Thursday, August 11, 2011

Get Ready for "Ready Player One"

Hold on to your seats cyber geeks and eighties freaks this is your book! Set in the year 2044, in a world where people are literally plugged into a virtual reality world, called OASIS, and rarely physically leave their homes, Ready Player One is a fascinating mesh of cyberpunk, adventure, and pop-culture. Think Surrogates, meets The Matrix, meets Willy Wonka, meets the works of Neil Stephenson, meets every geeky 80’s movie ever made, and you might just come close to the brilliance of Ernest Cline’s debut novel.

 Like the characters, readers quickly become enmeshed in the inner-workings of OASIS, a VR world that allows you to shrug away physical human contact in favor of virtual meetings, chat rooms, and ceaseless adventure gamer-style. At times it even becomes difficult for the readers to remember that these characters are not physically present in their OASIS lives, so clearly are their personalities placed into their Avatars. In fact, when we do have glimpses of the real world, they are so jarring, so bleak and empty, that it is easy to see why the world has opted for the ultimate escape. We cheer for underdog hero Wade Watts, whose cyber know-how and ridiculous knowledge of pop-culture helps to transform him into a figure of mythic proportions. Yet, we also recognize (as does Wade, eventually) that in the end, people are more than their virtual avatars, and life must also be lived, in the real world, in order for us to emotionally survive.

This is a fantastic read for science fiction and cyberpunk fans yearning for a novel to take them places they’ve never gone before (or if you’re a product of the eighties, places you haven’t been in quite a long time). Read it, live it, love it…and hope that we never have our own OASIS, trust me, no one wants to be that plugged-in to anything.

ps: The ARC cover was so much better than the final!

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