Just started reading a new novel titled Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. After finding it difficult to put down last night and groggily heading into work this morning, I can honestly say I am really, really digging it thus far. To be honest, I can’t be objective about this book. At all.
Ready Player One takes place in a pretty bleak 2044. All of our current economic frustrations and fears have become magnified, and scarcity is dangerously close to tipping over human civilization. The only refuge for most people is a free-to-play, online virtual world called OASIS. Picture Second Life, with advanced, high definition visuals and tactile feedback, housing every single esoteric piece of information of the Internet and maintaining games like World of Warcraft and others under its umbrella. Oh, also public school. Wade Watts is the first-person protagonist, one of the many poor and desperate people in this dystopian world. The eccentric and very wealthy creator of OASIS recently passed away and leaves an Easter Egg hunt which holds the ultimate prize of ownership of the virtual world and the entirety of his vast fortune. The story follows Wade as he attempts to become a future-world’s Charlie Bucket.
The book is rife with pop culture and geek references (focused mostly on the 80s) that makes it seem like Ernest Cline reached into my head and just started tapping engrams randomly and at great speed. He could be writing utter garbage right now, but I wouldn’t know, because mentions of the show Family Ties, Dungeons & Dragons modules, the Atari 2600 and the arcade game, Joust, makes me feel like a lab rat overindulging the pleasure centers of my little rodent brain … in a good way. Heck, just in the early going there’s an image he paints of a punk watching a re-run of Riptide on a coin op television!
Anyway, I think I’ll review this when I’m done. But, so far, so good.