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Cyberpunk is a kind of Science Fiction. The Cyberpunk genre began in the early 1980s. Bruce Bethke made this word for his 1980 short story "Cyberpunk"  by putting together two words: "cybernetics" and "punk rock". Soon, people used this word to describe William Gibson's book, Neuromancer.
Cyberpunk authors put their stories in different settings. The time is usually set in the near-future and the settings are often dystopian (characterized by misery). These are often societies with very advanced technology. Often, only a few huge corporations control the society. These corporations control the technology. Instead of being beneficial to all, technology is used by the few corporations for their own interests only. Many cyberpunk novels are about individual computer users. One hero fights a computer/Internet controlled society. These stories are often in the near future.
Common themes in cyberpunk include advances in information technology and especially the Internet, artificial intelligence and prosthetics and post-democratic societal control where corporations have more influence than governments. Nihilism, post-modernism, and film noir techniques are common elements, and the protagonists may be disaffected or reluctant anti-heroes.
Earlier books that influenced Cyberpunk
- William Gibson - Neuromancer and Burning Chrome
- Bruce Sterling - Editor of Mirrorshades anthology
- Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash (1992)
- Pat Cadigan - Mindplayers
- Rudy Rucker - The Ware Series
- John Shirley - Heatseeker
In other media
- Blade Runner (1982) is an important example of the cyberpunk visual style.
- Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo is an example of cyberpunk in manga and anime.
- Bethke, Bruce. "Foreword to "Cyberpunk," a short story by Bruce Bethke". Infinity Plus. http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/cpunk.htm. Retrieved 2007-01-17.
- Stableford, Brian (2006). Science Fact and Science Fiction: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis Group LLC. p. 113.
- "Cyberpunk". web.mit.edu. http://web.mit.edu/m-i-t/science_fiction/jenkins/jenkins_5.html. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- James O'Ehley (1997-07). "SCI-FI MOVIE PAGE PICK: BLADE RUNNER — THE DIRECTOR'S CUT". Sci-Fi Movie Page. http://www.scifimoviepage.com/julypick.html. Retrieved 2007-01-16.