The best cyberpunk stories featuring hackers, cyborgs, and dystopian societies

Who am I?

Although I write Fantasy, I’m a Cyberpunk enthusiast who mentally lives in the high-tech effed-up future authors and artists imagined in the ‘80s. My imagination has been so influenced by Cyberpunk since I watched (and eventually read) Akira as a kid that I ended up creating a Fantasy world with a retro-futuristic, low-life/high-tech vibe, and a lot of motorcycles. An awful lot. I’m also a rebel by heart and a queer person, hence my stories always feature a fight against society and LGBTQ+ characters. I like reading about dystopias, morally grey characters, and dark content. This is what I read, and this is what I write about.


I wrote...

The Harbinger of Freedom: The Falling Feathers Series, Act I

By Freddie A. Clark,

Book cover of The Harbinger of Freedom: The Falling Feathers Series, Act I

What is my book about?

The Harbinger of Freedom is the first act of the Falling Feathers Series, a crazy mix of blood, sex, drugs, hacking, cybernetic augmentations, shamanism, fantasy creatures, artificial life, and an overall retrofuturistic and Cyberpunkish aesthetic. In this vast, complex world, liberty and self-determination play a pivotal role in the search for balance and justice for all, while the diverse characters are pawns in a gritty game of power, intrigues, and violence in which there is no place for surrender or subjugation.

The books I picked & why

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Neuromancer

By William Gibson,

Book cover of Neuromancer

Why this book?

This book is dear to my heart and led me towards Cyberpunk literature. Neuromancer is the first book I’d suggest to anyone approaching the genre for the first time. Hackers, ruthless organised crime and corporations, low-life in a dystopian high-tech society, a tormented protagonist, cyborgs, and AI. This book features them all and Gibson is an outstanding storyteller. Bonus points for the badass razor-girl Molly Millions, a deadly cyborg I often mention as one of my favourite characters of all time.

Neuromancer

By William Gibson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Neuromancer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The book that defined the cyberpunk movement, inspiring everything from The Matrix to Cyberpunk 2077.

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

William Gibson revolutionised science fiction in his 1984 debut Neuromancer. The writer who gave us the matrix and coined the term 'cyberspace' produced a first novel that won the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick Awards, and lit the fuse on the Cyberpunk movement.

More than three decades later, Gibson's text is as stylish as ever, his noir narrative still glitters like chrome in the shadows and his depictions of…


Akira, Volume 1

By Katsuhiro Otomo,

Book cover of Akira, Volume 1

Why this book?

Akira is a must-read manga masterpiece, a deep analysis of government corruption, political upheaval, criminality, and decay of society. Apart from the breathtaking art, what caught my attention was the complex story and the nihilistic, harsh, and hopeless world Akira shows. There are virtually no good characters in this story and it fits the apocalyptic, decadent reality they face and live. Expect a lot of psychic abilities and motorcycles, along with gritty, graphic violence.

Akira, Volume 1

By Katsuhiro Otomo,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Akira, Volume 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Akira 1 introduces readers to a gritty Neo-Tokyo, built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by a blast of unknown origin that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, making him a target for a shadowy agency that will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like the one that levelled Tokyo. At the core of the agency's motivation is a raw, all-consuming fear of an unthinkable, monstrous power known only as Akira.

Snow Crash

By Neal Stephenson,

Book cover of Snow Crash

Why this book?

The protagonist is a pizza-delivery man and hacker named Hiro Protagonist. I couldn’t stop laughing and couldn’t stop reading after that! The worldbuilding, the humour, and all the kitschy weirdness it features had an incredible impact on me. Besides, the Metaverse is amazingly described. I also appreciated for a male-authored story from the ‘90s to mention a device like the Dentata. I won’t spoil what it is….

Snow Crash

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Snow Crash as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Schismatrix Plus

By Bruce Sterling,

Book cover of Schismatrix Plus

Why this book?

More a space opera than a full-fledged Cyberpunk story, Schismatrix is a masterpiece with incredible worldbuilding and socio-political commentary. This book impacted mine on many levels; it features an initially hopeless protagonist who eventually fights for a cause, a revolution with struggling factions, a dystopian tyranny, futuristic pirates. It’s a visionary book permeated with deep reflections on human essence and transhumanism, one that’ll make you wonder where humanity is heading, what our purpose is, and what our search for growth and change will entail.

Schismatrix Plus

By Bruce Sterling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Schismatrix Plus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Mindplayers

By Pat Cadigan,

Book cover of Mindplayers

Why this book?

Pat Cadigan is one of my favourite authors. Mindplayers is a short book, bizarre and strange but fascinating as per Cadigan’s style. The main setting here is the human mind. The protagonist is forced to become a Mindplayer, a sort of state-controlled psychologist who jacks into people’s minds in order to cure them. This book makes you wonder how vast the world inside your head is, and if your thoughts and memories really belong to you once a government takes control of them. There’s even Brain Police involved, what can be more dystopian than this?

Mindplayers

By Pat Cadigan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mindplayers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Allie Haas only did it for a dare - the kind of dare you know is a mistake but you do it anyway because it's Mistake Yime. But putting on the madcap that Jerry Wirerammer has 'borrowed' was a very big mistake. The psychosis itself was quite conventional, a few paranoid delusions, but it didn't go away when she took the madcap off. Jerry did the decent thing and left her at an emergency room for dry-cleaning but then the Brain Police took over. Straightened out by a professional mindplayer, Allie thinks she's left mind games behind for good but…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cyberpunk, dystopia, and Tokyo?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cyberpunk, dystopia, and Tokyo.

Cyberpunk Explore 27 books about cyberpunk
Dystopia Explore 240 books about dystopia
Tokyo Explore 55 books about Tokyo

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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