As a computer geek and former web developer, I appreciate hackers and what they can do. What’s more, I feel like science fiction set around the cyberspace creates interesting and unorthodox scenarios.

It creates fantasy that is entirely believable given how advanced tech is becoming in reality. With how digitised the world is becoming, it’s interesting to imagine how much power hackers will have at their fingertips, and that’s why I love reading hacker stories.

Here’s a list of some hacking books to check out…

Reamde by Neal Stephenson book cover

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Reamde by Neal Stephenson

When asking for cyberspace book recommendations, you’re always going to be pointed in the direction of one of Neal Stephenson’s novels. He’s a veteran Sci-fi author who has written many cyberpunk books on hacking and computer programming. Reamde is one of Stephenson’s more recent novels and is about an MMORPG programmer who is taken hostage. A Hungarian hacker may be her only hope at being rescued. Reamde was published in 2011 and Entertainment Weekly called it “an ingenious epic” in their Must-Read column.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book cover

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

This book is rarely labelled as a cyber drama because it crossed over into the mainstream media and is now able to stand on its own merits. At the core of Stieg Larsson’s bestseller is Lisbeth Salander, a hired computer hacker who assists in uncovering a dark family history related to the disappearance of Harriet Vanger. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is precise in its descriptions of hacking, and it shows that Stieg did his homework on what’s required to overcome each obstacle. This is required reading if you enjoy stories with hackers.

Little Brother book cover

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Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Little Brother is a Young Adult (YA) hacker novel about a bunch of techy teens who are detained by agents on suspicion of terrorist acts in San Francisco. The teens then use their tech skills to take on the Department of Homeland Security and clear their names. Many have criticised the ideas in Little Brother for being too serious for a YA novel, but regardless it is profound in its delivery.

Neuromancer book cover

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Neuromancer by William Gibson

William Gibson revolutionized science fiction, and single-handedly coined the term Cyberspace with his debut novel Neuromancer. It’s crazy to think that this book is 33 years old; but it still holds up and some of its themes are relevant today. It’s a pretty descriptive book and requires the reader to pay attention to the details and not just follow a simple plot. Some readers may find it convoluted, and it may be difficult to set your mind into a 1984 rendition of cyber activity; but if you’re able to enjoy the Neuromancer for what it is, you’re in for something captivating. After all, this book is also the inspiration behind The Matrix movies.

Snow Crash book cover

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Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash has a similar style to the Neuromancer, in the sense that there is an artificial computer universe with a samurai sword wielding hero. This is a much more stylistic approach on Cyberpunk, with a very tongue-in-cheek overtone. Snow Crash is a drug that lives in the cyber world (known as the Metaverse) that affects the person behind the avatar in reality when viewed. This means Hiro Protagonist and his companion Y.T must to do something to stop it. Read my Snow Crash review right here.

Zeroes book cover

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Zer0es by Chuck Wendig

I have to mention Zeroes because I’m currently reading it and loving it. It’s one of the most modern takes on hackers that I’ve found so it will be relatable to many. In Zeroes, the government enlists 5 small-time hacker criminals to do their bidding and escape prison. Eventually, the hackers learn about a sinister NSA program that has to be stopped before things get out of control.

Share your hacking book recommendations in the comment section…