Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix. (Photo by Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
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10 Books To Read If You Love The Matrix
William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” is one of the most influential pieces of work on the modern cyberpunk genre, creating terms like cyberspace and matrix that are often associated with science fiction. The novel uses relatable cultural touchstones to launch readers into the then-fledgling world of true, sentient
AI, blending it with noir filth.
Ancillary Justice
The entry point to Ann Leckie’s “Space Radch” saga, “Ancillary Justice,” overlaps the cyberpunk and space opera categories with the story of an AI trapped in a human body. The novel explores similar themes as “The Matrix” about whether humanity is replaceable in a future dominated by highly advanced technology.
Ghost in the Shell
While “The Matrix” drew inspiration from director Mamoru Oshii’s “Ghost in the Shell” anime adaptation, Masamune Shirow’s original manga is lighter in tone and more detailed in its exploration of the cybernetic future. The story follows Motoko and her evolution as a being that has bridged the worlds of AI and human intelligence.
Altered Carbon
In Richard K. Morgan’s noir-flavored cyberpunk world, “Altered Carbon” explores several concepts from “The Matrix” franchise. In this future, humans can avoid death by uploading their consciousness into new bodies, raising questions of privilege and the importance of individual consciousness in a world where flesh is an afterthought.
Lord of Light
Although not in the cyberpunk genre, Roger Zelazny’s “Lord of Light” examines a similar theme to “The Matrix” with the life of a messiah, as seen through the Buddhist cycle of karma. Both Neo and the novel’s protagonist, Sam, must navigate a world forced into a rigid cycle and break the chains of oppression with a revolt that begins in faith.