Believe it or not, there was a time when people didn’t know what “cyberpunk” was, and indeed had probably never even heard the word before this three-minute clip, in which I explain it to them. Sort of.

This was filmed in January 1991 for Channel 4, to tie in with a cyberpunk film season at the ICA called Future Nightmares. Don’t blame me if I got it wrong – you’re looking at this with the benefit of hindsight, while I was making it up as I went along. Though not literally – as you can probably gather from that glazed thousand yard stare, I was reading from an autocue.

I know I probably should have mentioned William Gibson and a lot of other writers who worked in the subgenre in the 1980s, but you can’t have everything, and to be honest I really didn’t know that much about science fiction anyway. Also, you have to bear in mind this was before people like me had access to the internet and Wikipedia, and so had to do all our research in libraries. Though I do remember thinking my Amstrad Word Processor (on which I played all-text games like The Lurking Horror and Leather Goddesses of Phobos) was quite cutting-edge.

My face in this clip was quite ruddy (maybe I was blushing at my own ignorance) so I tweaked the colour before posting it. So now I look a bit greenish, which is perhaps appropriate for the subject matter.

Couldn’t do much about that double chin though. Not the best camera angle.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/50829258″>cyberpunk</a&gt; from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user13063081″>Anne Billson</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>



  1. When I was at university, I did a course on Postmodernism and this very clip was shown to us by my tutor as a quick and accurate definition of Cyberpunk.

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