After energetic polling and lobbying, the votes are in for our next near-future science fiction reading. The winner is…
Ready Player One takes place in a near future dystopia. It’s a plausible and lousy world, one which its inhabitants escape from via an epic computer game. So the book draws together a bunch of interesting futures (and present) themes, including gaming, VR, inequality, surveillance, and learning
Here’s one blurb:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenager 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.
But 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.
If you haven’t read Ready Player One, you’re in for a treat. If you lived through the 1980s, prepare for a nostalgia tidal wave. If you’re too young for that, get ready for a deep dive into a stratum of American history. Either way, it’s a fast-paced and seriously geeky trip.
You should be able to find copies pretty easily, especially since Spielberg’s working on a movie version.
I plan on kicking off the reading with a post this Monday.
Happy exploring! And keep your audio cassette tapes handy.