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A Good Summer Read?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the fine-novels-for-the-summer-vacation dept.

Books 1485

binaryhead asks: "Well, the semester has just ended, and I have graduated from school! :-) I start my full-time job in a month and want to read a good book in the mean time. Having read Snowcrash, Neuromancer, and most of the hacker biographies, I am trying to find a scifi-geek-hacker book that people like. I might try the new Kevin Mitnick book, but I wanted to see what Slashdot preferred. Thanks."

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good summer read: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063549)

this fp, BIATCH

Re:good summer read: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063559)

Ah, I enjoyed your fp.

Have anything else for me to read this summer, you skanky BIATCH?

Gibson.... (5, Interesting)

objekt404 (473463) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063552)

I just picked up 'Pattern Recognition' & it is definitely a decent read (so far)

Re:Gibson.... (2, Funny)

farrellj (563) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063614)

I am about 80% through this book and I am greatly enjoying clip to be found on the internet...(inside joke!).


Re:Gibson.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063616)

just finished reading this one, and is i liked it a lot... great page turner... good techie bits... and solid story line

Ender's Game (5, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063554)

Ender's Game. Not sure about the sequels though. You may want the crossover(quasi-sequel) Ender's Shadow after that.

Re:Ender's Game (2, Interesting)

Vairon (17314) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063593)

Agreed. Incredible Story. One of my all time favorites.

Re:Ender's Game (1)

rw2 (17419) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063605)

IMO all the sequals accept Children of the Mind are worth reading.

Children might be worth reading if you are into religion, but otherwise is a real drag.

Re:Ender's Game (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063611)

I totally agree. Ender's Game is the best book I have read in a long time. And from what i can remember, Ender's Shadow (about Bean) would be the book i would recommend to read next, before the 'true' sequels.

Re:Ender's Game - Ender's Shadow (1)

sykora (562806) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063613)

After Ender's Game, definately check out Ender's Shadow - through the eyes of Bean. Very good book. I don't care for the prior sequels.

Re:Ender's Game (4, Informative)

BobLenon (67838) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063618)

I think the whole series is good. However, Enders Game is the best. I got it for xmas a few years back and read it in one weekend. I then purchased the others and read them all in about 1.5 months. I think the story is very interesting. It is also a realtivly easy book to read - as opposed to say LoTR. I think there are sample chapters on Orson Scott Card's website [] .

Re:Ender's Game (1)

tomakaan (673394) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063703)

Completely off topic, but LoTR difficult to read? I was just curious about what brought you to this conclusion. At any rate, you guys definitely have me sold on the Ender's Game series. I think I'll head out to the library and pick it up tomorrow.

Gullivers Travels (4, Interesting)

rw2 (17419) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063556)

Free on PG and it's about time we, as a collective, got a little more broad in our selections.

Porn. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063557)

Porn, porn, porn. What more is there to say?

ok (4, Funny)

eightball01 (646950) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063560)

A complete Unix manual.

Re:ok (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063630)

Yeah, RTFM Motherfuckerzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree... (1)

rmdyer (267137) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063689)

True hackers read engineering, programming, and science books. Leave the fiction writers to dwell on things that are for the purpose of fantasy and escape, and sometimes glimpses into the future.

The end is not the point, getting there, now that's a really journey!

The needs of the many can be accommodated by the work of the few. The needs of the few, are, for the most part, irrelevant.

+2 cents.

P. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063564)


The next Shitpot story will suck dick, but you tools can beat me off and eat my ass!

Read? (3, Funny)

knightinshiningarmor (653332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063568)

Didn't you read slashdot? You'd be better off playing video games then reading!

Re:Read? (2, Funny)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063650)

And if you continue to read Slashdot and playing video games, you'll continue to misuse 'then' in your sentences when you should be using 'than'.

Re:Read? (1)

knightinshiningarmor (653332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063670)

Are you politically correct or something?

/me ducks

books in pre-Change Internet form (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063571)

Re:books in pre-Change Internet form (1)

Phishpin (640483) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063714)

Metamorphosis is probably the best time I've spent reading from my monitor. Excellent read. Just up a geek's alley.

Fantasy? (5, Insightful)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063574)

If you like fantasy at all, I'd recommned Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series, Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series (which is all but a blatant ripoff of Jordan's work, mind), or any of the Forgotten Realms mini-series (RA Salvatore is the best writer of FR books, imo).

If you like humour (yes, the British version of it ;-), and can at least tolerate fantasy, you _must_ read Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" books. Absolutely must.

I'd also recommend Asian folklore; those stories are surprisingly good, considering the plots seem like they were thought up by someone using the peace pipe... ;-)

Re:Fantasy? (3, Insightful)

Vann_v2 (213760) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063624)

I read Robert Jordan when I was in middle school and loved it. "I'm a big boy!" I thought. Then, years later, I realized that he couldn't really write well , or at least didn't write well, and only the first book was worth reading.

Who wants to spend the time reading 7, or however many there are now, 1000+ page books whose plot is plainly drawn out as long as possible for seemingly no other reason that to extend the series? I don't, but I suppose this is a good way to kill time during the summer.

Re:Fantasy? (1)

ibbey (27873) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063659)

Man, are you asking for it! Putting down Robert Jordan is kind of like defending MS in these parts...

How about... (3, Insightful)

ath0mic (519762) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063575)

...something not "scifi-geek-hacker" for a change? It's a big world out there.

Re:How about... (5, Insightful)

Cire (96846) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063648)

Damn right. Read Down and out in Paris and London [] by George Orwell [] . One of the best books I've read in a long time.


Michael Crighton(sp?)'s "Prey" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063576)

Good book, includes guys wearing bow down for I am root T-Shirts.

Robert Anton Wilson (4, Insightful)

barkingcorndog (629651) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063579)

Good stuff to read before starting your first job. Check out the Illuminatus! trilogy.

Re:Robert Anton Wilson (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063645)


Anything by this great writer!

Not only that, but it adds IQ points with every book read! Really!

Hail Eris!

Re:Robert Anton Wilson (1)

ibbey (27873) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063699)

Seconded. A great book!

Re:Robert Anton Wilson (2, Informative)

Nutrimentia (467408) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063715)

Illuminatus! Trilogy
Shroedinger's Cat Trilogy
Masks of the Illuminati

This is a trilogy of sorts that includes trilogies for the first 2 books of the trilogy. Great reading though, very stimulating, funny, and you'll probably learn something.

The Principia Discordia [] is a fun read too, and available online. Better to check it out as a book and randomly flip through it though.

Dune (5, Insightful)

DarkSkiesAhead (562955) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063580)

I have to recommend the old sci-fi classic, Dune. It did a marvelous job of creating a strange yet self-consistent world. Gread read. The other books in the series are sometimes dry and uninteresting, but still worth it.

How about, (1)

Bold Marauder (673130) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063584)

the unix haters' handbook? It's FREE! You like FREE, dont' you?!?!

For Brain or Pleasure (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063585)

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programming, by Sussman and Ableson, a book from MIT using scheme as a teaching language but for than language it teaches invaluable concepts.

Apart from that I like crime fiction by Michael Connelly, not exactly typical slashdot fodder, but hey you asked.....

SciFi/Fantasy. (1)

gnuadam (612852) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063586)

I rather liked Neil Gaiman's "American Gods."

Re:SciFi/Fantasy. (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063635)

Have you read Neverwhere, also by Gaiman? Probably my favorite of his books. As much as I liked American Gods, Neverwhere was better.

Re:SciFi/Fantasy. (1)

deke_2503 (569986) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063671)

Good Omens by Gaiman and Pratchett is also an excellent read. Funny, interesting, insightful, and underrated at the same time!

Re:SciFi/Fantasy. (1)

sykora (562806) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063704)

On that note, read the Sandman series eventhough its a graphic novel. Also, if you can get your hands on "Angels and Visitations" by Gaiman, read it. (Also, cherish it because its so hard to find)

Try Stanislaw Lem! (1)

NortWind (575520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063588)

I recommend his book "Cyberiad" [] in particular...

Cuckoo's Egg (5, Informative)

cvanaver (247568) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063591)

Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Cliff Stoll

Good documentary account of tracing international hackers from a sysadmin-like guy's point of view. A little dated now but well-written, humorous and very entertaining.

Summer Reading (2, Interesting)

methangel (191461) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063594)

I recommend The Hobbit or anything else by J.R.R. Tolkien

Or if you have already read those too many times, try out The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis ... it was a great series.

Wheel of Time (1)

jmkaza (173878) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063597)

If you're interested in Fantasy, the Wheel of Time series is one of the best I've read. I got the first book when it came out, and eagerly awaited the release of each new book. It might be a bit more than a summer project, though. The Dragonlance Chronicles is also a trilogy that you'll pick up and not put down until it's done. Then, a week later you'll pick it up again and re-read it. It's that good.

Re:Wheel of Time (1)

mental_telepathy (564156) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063720)

Wheel of time is not summer reading. The series stands at about 7000 pages right now (No, for the uninitiated, that is not hyerpbole). I actually enjoy the series, but I long ago lost the ability to remember many of the cast of hundreds that poulate the book.

Hydrogen! (1)

erf (101305) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063598)

Hydrogen: The Essential Element
by John S. Rigden


Justly acclaimed for his lucid biography of physicist I. I. Rabi, Rigden here shifts his focus from person to problem, chronicling how one enduring conundrum--that of explaining the element hydrogen--has challenged two centuries of brilliant scientists. Beginning with the British chemist William Prout's pioneering hypothesis defining hydrogen as nature's fundamental building block, Rigden recounts episode after episode in which the mysteries of the simplest element--a bare proton and electron--have yielded their secrets to intellectually daring and resourceful researchers. In the process, he clarifies for general readers the nature of the scientific enterprise, in which elegant theories must meet the test of empirical verification. Nor does Rigden neglect the often-quirky personalities of the humans who frame the theories and conduct the experiments: we share, for example, in the frivolous musical ditties composed by Bloch and in the irreverent jokes circulated about Dirac. Readers will marvel that in its very first square, the periodic table holds so much science, so much history, so much humanity.

Read something that will FUCK with your head (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063599)

and leave you feeling dirty.
Like Naked Lunch

Re:Read something that will FUCK with your head (4, Funny)

FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063702)

Naked Lunch

"I can think of at least two things wrong with that title" - Nelson Muntz

One option... (1)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063600)

You could always read The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect [] . It's a relatively short piece, can be read in a couple days. Also, the book is free, so there's no downside if you don't like it (short of a spell of time).

Do as Christopher Lee does... (1)

erpbridge (64037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063604)

...and read The Lord of The Rings trilogy once a year. Should always be an entertaining read, and you'll catch some stuff not included in the movies.

Now, the articles I read about his doing this didn't say if he read The Hobbit or the assorted tails in the Silmarillion. I'd assume he's read the tales in the Silmarillion at least a few times.

I don't read much fiction but... (1)

3ryon (415000) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063607)

I've read two excellent books lately that I'd recommend to any intelligent audience...
The Code Book [] , and The Selfish Gene [] . We'll see what the other slashdotters think of my suggestions...

Powers Graphic Novels (2, Informative)

davco9200 (13848) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063615)

Check out Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? []

The Powers comic series is ground breaking and really well done. The basic premise is that there is a cop investigating the murder of a superhero.

Really stunning work and surprisingly moving. Great written dialog.

Pattern Recognition (2, Informative)

gmplague (412185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063619)

I am actually finishing up the new Gibson book, Pattern Recognition, as part of my summer reading, it's definitely a sci-fi/hacker/geek/saavycool book that people like. They assigned it to my entire freshman class at a respected liberal arts university. I read the Art of Deception a few months ago. While good, it wasn't exactly what I'd call summer reading material. Hope this all helps.

Literature (1)

truesaer (135079) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063621)

You might consider reading a work of literature in addition to the latest greatest hacker book. Yes, there are non-computer books!

books (1)

pbemfun (265334) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063627)

Snow Crash or Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson

Two of the best geek books out there.

If you like horror...check out Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith.

Hyperion (3, Informative)

mckayc (307712) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063632)

The Hyperion series ("Hyperion" and "Fall of Hyperion" by Dan Simmons) is one of the best, if not the best, works of Sci-Fi I've ever read. Better than Dune, IMHO.

It's something fresh and original and it'll change the way you think :)

Weird dark and twisted sci-fantasy (2, Informative)

PateraSilk (668445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063633)

Nothing like Shadow of the Torturer and its companion novels by Gene Wolfe. Also props to those who suggested Dune and The Cyberiad.

art of deception (4, Informative)

cosyne (324176) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063637)

I'm reading Mitnick's book right now- I can't say I reccomend it. So far it just seems like 'how not to give out your password For Dummies'. It has all these little "Lingo" and "Mitnick Message" sections to try and clue you in on key points, in case you didn't pick up from the stories that you shouldn't give out potentially sensitive info to people you don't know. Maybe it get's better later on, but up to like chapter 8 it's kinda boring.

Cryptonomicon (2, Insightful)

loudmouth (661510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063638)

IMnvHO it's better than Snowcrash, even

This isn't in your requested genre... (4, Informative)

elizalovesmike (626844) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063641)

But given your state in life... it's a book well worth reading...
  • The Fountainhead
by Ayn Rand, of course, then onto
  • Atlas Shrugged

There are few better favors you can do yourself before entering the working world in earnest than to have a nice philosophical framework.

Good luck!

What I'm reading... (1)

CtrlPhreak (226872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063643)

I'm reading a book called Sophies World by Jostein Gaarder. It's not really what you're looking for (sci fi tech thriller dealie) but I'm really enjoying it and I know that me and a lot of my geeky friends are interested in it's subjet matter, philosophy. It's a attempt to create a fictional mystery intertwined with the history of philosophy from the anchients up till modern times. I say attempt because you really have to be interested in the philosophy part to get through the book, you won't finish it just based on the merit of the mystery aspect however it is interesting. So there's my two cents and hopefully it will give you a new look on life as you move on to college.

On the other hand for the scifi kinda thing I highly reccomend anything written by Isaac Asimov, my absolute favorite author in that genre. The foundation series is wonderful. Also check out the Hitchikers Guide series, very entertaining. Blah I'm just rambling now so go read something.

not scifi... (2, Insightful)

tobes (302057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063646)

but you could check out the classics like Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, Illuminatis Trilogy, anything by Rand...those all seem to appeal to geek sensibilities.

The Moral Animal (1)

jamie (78724) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063651)

The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life [] by Robert Wright. A look at evolution and nonzero-sum game theory and how they shaped our brains and our culture. I lent my dad my copy and he kept it to read it twice.

Mitnick Book (2, Informative)

Esteban (54212) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063652)

I'd stay away from the Mitnick book, if I were you. It reads like an executive summary of a much more interesting book. There's not much there: it's got large print and bullet points every few pages.

Harry Potter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063654)

The new book "The Order of the Phoenix" is going to be out in three weeks!

Read Some Poetry! (1)

brogdon (65526) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063656)

A Coney Island of the Mind [] by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Sure, you can read the whole collection in one night, but you'll be mentally chewing on it for two weeks.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063658)

Slaughterhouse Five

Cat's Cradle

Player Piano

The Sirens of Titan

I enjoyed them 30 yrs ago as much as in the past few weeks. Unemployed and all. Don't forget 1984, The Doors of Perception and Fahrenheit 451. Enjoy.

Reading (5, Interesting)

cje (33931) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063660)

A lot of times in the summer, I'm too busy with other things to spend a lot of time reading major novels, but in the time that I do get to read, I like to tear into collections of short stories, things that you can get through in an abbreviated sitting. Some of the stuff I read last summer:
  • The complete works of H.P. Lovecraft (Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!)
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Stories and Novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Complete Tales and Poems (the tales, mostly; I'm not big on poetry)
Not exactly sci-fi geek hacker stuff, of course, but I've read through most of Stephenson and Gibson's stuff and found that I like classic mystery/suspense as well. If it's hard sci-fi you're looking for, check out a book called The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, if you haven't already. It's old (circa 1950s or 1960s IIRC) but a great read. And then there's the classics like Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama or 2001 series.

Wicked (2, Interesting)

rhombic (140326) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063662)

If you want a good perspective bender, check out Wicked: The life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire. It totally re-draws the whole Oz story from a different direction, makes you think about how good and evil depend on the perspective you take, and who you believe. One of the best books I've read in a while

The best of the best (2, Informative)

Zerocool3001 (664976) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063664)

Something you might find interesting that satisfies your "Sci-fi" requirement with added humor. the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series is a great read.

Well, there's nothing like a good Porno mag after (2, Funny)

Martin Marvinski (581860) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063668)

a hard day coding. A hot 22 old whore getting her pussy fucked in the bright pages of a magazine makes my day. It'll make yours too.

Don't be prudes..It is actually a healthy stress (1)

Martin Marvinski (581860) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063725)

reliever. Sex is nataural and healthy, and masturbation is no different.

The classics (1)

mental_telepathy (564156) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063669)

Asimov's Nine Tomorrows [] is a great collection, though kind of a fast read
More science than computer stuff, but the stories will blow your mind

If you want to get a Cool read that no ones knows about [] check out cordwainer smith

And for something a little more modern, Tad Williams Otherland [] series, which combines virtual reality with a diverse set of cultural histories.

I just finished... (1)

sykora (562806) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063672)

Nine Princes of Amber and the other subsequent Amber books in the series by Zelazny. Eventhough I feel the series is unfinished in parts, I really enjoyed these books. Don't know if they're exactly what you're looking for, being a bit too fantasy-ish, but I recommend them to everybody. I also put Dune and Ender's Game on my recommendation list.

Just one? (5, Informative)

signe (64498) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063674)

One book in a month of nothing to do? Maybe one book a week, if you're slow!

Anyways, Cryptonomicon was a good read, if a little lengthy. In fact, anything by Stephenson that you haven't read (Zodiac and Diamond Age were great). Just ignore the complaints about endings and enjoy the rest of the story.

Asimov's Foundation series is a great choice as well. Not so much with the hacker angle (well, hacking of a different kind, surely) but very interesting.

If you want to go military geek sci-fi, David Weber's Honor Harrington series is excellent. You can get the first book, On Basilisk Station from the Baen Free Library [] . And if you buy the most recent book, War of Honor, in hardcover, you get a CD that has all the books in the series on it. Or you can just download the CD somewhere online.

Just a few suggestions. I have a ton of other things on my reading list, but that's a start.


Go back for some Classics (1)

Harry8 (664596) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063675)

Alfred Bester - The Demolished Man &/or The Stars My Destination (aka) Tiger, Tiger. Douglas Adams - If he wrote it, have a read. John Brunner - Stand on Zanzibar (see the hacking of Shalmanseer) Roger Zelazny Ursula Le Guin Joe Haldeman Don't be frightened of the History books as well. Great reads. Code - Charles Petzold Rebel Code Hackers The Mythical Man Month (history?) And, of course, "Dr Strangehate or how I learned to stop worrying and love Microsoft"

New Mitnick Book (2, Informative)

djcapelis (587616) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063676)

Personally I wasn't all that impressed with the new mitnick book, you can get more information online. Which, in and of itself is a wonderful resource if you want to read something fun and learn at the same time. Make sure you have read all of BOFH, and the browse's archives for a bit of humor. Then move on to safari, the SANs Reading room and some hacking sites and read up on the latest tech.

Another thing to look into is some of the more esoteric cool networking software out there... not exactly reading but something to do... kernel patches are fun!

BattleField Earth. (1)

jeoin (668566) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063677)

This is the perfect month read, with lots of swim time thrown in. yeah the movie should be forgotten, but the book is really written well.

Charlie Wilson's War, Bringing Down The House. (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063678)

OK - CW'sW is marginally techie in the application of 20th c weapons to 16th c fighters, but your jaw will be on the floor. Cyberstuff will seem very very tame. Charlie Wilson's social engineering skills (what'n they used to call "politics") will make Kevin Mitnik look like a 4th rate lock picker.

Bringing Down The House - well what can a bunch of MITers and others do when they really set their minds to it. You'll recognize personalities here. You'll wish it was you until it hits the fan.

And as the man said, these stories "have the added benefit of being true."

Code Book, by Simon Singh (2, Informative)

ruebarb (114845) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063679)

just a cool book on the history of codes and encryption - It' been reviewed on /. - history of codes...the Codebreakers is good too, though pretty long and mostly centered on the WWII Enigma cracking.

don't waste your time though trying to solve the puzzles at the end, unless you're bored...the puzzle and 10,000 pounds were won less then a year after the challenge was issued, I think...


Neal Stephenson (1)

oldmildog (533046) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063681)

You mentioned Snow Crash, but not Cryptonomicon [] (which I personally enjoyed more than Snow Crash). Oh, it's a hefty read... maybe pick up that and a Clancy novel and call it a summer.

Some light reading (1)

cr0z01d (670262) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063683)

My favorite reading experiences are usually those summer days when I'm on vacation (no computer), and it's hot (don't want to be too active). I alternate some classics with some sci-fi / fantasy.
Some of Asimov's series make my favorite summer reading, like the one that begins with "Caves of Steel". I've also done the Ender series, the Hyperion series, and I plan on reading some Wheel of Time this summer.
As long as you don't stagnate over the summer, almost any book will do... I know that if I avoid reading for more than about a week it gets hard to get back into the habit. Don't push those books back into the later summer weeks!
Of course, I feel obligated to post because there are only 13 postings above me.

The Sparrow (1)

Soukyan (613538) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063684)

You may want to check out The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It's a cross of sci-fi, sociology and anthropology all wrapped up in a neat little fiction-style novel. Quite an interesting read and as some parts can be quite disturbing at times, you might put it down more than once and come back to it later. It should certainly fill your summer and is worth reading. It will spark alot of thought for you.

Cryptonomicon (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063686)

Big, thik book.

You'll be talking about giant lizards for weeks...

good read (2, Insightful)

bark (582535) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063687)

How about the complete works of Shakespeare?

Nothing beats a nice assortment of Elizabethan plays.

Book suggestion (4, Informative)

war3rd (650566) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063690)

Hyperion [] by Dan Simmons. [] Or the whole series if you have the time. This guy pulls out everything from Canturbury Tales to cyberfreakiness in this work. Definitely a well-rounded read and incredibly absorbing. If you enjoyed any of the books you mentioned then you should like the Hyperion Cantos.

Mills and Boon (1)

wishes (129587) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063693)

I always find a nice Mills and Boon great reading!

Helps with those aweful nights of insomnia!

Some must-read modern classics for geeks (3, Insightful)

privacyt (632473) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063696)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams -- a hilarious take on Sci-Fi, the Hitchhiker's Guide has been read by many of the most influential hackers. (I'm using that term in its good sense.)

Then there's that little sci fi novel by George Orwell called 1984 -- which is important for geeks who want to be informed citizens

Net Force? (1)

jrl87 (669651) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063697)

I know this doesn't classify as a hacker or sci-fi/fantasy, but if you start with Cybernation and read the books that come after it you will find some interesting views on open source. In particular making the entire world open source. You'll find it listed under Tom Clancy; however, in my opinion the only ones that are interesting are written by Steve Perry and his associates.

Good Omens by Niel Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (4, Funny)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063700)

Absolutely stellar story. Check Amazon [] .
Pratchett (of Discworld fame) and Gaiman (of Sandman fame) may seem an unlikely combination, but the topic (Armageddon) of this fast-paced novel is old hat to both. Pratchett's wackiness collaborates with Gaiman's morbid humor; the result is a humanist delight to be savored and reread again and again. You see, there was a bit of a mixup when the Antichrist was born, due in part to the machinations of Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter downwards, and in part to the mysterious ways as manifested in the form of a part-time rare book dealer, an angel named Aziraphale. Like top agents everywhere, they've long had more in common with each other than the sides they represent, or the conflict they are nominally engaged in. The only person who knows how it will all end is Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies all come true, if one can only manage to decipher them. The minor characters along the way (Famine makes an appearance as diet crazes, no-calorie food and anorexia epidemics) are as much fun as the story as a whole, which adds up to one of those rare books which is enormous fun to read the first time, and the second time, and the third time... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

(scifi+geek)-hacker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063705)

Thought u knew... read M$'s press releases

Depends. Enjoy sanity? (3, Funny)

pla (258480) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063706)

Anything not tech-related (sci-fi excluded, of course).

Seriously, books with pictures of obscure animals on the cover, done in a faux-woodprint style, count as what we call "reference books".

When you have a specific question about how to use a particular construct in Malbolge [] , you pick up the book with the woodcut of the naked molerat(tm) and turn to the chapter on painless suicide methods.

You don't just READ such a book from cover-to-cover, a feat only slightly less painful than Vogon poetry.

Which brings me to my real suggestion - Reread the entire works of Douglas Adams. Most folks know the HHgttG series, but not the joys of "Dirk Gently's Holsitic detective agency" or "The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul". Great books in their own rights.

Vinge of course (5, Insightful)

fuzzeli (676881) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063707)

I think that Vernor Vinge is an essential geek read, most especially the loosely-related and absolutely fantastic pair, "A Fire Upon the Deep" and "A Deepness in the Sky". And the Motie Books, "The Mote in God's Eye" and "The Gripping Hand" by Niven and Pournelle, are a great first contact story. Also, anything by Robert Forward (especially Dragon's Egg and Starquake) is guaranteed to by intellectually fascinating and horribly written.

Piers Anthony! (2)

jargonCCNA (531779) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063711)

The XANTH series is an absolute riot. I highly recommend it.

My favorite books... (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063716)

First of all, if you want to read more SF/fantasy/geek books, then you should make a point of reading a few books out of that genre as well. Get away from the familiar.

Now having said that, most of these fall roughly into that category. :-) In no particular order, I give you some of the finest contemporary (mostly) literature available...

Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
In Watermelon Sugar, Richard Brautigan
Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Hiroki Murakami
Fool on the Hill, Matt Ruff
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Press Enter, John Varley
Sewer, Gas & Electric, Matt Ruff
the entire series of Sandman comics, Neil Gaiman
Lord of the Rings. (go read it again)
Harry Potter #1-5 (Yeah, they're that good!)
The Persistence of Vision, John Varley
Bringing Down the House (new nonfiction, about MIT math students taking on Vegas. Perfect summer fare)

The Varley books and possibly the Brautigan might be hard to find new--in anthologies if at all. Check the used bookstores for them.

REAd (0)

Shutup Now (675851) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063717)

REd mars, green mars, and blue mars. The names sound stupid but they are the three best books ive ever read... and ive read way to many books in my life.

Cryptonomicon and friends (1)

target (97212) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063719)

There are a ton of good geek books out there, especially in the scifi realm. Some of my favorites include:

Cryptonomicon. You've read snow crash, so you know all about Stephenson. Diamond Age is also excellent.

Ender's Game is good, as is Speaker for the Dead. A book that feels somewhat similar for some reason, but is more literary, is Hyperion. Quite good.

If you like fantasy, Guy Gavriel Kay writes excellent somewhat historically based fantasy. He got his name by editing the Silmarillion. Tigana is good, Sailing to Serantium is fantastic. Avoid the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy. It's formulaic schlock.

Well, that should get you started!


Broaden your horizons (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063722)

Mix up your reading. It's a great way to avoid geek burnout, and sooner or later, you will have burnout. Try a mix of classic lit, modern popular novels, philosophy,religion, and history.

In fact, balance is a good idea for life in general...get away from your keyboard and do new things.

How was this missed? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6063723)

The Foundation Trilogy (Asimov) won the Hugo award for best sci-fi/fantasy trilogy ever (this award has only been given out once, obviously). Definitely worth reading.

Samuel R. Delany (1)

Devil (16134) | more than 11 years ago | (#6063724)

Try Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren [] . It'll take you all summer, but it is one of the most magnificent books I've ever read. Delany's work has been coming back into print and that's definitely a good thing. If Dhalgren seems like too much, try Nova [] ; it's shorter and makes for a great, swashbuckling adventure.
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