Check out this amazing visual link. (above) It shows the science fiction book that introduces an idea on the left timeline and then on the right the date on a timeline that the idea became reality.
If you are over thirty-five and reminisce about the 80’s, this book’s for you.
The story is about an Earth in the near future that is falling apart. There are no jobs, no food, gas costs a fortune and humanity escapes reality through an immersive virtual world called, “Oasis”
The creator of Oasis is a Howard Hughes type recluse that has amassed an enormous fortune and no heirs. He dies and leaves this entire fortune to the person who can find a “golden egg” in Oasis. All the clues come from the era of the eighties.
If you remember Zork , Dragons and Dungeons, Bladerunner, Wargames, Pacman, Van Halen, etc. then you will enjoy wandering down memory Lane as Wade (avatar–Parzival) answers questions from that era to gain points and inventory that will aide him win this fortune. But he’s not the only one interested in winning a fortune.
Because Wade has had no life and huddles in a discarded hulk of an automobile in a junk yard to protect himself from an abusive aunt and her boyfriend, he has had lots of time to play every game ever invented hundreds of times within the computer universe. He’s gotten really good at them. He’s a loner who even attends school online and his few friends are avatars in Oasis. It’s also an online love story fraught with the question of who any avatar really is in “real life.” Behind that awesome young looking female avatar could be a balding fifty year old called Chuck. But Wade falls in love anyway with a spitfire of an avatar who becomes his main competition.
For five years everyone has been trying to find the first clue, a key. And then, Wade finds the first key..and the real world reacts violently. He gets offers in the millions for endorsements and interviews, but his life is also threatened by IOI a large corporation that wants to take over the Oasis and monetize it. They are willing to kill anyone who stands in their way, and they do so.
At times, I felt that there was too much explanation on esoteric computers and details of the eighties, at least for me. Once again, Wade, (Parzival) has to play a game, or remember the exact dialog and action in a movie, or recall a line from a song to get to the next level. It got late, I got impatient and I skipped ahead to the end. I rarely do that. The next morning, I rethought that strategy and went back for the complete story.
Player One is something new. Worth a look. It has a bit of a flavor of William Gibson and Phillip Dick
If you are a geek or even have geekish tendencies…then this book is for you.
Are you Ready to be a Player?
p.s. I am now reading Ashes of Candesce by Karl Schroeder. Add in chocolate and I’m in heaven.