The best nanotechnology books

Who picked these books? Meet our 10 experts.

10 authors created a book list connected to nanotechnology, and here are their favorite nanotechnology books.
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The Punch Escrow

By Tal M. Klein,

Book cover of The Punch Escrow

Jacqui Castle Author Of The Seclusion

From the list on dystopian reads of the past five years.

Who am I?

I love dystopian novels because they allow us to explore our fears and follow those pesky what-ifs floating around our heads to their most extreme conclusions. Often, when I talk to people about dystopian literature, their minds go straight to the classics such as 1984, The Handmaid's Tale, or Fahrenheit 451. While these are timeless and amazing books, there have been so many ground-breaking dystopian novels written in the past five years that you won't want to miss.

Jacqui's book list on dystopian reads of the past five years

Discover why each book is one of Jacqui's favorite books.

Why did Jacqui love this book?

I adored this fast-paced near-future dystopian book by debut author Tal M. Klein. Prepare to be thrown into an innovative world where teleportation is the primary means of travel, and people don't think twice before taking advantage of this convenience. Though, as we soon find out, maybe they should. 

There are so many fun tidbits in this novel such as nanotechnology and genetically engineered mosquitoes that help clean the air. You'll also find plenty of nostalgic references for fans of books such as Ready Player One. Prepare for engaging characters, unique worldbuilding, thought-provoking philosophical questions, and plenty of twists to keep you guessing.

By Tal M. Klein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Punch Escrow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dubbed the “next Ready Player One,” by former Warner Brothers President Greg Silverman, and now in film development at Lionsgate.

"Featuring themes similar to Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter, the dense sci-fi feel of a Michael Crichton thriller and clever Douglas Adams-like charm, the book posits an intriguing future that is both inviting and horrific." ―Brian Truitt, USA TODAY

It's the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport―the…


By Jess Wade, Melissa Castrillón (illustrator),

Book cover of Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small

Andi Diehn Author Of Forces: Physical Science for Kids

From the list on children’s books about physics.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by how the world works. What gives gravity so much power? Why is it easier to lift things with levers and pulleys? Why do we have electricity inside of our own bodies?! The world is amazing. My job editing nonfiction books for kids puts me on the front lines of some of the smartest science writing out there. While I had no hand in the making of the following five picture books about physics, they are still some of my favorites because of the way they peel back the mysterious layers of the world to show us the science hidden in our daily lives.

Andi's book list on children’s books about physics

Discover why each book is one of Andi's favorite books.

Why did Andi love this book?

Quantum physics is mind-blowing. Everything in the world is made of subatomic particles that don’t behave like we’d expect them too! This book breaks down complicated concepts with well-organized chunks of texts and very cool illustrations that all help us make sense of the parts of the world that are too tiny to see.

By Jess Wade, Melissa Castrillón (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nano as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"We need more beautifully illustrated and involving non-fiction like this. Wade and Castrillon introduce nanoscience with perfect clarity and inviting pictures." - The Sunday Times

"Beautiful ... plunges deep into the world of atoms, materials and the applications of nanoscience, with accessible text and richly shaded pictures." - Guardian

This exciting non-fiction picture book introduces young readers to the fascinating (and cutting-edge) science of the very, very small.

Everything is made from something - but the way we make things, from the materials we use to the science and technology involved, is changing fast. Nano offers a fascinating narrative introduction…

The Essential Dogen

By Kazuaki Tanahashi, Peter Levitt,

Book cover of The Essential Dogen: Writings of the Great Zen Master

David Reich Chadwick Author Of Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki

From the list on interested in Zen Buddhism.

Who am I?

I got involved in Zen Buddhism in 1966 because Shunryu Suzuki was a Zen Buddhist and the San Francisco Zen Center which he founded was where I went to meditate with others free of any heavy trips, not pushing a rigid belief system, just learning to include stillness and silence in our lives so that we can feel and hear what the cosmos has to say to us. 

David's book list on interested in Zen Buddhism

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

Dogen is one of the great original minds from all of Japanese history and human history. This book contains an ocean of Dogen’s profound writing. One can return time after time to delve into new layers of wisdom. 

By Kazuaki Tanahashi, Peter Levitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Essential Dogen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These pithy and powerful readings provide a perfect introduction to the teachings of Zen master Dogen—and will inspire spiritual practice in people of all traditions
Eihei Dogen (1200–1253), founder of the Soto School of Zen Buddhism, is one of the greatest religious, philosophical, and literary geniuses of Japan. His writings have been studied by Zen students for centuries, particularly his masterwork, Shobo Genzo or Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. This is the first book to offer the great master’s incisive wisdom in short selections taken from the whole range of his voluminous works.


By Michael Crichton,

Book cover of Prey

Michael C. Bland Author Of The Price of Safety

From the list on a future we probably want to avoid.

Who am I?

My father wanted to be an astrophysicist, and as a kid I caught his passion for the future from the many science fiction books he’d left throughout our house. As an adult, the advances in technology have brought the future envisioned in those books closer than ever. My passion for what awaits us led me to write The Price of Safety, which contains innovations that are right around the corner—and have already started to come true (which is freaky), between Elon Musk’s cranial implants to DNA tracking. The world we live in is becoming more like the world in my books. I hope we’re ready! 

Michael's book list on a future we probably want to avoid

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

To me, Crichton’s strength was taking scientific knowledge/achievements and crafting stories that showed how they could impact us.

Yes, he took those to extremes (DNA sequencing to create dinosaurs, robots that revolt against their human masters, and so), but that’s the job of a writer. Prey is not his best-known work but is mesmerizing in terms of the type of future that could exist. His story uses a mix of swarm technology, biology, and AI to craft a cautionary tale, with a main character who has to fight to save his loved one.

Crichton uses biology as part of his support for how his future could take place, with implications that I think few consider as we develop more sophisticated technology. A scary future indeed.

By Michael Crichton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles—micro-robots—has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.

It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour.

Every attempt to destroy it has failed.

And we are the prey.

As fresh as today's headlines, Michael Crichton'smost compelling novel yet tells the story of a mechanical plague and the desperate efforts of a handful of scientists to stop it. Drawing on up-to-the-minute…

The Diamond Age

By Neal Stephenson,

Book cover of The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

Louise Blackwick Author Of 5 Stars

From the list on inspired neon science fiction.

Who am I?

After experimenting with fictional digitized worlds for the greater part of a decade, my writing journey has led me to discover a new, never-before-tried flavour of science fiction. My name is Louise Blackwick and I am the creator of Neon Science-Fiction – a subgenre of sci-fi that combines stylistic, thematic, and aesthetic elements of Post-Cyberpunk, Cyber noir, and Nanopunk. The reading list I compiled includes five science fiction stories that both influenced and facilitated the birth of this fresh and hopefully thought-provoking new genre. I hope Neon Sci-Fi can be a stimulating new addition for science fiction readers and authors alike.

Louise's book list on inspired neon science fiction

Discover why each book is one of Louise's favorite books.

Why did Louise love this book?

As one of the founding fathers of Nanopunk, Neal Stephenson’s writings form a straightforward bridge between Postcyberpunk and Neon Science-Fiction. His novel is a collection of exotic technologies like matter compilers, smart paper, immunity-enhancing particles, and foldable transportable mech-horses. Eventually, I found myself inspired to create exotic tech of my own (e.g. foods, arts, weapons, and technologies fully based on “Dark”, an unconstructed area of “empty space” featured somewhat heavily in my neon sci-fi novel). Stephenson’s novel also depicts an extremely globalized future, founded on molecular nanotech, rapidly assembled usable goods, and socio-cultural division. The title’s allusion to a “Diamond Age” fully based on nanotechnology (diamonds can be assembled from individual carbon atoms) is a complex commentary on economics and how an object loses its value through mass production.

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Diamond Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The future is small. The future is nano . . .

And who could be smaller or more insignificant than poor Little Nell - an orphan girl alone and adrift in a world of Confucian Law, Neo-Victorian values and warring nanotechnology?

Well, not quite alone. Because Nell has a friend, of sorts. A guide, a teacher, an armed and unarmed combat instructor, a book and a computer: the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer is all these and much much more. It is illicit, magical, dangerous.

And it isn't Nell's. It was stolen. And now…

The Singularity Is Near

By Ray Kurzweil,

Book cover of The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

Calum Chace Author Of Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence

From the list on the awesome promise and peril of AI.

Who am I?

Calum is a sought-after keynote speaker and best-selling writer on artificial intelligence. He focuses on the medium- and long-term impact of AI on all of us, our societies and our economies. His non-fiction books on AI are Surviving AI, about strong AI and superintelligence, and The Economic Singularity, about the prospect of widespread technological unemployment. He also wrote Pandora's Brain and Pandora’s Oracle, a pair of techno-thrillers about the first superintelligence. He's a regular contributor to magazines, newspapers, and radio. He is co-founder of a think tank focused on the future of jobs, called the Economic Singularity Foundation. In the last five years, Calum has given over 120 talks in 18 countries on five continents.

Calum's book list on the awesome promise and peril of AI

Discover why each book is one of Calum's favorite books.

Why did Calum love this book?

Kurzweil is fantastically optimistic.

He thinks that in 2029 we will have AGI. And he’s thought that for a long time, he’s been saying it for years. He then thinks we’ll have an intelligence explosion and achieve uploading by 2045.

Kurzweil is important because he, more than anybody else, has made people think about these things. 

By Ray Kurzweil,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Singularity Is Near as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Startling in scope and bravado." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Artfully envisions a breathtakingly better world." -Los Angeles Times

"Elaborate, smart and persuasive." -The Boston Globe

"A pleasure to read." -The Wall Street Journal

One of CBS News's Best Fall Books of 2005 * Among St Louis Post-Dispatch's Best Nonfiction Books of 2005 * One of's Best Science Books of 2005

A radical and optimistic view of the future course of human development from the bestselling author of How to Create a Mind and The Singularity is Nearer who Bill Gates calls "the best person I know at…


By Jon Del Arroz,

Book cover of Justified

J. Trevor Robinson Author Of The Mummy of Monte Cristo

From the list on fantasy novels with unforgettable characters.

Who am I?

Monsters and magic have always had a hook on me, ever since I was just a kid going through a stack of Stephen King paperbacks that I was definitely too young for my brother to have given me – not that many would call his work “fantasy” exactly, despite the amount of vampires ghosts and magic that say otherwise. Urban fantasy, blending those elements with the familiar world we know, is a particular favourite of mine. So much so, that I wrote my own! Granted, the urban area in question is 19th-century Paris, but I say that still counts.

J.'s book list on fantasy novels with unforgettable characters

Discover why each book is one of J.'s favorite books.

Why did J. love this book?

This is high-caliber space fantasy in the realm of Star Wars or Dune. It brings together a grizzled holy warrior having doubts about his faith with a naïve and sheltered princess in a brutal world ruled by absolutely vile overlords. The perspective switches between the two of them. The warrior – Drin – grapples with whether the church’s mission to fight evil brings it to use methods too similar to the evil it fights. Meanwhile the princess – Anais – has to come to terms very quickly with the reality of life outside the palace when slavers invade her home and abduct her off-world.

By Jon Del Arroz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Justified as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To save a world…
…he must rely on God.

After years of fighting for justice with his deadly nanotech, Templar Drin abandons his post, crash landing on a desert world controlled by a tyrannical alien empire. Its inhabitants are forced into slavery, broken where a once-proud race cultivated its lands.

For the first time in Drin's life, he has no backup, no support, none of his brothers.

He stands alone against evil.

Drin must face overwhelming odds to liberate millions of slaves from their captors and bring faith to a downtrodden world. But in his way stands the most dangerous…