Reference Material

UNCOMMON GROUNDS: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed Our World
The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of (How Science Fiction Conquered the World by Thomas M. Disch.
This is a very good book for the serious SciFi fan. Once you get past the author's obnoxious liberal whining (he's pissed that politically conservative writers like Robert Heinlein and Jerry Pournelle have had a much greater effect on shaping the world than politically correct liberal bed wetting authors like himself), Mr. Disch actually makes some rather on target observations on the writers, the fans, and the effect of both.
Pocket Ref by Thomas J. Glover.
This is one cool book! It fits in a shirt pocket and covers more useful stuff than you can shake a good sized stick at!
Things covered include:

Hard Science

The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps by Marshall T. Savage

Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheny. This is a top notch biography of one of the world's great inventors. Probably more important to modern life than Thomas Edison. Nikola Tesla was responsible for or invented:

Hamlet on the Holodeck by Janet Horowitz Murray

Surfing Through Hyperspace by Clifford A. Pickover

Engines of Creation by Eric Drexler

Immortality : How Science Is Extending Your Life Span and Changing the World by Ben Bova

The Universal Computer: The Road from Leibniz to Turing by Martin Davis

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