A subgenre of science fiction that nerds can never agree on the exact meaning of. A good guide line though is the two words in that portmanteau: "cyber" and "punk." Does the movie/book/show/comic/whatever in question have a heavy emphasis on technology? (As opposed to aliens, space exploration, time travel, etc.) Then it's got the "cyber." Does it have a punk-like feel to it? (Dark, neon-filled setting, black leather and sunglasses, techno-punk soundtrack, devil-may-care attitudes, etc.) Then it's got the "punk."
Depending on which nerd you ask, examples of cyberpunk include: "The Matrix," "Blade Runner," "The Terminator," "Total Recall," "Snow Crash," "Neuromancer," "Burning Chrome," "Hammerjack," "Altered Carbon," "Shadowrun," "Repo: The Genetic Opera," "Inception," "Ultraviolet," "Aeon Flux," "Tron," and probably tons of other classic examples this writer is forgetting.
Cliches to look for, that may indicate a cyberpunk story:
- Virtual reality
- A dark (in any sense of the word) future
- Pimpin' suits
- Razor Girls
- Techno music
- Urban settings
- Evil corporate dudes
- Anything related to Japan
- Spunky teenage couriers on wheels (skateboards, bikes, roller blades, etc.)
- A wise and mysterious black dude
- Gratuitous action/violence/boobies
- Hearing yourself say "Damn this is so cheesy, but I love it so much!"
- Giant, futuristic blimps
"What the hell do you mean 'The Matrix' isn't cyberpunk? It's got the virtual reality, the hackers, the leather, the shades, the deep philosophy, the dark future, the cynicism, the robots, and the techno soundtrack!"
"It was made in 1999. True cyberpunk must be from the '80s, like 'Blade Runner' and 'Neuromancer.'"
"Dude, that's like saying 'Harry Potter' can't be fantasy, because it wasn't written in the same decade as 'Lord of the Rings.'"
"...it's *post*-cyberpunk, is what it is."