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Other Techno Thrillers like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
One of the most popular novels in recent years, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. First released in 2005, the Dragon Tattoo appealed to a wide audience because of its themes; crime mystery, sexual violence, fighting sex against women and techno thriller. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the first of three novels released as the Millennium Trilogy and featured Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Sadly Stieg Larsson, 50, died of a heart attack in 2004 before his the Dragon Tattoo was released so he never got to see the immense popularity of his work.
A Swedish film version was released in 2010 and has since become the most viewed Swedish film of all time. David Fincher directed the US version of the film which is scheduled for release in December 2011.
Why is the Millennium Trilogy so wildly popular? I believe there are a three reasons. First of all, women read far more novels than men and the Larsson Trilogy has a female empowerment message and a very strong femaie lead character. And that strong femaie character appeals to both men and women because of her spirit in overcoming great odds to succeed. While it is a bit surprising that such an empowerment novel would have been written by a man, Larsson's views were shaped at a very young age. When he was 15 years old, he witnessed a gang rape of girl named Lisbeth (like the heroine). Stieg Larsson has said that he always felt guilty about not doing something to stop the rape and it is that guilt that helped shape this the Millennium Trilogy.
Second, readers are drawn to the mystery and surprising plot twists of the Larsson Trilogy. We are all exposed to so much TV, Movies and Books that most of it becomes a boring stream of "sameness". When we find something that breaks through that monotony with twists and turns that we did not expect and a genuine mystery, we eat it up. Think of the most popular TV Dramas and Movies of late, many of them involve supernatural themes (Heroes, deep intricate mysteries (Lost) or solving crime (CSI). People are searching for something different in their entertainment.
Third, novels that incorporate the changing face of computer and internet technology have become increasingly popular. We all know the information age is changing at lightspeed and we want a glimpse of the potential ramifications of this new world. While we know how to navigate our devices, apps and the internet, few of us know how it all works and the software code behind the apps. Authors that can find ways to incorporate "insider tech" info into their books to create a techno thriller, benefit from our general desire to know more about the "black box' of computer technology.
I love techno thrillers but find it very hard to find books in the genre. I spend hours searching the web, Amazon and Audible looking for these unique high tech novels. Hopefully, with this lens I can save you that time by providing other great techno thrillers and tech novels that you might like.
Please let me know if I accomplished my goal in the comments section at the bottom.
All rights reserved. Copyright 2012 Tonto Murray on Hubpages
Daemon by Daniel Suarez
Techno-Thriller of an Internet Doomsday Scenario
Daemon is my favorite high tech thriller. It incorporates elements of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) with a different vision of a post-dystopian future. Many of the concepts are so cool that you wonder if the world would not be better off adopting them (more on that later).
When Matthew Sobol, the founder and developer of a popular MMORPG, dies of brain cancer, a ghost computer program called Daemon is released. Daemon's mission is to change the world in dramatic ways that mesh with Sobol's vision. Daemon is programmed to achieve its goals at any cost, including killing anyone that tries to stop it.
While this is a tech novel on the outside it also has a strong empowerment message similar to Ayn Rand's classic novel, Atlas Shrugged. Without giving away the ultimate mission of the Daemon, many of the changes could dramatically enhance our World, if implemented.
One such change is the "Karma rating" for each person (which shows on a player screen in special glasses) that highlights that person's value rating in the eyes of everyone that has interacted with them. Wouldn't that be an eye-opening tool, if implemented?
I love both the concept and the actual storyline of this novel. While FreedomTM is billed as a sequel, these two books together are really one story broken into two books. You will want to read both of them together.
Walter Parkes, the producer of Wargames, has bought the movie rights to Daemon so hopefully this techno thriller will be adapted to the big screen.
Buy Daemon and its Sequel, FreedomTM
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
A Sci Fi Thriller with a Chilling View of the Future Virtual Reality Internet
In a not-too-distant future, the Metaverse is a virtual reality internet where most people interact with others. You access the Metaverse from your own personal terminals or from public access terminals (that are slow with poor graphics). Much like in the real world, certain people use pseudo narcotics (like drugs or alcohol) for fun or escape. However, someone has introduced a viral pseudo narcotic called Snow Crash, with some very unique and dangerous characteristics.
The two protaganists in the story are Hiro, a pizza deliveryman for the mafia, and YT, a street smart female Hover-boarding courier. They also have hacking abilities to gain information and team up to sell intelligence to government entities. However, along the way they discover some disturbing information about Snow Crash. They start digging deeper and end up on the wrong end of some very dangerous people including a chilling character, Raven, an Aleut harpoon master whose motorcycle vehicle is armed with a nuclear device.
If you like techno thrillers, Neal Stephenson is one of the best authors focused on the high tech novel genre. This a fast paced thriller that will keep you guessing throughout the book. Stephenson also weaves some cool historical concepts and events to meld history with science fiction. Snow Crash is definitely one of the best techno thrillers and a book that every sci fi fan should read.
Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy
A Serial Killer is Loose Carrying out Murders from a Computer Game
Of all the books on this list, Monkeewrench most closely resembles Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as it blends a serial killer murder mystery with high tech computer hacking. PJ Tracy is excellent at developing characters and as a result this high tech novel became the basis for 5 subsequent books in the Monkee Wrench series.
Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are Minneapolis police detectives who are called in to investigate a series of murders in the Minneapolis area. During their investigation, they are drawn to a small software company, Monkeewrench, run by Grace McBride and her four strange partners. While they typically develop educational software, they have created an unreleased murder mystery game in which the player has to solve the crimes. However, someone has gotten a hold of the software pre-release and is mimicking the murders in the game.
Together the detectives and Monkeewrench partners must solve the crime before all 20 murders (in the game) are carried out. The technology is definitely cool in this high tech novel, but what really sets these books apart are the characters. You will grow to genuinely like this motley band of crime stoppers and eagerly anticipate each new PJ Tracy novel in the series.
Buy Monkee Wrench by PJ Tracy from Amazon
Buy Monkeewrench by PJ Tracey in book, Kindle or audiobook formats.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
One Hacker's Fight Against the a Fictional Patriot Act-like Doctrine
While Little Brother was self-published as a Young Adult book, I found this techno thriller as exciting and compelling as any sci fi thriller. Marcus, aka w1n5t0n, is a computer hacker with a penchant for ditching school and hacking on the internet. When he and his friends get swept up in a Homeland Security raid, he becomes a lightning rod for the debate over civil liberties and national security.
This is a particularly interesting book for the Young Adult set because it can spark debate in the classroom about these national issues. With the increasing threat of international terrorism, the line between civil liberty and national security has become blurred. While we want to be safe from terrorism, we also don't want to lose sight of the freedoms that the United States was built on.
This is both an exciting techno thriller and intellectual treatise on civil liberties. I really enjoyed Little Brother and urge everyone to read it or listen as an audiobook.
Check out this other great book by Cory Doctorow, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom about being trapped in the Magic Kingdom overnight.
REAMDE by Neal Stephenson
A Techno Thriller in the MMORPG Gaming Community
Reamde by Neal Stephenson is an exciting high tech novel that finds an intersection point for MMORPG games, computer hacking, the Russian mob and Islamic terrorists. Yes, Reamde is a misspelling of the typical Readme files that come with software programs. This high tech novel is essentially the story of how one simple illegal transaction, selling stolen credit card numbers, can go completely awry.
Zula is the niece of Richard Forthrast, the founder of an MMORPG called T'Rain, and she is working for the company on making more realistic world backgrounds. Her boyfriend Peter is a low level hacker who gets caught up in a credit card smuggling transaction gone bad when a virus related to T'Rain infects his computer.
Because the virus disables his machine, he is unable to deliver the credit card numbers as promised which brings the Russian mob to his doorstep. However, from there this novel takes unique twists and turns that makes it unlike any other techno thriller you might have read. Reamde is set in current day but delves very deeply into the world of MMORPG games and international technology transactions. It is a very exciting high tech thriller and is very likely to end up as a Hollywood movie.
Once again Neal Stephenson delivers a sci fi book that is both exciting to read and highly technical in its science fiction underpinnings. Reamde is definitely Stephenson's best book since Snow Crash.