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Simulacron 3

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  459 Ratings  ·  68 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)
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Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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,
Sarah Sammis
Aug 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful science fiction. I kept wanting to go back to it, eager to see what was going to happen next. Reads quickly.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is everything that was great about 50s/60s science fiction rolled into one solid, engaging story. A must read.
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pubblicato nel 1964, ma potrebbe essere stato scritto domani.
L'antico dilemma da Platone a oggi: cos'è la realtà? Le ombre sono ombre, o sono esse stesse essenza? E noi, siamo in quanto "pesiamo" fisicamente o siamo perché "cogito ergo sum" e quindi ciò che conta è la nostra realtà cognitiva?
Detto così, sembra una palla. In realtà è una fantastica scoperta di un autore e di un testo di fantascienza che è stato recepito recentemente dalla cinematografia. Per inciso, non leggete il risvolto di co
Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Erik Graff
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Nov 01, 2016 added it
An excellent story that seems a bit odd at first [the type of work the main character is involved in], though it begins to make sense. The setting and time period of the novel are believable, yet seem like alternate hyper-version of our own. The novel was adapted into a film called "The Thirteenth Floor"; good, though very different from the novel. More of a noir-style, mystery, detective, thriller with a bit of romance. Still, an interesting watch [raises questions about the nature of reality, ...more
the gift
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...
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tv-film-comics
Review to follow
Anton Potapenko
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Субъективный идеализм в одеяниях киберпанка as is.
Многое уже сбылось: поисковые машины с большой вероятностью знают наперед, что вы будете искать в сети и какие результаты запросов вам нравятся. Т.е. Гугл/Яху/Яндекс/Фейсбук формируют реальность (в новостных лентах, рекламных объявлениях, "подсунутых" друзьях, фоточках котиков etc) которую вы реально хотите. Но всё это пока на уровне ваших первичных желаний и предпочтений. Куда интереснее будет, когда "Deus ex machina" сам начнет решать за вас чт
Jude Morrissey
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I decided to read this book because I love the movie loosely based on it (The Thirteenth Floor). The book was quite different, and, frankly, I liked the movie better (not something I often say), but I did enjoy the book, too. It's a good example of 1960s scifi. The sexism drove me up the wall, at times, and the book often seemed more interested in the science aspect than the fiction part. Recommended to those who like 1960s scifi; everyone else, just go watch the movie.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book. From the plot to the stilted, somewhat formal language of the era to the waxing philosophical near the end of the book. One of the few books I have read multiple times and it just keeps getting better.
Peter Wexler
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book!

A book ahead of its time, for sure. Nowadays, real physicists are very comfortable postulating that this universe, our universe, the Universe, is but a simulation. So, too, do I.
Vincent Konrad
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
reads a fair bit like dick. solid existential sci-fi
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Galouye is the kind of writer who has interesting concepts, but just doesn't have the chops to pull it off. Simulacron-3, notable for being the earliest presentation of a virtual world and the people who live in it thinking it is real, is his most well-known book, for those who actually remember him. However, if you are like me and slog through all five his published novels, you will quickly see there is a common theme in all his books: a man (always a man) realizes his world is not what ...more
Sean O'Hara
Mar 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mindfuck
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrizy Bento
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Daniel F. Galouye não figura na lista de autores aclamados do gênero ficção científica como Arthur C. Clarke ou Isaac Asimov. Nem mesmo teve sua obra reconhecida postumamente como Philip K. Dick. E, infelizmente, nem parece correr o risco de vir a ser redescoberto por uma nova safra de leitores aficionados por sci-fi. Talvez seja pelo fato de não possuir a mesma energia narrativa transformadora, o texto denso e complexo dos demais citados. Mas, ainda assim, vale a pena dar uma oportunidade e des ...more
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liebes Buch
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Patrick Scheele
Aug 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: box-1
This one was just a chore to read. I started reading because I liked the big idea behind it: a guy involved with creating a computer-simulation of reality discovers that his world is also a simulation. (Our hero doesn't discover this until halfway through, but the back cover gives it away).

There are a lot of things to dislike about this book. The two big ones for me were that the protagonist never showed much care for the self-aware beings in his own simulator, so I felt he didn't deserve (view
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
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good read. I recommend it. I own the Criterion release of the Rainer Fassbinder movie World on a Wire and It's quite close to he book and a groovy movie with chair spinning folks and all. The shared virtual skiing adventure is replaced by a visit to wild, sexy, decadent bar club. The idea is analogous. The sexy secretary is supposed to spy on our hero which means she must show him a good time but not necessarily sleep with him. So the story unfolds like a mystery. Unlike The Matrix, there ...more
Matt Evans
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire
A good book from 1964 that gets much of the future right, except for the flying cars. The story is much like The Matrix, minus (view spoiler). The language is a bit stiff at times, but overall this is an entertaining book -- though modern readers may be able to anticipate some of the plot developments.

* The protagonist uses a (view spoiler) as a point to enter/exit a simulated reality
* There's a character named C. No / Zeno (intead of Neo).
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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
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“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?”
“Doomsday, when it came, wouldn't be a physical phenomenon; it would be an
all-inclusive erasure of simulectronic circuits.”
More quotes…