= C =
cyberpunk /si:'ber-puhnk/ n.,adj.
[orig. 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" (see the Bibliography in Appendix C) 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 naïve 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 flatline.
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.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.