Cyberpunk 2020 Conference: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat


A conference for all things Cyberpunk. Literature, technology, gaming.


Conference proceedings have now been released!

The forty-ninth and the fiftieth issue of RPG Review has been released. Download the PDF.

This is a special double-issue arising from the Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat online conference, that included Walter Jon Williams as keynote speaker. It includes a transcript of all presentations and questions, a cyberpunk music setlist, several cyberpunk scenarios, campaign outlines, reviews of Blade Runner 2049, the Cyberpunk 2077 computer game, and much more!

When and Where?

Sunday, December 27, 10:00 to 18:00 AEDST ONLINE for panels. 19:00 to 22:30 for gaming sessions.

Please make use of a time zone converter to work out how that fits for other parts of the world.

Conference Timetable

Time Event Details Speakers
10:00 Introduction Guest Introductions, What Is/Was Cyberpunk? Walter Jon Williams
11:00 Hackers "IT Security issues", techniques, protection Adrian Smith. Daniel Tosello, Morgan Reed, David Cake
12:00 Culture Literature, Film, Music, Fashion Travis Johnson, Josh Rombout, David Cake, Rick Wayne. Jason Scott, Dan Smith
13:00 Technology Solarpunks, Biopunks and more Adam Ford, Sarena Ulibarri, Josh Rombout
14:00 Politics Anarchism, Libertarianism, Cypherpunks Francesco Verso, PSc Willis, Stephen Dedman, John August, Rick Wayne
15:00 Gaming Traditional tabletop RPGs, Computer RPGs, etc Tod Foley, Daniel Tosello
16:00 Auction All sorts of cyberpunk related material
18:00 Break Get some food, chummer
19:00 Gaming Sessions Cyberpunk 2020; Cyberpunk RED; Shadowrun; Eclipse Phase; Cyberspace; GURPS Cyberpunk
22:30 Conference End Well, that was a day

Registration Mailing List

Sign-up to our mailing list for organisers and attendees. Registration is FREE. But you MUST register if you wish to attend!

Presented by the RPG Review Cooperative, Inc

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Dan "Smif" Smith will be speaking at Cyberpunk 2020!

Illustrator and graphic artist Dan "Smif" Smith will be speaking at the Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat convention.

Prominent for his work for Steve Jackson Games' GURPS line of books in the 1990s, Smif has also worked with Iron Crown Enterprises, Wizards of the Coast, FASA, White, Hasbro, Nintendo, Namo and others.

Smif was awarded (along with fellow graphic designers) the 1997 Origins Award for "Best Graphic Presentation of a Roleplaying Game, Adventure, or Supplement" for the role-playing game "In Nomine". He also was nominated for best traditional card game and supplement for his "Battle of the Bands" and its sequel, "Backstage Pass".

Smif will be speaking on the Culture panel about cyberpunk art.

Auction of Cyberpunk Related Games, Videos, and Books

What would a genre conference be if it didn't have an auction?

Here is a stack of stuff - roleplaying games, computer games, novels, "IT security" manuals - and more related to the Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat convention.

Here's how it works.

1. Have a look at the glorious pictures of the stuff you want. Salivate.

2. Download a copy of the list of items, in a friendly comma-separated-values format that any spreadsheet application can read. Note that reserve prices are advertised, are in Australian dollars, and the buyer will have to pay for postage or arrange pickup.

3. You can bid from anywhere, even if you're not at the auction itself! Send an email to:

with the lot number and your maximum bid amount. Note that you _could_ still be outbid at the last minute during the convention auction itself.

For integrity purposes, this email address will NOT be viewed until the day of the convention.

4. After that bids will continue and occur DURING the convention, with the final bids announced at the auction between 1700 and 1800 on December 27.

5. Email questions about the auction or items to - DO NOT SEND BIDS TO THIS ADDRESS. Instead, auction bids should go to

Why are we doing it this way? Firstly, we want everyone to get a chance to bid on the items and give them plenty of opportunities to do so. Secondly, running a 120+ item auction in 60 minutes is a rather tricky activity. Having bids prior and during the convention itself makes things a lot easier to run!

Wild Suggestion: Rather than hanging out on tenterhooks on whether your bid succeeds, simply bid what you're prepared to pay. Then you don't have to worry! If you lose, it was too much, and if you win it was what you were prepared to go to anyway!

Item condition rough guide:

MINT Perfect. Brand new. Typically only for products that are in their factory shrinkwrap.
NM Near Mint. Like new with only the slight wear. Close to perfect, very collectible.
EX Excellent. Lightly used. May show small spine creases, slight corner wear, slight discolouration. No tears or marks.
VG Very Good. Used. May have medium-sized creases, scuff marks, small stains, etc. Complete and very useable.
FAIR Very well used, but complete and usable. May have flaws such as tears, pen marks or highlighting, large creases, stains, marks, a loose map, etc.
POOR Extremely well used and has major flaws, which may be too numerous to mention. But item is complete and usable unless noted.

Jason Scott speaking at Cyberpunk 2020

Jason Scott will be a culture panelist at Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat, a fully online convention held on December 27 (AEDST).

Jason Scott is the curator of , a collection of essays from the BBS and usenet culture of the 1980s and early 1990s, and creator of the 2005 documentary film, "BBS: The Documentary" and the 2010 documentary film about interactive fiction, "GET LAMP", and currently works for the Internet Archive. He is a regular speaker at DEF CON, and has also spoken at PhreakNIC, Rubi Cons, H.O.P.E. Notacon and Toorcon.

Scott has been hosting his own podcast called "Jason Scott Talks His Way Out of It", and is the co-servent to the Twitter celebrity cat, Sockington.

(img by King of Hearts - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Rick Wayne to Speak at Cyberpunk 2020!

His biography on Amazon reads as follows: "Rick Wayne is a cretinous mass who's dissected a cadaver, climbed the Great Wall, jumped from an airplane, designed sampling systems, swam naked in the Mediterranean, and felt the blast of a terrorist's bomb, although not in that order. When he's not vomiting words, he's planning his next adventure."

Rick Wayne is an author of "The Zero Signal" part of the Science Crimes series, the seven-part speculative thriller series "The Minus Faction" (2014-2019), and the modern fantasy series "Fast of Shadows" (2019-2020), in addition to the fiction and art anthology "Membrane" (2014). He is also the author of the essays "Cyberpunk and the State" (2020) and "Cyberpunk as Retrofuturism" (2020).

Rick Wayne will be joining the culture and politics panels at Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat.

Code of Conduct (aka: "Be excellent to one another")

In an ideal world, such a code of conduct would not be necessary as everyone would abide by the simple ethical principle of "Be excellent to one another". Unfortunately, it is not an ideal world. The following is our code of conduct for behaviour at the convention, and operates in addition to legal requirements of the relevant jurisdiction.

1. Promote Cyberpunk. The reason for this convention existence is to encourage and explore the culture and technology of cyberpunk, along with associated genres (biopunk, solarpunk), and related RPG gaming activities.

2. Be Welcoming. Welcome people to our activities. To best encourage people to participate in the convention we insist that all participants accept diversity among other participants.

3. Look Out For Each Other. Once people are welcomed ensure they feel safe so they stay. Abuse, physical, verbal, or other, will not be tolerated.

4. Value Academic and Artistic Freedom. The Convention supports academic and artistic freedom provided sincere efforts are made to inform participants in activities of controversial or possibly offensive material.

5. Be Accommodating. The Convention requires that behaviour does not reduce the ability of others to participate.

If you believe that any participant is in breach of this code, please contact Lev Lafayette immediately (61 432 255 208).

Stephen Dedman to speak at Cyberpunk 2020!

Stephen Dedman is the author of several novels; "Foreign Bodies", "The Art of Arrow Cutting" (a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Horror Novel), "Shadows Bite", and "Shadowrun: A Fistful of Data". He short fiction has appeared in many genre magazines, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov's, and SF Age, as well anthologies as Little Deaths, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Dreaming Down Under, and Centaurus. There are two collections of his short works, "The Lady of Circumstances" and "Never Seen By Waking Eyes".

"A Walk-On Part in the War" won the 1998 Aurealis Award for best fantasy short story. In 2001 "The Devotee" tied for the win for the Ditmar Award for best short story, and "Dead of Winter" won the 2006 Aurealis Award for best horror short story.

Stephen is also a game designer most notably for GURPS Dinosaurs, GURPS Deadlands: Weird West, GURPS Space Atlas 4, and contributing to GURPS Martial Arts Adventures, along with writing supplements for Aftermath (Asteroid Cybele: Lords of London, The Gauntlet) and Villains and Vigilantes (The Great Iridium
Con, Pre-Emptive Strike).

Stephen will be talking on the politics panel, especially in reference to regionalism vs globalism, multi-culturalism vs well... racism, actually. The following synopsis is from "Foreign Bodies"

"When Mike Galloway, a regular sort of guy for San Francisco, 2014, descends into the nightmare world of poverty and joblessness, he finds he must face more than starvation and homelessness. He's now at the mercy of a deadly world of political intrigue...from the future. He awakens to find his mind has been slipped into the body of a homeless woman, his body taken over by a man from the future, and nothing can ever be the same."

Walter Jon Williams Speaking!

Walter Jon Williams will be speaking at Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat!

Walter Jon Williams is one of the original cyberpunk authors, with Hardwired (1986, Locus Award nominee), Voice of the Whirlwind (1987), Solip:System (1989), Angel Station (1990), and the post-cyberpunk space opera Aristoi (1992). This is but a small collection of the numerous novels that Walter Jon Williams has written across several genres (including a Star Wars novel, The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way), a series of historical novels (the Privateers and Gentlemen series), and contributions to the Wild Cards cooperative novels.

As a game designer, Walter Jon Williams authored the Cyberpunk RPG supplement Hardwired (1989) for the same setting as the novel, published by R. Talsorian Games, along with Privateers and Gentlemen (1983) published by Fantasy Games Unlimited.

In 2017, Williams was the Guest of Honor at the 75th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Helsinki.

In 2020 he is speaking at Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat!

(Image from the entry at

Francesco Verso will be part of the politics panel!

Francesco Verso will be part of the politics panel at Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat!

Francesco Verso is an Italian science fiction writer and translator of science fiction from English into Italian. A graduate in environmental economics from Roma Tre University, he is the author of five novels, thirteen short stories, eight translations, three theatre adoptions, and editor nine anthologies. In 2014 he started the Future Fiction label and was the winner of the Urania Award in 2009 and 2015, an Italia Award as best editor in 2018, and the European Science Fiction Society for Future Fiction in 2019, as well as being nominated for numerous others.

Image from Yves Tennevin, photograph taken at the 2015 edition of the "Utopiales" of Nantes.

Author Sarena Ulibarri Speaking

Author Sarena Ulibarri will be speaking at the technology panel on solarpunk for "Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat"

Sarena is a writer, editor, and anthologist who lives in New Mexico, USA.

Just look at this list of publications!

Welcome to the conference, Sarena! Glad to have you here in time for the somewhat warm Australian summer that beckons. Just what should we do with all that sunlight and heat, eh?

Tod Foley Confirmed Guest Speaker

We are absolutely delighted that Tod Foley is confirmed as a guest speaker at Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat.

Tod is the author of the games Cyberspace (1989), Watch the World Die (2014), Day Trippers (2015), founder of the interactive development studio "As If Productions", and series curator for the Ubiquicity shared speculative fiction environment. Tod has also worked for SAMS publishing and Intel as a technical writer

Welcome to Cyberpunk 2020: Year of the Stainless Steel Rat, Tod!