Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a book I picked up on spec at my local bookseller. It's a 2011 dystopian novel, right down my alley. I thoroughly enjoyed it; the characters are well fleshed-out, the world-building is completely believable, and I want to plug in already! This is an engrossing read, a real page-turner.
Wikipedia says, "A film adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg, is currently in production, and slated to premiere in spring 2018." I'll definitely want to see that.
from the back of the book:
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 the world's digital confines -puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades pat and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.The New York Times says, "...science-fiction writer John Scalzi, who has aptly referred to “Ready Player One” as a “nerdgasm.” There can be no better one-word description of this ardent fantasy artifact about fantasy culture." Kirkus Reviews is not a fan.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself best 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.
io9 calls it "as addictive as a great game". SF Site concludes, "At its best, Ready Player One turns its characters' inner fears and innate geekiness into their greatest strength and virtues, no small accomplishment for a novel, or game, of any kind."
BoingBoing opens with this:
It seems like every decade or so a science fiction novel comes along that sends a lightning bolt through my nervous system: Philip Jose Farmer’s To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971). William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984). Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (1992). Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2003). And I recently discovered what my mind-blowing novel for the 2010s is: Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.EW says, "If the many pop references don’t mean anything to you, then Ready Player One probably won’t either. But give Cline credit for crafting a fresh and imaginative world from our old toy box, and finding significance in there among the collectibles."