List of Books Like Ready Player One for the Dystopian Fans!

Books Like Ready Player One

So, you were completely blown after reading Ready Player One and now your soul is on a quest to read another sci-fi thriller. Right?

No worries, we have your back! I have been on the same side as you are. So, here I am jotting down the list of Books like Ready Player One. These books will surely cure your book hangover and fulfill your urge to read another thriller.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is said to be the best science fiction novel of the decade. It was published in the year 2011 and since then anyone who reads it is a fan of the book.

This book is everything about the games, outer space, and virtual reality. But besides this, it is also funny and smart with some serious incidents taking place in the story. And, the story makes its readers read more and more from the same genre.

Books Like Ready Player One

These are the books which are appealing for the fans of Ready Player One and not to forget all the computer geek book lovers. You are going to find these books similar to Ready Player One in many ways, not only the same kind of genre but also the similar thrill and reading experience.

1. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a classic novel considered as one of the must-read books after reading Ready Player One and one of the best sci-fi novel ever written.

The story plot is set in some unspecified future when the Earth had the ‘two-children’ policy. The Protagonist Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin is the third born and the exception allowed by the government was on the request of his two older siblings, Peter and Valentine.

In order to protect the country from the alien’s attack, the government is training children in the military school. Ender has faced difficulty in the school and suffered from isolation and rivalry from peers.

This book is the winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

2. Armada by Ernest Cline

Armada - Earnest Cline book

The Ernest Cline books are almost impossible to put down with the best at the dystopian genre. He delivers his story narration in the hauntingly brilliant way which never fails to amuse his readers.

Many people think that Armada is the sequel of Ready Player One but it is not rather it just happens to be Earnest Cline next book after Ready Player One. It has no connection with the story of RPO and was released in 2015. Though, it has the same genre of gaming and alien invasion.

Zack Lightman is a daydreamer. His day is generally consumed by thinking about the science fiction books, movies, and video games which were his escape from reality. Until one day during his escapism, he finds out that a UFO- Armada, has landed in his school ground resembling the one he had seen last night in the video game.

Zack is the 6th best Armada player in the world of the video game. He is all set to save the world from the alien invasion. But he still had a familiar feeling of being done this before.

Armada is the surprising thriller and one of the best from the Ernest Cline books.

3. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown - Books like Ready Player One

Red Rising is the winner of Goodreads choice 2014. It was the debut novel by Pierce Brown and has five more books in the Red Rising series.

This science fiction novel is about the protagonist, Darrow who is red, considered as the lower caste. In this world, society is segregated on the basis of color. The reds are the ones who work all day and were dominated by the Gold Class.

Darrow was working hard on the surface of Mars, believing that it would be a comfortable place to live freely for the Reds. But, later he felt deceived when he comes to know that there were already people living on it.

It is a heart-stopping read and is said that it has the elements of the classics like Star Wars and Game of Thrones.

4. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash

Think about living two lives, one in real-time and the other one in the cyberspace. Sounds cool? But it’s not.

Snow Crash is one of the best Neal Stephenson books and is the #1 Science Fiction Bestseller.

Hiro is a delivery boy for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc. but in the metaverse, he is a warrior prince. Some malignant virus has crept into the computers of all the hackers. There is a cuber drug on the streets, Snow Crash which is also a computer virus.

The trouble is, whenever a hacker ingests this cyber drug, it infects the person behind the avatar and results into the bleeding in reality.

This spooky and super surrealistic, moving with the fast-approaching future, grips readers in the cyber-punk parody.

5. Neuromancer by William Gibson


Neuromancer by William Gibson is a glimpse to the digital future which is narrated in a vivid style and had successfully bagged the honors of the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award.

This visionary book was published in 1984 and now it is counted as a classic that ranks as one of the twentieth century’s most potent visions of the future.

Case is the sharpest data-thief and is caught stealing from his employer, Matrix. In order to punish him, they have damaged his central nervous system and now he cannot enter into the cyberspace.

A street samurai, Molly saves his life by repairing his nervous system with new technology and now they both are ready to face all the odds.

This is one of the most recommended books to read if you like Ready Player One.

6. Do Androids Dream About Electric Sheep? by Phillip K Dick

Do Androids Dream About Electric Sheep? by Phillip K Dick

First published in 1968, Do Androids Dream About Electric Sheep? by Phillip K Dick is a science fiction set in a post-apocalyptic San Fransisco.

After the ‘World War Terminus’, the earth was devastated into the ruins. Police department bounty hunter Rick Deckard is assigned to retire six androids of the Nexus-6 highly intelligent model.

Rick realizes that detecting and hunting the androids can be a tough task but he agrees to do it as it would reward him with money to buy a living animal. However, in this destructed world nothing is easy and rather things turn out to be a death threat for himself.

If you are a big fan of sci-fi novels then Philip K Dick is essential and you cannot skip reading his books.

7. Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

Altered Carbon book similar to Ready Player One

The interesting thing about reading books like Ready Player One is that you live in the million years ahead of the present times.

In the futuristic world of Altered Carbon is set in the 25th century. This cyberpunk novel narrates about the times when a human can be stored digitally. The lives of the human can be downloaded and installed in someone else’s body.

Takeshi Kovacs is an ex-U.N officer is now the convict as his consciousness and skills have been mistakenly downloaded in someone else’s body. He sets his journey to find out the murderer of his previous body.

The book has been adapted as the series under the same name, Altered Carbon on Netflix.

8. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner is another books series you will find interesting if you like reading books like Ready Player One.

It is about a boy, Thomas who finds himself in the lift with the erased memory that he cannot even remember his name. He is surrounded by the other boys who have also lost their memory.

They all are trapped in an ever-changing maze through which one cannot escape alive. Then a girl arrives. First time ever a girl came in there and delivered the message to escape from the maze.

This enthralling and intriguing story will grip the readers throughout the book.

9. The Running Man by Stephen King

The Running Man - Dystopian Novel

Though Stephen King has marked his territory in the horror genre, The Running Man has been amongst the best books by Stephen King which is set in the dystopian future.

The book tells the story about a man, Ben Richards who lives in a world where poor are treated like rodents by the government. Ben is the father of a sick daughter and realizes that he need to raise funds for her treatment.

Considering the assuaging health of his daughter, he decides to be a part of the real-game where the only objective is to merely stay alive.

This dystopian novel might give adrenaline rush that you would finish the book in a day.

10. The Atopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather

The Atopia Chronicles

How about leaving this poisoned earth and starting a new life on some other biosphere alternative? But…

Only the elite class can transit. Now, this makes it worse!

The book is about the times when the earth would be the least suitable place to live on. People start moving to an enormous corporate-owned artificial island in the Pacific Ocean but only the elite society people can make the move. Others just have to die on the polluted Earth.

Dr. Patricia Killiam tries to make things right by artificial intelligence and wouldn’t give up on the thought of helping everyone with everything they want.

The Atopia Chronicle by Matthew Mather is a book with intriguing thoughts about the meaning of love, life and the pursuit of happiness.

11. Warcross by Marie Lu


Welcome to the game world where people spend more of their real time in the virtual reality.

Warcross is a game extensively played by the people, sometimes to escape the reality and other times just to make a profit. Emika Chen is the bounty hunter and keeps an eye on the ones who bet in the game illegally.

Well, in order to prevent the betting, she sometimes hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships and would make quick cash.

The creator of the game comes to know about Emika’s hacking and decides to give her another task of spying on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem. Now, she doubts who to trust and put your belief in.

12. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark Matter

What would you do when you cannot distinguish between reality and the dream? Would you stay in the real world or the dream?

Jason Dessen is a physics professor. One day he wakes up strapped in the gurney and the first words that he heard were, “Welcome back, my friend.” He is all baffled with the kind of treatment he is getting in the world as if he has done something great and important. 

It is being hard for him to realize if it is a dream or reality and if this is reality then was he living in a dream till now?

Blake Crouch has brilliantly plotted the mindblowing story which will resist you from even thinking about putting this book down.

13. Autonomous by Annalee Newitz


Annalee Newitz is a science journalist and science blogger turned writer. Autonomous is her debut novel, published in 2017.

Autonomous boldly presents the time when everything on the earth will be considered as a product and can be bought. The story features Jack who is a pharmaceutical pirate. She makes medicine available for the ones who cannot afford them.

But lately, her recent drug has been traced with some lethal effects on the people. Resulting in the addiction to work, doing repetitive tasks until people become unsafe or insane.

This amazing book might quench your thirst to read books like Ready Player One.

14. Infomocracy by Malka Older


The debut novel by Malka Older, Infomocracy is a science-fiction and was nominated for the several awards.

Infomocracy is about future times when the entire world signs on to the ‘micro-democracy’ government. In this form of government, after every 10 years elections, 100,000 people of an area gets to vote for the government.

Ken, Domaine, and Mishima are all set to witness the supermajority knowing that there can be an act of sabotage which will bring down Information on Election Day.

This is the first book of the Centenal Cycle Book series, followed by the Null States.

15. Gnomon by Nick Harkaway


Your love for Ready Player One book has made you come so far in the list and Gnomon is worth to add in this list where the transparency in a democracy is taken too far.

On the lands of Gnomon, people are under surveillance of government 24*7. Every action, every word is recorded by the system, even the thoughts, and memories of the citizens.

After the death of Diana Hunter in the interrogation process, Mielikki Neith is assigned the task to look for what went wrong. To unleash the truth, Neith has to decipher the code from the people’s memories and find out the one who is behind all this.

You will find this book captivating and an extraordinary novel.

16. Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz


This book was originally published in 1978 and has been one of the best urban fantasy books.

Flex is a distilled magic in crystal form. Once you have snorted it, you can create incredible coincidences in whichever you want. You can backlash Flex with Flux. You can use it to rebalance the magic and also it can reverse whatever inflict Flex has created.

In this world of magic creation and destruction, Paul Tsabo is the bureaucromancer who has turned paperwork into a beast. But all his magic experiments couldn’t save his burned daughter. So he tries to test Flex and the only condition is if anything goes wrong his brain will be wiped.

Read this sharp, weird, and wildly innovative book.

17. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas

And this one is from the Post-Apocalyptic books category.

Cloud Atlas is the third book by David Mitchell and was published in the year 2014. The book was also short-listed for the ‘Booker Prize’ in the same year it was published. It has won the British Book Awards, Literary Fiction Award and the Richard & Judy “Book of the Year” award.

The story is about the six interlocking lives and one amazing adventure across the globe. The journey was started from the 19th century and ended in the post-apocalyptic the future.

This book is beyond the limits of the time, genre, and language to offer the fascinating story of humanity.

18. Oasis by Dima Zales


This book is a post-apocalyptic series written by the New York Times Bestselling Author, Dima Zales and it is the first book of the series.

Oasis is the last and the only land suitable place for living on the Earth. Theo is the resident of this place. There is no vulgarity, violence, insanity and other ills, even the death doesn’t plague him. A place where everything is contented just like heaven.

On this isolated place, Theo hears some voices in his head. Her name is Phoe and she tells him things no imaginary friend should know.

Discover if the girl is Theo’s delusion or she just actually does exist.

19. Divergent by Veronica Roth


It’s hard to make choices where you lose either way. That’s the kind of choice Beatrice has to make in the story.

In the dystopian world of Chicago, every sixteen-year-old has to choose one faction land amongst the five to which they will devote the rest of their lives. Beatrice who has made this difficult choice of choosing between her family and the new world.

She finds her identity in this new world with a new name, Tris. Tris has to undergo many physical challenges and must recognize who her actual friends are.

If you had liked Ready Player One, then this book will be your best friend.

20. Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett

Only You Can Save Mankind

Only You Can Save Mankind was originally published in the year 1992 and happen to be a great novel for children.

Johnny Maxwell has downloaded a pirated game named Only You Can Save Mankind. The game was about the alien invasion on the territory. Everything was going well. He was about to set a new record of scores until one day. He was about to thrash the fire button and a message pops ‘we want to surrender’. 

Aliens are not supposed to surrender, they have to die. The next moment Johnny finds himself inside the game in his dreams, where he has to fight all the Gunnery Officer.

Only You Can Save Mankind is a funny, thrilling and compelling story and I guarantee that this light-read will help you overcome from Ready Player One.

Final Words

By now, you might have picked your next-read book form the above-mentioned list of books like Ready Player One.

So, my personal favorite from this list is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I like the concept and the freshness of the story. This story has suspense on the most unexpected parts of the story and that’s what makes it the brilliant plot.

I will keep updating you with the recent books like Ready Player One. So, be ready to add more books on your TBR List.

Till then, Happy Reading!


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