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April 20, 2009

News & Opinion: More Sci-Fi for Business

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:26 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture


Michael Arrington's Grok This: Forget The Business Books, Go Sci-Fi To Stoke Your Imagination post from two weeks ago garnered alot of attention. I just wanted share the additional recommendations from the genre that popped up in various places.

In the comment thread of Arrington's post itself:
  • Seth Wagoner recommends Charlie Stross and Ken MacLeod, pointing to Marc Andreessen's post on top novelists from this decade.
  • Ben says "I'd have to agree with everything on this list - although it's a bit of a ‘beginners guide' to sci-fi. Add in Peter F. Hamilton, the Cormac novels of Neal Asher etc. and you're humming."
  • Tom recommends:
  • Richard K. Morgan – Altered Carbon (all his stuff is great but AC is a good introduction)
  • Neal Asher – The Skinner
  • Alastair Reynolds - Revelation Space (Chasm city and the prefect are also awesome books)
  • Charles Stross – Singularity Sky (Halting State is another stand out book)
  • Mark suggests The Player of Games by Iain Banks
  • And almost all the comments recommend the addition of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.

On our own post, Seth Godin commented that "[E]very employee I've hired in the last ten years has been required to read Snow Crash [by Neal Stephenson]." He also highly recommends Cory Doctorow. In his latest book Tribes, he starts the acknowledgements with one to Doctorow and his book Eastern Standard Tribe.

Finally, Michael Fitzgerald at BNET writes:
[H]ere are three science fiction authors he should have on there and doesn't: John Brunner ("Squares of the City" is the one I've read, though "Shockwave Rider" is probably more relevant), Vernor Vinge ("Rainbows End" is his most recent, and I posted on its vision for the Future of Business, but "True Names" would matter more to high-tech entrepreneurs), and William Gibson ("Neuromancer," natch…).

Anyone else want to chime in?

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.