Altered Carbon – Richard K. Morgan
This is the first book in the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy. And man, where to even start with Tak. He’s a specially trained member of the Envoy Corps. He used to be one of them. An elite soldier. Now, he’s a criminal because he can’t get honest work. He’s a damaged, depraved, honorable, murderous anti-hero. He jumps off the page as one of the most memorable characters of the genre.
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
So, I read Snow Crash well after I’d gotten fully into the Cyberpunk genre. It took me three tries to get through it. First I got stuck on the first chapter, it’s written in a different style than the rest of the book. I tried again and got past the first chapter — thankfully — and into the meat of the book but then got caught up on a plot point that was frustrating me. The third time, I pushed through it because I loved the first part so much and finally finished it and was rewarded.
Until Altered Carbon came along, this was my #1. If Snow Crash was part of a trilogy (it has a sequel The Diamond Age, but it’s not a direct sequel) I might still have it at number one. I could really use more Hiro Protagonist in my life.
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Neuromancer is often credited as the birth of Cyberpunk, at least in so far as we know it. Ever used the term ‘Cyberspace’? Gibson coined it. In Neuromancer. I honestly didn’t like Neuromancer that much when I first read it. Or when I read it again. However, like a fine wine, I’ve begun to appreciate it more as the years have passed.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Bladerunner) – Phillip K. Dick
I had to include Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is the source material for Bladerunner, which is often hailed as the quintessential cyberpunk movie.
Phillip K. Dick died in 1982, the same year Bladerunner came out, but before the movie because a financial success. The story goes, that he died broke and insane. Whatever he was, it’s impossible to claim he wasn’t a visionary.
Recombination – Brendan Butts
Recombination is book one in the Chronicles of Withmore City series. The series starts in 2085 and follows the tumultuous life of Seven Ecks, a teenager with a special destiny. That destiny begins in the first volume of the Chronicles of Withmore City series.
Powerful corporations, ruthless bounty hunters, a country decimated by economic hardship, affordable brain mapping and human cloning. Recombination is only the beginning.
Want to know more about Phillip K. Dick? check out his bio on gnosis.
Want to find out more about the cyberpunk genre? Check out ‘What is Cyberpunk?‘ for more information.