Pick of the Week – March 17-23, 2014

This week’s pick is a book I discovered a couple of years ago: Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.  It’s the first novel I ever read that managed to combined near-future science fiction with huge helpings of nostalgia. 

It’s 2044, and while much of the planet struggles with poverty due to a worldwide economic collapse, humans are more connected than ever thanks to the OASIS, a virtual reality online world created by James Halliday.  When Halliday dies, his will sets off a massive treasure hunt, and to the winner will go Halliday’s company and massive fortune.  The only way to solve the puzzles Halliday left behind is for the treasure hunters to immerse themselves in the things that Halliday loved. 

The book is fast-paced and exceptionally entertaining even if you aren’t up on all of the various properties that Cline references.  But if you are an 80s kid like I am, Ready Player One puts your childhood into a blender and serves it back up in a most satisfying way.

For those of you who prefer to listen to your books, Ready Player One is also a treat.  The audio book reading was done by Wil Wheaton, and it’s fantastic.  He’s absolutely perfect for the material.

- Alan Decker

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