Press Start to Play

Press Start to Play

by Daniel H. Wilson, John Joseph Adams


$15.26 $16.95 Save 10% Current price is $15.26, Original price is $16.95. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, October 16


You are standing in a room filled with books, faced with a difficult decision. Suddenly, one with a distinctive cover catches your eye. It is a groundbreaking anthology of short stories from award-winning writers and game-industry titans who have embarked on a quest to explore what happens when video games and science fiction collide.

From text-based adventures to first-person shooters, dungeon crawlers to horror games, these twenty-six stories play with our notion of what video games can be—and what they can become—in smart and singular ways. With a foreword from Ernest Cline, bestselling author of Ready Player One, Press Start to Play includes work from: Daniel H. Wilson, Charles Yu, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, S.R. Mastrantone, Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Black, Seanan McGuire, Django Wexler, Nicole Feldringer, Chris Avellone, David Barr Kirtley,T.C. Boyle, Marc Laidlaw, Robin Wasserman, Micky Neilson, Cory Doctorow, Jessica Barber, Chris Kluwe, Marguerite K. Bennett, Rhianna Pratchett, Austin Grossman,  Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Catherynne M. Valente, Andy Weir, and Hugh Howey.

Your inventory includes keys, a cell phone, and a wallet. What would you like to do?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101873304
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/18/2015
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 340,472
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Daniel H. Wilson

Daniel H. Wilson is a New York Times bestselling author and coeditor of the Press Start to Play anthology. He earned a PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he also received master’s degrees in robotics and in machine learning. He has published more than a dozen scientific papers, holds four patents, and has written eight books. Wilson has written for Popular Science, Wired, and Discover, as well as online venues such as, Gizmodo, Lightspeed, and In 2008, Wilson hosted The Works, a television series on the History Channel that uncovered the science behind everyday stuff. His books include How to Survive a Robot Uprising, A Boy and His Bot, Amped, and Robopocalypse (the film adaptation of which is slated to be directed by Steven Spielberg). He lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. Find him on Twitter @danielwilsonPDX.

John Joseph Adams

John Joseph Adams is the series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is also the editor of many other bestselling anthologies, such as The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Armored, Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, and The Living Dead. Recent and forthcoming projects include: Loosed Upon the World, Robot Uprisings, Dead Man’s Hand, Operation Arcana, Wastelands 2, and The Apocalypse Triptych, which consists of The End Is Nigh, The End Is Now, and The End Has Come. Called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble, Adams is a winner of the Hugo Award (for which he has been nominated eight times) and is a six-time World Fantasy Award finalist. Adams is also the editor and publisher of the digital magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare and is a producer for’s “The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy” podcast. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.

Read an Excerpt

God Mode

Excerpted from "Press Start to Play"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Daniel H. Wilson.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

God Mode
Daniel H. Wilson
Charles Yu
Hiroshi Sakurazaka 
Desert Walk
S.R. Mastrantone
Rat Catcher’s Yellows
Charlie Jane Anders
Holly Black
Survival Horror
Seanan McGuire
Django Wexler
Nicole Feldringer
< end game >
Chris Avellone
Save Me Plz
David Barr Kirtley
The Relive Box
T.C. Boyle
Marc Laidlaw
All of the People in Your Party Have Died
Robin Wasserman
Micky Neilson

Anda’s Game

Cory Doctorow
Coma Kings
Jessica Barber
Marguerite K. Bennett
Please Continue
Chris Kluwe
Creation Screen
Rhianna Pratchett
The Fresh Prince of Gamma World
Austin Grossman
Gamer’s End
Yoon Ha Lee
The Clockwork Soldier
Ken Liu
Catherynne M. Valente
Andy Weir
Select Character
Hugh Howey

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Press Start to Play 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most stories are fine, good enough to keep you going. The last two are worth the price of the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some good Some poor Suggest taking it out from your local library instead of buying it. Best story in anthology: "Anda's Game"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There were a couple good stories, but the majority felt rushed and incomplete. Was expecting more from the author of robowars.
DownrightDystopian More than 1 year ago
For those of you who don't know, I'm a huge fan of gaming. I've played games all my life, and grew up with a PlayStation 2 which I have been playing Guitar Hero 2 on since age 8. Yes, it's that intense. I also love playing Xbox, Wii, and PC games. Any game console will do. That's why the second that I saw this book, I knew I had to give it a read. Plus, it had some writing by Ernest Cline, who is my favorite author of all time. Press Start to Play did not disappoint. It was filled with video game related short stories, some of them horror, some science fiction, and some fantasy. Sometimes the video games would even converge with real life, and those were the ones that I ended up loving most, because they were creepy! This was also my first anthology read, and I have to say that I now absolutely love short stories. Here are some of my favorites from Press Start to Play: NPC by Charles Yu (5/5 stars) This short story was awesome. Basically you are a worker on the moon collecting iridium every day and you have a crush on Carla. One day, you level up and everything is so different, which makes you miss the days that you spent crushing on Carla, going on missions, and eating Lean Cuisines. I think the coolest thing about this one was that the main character was literally "you", making you feel the experience even more. Respawn by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (5/5 stars) This short story contained a character who could respawn every time he died. If he was murdered, he became the murdered. It was the coolest concept. Imagine that happening to you; you basically could never die. 1Up by Holly Black (5/5 stars) This is my favorite kind of video game read-very Ready Player One-esque. Friends who knew a guy named Soren online all go to his funeral, only to find that he left behind a game to answer questions behind his death. This game starts to blend into the real world in the awesomest way possible. This is definitely my favorite short story so far, and now I know why everyone loves Holly Black. Save Me Plz by David Barr Kirtley (5/5 stars) A short story that involves a world where elements that weren't part of Earth suddenly are? YES PLEASE. Yet another short story that I loved! This one also featured a huge twist towards the end. Definitely worth the read! The Relive Box by T.C. Boyle (5/5 Stars) I loved the idea behind the relive box... I feel like it's definitely something that could come about in the future. It's basically a stimulation that lets you relive anything from the past that's happened, and you can relive it as many times as your heart desires, which is insane. The world would never be the same and it'd definitely start to take over your life, as this short story shows. Anda's Game by Cory Doctorow (5/5 stars) I read In Real Life by Cory Doctorow a few months ago and loved it, so I love how this short story was basically the same but just in writing instead of comics! It touches some very unique concepts that are definitely worth talking about such as child labor. I highly suggest reading this short story. Coma Kings by Jessica Barber (5/5 stars) I absolutely adored how this story had more than just video games; it also had a sisterly bond, though one of the sisters was in a coma. The sister however was hooked up to the game so she was alive online, though just not in person. It was a very cool concept, I loved it! Creation Screen by Rhianna Pratchett (5/5 stars) Instead of reading about the gamer, this story was actually about t