The second season of Mr. Robot ended last night with an episode that created more questions than it answered. The delirious show—a critical favorite and recent Emmy victor—has an ultra-engaged fan base, soon to emerge from behind their laptop screens with time and a conspiratorial void to fill. For their sakes, here are 12 smart, well-written titles, both fiction and non-, about Mr. Robot fan-friendly topics like hacking, anarcho-capitalism, and the dark net.
The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld, by Jamie Bartlett
Bartlett doesn’t just tell us about the dark net; he also rips through the cloak of anonymity to let us meet some of its denizens.
Daemon, by Daniel Suarez
The homicidal computer program in this action-packed, cyber-thrill debut—originally self-published under a pseudonym by software developer Suarez—makes HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey seem as benign as the voice in your car’s GPS.
Debt, by David Graeber
Anthropologist Graeber repeats the haunting query, “Surely, one has to pay one’s debts?” He draws upon his discipline to give an overview of the moral basis of economic life and then addresses the origins of money, debt, and credit during the last 5,000 years
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, by Gabriella Coleman
Coleman’s study is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the increasingly visible and powerful world of digital activism.
Hammerjack, by Marc D. Giller
In a future society of virtual reality junkies and increasingly sophisticated computer technology, a hammerjack is a savvy superhacker capable of siphoning secrets from the most heavily protected corporate networks. Cray Alden is a former hammerjack turned investigator for a multicorporate entity known as the Collective, and his targets are his former partners in crime.
Jennifer Government, by Max Barry
In the not-too-distant future, Australia and the UK are part of the U.S., government and law enforcement have become for-profit businesses, and corporate ethics have been reduced to a simple question of economics (more so than now, anyway).
The Last Time I Died, by Joe Nelms
Christian Franco knows there’s something wrong with his memory. That’s what happens when your dad murdered your mom, and you spend years bouncing around the foster-care system.
Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
Seventeen-year-old techno-geek “w1n5t0n” (aka Marcus) bypasses the school’s gait-recognition system by placing pebbles in his shoes, chats secretly with friends on his IMParanoid messaging program, and routinely evades school security with his laptop, cell, WifFnder, and ingenuity.
Nexus, by Ramez Naam
Nexus is a nanotechnology that allows human minds to link up. But rogue scientists are using it to turn ordinary people into killers.
(R)evolution, by P.J. Manney
When Peter Bernhardt’s nanotechnology is linked to a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, his world is turned upside down, and he is determined to clear his name.
Satin Island, by Tom McCarthy
The narrator, a “corporate anthropologist” known only as “U.,” has been granted free rein to devise a Great Report for his employer, the Company, an influential PR firm led by jet-setting, visionary executive Peynman. The subject of U.’s report is nothing less than the totality of the current era, the trends, behaviors, and cultural markers that define the times.
Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart
Credit Poles display your financial worth as you hurry by, clutching your äppärät, a diabolical gadget that monitors your biochemistry while streaming torrents of acronym-infested babble and rating the sex appeal of everyone in sight.