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Old 11-01-2016, 05:57 PM   #1
Kasper Hviid
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Any good novels about Virtual Reality?

I have read a few books in the series 'The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor'.
It's an entertaining read. The story mostly takes place inside a RPG to which the main character has dedicated himself in order to (hopefully) score a lot of money for his family. It is somewhat realistic, and has some more down-to-earth approach to VR as compared to the cyberspace-thingies in cyberpunk lit.

On the downside the books are a bit too cozy with lots of wish fulfilment, and the fan translation is sloppy at times. But its entertaining and with a few clever thoughts about VR.

... and that is all I got. So, any other VR recommendations?
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:02 PM   #2
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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:55 PM   #3
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The classic William Gibson. Count Zero and Necromancer.
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:54 AM   #4
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Old 11-02-2016, 02:21 AM   #5
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I second Ready Player One.
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Old 11-02-2016, 03:13 AM   #6
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Greg Egan gets quite deep into virtual reality and subjects such as artificial life, uploaded conciousness, etc. I'd recommend the novels Zendegi and especially Permutation City. There are also some short stories available free online from the author's website, e.g Wang's Carpets.

Edit: One I didn't enjoy as much (but others might) and has interesting ideas around augmented reality is Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End.

Last edited by GeoffR; 11-02-2016 at 03:41 AM. Reason: Verbor Vinge's 'Rainbows End'
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Old 11-02-2016, 04:41 AM   #7
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Dream Park by Niven & Barnes, maybe not exactly virtual reality but close
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:10 AM   #8
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Thanks, great suggestions!

Never read William Gibson, but isn't his VR a bit dated today? My gut feeling is that his VR visions were some kinda neon-colored wonderland for hackers and geeks.

I have been eying 'Ready Player One' a lot of times, but after that Gamergate thing, I was a bit put off by Gamer nostalgia, due to its inherient reactionary streak. I might get into it now!

Not a book, but the Black Mirror episode 'Playtest' deals with VR! (I need to pull myself together and watch the new season - but that show is always soo depressive, like cyberpunk 2.0)
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kasper Hviid View Post
Thanks, great suggestions!

Never read William Gibson, but isn't his VR a bit dated today? My gut feeling is that his VR visions were some kinda neon-colored wonderland for hackers and geeks.

I have been eying 'Ready Player One' a lot of times, but after that Gamergate thing, I was a bit put off by Gamer nostalgia, due to its inherient reactionary streak. I might get into it now!

Not a book, but the Black Mirror episode 'Playtest' deals with VR! (I need to pull myself together and watch the new season - but that show is always soo depressive, like cyberpunk 2.0)
There is at least one movie that I can think of that deals with it too.
"The 13th Floor." And there was the small mini-series "Wild Palms." Also the movie "Virtuosity" takes place in part in such a world if I recall correctly.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:29 AM   #10
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Thanks, great suggestions!

Never read William Gibson, but isn't his VR a bit dated today? My gut feeling is that his VR visions were some kinda neon-colored wonderland for hackers and geeks.
Gibson's cyberspace was whatever conveyed the story he was trying to tell and set the mood he was trying to evoke. "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." He readily admitted that he knew practically nothing about computers and computer networks when he wrote his early stories. But then, his work, like that of his contemporaries, wasn't about the technology but the kind of urban shellshock that arises from technology advancing faster than people can keep up.

ObRecommendation: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Another story in which a virtual reality world has a significant purpose.
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:46 PM   #11
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Try Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman, The Circuit of Heaven by Dennis Danvers for novels where virtual reality is not just entertainment.
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:28 PM   #12
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I would downvote Ready Player One, upvote Neuromancer and Snowcrash, and add Philip K. Dick's Time Out of Joint, which isn't technically virtual reality, but is "artificial reality," a concept borrowed by the film "The Truman Show" and the aforementioned Dream Park and its sequel.

Oh, and also the John Carpenter classic, "They Live."

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Old 11-03-2016, 04:43 PM   #13
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I would downvote Ready Player One, upvote Neuromancer and Snowcrash...
And I am completely the opposite.
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:12 PM   #14
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Some good suggestions made already. How about Charlie Stross' Glasshouse and Vernor Vinge's 'The Cookie Monster' (novella) and 'True Names?"
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:03 AM   #15
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Outside of my fiction reading, I just dived into 'Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming' which deals with a concept closely related to VR. I remember reading that VR use should hightens the chance of lucid dreaming.

Just to recap:

NAM-HI-SUNG: The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor (massive series about VR RPG gaming)
ERNEST CLINE: Ready Player One
WILLIAM GIBSON: Count Zero
WILLIAM GIBSON: Necromancer
TAD WILLIANS: Otherland
GREG EGAN: Zendegi
GREG EGAN: Permutation City
GREG EGAN: Various free short stories from his website, like Wang's Carpets
VERNOR VINGE: Rainbows End (might suck, but got interesting ideas about AR)
VERNOR VINGE: The Cookie Monster (novella)
VERNOR VINGE: True Names (novella)
NIVEN & BARNES: Dream Park (maybe not exactly virtual reality but close)
NEAL STEPHENSON: Snow Crash (Another story in which a virtual reality world has a significant purpose)
JOE HALDEMAN: Old Twentieth (novel where virtual reality is not just entertainment.)
DENNIS DANVERS: The Circuit of Heaven (novel where virtual reality is not just entertainment.)
PHILIP K. DICK: Time Out of Joint (isn't technically virtual reality, but is "artificial reality," a concept borrowed by the film "The Truman Show")
CHARLIE STROSS: Glasshouse
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