Best Cyberpunk Books You Should Read

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By Chandler Chandler

Best Cyberpunk Books You Should Read

Chandler Chandler

Cyberpunk Books

In this article, I have given a list of some of the best cyberpunk books that you should explore. Whether you are a seasoned cyberpunk enthusiast or a newcomer to the genre, these cyberpunk books offer narratives, technology, and themes:

Classic Cyberpunk Books

THere are some classic syberpunk books, that you should read:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

This foundational cyberpunk books served as the inspiration for the iconic film Blade Runner. Follow bounty hunter Rick Deckard as he tracks down rogue androids. The line between human and machine blurs as advanced androids become indistinguishable from real people.

China 2185 by Cixin Liu

Although not widely known, this debut cyberpunk masterpiece by Cixin Liu paints a vivid picture of a high-tech, low-life future in Mao’s China. While it never made it to print, digital versions are available online. Explore a world where corporations wield immense power and technology intertwines with everyday life.

The Girl Who Was Plugged In by Alice Sheldon (writing as James Tiptree, Jr.)

Corporations dominate society in this Hugo Award-winning novella, using celebrities and product placement to sell everything. When a disfigured teen girl’s consciousness is transferred into a “perfect” body, she becomes a new kind of celebrity.

Neuromancer by William Gibson

A true tentpole of the cyberpunk genre, Neuromancer introduces us to the Matrix, a cyberspace where people live their lives. A skilled data thief, Henry navigates a world ruled by massive corporations and dangerous technology.

Modern Cyberpunk Books

There are some modern cyberpunk books, that you should try reading once, here is the speciality:

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich:

While less focused on technology, this novel delves into the powerful corporate forces shaping our world. It explores the intersection of low-life struggles and corporate dominance.

Infomocracy by Malka Older:

Set in a near-future world where information rules, this political cyberpunk thriller follows characters navigating a global micro-democracy. Elections, intrigue, and digital manipulation take center stage.

MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood:

Although not strictly cyberpunk, Atwood’s trilogy combines dystopian elements with biotechnology and corporate control. It is a must-read for fans of thought-provoking speculative fiction.

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor:

This Afrofuturistic cyberpunk books introduce us to a world where technology and magic intersect. Noor, a gifted hacker, uncovers secrets that could change everything.

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi:

A blend of hard sci-fi and cyberpunk, this novel features master thief Jean le Flambeur and his exploits across a post-singularity solar system. Expect mind-bending concepts and intricate heists.

The Sleepless by Victor Manibo:

In a future where sleep is a commodity, a group of insomniacs becomes embroiled in corporate conspiracies. The exploration of sleep technology and its impact on society makes this a standout cyberpunk work.

Warcross by Marie Lu

A thrilling virtual reality game becomes a battleground for hackers, gamers, and corporate intrigue. Lu weaves action, suspense, and futuristic technology together in this gripping novel.

The Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan

Set in a polluted future where e-waste processing is a dangerous industry, this novel explores environmental issues, AI, and the struggle for survival. A fresh take on cyberpunk themes.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

In this cyberpunk classic, Hiro, the Protagonist, is a pizza delivery guy by day and a hacker by night. The virtual reality Metaverse, a drug called Snow Crash, and a conspiracy that threatens the world are all here.

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

Set in a future where consciousness can be transferred between bodies (called “sleeves”), ex-soldier Takeshi Kovacs investigates a rich man’s murder. It is a mixture of noir, action, and cyberpunk.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

This biopunk novel explores a world where biotechnology reigns supreme. Genetically engineered humans, calorie companies, and environmental collapse create a vivid and unsettling backdrop.

Synners by Pat Cadigan

A lesser-known gem, Synners delves into the convergence of technology, media, and human consciousness. The Synners, people who plug directly into the digital world—navigate a future where reality blurs with virtuality.

Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

In a near-future world, an ageing poet who has Alzheimer’s gets a second chance at life through advanced technology. The novel explores augmented reality, intelligence amplification, and the power of information.

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers

A gunner for hire, Avery Cates navigates a dystopian world ruled by the Electric Church, a powerful religious organization. High-tech weaponry, cybernetic enhancements, and a noir atmosphere make this a thrilling read.

When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger

Welcome to the Budayeen, a seedy, multicultural district in the future Middle East. Marîd Audran, a street-smart hustler, investigates a series of murders using illegal brain implants and cybernetics.

The Bridge Trilogy by William Gibson

While Gibson’s Neuromancer is iconic, don’t miss his lesser-known Bridge Trilogy: Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow’s Parties. These novels explore a post-cyberpunk world with memorable characters and intricate plots.

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

A near-future thriller set in a water-scarce American Southwest. Corporations control water rights, and the fight for survival leads to cybernetic enhancements, espionage, and a gripping narrative.

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

A pirate and a pharmaceutical agent cross paths in a world of AI, biohacking, and corporate greed. The novel tackles questions of autonomy, identity, and the ethics of technology.

Questions

What is cyberpunk?

Cyberpunk is a genre characterized by a focus on high technology and low life. It often explores futuristic worlds where advanced tech coexists with societal decay and criminal underbellies.

Are there any cyberpunk comics or graphic novels?

Yes, Dark Horse has released several comics and graphic novels set in the world of Cyberpunk 2077, exploring the sci-fi dystopia of Night City.

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