Everyone in Tech Should Read Speculative Fiction

How books like The Handmaid’s Tale and The Left Hand of Darkness offer important frameworks for Silicon Valley

Naomi Day
OneZero
Published in
7 min readNov 6, 2019

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Photo: gremlin/Getty Images

SSpeculative fiction is my favorite genre to read. It aligns with how chaotic our world is and provides an escape into fiction while still leaving me with the feeling that I’ve learned something that may be useful in the future.

It’s also quickly become the first genre I recommend to anybody in tech looking for a new book or just something slightly different to do. Speculative fiction is a wide-sweeping genre that has a low entry bar for a reader. There’s something there to appeal to everyone, whether it’s magical creatures or futuristic technical inventions. It’s uniquely positioned to deliver maximum enjoyment while facilitating a certain kind of forward-thinking that helps us consider many possible futures, think about what in the past may contribute to upcoming events, and consider more deeply our own roles in the way the world works.

What is speculative fiction?

A post on Marcus Haynes’s website has quickly become my go-to resource for discussing speculative fiction. He looks specifically at Black speculative fiction, but more generally he creates a definition based on what author…

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Naomi Day
OneZero
Writer for

Speculative fiction and Afrofuturist writer. Software engineer. US-based; globally oriented. I think and write about building new worlds.