Screenwriter for the 2008 cult film classic Fanboys, Ernest Cline makes his fiction debut with Ready Player One *, "an exuberantly realized, exciting, and sweet-natured cyberquest."
In the year 2044, global warming and oil crisis have rendered the world bleak and inhospitable. To escape, orphaned Wade Watts immerses himself into OASIS - a virtual utopia where you could be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
While he spends his days on video games with his avatar Parzival, Wade soon joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles hidden by OASIS's creator James Halliday who promises an immense fortune as well as the rights as his heir. Joining the hunt are powerful players who are willing to commit real murder to beat Wade to the prize.
"Mind-twisting settings, nail-biting action, amusing banter, and unabashed sentiment make for a smart and charming Arthurian tale that will score high with gamers, fantasy and sf fans, and everyone else who loves stories of bumbling romance and unexpected valor."
"...a blend of Avatar, The Matrix , and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
" A great geek beach book, an unapologetic romp with brains and style."
Check out the book's website for news and photos. Movie adaptation already in the works.
* = starred review (See the New York Times review).