DNA thriller by JD Lasica

In spring 2018 JD will release his first novel, a high-tech thriller informed by his years in Silicon Valley.

I hope you’ll join our new Inside Self-Published Fiction community, which offers inside tips, special giveaways — and free ebooks. (You’ll also be the first to know when JD’s novel is available on Amazon — at 50% off.)

Book reviews by JD Lasica

Here are some of my book reviews — as well as Q&As with the authors. (Among the many hats I wore, I was books editor of the Sacramento Bee for a time.) And here are my Amazon book reviews.

Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups
By Jason Calacanis
July 2017

With Silicon Valley at the center of tech culture – and much of pop culture these days – you might be tempted to get in on the startup action. Not founding a startup but investing in one … or a dozen … or, as Jason Calacanis advises in his new book “Angel,” investing $1.5 million in 50 startups over a three-year span.
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4th Transformation
The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence Change Everything
By Robert Scoble & Shel Israel
Dec. 2016

At the Launch Scale conference in San Francisco on Nov. 14, 2016, technologist-futurist Robert Scoble held forth for 20 minutes wearing a mixed reality headset, allowing him to interact with the attendees (startup founders, angels …
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Dot Complicated
By Randi Zuckerberg
Nov. 2013

Cool your online jets, kids. You too, mom and pop. Step away from the habit of 24/7 smartphone gratification. Friend only real friends. Treat others with respect. And don’t try to carve out an Internet persona different from your real-world self.
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Nonfiction books by JD Lasica


Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release date: May 2, 2005

Synopsis: A look at emerging media, participatory culture and the clashes between major entertainment companies and the digital generation.

  • Named “one of the best business books of 2005,” with accolades from Lawrence Lessig, James Fallows, Steven Levy, Kara Swisher, Glenn Reynolds, Dan Gillmor, Doc Searls and others.
  • See the book on Amazon; order the Kindle edition
  • See the book on Better World Books
  • Excerpt from book
  • Darknet has been published in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian and Russian.

Praise for ‘Darknet’

“Darknet is both fascinating and important. J.D. Lasica provides a detailed inside view of a culture many Americans are barely aware of, and vividly describes struggles that are already shaping the long-term balance of economic, creative, and ideological power around the world.”
— James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly

“There are few who see the future clearly, and even fewer who can explain what they see. This brilliant, beautifully written book sees, and explains. We will never understand how different it will be till we live it. But this will get you close.”
— Lawrence Lessig, author of “Free Culture”

“JD Lasica is the most talented technology writer working today. Nobody is better at explaining how things work and why things matter. Darknet is a great contribution to our understanding of the terrifying and wonderful opportunities that digitization, networking, and techno-cultural democracy offer us.”
— Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of “The Anarchist in the Library” and “The Googlization of Everything”

“J.D. Lasica skillfully tells the story of the critical battle between free speech and copyright in the age of the Internet. If an intellectual property lockdown ever comes about, Darknet will remind us of the creative bounty we’re missing.”
— Steven Levy, author of “Crypto,” “In the Plex” and “Hackers”

“Over the next several years, there will be no more important issue for the future of the Internet and, indeed, all media than the battle that will be fought between corporate giants and consumers over who will control the information future. J.D. Lasica’s new book, Darknet, is an indispensable primer and guide to the copyright wars for those who want to protect their digital rights from the dark forces of big media that seek to take them away. So, rip, mix, and burn, and most of all, read his book if you want information to be as free as it should be.”
— Kara Swisher, author of “There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere” and “AOL.com”

“Lasica pulls no punches in this compelling report from the front, as he introduces us to the technology, politics, and people who are right now deciding the future of entertainment and ideas. A terrific read.”
— David Weinberger, author of “Small Pieces Loosely Joined” and co-author of “The Cluetrain Manifesto”

“The people who most need to read JD Lasica's thoughtful and provocative new book are, unfortunately, the least likely to do so. They are the members of Congress, entertainment executives and intellectual property zealots who want to control digital information rather than allow marvelous new technologies to democratize it. The rest of us — voters and average people — should read it for them, and then demand that our rights and needs get at least equal weight in this vital debate.”
— Dan Gillmor, author of “We the Media”

From the publisher (John Wiley & Sons)

The first general interest book by a blogger edited collaboratively by his readers, Darknet reveals how Hollywood's fear of digital piracy is leading to escalating clashes between copyright holders and their customers, who love their TiVo digital video recorders, iPod music players, digital televisions, computers, and other cutting-edge devices. Drawing on unprecedented access to entertainment insiders, technology innovators, and digital provocateurs-including some who play on both sides of the war between digital pirates and entertainment conglomerates-the book shows how entertainment companies are threatening the fundamental freedoms of the digital age.


“An absorbing book … highly recommended.”
— Library Journal, May 1, 2005

“Lasica provides a cogent analysis of the broad problems with America’s outdated legal framework for dealing with intellectual property rights and the need for the entertainment industry to adapt to new technologies.”
— Publishers Weekly, April 11, 2005

Aspen Institute thought-leadership books

The Mobile Generation: Global Transformations at the Cellular Level

Publisher: Aspen Institute
Pages: 72
Release date: February 2007

Synopsis: A panoply of big thinkers at the 15th annual Aspen Institute Roundtable on Information Technology took part in a roundtable about the Mobile Generation, examining the profound changes ahead as a result of the convergence of wireless technologies and the Internet, with an emphasis on how youths use mobile technology.

Civic Engagement on the Move book jacket

Civic Engagement on the Move: How mobile media can serve the public good

Publisher: Aspen Institute
Pages: 110 pages
Release date: July 2008

Synopsis: The Aspen Institute Roundtable on Mobile Media and Civic Engagement convened 29 thought leaders from business, academia and the nonprofit world to tackle a number of questions: How does increased mobility impact our willingness to engage people with different backgrounds than our own? What is it about mobile that sets it apart from other media platforms? How are citizen journalists who use mobile devices reshaping the enterprise of journalism? How are mobile technologies being put to good use on the streets to advance social justice?


Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing book jacket

Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet’s impact on business, governance and social interaction

Publisher: Aspen Institute
Pages: 110 pages
Release date: May 2009

Synopsis: As information, software and identity move to the cloud, the roundtable explores the transformative possibilities of this new computing paradigm for culture, commerce and personal communication. The report considers potential consequences for privacy, governance and security, and it includes policy recommendations and advice for the new presidential administration. JD Lasica synthesizes the output of 28 leaders and experts from the information technology, financial, government, academic and public policy sectors.

Book chapters


J.D. contributed chapters to the following books:

Photo at top: Some of the thrillers (and related genres) I’ve been reading — not counting the titles on my Kindle