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February Reading List

While in the midst of writing and producing podcast episodes three and four, both focusing on aspects of artificial intelligence, we have been reading a wide array of relevant sci-fi/action novels. Here’s a partial copy of our reading list:

Neuromancer, the beginning of William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy. A story packed with AI, cyborgs, and adult themes.  Enter the matrix, 1984 style.

Vulcan‘s Hammer is a little-known Philip K Dick gem.  While Neuromancer technically contains more instances of artificial intelligence, the PKD book features flying robot claw hammers of doom.  Violent!

Next up is the Colossus trilogy by D.F. Jones.  Colossus, The Fall of Colossus, and Colossus and The Crab each tell the story of a sentient cold war-era mainframe computer run amok.  In a variation of Asimov’s three laws, Colossus makes a decision to save humanity from self-inflicted nuclear destruction.  Colossus takes control of the atomic weapon arsenals of the United States and USSR, then begins to dictate terms.  Just how far will humanity go to regain its right to fight?

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  1. Jim says
    2012/02/04, 20:59

    Cool. I recently read an interesting (though lengthy) interview with William Gibson. There’s some good stuff about writing Neuromancer and the origin of the term “cyberspace” in there.

    I have not read Vulcan’s Hammer but it looks like a wild ride. I will be on the lookout for a copy.

    Anyway, the topic of AI is indeed a rich vein to mine. I look forward to the podcast.

  2. Jim says
    2012/02/04, 21:18

    One more thing:

    At the intersection of AI and action-oriented science fiction, I would like to recommend Iain M. Bank’s Culture series. Secret agents of a far-future culture ran by intelligent starships explore spectacular settings and do the dirty work of their pseudo-utopian society! I’ve only read two of the books, but my main criticism is that I think these might actually make better movies than books – at times the action scenes are action-packed in a way that gets repetitive to read but would be awesome blowing up on the big screen.

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