Ready Player One

by

Author: Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 384/15 hours

Geographical Setting: Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Oregon, Cyberspace

Time Period: The not so distant future

Plot Summary: Ready Player One reads like a science fiction lover’s dream, but has plenty to offer other readers as well.  18 year old Wade Watts lives in a trailer park just outside of Oklahoma City, and like most of the people around him, spends most of his time in the Oasis. Created by legendary game designer James Halliday, the Oasis is an immense online multiverse that in many ways has supplanted the real world.  When Halliday dies after spending years in isolation, he leaves not a will, but a contest. The winner of the contest, the one who finds the Easter egg hidden somewhere in the Oasis, will win all of his multi-billion dollar fortune and controlling interest in the Oasis.  Wade is a gunter, a harcore hunter of Halliday’s Easter egg, and like the many other gunters around the world, is making his way through masses of 80s pop culture looking for clues. In a world where there are planets inspired by Battlestar Galactica, flying DeLoreans,  and countless arcades, Wade solves wickedly difficult puzzles, makes friends, and races against the rest of the world to capture the ultimate prize. Ready Player One transcends genre, and is at times a pulse-racing adventure, a sweet story of first love, and a celebration of geek culture.

Subject Headings: Avatars, Dystopias, Geeks, Popular Culture, Puzzles, Quests, Social Networks, Teenage Boys, The Eighties (20th century), Virtual Reality.

Appeal: colorful, suspenseful, thrilling, geeky, plot driven, strong secondary characters, compelling, fast-paced, quirky, humorous, vivid, witty, cinematic, descriptive, engaging, engrossing, concise, edgy, unique, intricately plotted, richly detailed, nostalgic.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: thrilling, quirky, nostalgic.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

Nonfiction works and authors:

Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook by Rob Heinsoo:  Readers who want to be immersed in another world may enjoy this player’s handbook, which provides character creation guidelines, rules, and world creation assistance.  Dungeons and Dragons is the most famous role-playing game in the world, and it plays a pivotal role in Ready Player One.

The ultimate history of video games: from Pong to Pokemon and beyond : the story behind the craze that touched our lives and changed the world by Steve L. Kent:  Anecdotal and exhaustive, this spirited  history of video games runs the gamut between game catalog and business memoir. Filled with enthusiasm and thorough in coverage, The ultimate history of video games is a comprehensive guide to the history and cultural impact of one of the world’s most popular pastimes.

Totally Awesome 80s: A Lexicon of the Music, Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Stars, and Trends of that Decadent Decade by Matthew Rettenmund.  Whether you fondly remember the 80s or you’re just finding out about them, this playful tribute will tell you everything you never knew you needed to know. Ready Player One is a love letter to that decade, and this guide will show you why it was so great.

Fiction works and authors:

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: Another coming of age story infused with pop culture, Beauty Queens begins with a group of teenaged pageant contestants who have crash landed on a desert island. A diverse and clever group of girls, they grow from spoiled and naïve to actualized and self-sufficient. Funny, touching, and strangely relevant, this title provides both a thrilling plot and interesting character development.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde: Thursday Next is a literary detective, traveling in and out of books while searching for a villain who has been kidnapping major characters.  Combining wry humor with suspense and a multitude of literary allusions, this is another genre transcending science fiction title with wide appeal.

Strange Flesh by Michael Olson: A grittier and steamier look at virtual reality, Strange Flesh follows a hacker who rediscovers an old love while in the midst of murder and a kidnapping. Fast-paced and suspenseful, this is a compelling look at a high-stakes, technical world.

Name: Laura F.

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