Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Books about computer gaming.

At the request of Waller Hastings, the members of Child_lit came up with this list, and kindly permitted me to post it here.

Baron, Nick. Virtual Destruction. Previewing a new virtual reality game,
Marc McClaren becomes alarmed when he begins to have strange nightmares
and then his friends begin to die in strange accidents.

Besher, Alexander. Rim: a Novel of Virtual Reality. In the wake of a
mega-earthquake in 2027 Japan, the virtual-reality entertainment empire
Satori Corporation attempts to rescue thousands of people trapped in
virtual worlds.

Bloor, Edward. Crusader. 15-year-old Roberta struggles to separate truth
from virtual reality when she works in her uncle's failing arcade at the
mall in this blend of murder mystery and mall rat culture.

Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game. Set in a future where children are
trained for military battle using video games, Ender rises above his peers
to become a commander of a virtual army.

Carpenter, Christopher. The Twilight Realm. Five young people addicted to
a fantasy role-playing game are transformed into characters with
remarkable powers and sent into a strange and dangerous parallel world.

Catran, Ken. Running Dogs.

Catran. The Onager._

Cross, Gillian. New World. Fourteen-year-old Miriam agrees to test a new
computer game in utmost secrecy but finds that it is more than she
bargained for.

Dick, Philip K. Game Players of Titan.

Foy, George. The Shift. Burned-out soap opera writer Alex Munn finds his
life in danger from a serial killer when he plays with new virtual reality

Gibbons, Alan. Legendeer trilogy. Shadow of the minotaur.

Goldman, E. M. The Night Room. When a group of students uses an
experimental computer program that simulates their tenth high school
reunion, they get an unsettling look at their possible futures.

Hogan, James. Bug Park. Visionary teens Kevin and Taki realize that they
can make millions from Bug Park, a micro mechanical entertainment park
that employs direct neural interfacing, but a murderous saboteur forces
them into a war of physics.

Horowitz, Anthony. Eagle Strike. After a chance encounter with assassin
Yassen Gregorovich, teenage spy Alex Rider investigates a pop star, whose
new video game venture hides sinister motives involving Air Force One,
nuclear missiles, and the drug trade.

Howarth, Lesley. Ultraviolet. We think we are in a post-catastrophe
dystopia but actually we are testing a computer game.

Ipcar, Dahlov. The Warlock of Night. Based on chess.

Kostick, Conor. Epic.

Kostick. Saga.

Landsman, Sandy. The Gadget Factor. Boys build a virtual world that looks
a lot like what we might call Sim Universe, and then war game it to

Locke, Joseph. Game Over. When a new video arcade named Hades opens in
town, the students of Dinsmore begin committing bizarre and violent acts.

Lubar, David. Wizards of the Game. RPG fan Mercer wants to bring a gaming
convention to his middle school, but instead attracts four genuine wizards
who are trapped on Earth and want his help in returning to their own

Miyabe, Miyuki. Brave Story. {Tr. Alexander O. Smith} This year's Mildred
L. Batchelder Award winner. Fourteen-year-old Wataru enters the fantasy
world of Vision hoping to change his real-life situation (he is an only
child whose world is falling apart as his parents become estranged) by
relying on the video-game rules with which he is so familiar. but they
don't work. This doorstop of a book (816 pages) is a phenomenon in Japan,
where it is also available as a video game and a multi-volume graphic
novel. The last time I checked, the first 3 volumes of the graphic novel
had been translated into English.

Norman, Roger. Albion’s Dream. Edward's involvement with a mysterious
adventure game leads to a confrontation with his boarding school's
tyrannical headmaster and evil doctor.

Odom, Mel. Crossings (Buffy the Vampire Slayer series). When local video
game players who have been testing a new game begin exhibiting strange
behavior, Anya and Xander investigate, but when Anya disappears into an
alternate demon universe, Buffy must discover how to get her back.

Paulsen, Gary. Rodomonte’s Revenge. Best friends Brett and Tom love the
new virtual reality game, Rodomonte's Revenge, until the computer
infiltrates their minds and transforms the game into something dangerously

Pratchett, Terry. Only You Can Save Mankind. A classic but the gaming
itself becomes something of a metaphor/portal fantasy world by the end.

Pryor, Michael . The Mask of Caliban.

Rubinstein, Gillian. Space Demons. Twelve-year-old Andrew, bored with
life, becomes obsessed with a mysterious new computer game, which has the
power to zap him and his friends into a dangerous world of menacing space
warriors. Andrew M. Butler writes about this in The Lion and the Unicorn,
Vol 28, number 2. There are sequels: Skymaze and Shinkei.

Scott, Michael. Gemini Game. When players of their virtual reality
computer game fall into a coma, Liz and BJ O'Connor, teenage owners of a
computer games company, flee from the police in an attempt to locate a
copy of their game and correct the programming.

Seidler, Tor. Brainboy and the Deathmaster. When the new prototype of his
favorite game, StarMaster, leads him to the laboratory of software guru
Keith Masterly, orphan and computer game genius Darryl Kirby finds his
life plunged into danger when he uncovers Keith's diabolical scheme, which
forces him to confront his painful past.

Simons, Rikki. Reality Check! (Manga) When tenth-grader Collin Meeks is
at school, his cat, Catreece, puts on her owner's virtual reality helmet,
assumes the identity of a cute teenager, and surfs the Virtual Internet
System while Collin is at school. (Graphic Novel)

Skurzynski, Gloria. The Virtual War. In a future world where global
contamination has necessitated limited human contact, three young people
with unique genetically engineered abilities are teamed up to wage a war
in virtual reality.

Sleator, William. Interstellar Pig.

Tangherlini, Arne. Leo@fergusrules.com. Leonora, a teenager of mixed
ancestry, begins to spend most of her time in a virtual reality program
but is lured into computer-generated danger when a boy she likes

Townley, Roderick. Into the Labyrinth. A sequel to The Great Good Thing,
about turning a world into hypertext.

Vande Velde, Vivian. Heir Apparent. Giannine is trapped in a flawed
virtual reality game that will kill her unless she beats it.

Vande Velde. User Unfriendly. Arvin Rizalli, his mother, and six of his
friends pirate a computer-generated, interactive video game that plugs
right into the players' brains.

Weiss, D. B. Lucky Wander Boy. Obsessed with creating an encyclopedic
reference of every video game ever played, Adam Pennyman continues to be
frustrated by his attempts to uncover information about "Lucky Wander
Boy," a game that he had loved as a child, until a chance encounter takes
him to Portal Entertainment, which, in turn, leads to the game's creator.

Werlin, Nancy. Locked Inside. When Marnie is kidnapped by a crazed fan of
her late mother's, an Internet gaming friend comes to the rescue in this

Westwood, Chris. Virtual World. Fourteen-year-old Jack North finds himself
literally drawn into the frightening world of what he thinks is a new
virtual reality game.

Wieler, Diana. Ran Van the Defender. Rhan Van uses his success at video
games under the name "RanVan" to see himself as a modern knight and to
cope with life with his grandmother and as an outsider at his Vancouver
high school, with his anger, and with girls.

Wynne Jones, Diana. Homeward Bounders.

Wynne Jones. The Game.

All "The Web" series of which the recommender’s favourites are:
Baxter: Webcrash
Joyce, Spiderbite
MacLeod, Cydonia
Cadigan, Avatar
all from Orion.

While Cathy's Book is not about gaming per se, it was written by someone
who writes games: Jordan Weisman. (Sean Stewart is a coauthor and has also
done stuff with gaming, I believe.) The interactive nature of the book,
along with the reader making choices of how to "read" the additional
information, is gaming influenced.

Not a computer game, but Scott Corbett's The Big Joke Game might fit.
Sort of halfway between Through the Looking-Glass and the computer game

For nonfiction, try Masters of Doom: how two guys created an empire and
transformed pop culture, by David Kushner.


Blogger stalepie said...

Thanks for this list... some of these books seem interesting.

7:46 PM  

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