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cyberpunk, Cyberpunk, n., adj., p.n. 1. a sub-genre of science fiction literature, characterized by near-future scenarios in which advanced technology radically affects the lives of average citizens, the criminal element, or the very poor; often focuses on computer technology, cybernetics, genetics, and nanotechnology. 2. a western subcultural movement, originally inspired by cyberpunk literature, that seeks personal fulfillment through computer technology, pharmaceutical self-enhancement, tribal-self identity and body alteration. 3. in role-playing games, a science-fiction milieu based on cyberpunk literature; player characters are usually technologically-enhanced mercenaries. Examples include Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, and GURPS Cyberpunk. 4. Cyberpunk: The Role-Playing Game of the Dark Future, by R. Talsorian Games; first published in 1988. See also steampunk, cypherpunk, nanopunk, and -punk. [GJ1]


Addendum: Although previous works, such as Vernor Vinge's True Names, John Brunner's The Shockwave Rider, and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep helped give form to the genre, the cyberpunk literary movement was truly born with the publication of William Gibson's Nebula & Hugo-award winning novel Neuromancer in 1982. It was actually Gibson's near-total ignorance of real computer technology that let him think "outside the box," imagining a world where computers dictated human consciousness and permeated every pore of human life; his fanciful motions of cyberspace and human-computer interaction have been reflected back onto, and helped shape, the real technology. It was also a novel where sympathetic characters wander a world reduced to violence, squalor, and despair, but don't notice because it's the only world they know. Giants of the cyberpunk genre include Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Rudy Rucker, and Bruce Sterling. Cyberpunk has some moderate influence on modern TV and movies, with examples being Blade Runner, The 13th Floor, The Matrix, "Max Headroom", and "Dark Angel".[EDE/MW]
Addendum #2: If you want unintelligent cyberpunk, try Johnny Mnemonic (the film, not the wonderful short story), a brilliant script destroyed by inept direction and acting. [EDE]

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