Seveneves

41cnn3ro7lThe moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason it was waxing, only one day short of full. The time was 05:03:12 UTC. Later it would be designated A+0.0.0, or simply Zero. Read the first 26 pages

The very beginning of an  epic novel that explores what the human race would do if the moon exploded and world had to scramble to survive. Don’t choose this book if you are not a techy sci-fi geek, as there is plenty of technical scientific strategies and processes. It describes in detail what the people do and how they do it and the science behind it. But, it is a fascinating read and it stretches your imagination. The characters are deep and plausible and drive the story forward. This book is well worth the investment.

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Feed

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M.T. Anderson creates a future dystopian world in FEED. People in this world have their brains altered to accept a chip that feeds them a constant stream of information, games, shows and advertisements, much like an internal internet. But, not everyone is happy with this arrangement. How can you rebel against this when it is done at birth? How can you turn off this noise in order to actually think for yourself. The book focuses on a group of teens that push the boundaries of their feed.

The book was the winner of the LA Times Book Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award. M.T. Anderson is a prolific writer and especially loves the world of the fantastic.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

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Winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, this science fiction classic novel is exciting and fresh. I was captivated by the premise and it has sufficient action and suspense to keep a reader interested.

In order to develop a secure defence against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut–young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is. (amazon description used here) 

Little Brother

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Cory Doctorow’s book is an action packed, fast-paced sci-fi that mixes mystery,  intrigue, terror and friendship. With shades of 1984, but with a closer to home feel, the book follows the missteps of a group of friends that are suspected of terrorism in their own home town after a disastrous explosion. The group are young gamers and are able to circumvent the “gait recognition” security cameras of their high school to skip out and play the scavenger game Harajuku Fun Madness. They use their gaming expertise to build an underground resistant to the evil government.

You can download the book for free here

1984

George Orwell’s 1984. It’s the book you have to read in order to understand all of our cultural references to it!
Some Quotes:
Big brother is watching you.

Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death.

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

The commercial that launched the first Apple computer was stylized after the theme of everyone being the same, following the “party” line like brain dead zombies. Folks in 1984 are all dressed the same, expected to think the same and be aware that Big Brother is always watching from the ever present TV. The government tells you what to do and what to think. Control is ever present.