Stories of Your Life and Others is a wonderful collection of modern science fiction short stories written by Ted Chiang. The collection, originally published in 2002, features many award winning pieces. Amazon.com calls Chiang “one of science fiction’s most thoughtful and graceful writers” and I would agree. His stories all have interesting concepts behind them. Though some are definitely better than others, they are all good, and the fact that they’re short makes even the not so great ones easy to get through.
I picked up a copy of Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, written by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths, after Amazon CTO Werner Vogels tweeted about it. I’ve come to really appreciate his book recommendations, and Algorithms to Live By doesn’t disappoint.
Ashlee Vance’s Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future is a very inspiring book. And with SpaceX’s CRS-7 having just exploded—the third resupply mission to fail in only a couple months—finishing this biography recently made the journey through it timely.
Make It So, by Nathan Shedroff and Christopher Noessel, is a terrific exploration of interaction design lessons from science fiction. It covers everything from commonly found mechanical controls and visual interfaces to emerging technologies and languages like volumetric displays and gestural interfaces and beyond.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the story of a lunar colony’s revolt against rule from Earth, is a classic sci-fi novel by Robert A. Heinlein. Published in 1966, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress won the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel and is considered one of the most important science fiction novels ever written.
Walter Isaacson’s biography of Apple co-founder and creative genius Steve Jobs is an absolutely brilliant read. Isaacson does an amazing job of revealing the motivations and passions that drove Steve Jobs to revolutionize a number of industries, including personal computers, animated movies, digital music and phones.