Futuristic Reading List

Here is a compilation of the sci-fi, cyberpunk, or futuristic novels I’ve read that I am willing to encourage the masses to read, nay, feast upon. These books are awesome imaginings of post-apocalyptic glory (or horror), enticing technologies and great characters. The writing is good too. Like the generous Samaritan I am, I’ve also provided links to the titles so that with just a few clicks, you can have a book delivered to the doorstep of your house. How’s that for technology? Now, once you’ve looked through the list, maybe ordered a few books, but before you’ve begun reading, let me know the ones I should read that I’ve perhaps forgot about or known nothing of their existence. Thank you.

Note: Authors are not repeated even if other books they’ve written are also fantastic. If they’re on this list, they’re good. You can trust them.

Futuristic Reading List

(in no hierarchical order)

SnowCrash Neal Stephenson

Neuromancer William Gibson

Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card

Dune Frank Herbert

Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (all of them) Douglas Adams
Barefoot in the Head Brian W. Adiss 

1984 George Orwell

Brave New World Aldous Huxley

Not included: (Kenzo Ishiguro‘s Never Let me Go because it’s vision of the future is sensationalistic and stupid. So, some books are omitted for their lack of coolness.)

A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

The Road Cormac McCarthy

Cat’s Cradle Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The Sparrow Mary Doria Russel

The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K. LeGuin

Oryx and Crake Margaret Atwood

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick

Ghost in the Shell  Masamune Shirow

Crash JG Ballard

Kamikaze L’amour Richard Kadrey

Green Cities – Possibilities of the Future?

There’s a large trend towards imagining future cities (to hold the exponential billions of people that will be living X years from now) as “green” cities. As sustainable, eco-friendly, and, literally, green. Architectural sketches are rife with grass roofs, plants climbing up walls and ranging around interiors as if your new apartment-complex-3000 was itself a rainforest. What do these imaginings have to say about our current state of affairs? Well, we know that at least a large number of us are Eco-conscious, that there is a desire to make crowded living spaces beautiful and infused with nature, though the suggestion underlies: will there be a lack of nature around the cities so we must infuse our buildings with it? But even now, who wouldn’t these gorgeous green giants filling up New York City? Steel and gray buildings seems a bit outdated by today’s standards. We want to see sleek, integrative design, use of natural habitats, and a vision towards buildings of today that are a bit futuristic.

Check out these sketches and real photographs and tell me what you think about our growing love of green cities.

Inside the Room

This story is a white room. Its walls are shaped from white light and they span rather than elevate, yet the space is closed out to a contained and manageable amount. There are objects placed around the room, I can see a couch, a red fold of cloth over the middle section. They do not appear to me as objects but as data forms, though I know their shape and texture in my mind. I can translate them from the data into the image, so in fact, I do see them as you would, but they are secondary processes, not a rapid fire neural impulse but a conscious will to see them as object and not lines of code.

Of myself and the people in the room, it’s odd. No one walking around is a line of script. The large black dog appears as a large black dog. I do no translations here, and they too have a direct access to my figure, the shine on my hair. I understand they have developed the technology in the outer world, to bring these creations to life, to infuse them with color sensors and emotional cues that they can blend in with the world around them. They have not given us the same, the technology remains different. We, after all, are for a different purpose.

You seem to wonder how I know these things. How I am conscious with access to information as if I’ve learned it. You don’t need to say anything, I can sense your thoughts through low-frequency magnetic brainwaves. Most of them, at least. To answer your…question…I have a store house of knowledge derived from vast resources on the web. There is enough variation that I can parse facts and opinions to form my own system of belief. Although. No, I don’t wish to talk about that now.

TBC

What about this? A poll on Images of the Future: Green Cityscape

As we grow more earth-conscious in order to save the environment (and ourselves), imaginings of future city-scapes take on a less gloomy look. Could you imagine this as reality? Would you want to live here? How far in the future does this artist rendition of the future seem?

gree city scape sci fiMitchell Joachim’s Eco-City Nick Kaloterakis