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Book IT: Good Holiday Reads for Tech Pros

Ed Tittel assesses CompTIA's recent list of sci-fi reading recommendations.

M.A. Foster is a former Navy Seal who writes about bioengineered humans in a variety of contexts. All of his stuff is fantabulous, and all is available in paperback pretty cheap from used book dealers on Amazon. I’d recommend the Ler series: The Warriors of Dawn, The Gameplayers of Zan, and The Day of the Klesh. The Morphodite series is perhaps his best work: The Morphodite, Transformer, and Preserver. I’m also a big fan of his standalone book Waves.


Neal Stephenson is perhaps one of the most interesting, intelligent and far-out voices in modern science fiction. His book Snow Crash is a modern classic and another founding salvo in the cyperpunk phenomenon. Any of his stuff is worth reading, but I’m particularly fond of his Cryptonomicon, Reamde, and Anathem.


Ann Leckie is a relatively new voice on the scene. Her first and debut novel, Ancillary Justice, appeared in 2013 and won the Hugo in 2014. She’s published two additional novels in the same universe that are also worth reading: Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy. The primary protagonist in all three novels is a former shipmind that now inhabits a humanoid android body (an “ancillary” for military spaceships in the book’s nomenclature) and makes for fascinating reading.


Iain Banks was a prolific writer who wrote many sci-fi novels as Iain M. Banks. Most of his sci-fi is set in an intergalactic context called “The Culture” that features a wild and amazing mix of shipminds, drones, humans, and other intelligent lifeforms, told mostly (and sadly) from the human perspective. His stuff is worth reading, if only for the wonderful names that he has shipminds and other artificial intelligences grace themselves with: Never Talk to Strangers, A Series of Unlikely Explanations, Synchronize Your Dogmas, Size Isn’t Everything, and Not Invented Here, just to name a few. Great stuff!


I could go on, but that’s more than enough to keep interested folks busy and happy for the holidays. Enjoy!



ed-tittel120Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Business News Daily, and on Windows desktop OS topics for TechTarget and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at