/si:'ber-puhnk/ (Originally coined by SF writer Bruce Bethke and/or editor
Gardner Dozois) A subgenre of SF launched in 1982 by William Gibson's
epoch-making novel "Neuromancer" (though its roots go back through Vernor
Vinge's "True Names" to John Brunner's 1975 novel "The Shockwave Rider").
Gibson's near-total ignorance of computers and the present-day hacker culture
enabled him to speculate about the role of computers and hackers in the future
in ways hackers have since found both irritatingly na"ive and tremendously
stimulating. Gibson's work was widely imitated, in particular by the short-lived
but innovative "Max Headroom" TV series. See cyberspace, ice, jack in, go
Since 1990 or so, popular culture has included a movement or fashion trend that
calls itself "cyberpunk", associated especially with the rave/techno subculture.
Hackers have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, self-described
cyberpunks too often seem to be shallow trendoids in black leather who have
substituted enthusiastic blathering about technology for actually learning and
*doing* it. Attitude is no substitute for competence. On the other hand, at
least cyberpunks are excited about the right things and properly respectful of
hacking talent in those who have it. The general consensus is to tolerate them
politely in hopes that they'll attract people who grow into being true hackers.
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