Top 20 Geek Novels

By Deane Barker on November 25, 2005

Top 20 geek novels: How many have you read? I’ve read 0.5 — I got half way through “Neuromancer” but then got lost. I suck.



  1. 8Hitchhiker’s Guide, 1984, Brave New World, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Dune, I Robot, Foundation, Stranger in a Strange Land And 5 more on my to-read list.

    The problem with this list is that while they are all ‘geek novels’ many of them are widely read by non-geeks. 1984 for example.

  2. Six are in my bookcase; I’ve read “Brave New World”, “Cryptonomicon“, the first half of “Dune”, and the first book of the “Illuminatus” trilogy (which at the time I thought was too scatterbrained and difficult to follow so I never read the other two).

    Crypto is a tough one because its so long and wordy, but well worth it in the end. Probably in my top five reads.

  3. I’m really surprised that these didn’t make the cut:

    • The Hobbit/LOTR
    • Ender’s Game
    • Anything by Arthur C. Clarke (2010, Rama, etc)
  4. Oh lord, I’ve read 16 of them. The ones I haven’t read are the Neal Stephenson books after “Snow Crash” (I couldn’t stand that book, so I haven’t tried any of his others), the John Wyndham one (I’ve read Triffids, but not Lichen), and “Microserfs”. Yes, I am a geek/nerd/…

  5. 11 for me…guess I’m not as geeky as I thought.

    I don’t think these are meant to represent “geek books” per se, but rather they are a list of books that it happens that a bunch of geeks have read. It is no surprise that HGTTG is #1, it’s sort of the official geek currency but in my experience there’s never been an expclicit “read this book”. It’s just one of those books/series that as I spoke with people it turned out that they had all read it.

    What’s odd is when I find a programmer (or other engineer) who doesn’t understand a reference to “42.”

    I fully agree with thinking that Ender’s Game should be in there but even though ACC is my favorite author, I’ve actually found few fellow geeks who have actually read his books (even Rama or Childhood’s End.

  6. Let me see… the official count for me is: Forty-two!

    I mean, wait.. the official count is three (HGttG, Brave New World, Cryptonomicon) and those are 3 of my 4 (counting the full HGttG trilogy as one book since I have the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide) favorite books of all time (the fourth being the Count of Monte Cristo).

    As for the rest of the list, I’ve read through half each of three of them (Neuromancer, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and I, Robot), but circumstances caused me to stop reading them at that point.

    Seven more from that list were on my list to read, and the remaining seven are now on my list to read.

    And I agree; Ender’s Game and Tolkien goodness should be on the list.

Comments are closed. If you have something you really want to say, tweet @gadgetopia.