Archives For Cool Books

Sci-fi books are possibly one of the most imaginative pieces of content we can access today for unwinding. They’ve got it all: epic adventures, out of this world details that can truly be amazing, as well as surprisingly realistic political overviews (the time and technologies may change, but human nature stays the same). Perhaps only fantasy books can come in second after sci-fi books; hardcore fantasy fans may beg to differ and the matter is debatable, of course, but the fact remains that sci-fi books are among the few things that still manage to make us read nowadays.

The only thing holding many of us back from the reading is this: many popular sci-fi books come with the bad habit of being part of huge series stretching out numerous volumes. Contemplating how much more reading you actually have ahead of you is enough to postpone the reading of those wonderful sci-fi books indefinitely, or simply quit and just see some similar movies instead.

Here’s the good news: we have put together a brief list of top 5 great sci-fi books that aren’t part of a series, and that can open back your appetite for reading. That’s right: these 5 masterpieces are completely stand-alone and won’t overwhelm you with tens of volumes to go through. Our list could go on, but we decided to share these 5 ones for starters, and come back with more suggestions in the future.

1. Dark Run, by Mike Brooks

dark run by mike brooks

One of the most stunning debut works from a relatively young author, Dark Run was a pleasant surprise to all of its readers, managing to verge on a classic quality. The characters are clean-cut, the political complexity of our world fast forward into the future by about 200 years is deliciously plausible, and the mindfulness with which the author treats minority cultures is refreshing. If you fancy space smugglers, rebelliousness against corruption and an immersive world that doesn’t become overbearing with details, this is the book for you. You can find it on Amazon (in both paperback and Kindle editions).

2. Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor

binti by nnedi okorafor

If you like exploring non-Western writings in addition to being attracted to sci-fi books, then our next suggestion is definitely the right choice for you. It’s the story of an African girl, the first of her nation who gets accepted into a prestigious university on another planet, and about her journey to the new school which awaits. The predictable tale of a young and hopeful new student then gets intertwined with a classic sci-fi when her ship gets attacked. The ending will surprise you, and it would be safe to say that overall the book is nothing like you’d expect it to be, in a good way. You can find the book on Amazon.

3. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

snow crash by neal stephenson

Our next choice comes from a multi-awarded author for a change, so if you haven’t managed to read anything by him yet, this is the perfect entry to get you started. One of the most popular sci-fi books of the recent years, Snow Crash is about Sumerian mythology brought into the present and the future through the lens of a mega cyber intelligence. A pizza delivery boy in the normal world, Hiro (our main character) is also a warrior prince in the Metaverse (an alternate universe which coexists and intertwines with ours). Surely this is enough to peak your interest. You can find it on Amazon.

4. Arkwright, by Allen Steele

arkwright by allen steele

This newly released book has very high chances of becoming the next sci-fi book enthusiast Bible. It features classic, hard sci-fi imaginative works, with a multi-generational plot through various planets and space travel, as well as bow-down references to the most important sci-fi writers of all time. It also includes the setting of a colony in extra-terrestrial space, in deliciously elaborate details. If you’re usually a fan of works such as Asimov’s, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one as well. You can find it here.

5. Orleans, by Sherri Smith

orleans by sherri smith

If you liked the Fallout games, then you’ll definitely like Orleans. Set into an almost post-apocalyptic future, Sherri Smith’s novel tells the tale of a desolate and sinking Orleans, and of the surprising discovery that years after the cataclysms and the abandoning of the entire Gulf Coast, a new primate society was formed in its ruins. You can find the book on Amazon.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

You may have heard about the dark web, also called darknet. It is the underground side of the internet, allegedly containing much more data than the ‘above’ version of the internet does. The version we know and use can be ‘seen’ by search engines (is indexed), while pages and all content in the dark web can only be accessed through special browsers, setting and permissions. This allows users to browse anonymously and under complete privacy. It is generally regarded as a dubious place, meant first and foremost for illegal activities, the trading of illegal services and so on.

Since many of today’s web dangers are somehow involved with the dark web, or even taking place solely through it, this issue has become of growing importance to security experts and the general public as well. Books about the dark web and its chief dangers, as well as purely informative content about how it works have started popping. Since, we’re probably going to hear a lot more about the darknet in the next years, we’ve put together this list of the top 5 books about the dark web which you should read.

1. The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld, by Jamie Bartlett

dark net cover

The most comprehensive book written so far about the dark web, Jamie Bartlett’s recent masterpiece should be the first entry on everyone’s reading list. The only disclaimer or warning is that it may be a heavy read, more suitable for academic reading than an easy-weight, approachable read. You can find the book here.

2. WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, by Nev Schulman


Everyone has heard about Julian Assange and his famous WikiLeaks project, which made him one of the least liked people by the various governments exposed through his schemes. There are plenty of controversies surrounding him, but if you’d like to know more before making up your own mind on the topic, you should start with reading this book. It’s one of the most balanced account of the subject to be found on the current book market. You can find the book here.

3. Cyberphobia: Identity, Trust, Security and the Internet, by Edward Lucas


This collection of studies and in-depth thought pieces allows people who were previously unfamiliar with the concept of cyberphobia understand exactly how this works and why it is dangerous. As crimes are so much harder to track and control online, especially due to the emergence of the dark web, new forms and opportunities of dangerous slopes mutate into the new waves of cybercrime. You can find the book here.

4. Cybersexism, by Laurie Penny


Similar to the book on cyberphobia, this new entry deals specifically with online harassment, revenge threads and other forms of cyberbullying, targeted towards a specific gender, and which are yet to be properly regulated. While on the dark web things get even more brutal, the phenomena is obviously present on the regular side of the internet as well. You can find it here.

5. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson


Our last recommendation for books about the dark web is this bestseller, dealing with how shaming and cyberbullying go hand in hand, reaching new and dangerous heights. It also works as guide for victims of cybershaming, giving sound and empathetic advice for getting back on your feet. You can find the book here.

Image source: 1. here. 2. here 3. here

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