Terry Catchpole
February 21, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Recent reports that a CIA-inflicted computer virus crippled Iraq’s air-defense system early in Operation Desert Storm is nothing new to cyberpunks, whom the narrator of this documentary describes as ”computer cowboys hacking a perilous post-human lifestyle on new technological frontiers.” Much of Cyberpunk consists of a heady interview with the movement’s head cowboy, William Gibson, the award-winning sci-fi novelist (Neuromancer) and confessed computer illiterate. While often pigeonholed with irresponsible techno-vandals, cyberpunks stress that they’re mindful that individuals now have access to sufficient computer power to weaken, if not destroy, whole governments. They say the inevitable social result of their vigorous exploration and application of leading-edge technology will be the ”ultimate, decentralized democracy.” B+

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