Key Moments in the History of Cyberpunk

By Esile
  • Use of the word "punk" to mean criminal

  • Period: to


  • Term "cybernetics" used by Norbert Wiener

  • 'The Naked Lunch' published

    'The Naked Lunch' published
    Novel by William S. Burroughs
  • Term "cyborg" by Manfred Clynes

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep published

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep published
    Science Fiction novel by Phillip K. Dick.
  • K.W. Jeter completes Dr. Adder (Spring)

  • Gravity's Rainbow published

    Gravity's Rainbow published
  • "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" published in New Dimensions 3

    "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" published in New Dimensions 3
  • Shockwave Rider published

    Shockwave Rider published
  • The Ramones release first album; punk begins

    The Ramones release first album; punk begins
  • The Clash release first album; punk gets serious

    The Clash release first album; punk gets serious
  • "Fragments of a Hologram Rose" published in Unearth (summer)

    "Fragments of a Hologram Rose" published in Unearth (summer)
  • The Ophiuchi Hotline published

  • Never Mind the Bullocks - Here's the Sex Pistols released; punk gets notorious

    Never Mind the Bullocks - Here's the Sex Pistols released; punk gets notorious
  • Generation X, with Billy Idol on lead vocals, releases first album

    Generation X, with Billy Idol on lead vocals, releases first album
  • The Clash release London Calling

    The Clash release London Calling
  • City Come A-Walkin' published

    City Come A-Walkin' published
  • The Artificial Kid published

    The Artificial Kid published
  • "Johnny Mnemonic" published in Omni (May)

    "Johnny Mnemonic" published in Omni (May)
  • Spacetime Donuts published

    Spacetime Donuts published
  • "The Gernsback Continuum " published in Universe 11

  • "True Names" published

    "True Names" published
  • Sterling introduces Gibson's "Burning Chrome" to the writer's workshop in Austin

  • Software published (Jan.)

  • Blade Runner released

    Blade Runner released
  • Tron released

    Tron released
  • Gibson attends ArmadiloCon and reads the opening chapter of his work-in-progress, Neuromancer. "Behind the Mirrorshade: A Look at Punk SF" panel held. (Oct.)

  • War Games released

    War Games released
  • Cheap Truth begins publication

  • Gibson, Sterling and Shiner visit Rudy Rucker in Lynchburg after Balticon; Virginia hasn't been this hip since Thomas Jefferson was alive

  • The short story "Cyberpunk" by Bruce Bethke published in Amazing Science Fiction Stories; this is, allegedly, the first use of the term 'cyberpunk' anywhere (Nov.)

  • The word "transrealism" coined by Rudy Rucker who issues "A Transreal Manifesto" in The Bulletin of the SFWA (Winter)

  • In Japan, robots kill four humans in separate incidents

  • Neuromancer published; "cyberspace" coined

  • Dr. Adder published

  • Decoder, a film by Klaus Maeck, released

  • Frontera published

  • Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution published

    Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution published
  • 2600 begins publication

    2600 begins publication
  • VPL Research Inc. founded by Jason Lanier

    “post-symbolic” visual programming language
  • Terminator released

    Terminator released
  • Gardner Dozois, reviewing "hot new writers" for The Washington Post, refers to a group called "cyberpunks". The name sticks (Dec. 30)

  • Donna Haraway's "Manifesto for Cyborgs" published in Socialist Review (Apr.)

  • Japanese translation of Neuromancer published (July)

  • "Cyberpunks" panel convenes at the National SF Convention in Austin. Panelists are Rudy Rucker, John Shirley, Bruce Sterling, Lou Shiner, Pat Cadigan and Greg Bear (Aug. 31)

  • Schismatrix published

  • Eclipse published

  • "Slamdancing in SF" published in REM #2

  • 20 Minutes into the Future (aka Max Headroom) released

  • "Pakistani Brain" virus infects IBM computers world-wide (Jan.)

  • Rudy Rucker's "What is Cyberpunk?" appears in REM #3 (Feb.)

  • Count Zero published (Mar.)

  • Kim Stanley Robinson's parody "Down and Out in the year 2000" appears in IASF (Apr.)

  • Norman Spinrad's "The Neuromantics" published in IASF (May)

  • John Shirley confounds the elders at the Science Fiction Research Association panel "Cyberpunk or Cyberjunk"

  • Cheap Truth ceases publication (Aug.)

  • Burning Chrome published

  • Hardwired published

  • Michael Swanwick's "A User's Guide to the Post Moderns" published in IASF (Nov.)

  • Mirrorshades published (Dec.)

  • Interzone reprints "the New Science Fiction" by Vincent Omniaveritas (Winter)

  • First German translation of Neuromancer published by Heyne

  • Science Fiction Eye premiers with all cyberpunk issue

  • Robocop released

  • Akira released

  • Bubble Gum Crisis begins in Japan

  • Decoder magazine begins in Italy

  • Mirrorshades published in Germany [Spiegelschatten]

  • Mississippi Review entire issue published devoted to cyberpunk; academic colonization of the Movement begins in earnest

  • Metrophage published

  • Shatter graphic novel published

  • In England, Max Dowhham's "Cyberpunk: the Final Solution" published in Vague

  • bOING bOING begins publication

  • Wetware published (Apr.)

  • The Internet worm strikes (Nov.)

  • Mona Lisa Overdrive published (Nov.)

  • Mirrorshades published in Japan (Spring)

  • Islands in the Net published

  • Going GaGa begins publication

  • Mirrorshades published in Brazil [Reflexo do Futuro]

  • Neuromancer: The Graphic Novel published

  • The Cuckoo's Egg published

  • Semiotext(e):SF published

  • Cherry comix special cyberpunk issue published

  • Crystal Express published

  • Tetsuo: The Iron Man released

  • Timothy Leary interviews William Gibson

  • Phrack #24 distributed containing the E911 document hacked from BellSouth (Feb. 24)

  • "Fiction 2000" conference held in Leeds (June)

  • Mondo 2000 begins publication

  • Secret Service raids Steven Jackson Games in Austin (Mar. 1)

  • The Difference Engine published

  • Hardware released

  • EFF founded

  • Operation Sun Devil (May 7-9)

  • Paul Di Filippo's "Ribofunk" published in bOING bOING #2 (Winter)

  • In England, The Hardcore special "Cyberpunk is Dead" issue published (Winter

  • Harper's Magazine publishes "Is Computer Hacking a Crime?", a transcript of a WELL conference during which Phiber Optik hacks the TRW database and distributes John Barlow's credit history (Mar.)

  • Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism published

  • Storming the Reality Studio published

  • Synners published

  • Terminator 2 released

  • The Silicon Man published

  • Transreal! published

  • U.S. intelligence agents reportedly cripple Iraqi air defense computers with a virus during the Gulf War (Jan)

  • Lewis Shiner announces in the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times that he has resigned from cyberpunk (Jan.7)

  • Steven Jackson Games sues the Secret Service (May 1)

  • "Michelangelo" virus media panic begins (Dec.)

  • EFF moves to Washington D.C. and is immediately compromised

  • The Hacker Crackdown published

  • Snow Crash published

  • Mondo 2000: A User's Guide to the New Edge published

  • The Lawnmower Man released

  • "Michelangelo" doomsday; nothing happens (Mar. 6)

  • Jaron Lanier loses his patents to his creditors (Nov)

  • Future Sex begins publication (Nov)

  • Freejack released

  • Tetsuo: Body Hammer released

  • Wired begins publication

  • Fringe Ware Review begins publication

  • Bubble Gum Crisis released in the West

  • Time Magazine "Cyberpunk" cover story; real cyberpunks outraged (Feb. 8

  • Court rules in favor of Steven Jackson Games, Secret Service ordered to pay damages (Feb.)

  • Wild Palms premiers (May 16)

  • Billy Idol's new album Cyberpunk released; real cyberpunks outraged (July)

  • Flame Wars; The Discourse of Cyberculture published

  • Deus X published (Jan)

  • Virtual Light published

  • Nemisis released. Gibson will later praise the film as "sort of early Gibson meets Terminator 2 ... it has a few bits that are just brilliant Cyberpunk."

  • The Hacker and the Ants published

  • Data Trash published

  • Cyberia published

  • "VNS Manifesto" published in Unnatural: Techno-theory for a Contaminated Culture

  • Phiber Optic begins serving a 13 month sentence for computer intrusion and conspiracy (Jan.)

  • In Paris, "Cyber SM" gives first public demonstration of virtual sexuality, S&M style (Jan.)

  • Line Noiz e-zine distributes results of its opinion poll "Does Cyberpunk Still Exist?"; no conclusions, as usual (Aug. 12)

  • Western news media reports two thirds of Russian computer users have encountered viruses, 85% of those viruses were Russian made (Nov.)

  • Crypt Newsletter begins

  • 10th anniversary edition of Neuromancer published (July)

  • The Net released

  • Hackers released

  • From Australia, Geekgirl debuts on the Net (Jan.)

  • Wired UK edition begins (March)

  • The Diamond Age published

  • EFF retreats to San Francisco

  • Italian police raid BITS Against the Empire BBS accusing the computer group of subversion (Feb. 28)

  • The Steampunk Trilogy published (Apr.)

  • VR 5 premiers (May 24)

  • Virtual Futures conference meets at Warwick University (May 26-28)

  • Johnny Mnemonic released (May 26)

  • K.W. Jeter's Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human published-- to the consternation of all (Nov.)

  • Western news sources identify Bulgaria as the leading exporter of computer viruses

  • Arthur & Marilouise Kroker publish "Johnny Mnemonic: The Day Cyberpunk Died" in Ctheory (Jun.)

  • Synthetic Pleasures released

  • The Cyberpunk Handbook published; cynical opportunism reaches new low

  • Kevin Metnick arrested by the FBI for numerous computer crimes (Feb. 15)

  • Escape Velocity; Cyberculture at the End of the Century published

  • FutureSex goes online

  • Ramones break up

  • Ribofunk! collection published (Mar.)

  • Datableed - the second Virtual Futures conference meets (May)

  • Sex Pistols reunion tour begins at Hollola, Finland (June 21)

  • Holy Fire Published (July)

  • Idoru published (Sept.)

  • Kyoko Date, the virtual girl, activated

  • Hacking the Future by Arthur & Marilouise Kroker published

  • Wired magazine's IPO tanks (Oct. 24)

  • Blade Runner 3: Replicants Night by K.W. Jeter published -- for no good reason (Nov)

  • Clinton signs Communications Decency Act into US law (Feb. 8)

  • Wired magazine, as a preliminary action to a planned IPO, files a prospectus with the SEC valuing itself at $447 million -- 17 times greater than its actual revenues. Much derision follows in the financial press (May 30)

  • A Cyberpunk Manifesto published by Christian As. Kirtchev (Feb 14 1997)

  • Freeware published (April)

  • Wired UK edition folds (Feb)

  • US Supreme Court rules Communications Decency Act unconstitutional (Jun 26)

  • Blade Runner computer game released by Westwood (Nov)

  • First authorized Russian translation of Neuromancer [Neiromant] published by Terra Fantastica

  • e Cyberpunk Project and Cyberpunk Information Database opened (November)

  • William Gibson's and Tom Maddox's episode, "Kill Switch" premiers on The X-Files (Feb 15)

  • Burning Chrome stage adaptation opens in Chicago (Feb 6)

  • William Gibson's and Tom Maddox's second episode "First Person Shooter" on The X-Files