I'd also honorable mention Foucault's Pendulum by Uberto Eco, which has very little comp-sci stuff in it overall, but notably also has the search for permutations of the names of God mentioned in the article, complete with a BASIC program to do it in the text!
May as well copy the last update from Dennis E. Taylor here since I'm not alone in wishing we had more Bobiverse novels.
>And this means that I’m now back to writing the next Bobiverse book(s), working title “The Search for Bender.” I say book(s) because it looks like it’s going to be a duology. And spoiler alert — the end of book one will be a cliff-hanger, and a doozy. Bob and the Bill Wonder will be tied to the front of a Zamboni, while the Penguin and his henchmen–er, no, wait, I’m having a flashback. Sorry.
>So stay tuned–same Bob-time, same Bob-channel–for more updates as they happen.
The final showdown is between object-oriented and functional programs, and the OO programs have a hard time because the functional programs can use the state monad. I am not making this up.
 Yes, David Moles's 'Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom', not Cory Doctorow's 'Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom' ; Cory Doctorow had a bit of a project of writing stories with titles reused from previous works - for example, his 'True Names'  is not Vernor Vinge's 'True Names'   - and David Moles thought that what was sauce for the goose may as well be sauce for the gander
 http://www.scotswolf.com/TRUENAMES.pdf 
 Vernor Vinge's 'True Names'  is really worth a read too - a neglected early work of cyberpunk, beats the pants off Neuromancer if you ask me.
 Yes, that is a pirate link, but the whole book is about a digital world at the mercy of hackers; you made your bed, Vernor, now you get to lie in it.
A collection of (mostly) spoiler-free quotes to emphasise my point: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Cryptonomicon
Neal Stephenson writes in the same "genre" but he has a much more approachable style while not sacrificing on any "hard" elements.
My recommendation for anybody who's never read Egan's stuff is to start with his short-stories first.
In addition to being an "ideas man", I think his prose is generally excellent. He has a real talent for crafting sentences that are clear, concise, descriptive, and often evocative. (He's mentioned that outside of his writing career, he's a programmer, and I get the sense that any technical documentation he produced would be a joy to read.) It's a testament to his skill that his work is as comprehensible as it is.
The downside is that he has a tendency to write character dialogue the same way he writes everything else. Every sentence is carefully constructed to advance an argument, or to reveal a specific detail about a character's viewpoint. The characters end up feeling less like fully-realized people, and more like mouthpieces in a Socratic dialogue.
I agree with the recommendation to start with his short stories. Of the ones that are legally available online, I'd suggest "Singleton" (http://www.gregegan.net/MISC/SINGLETON/Singleton.html) as a good starting point.
(In the sense that a lot of his novels are, at heart, mostly physics exposition, whether of real or imaginary physics.)
Hear me out. This is a comedy novel in the vein of Pratchett or Douglas Adams. But the central conceit is that a hacker finds a large configuration file on a system he hacks into. He finds his name in the file, and information about himself, including his x,y,z co-ordinates. He discovers that if he changes those co-ordinates, he teleports in reality. He has infact found the configuration file that runs our reality. He rapidly gets himself into legal trouble and so - to escape - teleports himself to England in the Middle Ages to pose as a Wizard.
Its a very silly novel but programming takes center stage and - if you accept the central conceit of the configuration file - the programming is all realistic.
Recommended. Scott Mayer is also a cartoonist who does the long running 'Basic Instructions' webcomic.
The Martian is a great book and a great movie, and if I didn't know which one came first I would be hard put to say which is an adaptation of which. I don't know if Suarez is in talks with anybody to get Daemon produced as a feature film, but if he's not, he ought to be.
The sequel / conclusion, Freedom, is a very different novel, but also compelling and brings a decent enough end to the themes from Daemon.
Personally, I found Freedom™ to be a much weaker endeavour and... prefer to forget about it.
I haven't really found Vinge's match, although Stephenson comes close.
Most other authors in the genre are hard to read for me. They write gimmicks, or obsess over making plot devices out of memes, or never manage to make it past a collection of sketches, much less build a coherent universe.
I would love it if that series ever got finished. We're stuck on Tines world with the blight's remnant fleet approaching...
"A Fire Upon the Deep" and its differentiation are referenced in this interesting article .
The first one is essentially about software engineers working at a thinly-veiled Google who accidentally develop sentient AI.
I Also like the hacking and raspberrypi networking on:
Thanks for that William!
Comp-fi, maybe not. A landmark work regarding information security, possibly.
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein - The moon is a colony of misfits and is suffering increasingly unreasonable demands from earth (1776 in space). One of the computer systems managing part of the colony is discovered to be sentient and is gradually befriended by a sysadmin.
Skip the "sequels" where he ties in Lazerus Long in...
I would disagree wih The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The sentient computer just appears, solves the problem facing the Lunar residents, and disappears. Heinlein never explores any of the implications of a "sentient computer", how it just shows up, or what the effects following the Lunar revolution would be.
But yes, I agree that generally the story is not about computer technology. Science in general is very important to the plot, but not computer science.
Unlike Frederick Forsyth's "The Fox", which I had to put down after about three chapters, as it appears he used a 16yo BTEC ICT student as his tech expert.
As others have commented, Cryptonomicon is one of my favorite books, as is most of the Stephenson catalogue. He certainly know how to set up mind blowing worlds, plots and characters, even if he tends to leave the reader a little unfulfilled when the story abruptly ends.
Love all the recommendations in this thread. You've given me months worth of reading material to start exploring.
The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of a single relay.
"Yes, now there is a God."
-Fredric Brown, "Answer"
Terrific list and additions (now my afternoon is now shot)!
While I love the more experimental hard works, I think stories such as Asimovs "Last Question", Campbell's "Twilight" and Forester's "The Machine Stops", dating back before the vacuum tube era, tended to be more memorable, more vivid and more engaging philosophically.
Want to read about a character hacking itself out of a virtual reality? An assault rifle with a built-in AI that refuses to kill? MacLeod has lots of surprising ideas and knows how to tell a convincing story.
Not affiliated, just a fan! :)
It was many years ago I read it and I wasn't sure how it would stand up on a reread, but the fact that it has left a strong impression speaks well for it.
1970s depiction of an AI arising from whatever passed for the Internet back then.
As someone points out in the reviews here, this predates more famous depictions on similar subjects, like Wargames.
Made into a fine movie of the same name.
"The Two Faces of Tomorrow" by Hogan.
“Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect” another take on the singularity.
It contains a timing attack on a MMO VR game system, described in-game through ritual magic -- and it makes sense both as magic and as an exploit.
I recently (finally) read "Gateway" and was surprised to discover that it's an AI story. The main character is (arguably) "Sigfrid" the AI psychoanalyst. "Gateway" is always presented as an alien-archeology adventure, but the Heechee are just a plot device, as is most of the plot. The actual story is about the AI trying to treat the messed-up human, but you wouldn't know it from e.g. the Wikipedia entry (warning, spoilers): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_(novel)
Should mention Larry Niven's magic stories.
Also, Vernor Vinge's "True Names".
"Friendship Is Optimal" by Iceman
"The Cookie Monster" by Vernor Vinge
"Blood Music" by Greg Bear
"Permutation City" by Greg Egan
And as far as inspiration goes, it's worth noting that Blade Runner came out as William Gibson was finishing Neuromancer, and he almost gave up on it because he was afraid that by the time the book came out people would think he was ripping off the movie.
I don't think the Matrix needs to "credit" Neuromancer as an inspiration, though. The Matrix draws from a lot of sources, but being cyberpunk, inspiration from Neuromancer is a given.
Interesting about the connection to Blade Runner, too.
Gibson’s Neuromancer sets the tone for a vast quantity of cyberpunk in its dealings with AI and simulation, though I don’t feel this alone qualifies it."
I do echo all of the Greg Egan recommendations here.
Oddly, the thing I think about most nowadays is I think in the second or third book, their methods for facial detection evasion with the face paint. Also relevant nowadays is the idea of a backdoor to the encryption which allows the characters to do a lot of good, but which obviously comes with downsides (main focus of the second book)
The whole embedded operating system in your brain thing was interesting, but the author’s secondary ideas are even more interesting and relevant.
It’s also the only sci-fi series I’ve seen that takes China seriously.
The beginning of the first book might be a bit of a turn off, but stick with it, the series is definitely well worth a read!
It's the sequel to Starfish, which isn't quite as computer-heavy. I don't think you'd have to read Starfish first (but you will spoil it).
It's in hard/soft-cover but also CC-licensed on the authors' website: https://rifters.com/real/shorts.htm
Probably a 3.5 - 4 on the "comp-fi hard" scale. Warning: Peter Watts doesn't write happy stories.
Lovecraft meets Trusting Trust.
What do five points constitute? Five out of five, ten, 50?
A PhD student is building an AI at his home lab, and is under scrutiny by staff, believes he's being tracked by a hacking group, and ends up having his work stolen. The rest is up to you to read. I've read the book a few times. For a single work (of its type) by an obscure author, it's a wonderful read.
* The Two Faces of Tomorrow: https://www.baen.com/the-two-faces-of-tomorrow.html
* Thrice Upon a Time is one of the best time-travel novels I've read.
Does anyone have a good tool for keeping lists of books and links and things to save for later? I always end up bookmarking things and they get lost in the large black hole known as my bookmarks bar.
iOS app and browser integration would be great too.
And in Egan's Diaspora there's extensive use of virtualization.
Also in Rajaniemi's Flower Prince trilogy.
For prescience, however, I don't know of anything that beats Murray Leinster's "A Logic Named Joe" (1946) .