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Scores based on numbers of icepicks, *, from 0 to 4.
(For those that don't get the joke, try thinking like Netrunner...)

Titles receiving the full four icepicks are displayed in yellow.



TV Shows

Cover Picture A Fire In the Sun -- George Alec Effinger     **
The second book in the "Marid Audran" series, it was preceeded
by When Gravity Fails. Taking up exactly where the first book
left off, it continues Marid's experimentation with cybernetics
in the Islamic world and his search for his family. Not as good
as the first one, namely because the themes feel recycled by
this point.

Cover Picture All Tomorrow's Parties -- William Gibson     not yet rated

I own it but haven't read it yet. Review forthcoming.

Cover Picture Burning Chrome -- William Gibson     **1/2

A series of wonderful short stories from the man that coined 
the word "Cyberspace". St. Gibson is in full form in 
this book, so be prepared for some wild cyber themes. The best
story by far is the last one Johnny Mnemonic. (So much 
better than the movie!)

Cover Picture Count Zero -- William Gibson     ***

Book two of the infamous "Sprawl" series, it takes place 
a few years after Neuromancer. It generally follows the 
story of the title character, an up-and-coming console cowboy
living in the arcos. As usual, Gibson's work is loaded with 
imagery, description, and freaky AIs.  

Cover Picture Diamond Age -- Neal Stephenson     ***

Neal Stephenson's second book, hot on the heals of the allmighty
Snow Crash. While not as utterly unique as his first book,
it is still a pretty good read. The way it approaches the use of
Nanotechnology is highly entertaining, and the Neo-Victorian
attitude just begs to be poked at and interpreted.

Cover Picture Difference Engine -- William Gibson and Bruce Sterling     **

Who needs Neo-Victorian when you have Victorian? This Gibson/Sterling
collaboration is set in the early 19th century and centers around the
concept of what you have happened if Charles Babbage's original 
difference engine had been completed as planned in the 1840's
(thereby kickstarting the computer revolution a century ahead of
schedule). It helps to have an understanding of the time period to
catch the differences, but it's an interesting book nevertheless.
FYI: The Royal Science Museum in London completed a copy of the
engine in the 1990's based on the original design plans. It worked.
Just something to think about...

Cover Picture The Hacker Crackdown -- Bruce Sterling     Non-Fiction

The only non-fiction piece on this list, this book was written to get
an understanding of both sides of the Hacker issue--both the cowboys
and the cops that were hunting them. In traditional style, the book 
is available online free:

The complete text (as provided by the author).

Cover Picture Hardwired -- Walter John Williams     ***1/2

This book is fun! From freaky cybernetics to multi-orbital 
corporations to interstate smugglers screaming through blockades 
in tricked-out hovertanks. Half the tech in the Cyberpunk2020
rulebook came from this novel (the other half being Neuromancer).
Ever wondered where "Body Lotto" came from? This is it.

Cover Picture The Hobbit -- J.R.R. Tolkien     ***

What the frack is Tolkien doing here? Simple gato, this man knows how 
to write continuity. That, and this could be one kick-ass campaign if
converted properly. Take a set of boosterganers called the Dwarves.
They hire a mysterious netrunner called Gandalf the Grey to find them
a Fixer called Bilbo to help reclaim their old territory from a few rival
gangs called the Orcs, Humans, and Elves--not to mention the AI controlled
Punkanaught named Smaug! Throw in a high-tech piece of military hardware
that every evil corp on the planet would kill to get their hands on and
call it a game! Remember mates, the idea is to think outside the box...

Cover Picture Holy Fire -- Bruce Sterling     **

A case study in the inner workings of the corporate eilte. This is the
story of how one of them broke free with the help of a a revolutionary 
DNA experiment and was able to reclaim her life again. 

Cover Picture The Huntress Chronicles -- John Ryan Decker     not yet rated
A novel in progress, it was the basis for the world history in my earlier Cyberpunk games. Still used in many ways, it can be viewed in its entirity here on the Cyber Writing Page. Oddly enough, a review of the work by the English Department at the University of Texas in Arlington campaired it favorably to Gibson! I could not have asked for a greater honor.

Cover Picture I, Robot -- Issac Asimov     ***1/2

Say it with me, "First Law: A robot may not injure a human being, 
or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Second
Law: A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except 
where such orders would conflict with the First Law. Third Law: 
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection 
does not conflict with the First or Second Law". 

Actually a series of linked short stories, this is the book that 
kick-started the massive Robot series and could even be said to 
be the keystone of the entire Foundation. If you want to run AIs
in your game then read this book! Learn how to break the rules by 
following them too well...

Cover Picture Idoru -- William Gibson     **1/2

Once again Gibson takes what we all thought we knew about Cyberpunk
and twists it around on us. But he's the Grand Master of the Genre,
so he's allowed to do that. Take a computer generated avatar of the
modern culture, toss in an information altering conspiracy of 1984
proportions, add in a rock star who falls in love with that same 
avatar, and mix it all up with a punk netrunner sent in to figure the 
whole mess out. Wild, but that's Gibson for you. 

Cover Picture Islands In the Net -- Bruce Sterling     **

Very little of this novel sticks in my memory, but I do recall being
highly amused when the lead character spent some time playing 
Missile Command while in the rec room of an old nuclear missile sub.
I remember that it did a good job with offshore datahavens and 
descriptions of how all that Vat-grown food is actually manufactured. 
Overall, it's a bit dated. Ooohh, a FAX machine, how high-tech!

Cover Picture Johnny Mnemonic -- William Gibson     short story ***

Take movie in hand. Extend arm to trash can. Drop. 
Now take this short story in hand. Read. Enjoy. 

A lot of the original Cyber2020 attitude and style came from this piece.
Everything from cybergangs to monowhips first made their appearance
here. Heck, even a teenage Molly shows up! Blow a well spent thirty 
minutes of your life and read this--it might even expunge the memory 
of the movie version. It couldn't hurt to try.

Cover Picture Mirrorshades -- Anthology     ***

Compiled when the genre was still young, this is an anthology of 
several short stories by the hottest cyberpunk authors of the time. 
They're quick, dirty, and damn good. Designer drugs, floating cities, 
old-school punk rockers, and derelict space stations. Wonderful stuff.

Cover Picture Mona Lisa Overdrive -- William Gibson     *1/2

The final book in the Sprawl series, it finishes the story 
that was begun in Neuromancer and continued in Count Zero.
Some old friends make their long-awaited reappearances and some
new threats appear to send the series off with a distinctivly
Gibsonian bang. 

Cover Picture Neuromancer -- William Gibson     ****

The one that started it all. Written in 1984 of all years, this book's
attitude, grime, and hard-edged assault on traditional near-future
fiction blew everything else away. Cyberpunk 2020 is based on this
novel, from the solos to the netrunners, the fixers to the corporate
elite. The Chatsubo has been the template for all cyber bars 
since, and Case was the basis for every gritty hero to stalk the 
urban jungle for years to come. Even the almighty Snow Crash pays
homage to this work. It is required reading for all Cyberpunk Referees.

Cover Picture The Positronic Man -- Isaac Azimov     ***

On the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation, everything that 
made the character Data interesting and unique was taken directly
from this book. Written by the Master of Robots himself, it is a 
beautiful book based upon his earlier novella "Bicentenial Man"--the
multi-century story of a robot's quest to become human. Read this 
novel before going to see the movie.

Cover Picture Remake -- Connie Willis     **1/2

An eerily prophetic story of Hollywood going digital. Written by 
a friend of mine, it is the story of a future Hollywood that has
stopped making live-action movies altogether, instead "remaking" 
older films with digial recreations of long-dead actors. The story 
revolves around a techie forced to hack his beloved works of art,
a girl who desperatly wants to dance in the movies, and a number 
of well flushed-out backdrop characters. A solid understanding of
the movie Casablanca is highly recommended before reading this.

Cover Picture The Real Cyberpunk Fakebook -- St. Jude and RU Sirius     **1/2

A comedic booklet put together by a group of Seattle based 
cyberpunk fakers and part-time Hackers. Done for no other 
purpose then they thought it would be fun, it is a pretty 
good read overall. Snag a copy and leave it out for your 
players to flip through, then award IP for showing up next
game in costume. Don't forget your mirrorshades!

Cover Picture Snow Crash -- Neal Stephenson     ****

Snow Crash is the all time best book to be written in the 
Cyberpunk genre ever. Better even than Neuromancer? One word:
Hellyes. Don't get me wrong St. Gibson's book set a wonderfully 
interesting stage, but Snow Crash is the book that laced it with
kerosene and set the thing ablaze while dancing through the 'net
swinging monoblades. As Benjy Feen put it, "If Neal Stephenson wrote
a book about pocket lint, it would still somehow involve attack helecopters."

As a Cyberpunk Referee, I hereby challenge you to go to a bookstore,
look at a copy, and read the first chapter. If you don't walk out of
that store with a newly purchased edition then there's something seriously
wrong with you gato. Yes, it's that good. (Word of warning, there's 20 
pages in the middle that are boring as hell--you'll know them when you 
get to them. Suffer through those and the rest of the book takes off
like a crazed weasel on a nitrous-burning hoverbike).

Cover Picture Virtual Light -- William Gibson     **

This is the first book to exploit the idea of NoCal vs SoCal upon
the cyberpunk setting. Taking place in a very near 2005, it is 
the story of a bike messenger and a seriously dangerous piece of
technology that she ends up with. I liked how Gibson treated the
solution to the AIDS epidemic (take note Washington) and a sweet
description of future San Francisco.

Cover Picture When Gravity Fails -- George Alec Effinger     ***1/2

The first of the Marid series, this book is an amazing array of 
contradictions--and that's what makes it so good. Set in the 
ciminal quarter in an unnamed city in the Middle East, the novel 
enwraps the reader into the Arabic culture. You quickly get to know
the people of this region and how the coming of "infadel" western
technology has affected them. Designed as a sort of film-noir in 
the desert, it is a wonderfully done novel. Any Referee wanting to 
run a game in North Africa or the Middle East should scour their 
local used book stores for a copy. (Amazon also tends to keep this
one stocked). Pop a tri-phet with the girls from Silken Nights
and enjoy!

Cover Picture A.I. -- Steven Spielberg     **
Oh boy, this could have been so much better! The original screenplay
was by Stanley Kubrick, who (in my opinion) had the right idea.
His vision was dark and dismal, following in the footsteps of
some of his other movies about human culture. Spielberg, though a 
great director, just couldn't leave it at that and had to "cheer
it up". And Referee worth his or her salt will see where this 
movie should have ended. But, in all fairness, the film was
done very well. A lot of the themes feel recycled to those of us
in the Cyber circles, but it's good to see mainstream taking notice
for once. This movie had a lot of plot streams that could have been
explored in much greater detail--the makings of many good scenarios
for the intelligent Ref willing to plunge into the world of the AIs.

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Akira -- Katsuhiro Ôtomo     **1/2
The most talked about, and sometimes the most overrated, anime
in the history of Japanese animation. Still, I like it. In fact,
the opening half hour shows in detail how to beat the hell out
of a party with a biker-boostergang. The tech is high, the feel
is fast, and the last 30 minutes are just plain odd. Go out and 
rent the subtitled version, as its translation is far superior
to the dubbed attempt. This is a good one to play a few times
to get used to the MetroPlex cities and the renegade edgerunner
culture. Have fun with it, but read the comics if you want to 
know what the heck is going on. Also, it has a pretty good
soundtrack to play during gaming sessions. 

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Aliens -- James Cameron     ***1/2
Guns, Guts, Glory. With a healthy helping of high-tech, 
dark passages, constant rain, a claustrophobic feel, and lots
and lots of aliens. Or, in the case of a cyber game: corporate
created, genetically-altered biological killing machines.
This movie is a pleasure to watch for the character interactions
if nothing else, and it also happens to be chock full of ideas.
The scenario is simple, you have a group of Solos and Techies
with a sarcastic Netrunner being led by an evil Corp into a
research facility with the aid of a Pilot/Nomad witness and 
a full-borg assistant. Bring the guns and pass the ammo, this 
one is going to be messy. 

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Armitage III -- Takuya Sato     **1/2
As most modern Anime movies go, this has the definite feel
of a Cyberpunk game. While highly advanced for any of the 
regular Cyber2.0.2.0. games, the concepts presented about 
the morality of the robots in Armitage III can be easily 
transferred to the emerging AI technology in Cyber--as well
as the effects of cybernetic implants on the human psyche.
What makes it more fun, half the characters are Cops. Get the 
english dubbed version, Kiefer Sutherland does one of the
lead voices. 

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Beyond Thunderdome -- George Miller     ***
The last edition in the Mad Max trilogy, the scene is set
fifteen years after the end of Road Warrior. An excellent
study in recovering societies after an apocalyptic event, it is a
wealth of material for the really sadistic Referee to borrow from.
Stick the party in the middle and see which side they choose: the
powerful and rutheless Aunty Entity or the innocent but determined
Savannah Nix?

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Blade Runner -- Ridley Scott     ****
The movie that brought Cyberpunk into the mainstream, 
and still the movie that all other Cyber endeavours are measured
by. This picture set the stage for every film-noir dark-future 
movie that followed, from Dark City to The Matrix. The tech,
the look, the moral issues, the food, the love, the rain. It's all
here. Assuming you get the Director's Cut. I recommend wide
screen and DVD for this one. Watch and take notes, your players
will be testing you. 

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Casablanca -- Michael Curtiz     ****
"Of all the gin joints in all the towns
in all the world, she walks into mine."
                    --Rick Blaine

Quite possibly the most quoted and copied movie in history, 
Casablanca is at its heart a perfect setting for a 
Cyberpunk campaign. Rick the Fixer, Ilsa the Model, Victor
the Rockerboy--all swept up on the edge of the combat zone,
caught between the competing corporations of the Germans
and the French. Toss in glittering parties, heavy drinking, 
sector travel passes, mafia lords, and the dark smokey 
haze of the bars and this movie is screaming Cyberpunk.
Go find an original black and white copy and enjoy.

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture The Fifth Element -- Luc Besson     ***
Luc Besson had done it again with this extremely odd, but very
original movie. The world is futuristic even for Cyber2.0.2.0.,
but there are a lot of fun little niches to explore. The
soundtrack is also perfect for playing in the background of
your games, even as I type I have the Diva Dance stuck
in my head. This one comes highly recommended for its shear
innovation if nothing else. 

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Hackers -- Iain Softley     *
While an amusing look at what was supposed to be the Cyber/Hacker
underground culture, the only redeeming value is Penn (from Penn
and Teller) as a corp netrunner and Angelina Jolie occasionally 
topless. There are some good "inside" hacking jokes for those 
determined enough to look for them, but it was pretty bad overall. 
Nevertheless, the group hack is a fun concept for a desperate 
Netrunner player to consider. 

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Johnny Mnemonic -- Robert Longo     *
It pains me what they did to Saint Gibson's original short story. 
If you can, go out and get the screenplay to the movie, it explains
a little bit about what the frack was going on. Better yet, ditch
the movie and go read the short story. A lot of the original
Cyber2.0.2.0. attitude came from that work. Still, there are bits
and pieces that are salvageable from the movie--the monowhip and
the netrunning scene are pretty good. 

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture The Professional (a.k.a. Léon) -- Luc Besson     **1/2
Not a cyberpunk movie per se, but there is a wealth of info here 
for the enterprising Referee. It's the story of a Nomad girl
taken in by a mafia Solo and the corrupt Cop that's trying
to kill them. Now that, my friends, is a scenario waiting to happen.

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Matrix -- Andy and Larry Wachowski     ****
You've seen it, you know what it's got. And if you haven't seen it
then shame on you! Turn off the computer and go rent the DVD right now. 
This is easily the best Cyberpunk-esc movie to come out in years, and
we're lucky enough to have two sequels on the way.

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Mad Max -- George Miller     **
The first movie in the Mad Max Trilogy, this tells the story of 
how the Cop Max became the Road Warrior in the following picture.
Not quite as good as the second one, but it does offer a lot of great
info on how to run a police organization in a Cyber game (and why very
few characters have any family left). 

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2) -- George Miller     ****
You were wondering what the Interstate highways outside of Night 
City looked like? Well gato, take a look at this. The Road Warrior
should be required viewing for any Referee planning on running 
a team cross country (or into the even-more dark future). It's a 
wonderfully done picture, and is a case study in how to run the

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Sneakers -- Phil Alden Robinson     **
A sweet little movie about computer hacking, corporate-like mafia 
groups, and the good ole' NSA. This is a scenario in the making
for any Referee daring enough to try and convert it over. 

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Strange Days -- Kathryn Bigelow     **1/2
A bit dated, what with the Y2K Party and all, but it is still 
a great study for the power of SimStim. Plus, Angela Bassett's
character is a great model for the pre-cyber Solo. (Written
by James Cameron, who was obviously getting in the mood for
Dark Angel). 

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture The Third Man -- Carol Reed     not yet rated
Supposedly, this is the quintessential movie about Fixers.
I haven't seen it yet, but it's on my list. 

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Total Recall -- Paul Verhoeven     ***
Ever had one of those days? The director sure did. While 
the physics of Mars is totally screwed up, the first half
of the movie is classic Cyberpunk--from robocabs to computer
implanted memories. Try watching this one with a clipboard and
pencil and see how many times it "proves" one version of the 
story or the other. Twisted, but fun (which is what cyberpunk 
is all about eh?)

Berardinelli Review
IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture WarGames -- John Badham     *1/2
Horribly dated, but it's got a few things that still ring true
even in the mose post-modern cyber games: AI's, illegal hacking,
fighting the good fight, and atomic weaponry. Filmed during the
age of Phone Phreaks and *Phrak!*, it's a tribute to the good old
days of blue boxes, huge floppy disks, and 800 baud modems.

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Andromeda -- WGN     **1/2
So what's a sci-fi outer space show doing here? Easy, it's got
things to steal from. AI systems, top-notch netrunning, and
a genetically engineered warrior race. Plus, Cowgirl from 
TekWar plays the ship's computer. For those that liked Star 
Trek and Babylon 5, you'll love this show. 

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Batman Beyond -- WB2     ***
The dark and gritty world of Gotham was already pushing into the 
world of Cyberpunk, but this incarnation has leapt in whole 
heartedly. From glitzy clubs to high-tech villians, there's a
familiar edge to this show that us Cyber types can appreciate. 

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Dark Angel -- Cancelled     ****
This is it people! Look no further, 'cause James Cameron has 
hit the proverbial nail on the head. This show IS Cyberpunk.
Genetic warriors, evil government operations, corrupt cops, 
illegal media hackers, bike couriers, and that ever-present 
dark and dismal feel that makes Cyberpunk what it is. I swear,
JC picked up a Cyber2020 book and said "Let's make a show
about this!". If you can't find something to pull from Dark 
Angel into your game then you don't deserve the title of Referee.

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Knight Rider -- Cancelled     *1/2
You have to admit, back in the 80's Knight Rider was
pretty cool. When you think about it in the Cyberpunk sense, 
you've got AI cars, duelling corporations, genetic manipulation,
and some nifty gadgets. It's rather dated, but it has charm.

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture TekWar -- Cancelled     **1/2
Oddly enough, William Shatner writes pretty good Cyberpunk. 
This show featured gangs, drugs, cops, netrunners, e-cash,
and some sweet netrunning sequences. Keep an eye out for
Cowgirl--possibly one of the best 'runners put to screen.
TekWar can now be seen on the Sci-Fi channel.

IMDB Info Listing

Cover Picture Thunderstone -- Australia     **
An Australian TV show along the lines of the Mad Max series,
it details a time-travelling story of a boy who helps bring
animals back to a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by a comet.
Fairly decent actually, especially when you consider that it
was done by the Aussie version of PBS!

IMDB Info Listing
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Last Updated: 31 October 2002