A Good Read (If You're Over Thirty)
If you grew up in the '80's, Ernest Cline's sci-fi novel Ready Player One is so entertaining and satisfying that it feels like a guilty pleasure . . . it's set in the nearish future and things are predictably bleak and apocalyptic, but the masses find sanctuary in a massively multiplayer online virtual reality simulation called OASIS, which was created by the '80's nerd culture fanatic James Halliday; when Halliday died, he left a posthumous easter egg quest in the game-- and the winner would take control of his company, the game, and the incredibly vast fortunes that he amassed over his life (Halliday is a Steve Jobs/ Bill Gates hybrid) and the story follows Wade, the narrator, as he navigates the quest (and the violent repercussions of his success in reality) but the fun of the book is in the references and allusions: Joust, Zork, Pac-Man, Tempest, TRS-80,War Games, Star Wars, Bladerunner, John Hughes, Dungeons and Dragons, vintage Japanese TV and film, etcetera, etcetera . . . Cline packs in the '80's references on every page, from the obvious to the obscure; I'm not sure if the novel would be entertaining to anyone who wasn't a nerd in the '80's, but if you did grow up then, and know what a dodecahedron is, then read it.