Engines of Creation by K Eric Drexler
Written back in the 80s, this is the first big compendium of nano-tech applications with a mind towards popularizing them. A long time has passed, and Drexler has updated everything into a new free ebook Engines of Creation 2.0.
Consider "delicate" surgery from a cell's perspective: a huge blade sweeps down, chopping blindly past and through the molecular machinery of a crowd of cells, slaughtering thousands. Later, a great obelisk plunges through the divided crowd, dragging a cable as wide as a freight train behind it to rope the crowd together again.