Must obey Joe Hill

Also known as the son of Stephen King. I’ve been a fan since reading Heart-Shaped Box, and his short story collection, 20th Century Ghosts, is also quite good. Horns is good as well. Oh yeah, he also writes a fantastic comic book, Locke and Key.

All right, enough gushing. I visited his website,, a couple of weeks ago, and he mentioned that he was reading a book called Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. I always try to pick up the books/authors that my favorite writers are into, because I figure they can’t be wrong. (Well, they have been a few times, but oh well.)

So. I hopped into my Mustang and tore off for Barnes & Noble, one thought guiding me: Must buy book.

By the time I joined Interstate 10, another thought joined in: Must pass this moron, and that one.

Must buy book. Must pass this moron, and that one. Must buy book. Must pass this moron, and that one.

You get the idea.

The book had to be ordered, but it was worth the wait.

The book’s sci-fi, set in 2044. As expected, the world is a rather shitty place. Overcrowding, low food supplies, high unemployment, almost no oil . . . the only thing that makes life worth living is the OASIS, a virtual multiverse (think Facebook crossed with World of Warcraft crossed with The Sims; USA Today described it as Willy Wonka meets The Matrix) where you can be anything and go anywhere. Tattoine. Paris. All without leaving your house.

The concept of living life as an avatar has been covered before, in movies like Gamer and Surrogates, so been there, done that, but Ready Player One is more about 1980s pop culture. The creator of OASIS grew up in the 80s, and before he died, he created a quest hidden within the virtual world. The winner gets his entire fortune, all 240 billion dollars of it. To solve the quest, though, you must know a little something about Dungeons and Dragons, WarGames, and Joust.

I got most of the references, but the Internet’s there if you need it. I’m currently halfway through the book, and I love it so far. Ernest Cline also wrote the movie Fanboys

so, bonus points for me, that movie rocked.

Once again, obeying Joe Hill pays off.

2 thoughts on “Must obey Joe Hill

Add yours

  1. I’m about halfway through Ready Player One, and I have to say, while I do like it, it does get on my nerves sometimes. Some of the writing is a bit . . . apparent is the word I might be looking for. It lacks a certain subtlety.

    Also, some of the events had me rolling my eyes, like a certain explosion that affected the protagonist.

    But, that’s not to say it’s a bad book (I love the 80s and videogames). It just doesn’t synch up perfectly with my tastes.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I agree with your comment about the explosion; sometimes the dialogue rubs me the wrong way, too.

      However, this book does allow me to get my geek on (I’ve even started contemplating playing D&D again). While I’m not huge into the 80s (90s rock!), I love pop culture.

      Thanks for reading, and stay classy.

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