The most recommended robotics books

Who picked these books? Meet our 17 experts.

17 authors created a book list connected to robotics, and here are their favorite robotics books.
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What type of robotics book?


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

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…

Book cover of Lamar and Maya Build A Robot

Tiffani Teachey Author Of What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z

From the list on engaging kids in STEM.

Who am I?

As a Sr. Mechanical Engineer, STEM advocate, TEDx international speaker and international best-selling author of children's books, I have a deep expertise and passion for inspiring young minds in the world of science, technology, engineering, and math. Through my books, including What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z and the STEM Crew Kids Adventures series, I aim to introduce kids to diverse STEM careers and empower them to pursue their dreams fearlessly. My background in engineering and dedication to youth mentorship drives me to promote STEM education and underrepresented voices. I believe in the power of books to spark curiosity and open doors to endless possibilities for future innovators and problem-solvers.

Tiffani's book list on engaging kids in STEM

Why did Tiffani love this book?

If you're looking for a fantastic book to engage kids in STEM, Lamar and Maya Build a Robot is the perfect pick!

Picture recommending this book to a friend, you'd rave about its celebration of teamwork and robotics. Personally, I loved this book because it beautifully teaches kids about collaboration, problem-solving, and perseverance in a fun and exciting way.

As I read through Lamar and Maya's journey, I learned the importance of working together and following instructions while exploring the world of robotics. It made me feel inspired and reminded me of the joy of friendship and the power of imagination.

This book is an excellent resource for young readers, and they'll be captivated by the story while unknowingly absorbing valuable STEM concepts. Grab this gem for the little ones!

Supersizing the Mind

By Andy Clark,

Book cover of Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension

Michael J. Spivey Author Of Who You Are: The Science of Connectedness

From the list on the mind as more than a brain.

Who am I?

Over the past 25 years, I have spent half of my time as a professor of psychology at Cornell University and the second half as a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Merced. The interdisciplinary field of cognitive science invites a much wider range of methods, theories, and perspectives in studying the mind. My work employs dynamical systems theory, neural network simulations, eye-tracking, and other dense-sampling measures of cognitive processes to reveal how the brain, body, and environment cooperate to generate mental activity. In 2010, I was awarded the William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement from the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society. I have authored two books, The Continuity of Mind, and Who You Are.

Michael's book list on the mind as more than a brain

Why did Michael love this book?

There are many relevant books that preceded Andy Clark’s Supersizing the Mind and that followed it. For example, Raymond Gibbs’s Embodiment and Cognitive Science, Louise Barrett’s Beyond the Brain, and Lawrence Shapiro’s Embodied Cognition have made important contributions to the field’s understanding of the role that the body plays in cognition. But Andy Clark’s treatment of this topic stands out because of the range of disciplines that he includes in marshaling of evidence for embodied and extended cognition.

Unlike many of the proponents of embodied and extended cognition, Andy Clark relies heavily on state-of-the-art robotics for his evidence. As a philosopher, Clark’s first instinct is to use thought experiments to help “pump” the reader’s intuitions out of the ground like subterranean insights. A good thought experiment can actually help you realize that you have a different opinion about something than you thought you had. But Clark also clearly…

By Andy Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When historian Charles Weiner found pages of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's notes, he saw it as a "record" of Feynman's work. Feynman himself, however, insisted that the notes were not a record but the work itself. In Supersizing the Mind , Andy Clark argues that our thinking doesn't happen only in our heads but that "certain forms of human cognizing include inextricable tangles of feedback, feed-forward and feed-around loops: loops that
promiscuously criss-cross the boundaries of brain, body and world." The pen and paper of Feynman's thought are just such feedback loops, physical machinery that shape the flow of…


By Lindsay Buroker,

Book cover of Shockwave

K. A. Gandy Author Of The Lost Talisman

From the list on sci-fi to fall in love with morally gray heroes.

Who am I?

Morally gray heroes are my absolute favorite kind. Whether it’s Batman, Dean Winchester from Supernatural, or the heroes on this list—if he’s not dark and stormy, well, I’m not interested. There’s a depth to these characters that others often lack, and I find it so fascinating. Especially when there’s romance involved. The books on this list are nearly all polar opposites, and yet... they each stretch our capacity to love to the very breaking point—and then make us catch our breath. How far into the darkness can he go, and still come back with a heart left to give to his heroine?

K. A.'s book list on sci-fi to fall in love with morally gray heroes

Why did K. A. love this book?

Tenebris Rache. I hated him, I really did. But, there was also something niggling at the back of my mind. I devoured all nine books, and by the end, I was cheering for this man, and one of my favorite female characters of the series. Buroker writes the complexities of life and relationships so well, you don’t even see the moment it all changes coming. And then you’re hooked, because deep down, we all know the best bad guys have a wound in need of healing. 

By Lindsay Buroker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What if being a hero was encoded in your genes?

And nobody told you?

Casmir Dabrowski would laugh if someone asked him that. After all, he had to build a robot to protect himself from bullies when he was in school.

Fortunately, life is a little better these days. He’s an accomplished robotics engineer, a respected professor, and he almost never gets picked on in the lunchroom. But he’s positive heroics are for other people.

Until robot assassins stride onto campus and try to kill him.

Forced to flee the work he loves and the only home he’s ever known,…

The Plus One

By Sarah Archer,

Book cover of The Plus One

G. S. Prendergast Author Of Zero Repeat Forever

From the list on artificial heroes to fall in love with sci-fi.

Who am I?

As an avid consumer of science fiction, I’ve always been a fan of artificial intelligence in all its forms. Whether it is HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey or Data from Star Trek robots and computer minds, as well as genetically engineered humans such as the replicants from Blade Runner have always fascinated me. So much so that my first science fiction series, The Nahx Invasions, tells the story of a race of artificially created humanoids—The Nahx. Often in sci-fi, the robots and other AI are either positioned as villains or sidekicks. I wanted to put the AI front and center as the heroes and the books I’ve selected do the same.

G. S.'s book list on artificial heroes to fall in love with sci-fi

Why did G. S. love this book?

If sci-fi is not really your thing, worry not! Charming robots have crept into romance too and as a romance, The Plus One doesn’t disappoint. The robot love interest, Ethan, is everything a woman could look for—attentive, handsome, intelligent. But is he too good to be true? I loved how this book took a sci-fi trope and rewrote it for a romance reader, while still addressing some of the fundamental questions raised by AI, in this instance, not just “what is human?” but also “what is love?”

By Sarah Archer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Refreshing and fun' Debbie Johnson 'Thoroughly entertaining' Love Reading 'You will end up wondering if robotic boyfriends might be better than trawling through Tinder' Heat 'Romantic, intriguing and absolutely hilarious' The Courier

'A fresh take on a common romance plot and we love it' Yahoo's Top Books for March

Dating is hard. Being dateless at your perfect sister's wedding is harder.

Meet Kelly. A brilliant but socially awkward robotics engineer desperately seeking a wedding date...

Meet Ethan. Intelligent, gorgeous, brings out the confidence Kelly didn't know she had and ... not technically human. (But no one needs to know that.)…

The Globotics Upheaval

By Richard Baldwin,

Book cover of The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work

Harald Sander Author Of Understanding the New Global Economy: A European Perspective

From the list on how to make globalization work for all people.

Who am I?

As a boomer and working-class kid, I experienced living conditions improving rapidly. This sparked my interest in studying international and development economics to explore how we can create a better and more equitable world. As professor of international economics, I have been researching and teaching for many years about what is now known as “globalization”. This taught me two things that inspired me to write my latest book: First, to understand the process and consequences of (de-)globalization, in-depth study is essential to avoid popular misconceptions about the global economy; and, second, globalization needs to be carefully managed to make it work for all people.

Harald's book list on how to make globalization work for all people

Why did Harald love this book?

What holds the future of globalization in store?

I learned a lot from Baldwin’s insightful book, which posits a fast and dramatic rise of digital service trade between high- and low-wage countries.

Such services could range from well-known digital back-office services, such as airline ticketing in India, to more speculative “global robotics”, dubbed “globotics”, such as cross-border controlling of robots via virtual reality devices.

Baldwin points to new opportunities emerging to developing economies that hitherto were unable to gain from the globalization of manufacturing value chains. But he also warns of potentially dramatic social consequences in high-wage countries.

Whether you agree or disagree with his diagnosis, this is essential reading to be prepared for the next wave of globalization and its potential social disruptions.

By Richard Baldwin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A manifesto for future-proofing our jobs and prosperity' THE SUNDAY TIMES

We stand on the edge of a new era that will bring change to our world on a par with the Industrial Revolution. Automation, artificial intelligence and robotics are changing our lives quickly - but digital disruption goes much further than we realize. Richard Baldwin, one of the world's leading globalization experts, argues that the inhuman speed of this transformation threatens to overwhelm our capacity to adapt. But while the changes are now inevitable, there are strategies that humanity can use to adapt to this new world, employing the…


By Bill McKibben,

Book cover of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

Kenneth O'Reilly Author Of Asphalt: A History

From the list on the environment for the age of global warming.

Who am I?

When I left Wisconsin and arrived for a position at the University of Alaska Anchorage, I was struck by the state’s nearly manic fear of low prices for the oil flowing from Prudhoe Bay through the Alaska (or North Slope) oil pipeline. Years later I returned to Wisconsin and quickly learned that there was relatively little interest in a pipeline that ran down the entire state in the manner of the Alaska pipeline. Only this pipeline carried synthetic crude made from natural asphalt hacked or melted out of the ground in Alberta, Canada. My interest in the environmental and political aspects of that pipeline set me on the path to a book about asphalt.

Kenneth's book list on the environment for the age of global warming

Why did Kenneth love this book?

Arguably, Bill McKibben has been this nation’s preeminent environmentalist since 1989 when he published The End of Nature. Falter is his latest book and it is a numbing take on our species and how we have damaged the environment, perhaps, to the point of no return. On the other hand, McKibben is as much an activist as an environmentalist and as such he cannot and, so far at least, has not lost hope no matter how dire the straits.  

By Bill McKibben,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out.

Bill McKibben's groundbreaking book The End of Nature -- issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience.

Falter tells the…


By Jon Richter,

Book cover of Auxiliary: London 2039

Tanweer Dar Author Of The Demon

From the list on indie cyberpunk to get your circuits going.

Who am I?

Between Blade Runner and The Terminator, I was hooked on Cyberpunk. Throw in some Ghost in the Shell and Black Mirror, and the obsession was complete. With the rise of Synthwave as a musical genre and as a retro-futuristic aesthetic, I had both the soundtrack and the visual cues to which I could write Cyberpunk. I also feel strongly about our increasing reliance on technology and the blurring lines between biology and technology. This is something I explore in my writing.

Tanweer's book list on indie cyberpunk to get your circuits going

Why did Tanweer love this book?

A noir Cyberpunk book set in the UK (which itself makes it distinctive). Great characters, crazy technology, and lots of drama make Auxiliary seriously gripping. If you like Cyberpunk, robotics/Artificial Intelligence, and dark, dystopian thrillers, you will love this! Just a word of warning, though, this is not for the faint of heart...

By Jon Richter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The silicon revolution left Dremmler behind but a good detective is never obsolete.London is quiet in 2039—thanks to the machines. People stay indoors, communicating through high-tech glasses and gorging on simulated reality while 3D printers and scuttling robots cater to their every whim. Mammoth corporations wage war for dominance in a world where human augmentation blurs the line between flesh and steel. And at the center of it all lurks The Imagination Machine: the hyper-advanced, omnipresent AI that drives our cars, flies our planes, cooks our food, and plans our lives. Servile, patient, tireless … TIM has everything humanity requires.…

Shadow Work

By Craig Lambert,

Book cover of Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day

Elisabeth Sharp McKetta Author Of Ark

From Elisabeth's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Fairy tale mom Poet Teacher Tea drinker Traveler

Elisabeth's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Elisabeth's 9-year-old's favorite books.

Why did Elisabeth love this book?

This book is one of two of Lambert’s books that I reread often and find myself reflecting on long after finishing it (the other is Mind Over Water, which I wholly recommend too!)

But Shadow Work deserves its place in my top of the year canon because of its clear-eyed, damning look at the many ways we human beings willingly donate our time to businesses by doing the “self-service” things—like self-check at the supermarket, or “please listen carefully because our menu has changed” customer service calling systems—that used to require real human interaction.

This book is a wakeup call and an excellent read about the often-blurred lines between our leisure and our work.

By Craig Lambert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With the exception of sleep, humans spend more of their lifetimes on work than any other activity. It is central to our economy, society, and the family. It underpins our finances and our sense of meaning in life. Given the overriding importance of work, we need to recognize a profound transformation in the nature of work that is significantly altering lives: the incoming tidal wave of shadow work.

Shadow work includes all the unpaid tasks we do on behalf of businesses and organizations. It has slipped into our routines stealthily; most of us do not realize how much of it…

Radical Evolution

By Joel Garreau,

Book cover of Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies -- and What It Means to Be Human

Ron Felber Author Of Mojave Incident: Inspired by a Chilling Story of Alien Abduction

From Ron's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Curious Passionate Determined Sensitive Humble

Ron's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Ron love this book?

Garreau’s book highlights the promise and peril of enhancing our minds, our bodies—and what it means to be human.

In this, the 21st Century, AI, cloning, robotics, mind-enhancing drugs, computer chip implants, and bio-engineering pose the stark alternatives of a real-life Utopia or a Brave New World where the very definition of what it means to be human comes into question. Collectively, these scientific breakthroughs will produce “the biggest change in 50,000 to our environment and ourselves as human beings".

Garreau has managed to put these complex concepts into everyday terms and anecdotes that lay people can understand and grasp the consequences of.

By Joel Garreau,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Taking us behind the scenes with today’s foremost researchers and pioneers, bestselling author Joel Garreau shows that we are at a turning point in history.  At this moment we are engineering the next stage of human evolution.  Through advances in genetic, robotic, information, and nanotechnologies, we are altering our minds, our memories, our metabolisms, our personalities, our progeny–and perhaps our very souls.  Radical Evolution reveals that the powers of our comic-book superheroes already exist, or are in development in hospitals, labs, and research facilities around the country–from the revved-up reflexes and speed of Spider-Man and Superman, to the enhanced mental…


By Rick Chromey,

Book cover of GenTech: An American Story of Technology, Change and Who We Really Are

Zoë Routh Author Of People Stuff: Beyond Personality Problems: an Advanced Handbook for Leadership

From the list on leaders who want to lead for the future.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated with the future ever since I watched 2001 Space Odyssey. An amazing spaceship that could help us explore other planets! Then all that weird stuff about an A.I. gone crazy and apes banging sticks around monoliths. What the…? That curiosity smashed into a major concern at the age of fifteen on a canoe trip where I was trying to work out how to live and work closely with other humans - and failing. It turns out humans are crazy creatures. We love being together, and doing amazing things together, but that can be really hard. So leadership and the future fused into a lifelong passionate pursuit.

Zoë's book list on leaders who want to lead for the future

Why did Zoë love this book?

Who doesn’t love reading about themselves? 

Chromey has a whole different way of looking at generational differences. When I interviewed him on my podcast, he did a fair critique of the typical division of generations by arbitrary birth years.

Far more important, he says, is to look at the technology that shaped the environment, and hence the mindsets and attitudes of the people who adopted and used that technology as part of their growing up during their ‘coming of age’ years.

Huh. It’s obvious and makes complete sense to me. 

The book outlines the chief technologies that shaped attitudes: transportation-telephone, motion pictures, radio, vinyl, television, space, gamer, cable television, personal computer-cell phone, internet, iTech, robotics. And I’d add coming now - artificial intelligence.

On top of all that is the pattern of swinging between optimism and pessimism across the generations across a spring/summer/winter/autumn cyclical model. Very smart.

Chromey includes timeline…

By Rick Chromey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Every twenty years a new generation rises, but who and what defines these generations? And could current generational tags mislead and miss the point? In this insightful analysis of technology history since 1900, Dr. Rick Chromey offers a fresh perspective for understanding what makes a generation tick and differ from others. Within GenTech, readers learn how every generation uniquely interacts with particular technologies that define historical temperament and personality and why current generational labels are more fluid than fixed, and more loopy than linear. Consequently, three major generational constellations emerge, each containing four, twenty-year generations that overlap, merge, and blend:…

Gods and Robots

By Adrienne Mayor,

Book cover of Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology

Josiah Ober Author Of The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reason

From the list on why ancient Greece still matters today.

Who am I?

I fell in love with the ancient Greeks a half-century ago. Ever since I have tried to learn from the past, by recognizing the ways in which the ancients were at once very like us and shockingly different. I only recently grasped that the Greeks were like us in their self-consciousness about human motivation: They recognized that many (perhaps most) people are driven by self-interest. But only a few of us are skilled at strategic choice-making. They knew that cooperation was necessary for human flourishing, but terribly hard to achieve. Today working together on common projects remains the greatest challenge for business, politics – and your everyday life. 

Josiah's book list on why ancient Greece still matters today

Why did Josiah love this book?

Full disclosure: Adrienne Mayor is my wife. But that is not why I chose this book: It is a mind-blowing account of ancient dreams of technology and ancient scientific wonders. Mayor is a master storyteller. She recreates the ancient myths to reveal the timeless fascination with “artificial life” – with beings that are like us in some ways, except that they are “made, not born.” Long before humans could create real mechanical men and thinking machines, the Greeks dared to imagine what that would mean for humans and our relations with one another. And they imagined the inner lives and torments of the semi-machines themselves. Read this book and shiver to learn that our modernity was dreamed of 2500 years ago. 

By Adrienne Mayor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The fascinating untold story of how the ancients imagined robots and other forms of artificial life-and even invented real automated machines

The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, long before medieval automata, and centuries before technology made self-moving devices possible, Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life-and grappling with still-unresolved ethical concerns about biotechne, "life through craft." In this compelling, richly illustrated book, Adrienne Mayor tells the fascinating story…

Army of None

By Paul Scharre,

Book cover of Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War

Audrey Kurth Cronin Author Of Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation Is Arming Tomorrow's Terrorists

From the list on the future of technology, innovation, and war.

Who am I?

Living in the American Embassy in Moscow as a teenager during the Cold War, I grew up keenly aware of the perils of global instability and nuclear war. While friends back home worried about how to buy a car or score a date, I wandered the streets of Moscow, often tailed by the KGB, hoping US nuclear missiles didn’t launch our way. So, I’ve always been interested in big questions of how to avoid wars, and how to end them. Since then, I’ve traveled the world, worked in both government and academe, advised senior national and international policymakers, and become an award-winning author.  

Audrey's book list on the future of technology, innovation, and war

Why did Audrey love this book?

Paul Scharre explains the military use of autonomous weapons and AI-driven platforms in a book that’s accessible and comprehensive. He’s a former Army Ranger who helped write the US military’s guidelines for unmanned systems and military autonomy. I have other, more recent books about individual technologies; but Scharre’s is the only one that melds an insider’s understanding of lethal autonomous weapons (LAWs) with clear analysis of their pros and cons. He’s a skeptic of arms control but sees the need to reduce their downsides. My students like the book—even those deeply opposed to LAWs. Scharre’s explanations of autonomy and AI in military weapons are especially valuable for non-specialists. They are an antidote to all the loose AI terminology that just confuses everyone. 

By Paul Scharre,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Army of None as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The era of autonomous weapons has arrived. Today around the globe, at least thirty nations have weapons that can search for and destroy enemy targets all on their own. Paul Scharre, a leading expert in next-generation warfare, describes these and other high tech weapons systems-from Israel's Harpy drone to the American submarine-hunting robot ship Sea Hunter-and examines the legal and ethical issues surrounding their use. "A smart primer to what's to come in warfare" (Bruce Schneier), Army of None engages military history, global policy, and cutting-edge science to explore the implications of giving weapons the freedom to make life and…

Little Eyes

By Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell (translator),

Book cover of Little Eyes

Gareth Southwell Author Of MUNKi

From Gareth's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Luddite Philosopher Book designer & Illustrator Sci-fi writer Hermit

Gareth's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Gareth love this book?

In one sense, there is nothing futuristic about Samantha Schweblin’s book at all. Everything it describes is in fact happening right now.

Cool cyber gadgets are in our bags and our pockets, invading our homes and our workplaces, informing us, entertaining us – and of course, monitoring us. But what it does brilliantly – by turns funny, disturbing, and poignant – is show how this impacts our personal relationships.

Little Eyes presents this digital infiltration in the guise of a little fluffy robot, no more than a camera on wheels, controlled by an anonymous remote user but lacking in two-way communication. And as the many interweaving stories play out across multiple countries and cultures, with people of all ages, backgrounds, and motivations, we see just how vulnerable such technology has made us. 

By Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Little Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A visionary novel about our interconnected world, about the collision of horror and humanity, from the Man Booker-shortlisted master of the spine-tingling tale

A Guardian & Observer Best Fiction Book of 2020 * A Sunday Times Best Science Fiction Book of the Year * The Times Best Science Fiction Books of the Year * NPR Best Books of the Year

World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations of 2020 * Ebook Travel Guides Best 5 Books of 2020 * A New York Times Notable Book of 2020

They're not pets. Not ghosts or robots. These are kentukis, and they are in…


By Isaac Asimov,

Book cover of Liar!

Daniel Robledo Author Of Cages of the Soul

From the list on speculative short stories about life.

Who am I?

Life is a complex matter, and so sometimes you need a few aliens, werewolves, and dragons in order to make sense of it. From struggling with one’s career, to finding your identity, to finding forgiveness in myself, I’ve struggled with a lot in life, and these are all things that I tackle in my stories, because in addition to being entertaining, I also believe that what we read should also be insightful.

Daniel's book list on speculative short stories about life

Why did Daniel love this book?

Asimov is known as the grandfather of A.I. Science Fiction, and yet, you don’t have to have much of an interest in robotics in order to appreciate many of his stories. One of the best examples of this would be Liar! A story that tackles how a robot, one which isn’t allowed to hurt humans, would try to circumvent peoples’ emotions in a situation in which their desire for career success and romance are on the line. As someone who has dealt with all sides of these affairs, Lair! Is one of those stories that reminded me that no matter what, I’m only human.

By Isaac Asimov,

Why should I read it?

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

Xanthe and the Robots

By Sheila MacLeod,

Book cover of Xanthe and the Robots

Ariadne Tampion Author Of Automatic Lover

From the list on sci-fi on how advanced AI fits into human society.

Who am I?

I first became fascinated by artificial intelligence as a teenage Asimov fan being taught BASIC programming by my uncle. It then became the first professional interest I returned to as I emerged from the consuming process of caring for very young children and the voluntary work that went with it, which broadened my horizons. I was quick to see, and eager to explore further, parallels between the socialisation of young humans and what might be possible for machine minds.

Ariadne's book list on sci-fi on how advanced AI fits into human society

Why did Ariadne love this book?

This book attracted my attention when it was new and I was a teenager, although I only actually read it many years later; the female roboticist central character with a hint of impetuosity and romance appeared to offer an alternative role model to Isaac Asimov’s Susan Calvin. Sheila MacLeod is a literary author, not a regular SF author, and she imagines a mildly dystopic near-future in which humanoid robots are being taught to have sensibilities by reading romantic literature, from the great to the trashy. I was both intrigued and amused by her portrayal of how a machine mind might relate to such literature, and how such machines might conduct themselves when they become more empowered in their personal choices.

By Sheila MacLeod,

Why should I read it?

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