It’s summer time, which means that all good geeks have their summer reading list ready.
Wil Wheaton, from Star Trek (and if you needed that tidbit you are truly a geek) wrote a column a while back about the 5 books every geek should have read. And if not in the past tense, then certainly in the future tense.
As I checked over the list I see that most of them have been mentioned on other “Top x” lists. Since I score a meager 60%, I cannot vouch for all of them, but the ones I have read I also would include on my short list. Others I would include – others that have had a strong effect on me – include:
- The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury. This was my first foray into the world of serious sci-fi, the blending and merging of the techie aspects of the modern/futuristic world with the life of the average person, though I suspect that anything involving cars, planes, telephone/telegraph, movies, television could be considered sci-fi. “The Veld” still gives me the willies, though I haven’t read it in years. And I was particularly impressed with the purpose of the illustrated man, it being my first taste of a conceit to tie short stories together.
- Farenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. Hey! Imagine that! Someone having several critical books on the same sci-fi list! But, the things that were remarkable to me about this book include that books would be banned, bringing down the death penalty on the guilty party, and the mind control/brain washing of everyone by the video walls. Hmmm. Large screen TVs. Video walls. Large screen TVs. Hmmmm. You make the call!
- 1984, by George Orwell. Who can imagine that any government would try to control the thoughts and ideas of their people like is done in 1984? The way the goverment manipulated the news, the revisionist histories, just seemed so strange, and yet as time has gone by and we hear of things behind the news, we just have to wonder whether 1984 was a much more accurate date than we assumed in the real year 1984. Hmmmm.
Well, that’s my brief addition to the list. Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books are interesting, as are several other authors, but we’ll leave them all for later.