I wouldn’t normally mention a fiction book here as your taste for books is likely to be different to mine, however in this case I’ll make an exception. I’ve just finished reading “Ready Player One” and enjoyed it so much I read it in just 2 days whilst catching planes and trains and by skipping on sleep. It was such a good read I simply couldn’t put it down! I loved it!
Why so? Because it’s a near future, sci-fi book with a big virtual reality/gaming element that I think most geeks will love, especially those who know what an easter-egg is and those with a good knowledge of 80’s geek-, gaming- and/or pop-culture. Plus it’s got some seriously fun puzzles to try and solve before the reveal happens.
This book was also Amazon’s book of the month for August 2011, and deservedly so. Here’s the Amazon review quoted verbatim:
Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2011: Ready Player One takes place in the not-so-distant future--the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people (or at least they can meet their avatars), and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday’s fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy. And there are real dangers in this virtual world. Stuffed to the gills with action, puzzles, nerdy romance, and 80s nostalgia, this high energy cyber-quest will make geeks everywhere feel like they were separated at birth from author Ernest Cline.--Chris Schluep
That review made it sound a little formulaic and it could easily have fallen into that trap, but blissfully it doesn’t. It’s a fast paced, highly entertaining, well written book and my inner geek loved each and every bit of it, especially the retro 80’s references; from Devo to AC/DC, Dungeons and Dragons to Car Wars (awesome!) and from Ferris Bueller to Family Ties.
As a bonus, this is Ernest Cline’s debut novel. If he keeps up this level of writing or, even better, improves then I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!
P.S. In the interests of full disclosure I’ve got no affiliations with the book or author and I get no kickbacks for mentioning this book, though I wouldn’t mind if there were some, hint, hint!
If you haven’t read it, go grab it (just a suggestion) and if you have, did you enjoy as much as I did?