Glenn said: It’s really weird reading a book that coined the term cyberpunk way back in I mean Published by Bruce Bethke (first published ). In the early Spring of , Bruce wrote a little story about a band of teenage hackers. From the very first draft this story. Bruce Bethke is a writer and computer consultant who lives and works in quiet, suburban, Pig’s Eye Landing, Minnesota. He is the author of more than

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Foreword In the early spring of I wrote a little story about a bunch of teenage hackers.

From the very first draft this story had a name, and lo, the name was– And you can bet any body part you’d care to name that, had I had even the slightest least inkling of a clue that I would still be answering bethkke about this word nearly 18 years later, I would have bloody well trademarked the damned thing! Nonetheless, I didn’t, and as you’re probably aware, the c-word has gone on to have a fascinating career all its own.

#6: Cyberpunk With Author Bruce Bethke

Buce this late date I am not trying to claim unwarranted credit or tarnish anyone else’s glory. Frankly, I’d much rather people were paying attention to what I’m writing now –e. But for those folks who are obsessed with history, here, in tightly encapsulated form, is the story behind the hruce.

The invention of the c-word was a conscious and deliberate act of creation on my part. I wrote the story in the early spring ofand from the very first draft, it was titled “Cyberpunk. My reasons for doing so were purely selfish and market-driven: I wanted to give my story a snappy, one-word title that editors would remember.

Offhand, I’d cybefpunk I succeeded. How did I actually create the word? The way any new word comes into being, I guess: I took a handful of roots –cyber, techno, et al– mixed them up with a bunch ycberpunk terms for socially misdirected youth, and tried out the various combinations until one just plain sounded right.

I never claimed to have invented cyberpunk fiction! That honor belongs primarily to William Gibson, whose novel, Neuromancerwas the real defining work of “The Movement. Then again, Gibson shouldn’t get sole credit either. Nor was it an immaculate conception: I’ve been told that my main contribution was inventing the stereotype of the punk hacker with a mohawk. That, and I named the beast, of course. If you want to find out more about the etymology of cyberpun — and quite a few other things, too — take a look at Bruce’s web page.

Alternatively, why not just scroll down and read the story itself? That’s as far as I got. Rayno had been on line before me, like always, and that message meant somebody else had gotten into our Net– and that meant trouble by the busload! I couldn’t do anything more on term, so I zipped into my jumper, combed my hair, and went downstairs. Mom and Dad were at breakfast when I slid into the kitchen. I sloshed some juice in a glass and beghke it down, stuffed a Sara Lee into my mouth, and stood to go.


I caught the transys for school, just in case they were watching. Two blocks down the line I got off and transferred going back the other way, and a coupla transfers later I wound up whipping into Buddy’s All-Night Burgers. Rayno was in our booth, glaring into his cyberpuk. He just looked up at me through his eyebrows and I knew better than to ask again.

At eight Lisa came in. Lisa is Rayno’s girl, or at least she hopes she is. I can see why: Rayno’s seventeen–two years older than the rest of us–he wears flash plastic and his hair in The Wedge Dad blew a chip when I said I wanted my hair cut like that and he’s so cool he won’t even touch her, even when she’s begging for it.

She plunked down in her seat next to Rayno and he didn’t blink. Georgie still wasn’t there at 8: Rayno checked his watch again, then finally looked up from his caffix. Lisa and I both swore. We’d worked up our own little code to keep our Net private. I mean, our Olders would just blow boards if they ever found out what we were really up to.

And now somebody’d broken our code. Georgie and I started the Net by linking our smartterms with some stuff we stored in his old man’s home business system. Now my Dad wouldn’t know an opsys if he crashed on one, but Georgie’s old man–he’s a greentooth. He’d found one of ours once before and tried to take it apart to see what it did.

We’d just skinned out that time. Rayno looked through her, at the front door. Georgie’d just come in. Georgie was coming in smiling, but when he saw that look in Rayno’s eyes he sat down next to me like the seat was booby-trapped.

He was trying to weasel me, but I didn’t tell him a thing! I think he only got it partway open.

He didn’t ask about the Net! I was in the Net last night and flagged somebody who didn’t know the secures was poking Georgie’s compiler. I made some changes. By the time your old man figures them out, well See what I mean about being cool?

Rayno had us outlooped all the time! Rayno slammed his fist down on the table. Lisa had a cherry Coke, and Georgie and I had caffix just like Rayno.

Bruce Bethke – Wikipedia

God, that stuff tastes awful! The cups were cleared away, and Rayno unzipped his jumper and reached inside. It’s a Zeilemann Novabut we’ve spent so much time reworking it, it’s practically custom from the motherboard up. Hi-baud, rammed, brue, ported, with the wafer display folds down to about the size of a vid casette; I’d give an ear to have one like it. We’d used Georgie’s old man’s chipburner to tuck some special tricks in ROM and there wasn’t a system in CityNet it couldn’t talk to.

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Rayno ordered up a smartcab and we piled out of Buddy’s. No more riding the transys for us, we were going in style! We charged the smartcab off to some law company and cruised all over Eastside. Riding the boulevards got stale after awhile, so we rerouted to the library. We do a lot of our fun at the library, ’cause nobody ever bothers us there. Nobody ever goes there. We sent the smartcab, still on the law company account, off to Westside.

Getting past the guards and gethke librarians was just a matter of flashing some ID and then we zipped off into the stacks. Now, you’ve got to ID away your life to get on the libsys terms–which isn’t worth half a scare when your ID is all fudged like ours is–and they watch real careful.

But they move their terms around a lot, so they’ve got ports on line all over the building. We found an unused port, and me and Georgie kept watch while Rayno plugged in his microterm and got on line. We don’t have a stored opsys beethke for Netting, so Rayno gives me the fast and tricky jobs. Through the dataphones I got us out of the libsys and into CityNet.

Now, Olders will never understand. They still think a computer has got to be a brain in a single box. I can get the same results with opsys stored in a hundred places, once I tie them together.

Nearly every computer has got a dataphone port, CityNet is a great linking system, and Rayno’s microterm has the smarts to do the job clean and fast so nobody flags on us. I pulled the compiler out of Georgie’s old man’s computer and got into our Net. Then I handed the term back to Rayno.

If you’d read books once in a–” “Georgie,” Rayno said softly, “Lisa’s on line. Lisa’s eyes were absolutely glowing. Lisa got back into CityNet and charged a couple hundred overdue books to Lewis’s libsys account. Then she ordered a complete fax sheet of Encyclopedia Britannica printed out at his office.

I got next turn. Georgie and Lisa kept watch while I accessed. Rayno was looking over my shoulder. I was with my Dad two weeks ago when he set up a business trip, and I flagged on maybe getting some fun.

Cyberpunk (novel) – Wikipedia

I scanned the ticket clerk real careful and picked up the access code. No checks, no lockwords, no confirm brucs. I erased a couple dozen people without crashing down or locking up. Olders are even dumber than they look.

C’mon over here and see what we’re running! Then Rayno said, “Time to get off Sesame Street. It was simple as a save. I punched a few keys, entered, and an entire plane disappeared betyke all the reservation files.