Ready Player One (Unabridged)
by Ernest Cline
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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 10,000 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 20th 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 Ultimate Tome
I read a review of Ready Player One on I09 one morning and was immediately curious - after all it name checked every strand of geekery that has ever caught my fancy in 30+ years as a near fanatical abuser of RPGS (d20 style), sci-fi, video games, music and movies. I was dubious it was just a pot boiling genre mash, but NO WAY. It's a heartfelt cyberpunk story that manages to pull together a plethora of references and ideas in a completely entertaining way. I simply cannot recommend this book enough, to those of us who grew up in the 80's and everyone else whose dug on the imaginative output of those foggily remembered years.
Ready Player One
This is a great book and a great reading of the book by Wil Wheaton. Unfortunately the download suffers from glitches which make listening to it very frustrating. I had to re-start the book several times or skip ahead or back to find my place. I've reported this problem and hopefully it will soon be fixed.
Ultimate '80's Nostalgia!
A must for those who grew up in the 80's chucking dice and playig with their joysticks...
At first I was worried about this being a mild and veneer like treatment of '80's pop culture, but Cline really knows his stuff. Some of his references are sure to bring back fond memories of arcades, classic D&D modules, text based computer games and Atari 2600's.
Will Weaton does a respectable job narrating (and has a bit of "geek" street cred, to boot).