Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (EPUB)
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
Ready Player One
When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
I feel like I was born to get the references in this book. And I was so impressed with the way the references WORK. The way they push the story forward and give it texture. So many scenes in the book FEEL like videogames or role-playing games — but in a really rich, excellent way.
I read this right after I read “Ender’s Game,” which is the sort of book that would get mentioned in “Ready Player One” — and I was struck by how Cline references old-school science fiction and videogames in the service of something so much warmer and more robust.
Also, the love story is fantastic. It’s not the point of the book, but it feels sweet and real and not at all tacked on. (This is something I pay a lot of attention to when I’m reading.)