Diamond Age

For me, science fiction is still the best way to explore the limitless possibilities of nanotechnology. This book does a wonderful job of creating a world dominated by the benefits and consequences of unrestricted applications of nano tech. Wonderfully fun to read and more instructive at warning of the risks than many more serious books. Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash by the same author are also highly recommended.

The Remains of The Day

A truly amazing little book about discovering you’ve devoted your life to an illusion. On the surface, it’s about a butler, avoiding inspection of his life in service to a poor excuse for nobility. This novel of English manners and style is all the more amazing for having a Japanese author. If you take it as a spur you won’t find it bleak. (And, yes, it’s the book on which the Anthony Hopkins movie was based. The movie was good, the book is better.)

Neuromancer

This is the original cyberpunk novel. It won every major science fiction prize when it came out and it is still a relevant read. The writing is as interesting as the story which is roughly about adventures in a cyberspace virtual reality accessed though one’s brain implants. People who hate it think it’s dense and pointless. The rest of us thinks it describes a rapidly approaching future.