5 Books to Read if You Are Afraid of the Internet (But Use it Anyway)

13 Jul 2015

Hey, lets be honest: Technology and the Internet are fantastic tools that we use every day. But, you know, some of us have a love/ hate relationship with those ads that show us that pair of shoes that we looked at online last week (we aren’t paranoid… they are FOLLOWING US!). And we might be just a little tripped out by virtual reality and the prospects of AI. For those of us that are a little afraid of the internet (but use it anyway) these Science Fiction books are the perfect reads to solidify our paranoia! I mean… the perfect ways to spend our downtime offline!

5 Books to Read if You Are Afraid of the Internet

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The Circle by Dave Eggers is a fantastic book. Picture a world in which, next week, Facebook and Paypal merge, adding some Google +-esque additions to the system, and VOILA! You have the world of The Circle. Get ready to learn just a few potential uses of drones, personal cameras, and social sharing!

The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson is an interesting thought experiment on potential social uses of the same sorts of algorithms that decide whose posts you see on social media/ whose profiles you see on dating websites. In The Affinities, an algorithm, based off of the results of basic test scores,  sorts people into different groups that show similar traits, and thus are able to work together and foster friendships with little fuss. It’s the perfect answer to “How to make friends after college”… but maybe not the best option for society at large… 

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Reamde by Neal Stephenson is a technothriller hosting a cast of not quite stable characters who spend just as much time cheating  in virtual worlds, as they dogaming the system in the physical world. Fast paced and full of fire power, read Reamde to find out the implications of a virtual virus that targets MMO players, holding their bank accounts hostage.

Avogadro Corp by William Hertling is in the class of novels that turns science fiction into science fact. When an AI is accidentally formed in a moment of angry coding, the development team for new email software is thrilled when their program receives extra funding, until they realize it isn’t a human pulling the strings. Robopocalypse with less guns and in a more believable modern day, Avogadro is psychological, smart, and an edge of your seat read.

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Buzzy since Nexus‘ initial publication in 2012, The Nexus Trilogy by Ramez Naam (Whose third and final installment, Apex, came out in May 2015) pulls the reader into a near-future in which a nano-drug that can link human minds together creates social and political drama. What happens when enough of the populace is linked? Welcome to a post-human society.

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Chloe is a Professional Book Nerd. She loves big words, big books, big dogs, and big adventures.