Referencing other books?

1 year ago | AdamBolander (Member)

Do you ever reference another story you like in your own books? I've snuck a few in.

In Juryokine there's a bar called the "Sandmist", a reference to Brandon Sanderson's Misborn. The Wruthfoz Mountains are also a reference to Patrick Ruthfoss.

In The Gray Ranger, the cursed city Jordaku is a reference to Robert Jordan.

In my current book there's Vinven Creek, for Vin Venture, again from Mistborn.

I'm also debating whether to have one of my characters order a one winged angel, a drink that's so strong he compares it to being stabbed in the chest. I don't know, though. That one might be a little too obvious.

Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on

Read responses...


  1. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I totally referenced Unbreakable and got mad props from Tieshaunn for it. :D

    (a MC wishing she could just stand there in a raincoat, spread her arms, and sense the bad guys around her.)

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  2. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I like putting little easter eggs in my stories that references other stories I've written.

    One of my "trashy adult books" is mentioned in Graven, for example. :P

  3. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    I'm also debating whether to have one of my characters order a one winged angel, a drink that's so strong he compares it to being stabbed in the chest. I don't know, though. That one might be a little too obvious.

    I didn't catch this at first, but that's hilarious! :D

  4. Dary (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Off the top of my head, I've included multiple references, both in-universe and out, to: the Divine Comedy, Metamorphoses, the Republic, the Odyssey, A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Night Land, Brave New World, Alice in Wonderland, the Handmaid's Tale, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Postcards from the Edge...and more I've probably forgotten.

    Also, there's a scene where someone is drunkenly playing Ninja Gaiden, but struggles to read half the words because of language drift.

  5. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    Referencing other works is kind of Alice's entire character (from my "Epsilon" set of stories). I have fun with her. Here's an exchange from my serial update two weeks ago:

    "This a battle of wits, is it, Alice?”
    She simply smiled back, saying “Wit’s up, Doc,” before she could stop herself.
    “Mmmm. At least I understood that reference,” Salt said, setting her clipboard aside on the desk.
    “Oooh, Captain America,” Alice murmured.
    “Does your world have an America then?”
    Alice nodded. “Both North and South.” She wondered about bringing up Australia or Antarctica.
    “Really..." Salt leaned back. “How did your civil war end?”
    “Captain America had it out with Iron Man.” The movie had been okay.
    “Iron... what?”
    “Atomic number twenty-six,” Alice asserted.
    “No, stop, who is Iron Man?”
    “No, Who’s on first."

    That's probably not exactly what you meant though. Let's say I feel hit peak referencing with Part 13 & 14 of "Time & Tied", which had not only name references but a couple direct quotes from "Back to the Future". (Okay, not technically a book. In fact, I'm probably some kind of heretic, your references went over my head.)

    Writing a Time Travel serial:
    Writer of the personification of math serial:
  6. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 1 year ago

    References? Oh, all over the place. Classic literature, pop culture, some of my own stories, art, music, the list goes on...

    But personally, I like taking it to past reference and into character growth. A couple chapters in one of my novels was specifically dedicated to one of the main characters introducing another character to his D&D group. It gave me a chance to show off personalities, introduce minor characters (that become... well, not main, but major supporting characters later)... and if it just so happened that instead of inventing a new plot, I used a truncated novel of mine as the basis of the game's plot, then that was a happy coincidence.

    But mostly that subplot existed to display the humanity of a character who was (intentionally) hard to empathize with... and then she wore a tarantula as a hat... P. Metallica, no less. Look 'em up, they're beautiful. Unless you have arachnophobia, in which case don't look them up.

    In any case, that chapter took her from least liked character to tied in first place as best girl.

    In addition to that, I've used a (very opinionated) conversation about Shakespeare to introduce one character while testing two others' comfort zones. I had a date scene with the characters watching The Glass Menagerie and drawing parallels with their own home lives (needless to say, not happy lives). One planned future story will be built entirely around a group of historical investigators tracking down Frankenstein's Monster, because that was a diary in the setting, not a work of fiction.

    And, in a display of reality being stranger than fiction... I accidentally predicted Riri Williams almost six months before Marvel announced her, during a conversation where I made fun of Hollywood by taking elements (and names) directly from Mel Brooks' "The Producers". And *that* chapter was also meant to flesh out a character who was inferred to be a brilliant man, but to that point in the story hadn't had a chance to truly demonstrate it.

    So, yeah... what do you call references that are lifted above inside joke, and become significant plot moments?

    Author of Price.
  7. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 11 months ago

    Here's one I threw into Magnus Knights. It's not a book, or anything I'd really expect people to notice, but there's a giant robot in that story who I named after a certain rapping robot... who you get 15 silver points for beating up...

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on
  8. ElliottThomasStaude (Member)

    Posted 11 months ago

    Well, the locales of the Thomas Generalized Recountings Library have numerous nods to other works. Some of the material seen here might even get mixed in with a little time. However, the biggest influences off-hand come from David Weber’s Safehold series (whose villains, names corrupted slightly, are used as the “war criminals” after whom some of the Kinsmen College’s buildings are christened - Langdone instead of Langhorn, for example), Taylor Anderson’s Destroyermen series (lending names to some of the vessels found here and there, though no sections containing these are presently published), and the online MMO-book-thing Fallen London, whose universe principally informs the backstory of one of the more influential characters’ very distant ancestors. C.S. Lewis is tapped in the sense of labeling a particular kind of exotic event as a “Lewis point,” but that’s more on account of the involved cultures knowing all about his work.

    If you've a head for holistic science fantasy, the Library may oblige:
    If you've a dislike for lengthy names, I'm so sorry.


You must log in to post.