Ready Player One has gone from strength to strength, first as a smash hit science fiction novel by Ernest Cline, and now as a blockbuster adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg. The books found here have been chosen for their ability to appeal to fans of Ready Player One. You can check out any two of the books on this list, for no cost at all, thanks to Audible's one month free trial.
By Jason Rekulak
The Impossible Fortress is absolutely packed with 80s cultural references and nostalgia. The book’s main character, Billy Marvin, is computer obsessed. However, in the course of an elaborate prank with his friends, Billy ends up crossing paths with a girl who loves computers just as much as he does. Fans of the 80s nostalgia and computer based romance of Ready Player One will find much to enjoy here.
By Neal Stephenson
While Ready Player One has the virtual reality OASIS world, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash takes place in the epic online Metaverse. The story’s main character is a pizza deliveryman by day but powerful VR hero by night. Snow Crash’s plot focuses on
By Lauren Beukes
By Blake Crouch
Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter is a thought-provoking sci fi tale which leaves readers questioning the very nature of reality and identity. The book’s main character is Jason, a man plunged into an unfamiliar world where his loved ones aren’t around and he seems to be someone entirely different. The book forces the reader to question absolutely everything they read until a shocking twist eventually paints a dramatic picture of the truth.
By G. Willow Wilson
G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen showcases a middle Eastern world of paranoia, hacking, and mysterious spiritual beings. Alif, the book’s protagonist, is a hacker forced underground by a romantic betrayal with violent political consequences. Alif the Unseen is a unique combination of tech thriller, spiritual sci fi, and dark fantasy.
By Ernest Cline
Fans of Ready Player One should scramble to read Armada, also by author Ernest Cline. The book tells the tale of dedicated gamer Zack, a disaffected young man who wishes his life was as exciting as the games he loves. When Zack crosses paths with a UFO, he soon realizes his gaming skills will be required for a far greater purpose. Readers who enjoyed the nerd and pop culture smorgasbord found in Ready Player One won’t be disappointed here, as Clyne serves up plenty of nostalgia and references.
By Pat Cadigan
By Diane Duane
By Cory Doctorow
For the Win by Cory Doctorow delves deep into the economic impact of virtual reality online gaming. Online VR games are big business. This naturally results in poorer gamers being exploited by the wealthy for immoral reasons. Eventually, realizing the skill they have
By James Dashner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner presents a mysterious story where groups of young people are forced to escape a complex maze. Dashner’s story draws upon elements of The Hunger Games, Ready Player One, and Battle Royale. Maze Runner is the perfect introduction to a dystopian world of trial and challenge where making it out alive is the only real game in town.
By Holly Jennings
Holly Jennings begins her Arena series with an introduction to her world of massively popular televised gaming tournaments. The book’s protagonist is Kali Ling, the biggest and best
By Marie Lu
Marie Lu presents a tale of hacking and illegality based around an epic game known as Warcross. Emika Chen is the main character, a hacker who is thrust into surprising and powerful circumstances. Warcross has been praised for its convincing and immersive portrayal of a sophisticated online world.
By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The Illuminae Files series is set in a distant future. Planetary invasion and terrifyingly powerful AI are completely normal in this world. Authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff portray the darkside of technology and the consequences when the systems we give control of our lives to stop functioning as intended.
By Leopoldo Gout
Genius: The Game brings together a young band of tech geniuses in much the same way that Ready Player One united a team of skilled and obsessive gamers. The elite players invited to play The Game are competing not only for the glory of winning the toughest tech challenge out there, but also to overcome the challenges they face in their everyday offline lives.
By Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game is the first installment of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Saga series. The book is set in a world where people believe they are playing games but are actually engaging in the early stages of a struggle against a very powerful enemy. Ender’s Game features epic scenes of battle packed with an incredible twist ending.
By Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
Otherworld is the first installment in the series of the same name by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller. The book is set in a complex virtual online world which has drawn comparisons to Ready Player One. Otherworld is a darker take on the virtual reality sci fi genre which convincingly portrays the darkness of both the online and offline worlds. This is the perfect starting point for readers looking to get immersed in a sci fi series as gripping as the game it’s based on.
By S.J. Kincaid
Insignia’s main character is a talented but young and nerdy virtual reality gamer, Tom Raines. When Tom is called upon to play his part during World War 3, he soon finds his gaming skills will serve him well. Fans of Wade Watts from Ready Player One will find a lot to like as they follow the adventures of Tom Raines throughout the Insignia series.
By Ramsey Isler
Arcadia is a groundbreaking online VR world which is able to make use of direct brain scans to improve the experience for players. However, this incredible environment is soon disrupted by hackers seeking to boost their own bank accounts. Arcadia’s main character is a journalistic investigator named Miguel who begins to unravel a shocking mystery at the heart of Arcadia.
By William Gibson
By Andy Weir
The Martian and Ready Player One are linked by one key theme - the main character’s desire to overcome seemingly insurmountable struggles to achieve their aim. Just as Wade entered the world of the OASIS and risked it all, the first man to walk on Mars faces the same struggle for survival here. The Martian is a modern sci fi classic and very deserving of its acclaimed film adaptation.
By Vivian Vande Velde
Vivian Vande Velde’s Heir Apparent takes place in an epic online world. The virtual reality game found here is an exciting one full of myth, magic, and danger. Heir Apparent skillfully weaves together elements of virtual reality science fiction, and young adult fantasy, to present an imaginative take on the LitRPG genre.
By Madeleine L'Engle
The Wrinkle in Time features a young protagonist going on a surprising quest to protect the things and people they love the most. While Ready Player One makes use of the OASIS as the setting for its adventure, A Wrinkle in Time chooses the fifth dimension as its backdrop. The Time Quintet series starts strongly here with an intriguing and touching first installment.
By Pierce Brown
By Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 is a classic work of dystopian science fiction from master author Ray Bradbury. Named after the temperature at which books burn, Bradbury’s tale is a chilling insight into how rapidly society can change, and how futile things can get for the people living there. Despite its earlier publication date, many readers will notice fascinating. Dystopian parallels with the world we
By Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert begins the
How Were These Books Like Ready Player One Chosen?
The books on this list have been selected purely on the fact they share something in common with Ready Player One, whether that’s the virtual reality setting, story of a young underdog rebel, or simply a love of nostalgia and references to past culture. If you list all the reasons you love Ready Player One, you’re sure to see at least one of your reasons in each and every book found here.
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