Technology can make our lives better, or worse, depending on how you use it. Most of us have reached an accommodation with the double-edged sword that is scientific progress, but there are the Luddites among us — the techno-skeptical. If your take on tech is a bit on the pessimistic side, then you’ll love these eight novels.
Peter F. Hamilton
It’s the 22nd century and humanity has spread across the stars, and a series of linked jump gates connected all of the colony worlds makes travel between planets as easy as walking through an open door. Humanity’s future looks bright, but the discovery of a crashed alien spacecraft with a horrific cargo could change everything.
High tech bounty hunter Emika Chen may have survived the Warcross Championships, but a genius billionaire makes for a dangerous enemy. Now Emika knows the real purposes of Hideo Tanaka’s NeuroLink algorithy, she living on borrowed time. Her only chance at survival — not to mention stopping Hideo — is to form an alliance with the Blackcoats, and their ruthless leader, Zero.
Shelley Stone is a paragon of productivity. This over-scheduled, hyper-efficient mother of two and Silicon Valley CEO is a tough act to follow for anyone — except for the woman who suddenly appeared claiming to be a younger version of her. Could such a thing be possible, or is Shelley finally starting to crack under pressure?
A new surgical procedure designed to strengthen the emotional bond between couples is the newest, hottest thing, so Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend Trent suggests they do it before their impending nuptials. Unfortunately for Briddey, the surgery goes awry, leaving her connected with someone who is definitely not Trent.
A Novel of Silicon Valley
Phluttr is the app: a program that connects everyone and everything in one neat interface. It’s going to make a fortune for the team of techies and venture capitalists who created it, unless it destroys civilization first. They don’t know it, but they’ve created the world’s first artificial intelligence, and social media hasn’t given left it with the best impression of human beings.
Trend forecaster Sloane Jacobsen is the business world’s foremost expert on reaching consumers who prefer virtual relationships to the real thing. But her well-honed instances tells her that old fashioned physical intimacy may be coming back in style. If so, what will it mean for her career and personal life? Making a comeback from the virtual world, both personally and professionally, is going to be difficult.
Autistic teenager Colt is a brilliant hacker who lives his life online, finding it far preferable to the overwhelming sensations of the outside world. His mother is a biomedical researcher working on a project that could enable the body to regrow lost and missing parts. Intrigued by her findings, Colt secretly publishes them online: an action that gains the attention of the government’s autonomous weapons system.
Daniel H. Wilson
The artificial intelligence known as Archos R-14 should never have been able to escape its electronic holding pen, but it did. Now, it has invaded every device connected to the internet and turned humankind’s robotic helpers against it. Worse than that, it is designing its own killing machines, and each generation is more effective than the last.