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5 Books Every Geek Should Read by Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton’s latest Geek in Review column is Five Books Every Geek Should Read.

Here’s the short version:

  1. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (1950)
  2. Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984)
  3. Ringworld by Larry Niven (1970)
  4. The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling (1992)
  5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979)
About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

10 Comments on 5 Books Every Geek Should Read by Wil Wheaton

  1. Okay, so what does it say to me that I read all those books long ago? 🙂

  2. It says that you’re way ahead of Wil Wheaton. 🙂

    What does it say that all the books are at least 14 years old? Is the newer stuff less essential? Does a book need to stand the test of time?

  3. I would sub in Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon for Sterling, and perhaps a good Heinlein (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or The Puppet Masters) for the Douglas Adams.

    Otherwise, no major arguments (although I have to confess with some small amount of shame that the only Asimov SF I have ever read was one Lucky Starr juvenile. I just have never gotten motivated to take on the Foundation or Robot series).

  4. The day I take literary advice from some second-rate ex-ST actor is the day I toss out my SF collection. My “every geek should read” list is a heck of a lot more extensive than this small corner.


  5. Fred, Wheaton may be an ex-ST actor (I’ll leave the question of how good an actor he is to others), but he does have geek street cred at this point. And John did note that the list is the “short” version, whatever that means. Also, since he has a large readership on his blog, he may very well be helping those books — and SF in general — get a boost. So while personally I also probably wouldn’t go to him for advice on what to read, I hope others choose to pick up those books based on his recommendations.

    And for my own part, I have to admit that Neuromancer didn’t grab me as much as Snow Crash.

    John, I doubt that this list means newer stuff is less essential. It just means the newer stuff hasn’t had as much time to percolate into the collective consciousness.

  6. Michael, by “short version” I mean the bare bones list; Wheaton elaborates on the titles in his post.

  7. Actually, this is a post to another blog to which he contributed. But yep, I subscribe to his blog’s RSS feed. And I’ll be the first to admit that while I initially jumped on the “I hate Wesley” bandwagon (without even being a die-hard Trek fan, mind you) I have since found his posts to occasionally be honest, geek-infused and refreshing.

  8. Oddly enough…I loved the “Sprawl” stories (including Neuromancer), but have never been able to get past the first chapter or so of “Snowcrash”.

    Stephenson did not hook me until “Cryptnomicon”. The Baroque Cycle is one I’ve read twice through now.

  9. What, no Neal Stephenson???

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