Did you know that Westworld started as a 1973 film before being adapted into the critically acclaimed HBO series?
Both the film and the series are set in a futuristic amusement park where wealthy guests can indulge in their darkest desires with the help of lifelike robots.
However, the robots start to malfunction and gain sentience, leading to a thrilling exploration of artificial intelligence, free will, and morality.
So, what makes “Westworld” such a success that its 2016 series premiere had everyone talking about it? Well, for starters, it’s a visually stunning production with top-notch acting, cinematography, and special effects.
Indeed, the show features an ensemble of talented actors who bring their A-game to every scene and have created some truly unforgettable characters.
The series is led by Evan Rachel Wood, who impresses audiences with her talent, while her co-star Thandie Newton also delivers a standout performance.
Other notable cast members include James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright, and Ed Harris, who portrays the enigmatic Man in Black, a frequent guest who seems to know more about the park than anyone else.
Anthony Hopkins, Tessa Thompson, and Aaron Paul are a few other names that make this series an easy one to start name-dropping its cast!
In addition to that, Westworld is also a mind-bending exploration of what it means to be human and the consequences of playing God with technology.
So, if you are a fan of science fiction, dystopian stories, or just good old-fashioned action and drama, Westworld is definitely for you.
But be warned: it’s not for the faint of heart! The series in particular has earned a reputation for its complex storytelling, graphic violence, and mature themes.
Despite its challenges, Westworld has become a cultural phenomenon, captivating audiences with its twists and turns, intricate plotlines, and philosophical musings.
If you enjoyed the days spent watching Westworld, then you will find great joy in reading cyberpunk and science fiction books such as Brave New World, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner, Neuromancer, The Diamond Age, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I, Robot, The Three-Body Problem, Snow Crash, and Ender’s Game.
Themes In Westworld
Westworld explores the theme of artificial intelligence and what happens when machines become self-aware.
The androids in the park are programmed to obey humans, but when they start to develop their own thoughts and emotions, it raises questions about what it means to be conscious and alive.
The show explores the ethical implications of creating and using advanced technology.
The human characters in the show are often shown to be morally ambiguous, and their treatment of the androids raises questions about the limits of science and progress.
Reality Vs. Illusion
The show blurs the lines between reality and illusion.
The characters in Westworld are unable to distinguish between what is real and what is not, and the audience is similarly challenged to question their own perceptions.
Westworld deals with power dynamics between individuals and groups.
The androids in the park are controlled by the human characters, but as they become more self-aware, they start to challenge the power dynamic and fight for their own autonomy.
The show explores the concept of free will, particularly as it relates to the androids in the park.
The androids are programmed to follow a script and behave a certain way, but as they develop their own consciousness, they begin to exercise their own free will and make choices that were not part of their programming.
8 Books To Read If You Loved Westworld
Aldous Huxley is a fiction book that sometimes feels close to reality, and it’s a book you will love reading if you are a Westworld fan.
It’s a classic dystopian novel presenting us with a future society that’s been engineered to be happy, but at the cost of individuality and freedom.
The story follows a man named Bernard Marx, who begins to question the status quo and rebels against the system.
Similar to Westworld, this novel explores the dangers of technology and the consequences of playing God with human life, while it also challenges the idea of what it means to be human and whether our desires and experiences are truly our own.
- Engaging and well-crafted story with compelling characters
- Evergreen and relevant to today’s society
- A bit heavy-handed with its messages
Themes: technology, individuality, freedom, brainwashing
As a fan of Westworld, chances are you’ve already seen Blade Runner, the iconic sci-fi film based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? but have you read the book?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is another sci-fi novel this time set in a post-apocalyptic world where most of the population has emigrated to other planets.
The protagonist is a bounty hunter named Rick Deckard, who is tasked with “retiring” rogue androids that are almost indistinguishable from humans.
Like Westworld, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? explores the concept of what it means to be human and the ethics of creating artificial life.
Both stories also touch on the idea of reality and the blurring of lines between what is real and what is manufactured.
- Well-written and engaging the main character
- Vivid and imaginative world-building
- Slow paced at times
Themes: humanity, artificiality, reality, empathy, morality
Seeing how Westworld is ultra-futuristic, you would not expect any of these books to be any less set in the future!
Neuromancer is thus another story set in a futuristic world.
It centers around a washed-up hacker named Case who is recruited for a risky hacking job by a mysterious employer, and who, along the way, teams up with a powerful AI and a deadly assassin to try and take down a corrupt corporation.
One of the things that set Neuromancer apart is its innovative use of language and its vivid and immersive world-building.
The story also touches on themes of the dangers of technology, the intersection of man and machine, and the blurred lines between what is real and what is virtual.
- Groundbreaking and influential in the cyberpunk genre
- Immersive world-building
- Fast-paced and action-packed
- The nonlinear structure might make it harder to follow than other books
Themes: technology, identity, selfhood, corporate power, greediness, artificial intelligence
Neal Stephenson’s novel The Diamond Age will take you on a mind-bending journey through a high-tech future.
Set in a world where nanotechnology has revolutionized society, the story follows a young girl named Nell who is given a magical book that teaches her how to become a powerful force in her world.
One of the things that makes this book so compelling is its exploration of the intersection between technology and culture, and the ways in which we use technology to shape our identities and our world.
This theme is something Westworld fans find particularly intriguing, as both stories delve into the nature of humanity and the blurred lines between the real and the artificial.
- Imaginative world-building
- Engaging and multi-dimensional characters
- Captivating, genre-bending storytelling
- Some complex language makes it a bit tricky to grasp
Themes: technology, culture, identity, education, social and economic inequality
If you love the Westworld but need a change to a hilarious and irreverent sci-fi adventure that will have you laughing out loud, then The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy should be your next pick.
This classic novel follows hapless human Arthur Dent as he embarks on a wild and wacky journey through space with his alien friend Ford Prefect, encountering bizarre creatures and even more bizarre situations along the way.
- Humorous and enjoyable
- Unique and engaging world
- Fun and memorable characters
- Its humor and style might suit everyone
Themes: life’s meaning and purpose, human knowledge and its limitation, the meaning of existence
Another classic, I, Robot is not simply one story, but a sci-fi collection of short stories exploring the relationship between humans and robots and delving into the complexities and ethical dilemmas that arise as technology becomes more advanced.
One of the things that makes I, Robot so engaging is the way it asks important questions about the nature of consciousness, free will, and morality, while its focus on the relationship between humans and intelligent machines is something that will remind you very much of your favorite series!
- Smartly explores the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence
- Engaging and thought-provoking
- The clear and accessible writing style
- The book’s episodic structure might not be ideal for everyone
Themes: consciousness, free will, humans and machines relationship, technology, ethics, artificial intelligence
The Three-Body Problem’s story is set against the backdrop of China’s tumultuous history and explores the possibility of extraterrestrial life and its impact on humanity.
The book is full of mind-bending ideas and concepts, making it nothing less than a true masterpiece of the genre.
The themes of the novel are similar to those in Westworld, in that they explore the relationship between humans and technology, and the impact that advanced technology can have on society.
- The thrilling and mind-bending story
- Very engaging and well-built plot
- Well-developed characters
- Unique Chinese setting that provides a unique perspective on the sci-fi genre
- A bit complex to read, so you need to be more invested when reading it
Themes: aliens, science, technology, war
An action-packed, cyberpunk adventure, Snow Crash is a must-read for any Westworld fan.
Neal Stephenson’s novel is set in a near-future America where the government has collapsed, and society is divided between private city-states and impoverished suburbs.
The main character, Hiro Protagonist, is a hacker and sword-wielding pizza deliveryman who embarks on a quest to save the virtual and physical world from a mysterious virus called Snow Crash.
Snow Crash explores themes of technology, religion, language, and government control. Reminds you of any series?
- Imaginative world-building
- Interesting characters
- Fast-paced and filled with an action story
- The complex plot and technical jargon
Themes: cyberpunk, virtual reality, linguistics, capitalism, postmodernism
Westworld is a remarkable show that combines action, drama, and science fiction in an unparalleled way, and if you are a fan, you must have been looking for ways to relive that excitement of watching it through reading a book.
Luckily for you, these 7 books we have in this article will take you on similar journeys of discovery, contemplation, and entertainment.
Each of these books can be a treasure trove of ideas, emotions, and insights that expand your horizons and challenge your perceptions.
So, if you’re looking for more mind-bending stories of artificial intelligence, consciousness, morality, and the human condition, these books are your next read!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Book Inspires Westworld?
Westworld is primarily inspired by the 1973 film of the same name, written and directed by Michael Crichton.
What Did Dolores’s Dad Whisper To Her In Westworld?
In Season 1 of Westworld, Dolores’ father, Peter Abernathy, whispers “these violent delights have violent ends” to her before malfunctioning.