Much of cyberpunk is rooted in the New Wave science fiction movement of the 1960s and 70s, when writers like Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny, J. G. Ballard, Philip Jose Farmer, and Harlan Ellison examined the impact of drug culture, technology, and the sexual revolution while avoiding the utopian tendencies of earlier science fiction. Released in 1984, William Gibson’s influential debut novel Neuromancer would help solidify cyberpunk as a genre, drawing influence from punk subculture and early hacker culture. Other influential cyberpunk writers included Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker.
Early films in the genre include Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner, one of several of Philip K. Dick's works that have been adapted into films. The films Johnny Mnemonic and New Rose Hotel, both based upon short stories by William Gibson, flopped commercially and critically. More recent additions to this genre of filmmaking include the 2013 film Snowpiercer, the 2017 release of Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to the original 1982 film, and the 2018 Netflix TV series Altered Carbon.
"You can be cyberpunk in spirit, but few people are cyberpunk in practice. Unless you're a legit heavy-lifting hacker or have some other subversive skill set, I don't see how one qualifies. You're defined by your actions, not by your ideals." -CyberpunkForums.com contributor Blitz
Contra Blitz, there is a growing belief that to become cyberpunk, all one must do is abandon their humanity and join the net.