I've seen a lot of friends out there looking for recommended books to read, and today this one just happened to pop into my head: Daemon by Daniel Suarez.
While this book is not about games or gaming or Gen Con, it heavily uses elements of MMORPG gaming in the plot. If you're a hacker, computer geek, futurist, or electronic gamer I highly recommend picking this up. The short synopsis: When a genius game designer dies, the appearance of his obituary in an online publication triggers a program (daemon for those technically minded) that begins to take actions that change the face of humanity. I don't want to give away any more than that.
The really cool thing about this book is that the author really knows his stuff, and doesn't black-box his computing. The hacking and programing techniques he employs are very real today...they just haven't been used in this way yet. When his hackers hack a system, he describes how it occurs using valid, real methods. When computers interact with the physical world, the systems they use are described (and they exist today).
Towards the end of the book, things do go a little off the deep end, and it starts to get a bit more improbable, but I think that can be forgiven considering how plausible his initial scenarios are.
Anyway, the book is available at major online retailers in hardback, paperback, e-book, and audiobook formats. The links below are not affiliate links...I'm sharing, not making money.
Amazon.com (for Kindle)
B&N.com (for nook)