Literary: Ernest Cline

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is a geek's paradise, a futuristic thriller that looks back to the 1980s and its various pop-cultural touchstones — everything from the Atari 2600 and obscure Japanese anime to the Vision Quest soundtrack and the films of

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One is a geek's paradise, a futuristic thriller that looks back to the 1980s and its various pop-cultural touchstones — everything from the Atari 2600 and obscure Japanese anime to the Vision Quest soundtrack and the films of John Hughes — with addictive, often inspired glee.

Set in the grim, resource-challenged America of 2044, Ready Player One centers its brisk narrative on Wade Watts, a broken-homed teenager who escapes his bleak surroundings by spending most of his time navigating OASIS, a sprawling online utopia that also happens to contain clues that will lead someone to the massive fortune of its eccentric, ’80s loving, recently deceased creator.

Cline — a former “elitist video-game clerk and tech-support drone” who wrote the screenplay for the like-mindedly geeky, Star Wars-riffing movie Fanboys — recently traded emails with CityBeat about his entertaining debut novel.

Ernest Cline discusses Ready Player One Aug. 31 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Go here for Jason Gargano's full interview.

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