Further Reading

Recommended reading to become familiar with a number of topics. Books are listed within each section in the order I would suggest to get a deep and wide understanding (and when relevant, more recent first). Each list starts with general introductions and subsequent books layer on more complex or additional ideas. Textbooks not included; this list is for the interested layperson. Links are to full text where available, or to my reviews. The field is wide and deep; no single writer encompasses the whole. Histories of the idea of increasing progress are hard to find; here’s one.

Accelerating change and the future

  • The Inevitable (Kevin Kelly, 2016)
  • The Shape of the Future (Alex Planes) Full text.
  • An Optimist’s Tour of the Future (Mark Stevenson, 2011) Review
  • What Technology Wants (Kevin Kelly, 2010)


  • The End of the Beginning (Ben Goertzel, Ted Goertzel, Eds, 2015) Table of contents Full text
  • The Coming Technological Singularity (Vernor Vinge, 1993) Full text
  • The Second Machine Age (Brynjolfsson, 2014)
  • Rapture for the Geeks (Richard Dooling, 2008)
  • The Spike (Damien Broderick, 1997) Review
  • The Singularity is Near (Ray Kurzweil, 2006) Review
  • Singularity Hypotheses (Amnon Eden, Editor, 2013)


  • Transcendence: The Disinformation Encyclopedia of Transhumanism and the Singularity (R.U. Sirius, 2015)
  • A History of Transhumanist Thought (Nick Bostrom, 2005) Full text
  • Democratic Transhumanism (James Hughes) Full text
  • Citizen Cyborg (James Hughes, 2004)
  • The Transhumanist Reader (More and More, 2013)
  • The Path To Post-Humanity (Ben Goertzel, 2006) Full text

Critiques, caveats, considerations

  • Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us (Bill Joy, 2000) Full text
  • Program or Be Programmed (Douglas Rushkoff and Leland Purvis, 2011)
  • The Shallows (Nicholas Carr, 2010)
  • You Are Not A Gadget (Jaron Lanier, 2010)
  • Who Owns the Future? (Jaron Lanier, 2013)
  • Digital Barbarism (Mark Helprin, 2009)

Understanding technology

  • Technology Matters (David Nye, 2006) Review
  • The Nature of Technology (W. Brian Arthur, 2009) Review
  • Imagined Worlds (Freeman Dyson, 1999)
  • Visions of Technology (Richard Rhodes, 1999)

Computer science, information theory

  • The Information (James Gleick, 2011) Review
  • Turing’s Cathedral (George Dyson, 2012)
  • Godel, Escher, Bach (Douglas Hofstadter, 1980)
  • Darwin Among the Machines (George Dyson, 1999)
  • Envisioning Information (Edward Tufte, 1990)

Artificial intelligence

  • Machines of Loving Grace (John Markoff, 2015)
  • Between Ape and Artilect (Ben Goertzel, 2013)
  • Our Final Invention (James Barrat, 2013)
  • Beyond AI (J. Storrs Hall, 2007)
  • How to Create a Mind (Ray Kurzweil, 2012) Review External summary
  • Artificial General Intelligence (Ben Goertzel, 2010)

Medicine and health care

  • The Patient Will See You Now (Eric Topol, 2015) Review

Synthetic biology, genetics, genomics

  • Regenesis (George Church, 2012) Review
  • Life at the Speed of Light (Craig Venter, 2013)


  • Flesh and Machines (Rodney Brooks, 2002)
  • We, Robot (Mark Stephen Meadows, 2010)


  • Radical Abundance (Eric Drexler, 2013)
  • A Matter of Size (National NanoTech report, 2006) Full text
  • Unbounding the Future (Eric Drexler, 1991) Full text
  • Engines of Creation (Eric Drexler, 1986) Full text

Earth, climate change, sustainability, ecology

  • Global Weirdness (Climate Central, 2012)
  • Here on Earth (Tim Flannery, 2010)
  • Whole Earth Discipline (Stewart Brand, 2009) Book site with notes
  • Sustainable Energy (David MacKay, 2009) Full text
  • Hacking the Earth (James Cascio, 2009)
  • The Long Thaw (David Archer, 2010)
  • The Rough Guide to Climate Change (Robert Henson, 2006)
  • Physics for Future Presidents (Richard Muller, 2008)

Social commentary, activism, and living in changing times

  • Approaching the Future; 64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then (Ben Hammersley, 2012)
  • The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change (Al Gore, 2013) External summary
  • Hybrid Reality (Parag and Ayesha Khanna, 2012) Review
  • Abundance (Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, 2011) Review
  • Worldchanging (Alex Steffen, 2011)
  • Release 2.0 (Esther Dyson, 1997)
  • The Lights in the Tunnel (Martin Ford, 2009) Review
  • Tomorrow Now (Bruce Sterling, 2003)
  • Scrolling Forward (David Levy, 2001)

Consciousness, mind, spirit

  • The Unification of Spirit and Science (Ben Goertzel, 1996) Full text
  • The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul (Rudy Rucker, 2005) Full text
  • The Future History of Consciousness (David Hutchinson, 2012) Full text

Neurology, cognitive science, philosophy of mind

  • Natural-Born Cyborgs (Andy Clark, 2003) and Supersizing the Mind (2011)
  • Beyond Boundaries (Miguel Nicolelis, 2011)
  • World Wide Mind (Michael Chorost, 2011)

Fiction, speculation, commentary

  • The History of the Future in 100 Objects (Adrian Hon, 2013)
  • Digital Rapture (Kelly & Kessel, Ed, 2012) Review
  • The Fractal Prince (Hannu Rajaniemi, 2012) Review
  • Accelerando (Charles Stross, 2005) Review  Full text
  • Unleashing the Strange (Damien Broderick, 2009)
  • Year Million (Damien Broderick, editor, 2008)