2. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while some of the science in this series, which stretched to five or six books, depending on how one counts, is a little dubious, the original guide book, it caries an uncanny resemblance to modern smart phones. Don’t make me use that iWord again. The Hitchhikers Guide influenced several generations, making it more important than ever. That, plus it’s fun and silly.
3. Neuromancer My cousin, when she was here last, we talked about that, as she lectures about the creative process. She was amazed that the first book was written on a typewriter. Subsequent novels are equal, but it’s always good to start with the first. First novels have a raw feeling, and this one is great – as every geek should know.
4. Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling. Most, if not all, of Sterling’s body of work is excellent geek fodder. Nay, even requisite. This book is the most maligned, and yet, getting past the nitpicking details, looking at a futurist at work, it’s easy to see that there are some near misses – and it’s important to help plot our own future. Which is the point of good literature. I’ve reread this several times. It stands up well in my eyes.
5. Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson. I’m entirely enamored – personally – of the later work by this guy, the Baroque Cycle. Snowcrash is a one off, all-time cult favorite. Then, too, there’s the ideas promulgated in the novel. Dealing with technology. As an introduction to the author’s canon, it’s an excellent place to start. Sort of the end of the beginning of the cyber-punk.