The Best Cyberpunk Books Of All Time

Posted by Bryan Stewart on

Welcome to Postmarked From the Stars Top 100 Cyberpunk Books Checklist!

We admittedly love cyberpunk. Before we get started, let's throw down a quick definition. Cyberpunk is commonly defined as a subgenre of science fiction that typically features a near-future setting, advanced technology, and a gritty, dystopian society. Most folks think of Blade Runner, The Matrix, Ghost in the Shell, etc. Thanks Philip K. Dick, Ridley Scott, and friends!

Join us as we dive deep into the ever-evolving realm of cyberpunk literature. In this list, we unveil a meticulously curated list of 100 cyberpunk stories that have captivated readers worldwide, ranging from the most celebrated classics like Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep to hidden gems waiting to be discovered like Void Star by Zachary Mason.

For those a little fuzzy on what cyberpunk is, it often explores themes such as the effects of rapid technological advancement on society, the fusion of human and machine, the erosion of privacy and individuality in a hyper-connected world, and the power dynamics between mega-corporations and marginalized individuals.

Cyberpunk narratives often revolve around hackers, rebels, and antiheroes navigating through urban landscapes filled with cybernetic enhancements, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and corporate control. The genre emerged in the 1980s and has since become a prominent and influential part of science fiction literature, film, and videogames and more!

Whether you're a seasoned cyberpunk enthusiast or new to the genre, prepare to embark on an electrifying journey through virtual realms, dystopian landscapes, and cutting-edge technologies. Join us as we uncover the essence of cyberpunk storytelling and delve into a world where humanity's relationship with technology is both exhilarating and cautionary. Get ready to expand your literary horizons and discover the best cyberpunk books that push the boundaries of imagination and innovation.


Here's a template to print your high resolution version of our cyberpunk bookmark!

Major thanks to Paul Melancon of Insomnia Audio. His graphic design support was critical in the release of this bookmark!


Here's the first 10 of our 100 books on the list!

1946 - A Logic Named Joe - Murray Leinster


Blurb: Where to start with A Logic Named Joe? Shaun Nichols of The Register does a great job of contextualizing this story’s importance. He said, “Tells the story of a humble repairman who finds himself scrambling to stop a machine that has become a bit too good at helping people.” He adds “Though Leinster never achieved the notoriety of other science fiction visionaries such as Asimov or Philip K Dick, A Logic Named Joe has been recognized by, among others, the Computer History Museum as "one of the most prescient views of the capabilities of computers in a network."

In the story, Leinster envisions a future in which every home is equipped with a "logic" device that serves as both a reference source and entertainment box.” You read Nichols’ full perspective here but his point of “Where A Logic Named Joe really inspires, though, is not with its vision of the placement of technology, but in the ways in which it could be used both for the benefit and detriment of society. Leinster is able to present conflict by making technology a solution that works just a bit too well.”

Product Links: Here’s it published in its original form. Here’s it in a more modern collection through Baen Books and here it is in a new Masterworks collection.

1956 - The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester

Blurb: We love this novel and think it might have one of the best anti-heros in all of science fiction! “In this pulse-quickening novel, Alfred Bester imagines a future in which people "jaunte" a thousand miles with a single thought, where the rich barricade themselves in labyrinths and protect themselves with radioactive hitmen—and where an inarticulate outcast is the most valuable and dangerous man alive.

The Stars My Destination is a classic of technological prophecy and timeless narrative enchantment by an acknowledged master of science fiction.”

Product Link: Here’s a hardback edition, a modern paperback edition, and a vintage paperback version. Here’s a link to a new paperback version from 2011.

1968 - Stand On Zanzibar - John Brunner

Blurb: “Norman Niblock House is a rising executive at General Technics, one of a few all-powerful corporations. His work is leading General Technics to the forefront of global domination, both in the marketplace and politically—it's about to take over a country in Africa. Donald Hogan is his roommate, a seemingly sheepish bookworm. But Hogan is a spy, and he's about to discover a breakthrough in genetic engineering that will change the world ... and kill him. These two men's lives weave through one of science fiction's most praised novels. Written in a way that echoes John Dos Passos' U.S.A. Trilogy, Stand on Zanzibar is a cross-section of a world overpopulated by the billions. Where society is squeezed into hive-living madness by god-like mega computers, mass-marketed psychedelic drugs, and mundane uses of genetic engineering. Though written in 1968, it speaks of 2010, and is frighteningly prescient and intensely powerful.”

Product Link: Here’s a link to the Murray Tinkelman Cover, the Steele Savage Cover, and our Tor Essentials new paperback version.

1968 - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K. Dick

Blurb: “It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment--find them and then..."retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!”

Product Link: Here’s a link to purchase a new paperback edition. Here’s a used paperback edition.

1968 - Nova - Samuel R. Delany

Blurb: “These are [at least some of] the ways you can read NOVA: as a fast-action farflung interstellar adventure; as archetypal mystical/mythical allegory (in which the Tarot and the Grail both figure prominently); as modern myth told in the S-F idiom... the reader observes, recollects, or participates in a range of personal experience including violent pain and disfigurement, sensory deprivation and overload, man-machine communion, the drug experience, the creative experience - and inter-personal relationships which include incest and assassination, father-son, leader-follower, human-pet, and lots more!

The balance of galactic power in the 31st century revolves around Illyrion, the most precious energy source in the universe. The varied and exotic crew who sign up with Captain Lorq van Ray know their mission is dangerous, and they soon learn that they are involved in a deadly race with the charismatic but vicious leader of an opposing space federation. But they have no idea of Lorq's secret obsession: to gather Illyrion at the source by flying through the very heart of an imploding star.”

Product Link: Here’s a link to purchase a new paperback edition.

1970 - The Scarred Man - Gregory Benford

Blurb: “Inspired by Benford’s work on the ARPANet project during the late 60s, the “The Scarred Man” is remarkable for how accurately it describes the mechanisms and implications of computer viruses — 13 years before Dr. Fred Cohen “officially” coined the phrase.”

Product Link: Here’s a link to the first time this story was ever published in May 1970 Venture. Here’s a more recent Worlds Vast and Various, a Benford paperback collection that also has this iconic story as well.

1973 - The Girl Who Was Plugged In - James Tiptree Jr.

Blurb: “James Tiptree, Jr. (aka Alice Sheldon) is primarily renowned for her short fiction, but this piece, which won the Hugo for best novella in 1974, is also top-notch. It imagines a future completely ruled by corporations, where advertising is illegal, because life is advertising—companies use celebrities and product placement to sell their wares. Philadelphia (“P.”) Burke is a seventeen-year-old girl with severe deformities who, after a suicide attempt, is chosen to be one of those celebrities—she controls a new, perfect body, grown brainless for this very purpose, and becomes a new famous person whose job is to publicly buy things. But then she falls in love.”

Product Link: Here’s a collection of Tiptree stories that includes this cyberpunk classic story.

1975 - The Shockwave Rider - John Brunner

Blurb: “One man has made it his mission to liberate the mental prisoners. to restore their freedom in a world run mad.

Nickie Halflinger, the only person to escape from Tarnover—where they raise hyper-intelligent children to maintain the political dominance of the USA in the 21st century—is on the run, dodging from loophole to crevice to crack in the computerised data-net that binds the continent like chains. After years of flight and constant changes of identity, at the strange small town called Precipice he discovers he is not alone in his quest. But can his new allies save him when he falls again into the sinister grasp of Tarnover...?”

Product Link: Here’s a copy to a new paperback edition. Here’s a link to a vintage Murray Tinkelman paperback edition and a vintage Creston Ely cover hardback.

1976 - Woman On The Edge of Time - Marge Piercy

Blurb: “After being unjustly committed to a mental institution, Connie Ramos is contacted by an envoy from the year 2137, who shows her a utopian future of sexual and racial equality and environmental harmony.

But Connie also bears witness to another potential outcome: a dystopian society of grotesque exploitation. One will become our world. And Connie herself may strike the decisive blow…”

Product Link: Here’s a link to purchase a new paperback edition.

1977 - A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick

Blurb: “Substance D is not known as Death for nothing. It is the most toxic drug ever to find its way on to the streets of LA. It destroys the links between the brain's two hemispheres, causing, first, disorientation and then complete and irreversible brain damage.

The undercover narcotics agent who calls himself Bob Arctor is desperate to discover the ultimate source of supply. But to find any kind of lead he has to pose as a user and, inevitably, without realising what is happening, Arctor is soon as addicted as the junkies he works among…”

Product Link: Here’s a link to purchase a new paperback edition. Here’s a link to a rare 1970s Carlos Ochagavia cover.

This is the first 10 of the top 100 cyberpunk books. 

Here's the rest of the list: 11- 20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100.