As tech professionals, it’s so hard to cut the cord these days (seriously, without our phones we get the shakes). And, yes, there is a sense of pride that comes with being plugged in and always on, but even the most digitally addicted need a little downtime. So it’s time for a cyber cleanse. To help you avoid that tech craving, we’ve selected 4 books for you to pick up, because you don’t need a Wi-Fi connection to plug into these networks.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
If you love a good underdog tale and have a penchant for classic video games, find a copy of Ready Player One immediately. By following protagonist Wade Watts in his search for the biggest video game Easter Egg in the world, Ready Player One offers an equally exciting and unsettling look at how gaming could affect our future. And, if that’s not enough to appease your inner gamer, the charming nostalgia of 1980s pop culture laced throughout the pages will definitely take you back to the decade that kicked off the gaming revolution.
P.S. Huh? A video game Easter Egg is? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Set in the distant future, Ender’s Game follows Ender, the perfect specimen of a boy genius, who joins the ranks of other children in training to take arms against an encroaching alien species. From the implementation of omnipresent brain chips used to scan the general populace for gifted children to the advanced spacesuits these children wear that monitor their vital signs during battle, the use of technology plays a central role in this book. It weaves seamlessly in with other central themes, chief among them Ender’s struggle to walk the line between right and wrong.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
The movie Bladerunner, starring Harrison Ford, is a classic in all of our hearts, right? Did you know the original source material for that 1982 sci-fi classic stemmed from Philip K. Dick’s cyberpunk novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Protagonist Rick Deckard scours his city in search of several androids he’s been tasked to eliminate. Through a myriad of tech-related themes, the focus on the dichotomy of human and android poses the question: What does it really mean to be human?
Neuromancer by William Gibson
One of the first cyberpunk novels, Neuromancer follows protagonist Case, a hacker afflicted with a virus that forbids him access to the global computer network as punishment for his crimes. By depriving our protagonist of the ability to log online, this virus essentially isolates Case from the rest of humanity, presenting the uncanny theme that our dependance on technology is what forges the bonds of humanity in the first place. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, Neuromancer also coined several terms still used in conversation today, including the infamous ‘cyberspace’, and is widely praised as a must-read for the cyberpunk genre.
It’s going to be okay, put down the plug, and slowly walk over to your new favorite book. Think of this disconnected time as preparation for a future where technology has run rampant. Basically it’s weekend research.