Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Simulacron 3” as Want to Read:
Simulacron 3
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Simulacron 3

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  263 ratings  ·  47 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 Halls 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 super ...more
Paperback, 186 pages
Published January 4th 1999 by J'ai lu (first published January 1st 1964)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Simulacron 3, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Simulacron 3

Snow Crash by Neal StephensonNeuromancer by William GibsonFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBurning Chrome by William Gibson1984 by George Orwell
Cyberpunk Reading List
80th out of 117 books — 66 voters
Before Time by Xunaira J.Ready Player One by Ernest ClineSnow Crash by Neal StephensonUbik by Philip K. DickNeuromancer by William Gibson
Best Fiction About Virtual Worlds
20th out of 45 books — 48 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 820)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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,
Review material offline for more work.


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
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
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
Review to follow
Liebes Buch
Zur deutschen Ausgabe von Scipio:
"Simulacron-3" ist das Original-Buch zu "The 13th Floor", "Matrix" und "Welt am Draht". Daniel Galouye veröffentlichte diese Geschichte schon 1964, und sie hat bis heute einen grossen Einfluss.
Douglas Hall entwickelt mit seinem Kollegen Fuller eine virtuelle Welt, mit der man Entwicklungen und Meinungen erforschen will. Die Informationen können für Politik und Konzerne von grossem Nutzen sein. Darum macht sich der Wissenschaftler auch Sorgen über möglichen Missbr
Matt Evans
I came to this book because it was recommend for "fans of The Matrix," of which I am one. I listened to the audiobook twice in quick succession, so enthralled was I with the world Galouye created. (I docked one star from what you may think should have been a five-star thrall for the reason that Galouye's characters are slightly cardboard-y and straight from central casting.) Basically, Galouye's story can be summed up thusly: If you create a simulated world peopled with simulated people who thin ...more
Sean O'Hara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Schomburg
The productive use of computers as the simulators of complex strategic scenarios was part of what fueled their technological development to begin with. Here, simulations are catered to evaluating public opinion in a fantastic future world not too distant from Asimov's conceptions of near future society (within several centuries). Very capable electronics bestow extra-reality to the simulations, and this is the world of the novel. The technology ranks near Farmer's Riverworld in a garage, but aid ...more
This book is everything that was great about 50s/60s science fiction rolled into one solid, engaging story. A must read.
I read this book after watching Fassbinder’s wonderful film “World on a Wire.” While the book lacks the weird and weighted tone of the film, it carries a charm of it’s own in it’s workman-like writing style(with a sprinkle of pulp!), fast pace and interesting concepts(even today!) Sure, it has its flaws, such as over-explaining everything or illogical events for the sake of plot, but it’s a fun read. Sometimes, you just need a fun read.

One last note - don’t bother to watch the movie The Thirtee
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Rita Varian
Daniel F. Galouye is the author, Resnick did the introduction. Characters were a bit thin, but the suspense and mindbending speculation works. It was really exciting to see some aspects of today's social media show up in this early take on virtual reality.
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
Alex Brown
A great book, I can't believe it's not more well known. It's influence on the Matrix and Inception were clearly very strong, but it seems to surpass them. Only a little dated now, despite being 50 years old.
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
Aug 20, 2014 LiberaMente marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Ho registrato un libro su!
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
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
La mas dickiniana de las novelas no escritas por Dick
Michael Brown
great book... amazing it was written in the 60's
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!
You thought Neuromancer was ahead of its time? Amazingly, this book was published in 1964. If you're a fan of PKD or any "what is the nature of reality" themed sci-fi, this book is a must read. Perhaps the story was even more vivid for me because I've seen Fassbinder's Welt am Draht (World on a Wire), which is essential viewing if this genre tickles your brain. The film Thirteenth Floor is also based in this novel, but I prefer Fassbinder to Hollywood.
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Third Level
  • The Alien Way
  • The Seedling Stars
  • Close to Critical (Mesklin, #2)
  • Inside Outside
  • Hestia
  • Quester's Endgame (Diadem, #9)
  • The Cool War
  • Sea Siege
  • The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe
  • A Jungle of Stars
  • The Stars In Their Courses
  • Brain Twister
  • Brightness Falls from the Air
  • The Earth Book of Stormgate
  • Dark Star
  • Dark Side of the Earth
  • The Whole Man
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 about Daniel F. Galouye...
Dark Universe Lords of the Psychon A Scourge of Screamers The Infinite Man Project Barrier

Share This Book

“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…