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Books similar to Ready Player One

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Kevin H I've enjoyed this book so much that I would like to read more like it - though I have a feeling its uniqueness will be hard to match.

Any ideas?

Thanks!


message 2: by Vince (last edited Mar 09, 2012 12:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vince Ready Player One is at its core a classic quest story set in both a dystopian future and a virtual world. The story deals with coming-of-age issues surrounding finding one's place in society, secondary-school education, sexuality, and meaning-of-life/purpose. The central role of 80's pop-culture is another key element.

So to summarize, you might be looking for stories that (are):
1) Quest stories
2) Set in both a dystopian future and virtual world (possible emphasis on the virtual world resembling current MMO/RPG games)
3) Deal with coming-of-age issues
4) Make heavy reference to 80's pop-culture
5) Make heavy reference to MMO/online gamer culture

To meet the first two criteria, you might consider Tad Williams' Otherland or William Gibson's Neuromancer.

To meet the first three, you might be looking at Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.

To meet criteria 1, 2, and 5 you might consider Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief. Though the virtual world there is a shared memory, and the book's main reference to MMOs is through a culture derived from an MMO guild/clan. To be clear, the central characters do not engage in combat behaviours stylized like an MMO.

It's a start anyway - both in terms of recommendations and in terms of a framework to guide answers to your question.


message 3: by Brian (last edited Mar 09, 2012 12:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brian Whitby Kevin,

I agree with the Awesomeness that is 'Ready Player One'. There is probably not too many books that would be very much like it.

One that may be somewhat similar is Daemon by Daniel Suarez.

It too involves a computer genius that dies and leaves behind an agenda. 'Daemon' though is rather a darker and more sinister story, and definitely more adult. (I wouldn't let me young children read it whereas I've encouraged the reading of 'Ready Player One').

But if you're up to a good adventure with computer hackers...this was a good read.

Hope this helped, Kevin.


Kevin H Thanks Vince.

I attempted The Quantum Thief, but couldn't get into it, I think because it was so fragmented. I have read a few Neal Stephenson, but not The Diamond Age, so will keep an eye out for it.


Kevin H Thanks Brian, I will add Daemon to my amazon wish list, it sounds good.


Vince @ Kevin, I agree. The Quantum Thief was rather hard to get into...the author's universe involved a lot of jargon and relatively unfamiliar concepts. In a fashion that`s the hallmark of SF (and usually enjoyable) he dumps you in head-first. But this story produced more immersion-shock than most. Worth the effort? Not sure...he played with some interesting ideas. I probably should settle my thoughts and write a review.

@ Brian - thanks for the pointer to Daemon, I checked out a copy and just finished it last night. Definitely a page-burner! I reviewed it here on Goodreads, ...feel free to check it out :)


Micke Lundkvist Cory Doctorow - For the Win
Reading it now.


message 8: by Stewart (last edited Mar 20, 2012 09:21AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stewart I was going to say Cory Doctorow - Little Brother



I still haven't read For the win but have it lined up on my kindle. it just got bumped up the list.


Micke Lundkvist Read For the Win now, really liked it.
Ready Player One is further in to the future, more concentrated on the "in game stuff".
For the Win's story concentrates on the gold miners and the economics.
But a real good read.


Richard I happened to read READY PLAYER ONE and Neal Stephenson's latest book REAMDE right after it. I was struck by how similar in theme the two books are, and how in-game actions and real world meshed into both stories. REAMDE is more about the real world, but what is happening in the game world is triggering the real world action in a clever way.


message 11: by Ric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric Thanks for the suggestions, posters. I'll try For The Win and maybe get back to Reamde. Daemon was pretty good, as well as its sequel, Freedom (TM). Plus Snow Crash. Any others?


Christian Ready Player One is a rather peculiar novel. It is set in a dystopian future but it is not really about the future but a nostalgia for the past in general and an homage to 80's video games in particular. In order to get the Big Prize, the protagonist has to complete his own video game quest, earning points along the way. As the previous comments have already shown, this is a tricky combination. Another book with the questing/overcoming great odds could be Hunger Games or Little Brother. But the nostalgia aspect? Not so sure. I'll have to give that part a good think.


Richard Radgoski Some qausi similiar books might include

Dennis McKiernan's book - Caverns of Socrates...it's about a computer game that a team has to enter similiar to an MMO.

You might also try the Dream Park Series by Niven & Pournelle - its about a park (ala Disney) that caters to taking the place of your character (ala an MMO) while the GM runs a scenario around you. They use holographic and other actors for the 'threats'. This is closer to a mix of reenactment than MMO but very close.


Stewart Another book I've been thinking of re-reading since finishing Ready Player One is the Terry Pratchett book Only You Can Save Mankind

Not quite the same but a good read for that 80s child in you.


Kevin H Thanks everyone for all the suggestions.

Another book that is similar in that a lot of the plot occurs online is 'The Holy Machine', which I found as fast paced and readable as Ready Player One.


Laika The Scott Pilgrim series, especially when Wade has to fight the Lich king in a battle of joust. That was so cool.


message 17: by Mary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary Another relatively new cyberpunk novel out is Lauren Beukes' Moxyland. I enjoyed it even more than Ready Player One which I thought was good but a bit predictable. And, you can't go wrong by reading some of the "classics" like Neuromancerand Snow Crash. There is a reason they are considered classics.


Joshua I am looking through some of these recommendations (since none of them appear in my list) and I will try to remember to add them to my "to read" list as they all sound interesting.


Holly for the nostalgia aspect - I've just been recommended One Con Glory by Sarah Kuhn...


message 20: by Zora (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zora it's hard to find something close. My library's catalog automatically gives "read alike" suggestions and suggests Doctorow, The Blue Adept (Anthony), Conqueror (S. Baxter), and Tad Williams as an author. It won an Alex Award, which is given w/o regard to genre, and I've found they almost always suggest really good books w/ that award. Another s-f winner this year was Robopocalypse, which you might like.


message 21: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Howard i think one of the great things about Ready Player One is that there's nothing quite like it. but i would check out Snow Crash and Neuromancer ASAP, as Mary suggested above!


P. Aaron Potter In addition to Snow Crash, and The Diamond Age you should check out Stephenson's later Reamde, which also features a virtual gameworld which interfaces with the real. Not as readable as his first two, however.

The classics of the gaming/reality genre are Dream Park by Larry Niven and friend, and its sequels The Barsoom Project and California Voodoo Game.

If you're a completist, c.f. my own much more modest effort : Massively Multiplayer.


Andrew The Tad Williams series of Otherland books is the closest MMO-type novels around.


message 24: by Tom (new)

Tom I found the Choose-o-Matic books like "thrusts of justice" to have the same kind of cheeky fanboy humor as Ready Player One.


message 25: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Thanks so much for starting this thread. I'm adding all of these amazing sounding books to my to-read shelf right now!


message 26: by Mary (last edited May 21, 2012 08:37AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary I am in the middle of reading Charles Stross' Halting State which has turned out to be surprisingly pretty good cyberpunk. It takes place in slightly future, former Great Britain (now split up into England, Scotland, etc.)and involves the investigation into a theft that has occurred in a popular mmorpg and a good bit of the story takes place in-game. Told from the viewpoint of a cop, an insurance investigator and a gamer brought in as a consultant. Rule 34is a sequel to this that I will definitely check out as well.


message 28: by Tom (new)

Tom I thought City and Stars (50s novel) by Arthur C Clarke had a very similar adventurous feel to Ready Player One, it is also about a young man on a quest to places using clues left by a dead genius and features virtual reality games, I am sure cline must have taken inspiration from it.


message 29: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben Hi, I don't have any suggestions but I'd like to add that ready player one got me back in to reading again. Now, the only problem I've been finding is that I seem to only like books that are written in the first person POV.

Stuff like the hunger games, sherlock Holmes, dirk Pitt etc

Does any one have any suggestions of books that are in the first person POV?

Cheers

P.s. Ready player one rules!!!!!


message 30: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Harmon Ben wrote: "Hi, I don't have any suggestions but I'd like to add that ready player one got me back in to reading again. Now, the only problem I've been finding is that I seem to only like books that are writte..."

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy) by Robin Hobb.
Im reading it now and really liking it. Its fantasy and not sci-fi but considering how much I love Ready Player One and and liking this a lot you might concur.


Chris The Farseer Trilogy is outstanding. Great recommendation.


message 32: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim Moore Ben wrote: "Hi, I don't have any suggestions but I'd like to add that ready player one got me back in to reading again. Now, the only problem I've been finding is that I seem to only like books that are writte..."

Way off point here...but Dharma Bums by Kerouac.


message 33: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim Moore I was just thinking that Breakfast of Champions: A Novel might be a good recommendation after Ready Player One. Not even close, but it is quirky, and reality bending.


Michael Leadingham Hi just finished Insignia it's a lot like Ready Player One. It has a little Enders Game, A little Harry Potter, and a whole lot of can't put it down. Great read.


Craig If you liked this book, I think you'll love Ender's Game.


Russell I scanned through the above and didnt see anyone mention it, but after reading RPO, it reminded me alot of 'The Equations Of Life' - The Metrozone Trilogy. This is an awesome sci-fi trilogy, check out the first one and im sure you will want to ready the others.


message 37: by Kevin (new) - added it

Kevin this book has moved up to my "next to read " book. but I can't stop thinking how close this book is to Tad Williams' "Otherland ". which only makes me want to read this book that much more.


Matthew L. Paul wrote: "Ben wrote: "Hi, I don't have any suggestions but I'd like to add that ready player one got me back in to reading again. Now, the only problem I've been finding is that I seem to only like books tha..."

Agreed, and then some. Robin Hobb is a genius. One of the finest trilogies I've ever read.


Agrimorfee Len wrote:
Snow Crash


I came to rec this. It was the first novel I read that had a lot of the action taking place within a Vr world...Ready Player One owes a huge debt to it.


Agrimorfee Ben wrote: "Hi, I don't have any suggestions but I'd like to add that ready player one got me back in to reading again. Now, the only problem I've been finding is that I seem to only like books that are writte..."
Have you delved into Stephen King? Bag Of Bones and 11/22/63 are two very good 1st Person POV novels of his, along with many short stories and novellas (especially the Different Seasons set, but avoid Apt Pupil, it is a crappy story). Join the Stephen King discussion group on GR; we are quite friendly.


message 41: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike I agree. Best book of the year for me. Incredible journey I didn't want to end.


message 42: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Howard LOVE the Dharma Bums! just might change your life, even... Tim wrote: "Ben wrote: "Hi, I don't have any suggestions but I'd like to add that ready player one got me back in to reading again. Now, the only problem I've been finding is that I seem to only like books tha..."


message 43: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Howard i also enjoyed Insignia - a good shout out for peeps who liked Ready Player One.... and just re-read Snow Crash.... gets better each time, for me. cannot wait for Ernie Cline's next book, tho... RPO was so fresh!


Chris I just finished "Heroes Die" by Matthew Stover and definitely think fans of Ready, Player One would also enjoy Heroes Die.

It is brutal though.


Susan The Amber Series by Roger Zelazny comes to my mind, because there is the hero who has hidden talents and can travel to and live within many different worlds/realities. Nine Princes in Amber is the first book. And Ender's Game is a must for any science fiction fan.


Sarah Vince wrote: "Ready Player One is at its core a classic quest story set in both a dystopian future and a virtual world. The story deals with coming-of-age issues surrounding finding one's place in society, secon..."

Or: Snow Crash is good.


message 47: by Joe (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joe Waddington I read a book a quite a few years ago by Dennis L McKiernan (author of the Iron Tower fantasy series) which is somewhat similar to Ready Player One. Its called Caverns of Socrates - A group of seasoned RPG players are asked to playtest a new virtual RPG world, an they get trapped in the universe, and must complete the quest to escape. Its worth a read...


Steve Thomas Demons Don't Dream dealt with kids getting sucked into a video game version of Xanth.


Terri-Lynne Smiles "Multiplayer" by John C. Brewer is a lot like "Ready Player One." Both books deal with blending the real and the virtual and both do a very good job of it. Where they differ is that RPO is more fantasy being set in the future in a somewhat over-the-top fantasyverse - but still a fun read. "Multiplayer" is more in the suspense column as it is set in the present day and feels like it could actually happen.


Chris I had read Metagame by Sam Landstrom before RPO, and had enjoyed that as well. The similarity is that Metagame's world is where video games have been overlayed reality. It gives experience points for just about everything, and this is tied to their dystopic social hierarchy. And it has plenty of sword and gun adventuring, a quest like structure, holographic gear, etc. This is well within the micro genre, and is highly suggested.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Ready Player One (other topics)
Daemon (other topics)
Little Brother (other topics)
Freedom™ (other topics)
Reamde (other topics)
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Douglas Coupland (other topics)
John Coyne (other topics)
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