Some of my favorite science fiction books aren’t the most outlandish or far fetched. Instead of reimagining an entire world thousands of years into the future, they look at technology on the rise and hypothesis what’s coming next.
Science fiction books dealing with the Internet of Things (IoT) do just that.
What is the Internet of Things?
This term isn’t very well known. It’s passed around in tech circles to describe the interconnectedness of the world. When every aspect of your life, from your bed, car, fridge, clothes and hair products are connected to the internet, they’re able to share information easily. What’s done with that information is the crux of this concept.
As with all other technological advancements, the goal is to simplify life, save businesses money with increased efficiency and make it easier for people to buy goods.
When it comes to the science fiction world, writers have been tackling this subject for awhile. Here are some of the most notable novels on the Internet of Things.
Ubik by Philip K. Dick (1969)
“Ubik is ‘about’ lots of things – cryonics, immersion, memory and the illusion of reality – but the stand-out passage that speaks most closely to today’s tech occurs when the protagonist tries to get in to his connected home, which won’t let him do anything until he’s paid the bills for his IoT subscriptions.”—Sarah Housley in WGSN Insider
“It’s also a world of networked devices and smart machines that are so complex, they’re impossible to debug, a picture of a complex and near unknowable Internet of Things that’s there to be hacked and explored.”—Simon Bisson in ZD Net
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge (1944)
“San Diego, 2025 or thereabouts, a city much like today, but transformed under the skin by ubiquitous computing, wearable devices, and augmented reality.”—Simon Bisson in ZD Net