Top Video Game Themed SciFi Novels

From copious pop culture references, to Jason Bourne-like plot lines, strap in and get ready to….read about being online?


Cline Ready Player One_website image

Top Video Game Themed SciFi Novels

Not ranking, but just a group of excellent science fiction books with video games as a main theme.

armada coverARMADA

by Ernest Cline

Paperback: 384 pages

Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (April 12 2016)

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and video games he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

for the win coverFOR THE WIN

by Cory Doctorow

Hardcover: 480 pages

Publisher:Tom Doherty Associates (May 11, 2010)

In the virtual future, you must organize to survive.

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual “gold,” jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

in real life coverIN REAL LIFE

by Cory Doctorow (author) and Jan Wang (illustrator)

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: First Second (October 14, 2014)

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.

Ready player one coverREADY PLAYER ONE

by Ernst Cline

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Broadway Books; First Edition edition (June 5, 2012)

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

reamde coverREAMDE

by Neal Stephenson

Paperback: 1056 pages

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 15, 2012)

With Reamde, this visionary author whose mind-stretching fiction has been enthusiastically compared to the work of Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Kurt Vonnegut, and David Foster Wallace—not to mention William Gibson and Michael Crichton—once again blazes new ground with a high-stakes thriller that will enthrall his loyal audience, science and science fiction, and espionage fiction fans equally. The breathtaking tale of a wealthy tech entrepreneur caught in the very real crossfire of his own online fantasy war game, Reamde is a new high—and a new world—for the remarkable Neal Stephenson.