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Monday, May 30, 2016

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Genre: Science Fiction, Computer Gaming Fiction

Setting: Earth 2044, and in a Massively Multiplayer on-line game.

First Sentence: Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest.

What a fun novel to read.  It's a enjoyable mash-up of computer gaming and twentieth century pop culture.

Earth in 2044 is not a nice place to live. Global climate change has damaged the planet's ecosystem.  There are lots of poor, hungry people.

A reclusive, billionaire, computer coder has created a massively multiplayer on line game called Oasis.  Oasis is a utopia where people can go to escape the real world.  Not only are people playing games, some are living their life in Oasis.  Some are going to school, some are making a living, and some are having relationships through their on-line avatars.

Then, the creator of Oasis dies.  He has no family or heirs.  So he leaves it up to the computer gamers.  He creates an incredibly difficult quest.  The winner of the quest will win the entire Oasis program.

Our main character, Parzival, is a young kid just out of high school eking out a living on Oasis.  When the contest is announced, he is determined to win.

Five years later, Parzival becomes the first person to solve the first puzzle of the contest.  Suddenly, he is famous.  But there are those who will win at any cost.  When Parzival's "real life" family is murdered, Parzival becomes more determined to win the game.

Along the way, with the help of his on-line gaming friends, Parzival learns some lessons reality and virtual reality.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

It was a real page turner.  And I liked all of the pop culture and computer gaming references.

The best novel I've read in a while.

Check it out.


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