The History of Cyberpunk - 6 Key Influences

Timeline created by anniewoodman1
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was written by Philip Dick in 1968. It was the inspiration for the film "Blade Runner" which was released in 1982. The novel is based around a post-apocalyptic Earth in the near-future which has been destroyed by a nuclear war. The novel delves into issues of the meaning of human life and what humanity involves. Thus, separating the defining qualities of humans and androids. Through international success, "Blade Runner" brought the novel into the limelight.
  • "Burning Chrome" by William Gibson

    "Burning Chrome" by William Gibson
    In 1982, sci-fi writer William Gibson published a short story call "Burning Chrome" which first used the term "cyberspace" to represent the hallucination that hackers experienced in relation to computer networks. A popular line from the story: "the street finds its own uses for things," has been widely quoted and adapted to describe the unexpected uses that technology can exist for. The story was the conceptual prototype for Gibson's later trilogy "The Sprawl Series".
  • The term "cyberpunk" is born

    The term "cyberpunk" is born
    The word "cyberpunk" was crafted by author Bruce Bethke in 1983. It is derived from a combination of the word "cybernetics" and "punk." The word actually describes a science-fiction genre based around technological freedom and rebellion against the "status quo." It is often a dark and satirical reflection of human nature and their combination in the future. Plots from this genre often include artificial intelligences, hackers and megacorporations all in conflict and set on Earth.
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson

    Neuromancer by William Gibson
    William Gibson wrote the novel "Neuromancer" in 1984. It was an important addition to the world of cyberpunk as it truly developed the idea of "cyberspace." The novel featured characters from his earlier works such as the iconic short story "Burning Chrome." It is said that this novel launched the cyberpunk generation as it won a coveted trifecta of science-fiction awards: The Nebula Award, The Hugo Award and the Philip K. Dick Award.
  • The Fifth Element

    The Fifth Element
    "The Fifth Element" is a science-fiction film which incorporates many elements of the postcyberpunk era. Set in the twenty-third century, the story involves the survival of humanity.
  • The Matrix

    The Matrix
    The Wachowski brothers released "The Matrix" in 1999 and saw the original movie skyrocket to success. The movie paved the way for two film sequels, as well as countless comic books, video games and animated short films. The film incorporates many elements of cyberpunk and cyberspace by creating a manipulative plot where the reality that is perceived by humans is actually a simulated cyberspace.