Simulacron 3
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Simulacron 3

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  171 ratings  ·  32 reviews
It is a jangling and disintegrating near-future, a world in which virtual reality has become the primary means of entertainment and the more significant part of life for most of the population. Here, Douglas Hall´s employer, Horace Siskin, the President of Reaction Inc., has created a synthetic world as a demonstration; a virtual l937 New Orleans in which Hall and his supe...more
Paperback, 186 pages
Published January 4th 1999 by J'ai lu (first published January 1st 1964)
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I found out about this novel after watching The Thirteenth Floor, one of my favorite sci-fi films from the 90s, but a film little known or given much fanfare (probably because it was out around the time of The Matrix). Based on the film The Thirteenth Floor, Simulacron 3 is very Matrix-like, a book that deals with the possibilities of dual realities.

Galouye’s novel is a rare gem of a science fiction in many ways. Innovative, creative, and profound, it is a novel that clearly was before its time...more
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1. Excellent book with an interesting premise of a world in which a simulation (like what now is called virtual reality) has been developed and the developers of the simulation discover in the process that their own world is a simulation run from a higher reality in the same way, thus they themselves are not any more real than the simulated people they invented. The 3 in Simulacron-3 might be regarded as a pun, in that in the main character world, it...more
I've always been fascinated with The Matrix films, because the philosophy or theory behind it is essentially strong and applicable, not in reality of course but in storytelling. The Cartesian possibility of an illusive existence is hardly original, but it gives rise to a fictional world that technology encourages, like Asimov's robot laws.

There was a second film that came out around the same time, called The Thirteenth Floor, with a similar concept. Recently, my friend Erik lent me the made-for...more
This is a book that deserves--nay, needs--a resurgence in popular culture. Although it was the inspiration for the movie "The Thirteenth Floor," the two share about as much similarity as "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and "Blade Runner." Though for those of you who have seen the film, I offer the additional caveat that knowing the ending and getting there are two very different things. Read it anyway.

What astounded me to jaw dropping proportions about this book is that, published in 1964,...more
Jeremy S.
Another stellar sci-fi work from the 1960's. This first got on my radar because it's the source material for Rainer Fassbinder's groundbreaking 1972 German tele-play "World on a Wire". Upon further investigation, it also inspired "The 13th Floor" and countless other well known works, including The Matrix.

After reading it, I can definitely see why it's so pioneering. It's a superb example of paranoia and characters lost in different worlds. We never know what or who is real and the mystery takes...more
Erik Graff
Feb 16, 2010 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Matrix fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
During the summers of childhood, while Mom and I were up at Grandmother's cottage in Michigan and Dad would come up for weekends and his annual all-American two-week vacation, we rarely got to town beyond trips to the IGA in Bridgman. A trip to the nearest metropolis, St. Joe/Benton Harbor, was a big deal, usually only happening when the car was having trouble. On those rare occasions Dad would always stop at Gillespie's Drugs which, in his opinion, had been serving the best chocolate milk shake...more
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Il est des romans qui, sans être proprement exceptionnels, vous parlent avec une force peu commune. Celui-ci en fait partie, par les thèmes abordés ainsi que la manière de les traiter. La thématique, tout d’abord, ne semble actuellement en rien innovante. Peut-être qu’à la sortie du roman, en 1964, alors que Dick n’avait pas, je crois, écrit ses romans les plus emblématiques (comme par exemple Le dieu venu du Centaure, Ubik ou d’autres), cette mise en abyme de la réalité était novatrice. Sans do...more
Sarah Sammis
A Preamble:

Simulacron-3 is one of about a hundred books I've had for as long as I've been a serious reader. When I got bitten by the reading bug back in 1987 I started to collect books by two criteria: they had to be affordable and they had to be hard to come by. Rather than spend my babysitting money on the then popular books, I tended to go for old books and ones I had never heard of.

As I was collecting the books, often paying a dime or quarter for each, I was also reading books for school and...more
This is a book chock full of some wonderful, mindbending ideas. Unfortunately it is also marred by fairly clunky writing, wooden characters and poor pacing. But it is well worth a read.

I come to this book after recently watching the '70's German miniseries based on it, "World on a Wire", by cult auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The film makes up for some of the book's shortcomings with interesting set design and camera work. But it also leaves out a few details that would have helped explain thi...more
Christian Heilmann
This is an absolute gem of a book. Science fiction without the "pew pew pew lasers!" but instead some interesting social criticism and philosophical pondering of what a computer simulated world would mean to people behaving in it and people in the "real world" interacting with it. Think "Brave new world" meets Neuromancer, written in a very fast pace that is easy to understand and feel empathy with the angst of the main character. A man in power who sees a lot of his world changing and collapsin...more
Randi Rezendes
This book is the basis for the 1999 film The Thirteenth Floor. It deals with the nature of reality, technology, and virtual reality. Written in 1964, this book was ahead of the cyberpunk movement that started (or is thought to have started) with Gibson's Neuromancer.

While it is not a long novel (169 pages), it takes a while to read. The world of the novel is different from our own physically and ideologically, so I found myself reading very slowly so that I wouldn't miss anything. The ideologic...more
Tim Williams
I wish I had read this book LONG ago. It doesn't come off as dated and it was way ahead of its time, but now so many things in it have been copied by other authors that I knew just about everything that was going to happen long before it did. In fact the big reveal late in the book and the final ending are both very predictable now because this story ripped off both piecemeal and in bulk too many times to count. I find that kind of irritating. Still, this book is not the one at fault and the aut...more
The source text for World of Wires, a West German 2-part TV series by R.W. Fassbinder, and the US film The Thirteenth Floor. From what I can gather, the book is pretty much the original The Matrix with philosophy and word games substituted for pleather covered ass-kicking.

Simulacron 3 is an e-book featured on the Kindle, and physical copies are quite expensive because the English translation is long out of print. I'd love to read a copy if I get the chance. This book is the sole reason I think...more
Eric Scoles
Warning: Plot summary given above has almost nothing to do with this book. Look at Wikipedia, B&N or Amazon for a more accurate plot teaser.

Book is a bit dated in its writing style and technological prognostication, but it deals with the key epistemological issues of simulation really well. Also worth looking at Rainer Werner Fassbinder's adaptation for German TV (now available on DVD), World on Wire (sometimes World on a Wire or Welt am Drat).
¡Cogito ergo sum!
Michael Sobczak
A good read. Of course, given that the book basis its alternate reality on computers powered with vacuum tubes, the book sounds very anachronistic today. The possibility of a simulated reality being as real as our own is much more relevant. It uses many common sci-fiction tropes, but doesn't overdo them. I liked the story more when it was a whodunit rather than a "race against time". The characters were well written.
like Philip K Dick, if you retain some ideas about malleability, simulation, uncertainty etc. with given reality, if you write it pulp, if you take out loopy comic plot or characters, if you focus on ideas, if you have never read better PKD books. have read about 22 of his books, some number of short stories. there is a reason you might have heard of PKD, but not this book...
Just watched (for the second time) the movie, "The Thirteenth Floor," which was based on this novella. The concepts explored in this story have always fascinated me, a bit like a "Matrix" plot. So found this novella, and read through it quickly. Unfortunately, the film did a better job with the source material than the original author.
L'intrigue me paraît aujourd'hui classique : la simulation d'une communauté de population et ses répercussions métaphysiques. Mais le savoir écrit en 1965 est assez hallucinant. Celà dit, le livre est très agréable à lire et se déroule parfaitement tout en explorant les problèmes philosophiques multiples de l'expérimentation.
Chris Gager
I just remembered this with the help of a New Yorker article which makes reference to the two-part Rainer Werner Fassbinder TV-movie from 1973. When I read it is a guess. Probably in the Navy. Pretty interesting Sci-Fi about using computer-simulated societies to extract polling data. 3.5 stars...
the first half was pretty damn good, then the author started to pull shit out his ass. Awesomely cool concept, but way too predictable. there was just so much shit that came out of ass, and I'm pretty sure the translation made the main character a creepy melon fucking troll
David Coss
A great precursor to the Cyberpunk genre. A fantastic story about virtual reality and the nature of reality. Any fan of Philip K. Dick or William Gibson will appreciate it. Also, the movie "The Thirteenth Floor" is based on this book.
What is reality? Are we all inside a virtual world? Just how many levels are there? Interesting, thought provoking and a good read.

I find it hard to understand why this book is out of print.
Short but enjoyable - though I probably would have liked it better had the back cover not given away the entire twist in the plot. Still, remarkably modern(ish) sci-fi for 1964.
This book is only second to the Dune Series. Galouye presents what is considered to be the first science fiction story with the concept of virtual realities. One of the best.
I think I liked the movie better. But I still enjoyed the book. It explained a lot of things and had a better reason for the simulator's existence than the movie did. :)
Dieses Buch ist die "richtige" Vorlage zu Matrix und dem Cyberspace. Ein leider vergessener Klassiker aus den 70ern, der sogar (von Rainer Erler) verfilmt wurde.
Fuzzy John
This is the book that inspired the very good movie "The Thirteenth Floor". I read this back in the '60's and was extremely impressed. A must-read, if you can find it.
A brilliant book, later filmed as a much poorer movie called Floor 13 I think. Also, I believe, an influence on the Matrix movies.
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Daniel Francis Galouye (11 February 1920, New Orleans, Louisiana – 7 September 1976, New Orleans, Louisiana) was an American science fiction writer. During the 1950s and 1960s, he contributed novelettes and short stories to various digest size science fiction magazines, sometimes writing under the pseudonym Louis G. Daniels.

After Galoyue (pronounced Gah-lou-ey) graduated from Louisiana State Unive...more
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“Doomsday, when it came, wouldn't be a physical phenomenon; it would be an
all-inclusive erasure of simulectronic circuits.”
“How do we know that even the realest of realities
wouldn't be subjective, in the final analysis? Nobody can prove his existence, can he?”
More quotes…