Best 17 Cyberpunk Books: Dystopian Elements in a High-Tech Future World

When American author Bruce Bethke wrote a short story titled “Cyberpunk” in 1982, he was talking about teenage hackers. He had no intention to invent a specific genre, but he inadvertently overdid it and turned cyberpunk into an expansive idea explored by many books that followed. Cyberpunk is mostly characterized by hi-tech topics like genetic alteration, body invasion, artificial intelligence, and microchip implants merged with the conspicuous nature of humanity including faith, hope, desperation, sex, violence, drugs, and crimes. Some of the best cyberpunk books everyone should read are listed below.

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Cyberpunk Books


Through a story about a giant tech company attempting to take control of the future human population via the gaming industry, Neuromancer has given the foundation for countless features in the cyberpunk theme. Neuromancer shares Gibson’s opinion that an unbound love for technology could be disastrous to the body and mind. Even in a tech-ridden world, somebody has to maintain a healthy perspective towards humanity.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Cyberpunk Books


A book about shared virtual reality released in the early 1990s, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson seems even more relevant today than ever. A hacker/part-time pizza delivery person and skateboarding courier must rise to the occasion and bring people back to living in a real society. Their weapon of choice is Snow Crash, a sophisticated virus that would make all computer screens look like TV static.

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

Cyberpunk Books


Humanity on Earth is approaching its demise, and most people have moved to some other planets to survive. A bounty hunter is tasked with finding few android offenders who crossed the planetary borders through illegal means. Stories in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? have been adapted to films multiple times, most prominently by Blade Runner. To some extent, it is also the book behind Total Recall and Minority Report.

Akira Series by Katsuhiro Otomo

Cyberpunk Books


Most sci-fi fans in the Western hemisphere are familiar with the iconic animated film “Akira” released in 1988. The film is an adaptation of a 1982 manga of the same title. The manga series ends up being colorized and collected into six volumes. Events in the series are set in futuristic Tokyo where a few people with telekinetic powers are targeted by an authoritarian government.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow

Cyberpunk Books


There is a mad futuristic world inside an unusual section of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It is a place where life is all about anti-aging technology, death and resurrection, as well as a poorly-run government led by an animatronic President. The author presents the whole package of cyberpunk-themed story inside a wrapping tale of friendship and betrayal.

Mirrorshades (Edited) by Bruce Sterling

Cyberpunk Books


The cyberpunk anthology is comprised of multiple genre-defining tales from stereotypical post-humanism to counter-culture isolation. Bruce Sterling edited the collection and co-authored two stories. Contributing writers include William Gibson, John Shirley, Pat Cadigan, and Tom Maddox, among others.

Accelerando by Charles Stross

Cyberpunk Books


In addition to the typical paperback and hardback editions for sale, the e-book version of Accelerando is available for free under Creative Commons license. Artificial Intelligence has finally surpassed human intellect. Biotechnological beings are now the dominant force on Earth, powered by molecular science and self-reprogramming capabilities. In spite of all the sophistication, however, some individuals are still bound by the old greed and are willing to take a long journey to avoid taxation. And that’s just the beginning of the thrill.

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

Cyberpunk Books


Humans have reached a level of technological development where everybody (with money) can store memories and minds in a cartridge implanted in the spinal column. When their current bodies become too old, they can simply transfer the “conscience” files to new sleeves. Takeshi Kovacs, a resurrected private detective of some sort from another planet, has to deal with a murder case in which the rich victim is still very much alive.

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Cyberpunk Books


While the Earth is disintegrating due to the effects of extreme climate change, Peter is tasked with spreading the word of Jesus to extraterrestrial species in a distant space station. In an era where space travel is commonplace, the old-school human problems never really go away.

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi


Flambeur is a former thief in the distant post-human future. After a long period of incarceration, he wants to stay away from the underworld. When someone comes to hire him to do one last heist, he sees it as an opportunity to carry out his own plan: taking back old memories stored in a faraway city, somewhere in space.

Diaspora by Greg Egan


One of cyberpunk books best-described as imaginative speculation, Diaspora takes the reader’s mind into a wonderful yet dreary fictional future human civilization across the solar system. Most humans have chosen to transform their brain into supercomputers, leaving behind the physical bodies, and to live in a virtual reality. Individuals who still inhabit the Earth have also evolved into an enhanced-species with amplified intelligence and are disease resistant. Biology is no longer relevant.

Moxyland by Lauren Beukes


In a distant-future Cape Town, the government takes full control over the citizens’ lives. Anybody who breaks the rules will be disconnected from the network. It might not seem like a big deal, but it turns out that the fear of being offline can be a dangerous unifying force.

Distraction by Bruce Sterling


The year is 2044, and the United States is in a state of unsustainable chaos. The government has run out of money, and the cities have become private entities. Everywhere in the streets, the military is terrorizing the people. American has gone almost completely off the rails, and the economy doesn’t make any sense. Scientists bring little hope, buy they need help from the people to fix the nation.

Eclipse by John Shirley


The Soviet Union still exists and has expanded its territory to Western Europe. Amidst the uncertainty, a sinister corporation named the Second Alliance comes to surface. It has launched a large-scale propaganda program across the United States and to a space colony in an attempt to establish a New World Order. The only thing standing in the way is the New Resistance.

The Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow


Robots are upgraded with human tissues, whereas humans are enhanced with mechanical implants. Soon enough everyone is a cyborg, rendering the lines between biological organisms and robotic creatures blurry. In the middle of the confusion, Motoko Kusanagi is on a mission to hunt down cybercriminals capable of reprogramming humans into puppets to do their bidding.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


Reality is a boring place filled with mundanity. The virtual world is where everybody goes for fun. Wade Watts finds a new purpose as soon as he enters a digital utopia known as the OASIS. It is a place full of puzzles and the promise of massive fortune to anybody smart enough to unlock the ultimate answer.

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich


Unlike most cyberpunk books that depict the future as filled with all high-tech inventions, space travels, and miraculous medical wonders, Future Home of the Living God offers an entirely opposite perspective. Technology has broken down except in top-secret government buildings. Evolution is running backward, causing some animals to look like strange monsters. It is a biological apocalypse and affecting humans too.


We think the cyberpunk category of fiction is extremely cool! Especially in today’s world where technology and scientific knowledge can grow exponentially on a daily basis. Are you a cyberpunk reader? Do you have a favorite author? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you might want to know about.

Must read Cyberpunk novels

According to these are some books you can’t do without. Check out this article by Shavanaty Minnis for more information about the books on this list.

  • Company Town by Madeline Ashby
  • Something (Full Murderhobo) by Dakota Korbut
  • Noor by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Artemis by Andy Weir
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • Heart Threaded by James L Graetz
  • Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore
  • The Last Reaper by J.N. Chaney
  • The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson
  • The This by Adam Roberts

15 Exciting Cyberpunk Books Filled with High Tech and Low Life By Orrin Grey

According to here are 15 lessor-known authors of cyberpunk that you might be interested in reading. Check out the website for more information about each of these novels. 

  • Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling
  • Data Runner by Sam A. Patel
  • When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger
  • Vacuum Flowers by Michael Swanwick
  • Slant by Greg Bear
  • The Coin Giver by M.M. Buckner
  • The Man in the Moon Must Die by Jeff Bredenberg
  • The Titan Strain by Virginia Soenksen
  • The Whole Man by John Brunner
  • Turning’s Delirium by Edmundo Paz Soldan
  • Vn by Madeline Ashby
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Synners by Pat Cadigan
  • Maxyland by Lauren Beukes
  • Cyberpunk by Victoria Blake

Cyberpunk Books: Beginner’s Guide

According to Yaika Sabat these are the books to read if you are just beginning to read cyberpunk novels. Go to for more details about each of these books. 

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  • The Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow
  • Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Trouble and her Friends by Melissa Scott
  • Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
  • Synners by Pat Cardigan
  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Psion by Joan D. Vinge
  • Infomocracy by Malka Older
  • Company Town by Madeline Ashby
  • Want by Cindy Pon