Book Recommendation:

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

This book is in the "thriller" category. It is the story of the aftermath of a second major terrorist attack on the United States, as seen through the eyes of a 17-year-old boy who happens to be a computer hacker. Like 1984 or It Can't Happen Here, it has a strong political message; unlike those books, it is very modern, and it's a real page turner.

The technology in the book is today's technology, and Cory Doctorow gets it all right. He's done his research well. Any time you think he's gone over the top, just pick up a newspaper and look in the technology section--it's all there.

The political situation is tomorrow's political situation. It's an extrapolation of some of our more irrational and fear-based responses to terrorism. Let's hope we can do better than that.

I'm recommending this book, not just because it's a good read, but because I think every Computer Science student can learn a lot from it. From cryptanalysis to RFID tags to ParanoidLinux, this book will open your eyes to not only what can be done with technology, and what is being done, but also to what shouldn't be. Where the technology needs to be explained, Doctorow does it so clearly and simply that even your grandmother would understand it. (Probably.)

Little Brother is available from Amazon for $12.21. I haven't found a copy in Borders or Barnes & Noble, though, possibly because the book is also available for free on the web.