“Armada” by Ernest Cline


I recently wrote a review of Ernest Cline’s Armada for Mythgard Academy’s blog (available here). I am reprinting here as it is in many ways a companion piece to The Last Starfighter

In 2011, Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (which I reviewed here) became a bestseller by capturing the gestalt of geek culture. For a generation that grew up during the 1980s and is rapidly approaching middle age (myself included), the book felt like a tribute to our collective nostalgia. In that book, teenager Wade Watts competes in an online video game by using trivia of 1980s pop culture to unlock hidden keys. Cline’s most recent book, Armada, is not a direct sequel to Ready Player One, but instead serves as a spiritual companion. If Ready Player One was “about” 1980s movies and video games, Armada attempts to recreate the archetypal 1980s sci-fi story in novel form. Continue reading ““Armada” by Ernest Cline”

“Ready Player One” directed by Steven Spielberg!

Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, which I reviewed several months ago, is being made into a film. The novel is an extremely fun tribute to 1980s pop culture. Thus, it’s fitting that, according to Deadline, Steven Spielberg is set to direct. Spielberg of course was the driving force behind so many 80s classics, directing E.T. and Indiana Jones, and producing Back to the Future IIThe Goonies, and Gremlins, among many others. Cline actually references several of those movies in Ready Player One, so it’ll be interesting to see to what extent Spielberg uses this film adaptation to reflect back on his own work.

“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

9788466649179Ready Player One is Ernest Cline’s tribute to 1980s popular culture. But it’s also a tribute to the sci-fi/fantasy gaming community that started with Dungeons & Dragons. And to video games, from the 8-bit arcade games up through modern massively multiplayer online game (MMO). And that makes the book a fun read.

The book takes place in the 2040s, but you’d hardly realize except for the fact that most people play a highly immersive, virtual reality MMO called the Oasis. The founder of the Oasis, billionaire James Halliday, passes away and leaves his fortune to whichever player can find an “easter egg” hidden in the game. There’s just one catch: players must master 1980s trivia in order to overcome the various challenges. Continue reading ““Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline”