3 book recommendations for February, 2022
Big news: My new novel, Reap3r, drops May 18th!
Here’s how Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, describes it: “Emerging technologies like digital surveillance and genetic engineering give those who control them the power to make life much better or worse for everyone. Reap3r tells a realistic and very human story about the profound ethical problems facing the technologists who forge these double-edged swords and the consequences for the rest of us. Highly recommended."
So excited to share Reap3r with you. Preorder today.
And now, books I love that you might too:
The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a twisted psychological thriller about a writer in early 20th century Barcelona whose unwavering ambition leads him into a gothic shadow-world from which there is no escape. Profound, unpredictable, and supremely entertaining, this is a novel that will keep you reading late into the night, and that you won’t soon forget.
Where Good ideas Come From by Steven Johnson is a fascinating intellectual history of progress that will ignite your curiosity and stoke your sense of wonder—a multitool for thought. Johnson is so interesting because he is so interested, mining famous and obscure examples of innovation, constantly zooming in and out, and bringing diverse lenses to bear on how humans invent the future.
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel is by far the best book I’ve ever read about personal finance. Housel uses compelling anecdotes, rigorous analysis, and cutting humor to illuminate how you should manage your money to get the most out of it, and out of life. I gift this book often to friends and family.
Bonus recommendation: Mystery Show only released six episodes before it was cancelled, but it remains one of my all time favorite podcasts. Funny, moving, insightful, and compelling. At least as good now as it ever was. Give it a listen. Start with the second episode. You’re welcome.
Things worth sharing:
Last week a reader told me they'd love a complete, signed collection of my novels, so I replied with a payment link—ecommerce via DMs.
Then I thought: why not open up the experiment to you? $250 = 10 signed novels including US shipping.
Book-to-film adaptions are really, really hard to do well, and I’m blown away by how both Dune and Station Eleven capture the spirit of the originals while having the courage to make the substantive changes required to bring beloved stories to life in a new medium.
When I see other surfers catching waves while I struggle, it's tempting to conclude that they have better boards and dream about how great it would be if I had the right gear. But skill is being able to make the most out of your equipment—the shoes didn't make Jordan. Share on Twitter.
This made me smile: the Analog series got a shoutout alongside wonderful novels from Malka Older, Linda Nagata, and Christopher Brown in a Reddit thread about science fiction that's hopeful about democracy.
James Yu, a science fiction writer and subscriber to this humble newsletter, is creating extraordinary AI concept art.
The future is a moving target: how we imagine it changes faster than we can invent it, and what we ultimately do with our inventions subverts what we originally imagined. Share on Twitter.
From my conversation with Monica Byrne about writing The Actual Star: “My advice to writers is: find whatever is trying to find its expression in you, and become its loving servant.”
There is a Secret, never named or explained, only desired, sought after, fought over; it is the stake that invests the game with drama, makes it worth playing—the story revolves around the Secret, but is not about the Secret, only its pursuit.
For Spanish speaking readers: David Alayon wrote about using science fiction to build better futures.
Brad Berens featured Bandwidth and Veil in an epic blog post about the books he read in 2020 and 2021.
From the archives: Quantity is a route to quality, not its opposite.
Make things you're proud of for people you care about. Befriend others who make things you love. Support, improve, and champion each other's things. Maybe even make things together. Make even better things for people you care about. Share on Twitter.
Check out the first batch of Reap3r hardcovers.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoy my writing and want to support it, invest in my creative process so I can do more of it. Oh, and tell your friends. We all find our next favorite book because someone we trust recommends it. Culture is a collective project in which we all have a stake and a voice.
Eliot Peper is the author of Veil, Breach, Borderless, Bandwidth, Neon Fever Dream, Cumulus, Exit Strategy, Power Play, and Version 1.0. He publishes a blog, tweets more than he probably should, and lives in Oakland, CA.
"A brilliantly imagined eco-punk future filled with memorable characters locked in a life-or-death contest to control the direction of Earth’s climate in the 21st century."
-August Cole, author of Ghost Fleet and Burn-In, on Veil
If this email was forwarded to you and you'd like to sign up, click the gold button.