This is indeed author Joe Hill here on Tumblr, with this evil question.
Off the top of my head this afternoon:
GREAT MAMBO CHICKEN AND THE TRANSHUMAN CONDITION, by Ed Regis, was my deep introduction to transhumanism and fringe science. I’d read the odd issue of MONDO and the like as I could find and afford them, but GREAT MAMBO CHICKEN was the serious dose, from rocket man Bob Truax through to robot brain man Hans Moravec and back again. Wonderful book. Nowadays, I think it’d read as a marvellous time capsule.
WORDS AND MUSIC, Paul Morley. It may actually be one of the best books about music ever written, even though it’s not really about music so much as it’s about someone whom music happened to.
FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL ‘72 is the best book Hunter Thompson ever wrote, and it’s unfairly overshadowed by the others.
EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS by Peter Biskind. I find it hard to describe why I find this book so affecting. It’s basically the story of American cinema in the Sixties and Seventies, remarkably heavily sourced and researched, with a rich supply of funny, creepy and titillating detail — but it’s also about the multiple journeys of the commercial artist, and weirdly scary and heartbreaking, like a dozen car crashes in a row.
And DOOM PATROLS by Steven Shaviro, which he describes as “a theoretical fiction,” but it’s not, really. You can read it yourself for free and find out. In some ways, it’s almost like the flipside to GREAT MAMBO CHICKEN, where you immerse yourself in that Nineties moment where common culture breaks up into a swirl of Everything Weird Happening All At Once. It was like the light of an explosion reaching your senses before the sound and the shockwave arrived.
Tomorrow I would have a different list.