Secret World Reading List

Remember a story that dovetails nicely with Secret World Lore? Stumbled on to a new one?
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Simply the most entertaining monster hunting book of all time:

As mentioned in The Secret World:

Just about ANYTHING from Robert Damon Schneck:

The collected works of David Wong:

Articles here often touch on Secret World matters:

The granddaddy of Paranormal Media. A powerful B.S. detector is recommended, but just about anything mentioned in game will have a show dedicated to it at some point, if it hasn’t already:


Just read “The Rook”, by Daniel O’Malley, and it’s about a paranormal secret government organization in England dealing with weird, dangerous stuff they can’t disclose to the public. Opens with the main character standing in the rain, surrounded by bodies, and with no memory of who she is or how she got there. I’m reading the sequel, “Stiletto”, soon.

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I’ve actually been making use of all the free Kindle stuff to read through a lot of the TSW origin and potential origin materials like Lovecraft’s collected works, Heart of Darkness, Dante, Norse Sagas, Lost World, The Coming Race, Grimm, Arabian Nights and a lot of Jules Verne. I’d say a lot of the old mythology stuff from around the world is fascinating and you see a lot of connections with what they’ve drawn into TSW although it can be an acquired taste.

The Bas-Lag series by China Miéville. The world described in the books is totally fictional, but seems to be inspired to some extent by similiar sources as the Secret World. The atmosphere is quite dark and some of the things/entities/phenomenons described in the books are eerily familiar.

The last one was getting a bit long, so:

Here is a link to a marvelous site I recently found with (legitimate) free access to a bunch of collections of classic American Tall Tales, including Fearsome Creatures Of The Lumberwoods. I haven’t gone through all of them yet, but the ones I have read through have been actual classic Tall Tales:

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Well there’s this game called The Park that really reminds me of…JK. Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrel comes to mind. Definitely not a book for everyone, but the integration of magic into history reminds me of SWL. Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kristin Bakis also reminded me for sheer weirdness.

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Lore by Aaron Manhke is an good supernatural/ unexplained occurrences podcast

While not as “horror” as some of the other suggestions, the Dresden File books by Jim Butcher strike me as “secret worldy.”

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Dresden Files is absolutely awesome actually.

For Secret World I would recommend its greatest inspiration: everything by H.P. Lovecraft. Escpecially Shadow over Innsmouth, Call of Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror and Dagon. But when I think about it… Read it all. All of it.

The best thing is, that if you know the stories you will find so many eastereggs in the game. It’s worth playing it all again just for those.


Coincidentally I also recently finished ‘The Rook’… A powerful secret organisation fighting supernatural horrors, righteous and bound by tradition… Templar by another name.

Prior to that I read William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer’ which is not about horror or the supernatural, or even particularly about conspiracies or secret societies. More of a cyberpunk fiction about a talented computer hacker and set in a dystopian future world of advanced technology, synonymous with the Kaidan cityscape. Also it plays with ideas of digital realities similar to films like 'Existenz’, ‘Tron’, ‘The Matrix’, and ‘.hack’ series which blurs the lines between what is real and virtual.


Oh,I think Matt Archer would fit it, though it’s been awhile since I’ve read it. Kid goes camping with his uncle, they get attacked by a weird creature (I think the description was along the lines of made of a grab bag of wookie parts?), pick up a knife and kills it. The knife is magic, and his uncle is with a division of the military dealing with the sudden rise of these things in several places (based off of local wildlife) and now he was chosen by the knife to fight them.

My summary really makes it sound dumb, but it’s pretty good.

I already have a list of novels/graphic novels that I’ve compilled for my own eventual consumption (some of which have been brought up here and perhaps in the legacy TSW forums of yore) so I’ll just copy paste it for your convenience. I`ve read some in the list but a majority are still on my to do list (pending the billion other media we have to absorb that is constantly churned out, excluding time dedicated to work and personal projects). The content listed below will hit specific themes from TSW but not all, whether it be the supernatural/fantastical aspect, the conspiracy aspect, the megacorporation/cyberpunk aspect, the sci-fi aspect or some combination of these.

If you guys read or have read any of these writers let me know what you thought of them and their works, always interesting to get outside perspective on things I want to check out.

On that note, I just finished reading Planetary yesterday (Graphic Novel by Warren Ellis) and I have to say it’s quite an orgasmic (let’s go with euphoric) read. I got hooked on it immediately and when I finished I wanted more. I really hope Ellis revisits the universe he’s created because it is teeming with potential and in my opinion hasn`t even scratched the surface based on what we’ve been given so far.

H.P. Lovecraft (Alll of it)

Robert W. Chambers

Can Such Things Be? – Ambrose Pierce (Carcosa collection of short stories written in 1893)

Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash

William Gibson - Sprawl Trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive), Latest Novel titled “The Peripheral” 2014

Bruce Sterling – The Difference Engine, Holy Fire

The Crystal World - Novel by J. G. Ballard

The Stars My Destination – Alfred Bester

The Forever War series – Joe Haldeman

Random Acts of Senseless Violence – Jack Womack

The Laundry Files – Charles Strauss

The Dresden Files – Jim Butcher

Felix Castor series - Mike Carey

Sandman Slim series – Richard Kadrey

The Illuminatus! Trilogy (Masks of the Illuminati as well, which expands on the info found in the trilogy) & The
Historical Illuminatus Chronicles – Robert Anton Wilson

Necroscope series - Brian Lumley

Titus Crow series – Brian Lumley

Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco

Brandon Sanderson (Cosmere Universe, spanning a long list of titles, including the Mistborne series, Wax and Wayne series and The Stormlight Archive among many more in development)

Graphic Novels

Planetary – Warren Ellis (Writer) & John Cassaday (Artist)

Global Frequency – Warren Ellis

Grant Morrison - The Invisibles series, The Filth (limited) series

Anything Gibson or Lovecraft is worth a read. Got the Illuminatus trilogy sitting here on my bookshelf, haven’t gotten around to it, though.

Edit: To elaborate briefly, I would place both William Gibson and H.P. Lovecraft in a very small group of authors who are able to write very evocatively yet economically. Herman Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson are two other good examples.

iZombie (the actual comic book), for an all you can eat buffet of weirdness and one big gulp of a way to deal with eldritch horrors from beyond time and space

Id reccomend Color Out of Space and Pickman’s Model on that strain.


I would recommend Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (all 3 books in the boxed set are good) - and the photos helped my already overactive imagination.

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This won’t be for everyone but I really enjoyed
“Strangeness in the Proportion” by
Joshua Alan Doetsch.

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Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. And tv series made by BBC is quite good too.


I certainly enjoyed ‘The Art Trilogy’. Quintessential Barker; sublime, mind-bending and horrifying.
Loner mystics (à la Theodore Wicker) venturing to alternate planes of existence, and super-human battles that determine the fate of the world.

My favourite Barker novel ‘Weaveworld’ may be not as epic or complicated a ‘The Art Trilogy’, but perhaps therein lies its charm and ability to enchant readers. Very much about a Secret World.

It also has Cenobites.