Book Review

Ernest Cline
Ready Player One

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt–among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life–and love–in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

I LOVE this book! It is every tech geeks dream story. There are so many tech references to the 1980s that I can’t even count them. The story ranges from high-tech virtual worlds that let you forget about the damaged real world to the great 1980s where the Commodore 64 (128 if you could afford it) lived with floppy disks that were actually floppy and you were a tech king with TWO floppy drives.

Each page had me saying “yes, I know that one” to all the big and little references that kept flying at you left and right and making you say “I’ll stop in a minute,” but you’re still reading three hours later.

Geek talk aside, the storyline is your basic boy finds challenge, boy enters challenge, boy finds danger, boy tries to stay alive, will boy win, will boy live, and will boy get the girl. The story has many ups and downs with enough pauses to let you breath. This could almost be paralleled with the Odyssey but it more on a YA level.

Again, I cannot emphasize how much my fellow geek peers (if you’re too young, it is just not as fun) will LOVE this book. While my reading list is always so long that it is hard to find time to re-read a book, this one definitely goes on the super fun reads when I need a pick me up.


A Mixed Bag

This post is a little bit of a lot of different things. I didn’t make it an update because it does deal with writing and not simply house keeping on the blog.

I am finally getting back into more writing. It isn’t a set amount per day, but I am making progress. However, the current flow words are not related to the novel that this blog discusses. I do write fan fiction sometimes because you get to play with characters you love from books, movies, or TV shows. I will NOT be sharing any of these works here, nor will I give out any of my pen names for these works. Personally, I view fan fiction as a great honor that someone has created characters that are loved so much that we want their story to continue. It also allows you to go inside their heads and have a perspective that is not available in movies and TV shows (it is available in books).

Fan fiction should never make a profit because that is definitely over-stepping the copyright line. There are people who still put out a print version/magazine of fan fiction and there is a cost associated with these. Just because you pay for these, does not mean that they are making a profit. It costs money to print, sometimes they will pay for the artists for cover art, but a lot of that is donated. The quality of stories in these publications tends to run high.

Now that we have the internet, there are a number of repositories for these stories that cost nothing. Often you can donate, but that pays for the domain names, servers, and sometimes they have paid staff to run the website based upon how sophisticated it is. I will tell you that you can find some fantastic writing here, but there is also the some of the worst writing and you just have to ask yourself how that person could possibly put something up like that and ascribe their name/pen name to it.

Okay, the take away from that overly long ramble is that I am writing, even if it is not the novel represented here. Go me! (yes, that was necessary)

I am reading other blogs that discuss books and/or writing. One thing that seems to be consistent across the board is that they have guest blogs from authors that are doing blog tours. The frequency of the guest posts varies based on the individual blog and its typical content. Blogs that are more focused on book reviews have a higher number of these guests and ones that focus on writing vary from one a month to several times a year.

Please leave a comment and let me know if you would be receptive to having guest posts on this blog as long as they are related to the content that I present here based around writing and the topic of my novel (whatever writing venture I am working on at the time on this novel because in the future it may/probably will also contain fantasy and very slight possibility of paranormal romance).

The last bit of house keeping is that I am looking for an image for this blog instead of the random one provided for me. Does anyone have/know of an image that could be classified as “future medieval” or something you think would present the novel from the information I have provided so far. The image needs to be free at this point (some day I would like to be able to pay) and clearly states that I may use it on this blog without remuneration. If you are an artist that has something or would like to create something, I am more than happy to provide a link to your work and/or make a blog post dedicated to the image/artist.