In the video game Slay the Spire, when you get the Library encounter, you can get one of three descriptions of novels.

One description is of "a young superhero with the power to control insects" -- that's Worm.

Another is "a man who journeyed beyond the stars" who gets trapped on a desolate planet and has to rely on his ingenuity to get home -- that's The Martian.

The third description says: "The story takes place in a giant isolated building underground as the outside conditions have become unbearable. The novel is mired with conspiracies, propaganda, and injustice." What is this story?

My first thought was of the Alpha Complex, but that's not a novel...

  • 4
    I don't know what the third one is, but "beyond the stars" is a really bad description for someone trapped on Mars, which orbits the same star as the Earth.
    – Jontia
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 21:34

2 Answers 2


This is Wool by Hugh Howey, continuing the theme of self-published authors.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

(Dubious?) Confirmation is provided by Reddit user Pokefinder2 who claims that he was privy to the game's official discord development channel

Pokefinder2 - The Library: Randomly references 1 of 3 novels: Worm (web serial), The Martian, and Wool.

puppyaddict - Do you have a source claiming these are the actual references or are they a representation of your own associations?

Pokefinder2 - Discord from th[e] dev as help for localization.


The third description reminds me alot of 'The Island' to be honest. But I'm sure there can be found more dystopian movies with a similar setup.

  • 2
    Could you edit this to explain how it matches?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 14:21

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