7 Best Cyberpunk Novels You Can Give as a Present for Geeks

Cyberpunk is a genre of science fiction that deals with a futuristic setting which includes a marginalized society, oppressive government and how the low life people living at the edge make use of their resources and technology to get through their current situation.  It has been three decades since the first cyberpunk novel came to mainstream and since then it gave birth to various sub-sub genres which includes steampunk, nanopunk, decopunk and so on.  The main focus of cyberpunk stories is technology which is highly concentrated on artificial intelligence and genetics and how the influential corporations and government take over these future earth societies.   Since cyberpunk has been around for quite some time, there are plenty of novels and films that are known to many cyberpunk fanatics but there are seven cyberpunk novels that we consider as the best ones ever.  Check out our seven best cyberpunk novels of all time from the list provided below.

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

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According to Joe Halderman, the author of “The Forever War” this cyberpunk novel is one of the few works of an actual genius. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester is originally written in Galaxy magazine in a four part series. That was way back in the 1956 and this served as the major influencer of the cyberpunk works after twenty years. This novel started off with the main character Gulliver Foyle, who was left to die on his ship, Nomad after the attack that occurred in outer space. This novel started the cyberpunk movement and envisioned a future ran by powerful mega corporations, oppressive government and the use of body enhancement through cybernetics. This novel is a 192 paged book with the graphic story adaptation of the completed version of the story. The illustrations are superb, knowing that it was made when Adobe Photoshop and other graphic enhancements are not yet accessible.

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

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Altered Carbon is a novel that is set on the 25th century where in humans have spread into the galaxy but still monitored by the UN. The socio economic class is still prevalent and the rich and the powerful do not die. Their brains are uploaded in cyberspace and can be downloaded into a new body or sleeve. The conspiracy is unfolded when a rich man hired Takeshi Kovacs, an ex-UN envoy to investigate why his back up copy is animated when he killed himself. Existence is portrayed in this novel as something that can be bought and only the powerful and the can afford has the ability to do so.

The Ghost in the Shell, by Masamune Shirow

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An upcoming movie is set to be released soon based on this famous cyberpunk novel. Although there was an anime film that was already out long before. This novel was first published in 1989 and since then The Ghost in the Shell has become one of the most sought after cyberpunk novels. Many artworks, video games and television shows came to life with this novel as an inspiration. The novel is set in the future, particularly in the 21st century. Cyber brains, cyborgs and the reliance of man on machines are the main modifiers of the storyline. Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg super-agent was tasked to capture the most sought after cybercriminals, terrorists and ghost hackers who are exploiting the human-machine interface. Because of her great skills, Major Motoko was able to pin down the Puppeteer and her quest led her to unfold a world where the human soul and consciousness have reversed.

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

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is originally written with the setting in 1992 but then was changed to 2021 which is the near future. Based on the novel, World War killed most of the human race and the rest of the living creatures in the planet. The powerful companies produced realistic simulacra of animals and even humans. Androids are built in a sophisticated manner that made it difficult to decipher between the real humans. The government soon banned them from earth which caused them to live into hiding. Rick Deckard is the official bounty hunter of these rogue androids. This is an action filled, science fiction novel that will bring you at the edge of your seat!

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

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The title of this novel was inspired from the broken software of an earlier version of the Apple computer, the Macintosh. This software failure resulted to a static screen which merely looks like a broken TV thus the name snow crash was tagged. This novel is a mix of Sumerian mythology and the elements of cyberpunk. In the novel, the term Snow Crash is a computer virus which is experienced in the virtual reality Metaverse and in the real world. Hiro Protagonist investigated on this and vowed to trace the hackers responsible for this and later on set himself on a wild journey of search and destroy. Hiro is a pizza delivery guy but this is just a front since he is also a self-proclaimed world’s best swordfighter and a hacker.

Neuromancer by William Gibson

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Neuromancer is known to be as one of the most potent visions of the future. This novel was the very first to have won the triple crown of science fiction: the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick awards and since then it has become one of the most sought after cyberpunk novels of all time. The story revolves on the life of Henry Dorsett Case, who is a hacker who got fired by his employer due to theft. He was drugged until he got sick. Suddenly, a mysterious character would like to hire him for his hacking skills and offered him a cure for his illness as a reward. Henry got some reinforcements too in the character of a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, who is a mirror eyed samurai.

Accelerando by Charles Stross

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This 2005 novel has won the 2006 Locus award. The title describes the accelerating rate of the characters towards technological singularity. This novel is a collection of short stories that deals with the lives of three generations as they approach technological singularity. The story was set in the era where in the human intellect has been surpassed by artificial intelligence and molecular nanotechnology has advanced. The surviving population are still struggling and thriving in this rapidly accelerating world.

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About the Author

Kit K

Kit Kalagayan is a content writer for many blogs and websites. He runs Gift Canyon and does most of the content and administrative work.

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