Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Bugg

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That was very funny for me too. But as someone who lived through the 80s, I was thinking, "Who the hell is Rush?"

I still haven't listened to anything by them to see if I missed something significant.

psik
Shame on you :D Although I still get that reaction from most people when I mention them :LOL:
 

psikeyhackr

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2 months to the movie. The trailer makes it look significantly different with car chases and motorcycles, though the underlying theme is the same.
 

Brian G Turner

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I just finished the book and really enjoyed it - but I disagree with @Werthead's assertion that the book delivers little original.

The geek culture and 80's references were something I'd already heard of and was expecting to like - but in the end, the computer references were to consoles and games that came out before the home computer revolution of the ZX82 and Commodore 64 that most of us would be familiar with. In fact, the ZX82 doesn't even get a mention, and the Commodore 64 only gets two brief ones - Atari 2400 text-adventures and a few early arcade machines seem to be the main source of the references.

Additionally, the 80's references were mainly to US TV shows and 60's & 70's Japanese animes I didn't get at all. The big geek references - LOTR, Star Wars, and Star Trek - were in there, but more in the background. Bladerunner was the only big references to get much time on the pages.

But, what was really interesting was the setting - not the real-world one, which I struggled to buy into. Energy crisis in 2044? We'll have electric cars as the norm long before then. Environmental catastrophe? That's going to take centuries for the effects to properly roll in.

Where I thought Cline really excelled was in his imagining a future immersive world, and the corporate exploiting of it. Oh, sure, we've imagined virtual worlds before - Tad William's Otherland comes to mind. The difference here was that Cline filled his pages with little details which made it all the more realistic, not just in how such a virtual reality would operate, but also on the real-world effects on the users (ie, self-imposed solitary confinement and disdain for the "real world"). I think too many people might have missed these, distracted by the geek triva and fast-paced plotting.

My one big surprise reading this was that an obvious plot twist never happened. I thought Og would turn out to be the evil genius behind everything - the markers were all there for it to happen - but in the end I was thankful that Cline didn't pull such an predictable plot point.

Overall, a blistering read, very entertaining, and spookily prescient IMO - all the hallmarks of a good science fiction novel. :)
 

SilentRoamer

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@Brian G Turner

I think you make some good points there. The nuance of the setting was very immersive, how mundane things like Nukes could become once you could immerse yourself somewhere else, be someone else.

Remember the scene where Wade is on one of the replica worlds and he gets lost in a game within a game, like levels of reality - once you can touch and feel something, what becomes real anymore? That seems a key question in the novel. There are two scenes from the film that both point this out and then fail to understand it, I won't spoil them until after you have watched it so ask me then :)

Weirdly I got a lot more of the anime references than I probably should have as a Westerner - too much anime in my teens.
 

Brian G Turner

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game within a game
Yeah, I noticed that but not much was made of it in the book - will be interesting to see how the film carries that off.

I also found the treatment of employees at IOI spooky. Modulating voices so that they always sounded enthusiastic and cheerful, and auto-censoring incorrect dialogue are things I can easily see happening soon, if not already. Plus the "indenture" sounded frighteningly possible.
 

Don

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As usual, search engines make it too much work to find out if Rush loved or hated this story. It doesn't matter.

The trailer stacks captured my imagination for some reason. Perhaps my inner child wants to explore such structures.

The nostalgia grated on me and made me abandon the novel mid-stream. I never played most of the games that it talked about.
 

Vince W

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I don't think any of the members of Rush would have bothered with RPO. They were busy making great music to bother with computer and rpg games. They would have appreciated being mentioned, I'm sure though. RPO wouldn't have interested them.
 
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