I got this novel from a Scholastic book fair at my elementary school in the mid 90s. It featured a kid who regularly played MUDs with his friends. In the text-based game world, he had an unusual power to discover secret keywords to perform super-powered actions. The plot went back-and-forth between his game sessions and his real life normal kid problems. By the end of the story, he gained real life powers mirroring those of his character in the game.

I was really young and can't remember any character or location names, but I'd love to find this novel again.

EDIT: Added more detail about the game world.

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    Do you remember if they actually called them MUDs, or if they were MMORPGs or just "online games"? MOOs?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 28, 2017 at 20:25
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    I remember MUSHs and MOOs being mentioned, but not MMORPGs. The acronyms were specifically used in the novel. Mar 1, 2017 at 23:39
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    In mid 90s that is quite possible as real MMOs were not so far spread back then (if at all). Mostly mushs and Muds were played back then (if at all online).
    – Thomas
    Mar 28, 2017 at 19:34
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    @Thomas Graphical MMORPGs didn't exist until 1991 (Neverwinter Nights) and you had to pay AOL $6 an hour to play. The kid in this story was 100% online in a text-based world. Mar 29, 2017 at 17:01
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    Is it possible that it's the same book this person is talking about?
    – FFHannibal
    Mar 30, 2017 at 7:39

1 Answer 1


I'm the one who posted that original thread on Giant Bomb and I have very, very good news!

AWrightIV's suggestion of oldchildrensbooks.com links to worldcat.org, which had enough filters to allow me to dial the search down to.

Meltdown Man, from the Cyber Zone series!

meltdown man cover

  • 3
    Welcome aboard BPAlbert :) Glad to have you here. Please visit our tour page to familiarize yourself with the site model and policies. Hoping to see more contributions in the future from you! :)
    – Aegon
    Mar 31, 2017 at 14:38
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    This is great :) I spent a long time trying to find this book to help the OP, but my hour-long searches didn't get any result aside from your original thread. I'm glad you found it.
    – FFHannibal
    Mar 31, 2017 at 20:42
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    Yes! This is it! Apr 2, 2017 at 1:40

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