Technomancy Reading List

This is a (long) list of books I recommend re. technomancy, cybermagic, etc. It is not a comprehensive list but it does include nearly everything I have found that is explicitly intersects magic and computers. I tried to exclude books that are concerned with particular machines (e.g., Arduino) or programming languages, but there are a few that are so good I included them. I have also excluded most books about cybernetics (I have a few of those), and books pertaining to robots and artificial life and intelligence, as I will be mentioning those in the Robomancy project when I publish it.

The list is divided into the following categories. Many books could fit into more than one category but I did not list any title more than once (except that all titles on the TL;DR list are also mentioned below that).


Here is a short list for people who already know how to do occulty stuff and just want to explore doing it with computers and computational media.

Magic & Ritual

In order to do technomancy you need some skill in the -mancy part, i.e., experience with the occult arts. A really good list of magic books would needs its own page, but here are a few I generally recommend to anyone starting down the Path.

General Computing

You need not be a computer scientist in order to be a technomancer (I cannot stress this enough), any more than you need to be a materials scientist in order to be a painter, but just as the craftsperson benefits from knowledge of the media she crafts in, understanding how computers work is certainly helpful.

New Media Arts

Technomancy as I do it is essentially an intersection of occult arts and new media arts. Here are some of my favorite books about cyberculture and digital and interactive art, media, and performance.

New media technology is rapidly evolving and technomancers of all levels of experience would do well to keep current with what new media artists are doing at present. Here are a few re/sources of such news:

Cyberspace & Virtual Reality

In some ways, virtual reality has improved much over the last ~20 years, and in other ways today’s VR still closely resembles that of two decades ago. While some of the specific technologies mentioned in some of these texts are now outdated, many of the ideas therein remain relevant (and revelatory) today.

Video Games

In the 1980s, many people learned how to program their home computers by making video games because video games are a great way to learn programming via how to do interesting things with computational media (there were so many books and magazines about this, and you can find many of them online today, e.g., at the Internet Archive; you can also easily find contemporary books that introduce programming in today’s popular languages this way). Extend that to the many connections that can be made between games and ritual, and… well, here are some books…

Storytelling & Narrative

Relationships between myth, ritual, and magic are very old and still studied, debated, and created today. Some people believe myth informs ritual and ritual performs myth. The specific details of magical acts are often related to cosmologies in which such acts are meaningful and plausibly efficacious. While ritual magic is never performed merely to tell a story, often there is a narrative component to the ritual that helps to “make sense” of it (cf., user stories in HCI design), that constructs a network of sign(al)s between the “target” domain the magic is intended to have an effect on, and a story about a person or event or theme having or expressing the power or ability to cause such an effect. Thus, a ritual narrative might inform one or more personalities for the participants to invoke, key inter/actions to be performed, thematic elements, the ritual’s feel, mood, or æsthetic, etc. Such narratives can be habitual or ad hoc, and they may come from tradition or pop culture, or be something completely new.

Here are some books about narratives and computers and cyberspace.

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