71 books like AlterWorld

By D. Rus,

Here are 71 books that AlterWorld fans have personally recommended if you like AlterWorld. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ready Player One

Dave Buschi Author Of Reality Recoded

From my list on science fiction books with an everyman hero.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a house of books. Bookcases in almost every room. At an early age, I discovered some great ones that were usually recommended by my dad. The Odyssey. Tarzan of the Apes. Princess of Mars. It is a long, long list, and I won’t give you all my faves—but one thing about it: I was drawn to books with heroes, particularly when those heroes were clearly good. There are no shades of gray for me. I like my heroes to have honor and humility and to always strive to do the right thing.

Dave's book list on science fiction books with an everyman hero

Dave Buschi Why did Dave love this book?

I love stories where the hero is a normal guy that we can all identify with in some way or another and where there is an arc to the story that transforms that normal guy into something extraordinary. 

With just wits and creativity, our hero, Wade Watts, finds a way to survive against all odds. And no matter how bad things get, he never quits. He embodies the best of the human spirit—and by the end of the book, you’re cheering for him. Because he is you (or who you want to be), the "everyman" who stands up to injustice, unfairness, and those powers that are wrecking humanity (which in this case happens to be a trillion-dollar Mega Corporation).

By Ernest Cline,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Ready Player One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that…


Book cover of The Dragon’s Wrath: A Virtual Dream

Kevin Murphy Author Of First Login

From my list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

LitRPG is special. It really is. LitRPG provides authors with some of the most powerful tools in storytelling. Computer-simulated worlds make magic fully believable. They enable giant mysteries, actual monsters, forbidden treasures, and incredibly diverse adversaries. LitRPG can be a love story or a tale of revenge. It can bring hope, despair, or just desserts. It’s a perfect vehicle for modern fantasy—a setting where the apocalypse can be at hand, where humans can fight gods, and where the world itself might be sentient. My love for LitRPG drove me to write an epic containing a series of huge, underlying mysteries that would reveal themselves over the course of the story.

Kevin's book list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels

Kevin Murphy Why did Kevin love this book?

A Virtual Dream is a LitRPG that’s achieved legendary status. The story does so many things right. It establishes a compelling base-building story, gives meaning to NPCs, and pulls us to root for the oddball protagonist, whether or not we agree with him.

Mysteriously, books one and two of The Dragon’s Wrath haven’t been for sale online in years. Nonetheless, the demand for this series continues today and copies of each book still circulate the web, prized like treasures.

This book helped me realize how much more can be done with the LitRPG genre, and even though its story remains unfinished, the third book gives a considerable amount of resolution while leaving you hungry for more.

By Brent Roth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dragon’s Wrath as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Moonlight Sculptor: The Birth of A Dark Gamer (Book 1)

Kevin Murphy Author Of First Login

From my list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

LitRPG is special. It really is. LitRPG provides authors with some of the most powerful tools in storytelling. Computer-simulated worlds make magic fully believable. They enable giant mysteries, actual monsters, forbidden treasures, and incredibly diverse adversaries. LitRPG can be a love story or a tale of revenge. It can bring hope, despair, or just desserts. It’s a perfect vehicle for modern fantasy—a setting where the apocalypse can be at hand, where humans can fight gods, and where the world itself might be sentient. My love for LitRPG drove me to write an epic containing a series of huge, underlying mysteries that would reveal themselves over the course of the story.

Kevin's book list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels

Kevin Murphy Why did Kevin love this book?

Did you know that LitRPG was originally forged in the east? The Moonlight Sculptor (or Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, LMS, as most know it) was so popular that its ravenous fans spread it to the rest of the world. The series sets up a number of important tropes for the genre going forward. Many consider LMS to be required reading, but you should know going in that it has a very spotty translation. It’s a massive body of work, too, spanning 57 published volumes.

In it, a hardworking miser pseudonymously known as Weed overprepares and over-delivers time and time again. Watching Weed grow and affect his world is exciting and addictive. LMS is really engaging. It’s an excellent, albeit silly read. If you only read one Korean LitRPG, read this one.

By Heesung Nam,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Moonlight Sculptor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Solo Leveling, Vol. 1

Kevin Murphy Author Of First Login

From my list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

LitRPG is special. It really is. LitRPG provides authors with some of the most powerful tools in storytelling. Computer-simulated worlds make magic fully believable. They enable giant mysteries, actual monsters, forbidden treasures, and incredibly diverse adversaries. LitRPG can be a love story or a tale of revenge. It can bring hope, despair, or just desserts. It’s a perfect vehicle for modern fantasy—a setting where the apocalypse can be at hand, where humans can fight gods, and where the world itself might be sentient. My love for LitRPG drove me to write an epic containing a series of huge, underlying mysteries that would reveal themselves over the course of the story.

Kevin's book list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels

Kevin Murphy Why did Kevin love this book?

Solo Leveling (or Only I Level Up), in its webtoon form, is one of the peaks of LitRPG storytelling. The scenes are beautifully drawn, elevating the story beyond its original text-only format. You will be hard-pressed to find a more engaging read than this. The webtoon maintains tension incredibly well, and knows how to constantly supply its readers with little dopamine bombs along the way.

Solo Leveling plays with the formula of LitRPG, taking it off the rails by containing the game system inside the main character for much of the story, allowing him to grow stronger. Reading Solo Leveling is an absolute treat—perhaps doubly so for me as several of the niche ideas used in the story are also used in my books.

By Chugong, DUBU (artist),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Solo Leveling, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The official English print publication of the popular Korean webcomic! E-class hunter Jinwoo Sung is the weakest of them all. Looked down on by everyone, he has no money, no abilities to speak of, and no other job prospects. So when his party finds a hidden dungeon, he's determined to use this chance to change his life for the better...but the opportunity he finds is a bit different from what he had in mind!


Book cover of My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World

Wagner James Au Author Of Making a Metaverse That Matters: From Snow Crash & Second Life to A Virtual World Worth Fighting For

From my list on understanding virtual worlds and internet culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since childhood, I’ve been dazzled by the idea of virtual worlds described by pixels, first in ancient computer games, and then in novels that gave the rudimentary graphics of decades past a vivid new life—from the hallucinatory realities in Philip K. Dick’s novels to William Gibson’s Neuromancer to most of all, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. As a young writer, I stepped sideways into a dream assignment: Helping make the Metaverse real. After writing about it for two decades, however, I’m still learning about it now.

Wagner's book list on understanding virtual worlds and internet culture

Wagner James Au Why did Wagner love this book?

Julian wrote “A Rape in Cyberspace,” a widely-discussed Village Voice article about transgression in LambdaMOO, a very early virtual world (known as a MUD, for multi-user dimension) depicted completely in text.

Expanding this story into a deeper exploration of its fascinating user community, My Tiny Life was incredibly influential to me as a very young writer—convincing me that online games and virtual worlds offered endless stories and insights into the human condition.

His book remains crucial to understanding virtual worlds. Indeed, as I write in my own book, a senior developer at Meta desperately tried to get colleagues to read it, so they didn’t repeat past mistakes. Sad to say they didn’t, and so they did.

By Julian Dibbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Tiny Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the true story of a journey into LambdaMOO, a virtual Eden, where race, gender and identity were infinitely malleable and whose visitors thought they had escaped from all usual cultural limits. Until a brutal rape and ideological warfare between high and low castes brought the virtual and real worlds into seizmic collision. "LambdaMOO is a new kind of society, where thousands of people voluntarily come together from all over the world. What these people say or do may not always be to your liking; as when visiting any international city, it is wise to be careful who you…


Book cover of City of Golden Shadow

Acflory Author Of Miira

From my list on exploring what it means to be human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m one of those odd people who always needs to know why. Why do computers work, why do societies break down? Why do humans kill? Why are cat videos so irresistible? All of those questions explore what it means to be human, but science fiction takes those questions to the extreme, pitting people against the most extreme environments and situations in order to see how they’ll react. To me, that never grows old, and the books I love the most are the ones that do it the best. In my humble opinion, of course.

Acflory's book list on exploring what it means to be human

Acflory Why did Acflory love this book?

The world of Otherland is Earth, and the people are human, but woven into that familiar landscape is a virtual world that hasn’t quite happened yet. Imagine a virtual, digital world in which your avatar can ‘feel’. Why would you ever want to leave?

I first read Otherland soon after I started playing MMORPGs [Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games]. MMORPGs provide a ‘persistent’ world in which your character can fight, craft, build, or just socialize with other players. As such, it can become very immersive, and that’s just through the power of the imagination and some pixels on a screen. Now, imagine how immersive a virtual world would be. And how dangerous. 

Otherland started me thinking about technology and how humans relate to new innovations. It also inspired some of my own writing.

By Tad Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked City of Golden Shadow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Otherland is a universe ruled by Earth's wealthiest and most ruthless power-brokers, The Grail Brotherhood. Surrounded by secrecy, incredible amounts of money have been lavished on it and two generations have laboured to build it. Now it is claiming Earth's most valuable resource - its children.


Book cover of The Pachinko Parlor

Margaux Vialleron Author Of The Yellow Kitchen

From my list on to make you hungry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a French-born, London-based novelist and food writer. As an author, I have nurtured my voice at the kitchen counter, where I find language loosens up and as a reader, cookbooks, food memoirs, and novels sit in one pile on my bedside table. Food is never not political and I find that its depiction is a wonderful narrative tool, for plot development with the setting of a meal or to portray a character through ingredients for examples. The relationship between food, culture, and writing is something I also explore with my podcast, book club, and culinary community The Salmon Pink Kitchen. Happy reading, and bon appétit! 

Margaux's book list on to make you hungry

Margaux Vialleron Why did Margaux love this book?

If you’re looking for a novel that will make your mouth water with flavours and cravings, then Elisa Shua Dusapin is the writer you need. From the supermarket’s chilled section to hot pots of noodles, the pages of this short novel are an explosion for the senses. But the descriptions of the food are not only delicious, they also serve the purpose of the plot in this novel set over the course of one summer in Tokyo, about identity, loneliness, and language.

The Pachinko Parlour is translated from French into English by Aneesa Abbas Higgins and will be published in the UK on 18th August 2022.

By Elisa Shua Dusapin, Aneesa Abbas Higgins (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pachinko Parlor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of Winter in Sokcho, Winner of the 2021 National Book Award for Translated Literature.

The days are beginning to draw in. The sky is dark by seven in the evening. I lie on the floor and gaze out of the window. Women’s calves, men’s shoes, heels trodden down by the weight of bodies borne for too long.

It is summer in Tokyo. Claire finds herself dividing her time between tutoring twelve-year-old Mieko, in an apartment in an abandoned hotel, and lying on the floor at her grandparents’: daydreaming, playing Tetris, and listening to the sounds from the…


Book cover of Awaken Online: Catharsis

Eric Walsh Author Of The Mad Immortal

From my list on clever protagonists who bend their world’s rules.

Why am I passionate about this?

My GameLit stories like The Mad Immortal are inspired by the fun I've had playing RPGs such as World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons. It’s that same sense of adventure that I seek out in other stories and that I feel these five books I selected demonstrate. In their own way, each of them inspired my own series as I worked to develop the rules for its magic system and to come up with compelling ways the characters could interact within those established restrictions. I love reading about clever applications of magic to solve problems, especially when it’s not immediately obvious how a given spell would help!

Eric's book list on clever protagonists who bend their world’s rules

Eric Walsh Why did Eric love this book?

Awaken Online: Catharsis was actually the very first LitRPG/GameLit book I ever read, and from the opening chapters, I was hooked.

It follows the story of Jason, a player in the VRMMO Awaken Online who becomes a powerful necromancer and is positioned as the game’s villain. I think what drew me in the most was how Jason explored his various abilities, always seeking new ways he might be able to modify or use them to his advantage.

He’s also not afraid to push back against what seems to be the established order within the system, utilizing his powers in a variety of awesome and surprising ways. I definitely drew inspiration from how the magic is described here for my own story, even though my story features less overt game elements.

By Travis Bagwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Awaken Online as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jason logs into Awaken Online fed-up with reality. He’s in desperate need of an escape, and this game is his ticket to finally feeling the type of power and freedom that’s so sorely lacking in his real life. Awaken Online is a brand new virtual reality game that just hit the market, promising an unprecedented level of immersion. Yet Jason quickly finds himself pushed down a path he didn’t expect. In this game, he isn’t the hero. There are no damsels to save. There are no bad guys to vanquish. In fact, he might just be the villain. (This novel…


Book cover of Forging

Shami Stovall Author Of Knightmare Arcanist

From my list on progression fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was young, I’ve loved fantasy novels, movies, and video games. When I got to high school, I finally met people who played Dungeons and Dragons, and it was all downhill from there! I started Dungeon Mastering at a young age, but everyone said I had a real talent for it. The stories I created always caught the imagination of the players, and more than once, people told me I should write books. Well, here I am. I love escapist fantasy, epic adventures, wonderful characters, and terrible villains. I can’t get enough of them, and every day I immerse myself in the fantastical, whether it be reading another book, writing another story, or booting up another Final Fantasy game.

Shami's book list on progression fantasy

Shami Stovall Why did Shami love this book?

The Land by Aleron Kong is the third litRPG on this list, and probably the most famous. Every litRPG uses a few ways to denote progression, but this book has an almost unending series of charts, numbers, rules, and powers for everything. And I do mean everything.

Character growth. Weapon quality. Town building. To career building. Even dungeon building.

Everything progresses. Everything has level-ups. The world is huge, and the events feel extremely epic. This is also the longest series on the list, with books so massive, you could knock a fool out with one.

Definitely worth the time, though. Don’t miss out.

By Aleron Kong,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Forging as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover Dr. Aleron Kong, the Father of American LitRPG! #1 in Cyberpunk and Video Game Science Fiction! Over SEVENTEEN HUNDRED positive reviews on Goodreads!!! The second captivating installment of Aleron Kong's, Chaos Seeds series. "We are life takers and heart breakers," Richter shouted. "Let's go!" Richter and Sion are at it again! Even more of what you loved in the first book! Leveling, world building, awesome items, and what's that you say? Sure! Why not? What's a little necrophilia between friends!?! Join your favorite Chaos Seed as he answers the call of adventure and deals with the invaders, greedy dwarves,…


Book cover of Opening Moves

Shemer Kuznits Author Of Life Reset

From my list on engaging LitRPG.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a huge fan of D&D and RPG games since I’ve been old enough to play them. The idea of grooming a character, growing it in terms of strength and levels until it becomes powerful enough to take on gods always captured my imagination. LitRPG is a relatively new book genre, and reading it (the good ones at least) makes you feel like you’re playing those games yourselves. Following a new protagonist growth and journey, often illustrated by actual numeric values you can easily keep track of (like skills and levels) is so much fun, and I think more people should be aware it exists.

Shemer's book list on engaging LitRPG

Shemer Kuznits Why did Shemer love this book?

An excellent Litrpg sci-fi series. The protagonist goes out beyond earth to discover new races and worlds, slowly gain power, and unearth the secret of the ancient race that started it all. He’s just a human, but he’ll change the galaxy in his quest for knowledge.

The best scfi-fi litrpg in my opinion, the character growth is very visible and keeps you glued to the pages as the protagonist struggle to raise himself. Through his eyes, I got to experience unearthing ancient, hidden cultures, find ancient relics, and uncover galactic-wide schemes that blew my mind away.

By Cosimo Yap,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Opening Moves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Artificial Intelligence, LitRPG, Cyberpunk adventure.

The Earth is changing. The alien invasion brought social upheaval, advanced technology, and an armada of peacekeeping robots. But Alan, a college student pursuing a now-useless degree, cares little about all of this. He has only one thing on his mind: the Game.

A fully immersive virtual reality, the Game appears to be a major part of the invading civilization. Alan can't wait to play, recklessly diving into the digital universe. Soon though, Alan realizes the Game is anything but simple, and the stakes are higher than he ever imagined.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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