10 books like Ready Player One

By Ernest Cline,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Ready Player One. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Guy Morpuss Author Of Black Lake Manor

From the list on speculative crime.

Who am I?

I grew up reading the crime and thriller books on my parents’ bookshelves. As a teenager I got into science fiction, reading everything I could. Speculative crime fiction mixes the best of both genres. You twist one aspect of the real world, add a dead body, and play with the consequences. I have written two novels that do this: in my first, I imagined a world in which five people share a body, and one of them is trying to kill the others; in my second, a killer who can turn back time. I love books that toy with reality in this way, and read all that I can.

Guy's book list on speculative crime

Discover why each book is one of Guy's favorite books.

Why did Guy love this book?

For me speculative fiction is about twisting one aspect of the real world, and then playing with the consequences. I love the way that Philip K Dick does this.

Some of his ideas seem absurd, but as a reader you quickly buy into them. This is not a traditional crime novel in any sense, but is about a bounty hunter tracking down escaped androids. As he confronts questions about his own humanity, it raises ethical issues for the reader as to what it is to be human.

Like all Dick’s works it is clever, entertaining, and thought-provoking.

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the eagerly-anticipated new film Blade Runner 2049 finally comes to the screen, rediscover the world of Blade Runner . . .

World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal - the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life.

Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were…

Good Omens

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,

Book cover of Good Omens

Luis Ramirez Arellano Author Of Angel

From the list on human perseverance and the human spirit.

Who am I?

I love stories that show humanity persevering, stories that show life is lived through easy times and hard ones too. I like stories where there is something worth celebrating in everyday life. Stories that remind us we’re just human and that isn’t too bad and that no matter what hell we’re going through, there’s something on the other side worth enduring for. I have a passionate love for stories like this. I always seek out stories that give me a similar feeling. When I write, I try to write stories that make others feel like how I do when I come across a similar story.

Luis' book list on human perseverance and the human spirit

Discover why each book is one of Luis' favorite books.

Why did Luis love this book?

Gaiman and Pratchett come together to tell a hilarious story with plenty of heart to it.

Taking inspiration from biblical fantasy, the story focuses on the humanity in the cosmic, the mundane in the absurd. After misplacing the Antichrist, a pair of celestial beings set out to find him before the end of the world.

What could easily be simplified to slapstick situations out of a sitcom is given incredible weight and care. Even in the face of the end of everything, it’s a very human story that shows it’s okay to still be a kid for just a bit longer.

Good Omens is truly a story to remind everyone that in the end, it isn’t too bad growing up slowly.

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Good Omens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Ridiculously inventive and gloriously funny' Guardian

What if, for once, the predictions are right, and the Apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

It's a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon, now find themselves in. They've been living amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there's the small…

A Discovery of Witches

By Deborah Harkness,

Book cover of A Discovery of Witches

Tena Stetler Author Of A Witch's Journey

From the list on paranormal mystery with magic and animal rescue.

Who am I?

I've been captivated with legends of witches, vampires, faeries, fae, and most magical beings since childhood. Studied and wrote about them with a mysterious twist most of my life. I spent eighteen years as a paralegal in a criminal law firm. Also animal and wildlife rescue is my passion. Working with sanctuaries gives you an up close and personal understanding of why these institutions are necessary. The first book in my second series, A Witch’s Journey, documents a witch who is passionate about animal rescue, and her efforts to build a sanctuary on her family’s enchanted land with the help of her family, friends, and a former Navy SEAL.

Tena's book list on paranormal mystery with magic and animal rescue

Discover why each book is one of Tena's favorite books.

Why did Tena love this book?

A Discovery of Witches is a series of four known as the All Souls Trilogy.

Deborah tells the stories well with engaging characters and settings. They are a combination of vampires and witches and take you through when Matthew and Dianna first meet all the way through their marriage and children.

There is time travel included in Shadow of Night. The Elizabethan time period in England is done so well right down to the gas lights and merchants.  

By Deborah Harkness,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked A Discovery of Witches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford's Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins,

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Susanna Beard Author Of The Best Friend

From the list on featuring a feisty female.

Who am I?

Since I was a girl, I’ve had an enduring sense that women must work harder, be cleverer, think more creatively than men, both at work and sometimes at home. So I love a woman who stands up for herself, who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. At one time, when the series Spooks was popular on TV, I wanted to be Ros, the operator who, when a dodgy guy followed her, hid around a corner. She flattened him with some nifty moves, stole his car keys and said: “Never follow me again.” Brilliant! I hope you enjoy all the feisty females on my book list. 

Susanna's book list on featuring a feisty female

Discover why each book is one of Susanna's favorite books.

Why did Susanna love this book?

This book was recommended by a creative writing teacher as a perfect example of how a plot should develop – the three-act structure, the perfect arc of the story, the pace, with rising and falling tension and edge-of-the-cliff plot points. 

But I love it because of the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, surely one of the most endearing heroines in literature. It’s a classic story of a character overcoming all the odds, and while it’s widely perceived as a dystopian novel for young adults, I found it much more than that.

I was gripped by Katniss and her challenges – all of which she finds a way to overcome – as well as the enormous themes of poverty, oppression, war, and survival. She’s young but steely, resourceful, clever, and feisty. 

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

33 authors picked The Hunger Games as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...

Heir Apparent

By Vivian Vande Velde,

Book cover of Heir Apparent

Ramsey Isler Author Of Ghosts of ARCADIA

From the list on virtual reality games.

Who am I?

As a geek and tech professional, I've worked on software and gadgets in multiple countries and just as many industries. I'm fascinated by work that leads us to a better future built on technology while being fully aware of the dangers involved if we're not vigilant. I've built websites, fitness devices, and even spent some time working on Wikipedia's data structure. But my first tech love was that strange and beautiful blend of art and science we call video games. I’ve played more games than I can count and created a few of my own, but as a novelist and reader I found myself drawn to books about games just as much as the games themselves.

Ramsey's book list on virtual reality games

Discover why each book is one of Ramsey's favorite books.

Why did Ramsey love this book?

I first read this book back in 2004 when I was spending way too much time with MMO games. This YA novel is certainly a product of a time where the tech of today was within sight but social media and smartphones didn't exist as we know them now. But the story more than makes up for this unfortunate timing with its witty characters, a structure reminiscent of the old Choose Your Own Adventure books and a fantasy game setting that leads this book to cross genres. I’m a big fan of sci-fi stories that follow the “Groundhog Day” structure like Returnal and Edge of Tomorrow. Do-overs are a crucial part of gaming and this novel builds that idea into its core premise while adding a unique twist.

By Vivian Vande Velde,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Heir Apparent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Heir Apparent there are as many ways to win as there are to get killed. "A stylish tale [that] addresses both fantasy gaming and censorship." (New York Times Book Review)

From Edgar Award–winning author Vivian Vande Velde comes a rollicking story that puts a high-tech twist on the classic medieval fantasy-adventure.

In the virtual reality game Heir Apparent, there are way too many ways to get killed—and Giannine seems to be finding them all. Which is a shame, because unless she can get the magic ring, locate the stolen treasure, answer the dwarf's dumb riddles, impress the head-chopping statue,…

The Stand

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Stand

Steven Bannister Author Of The Black Net

From the list on combining real world drama with something otherworldly.

Who am I?

I have written seven novels to date that have at their heart the idea that there is a wider, unseen game afoot that is being played out in realms about which normal humans are unaware. Six of them form the Allie St Clair ‘Black’ series, and the seventh is a stand-alone novel called The Unforgiver. Why do I write about these things? Very probably my teenage reading of Stephen King’s early work, HP Lovecraft’s collection, and my personal connection to Satan. Just kidding. I’ve never read any Lovecraft. To be serious, how can you not gaze into the infinite cosmos above and not wonder if there’s a lot more going on than we comprehend?

Steven's book list on combining real world drama with something otherworldly

Discover why each book is one of Steven's favorite books.

Why did Steven love this book?

The Stand – almost a must-read for anyone who reads speculative fiction. Written forty-odd years ago, King nailed the post-apocalyptic theme and at the same time re-introduced us to the greater-than-us Good vs. Evil idea. I can remember the cornfields and their sinister presence to this day. But of course, fans of King will know that his real strength as a writer is his once-in-a-lifetime talent for characterisation. He is the master. Had he written in genre other than horror/fantasy early in his career, I believe he would still have made it as one of the greats. 

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The Stand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by virus and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published.

Soon to be a television series.

'THE STAND is a masterpiece' (Guardian). Set in a virus-decimated US, King's thrilling American fantasy epic, is a Classic.

First come the days of the virus. Then come the dreams.

Dark dreams that warn of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of…

The Circle

By Dave Eggers,

Book cover of The Circle

Akemi C. Brodsky Author Of The Brill Pill

From the list on the double-edged sword of technology.

Who am I?

I have been writing for several years now, but my undergraduate degree is in geochemistry and I have always had a keen interest in science. For me, writing and science go hand-in-hand because both represent an attempt to describe our world in different ways. Throughout my time studying science and spending time with other scientists, I became fascinated with the culture of academia and the competition that pushes people to compromise in the name of progress. We know far less than we don’t know about the universe, and speculative fiction makes a creative effort to fill in this gaping lack of knowledge while presenting us with important thought experiments. 

Akemi's book list on the double-edged sword of technology

Discover why each book is one of Akemi's favorite books.

Why did Akemi love this book?

This story is almost too close to reality, but that is what made it so engaging for me.

Mae begins as a very relatable and down-to-earth college graduate who is thrilled to be offered a job at the Circle – a tech behemoth. She is blinded by reverence and ambition as her job quickly sucks up her every moment with demands for pseudo-social interactions through the Circle’s constantly evolving network.

A commentary on all of the privacy issues we already face, this novel pushes them to their limits. The question is whether Mae will continue to bend to her new employer’s demands or whether she will break. The stakes continue to rise as her new job and her former life battle over her soul.

By Dave Eggers,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Circle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and John Boyega

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - a dark, thrilling and unputdownable novel about our obsession with the internet

'Prepare to be addicted' Daily Mail

'A gripping and highly unsettling read' Sunday Times

'The Circle is 'Brave New World' for our brave new world... Fast, witty and troubling' Washington Post

When Mae is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users' personal emails,…


By Arthur C. Clarke,

Book cover of 2001

K. Van Kramer Author Of Modified

From the list on science fiction with A.I. and sweeping new worlds.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved science fiction because it offers a hope, a dream, or a future that we just haven't seen yet. When I write my stories, I feel there is no better use of my imagination, than to contemplate a new world, a new civilization, or future technology. At the same time, I hope to entertain readers and spark young imaginations. Inside Modified, I reached into a distant future with off-world colonies that float in the clouds of Venus, while robots toil on the planet’s surface. Of course, in such a future, when advanced modifications and recursive designs are used, leads one to wonder if my robot can love too.

K.'s book list on science fiction with A.I. and sweeping new worlds

Discover why each book is one of K.'s favorite books.

Why did K. love this book?

This book seems a bit strange at first, when the story begins with Moon-Watcher, the leader of a tribe of early ape-man, who struggles for survival during the brutal Pleistocene ice age. After an alien monolith appears, it seems to advance the way he thinks, leading him to develop crude weapons. When the same monolith is discovered in the future, we seem fated to find the answers behind the eerie structure. Skipping to a team of astronauts who travel aboard a ship to further investigate, things take an unexpected turn when the ship’s A.I. called HAL-9000, gets very confused about keeping secrets. Something about the way it remains so polite while it deceives the crew, is enough to give anyone a nightmare.

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked 2001 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, and made into one of the most influential films of all time, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY remains a classic work of science fiction fifty years after its original publication.

The discovery of a black monolith on the moon leads to a manned expedition deep into the solar system, in the hope of establishing contact with an alien intelligence. Yet long before the crew can reach their destination, the voyage descends into disaster . . .

Brilliant, compulsive and prophetic, Arthur C. Clarke's timeless novel tackles the enduring theme of mankind's…

Howl's Moving Castle

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Book cover of Howl's Moving Castle

Callie C. Miller Author Of The Hunt for the Hollower

From the list on whimsical fantasy romps for middle grade and YA.

Who am I?

After a lifetime of reading fantasy, I have a career professionally writing fantasy! Whether it’s for animation, video games, or children’s books, crafting adventures in worlds of whimsy and wonder is a treat. Writing has sharpened my senses to recognize and appreciate well-crafted stories in all their forms, and the books on this list are some of the very finest romps.

Callie's book list on whimsical fantasy romps for middle grade and YA

Discover why each book is one of Callie's favorite books.

Why did Callie love this book?

This is one of the very few books where after reading the last page, I immediately turned back to the first page to start it all over again.

Sophie sets off on an adventure after being cursed by the Witch of the Waste into an elderly lady, and it is only after this transformation that she finds the strength of character and personality that has been within her all along. Her pluck is more than a match for the wizard Howl and his fire demon, who are part of the charming cast of characters in this clever classic.

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Howl's Moving Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now an animated movie from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, the oscar-winning director of Spirited Away

In this beloved modern classic, young Sophie Hatter from the land of Ingary catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell...

Deciding she has nothing more to lose, Sophie makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above her town, Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl, whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls...

There Sophie meets Michael, Howl's apprentice, and Calcifer…

Atlas Shrugged

By Ayn Rand,

Book cover of Atlas Shrugged

Mark Burgess Author Of Slogans: The end of sympathy

From the list on a vision of a near future society in trouble.

Who am I?

I am a scientist and technologist, trained in theoretical quantum physics, who became an Emeritus Professor of Network Technology from Oslo’s metropolitan university. I’ve strenuously tried to communicate the wonder of science to students and industry throughout my career. I’m also a long-standing fan of science fiction who grew up with heroes in both fact and fiction. The idea of future society has haunted me my whole life. I’m an optimist, who looks to the darker tales as warnings of futures we hope to avoid. Read these tales with a determination for us all to do better.

Mark's book list on a vision of a near future society in trouble

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books.

Why did Mark love this book?

This book was a forerunner and inspiration to the big society science fiction of the John Brunner era, and (like much of her writing) should properly be understood as an alternative reality science fiction, imitated by many writers including Brunner and Robert Silverberg.

Rand became a controversial figure because of the cult that grew up around her, promoting elitist ideas, and driven mainly by her husband. Yet Rand herself was a brilliant writer and thinker who wanted to be a philosopher. The writing is not only deeply intellectual, it was deeply character driven.

As a non-native English speaker, her writing style is rich and could be the envy of native writers. Perhaps too long, this book is nevertheless a must read for any science fiction fan. 

By Ayn Rand,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Atlas Shrugged as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand's greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex. Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life-from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy...to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction...to the philosopher who becomes a pirate...to the woman who…

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