The Best Cyberpunk Novels of 2020 and 2021
Considered as a branch of the science fiction genre, cyberpunk is regarded as the cultural ethos by many enthusiasts, which makes it more than a genre.
As a genre, it inclines towards an advanced end of technological development such as superior computing abilities, robotics, and micro processing and reflects how it will radically impact the society. Undoubtedly, this is why it is tagged as ‘high tech low life.’
In the cyberpunk books or novels, the backdrop and environment tend to drift towards a principal theme. The more dystopia and urban, the more indulging they are.
In several setups, the organizations and companies held liable for the crumbling metropolises grow exponentially due to corruption and wickedness. Interwoven throughout are themes of dictatorship and politics.
Unlike other novels that have heroes as the main focus, the cyberpunk ones have anti-heroes, hackers, agitators, and strangers as main characters. Typically, they have cybernetic enhancements indicating biological as well as technological advancements. Cyborgs are also ordinary in this genre.
Cyberpunk tales have a lot to puzzle, thrill, and stun the readers. However, not all of them are fully focused on cyber threats. Some also show how they can affect a family or a society as a whole.
For many readers who love sci-fi, cyberpunk is perhaps their next beloved sub-genre after the post-apocalyptic one. For these readers, here are the best cyberpunk novels of 2020:
Ready Player Two, by Ernest Cline
Cyberpunk enthusiasts can never forget Ready Player One and its author Ernest Cline, the bestselling novelist as per the New York Times and an all-time tech geek.
As the book name suggests, Ready Player Two is the highly awaited sequel to the global bestseller, Ready Player One. As of now, the story of this sequel has not been disclosed. However, the title indicates a direct headway from the first book.
The story is likely to revolve around Wade Watts, a teen who resides in a slum in the unfriendly year of 2045. The teen will be on a mission related to the quest in the Oasis, a digital world where likes the key to a big fortune. This is possible only if he proves to be the best at videogames.
The World of Cyberpunk 2077, by Marcin Batylda
Get transmitted to the hi-tech Night City of 2077, a dystopian realm where cyberware, tyranny, and violence are deeply believed to be the tools to live and move forward.
Explore the incisive legend to know how America’s economic fall made it necessary to depend on the deceitful organizations to give rise to the Free State of California. Learn about the different gangs, historic tales, and districts of the Night City. Witness the future technology research the weapons and cybernetics of 2077.
The Psychic's Memoirs (Terrafide Book 2), by Ryan Hyatt
Belonging to Terrafide series as the final part, The Psychic's Memoirs is all about the tech legends of despair and hope. This is where the characters handle a falling-apart world. The author seems to have a great ability to develop a believable homely world just over the horizon, which is evident page after page.
The readers are likely to seek each calamity as an opportunity to progress toward utopia. An impatient LA detective and his agitated partner are on the mission to find a charged teenage psychic. Capturing the teen is likely to determine the result of a looming civil war and the relationship of humans with a deceiving alien force.
Portrait of a Time Tourist, by Corey Mariani
Consider this novel if you do not want to read something really scary but want to know how it feels to overcome the feats of corporate spies while finding a way back home.
The story revolves around the character named Jerry who has lost his wife, is genuinely alcoholic, and has disappointed his daughter significantly. The latter two may be justified considering his job.
What he does not know is that he is a proxy time tourist. Now, his organization where he sued to work wants him again so that it can reap from his experiences. Moved to more than 500 years into the future, the tourist is stuck in a geographical realm of business spies and revolutionaries.
While the challenge is to go back home, Jerry travels across the Washington D.C. This is where his choices will affect the mankind.
Otaku, by Chris Kluwe
This is the first novel from the former NFL player as well as a tech fan who has come up with a tale reminiscent of Ready Player One. Since his retirement in 2013, he started writing short novels belonging to the science fiction genre.
This novel features a dystopian Miami that is now being ruled by climate change. Known in the story as Ditchdown, the ruined city is the place from where no one can escape. Ashley Akachi is also stuck here but enters into Infinite Game for escaping the city. A deadly conspiracy is a challenge for her in this game.
They Eat Their Own (A Thung Toh Jig), by Armanda King
This novel is the second Thung Toh Jig, an action-packed adventure reflecting science fantasy focused on the members of Ismae's dominant but secret organization who fulfill contracts for the most ruthless citizens of Dockhaven, Ismae’s port city.
The new year has started and the annual Sower’s Festival is teeming with the city’s elite entourages. Soon, the winter of recovery passes and Aliara Rift is pondering whether it is fine to return to the Thung Toh and whether her reshaped body will betray her or not.
Duke, her pal, is concerned about many things, the major one being the pending destruction of their only safe home. Together, they face many challenges while on their way.
Aces and Eights (Aces High, Jokers Wild Book 4), by O. E. Tearmann
If you choose this book to read, be ready to enter into 2157 where the Democratic State Force Base 1407 is on a mission triggered by a rumor. In this year, seven corporations are governing what we today know as the United States.
An American company is controlling food production and its supply. All the seeds are genetic so that no external corporates can control. However, a sudden rumor comes up that a seed bank has withstood the decline that scaled down old America along with the 75 years of subsequent corporate tenure.
If still available, the seed bank can give easily accessible as well as free food to the Democratic State Force. The Wildcards have received this call but the hunt is risky, as there is no guarantee that the bank exists or not. So, is there a trap?
The Hierarchies, by Ros Anderson
This cyberpunk novel is less fearful and more emotional although ultimately it exploits the future technology. Set in a noticeable near future and lined with dark and wily humor, the author’s debut novel is focused on the humans' ability to exploit.
It shows the future world where the two classes of women namely, created and born, are facing increased friction that could only bring adverse consequences. The story revolves around a synthetic woman named Sylv.ie who is a sentient robot fulfilling her husband's whims.
Barely being tolerated by the human wife, the robotic lady lives alone on the home’s top floor and is forced to limit everything to her diary. Well, is this allowed to her? If disobeyed, what could be the punishment?
As the lady learns about the world she is living in, something moves inside her. So, is she started to malfunction? This increases the tension while interacting with the husband and triggers in her the fear of being sent back for re-programming. What happens next? We will see.
The God Game: A Novel by Danny Tobey
From the award-winning author who is an artificial intelligence expert, The God Game shows how the world of artificial intelligence can be terrifying and thrilling in the future. In this technological thriller featuring a too believable proposition, five teenagers are passionate about an online video game.
Their obsession later takes them to a realm where they are challenged to face the most dangerous wishes. These teens are the Vindicators who are pressured by the parents and bullies. Each of them gets an invitation to play the game that is developed by dark-web coders and upheld by underground hackers.
A secret artificial intelligence system controls this game and believes it is God. Thus, the players need to obey the almighty intelligence and get rewarded or else punishment lies ahead. While there are high-tech glasses and phone screens in the scenes, the harmless play is all set ahead to make them sacrifice their morality.
The cyberpunk genre is famous among the fantasy and science fiction readers who adore reading about computers, technology, and realms wherein the characters can consume everything or trigger awful threats. Pick any of the aforementioned ones and you will truly enjoy reading it.
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