The term "cyberpunk" entered the literary landscape in 1984 to describe William Gibson's novel "Neuromancer". Cyberpunks are now among the shock troops of postmodernism, this study argues, marshalling the resources of a fragmentary culture to create a startling new form. Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, multinational machinations, frenetic bursts of prose, collisions of style: although emerging largely from science fiction, these features of cyberpunk writing are integrally related to the aims and innovations of the literary avant-garde. By bringing together original fiction by contemporary writers (William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, Don Delillo, Kathy Acker, J.G. Ballard, Samuel R. Delany), critical commentary by some of the major theorists of postmodern art and culture (Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, Timothy Leary and Jean-Francois Lyotard), and work by major practitioners of cyberpunk (William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley, Pat Cadigan, Bruce Sterling), the study attempts to reveal an ongoing dialogue in contemporary culture. What emerges most strikingly from the study is a shared preoccupation with the force of technology in shaping modern life.
It is precisely this concern, according to the text, that has put science fiction, typically the province of technological art, at the forefront of creative explorations of our age.