Friday, July 5, 2013
I don't read much science fiction, so true sci-fi lovers may scoff--but I loved this book by Ernest Cline. I am vision-impaired, so listened to the audio read by Wil Wheaton, who did a fine job sounding jejune.
It's 2044 and things have gone to pot. The protag Wade Watts, known by his avatar name Parzival--after the knight who found the Holy Grail-- is living in a stack of double-wides in Oklahoma City.
That's his Wade body, the gooey fleshy one. His real self "lives" on The Oasis, a huge virtual world of thousands of planets and quests, many centering on the music, video games, TV shows and sentiment of the 1980s. He even goes to HS in The Oasis, while his real body half-freezes inside an abandoned van. You got it--the gas ran out.
The builder of The Oasis dies and leaves his gigantic fortune to anyone who can solve three quests. Of course, Wade gets into it and is lucky at first, solving the first one and getting some endorsment deals allowing him to live in an apt.
This is lucky because the evil industrial baddie is also trying to ace the three quests and get the money. This crew blows up his trailer stackpark and kills his friend, a nice little old lady, not knowing Wade did not stay there during the day.
I liked this because it detailed a world in which this youngster never left his apartment for six months--his real life WAS his unreal life. And it didn't seem that bad.
And he's smart, although smitten by a woman (he hopes) he has never seen in person.
We are getting there, aren't we?
Yes, this is The Big Bang Theory on 'roids. But it's fun.