30 books you’ll want to read if you loved Westworld

30 books you’ll want to read if you loved Westworld
02 Aug

Westworld Season 2, Episode 3

As an astrophysicist and published sci-fi/speculative fiction author and editor who was introduced to Asimov and Clarke by age four, Westworld resonated with me on a number of levels. Check out the following guide on what to read until Season 3!

And don’t worry Westworld fans—this won’t be like every other list you read. You won’t find any basic Hitchhiker’s Guide, Ender’s Game, or Brave New World here. We go for the innovative. The following novels are presented in no particular order. Enjoy!

Don’t be afraid to check some of these titles out while we’re in a Westworld drought aka the dreadful hiatus. Anything we can do to pass the time until season 3, right?


Credit: Isaac Asimov

Foundation – Isaac Asimov

History, science, and mathematics combine to describe and predict human behavior alongside one man’s battle to rebuild civilization in a massive classic of the genre. I also recommend Asimov’s The Caves of Steel and The Gods Themselves.

The Three-Body Problem – Liu Cixin

An acclaimed hard-science pick that explores the nature of human behavior on a planet orbiting three suns.

Babel-17 – Samuel R. Delaney

This is not to be missed by fans of Westworld’s neurocognition themes. What can AI do to expand the human brain and abilities? A lot, it seems. This exciting thriller will keep you on your toes.


Credit: Robert Heinlein

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Robert Heinlein

Another classic. Supercomputer gains sentience and self-awareness (and a conscience) and aids humans in a revolution against their corrupt governmental system.

Sphere – Michael Crichton

The director of the original Westworld gives us an underwater futuristic struggle between machine intelligence and fragile human imagination that you won’t forget. And for those who haven’t seen the 1998 film adaptation of the novel starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel L. Jackson–you’re missing out!

Sailing to Byzantium – Robert Silverberg

Inspired by a Yeats poem of the same name (and remember the history of Yeats’s poetry in Westworld), this time-travel futuristic novel deals with concepts of immortality and time itself. Is immortality worth it? What are the consequences?


Credit: Frank Herbert

Dune – Frank Herbert

One of the great novels of science fiction, Dune has everything you’re looking for. It’s a must-read.

Gateway – Frederik Pohl

Exploring the idea of making conscious choices and their outcomes, the award-winning 1977 Gateway is a must-read that will have readers thinking long after putting it down.

The Player of Games – Iain M. Banks

A human/AI combined society and a mysterious game will definitely quench your Westworld cravings.

Accelerando – Charles Stross

Molecular nanotech, AI surpassing and overtaking the human race, and human survival in this new reality. Honestly, I recommend just about anything by Stross, including Neptune’s Brood and his Laundry Files series.

The Time-Swept City – Tom Monteleone

A lesser-known pick by a great author. This book takes us through eons of human history, tech advancements, and AI development all the way to humanity’s end and the world’s ultimate purpose as a machine utopia.

Blindsight – Peter Watts

Machine-human hybridization, the supernatural, and interstellar warriors combine to discover the source of a mysterious signal far from Earth.


Credit: Philip K. Dick

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick

Classic novel, classic film (Bladerunner inspiration). What does it mean to be human in a futuristic world?

Ubik – Philip K. Dick

In a future with cryogenic preservation, multiple lives, both true and false memories, and worldwide telepathy, are we truly alive or are we dead?

The Quantum Thief – Hannu Rajaniemi

A much-loved sci-fi/fantasy novel of this century, this piece has everything you could want, from
AI, time travel, overlapping timelines, and multiple lives to navigate. Imagine having to kill a
future variation of yourself every morning just to preserve reality.



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