My Month of Science Fiction: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Player One (2011) by Ernest Cline

I think the closest I've ever come to reading a dystopian/scifi/video-game novel like RPO was when I delved into Cory Doctorow's For The Win (2010). Both novels are fast-paced, addictive action adventures, and I do enjoy a good adventure...

What struck me about RPO was the sheer amount of detail that Cline loaded into it- references to '80s pop-culture; descriptions of vintage and recent video, arcade, and computer games; discussions of gaming culture. 

Now, even though I was born in the early '80s, doesn't mean I remember much of decade. I was basically dressing up my stuffed animals and watching Sesame Street as it drew to a close. I do, however, have some knowledge of '80s video games, popular music, and TV shows because of my older brothers. So that was a HUGE help in deciphering what Wade/Parzival was talking about half the time.

Cline deftly creates a dystopian, near-future world in which almost everyone on Earth logs in to play OASIS, a virtual-reality game, ALL. THE. TIME. It's a great way to escape the poverty, environmental disaster, and corruption of the "real" world. When the game's creator dies, leaving behind a will that gives his fortune to whoever can find the Easter Egg in his game, all the gloves come off. Massive corporations, groups of gamers, independent players: everyone devotes years of their lives to solving the riddles and puzzles of the game. It's tough, it's heart-stopping, and it's deadly, as in "really" deadly, not just the virtual kind know what I mean...

Often I had to stop and try to orient myself, as in "wait, are we in the real world, or the virtual one?" But that's part of the fun, since it's OASIS that means more to Wade and most other people anyway. So if you're into nerdy-fun dystopian scifi, I definitely recommend RPO.


  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!
    Month of Science Fiction was so exciting...

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  3. This is such a fantastic book. I wish it had a sequel. And they should totally make a movie out if it!

  4. The book itself was everything I never thought I would like in a novel. It was an 80's themed, high tech, wackadoo novel which had me at "hello." I won't attempt to summarize the plot as many other, much finer, reviewers have already done. This book was a wonderful mix of humor, action, romance, and tragedy but it all really works.

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  5. The book is a thrill ride from start to finish. It's perfectly paced and you'll never want to set it down. The entire hunt revolves around hundreds of references to 80s music, movies, games, novels and comics. It's just a fun read. There's tons of action and comedy, but the book can also be surprisingly touching. There's a love story here that I won't get too much into, but it's very well written. You'll love the characters by books end, and wishing there were another 400 pages to read.

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  7. I love Octavia Butler's writing and this book was my first exposure to her many years ago. Loved it so much that I had to get the kindle version. I highly recommend it as even her short stories are complex and make you think. If you enjoy these, try "Lilith's Brood." It is a trilogy of books but I couldn't put it down!

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