October 24, 2020

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Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline arrives November 24

This autumn science fiction author Ernest Cline returns to his beloved universe with Ready Player Two. The novel was announced yesterday with a surprising release date – November 24th. We already knew he was working on a sequel to his brilliant novel Ready Player One. Few could have imagined it would see a release so soon. The original novel from 2011 is best described as the ultimate homage to 80s pop culture. Set in a future world in which people choose to live in the virtual world of OASIS. After the death of its designer control of OASIS will pass to whoever finishes his Easter Egg challenge. Each of the challenges involves a plethora of references to 80s movies and games. In fact, those that took up the challenge had to reenact whole scenes from movies like Blade Runner and Wargames. But also play games such as Joust and others.

Not much is known about the sequel novel. Though the author has stated that the financial success of the original and its film adaptation are a factor. I like many others did not enjoy the adaptation by director Steven Spielberg, feeling that it took out most of the fun of the novel. Personally I feel a series adaptation would have been better. It is interesting to note that actress Olivia Cooke who played the character Art3mis is contractually obligated to reprise her role. The original story was set in a dystopian 2045 in which OASIS is both a commercial environment akin to a super internet but also as a place for not-so harmless escapism. The story ends with the main character Wade Watts deciding to shut down OASIS for two days per week. Thus obligating people to improve the real world.

What to expect from Ready Player Two

It is easy to consider that sequel will pick up were the first ended, but a better choice might be a prequel story. The first novel was Wade Watts / Parzival’s journey to uncover the mystery left behind by OASIS designer James Halliday. Art3mis on the other hand was fighting against corporate control of OASIS for years together as were others characters such as Aech and i-R0k. Whatever direction the author takes I am sure there will plenty of references to Back To The Future, Star Wars and Star Trek. The author Ernest Cline will have to address issues regarding the female characters. Some criticized their token presence while others praised the authors efforts. Most have seen similarities between OASIS and recent games such as Fortnite and Minecraft.

The latter are quickly becoming a metaverse to the real world with live hosted events. Anyway, if The Winds of Winter won’t be released in 2020 then Ready Player Two is officially my most sought after novel.