Elon Musk has been in the news lately, for better or worse. First, he offered to design a submarine to ferry away the Thai soccer team trapped in the cave. Then he raged and threw an infantile fit at a rescue leader for rejecting that submarine, calling him offensive names on Twitter. Then his company Tesla’s stocks hit some turbulence because of said tweet and some other bad press.
Musk has some issues, it’s true. But he’s not at fault for his tastes in sci-fi, which are excellent. Here are some of his favorites.
1.FOUNDATION SERIES BY ISAAC ASIMOVBuy It From Amazon
Reread Asimov’s Foundation series. Brilliant.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 8, 2014
A set of classic science fiction novels concerning the fall of a Galactic Empire and one man’s attempts to predict the future accurately enough to forestall an interstellar dark age. The Foundation exists as a repository of human knowledge in order to save civilization itself and prevent an era of barbarism.
2.THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY BY DOUGLAS ADAMSBuy It From Amazon
A comic masterpiece that starts with the Earth being demolished to make way for a space highway — and it only gets wackier from there. A novel that asks the important questions, like what is the meaning of life the universe and everything, and gets 42 as an answer in return.
3.THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS BY ROBERT A. HEINLEINBuy It From Amazon
A future Lunar society facing food shortages rebels against the tyranny of Earth with the help of an artificial intelligence. Another science fiction classic by a member of the big three of sci-fi writers.
4.CULTURE SERIES BY IAN M. BANKSBuy It From Amazon
Reading The Culture series by Banks. Compelling picture of a grand, semi-utopian galactic future. Hopefully not too optimistic about AI.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 26, 2014
A series of novels and short stories centered around a utopian psuedo-anarchist spacefaring society ruled by benevolent intellects known as Minds. The stories often concern the Culture’s contact with other civilizations that don’t share their particular set of values. Several of SpaceX’s droneships were named after Minds from this series.
5.I HAVE NO MOUTH, AND I MUST SCREAM BY HARLAN ELLISONBuy It From Amazon
A cautionary tale about the dangers of superintelligent artificial intelligence. In a word, terrifying. The AI at the center of this story wields godlike powers that he inflicts sadistically upon the last survivors of the human race.