Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Genre: Science Fiction Themes: Virtual Reality, Utopias, Puzzles & Video Games What was once required reading at Oculus VR  is now primed for Hollywood, scheduled for release on the big screen […]

June 13, 2017 // Tara May // 2 Comments // Posted in Book Reports

Genre: Science Fiction

Themes: Virtual Reality, Utopias, Puzzles & Video Games

What was once required reading at Oculus VR  is now primed for Hollywood, scheduled for release on the big screen in 2018 by Steven Spielberg.

Ernest Cline’s 2011 science fiction epic, Ready Player One, is a delightful journey down memory lane—that is, if you were lucky enough to be kicking around during the 80s.

What at first might seem like just another dystopian novel (Cline’s book opens on an impoverished and wasting civilization in a not-so-distant future in which nearly everyone has retreated into the comforts of virtual reality) quickly turns into an ardent tribute to “the decade of decadence,” a special time of imagination, science, speculation, adventure, and yes, neon.

Chock full of references from that delectable decade, Ready Player One conjures up memories of things long-forgotten, like arcade game “cabinets,” simulated wood grain, hidden “easter eggs”, BASIC computer language, Joust Atari 2600, and mustard-colored carpet. The images are so vivid that the reader, given they spent any amount of time in the 80s at all, is left wondering how they ever could have forgotten them.

A book written by what could only be a serious gamer—or a very proud nerd—Ready Player One acts as a time machine with the power to transport you back in time to the small living room in your childhood home playing Dungeons & Dragons with your older brother (or maybe that’s just me).

Favorite quotes:

“I felt like a kid standing in the world’s greatest video arcade without any quarters…”

“Since then, we’d used Street Fighter II to settle our disputes.”

“I could feel it, deep in the soft, chewy caramel center of my being.”

“When I reached the bar, I ordered a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster from the female Klingon bartender and downed half of it.”

“Just like that, I became a dancing fool.”

“My bullet bill this month was going to be huge.”

“I’d never held an actual guitar, but on a virtual axe, I could totally shred.”

“It’s time for me to blow this pop stand.”

 

 

 

 

 


  • Mike Garcia
    June 13, 2017

    Loved ready player one, it was a well developed adventure for nostalgia and nerds. I had to read it twice to make sure i didnt miss references. Ernest Cline does real well showing how addicting a virtual world can be. I felt the romance was a little forced, and mediocre. I feel a screenplay might be hard to translate to pop culture.

    I do not suggest Ernest Clines follow up armada. It was not as well written as RPO.

    • Tara May
      June 13, 2017

      Thanks for the head’s up, Mike! Of course, I won’t be able to help myself and will simply HAVE to give Armada a chance just to see what it’s all about. I think I was sufficiently distracted by all the 80s “eye candy” to scrutinize the writing too much, but you are not the first to say that you didn’t love the storyline. I think I’m just geeky enough not to care, as long as it gives me the nostalgia!

      I read that Spielberg has something pretty big planned in regards to demonstrating the power of VR with this movie, so we’ll have to see. I agree that the book demonstrated all too well how easy it can be for us to retreat inside a virtual world, meanwhile the real world wastes away.

      Thanks for reading my report, Mike!

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