Fictional book

A fictional book is a book (created specifically for a work of fiction) that sometimes provides the basis of the plot of a story, a common thread in a series of books, or the works of a particular writer or canon of work. A fictional book may also be used as a mode of conceit to illustrate a story within a story.

Prominent fictional books

  • The Necronomicon in H. P. Lovecraft's books serves as a repository of recondite and evil knowledge in many of his works and the work of others. Despite the evident tongue-in-cheek origin of the book, supposedly written by the "Mad Arab Abdul al-Hazred," who was supposed to have died by being torn apart by an invisible being in an Arab marketplace in broad daylight, many have been led to believe that the book is real.
  • A large portion of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is a reproduction of portions of the samizdat publication allegedly written by Emmanuel Goldstein and known simply as "The Book", although its actual title is The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism.
  • William Goldman's The Princess Bride is presented as an abridgment of The Princess Bride by "S. Morgenstern".
  • The story of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle revolves around another mysterious and forbidden book, written by the title character (Hawthorne Abendsen), named The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. Dick's book describes an alternate history where the Axis Powers were victorious in World War II and the United States has been divided between Japan and Nazi Germany. The book-within-a-book is an alternate history itself, depicting a world in which the Allies won the war but which is nonetheless different from our own world in several important respects. Towards the end of the story, Abendsen admits to writing The Grasshopper Lies Heavy under the direction of the I Ching (which influenced The Man in the High Castle as well).
  • All of the stories in Robert W. Chambers' 1895 collection The King in Yellow feature a fictional play of the same name, which drives all readers mad and/or shows them another reality. Very little of the play is transcribed in the stories, although it is shown to be set in the kingdom of Carcosa, created by Ambrose Bierce.
  • Guillaume Apollinaire's short fiction "L'Hérésiarque" ("The Heresiarch" or "The Heretic") describes two heretical Christian gospels written by the excommunicated Catholic cardinal Benedetto Orfei. Orfei's heresy is that the three figures of the Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—were incarnate in Jesus' time, and were crucified alongside him. Orfei's first work is The True Gospel, describing the human life of God the Father, an embodiment of virtue about whom little is known. Orfei's second work describes the human life of God the Holy Spirit; the title of this work is not mentioned, but is referred to only as his 'second gospel'. In this 'gospel,' the Holy Spirit is a thief who willfully indulges in all manner of vice, including violating a sleeping virgin who then gives birth to Jesus Christ, or God the Son. Later, both the Holy Spirit and the Father are arrested as thieves and crucified, the latter unjustly. Orfei's heresy is intended to illustrate man's contradictory but coexistent aspects of sinner and martyr.
  • Fictional books and authors figure prominently in several short stories by the Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges. A few of Borges's fictional creations include The Book of Sand, Herbert Quain (author of April March, The Secret Mirror, etc.), Ts'ui Pen (author of The Garden of Forking Paths), Mir Bahadur Ali (author of The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim), as well as the imaginary Encyclopædia Britannica of the story "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius". In "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote", a fictional poet named Pierre Menard attempts to recreate Don Quixote exactly as Miguel de Cervantes wrote it.
  • Stanislaw Lem wrote several books containing methods and ideas similar to Jorge Luis Borges's fiction. Between One Human Minute and A Perfect Vacuum, he reviews 19 fictional books (and one fictional lecture). In Imaginary Magnitude there are several introductions to fictional works, as well as an advertisement for a fictional encyclopedia entitled Vestrand's Extelopedia in 44 Magnetomes.
  • In Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby, the characters are searching for all the remaining copies of the book Poems and Rhymes Around the World, which contains a poem that can kill anyone who hears it spoken or has it thought in their direction.
  • The text of Mark Z. Danielewski's novel House of Leaves consists largely of the fictional book The Navidson Record by Zampanò (possibly based on Jorge Luis Borges),[1] and commentary upon it by its discoverer and editor Johnny Truant. The Navidson Record is itself an academic critique of an apparently nonexistent or fictional documentary film of the same name, which may or may not exist in the world of House of Leaves.
  • Bill Watterson placed fictional children's books in his comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, saying that he could never reveal their contents for they were surely more outrageous in the reader's imagination. For several years, Calvin (perpetually six years old) demands that his father read him Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie as a bedtime story. Occasionally, his father's patience snaps and he introduces new variations, which at least reveal what the original story is not: "Do you think the townsfolk will ever find Hamster Huey's head?" An "actual" Hamster Huey book was written by Mabel Barr in 2004, years after the strip's conclusion.
  • "Travels With My Cats," a Hugo-nominated short story by Mike Resnick first appearing in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, features a fictional travelogue of the same name.
  • Paul Levinson's novel The Plot To Save Socrates features a fictional ancient Platonic Dialogue, without title, that begins "PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates; Andros, a visitor. SCENE: The Prison of Socrates".
  • The Encyclopedia Galactica in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series was created in Terminus at the beginning of the Foundation Era. It serves primarily as an introduction to a character, a place or a circumstance to be developed in each chapter. Each quotation contains a copyright disclaimer and cites Terminus as the place of publication. The Encyclopedia also makes an appearance in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • The literary journal Underneath the Bunker (the title of which may refer to a song left off the track listing for the R.E.M. album Lifes Rich Pageant), founded in 2002 and online since 2005, has followed Stanislav Lem and Borges in publishing reviews of books that have never existed, such as Tosca Calbirro's 'Under An Unquiet Sun', or 'Receding Rainfall' by the eccentric Bosnian novelist Hoçe.
  • The Book of Counted Sorrows is a book invented by horror author Dean Koontz to add verisimilitude to some of his novels. "Quotations" from this fictional book were often used to set the tone of chapters of the novels. Koontz ultimately published a version of the book.
  • The Anonymous Manuscript of XVII century which Alessandro Manzoni pretends to be translating in his novel The Betrothed
  • The twelve-volume opus Life by Unspiek, Baron Bodissey is an oft-quoted imaginary work referred to in various novels by Jack Vance.
  • The work and life of the elusive German novelist Benno von Archimboldi is central to two of the five parts of 2666, the last novel written by Roberto Bolaño.
  • Juan de Mairena is an apocryphal author, invented by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado. According to Machado, Juan de Mairena is the author of several books about aesthetic theory, one of which is called Arte Poética (Poetic Art). Machado devotes several essays to analyze the aesthetic ideas exposed by Mairena in Arte Poética.

Lists of fictional books

See also


  1. ^ Bolton, Micheal Sean (2014). Mosaic of Juxtaposition. Brill Publishers. p. 174. ISBN 9042038489.

Further reading

External links

Abdul Alhazred

Abdul Alhazred is a fictional character created by American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. He is the so-called "Mad Arab" credited with authoring the fictional book Kitab al-Azif (the Necronomicon), and as such is an integral part of Cthulhu Mythos lore.

At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances

At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances is a book by Scottish author and academic Alexander McCall Smith, relating further matters in the life of the main character, Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld.

The Professor is a troubled German academic whose life's achievement is the (fictional) book, Portuguese Irregular Verbs.

The book relates details of von Igelfeld's troubled relationships with the other major characters of the book series, Professor Dr Dr (honoris causa) Florianus Prinzel and Professor Dr Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer, who work at the fictional Institute of Romance Philology at Regensburg, Germany.

The book consists of two longer stories, and reviewers say they can be read separately from the other books and each other. In the first story, On Being Light Blue von Igelfeld's birthday wish leads him to a four month stint at Cambridge University where he is nonplussed by the eccentric English academics and their constant infighting. In the second story, The Villa of Reduced Circumstances, von Igelfeld unwittingly becomes embroiled in a military coup in Colombia after being invited there to receive an academic award.

The illustrations are by Iain McIntosh.

Book of Spells

Book of Spells (or Wonderbook: Book of Spells) is an augmented reality video game for the PlayStation 3. It was developed by SCE London Studio in conjunction with J. K. Rowling as a companion to the Harry Potter series. It was introduced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2012 and is the first release for the Wonderbook. It is based on Book of Spells, a fictional book by Miranda Goshawk released about 200 years from the event date. It was released in the United States on 13 November 15 November in Australia, and 16 November in Europe. The game received mostly positive reviews from critics, praising the use of augmented reality and the PlayStation Move, while criticizing the game's short length.

Book of Thoth

Book of Thoth is a name given to many ancient Egyptian texts supposed to have been written by Thoth, the Egyptian god of writing and knowledge. They include many texts that were claimed to exist by ancient authors, and a magical book that appears in an Egyptian work of fiction.

Charlie the Choo-Choo (book)

Charlie the Choo-Choo: From the World of The Dark Tower is a children's book by Stephen King, published under the pseudonym Beryl Evans. It is based on a fictional book central to the plot of King's previous novel The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands. It was published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on November 11, 2016.


The Darkhold, also known as The Book of Sins, is a fictional book (a grimoire) appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Edward Stratemeyer

Edward L. Stratemeyer (October 4, 1862 – May 10, 1930) was an American publisher and writer of children's fiction. He was one of the most prolific writers in the world, producing in excess of 1,300 books himself, selling in excess of 500 million copies. He also created many well-known fictional book series for juveniles, including The Rover Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew series, many of which sold millions of copies and are still in publication today. On Stratemeyer's legacy, Fortune wrote: "As oil had its Rockefeller, literature had its Stratemeyer."

Fate Is the Hunter

Fate Is the Hunter is a 1961 memoir by aviation writer Ernest K. Gann. It describes his years working as a pilot from the 1930s to 1950s, starting at American Airlines in Douglas DC-2s and DC-3s when civilian air transport was in its infancy, moving onto wartime flying in C-54s, C-87s, and Lockheed Lodestars, and finally at Matson Navigation's short-lived upstart airline and various post-World War II "nonscheduled" airlines in Douglas DC-4s.

On its publication, in reviewing the book, Martin Caidin wrote that his reminiscences "stand excitingly as individual chapter-stories, but the author has woven them superbly into a lifetime of flight." Roger Bilstein, in a history of flight, says that of books that discuss airline operations from the pilot's point of view, "few works of this genre equal E. K. Gann's 'Fate Is the Hunter,' which strikingly evokes the atmosphere of air transport flying during the 1930s." In 2019, playwright David Mamet, a pilot himself, wrote that Fate Is the Hunter is "the best book written about aviation".The plot of the 1964 film Fate Is the Hunter had no relation to the book. Gann had written some early drafts of the script, but was so unhappy with the final result that he asked to have his name removed from it. In his autobiography, A Hostage to Fortune, Gann wrote, "They obliged and as a result I deprived myself of the TV residuals, a medium in which the film played interminably."The plot of the fictional book, The High and the Mighty, (written by Gann) bears some resemblance to one of the true stories in Fate Is the Hunter. On a flight from Hawaii to Burbank, California, the stewardess complained of a vibration that was rattling the dishes and silverware at the rear of the plane. Gann inspected the tail compartment and noticed nothing amiss. The vibration was later traced to a missing elevator hinge bolt, which could have led to aerodynamic unporting and a loss of control. However, Gann was eager to begin his vacation the next day and flew at a higher than expected airspeed, holding the elevator in place.

Another fictional book by Gann, Island in the Sky, is also based on a true story told in Fate Is the Hunter. The book was also made into a movie of the same name.


Funkcronomicon is a 1995 various artists collection of tracks produced by Bill Laswell under the name Axiom Funk, after Laswell's associated record label. It is a 2-CD set that was released by Island Records. Funkcronomicon features heavy participation from various members of Parliament-Funkadelic, to the degree that Funkcronomicon is widely considered to be a full-fledged P-Funk album. The album features what may be Pedro Bell's last authentic artistic renderings, as well as P-Funk guitarist Eddie Hazel's last recordings before his death in 1992. The album comprises newly recorded tracks, as well as tracks that have been featured on other Bill Laswell productions. Produced and compiled at Greenpoint Studio in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Funkcronomicon contains songs that were recorded as early as Maceo Parker's For All the Kings Men (1989) period. The album title is a play on Necronomicon, a fictional book.

History of the Necronomicon

"History of the Necronomicon" is a short text written by H. P. Lovecraft in 1927, and published in 1938. It describes the origins of the fictional book of the same name: the occult grimoire Necronomicon, a now-famous element of some of his stories. The short text purports to be non-fiction, adding to the appearance of 'pseudo-authenticity' which Lovecraft valued in building his Cthulhu Mythos oeuvre. Accordingly, it supposes the history of the Necronomicon as the inspiration for Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow, which concerns a book that overthrows the minds of those who read it.

Hong Gil-dong (TV series)

Hong Gil-dong (쾌도 홍길동; lit. Fast sword Hong Gil-dong) is a 2008 South Korean television series starring Kang Ji-hwan in the title role, Sung Yu-ri, Jang Keun-suk and Kim Ri-na. The drama is loosely based on Hong Gil-dong, a fictional book about a Robin Hood during Korea's Joseon Dynasty, but with modern influences and comedic tones. It aired on KBS2 from January 2 to March 26, 2008 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 24 episodes.

Jungle Junction

Jungle Junction is an American-British CGI interactive animated children's television series created by Trevor Ricketts. It aired in re-runs, on Disney Junior in the United States and in the Netherlands, as well as in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and in most of Asia. It was produced in the UK by animation company Spider Eye Productions. In the United States, it was originally part of the Playhouse Disney daily block intended for preschoolers. On February 14, 2011, it was moved to the Disney Junior block, serving as Playhouse Disney's replacement.

A second series of 26 episodes was ordered by Disney, and premiered on 2 April 2011.After the show's cancellation in May 2012, reruns aired on Disney Junior until August 2, 2016.

Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld

Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld is the main character in a series of short, humorous novels by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith.

In the books, Von Igelfeld is:

a "Professor Dr";

proud, stoic, and unable or unwilling to admit or face failure or imminent disaster in his professional or personal life - which is the basis for the humour in these novels;

a philologist;

the author of a fictional book Portuguese Irregular Verbs - "the seminal work on Romance philology" and "a lengthy book of some twelve hundred pages";

proud of his aristocratic German heritage;

an academic at the fictional Institute of Romance Philology in Regensburg, Germany;

a colleague of the other major characters of the book series, Professor Dr Dr (honoris causa) Florianus Prinzel and Professor Dr Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer ;

a compound word name in the German language meaning "hedgehog field" - igel=hedgehog, feld=field;

said to be quite tall;

born on May Day, 1 May;

initially a student in Heidelberg, Germany;

second for a duel by his friend Prinzel, which he had arranged, mistakenly, in a drunken discussion;

a doctoral student of Professor Dr Dr Dr Dieter Vogelsang, in Munich, Germany, studying Celtic philology and in particular Early Irish, and completed a field trip to Cork to gather data on its profanity;

a doctoral student (second assistant) of Professor Walter Schöffler-Henschell at the University of Wiesbaden.

Orange Catholic Bible

The Orange Catholic Bible (abbreviated to O. C. Bible or OCB) is a fictional book from the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. Its title suggests a merging of Protestantism and Catholicism, along with many other religious traditions. Created in the wake of the crusade against thinking machines Herbert calls the Butlerian Jihad, the Orange Catholic Bible is the primary orthodox religious text in the Dune universe and is described thus in the glossary of the 1965 novel Dune:

ORANGE CATHOLIC BIBLE: the "Accumulated Book," the religious text produced by the Commission of Ecumenical Translators. It contains elements of most ancient religions, including the Maometh Saari, Mahayana Christianity, Zensunni Catholicism and Buddislamic traditions. Its supreme commandment is considered to be: "Thou shalt not disfigure the soul."

Pepper Rodgers

Franklin Cullen "Pepper" Rodgers (born October 8, 1931) is a former American football player and coach. He was the head coach at the University of Kansas (1967–1970), University of California, Los Angeles (1971–1973), and the Georgia Institute of Technology (1974–1979), compiling a career college football record of 73–65–3 (.528).Rodgers was also the head coach of the United States Football League's Memphis Showboats from 1984 to 1985 and of the Canadian Football League's Memphis Mad Dogs in 1995. He also served as the Washington Redskins director of football from 2001 to 2004. At 69, he was considered for the Redskins' head coaching position before Norv Turner's eventual firing during the 2000 season.From Atlanta, Rodgers played college football at Georgia Tech under head coach Bobby Dodd, where he was a member of the Yellow Jackets' 1952 national championship team as a backup quarterback and placekicker. In his second year as a head coach, he led the Kansas Jayhawks to a share of the Big Eight Conference title in 1968, the program's most recent conference championship. They played in the Orange Bowl in Miami, but lost by a point to Penn State.

At UCLA in the Pac-8, Rodgers installed the wishbone offense and with junior college transfer quarterback Mark Harmon in 1972, the Bruins upset top-ranked and two-time defending champion Nebraska in the season opener, snapping the Huskers' 32-game unbeaten streak. UCLA finished 8–3 and fifteenth in the final AP rankings; in 1973 they were 9–2 and ended ranked twelfth. (Prior to the 1975 season, the Pac-8 and Big Ten conferences allowed only one postseason participant each, for the Rose Bowl.) He left after the 1973 season to become head coach at Georgia Tech.

With the Memphis Showboats of the USFL, Rodgers was the first professional coach of hall of fame defensive end Reggie White.

Rodgers is the author of Fourth and Long Gone, a fictional book published in 1985 that is a bawdy roman à clef of his experiences as a college football coach and recruiter. He also wrote an autobiography: Pepper, written with Al Thomy. Rodgers graduated from Georgia Tech in 1955.

On January 1, 2018, the Allstate Sugar Bowl introduced a new Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame with an inaugural class composed of 16 legends of the annual New Orleans football classic. Pepper Rodgers was inducted as a member of the inaugural class. The first class of Hall of Famers spans seven decades of Sugar Bowl action and includes 12 all-star players, two national championship coaches and two individuals who had the rare distinction of both playing and coaching in the Bowl. Pepper Rodgers debuted in the Sugar Bowl in 1953 as he threw a touchdown pass, kicked a field goal and knocked home three point-after kicks in Georgia Tech’s 24-7 victory over Ole Miss. He outdid himself the following year, however, passing for 195 yards and three touchdowns while kicking another field goal and two more extra-points to lead the Yellow Jackets to a bowl record 42 points in a lopsided victory over West Virginia.He now lives in Reston, Virginia.

Quidditch Through the Ages

Quidditch Through the Ages is a 2001 book written by British author J. K. Rowling using the pseudonym of Kennilworthy Whisp about Quidditch in the Harry Potter universe. It purports to be the Hogwarts library's copy of the non-fiction book of the same name mentioned in several novels of the Harry Potter series.

The book benefits the charity Comic Relief. Over 80% of the cover price of each book sold goes directly to poor children in various places around the world. According to Comic Relief, sales from this book and its companion Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have raised £17 million.

Secrets of Deltora

Secrets of Deltora is a fictional book in the Deltora Quest series written by Emily Rodda and illustrated by Marc McBride. This book is a fictional travel guide around Deltora, written from the point of view of Doran the Dragonlover.

The Dynamics of an Asteroid

The Dynamics of An Asteroid is a fictional book by Professor James Moriarty, the implacable foe of Sherlock Holmes. The book is described by author Arthur Conan Doyle in "The Valley of Fear" (written in 1914, but set in 1888) when Sherlock Holmes, speaking of Professor Moriarty, states:

Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid, a book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it?

With this class of talent, Professor Moriarty evoked the profound respect of Sherlock Holmes, one of the few opponents to do so (Irene Adler being another).

Doyle also portrayed Professor Moriarty as the author of "a treatise on the binomial theorem", written when he was only 21 years of age. In addition to covering a different topic, it must have been quite a bit more accessible, since it got him a position as a chair of mathematics at a provincial university.

The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs

The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs is a novel by Scottish author and academic Alexander McCall Smith. The book relates further matters in the life of the main character, Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, following on from the first book of the series, Portuguese Irregular Verbs.

The Professor is a troubled German academic whose life's achievement is the (fictional) book, Portuguese Irregular Verbs.

The book relates details of his troubled relationships with the other major characters of the book series, Professor Dr Dr (honoris causa) Florianus Prinzel and Professor Dr Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer, all at the fictional Institute of Romance Philology at Regensburg, Germany; and, especially, the outcomes of von Igelfeld's academic journey to the University of Arkansas while staying at Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The book has five chapters:

The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs

A Leg to Stand on

On the Couch

The Bones of Father Christmas

The Perfect ImperfectThe illustrations are by Iain McIntosh.

The first story was first published in a limited edition of 400 copies in 1998.


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