• The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki (Why the opinion of a diverse group can be better for decision-making and predictions than that of an individual - )
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond. (The ways in which human societies rise and fall, and the intricate interconnectivity of systems like food production, storage, disease vectors, etc.) "Collapse" by the same author is also very good.


  • Blindness, by Jose Saramago (An epidemic of white blindness strikes a city - )
  • The Last Town on Earth, by Thomas Mullen (What happens when a small town quarantines itself during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic - )

"The Ebola virus kills nine out of ten of its victims so quickly and gruesomely that even biohazard experts are terrified. It is airborne, it is extremely contagious, and in the winter of 1989, it seemed about to burn through the suburbs of Washington D.C. At Fort Detrick's USAMRIID, an Army research facility outside the nation's capital, a SWAT team of soldiers and scientists wearing biohazard space suits was organized to stop the outbreak of the exotic "hot" virus. The grim operation went on in secret for eighteen days, under unprecedented, dangerous conditions."

"Peter Jahrling, the top scientist at USAMRIID, a wry virologist who cut his teeth on Ebola, one of the world's most lethal emerging viruses, has ORCON security clearance that gives him access to top-secret information on bioweapons.[...]Jahrling is haunted by the thought that biologists in secret labs are using the techniques of genetic engineering to create a new superpox virus – a smallpox that is resistant to all vaccines."


  • Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson (Hiro Protagonist-hacker, samurai swordsman, and pizza-delivery driver-takes on Sumerian myths and a postmodern civilization on the brink of collapse - )
  • Shaping Things, by Bruce Sterling (non-fiction - )
  • Everyware, by Adam Greenfield (non-fiction -
  • The Rifters Trilogy, by Peter Watts (available online, Set in 2050 and beyond, a grim vision of the future in which modified humans work in deep-ocean environments - )


  • The End of Food, by Paul Roberts (an incredibly in-depth history of the food industry, how it got to where it is in 2008, and why it simply isn't sustainable long-term -
  • Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally, by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon (A couple eats only food produced within 100 miles of their Vancouver apartment - )
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver (The author and her family become locavores, moving to a family farm in Virginia and eating only locally grown and raised foods - )
  • The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City, by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen


  • How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter and Self-Preservation Anywhere, by Bradford Angier (Non-fiction - )


  • Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (non-fiction, focusing on the rainforests of Indonesia in the 1980s/90s, and the various interest groups and actors who come into conflict - )
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