Cyberdelia reading list

(This list has some fairly obvious gaps, because it contains only books I’ve completed & can verify work well together. I know Cyberia is missing — don’t at me!)

Encountering America by Jessica Grogan
This book is not about cyberdelia, but as a history of mid-century humanist psychology, it provides an overview of the social and cultural circumstances that led to particular movements, and describes some psychological movements and settings that later intersect with major figures.

Stranger Than You Can Imagine by John Higgs
Like Encountering America, this is a general overview of the 20th century with a focus on the theme of de-centering.

Fire in the Valley by Michael Swaine and Paul Freiberger
A fairly conventional history of the Silicon Valley tech industry in the 1970s and 1980s, with a greater focus on countercultural factors than other books with the same topic.

What the Dormouse Said by John Markoff
The conventional/canonical psychedelic history of the tech industry.

From Counterculture to Cyberculture by Fred Turner
A potent antidote to the ideological biases of both Fire in the Valley and What the Dormouse Said, focusing on the role of Stewart Brand in molding both the 60s counterculture and the california ideology — makes more sense when paired with the context of Encountering America.

Rise of the Machines by Thomas Rid
A focus on the military and security end of cybernetic cultural ideas in computing, covering approximately the same time period as Fire in the Valley.

Written by

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store