Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sharing is Caring - Books: "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline

I had no idea what this book was about, who the author was, or where in the world it came from when I first heard about it while reading a TIME Magazine review of it in July 2011, but "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline is, by far, the best Science Fiction book I have ever read in my entire existence.  It's original, creative, daring, fun, full of suspense, full of technology, full of 1980s trivia and pop culture, technology moguls, dead tech wizards, (i.e. Steve Jobs), crime, slander, intrigue, romance...and the list goes on! 

Here is the official description from the website:

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 2044, 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?

The book has already been picked up to be made into a movie, and the pre-production is under way.  Ernest Cline is on board to help with the development of the film, not as an writer, but as a contributor, collaborator, and possible producer (much like J.K. Rowling was with the Harry Potter films).  There isn't any information about much of it yet, but you can keep track of its development here on it's IMDB page.  Also, recently released were these "concept art" images done by Ernest Cline himself for the development of the film, giving vision to how things should look from the book:
The "stacks" of homes where Wade, the main character of the book, lives in his dystopian year of 2044.
The headset Wade wears when entering the virtual world of OASIS.
Wade's "hideout" when entering the virtual world of OASIS later on in the book.
The party Wade crashes where the DeLorean car (from classic 1980s movie "Back to the Future") is introduced again after Wade comes into some funds. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in an amazing and thrilling story.  It kept me glued to the pages from start to finish, and I occasionally come back to read it over again.  You will NOT be displeased, and it is safe for anyone over the age of 13.  What a ride! :)

Buy the book from Amazon right here!

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