Myst Book Series

I am one of those people who get into things after they become popular and the Myst franchise is no exception. Ever since I played Myst, which in the early 1990s was a bestselling adventure computer game at a friend’s house, I became enamored by the simple gameplay immersing me into a mysterious world that tickled my imagination and challenged my puzzle-solving skills.

As a middle schooler, I was more inclined to be reading non-fiction than any work of fiction, but upon finding a series of books at the library that had been written around the Myst series by the creators, I just couldn’t help but check them out for myself. Their plain worn cover design, not unlike the books that can be found in the Myst games, stood out on the shelf from the illustrative depictions found on the covers of most fiction books. I am surprised more book publishers do not take this approach to make the cover of a book ‘feel’ like it was extracted from the story and culture within the pages themselves, but then again it all is a matter of what is best for the marketing of the book.

Authored by Rand and Robyn Miller with David Wingrove (famed sci-fi author of the Chung Kuo series), each of the three books in the series was published in hardback by Hyperion Books in hardcover yearly from 1995 to 1997 titled Myst: The Book of Atrus, Myst: The Book of Ti’ana, and Myst: The Book of D’ni. These novels were meant for fans to read between the release of the original game and the release of its sequel, Riven. They worked as a back story to the series and, while not giving away plotlines or answers to the puzzles in the games themselves, gave substance and intricacy to the worlds depicted in the games.

Myst: The Book of Atrus Myst: The Book of Ti'ana Myst: The Book of D'ni The Myst Reader Omnibus

When looking at the covers, although they are not designed to perfectly match the layout of the trilogy, it is not a mistake to assume that they all belong together as part of the same series. Each volume’s cover contains the word ‘Myst’ boldly burnt above or below a decorative medallion inscribed with a number glyph from the D’ni, the fictional culture surrounding the series. The plain but worn-textured backgrounds reflect the mystery and history behind the stories in each novel.

The original hardcover editions have been long out of print but the books were eventually published as mass market paperbacks around the end of the 1990s and in 2004 an omnibus containing all three books in paperback, titled The Myst Reader, was released. The cover is faithful in the design and spirit of the three novels, with the overall color similar to that of the first book.

After the release of Riven in 1997, the Millers planned a forth novel, titled Myst: The Book of Marrim. The initial manuscript over time was rewritten substantially at least once and has yet to even be given any hint of a release date. If it ever were to come out, I wouldn’t be surprised if the look and feel of the cover were to continue where the first three novels left off.

Myst: The Book of Atrus by Rand and Robyn Miller with David Wingrove
Myst: The Book of Ti’ana by Rand and Robyn Miller with David Wingrove
Myst: The Book of D’ni by Rand Miller with David Wingrove
The Myst Reader: Thee Books in One Volume by Rand and Robyn Miller with David Wingrove