Ready Player One is a science fiction novel by Ernest Cline. The book was published by Random House on August 16, 2011. The audiobook was narrated by Wil Wheaton. In 2012, the book received an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association division of the American Library Association.
Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010.
The year is 2044 and the world is in near-ruins. The Great Recession has taken its toll on the world's economy, and resources are scarce. The Internet and gaming culture have evolved into a creation known as OASIS, a massive multiplayer online simulation game created by James Halliday and Ogden Morrow of Gregarious Simulation Systems (GSS), formerly known as Gregarious Games. Halliday, with no heirs or other living family, dies suddenly and leaves a video will to those in OASIS and a book that was dubbed Anorak's Almanac, which purports to be a volume written by James Halliday's avatar Anorak in OASIS. The video says that whoever can collect three keys (Copper, Jade, and Crystal) that are hidden throughout the universe of OASIS and pass through the matching gates will receive his fortune and controlling stake in GSS. This becomes known as the Hunt and people immediately begin the search for Halliday's Easter Egg. Those searching for the Egg are referred to as "gunters," a truncation of "egg hunters." Gunters devote an enormous amount of time to studying 1980s pop culture, the decade Halliday grew up in and was perpetually obsessed with, in the hope it will assist them with locating and solving the puzzles involved with the Egg.
- Wade Owen Watts/Parzival — the protagonist, a poor orphan from the stacks surrounding metropolitan Oklahoma. Wade names his OASIS character Parzival after the Arthurian knight famous for his quest for the grail, and dedicates his life to finding James Halliday's Easter egg.
- Aech — Wade's best friend, fellow gunter, and rival in the quest to find the egg.
- Art3mis — a famous gunter and blogger, Wade has a huge cyber-crush on her, which is complicated by their competition in search of the egg.
- Nolan Sorrento — a high-ranking official of Innovative Online Industries, the multinational corporation that serves as an Internet service provider for most of the world and hopes to take over and monetize the OASIS. Sorrento is head of IOI's Oology (the science of searching for Halliday's Easter egg) Division, and serves as the primary antagonist of the novel.
- Toshiro Yoshiaki/Daito and Akihide/Shoto — Japanese gunters who work as a team in their quest for the egg, they have a generally tense, sometimes-friendly relationship with Wade, Aech, and Art3mis.
- James Donovan Halliday/Anorak — creator of OASIS. (He is based on the personalities of Howard Hughes and Richard Garriott)
- Ogden Morrow/Og — Co-creator of the OASIS and best friend of James Halliday. He is among the few in the world who is rich and can afford luxuries that most people cannot. Despite this, he is humble and respects his deceased friend's game and the hunt for the egg. He married his high school sweetheart with whom Halliday was also smitten.
Pop culture references in the novelEdit
Games referenced in the bookEdit
- Adventure including Warren Robinett's Easter egg.
- Street Fighter
- Swordquest, including the prizes for Earthworld, Fireworld, Waterworld, and Airworld.
- Robotron: 2084
Games played in the simulationEdit
Home computers and Video game consoles referenced in the simulationEdit
References in the book coverEdit
Movies referenced in the simulationEdit
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
- Back To The Future
- Better Off Dead (film)
- Blade Runner
- Big Trouble In Little China
- The Breakfast Club
- A Clockwork Orange
- Highlander (film)
- The Last Starfighter
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- National Lampoon's European Vacation
- Real Genius
- Revenge of the Nerds
- Risky Business
- Short Circuit
- Sixteen Candles
- Star Trek
- Star Wars, original and prequel trilogies, and made-for-TV Ewok adventures
- The Terminator
- The Twilight Zone
- Weird Science
- The Matrix (1-3)
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture
- Star Trek (the rest.)
- Mad Max (1-3)
Music referenced in the simulationEdit
- "Dead Man's Party"
- Ladyhawke soundtrack
- "Three Is a Magic Number"
- Conan the Barbarian OST by Basil Poledouris
- Star Wars OST by John Williams
- "Pac Man Fever"
- "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats
- "Don't Let's Start" by They Might Be Giants
- "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
- "Like to Get to Know You Well" by Howard Jones
- "Time after Time" by Cyndi Lauper
- "(Everywhere I go) Kids Wanna Rock" by Bryan Adams
Anime and tokusatsu reference in the simulationEdit
- Cowboy Bebop
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Giant Robo
- Mazinger Z
TV Show references in the novelEdit
Literature references in the simulationEdit
- Douglas Adams
- Kurt Vonnegut
- Neal Stephenson
- Richard K. Morgan
- Stephen King
- Orson Scott Card
- Terry Pratchett
- Terry Brooks
- Alfred Bester
- Ray Bradbury
- Joe Haldeman
- Robert A. Heinlein
- J.R.R. Tolkien
- Jack Vance
- William Gibson
- Neil Gaiman
- Michael Moorcock
- John Scalzi
- Roger Zelazny
- Philip K. Dick
Easter Egg huntEdit
Ten months after the first edition release, Cline revealed on his blog that Ready Player One itself contained an elaborately hidden easter egg. This clue will form the first part of a series of staged video gaming tests, similar to the plot of the novel. Cline also revealed that the competition's grand prize would be a DeLorean.
- Main article: Ready Player One (film)