality. But, in the Metaverse, he’s a warrior prince. He plunges headfirst into the mystery of a new computer virus, which is destroying hackers all over the world. He races down the neon lit streets in search of the shadowy virtual villain who threatens to bring on the apocalypse.
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
The second entrance on this record of Neal Stephenson is stuffed with ideas and topics.
The Diamond Age is put in the future in which nanotechnology runs rampant and has influenced everything from schooling to the course.
Stephenson seldom writes easy to read cyberpunk books, but he can write persuasive ones. This coming of age narrative mashes a selection of suggestions to make a distinctive and hard science fiction book.
The Running Game by L.E. Fitzpatrick
Rachel’s dad called it the running game. Count the leaves, compute the paths, and always be prepared to operate. She’s a Reacher, desired by the authorities along with the criminal underworld for her psionic powers.
Charlie and his brother John have a reputation for accomplishing the impossible. However, after losing his loved ones, Charlie is a broken mess, and John is hardly keeping him afloat. In desperation, they require work by a ruthless crime lord, just to find the woman they’re searching for is a Reacher. One of their very own type.
With the support of dangerous and suspicious allies, can Rachel turn the match around and save himself?
The Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow
Odds are, if you are studying cyberpunk, you have seen the anime movie Ghost in the Shell. In case you haven’t, give it a shot and see what you believe. Notice the small details along with the crazy cyborg violence: just one drop of water hitting the floor, the heaviness by which a weary individual collapses on a seat, and much more.
Deep into the twenty first century, the line between man and machine has been inexorably blurred as humans rely on enhancing mechanical implants and robots updated with human tissue.
In this rapidly converging landscape, cyborg superagent Major Motoko Kusanagi is charged with tracking down the craftiest and most dangerous terrorists and cybercriminals, including ghost hackers that are capable of harnessing the human/machine port and reprogramming individuals to eventually become puppets to carry out the hackers’ criminal endings.
When Major Kusanagi monitors the cybertrail of a master, the Puppeteer, her quest leads her to a planet beyond information and technology in which the very nature of consciousness and the individual spirit has been flipped upside down.
Queen of Angels by Greg Bear
In this brilliant, evocative book, Greg Bear takes the reader into a strangely familiar, near future world and shatters our conceptions of perfection, punishment, and the elusive nature of the human soul.
Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan – 1987
Allie Haas simply did it for a dare. But placing the madcap which Jerry Wirerammer has borrowed proved to be a significant mistake. The psychosis itself was rather conventional, a couple of paranoid delusions, but it did not go off when she took the madcap off.
Jerry did the right thing and left at an emergency room for dry cleaning, but the Brain Police took over. Straightened out with a professional mind player, Allie believes she has left head games behind for good, but then comes the fair: she could go to jail because head criminal, or she can instruct as a mind player herself.
Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams
Since Earth lies prostrate under the last of their Orbital forces, it has no option but to permit the Orbitals to plunder their residual wealth. Deep below the Orbital controller hustlers, dirty girls, and button heads search their way from this gravity well.
A link between the two forces, both the criminal underworld and guerilla underground, has announced the electricity.
The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross
Bob Howard, from The Laundry, secret UK service against evil forces, narrates the boarding yacht of Ellis Billington to get Gravedust apparatus that talks with lifeless.
Ellis intends to increase Jennifer Morgue, the monster in the deep sea, rule the globe. U.S. Black Chamber sends deadly Ramona Random in battle with her directors. Contains Pimpf narrative – Bob in virtual sport; Afterword; Glossary.
Cyberpunk by Victoria Blake
This doorstop volume contains twenty stories about high-tech and everyday life. It is an essential guide for cyberpunk short fiction.
From 1981 to 2010, cyberpunk legends share short stories of all too realistic futures that feel almost like ours. Stories include stories by William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Jonathan Lethem, Paul Tremblay, Pat Cadigan, Greg Bear, Rudy Rucker, Cory Doctorow, and more.
Synners by Pat Cadigan
Pat Cadigan is known as the Queen of Cyberpunk because of this prescient thriller that gets the Arthur C. Clarke award winning in 1992.
Many of the book’s technological singularity will be shockingly familiar today, especially a plan of a large corporation to deliver music videos directly to consumers’ minds we’re not far from it, huh?
This scathing portrayal of a near future reality in which the real world and online are almost seamlessly integrated was portrayed back in 1992. However, it felt farfetched, if not impossible.
Slant by Greg Bear
Cyberpunk meets procedural with this thriller by Greg Bear (Seattle Post Intelligencer).
All flaws of humanity, both the obvious and the minor, seem to be eliminated by nanotechnology. Violent crime has been eradicated, but Seattle is still rocked by two murders of sex workers as well as a series of suicides.
Mary Cho, the public defender, investigates the dark side of a future that seems perfect. She uncovers a conspiracy of virtual pornography and neo Luddites as well as a mysterious artificial intelligence in the dataflow.
Vurt by Jeff Noon
Vurt is narrated by Scribble because he drifts in and out of a drug induced haze. The specific medication he’s on generates an everyday reality with different users and is ubiquitous in this alternative version of Manchester. While with this medication, he dropped his sister Desdemona. The book follows his efforts to receive her back.
What is notable about Vurt is your prose. Jeff Noon’s writing keeps the exposition to the minimum. This compels the reader to participate in the story entirely. But it is challenging and emotionally affecting.
Eclipse by John Shirley – 1999
Eclipse is set in an alternate history, where the Soviet Union has never fallen and invaded Western Europe without using its nukes. It didn’t have its large nukes.
The Second Alliance is a multinational corporation that wants to create its New World Order out of chaos.
The Second Alliance is a space colony in the United States. It can be found first and on the artificial island Freezone. There, it will fight for power. They spin a dark web that includes media manipulation, propaganda, and infiltration.
Only the New Resistance can see the Second Alliance as a racist theocracy that hides a cult for eugenics.
Rick Rickenharp is a former rock’n’roll cult hero. He’s a rock classicist, out of place in Europe’s underground club scene, which is populated by wire dancers and minimums… but destined for a Song Called Youth trilogy that’ll shake the world.
“…the cyberpunk novel offers a thrashy punk riff on familiar future war scenario to science fiction.” – Publishers Weekly
Company Town by Madeline Ashby
Hwa is one of the few members of her community, including the whole rig, who chooses not to get bioengineered improvements. Thus, she is the sole biological human on the rig, making her a double foreigner, a mistreated daughter, and an exceptional bodyguard. Her skills in self-defense and fighting background, however, still make her services in great demand.
The family turns to Hwa when the youngest Lynch needs protection and instruction. But can even she defend herself against increasingly severe threats to her life that appear to be emanating from a different timeline?
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Possibly the very Cyberpunk book. Neuromancer provides color to the Hitech low-life time cyberpunk credo. The cyberpunk book stars a drug addicted console cowboy named Cage and Molly Millions, an augmented razor woman who kills with no remorse. Together with them, the reader travels to a planet that’s as rotten as it’s advanced.
Gibson’s writing style evokes this planet with such clarity that in the end, you may feel as though you’re breathing the identical atmosphere as Cage and Molly Millions.
Gibson was fortunate that Neuromancer won the triple crown of science fiction (the Hugo and Nebula awards and the Philip K. Dick award) and was the seminal cyberpunk work.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
In the year 2044, the fact is an ugly location. The only time adolescent Wade Watts feels alive is if he is jacked to the digital utopia called the OASIS.
Wade’s committed his life to research the mysteries concealed in this planet’s digital boundaries puzzles that derive from their founder’s obsession with all the pop culture of years ago and promise enormous energy and fortune to whoever may unlock them.
However, when Wade stumbles on the first hint, he sees himself beset by gamers eager to kill to take this top trophy. The race is on, and when Wade’s likely to live, he will need to win and then face the actual world he has been so desperate to escape.
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
This is both hard boiled and dystopian. The book takes place in a universe where individual characters can be downloaded into new bodies.
The storyline kicks off if Takeshi Kovacs is asked to investigate suicide from the individual who supposedly murdered them. His employer was resurrected, considering that he had been murdered, and his suicide was a cover up.
In the heart of this book is the burning anger of the oppressed. And it is this anger that sets it apart from other functions, even in the cyberpunk genre.
If you are a fan of Raymond Chandler’s cyberpunk books and would like to dip your toe to Cyberpunk, this may be the book.
Belonging to the Sprawl Trilogy, Count Zero occurs on the Exact Same planet as Neuromancer. Willam Gibson brilliantly joins three distinct narrative threads: A mercenary named Turner, who specializes in defecting technologists in their businesses.
A punk kid named Bobby Newmark dreams of being a cyberspace cowboy using the manage Count Zero and the narrative of an art dealer who’s hired by a collector to monitor a founder of a collection of art pieces.
Each story has its twists and turns and provides nuanced takes on existing problems from the world we live in, such as classes and the consequences of technologies on society.
Mona Lisa Overdrive
Concluding the Sprawl trilogy, Mona Lisa Overdrive takes place eight years following the latter occasions. Among those characters, the narrative lays its attention on is Mona, a young woman with a shady past.
Her world starts to spiral, as it collides with that of the famed Sense/Net celebrity, Angie, that can tap into Cyberspace with no usage of a pc. Both girls are in the middle of a kidnapping plot, masterminded by a mysterious entity with big plans for them and the entire world.
Out of those many Excellent things about this book, here are three large ones:
- Elegantly concludes the Sprawl trilogy.
- Acclaimed as Gibson’s most magnificent narrative to date
- Holds up Gibson’s celebrity by bringing home more award winning
Under A Dark Sky by Johan M. Dahlgren
On planet Elysium, a guy is implemented on live video matched by religious extremists. Nothing original so much for Elysium.
Only at this moment, the guy does not die.
When security pro Asher Perez is sent to locate him, dark secrets concerning the rebel colony are vulnerable. Something mysterious is stirring from the shadows.
One thing that’s been seeing humanity since the dawn of history.
The Sandman Cometh by Stuart G. Yates
At a long chilly run, Simeon Allis struggles with a present he does not know. Every choice is made for him, and his nearest and dearest no longer have a place on the planet. The State provides everything, and the Sandmen guarantee conformity.
Hideous creations, the Sandmen guarantee citizens’ obedience from the clinical world where Simeon resides his lonely, controlled life.
But he’s different than others because he’s memories.
One terrible night, dropped in the deserted roads of this city, he stumbles upon the hideout of these sworn to overthrow the ruling elite. After they combine in their mad plot to overthrow the State, Simeon gradually finds out the facts and finds who he is.
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
In The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Anderson Lake is a business guy, AgriGen’s Calorie Person in Thailand. Undercover as a mill manager, Anderson combs Bangkok’s street markets looking for foodstuffs believed to be extinct, expecting to reap the bounty of history’s missing calories. There, he experiences Emiko. Emiko is your Windup Girl, a strange and gorgeous creature.
Among those New People, Emiko isn’t human; rather, she’s engineered, creche grown, and programmed to fulfill the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman but abandoned to the streets of Bangkok.
Regarded as soulless beings by a few, devils by other people, New People is slaves, soldiers, along with toys of the wealthy in a frightening future where calorie businesses rule the planet, the petroleum era has passed, along with the unwanted effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant throughout the world.
Accelerando by Charles Stross
The book “Accelerando” takes you on a thrilling journey through life in a universe full of discoveries and dangers. It’s set in a time where artificial intelligence surpasses human intellect, biotechnology has nearly wiped out humanity, and molecular nanotechnology runs rampant.
The book is divided into nine short stories that describe the entire plot in order. Each story focuses on a different character’s life, including Manfred, his daughter Amber, Sirhan, and more. Manfred is the protagonist of the first three stories and is a digital altruist.
Manfred’s adventure begins when he’s asked to help with a project that requires his skills. He meets billionaire Bob Franklin, who needs help with his artificial intelligence project for his spacecraft. The story skips ahead a few years to show more of Manfred’s exciting events, and in the second collection of stories, we see his daughter Amber ten years later.
Amber becomes involved in a project that requires her and 62 other people to combine their minds into a digital team for a dangerous mission. They make contact with aliens called The Wunch, and the story takes off from there.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick
When Ridley Scott created the movie Blade Runner, he used a great deal of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? But he threw a lot off. Rather than Harrison Ford’s lonely bounty hunter, Dick’s protagonist is a fiscally strapped municipal worker having bills to pay and a miserable wife.
There is also a whole subplot that follows John Isidore, a sub-par IQ guy who assists the fugitive androids.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It is a far more sober and darker meditation of what it means to be human than the movie it inspired.
Diaspora by Greg Egan – 1997
I was considering that Introdus in the 21st century, humankind has ventured itself radically. Most picked immortality, linking the police to become conscious applications.
This cyberpunk novel blurs the lines between cyberpunk fiction and hard science fiction. Greg Egan, a mathematician, wrote this book. It also contains a glossary of sci-fi terms and concepts.
Others are chosen for gleaners: Disposable, sustainable robotic bodies that stay in touch with the physical universe of friction and force. A number of these have abandoned the Solar System eternally in combination with driving starships.
And you will find the holdouts. The fleshers left in the muck and jungle of Earth a few types into dream apes; others are dancing in the oceans or the atmosphere, while the statics and bridges attempt to shape a roughly individual fate.
The Electric Church by Jeff Somers – 2007
Avery Cates is an inferior man. Some may call him a criminal. He could even be a killer to get the ideal Price. But, Avery Cates is fearful.
He is up against the Monks: cyborgs with individual brains, improved robotic bodies, along with also a small arsenal of advanced weaponry. They must convert everyone and anyone to the Electric Church. However, there’s only one snag. Conversion means departure.
“Somers’s science fiction thriller has an acerbic wit.” – Publishers Weekly
Distraction By Bruce Sterling
In the election of 2044, the nation of this Union is currently in disarray. Cities are no more people, the government is broke, and the army is turning against the taxpayers. Being directly in the middle of everything is Oscar Valparaiso, a spin doctor who continually strives to make things seem high. Presently he’s attempting to make a difference on the planet.
However, Oscar has a key, and his only ally is Dr. Greta Penninger, a neurologist of this bleeding edge of this neural revolution. Collectively they’re not out to make the planet a better location in the view of most individuals. Instead, they have a dangerous thought, and the time has come to set it in place.
Burning Chrome by William Gibson
Burning Chrome takes you through a narrative of two hackers, automated Jack, who’s the narrator and can be a hardware expert. Bobby Quine is a program specialist and falls in love with a woman named Rikki. In his hopes to impress her, Bobby is redetermined at he wants to do is now wealthy.
Jack acquires a Russian icebreaker program that’s capable of entering any corporate safety system. Bobby then indicates they use it to split into a vicious criminal called Chrome. Reluctantly Jack agrees.
According to 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse, a mathematical genius and Captain from the U.S. Navy, is assigned to detachment 2702. A mission so secret only a few understand that it exists.
The assignment, commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe, would be to maintain Nazis oblivious that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy’s Enigma code.
Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott
Being put in the USA of America, the writer informs us of a narrative of India Carless along with her ex-lover Cerise. India goes by the title of Trouble and contains another life as a criminal.
Three years before they found that a double, a person is visiting Trouble online. Together with the extensive use of digital reality, they place out,n order to return and face him.
BioShock: Rapture by John Shirley
It is the ending of World War II. FDR’s New Deal has redefined American politics. Taxes are at an all time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has attracted a fear of destruction.
The growth of secret government agencies and sanctions on the company has many seeing their backs. America’s sense of liberty is decreasing, and most are distressed to take this liberty back.
One of them is an excellent fantasy, an immigrant who pulled from the depths of poverty to become one of the world’s richest and honored men. That guy is Andrew Ryan, and he considered that great women and men deserve better.
So he set out to make the hopeless, a utopia free from government, censorship, and ethical limitations on science fiction in which everything you offer is what you get. He generated Rapture the shining city beneath the sea.
However, as all of us know, this utopia endured a great tragedy. Here is the story of how it came to be. .and how it ended.
Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling
Bruce Sterling and William Gibson have created The Difference Engine, one of the most important works of steampunk fiction.
In Holy, Fire, Sterling uses that same talent to create post human cyberpunk. This is the story of Mia (a 94-year older woman who has the mind and body of a 20-year-old due to a revolutionary new medical procedure).
Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology (Edited) by Bruce Sterling (1986)
Mirrorshades is an anthology published in 1986, but which contains stories from all over the world. It’s a mix of Now That’s What I Call Music of ’80s Cyberpunk and a duet featuring dueling legends Bruce Sterling (and William Gibson).
Mirrorshades was cited in almost 160 publications. Items just on JSTOR. Rudy Rucker and Pat Cadigan are also included in the book. John Shirley is another author.
Vurt by Jeff Noon – 1993
Vurt was awarded the Arthur C. Clarke Award and has been compared with A Clockwork Orange and Neuromancer. However, it doesn’t have all its faults. Kirkus Reviews called the plot wildly kaleidoscopic, but it is not satisfying. Entertainment Weekly called the plot’s sentimental Incest and adolescent Self-congratulation…not startling or disturbing.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow
Combining Disney and cyberpunk requires a unique mind and Cory Doctorow (in his head or a container, I don’t know the details).
Jules is only a year old. He has lived long enough to witness the death cure, the end of scarcity, and to learn ten languages as well as compose three symphonies…and fulfill his childhood dream of moving to Disney World.
Disney World! The most significant artistic achievement of the 20th century is currently maintaining a network of ad-hosts, who maintain the classic attractions as they have always been, with the slightest high tech enhancements.
Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
Four narrators are in a near future Cape Town, South Africa, that is colorful and cruel. Each has their dreams, struggles, problems, and talents. They are all on a collision course that will completely rewire their lives.
Charles Stross, a legendary sci-fi author, called Beukes’ bold and boisterous book “The larval form a new type of SF eating its way out the intestines the wasp-paralyzed caterpillar cyberpunk.”
Akira Series by Katsuhiro Otomo (1982)
Although the series started in 1982 as a manga that first appeared in a monthly young men’s magazine and was subsequently compiled into six independent volumes, the renowned 1988 anime film version of Akira is the only way that many Western fans are familiar with it.
The manga wasn’t finished when the movie was produced and launched; it was finished in 1990, after which it was colorized and distributed in English to western markets.
FAQs about Cyberpunk Books
What are some popular cyberpunk books?
Some of the most popular cyberpunk books include “Neuromancer” by William Gibson, “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick, “Altered Carbon” by Richard K. Morgan, and “The Diamond Age” by Neal Stephenson.
What are the themes of cyberpunk books?
Cyberpunk books often explore themes such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, corporate power and control, the dark side of technology, and the impact of these advancements on humanity and society.
Who are some of the key authors in the cyberpunk genre?
Some of the key authors in the cyberpunk genre include William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Philip K. Dick, Bruce Sterling, and John Shirley.
What is the difference between cyberpunk and steampunk?
Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction that features a future world dominated by technology, whereas steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy that features a world powered by steam and Victorian-era technology.
How does cyberpunk differ from other science fiction subgenres?
Cyberpunk often has a darker and grittier tone compared to other science fiction subgenres. It also focuses more on the impact of advanced technology on society and the consequences of technological progress.
This article has provided the best cyberpunk books for you. I hope these books will help you understand the cyberpunk genre and expand your knowledge.
Don’t forget to read it with your friends. What are your favorite cyberpunk books? And if you have any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and happy reading!
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