These Indie authors are taking cyberpunk to the next level!
If you ask most SF geeks about their favourite cyberpunk novel, you’ll likely hear one of two answers. William Gibson’s Neuromancer or Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash.
I know this, because I’ve been asking! Genre research is something I take pretty seriously.
I’m halfway through Neuromancer right now, and loving it. Snow Crash is next in my traditionally published TBR pile.
But I have another TBR pile, too. One reserved for independent authors!
I try to read at least one traditional and one indie title in the genre I’m writing in every month. This keeps me up to date on both mainstream and marginal trends to make sure that I’m hitting the right tropes and also still offering readers something unique.
So, while I will be reviewing both the traditional and indie titles that I read while writing my new cybernoir detective series, Bubbles in Space, I’d like to give you a sneak peek at the indie writers in my TBR pile!
Note: When you buy a book using one of the following links, I may earn a small commission! This allows me to keep buying and reviewing books on the blog, and comes at no extra cost to you.
Find Your Next Cyberpunk Read Here!
Grinders by C.S. Boyack
Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.
Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.
Paired with veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.
Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.
Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.
This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.Amazon.com
Liquid Cool by Austin Dragon
Liquid Cool by Austin Dragon is the highest rated (that I could find) indie cyberpunk novel on Amazon! So it had to be one of the first I started to read. It’s got some whacky twists on classic cyberpunk tropes, larger-than-life characters, and lots of action. If you like plot driven, action packed adventures, this is one for you!
Liquid Cool Book #1 is the FIRST-IN-SERIES action-packed (and funny) sci-fi detective series.
Meet a private eye with a cool hat, laser gun, and attitude. But don’t touch his red hovercar — or you could get shot!
Enter the high-tech, low-life world of Liquid Cool as Cruz faces off neon gangsters, sinister cyborgs, corporate samurai soldiers, and laser-gun shootouts while solving his cases in the rainy supercity of Metropolis. It’s more gritty action and dark humor than you can handle.
In the debut novel that started it all, author Austin Dragon shows why you never want to meet a cyborg in a dark alley.
Liquid Cool is cyberpunk reimagined. It’s cyber-noir. It’s science fiction meets the detective thriller in an ever-rainy world of mega-skyscrapers. Hovercars fly above in the dark, bustling skies and gray people walk below on the grimy, flashy streets of this “neon jungle.” Metropolis isn’t a bad place, but it isn’t a good one either. Uber-governments and megacorporations fight for control of the supercity, but so does crime.
It’s here we meet Cruz, our private eye (and unlikely hero), in this supercity with a million victims and perpetrators.
Sci-Fi Gets Cool…Liquid Cool!
So grab Liquid Cool today and begin your action-filled and funny sci-fi detective adventure with Cruz and company!Amazon.com
Into Neon by Matthew A. Goodwin
I just started this one last night, and the first chapter has me hooked!
“Star Wars Meets Blade Runner In An Awesome Adventure!” -Amazon Review (5 Stars)
Moss’ life is going nowhere until a mysterious woman knocks on his door and leaves him with the key to take down one of the world’s largest corporations. When he discovers a familial connection to the stranger, Moss leaves the comfort of his home with his best friend for the sprawling megacity.
There, he joins a group of ruffians dedicated to freeing people from the yoke of the evil companies. Police-for-hire, motorcycle gangs and betrayal threaten them at every turn.
Can Moss help this small group of rebels fight the power before it’s too late? Find out in Into Neon: A Cyberpunk Saga.Amazon.com
Cyberpunk City: The Machine Killer by D.L. Young
A notorious data thief thinks his life of cybercrime is behind him. He couldn’t be more wrong.
Forced by a powerful executive to steal a priceless dataset, Maddox uncovers the shocking truth of a secret war between AIs, raging inside the digital universe known as virtual space. Plunged headlong into the deadly conflict, he’ll have to use every trick he’s ever learned—and a few he’s never tried before—if he wants to survive.
Sprawling megacities, rogue AIs, black market tech, modded mercenaries, and a pulse-pounding story filled with unexpected twists. If you love gritty, hardcore cyberpunk, you won’t want to miss this series!Amazon.com
Behind Blue Eyes by Anna Mocikat
Welcome to the year 2095. Killer cyborgs hunt down anyone who disagrees with the “utopian” society.
Nephilim is the best operator in these elite death squads. Genetically and cybernetically enhanced, she and her team strike terror wherever they go. Knowing nothing besides this lifestyle, Nephilim believes that she’s part of a righteous cause.
Then a system glitch changes everything. Separated from the grid, for the first time, Nephilim begins doubting the world she lives in. Things get even more complicated when she meets Jake, a 100% bio-human, who opens her neon-blue eyes to the lies she had been exposed to all her life.
Nephilim decides to take a stand against her creators. But in this brave new world, can one person beat an all-powerful system of oppression?
Soon, Nephilim finds herself hunted by her own people…
Corporate megacities, dystopian themes, cyborg assassins, badass heroines, charismatic villains – an adrenaline ride that never stops.
If you love action-driven cyberpunk full of unexpected plot-twists, you don’t want to miss this!Amazon.com
The Blind Spot by Michael Robertson
COULD YOU BETRAY EVERYONE YOU CARE ABOUT TO PREVENT A WAR?
The Blind Spot exists in defiance of Scala City’s dystopian big brother regime. It occupies a small sector in the city, and those who live there believe in their right to privacy. Scala City believe if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. But the Blind Spot have hackers that could bring the larger city to its knees. This is why it’s never spilled over into all-out war. Until now …
A terrorist attack on Scala City’s main plaza has tipped the delicate balance. There is only one person who can halt the conflict before it begins …
Marcie Hugo, daughter of the Blind Spot’s leader, and the district’s best kept secret. Cybernetically enhanced, she’s faster, stronger, and smarter than most. But more importantly, she’s invisible. Protected and hidden away by her father for the majority of her life, she’s in the unique position to move between the Blind Spot and Scala City unnoticed.
With the best hacker in the city on her side, and while the rest of the Blind Spot prepares for a bloody war, Marcie gets to work …
To avoid total annihilation, she will have to betray everyone she loves, starting with her father …
And even then, her chances of success are slim …
Join Marcie in a race against time as she turns over every neon-lit inch of Scala City and The Blind Spot in a quest to discover who’s trying to destroy her home and why. And even if she is successful, with the number of ties she’s severed, how much of a life will she have left to return to?
The Blind Spot: Neon Horizon book one is a fast-paced science fiction thriller. If you like dazzling neon dystopian landscapes, where entertainment, credits, and the latest street drugs are all worth more than human life, then you’ll love this hard-hitting grimy glimpse into the hyper-cities of the future.Amazon.com
Centricity by Nathaniel Henderson
“This intricate, big-data blast delivers a thrilling ride for cyberpunk SF fans.” —Kirkus Reviews
Centuries after the Fold, civilization is fragile. Holding it together is Naion, a city on the brink…
Intelligence Officer Adasha Denali is adept at solving problems, words her weapons of choice. When a botched operation sparks a diplomatic crisis, the political hammer falls hard on her agency. But Adasha senses this is just the tip of a larger threat; one that could send the world tumbling back into chaos.
Digging through a network of deception, she runs headlong into corporate mercenaries, a disavowed spy, and Neon Nik, a washed-up hacker with a world-changing tech in his pocket.
Nik used to be a legend. And fearless. And gainfully employed.
Now he wades through life struggling to pay off circling loan sharks—until a family friend is murdered and he inherits a stolen prototype.
With a vortex of hired killers and government agents on his heels, Nik’s got a decision to make: sell out or risk everything to regain what he lost. And perhaps save his city in the process.
Enter a world of engineered spies and high-tech weaponry, where synthetic intelligences whisper revelations through brainware and reality is just another overlay.Amazon.com
YLO by Nicholas Clare
In a world where everyone’s biometric profiles are on record, a young policewoman turns up the impossible: an unidentifiable corpse. Jen’s hands are full: small kid in tow, obnoxious partner and stepson, incessant office politics, her Yellow ranking to maintain, and a demanding search-and-rescue job. So the last thing ylo-Jen needs is a mystery murder victim. Worse, the case is linked to a flourishing drugs ring. And both the Priesthood and her own hierarchy are holding things back. No wonder she’s got issues…
This beautifully crafted novel in a dry and laconic style is a crossover between literary, sci-fi and thriller. The characters are realistic, flawed people struggling to cope with families, drugs, sexuality, religious beliefs, death and the Afterlife, and above all the rat-race… in a thoroughly unpleasant but all too believable far-future society (that yields some uncomfortable reflections on our own). Imagery and characters perhaps reminiscent of the Handmaid’s Tale, Black Mirror and The Bridge: the dystopian, the discomforting and the dysfunctional.Amazon.com
Xenochrist by N.H. Weber
XENOCHRIST is a science-fiction/cyberpunk novel set in the year 2503 and follows tech industry giants Kravac Alntar and Wixspin Atlicke as they struggle with the apparent suicide of one of their closest friends and business partner at ProgKVW, Volz Shimmel. Was her suicide an accident? The duo are thrust into a massive conspiracy involving rebel operatives, closed-off countries as a result of the Unification War, the massive Earth Unified Nation contractor Svetlo-Zeme, and the entity known as Xenochrist.Amazon.com
Tropical Punch by S.C. Jensen
Of course, if you are interested in any of the above books, I hope you’ll check out mine too! Tropical Punch is Book One in my new cyber noir detective series, Bubbles in Space. It’s a hilarious, action-packed spin on the classic detective novel and I know you’re going to love it.
Launch Day is March 29, 2021 and pre-orders are live!
Strippers, Drugs, and Headless Corpses…
All in a day’s work for Bubbles Marlowe, HoloCity’s only cyborg detective.
What do an anti-tech cult, a deadly new street drug, and the corrupt Chief of Police have in common?
It’s a question Bubbles can’t afford to ask. Last time she got curious it cost her job, a limb, and almost her life.
She vows to stay out of police business. But with a newly minted cybernetic enhancement, a semi-legal P.I. license, and a knack for asking the wrong kind of questions…
Vows are made to be broken, right?
But as the body count stacks up, Bubbles realizes she’s made a terrible mistake.
Can she figure out who is behind the murders before she loses her head?
Warning: Don’t read this book if you hate fun, glitter, sassy robotic pigs, or hard-boiled badassery. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are rolling in their graves, but this is all their fault.
Get Punched! Buy it now!Amazon.com
Do you have a favourite cyberpunk novel? Do any of the books on this list tickle your bionic funny bone? Let me know in the comments!