Cyberpunk master-list for you!

Hi folks, some time ago I’d asked a group for book, movie, TV show, and comic recommendations around cyberpunk, and a friend got back with an impressive list. Pasting it here if anyone is interested! If there’s any book/comic that you can’t find, let me know and I’ll try my best to source it. I’m adding summaries right now but over time, I’ll start adding links here as well.

Books

  • Neuromancer series: Neuromancer is one of the best-known works in the cyberpunk genre. Set in the future, the novel follows Henry Case, a washed-up computer hacker who is hired for one last job, which brings him up against a powerful artificial intelligence.

  • Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep?: In post-apocalyptic San Francisco, Earth’s life has been greatly damaged by a nuclear global war, leaving most animal species endangered or extinct. A bounty hunter is tasked with “retiring” (i.e. killing) six escaped Nexus-6 model androids. A secondary plot follows John Isidore, a man of sub-par IQ who aids the fugitive androids.

  • Ready Player One: James Halliday designs a virtual reality and hides the keys to his fortune in it for a worthy player to find after his death. Wade, a teenager, sets out on a quest to find the keys and the fortune.

  • Trouble and her friends: Trouble and Her Friends is a science fiction novel by American writer Melissa Scott, first published in 1994. It is set in the United States of America sometime in the near future, and tells the story of India Carless, who goes by the name “Trouble” in her life as a criminal hacker, and her ex-lover Cerise.

  • 1984: Nineteen Eighty-Four centres on the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance, and repressive regimentation of persons and behaviours within society. Orwell, a democratic socialist, modelled the authoritarian government in the novel after Stalinist Russia. The novel examines the role of truth and facts within politics and the ways in which they are manipulated.

  • Frontera: Ten years ago the world’s governments collapsed, and now the corporations are in control. Houston’s Pulsystems has sent an expedition to the lost Martian colony of Frontera to search for survivors. Reese, aging hero of the US space program, knows better. The colonists are not only alive, they have discovered a secret so devastating that the new rulers of Earth will stop at nothing to own it.

  • Interface Dreams: A novel of bravery, redemption and love in a future of fear and trans-humanism. Roy and his companion, a German woman called Anna, meet by chance two girls on the run, two biotech artifacts: Two quartz novas --cutting edge tech out of control, escaping from the powerful True Confessions Corp.

  • Snow Crash: Snow Crash covers history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, memetics and philosophy. The Sumerian language as the firmware programming language for the brainstem, Goddess Asherah is the personification of a linguistic virus, and God Enki created a counter-program that caused all of humanity to speak different languages as a protection against Asherah.

  • The Diamond Age: The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer is a science fiction novel by American writer Neal Stephenson. It is to some extent a Bildungsroman or coming-of-age story, focused on a young girl named Nell, set in a future world in which nanotechnology affects all aspects of life.

  • The Windup Girl: The Windup Girl is a biopunk science fiction novel by American writer Paolo Bacigalupi. It was his debut novel and was published by Night Shade Books on September 1, 2009. The novel is set in a future Thailand and covers a number of contemporary issues such as global warming and biotechnology.

  • Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology: Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology (1986) is a cyberpunk short story collection, edited by American writer Bruce Sterling.

  • Altered Carbon: Altered Carbon is a 2002 cyberpunk novel by British writer Richard K. Morgan. Set in a future in which interstellar travel and relative immortality is facilitated by transferring consciousnesses between bodies, it follows the attempt of Takeshi Kovacs, a former U.N. elite soldier turned private investigator, to investigate a rich man’s death.

  • Infomocracy: It’s been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything’s on the line.

  • Diaspora: Diaspora is the story of Yatima — a polis being created from random mutations of the Konishi polis base mind seed — and of humankind, Of an astrophysical accident that spurs the thousandfold cloning of the polises. Of the discovery of an alien race and of a kink in time that means humanity will never again be threatened by acts of God.

  • Tears in Rain: Death is inevitable. Especially when you have an expiration date. As a replicant, or “techno-human,” Detective Bruna Husky knows two things: humans bioengineered her to perform dangerous, undesirable tasks; and she has just ten years on the United States of Earth before her body automatically self-destructs.

  • China 2185: Liu Cixin’s debut novel never made it into print, but it is arguably one of Liu’s most notorious works, because of its central premise: the digital resurrection of Mao Zedong.

  • Distraction: 2044 and the US is coming apart at the seams. The people live nomadic lives and the new cold war is with the Dutch, fought mostly over the Net. This is your future, and Oscar Valparaiso’s too - or it would be if he wasn’t half human, half genetically modified.

  • Moxyland: Moxyland is narrated by four different characters, and each chapter focuses on one of the narrators and her or his own experience living in near futuristic Cape Town, South Africa and under an oppressive and pervasive government and media.

  • Pattern Recognition: Cayce Pollard, an expensive, spookily intuitive market research consultant is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled and her computer hacked, she realizes there’s more to this project than she had expected.

  • Normal: Normal Head is a refuge within an experimental Oregon forest where futurists go to recover from “abyss gaze.” Its characters struggle to reconcile their study of how the human race is selfishly pushing the earth towards annihilation with daily life.

  • Hardwired: The Orbital Corporations won the Rock War, and now they control America. Cowboy, one of the protagonists, is a smuggler who can control an armored hovertank using a neural interface. The other protagonist, Sarah, is a prostitute turned mercenary assassin; she and Cowboy end up teaming up to fight the Orbitals.

  • Mindplayers: A dare goes awry when Ali tries on a stolen madcap and is afflicted with psychotic delusions that will not go away. “Cured” by a mindplayer, Ali is soon forced to become one herself or face a prison sentence as a “mind criminal.”

  • Ender’s Game: Ender’s Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set at an unspecified date in Earth’s future, the novel presents an imperiled humankind after two conflicts with the Formics, an insectoid alien species they dub the “buggers”.

TV Shows

  • Westworld: Westworld is a fictional, technologically advanced Wild-West-themed amusement park populated by android “hosts”. The park caters to high-paying “guests” who may indulge their wildest fantasies within the park without fear of retaliation from the hosts, who are prevented by their programming from harming humans.

  • Watchmen (HBO): A white supremacist group has taken up arms against the Tulsa Police Department because of perceived racial injustices, causing the police to conceal their identities with masks to prevent the Seventh Kavalry from targeting them in their homes following the “White Night”.

  • Black Mirror: Black Mirror is a British dystopian science fiction anthology television series created by Charlie Brooker. He and Annabel Jones are the programme’s showrunners. It examines modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.

  • Mr. Robot: Robot is an American drama thriller television series created by Sam Esmail for USA Network. It stars Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a cybersecurity engineer and hacker with social anxiety disorder and clinical depression. Elliot is recruited by an insurrectionary anarchist known as "Mr. Robot”.

  • Leila: In a near-future world where an oppressive regime segregates society, one woman skirts the system to search for the daughter taken from her years ago.

  • Snowpiercer: Survivors of Earth’s second Ice Age live out their days on a luxury train that ploughs through snow and ice. The train’s poorest residents, who live in the squalid caboose, plan to improve their lot by taking over the engine room.

  • 11.22.63: A recently divorced English teacher is presented with the chance to travel back in time to 1960. He is persuaded into going in an attempt to prevent the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963; however, he becomes attached to the life he makes in the past, which could be the mission’s undoing. He must find a way to secretly gather information about people and events leading up to the assassination while also creating and maintaining a new life to avoid suspicion.

  • Counterpart: Howard Silk, a low-level bureaucrat in an agency, is not in a good place in life. He discovers that the agency that employs him is a gateway to a new dimension.

  • Love Death & Robots: The animated series consists of stand-alone episodes, all under 17 minutes long, and produced by different casts and crews, though some episodes may share certain crew members. The series title refers to each episode’s thematic connection to the three aforementioned subjects, though not every episode contains all three elements.

  • The Twilight Zone: A comprehensive collection of mystical tales where people try to solve their problems using their own unique ideas.

  • Firefly: The show explores the lives of a group of people, some of whom fought on the losing side of a civil war, who make a living on the fringes of society as part of the pioneer culture of their star system. In this future, the only two surviving superpowers, the United States and China, fused to form the central federal government, called the Alliance, resulting in the fusion of the two cultures. According to Whedon’s vision, “nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today.”

  • The Expanse: Hundreds of years in the future, things are different than what we are used to after humans have colonized the solar system and Mars has become an independent military power. Rising tensions between Earth and Mars have put them on the brink of war.

  • Almost Human: After recovering from a 17-month comma, a policeman returns to join forces with robots to serve and protect.

  • The Handmaid’s Tale: Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state, and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude.

  • Electric Dreams: “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” is a 10-episode science-fiction anthology series that journeys into unique worlds beyond the reach of the imagination. Based on short stories written by Dick, each stand-alone episode is inspired by a different story.

  • Dark Angel: A genetically enhanced superhuman prototype, Max, who, as a child, escaped from a covert government military facility along with 11 others who were all being raised and trained to be super-soldiers. Now an adult, Max joins forces with idealistic cyber journalist Logan to battle corruption in post-apocalypse America as he constantly tries to elude capture by government agents.

  • Halt and Catch Fire: It’s the early 1980s, and the spirit of innovation in personal computing is about to catch fire. Hot on the trail is a renegade trio – a visionary, an engineer and a prodigy – who risk everything to realize their vision of building a computer that can change the future.

Movies

The Matrix series
Equilibrium
Blade Runner 2049 (and the original Blade Runner)
Akira
2001: A Space Odyssey
Gattaca
Citizenfour
Her
Minority Report
District 9
Eye in the Sky
The Truman Show
Tron: Legacy (and even the original Tron)
M (1931)
V for Vendetta
Enemy of the State
Metropolis
12 Monkeys
Ex Machina
We Live in Public
The Experiment (2001)
The Thirteenth Floor
Children of Men
Antitrust
Modern Times
Idiocracy
I Am Legend
THX 1138
Terminator series
Snowpiercer
The Lobster
iRobot
The Perfect Dictatorship
The Age of Stupid
Code 46 or the original Brief Encounter
Chappie
Mr. Nobody
Oblivion
Upgrade
Edge of Tomorrow
Gamer
The President’s Analyst
Brave New World
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Videodrome
EXistenZ
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Dark City
Looper
Total Recall
The Dark Knight
Elysium
Cloud Atlas
Deja Vu
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
X-Men: Days of the Future Past
The Fifth Element
Inception
Hunger Games series
Planet of the Apes series
The Purge series

Comics

Akira
The Ghost in the Shell
The Private Eye
Appleseed
The Long Tomorrow
Heavy Liquid
Transmetropolitan
Batman: Digital Justice
Channel Zero
The Surrogates
Ronin
Spaceman
Dominion
100%
2020 Visions
Archangel
Old Man Logan

Feel free to add on to this. :smiley:

5 Likes

Some random favourites

  • Glitch (one of my favourite synthwave mixes for deep work) (link)
  • Daft Punk - Derezzed (link) (I love this tune and Tron)
  • The Animatrix (link)
  • Daft Punk ~ Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003) (It’s an hour long space opera) (link)
4 Likes

Just to add to this incredible list, which I feel has transcended the genre of cyberpunk:
Movies
- Donnie Darko
- Brazil
- Soylent Green
- Jodorowsky’s dune
- Arrival
- The Vast of the Night
- The Fly
Shows:
- Cowboy Bebop
- Utopia
- Devs
- Legion

3 Likes

SK, big thumbs up to, Halt and Catch Fire. Love Gattaca and Equilibrium. Also, while not typically cyber punk would like to add Pirates of Silicon Valley. Shows the lead players in their true dramatic flair :smirk:

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Not truly cyberpunk, but another TV series/book with similar themes I’d recommend is The Man in the High Castle.

3 Likes

Black mirror was an interesting watch, especially before netflix.

1 Like