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Archived Memories: Toward an ANR Community Reading List

Recent discussion of APEX, more than any other card, has caused me to reflect on the cultural underpinnings of ANR. Not only is the game mechanically excellent, its theme and the way FFG has built on it are also compelling for a scifi nerd. I wanted to share the list of books with which I find ANR particularly resonant, and hopefully hear from the community as well. Hoping to keep it spoiler- and kulturkampf-free.

Without further ado:
Tad Williams, Otherland saga
PK Dick, Do Androids Dream… and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (just to name a couple)
Stephenson, Snow Crash and, more obliquely, The Diamond Age
William Gibson, most of his work
Clarke, 2001, the nine billion names of God, others
Iain Banks, Culture novels but in particular Excession
Harrison, The Stainless Steel Rat
Asimov, Robot novels
Reynolds, Century Rain
Ellison, I Have No Mouth…

This list is by no means complete, but rather represents a sample of narratives that spring to mind when playing and reading about Netrunner. What’s on your list?




Neuromancer is probably deserving of the “granddaddy of them all” mantle when it comes to cyberpunk. Hugo and Nebula award winner, yet really accessible… Win-win-win!

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Might as well count the rest of the Sprawl Trilogy: Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive

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Love me some Mona Lisa Overdrive. Great book, and easily on my short list of best scifi titles evar.

I know he’s already been mentioned, but I’d like to specifically mention The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke, in my opinion one of his finest works, and also in part a story about constructing a space elevator. (I hope that doesn’t constitute a spoiler.) It’s always the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of the Beanstalk.


Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis.


Well it’s not a book but Deltron 3030 touches on a lot of Netrunner themes and references a lot of the books mentioned in this thread. Del is definitely anarch.

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The depictions of Earth in Peter F. Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn trilogy are pretty interesting, though for the most part he’s much more distant sci-fi than netrunner is themed.

would recommend the anthology Mirrorshades
also the collection Deathbird Stories by Ellison


The Girl Who Was Plugged In by James Tiptree Jr is NBN all over!
Bruce Stirling has some great novels
When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger
Barricade by John Wallace shows why all the HB biorods running around could be bad if they ever organise.
Even the Blade Runner sequels by K W Jeter are worth reading.
Tom Maddox of course came up with the idea of ICE and his novels are available for free on the internet.

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Great thread idea, thanks.

Even though it’s way distant future, Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds has a ton of mind-bending tech and human/machine interface stuff in it. Heavy sci fi but exciting and well paced.


Awesome. Thank you for a list and everyone’s contributions so far. I have been looking for some new books to read.

I also like the mention of the Stainless Steel Rat.

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The Anime Psycho-Pass, because Minority Report + Hannibal television series is a great mash up.


thanks for that description, been keen to check out that series and now i must

Revelation Space is the bomb, and I agree the cybernetic stuff does link it to ANR. There is an entire clan made up of the descendants of Adam and Kit. Or there could be.

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I feel like someone on the design team for the Mumbad cycle read River of Gods by Ian McDonald. Cyberpunk India is a fantastic and underused setting and for that reason alone I’d include it on this list. It also happens to be a very solid science fiction novel.

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Having just finished re-reading the anthology Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, I can’t believe I forgot to mention this!


I totally agree with the Gibson recommendation, but I think early Gibson is much more relevant to Netrunner. Recent Gibson is still excellent, but is typically very near-future (Pattern Recognition, Spook Country), or very far-future* (The Peripheral). They’re all worth reading (esp. Peripheral, it’s my favorite SF book of the decade so far), but much less cyberpunk than his early work.

No list would be complete without the moonbase’s namesake, Robert Heinlein; specifically The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

*Far future isn’t really the right term, but it’s hard to be more precise without massive spoilers.


Peripheral just added to Kindle.