Must-Read Sci-Fi Books About AI to Fill Your Summer Reading List Must-Read Sci-Fi Books About AI to Fill Your Summer Reading List
Recently, we wrote a blog about the books you should read to get started in AI in the real world. Now... Must-Read Sci-Fi Books About AI to Fill Your Summer Reading List

Recently, we wrote a blog about the books you should read to get started in AI in the real world. Now it’s time to delve into the world of AI in speculative fiction. Freed from the constraints of reality, our possible future with AI knows no bounds. Below are a few of our favorite explorations and books that have been sent straight to the top of our to-read lists! 

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The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, Translated by Ken Liu (2014)

This award-winning, best-selling novel has taken the US by storm since its original publication in 2014. Written by China’s most popular speculative fiction author, Cixin Liu, and masterfully translated by Ken Liu, The Three-Body Problem immerses you in a world where aliens are about to invade and humanity is locked in a struggle between those who welcome them and those who resist.

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (1950)

In this classic from the Golden Age of science fiction, the three laws of robotics are put to the test and humanity must face existential questions brought on by their own creations–What makes us human? And has humanity become obsolete?

Daemon (2009) and Freedom by Daniel Suarez (2010)

In this duology, the computer programs responsible for powering nearly every service, Daemons, are powerful and vulnerable. Activated by an obituary, a once dormant Daemon begins reshaping the world, ushering in an unexpected and unforeseen future. 

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

All Murderbot wants is to be left alone, but if it’s going to keep the fact it’s hacked its governor module secret and continue watching its dramas, Murderbot is going to have to fulfill its contract and keep the scientists safe in a hostile world.

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

In this New York Times bestseller, humanity spread out across the stars and conquered death, but is still divided by class, religion, and race. Takeshi Kovacs, an ex-UN envoy, has been resleeved against his will to get to the bottom of a far-reaching conspiracy in what was once San Francisco.  

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Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

The Justice of Toren was once an AI-powered starship with thousands of soldiers linked by the AI. Now, she is Breq, a single unit in search of the answers to her questions and a resolution to her vengeance. Breq’s story continues in books 2 and 3, Ancillary Sword (2014) and Ancillary Mercy (2015).

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow 

When the necessities of life can be printed by a computer, what’s the point of society? That’s the question that motivates Hubert Vernon Rudolph Clayton Irving Wilson Alva Anton Jeff Harley Timothy Curtis Cleveland Cecil Ollie Edmund Eli Wiley Marvin Ellis Espinoza  (aka Hubert, Etc) to join the walkaways and abandon formal society. But when the walkaways discover a way to defeat death, society might not let the walkaways go after all. 

The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect by Roger Williams

What are the consequences of making an AI that’s as powerful as a god? In the Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, Roger Williams interrogates this question and examines what happens when humans are made immortal and have their every desire fulfilled. 

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick (1968)

The inspiration for the movie Blade Runner, this classic from Phillip K. Dick imagines a 2021 where androids exist alongside, and blend in perfectly, with humans. Rick Deckard’s job is to “retire” androids that have gone rogue, but first, he’s got to find them. 

Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984)

Published 40 years ago this year, Neuromancer has had a deep influence on how we understand and conceptualize humanity’s digital future. Join Henry Dorsett Case as he sets out for one last job with ​​a dead man and Molly, the street-samurai to take out the all but all-powerful AI orbiting Earth. 

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor (2016)

An unfortunate fatal accident marks the start of Bob’s second life–as the AI of an interstellar probe searching for habitable planets. To the winner, go the spoils, and Bob’s competition plays dirty. 

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz (2017)

Jack didn’t mean to release a drug that compels people to literally work themselves to death upon the world, but now that she’s done it, she has to find a way to stop its spread. And she better work fast. Hot on her trail are a military agent, who could stand to get more in touch with his emotions, and his partner, a military robot named Paladin. 

Klara and the Sun By Kazuo Ishiguro (2021)

Kazua Ishiguro’s eighth novel approaches the advent of AI from a unique perspective, allowing readers to experience a dystopian future earth through the eyes of an Artificial Friend (AF), which are androids designed to provide companionship for children growing up in increasingly isolated conditions. 

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (1952)

In Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel, the world is controlled by a supercomputer served by a legion of machines. In this unwelcoming environment, engineer Paul Proteus must find a way to survive, and maybe, possibly, thrive. 

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What about the near future?

These stories are thought-provoking and sometimes terrifying. But, if you want to have a say in how AI shapes society, now is the perfect time to build the understanding and skills that will put you at the forefront of the industry.  To learn more in person in a hands-on setting, or virtually with thousands of other data scientists from around the world, check out ODSC Europe this September 5th-6th in London, and ODSC West this October 29th-31st in San Francisco. Tickets for each conference are currently 70% off, so register now while tickets are the most affordable!



ODSC gathers the attendees, presenters, and companies that are shaping the present and future of data science and AI. ODSC hosts one of the largest gatherings of professional data scientists with major conferences in USA, Europe, and Asia.