I thought it would be a neat idea to start a book club for readers of Big Shiny Robot, and what better book to start with than "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline? Okay, don't answer that. It's rhetorical.
But I thought since the movie will be released in March (the 29th, to be exact which coincidentally is Ernest Cline's birthday), and it's an adaptation from my favorite director Steven Spielberg, then it only made sense to choose it. I've already read it in my local geek book club, but I enjoyed it so much it's worth revisiting.
Here's the synopsis from Amazon:
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2045, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
Cline is no stranger to Hollywood, having worked on the script for the Kyle Newman-helmed film "Fanboys." He also drives a car called ECTO88 that's a hybrid of vehicles from "Back to the Future," "Ghostbusters," "Knight Rider," and "Buckaroo Banzai." So he's certainly a fanboy and a child of the 80's, which is why "Ready Player One" reads like a love letter to 80's pop culture nostalgia.
So if you want to join us get to reading! The book is available on Kindle and other formats, and my app tells me it should take about 4 hours to read. And if you want to join us I'll be hosting a twitter chat on March 1 at 9:00 pm EST. #BSRbookclub.
Hope to see you there!