You may remember Ready Player One from when I mentioned it in my Summer Reading Preview, and again in the “What I didn’t read” section of my Summer Reading Recap. You may also notice that it is March, and rather closer to Summer ’14 than Summer ’13.
It gets worse. When I opened my copy last week, I found that the place where I’d left off was marked with plane ticket. From October 2012.
Dear past self: What were you waiting for?
I read Ready Player One in 2 nights: one to reread the first third, which I obviously needed a refresher on, and one to finish it. I raced through it like Indiana Jones through a lost temple. It is, at its heart, a treasure hunt. An incredibly rich game developer has died, leaving his fortune and company to the first person who can solve his clues and find the prize hidden in a giant, immersive video game. The man was obsessed with 80’s pop culture, and to solve his puzzles you need an encyclopedic knowledge of movies, music, tv shows, and – most of all – video games. Ready Player One pits one teenager and his friends against a huge corporation with less than altruistic motives and zero scruples. But this is also a story about escapism: if your real life sucks, and a tangible fantasy world was only a keyboard and monitor away, where would you spend most of your time?
Video games, 80’s references, taking on The Man – what’s not to love?
Wil Wheaton reads the audiobook. I’ll be picking that up, too.
If you like Ready Player one, you might like:
Reamde, by Neal Stephenson
Halting State, by Charles Stross
For the Win, by Cory Doctorow
– Signing off, Mr Gette (who is walking on sunshine).