Ready Player Two? A sci-fi sequel is in the works



Woohoo! I liked the first one. I had some quarrels about some aspects of the work (not gonna get into those right now), but overall it was good and would definitely like to read more.


if not here, then where?

I loved RP1. Would appreciate learning if I’m being overly fannish about something or other such sycophanthly.


Alright, I’ll bite. I really wish I had written down my thoughts back when I read the books, because I can’t remember everything anymore, but I’ll tell what I remember.


Well, first of all, the 80s references. I understand why they’re there and there’s nothing wrong with getting people’s nostalgia pumped up, kinda like Family Guy constantly does. But it was the way some references were mentioned; often they were thrown right into your face just for the sake of it, instead of being woven into the story. Often times it felt like nothing more than name-dropping. Wade also sometimes comes out as arrogant when he goes on about his knowledge (both to the reader and other characters), but maybe that was the point; I know I used to (and still can) be similar, because when you’ve been heavily bullied and had a shitty life, and you have some very specific knowledge/skills, you’ll want to use them to all their worth.

The OASIS, while in a way basic virtual reality stuff, was lovely and convincingly written about; I could imagine something like that existing some day, for both educational and entertainment purposes (please, hurry up technology!). But what didn’t make sense for me was the fact that OASIS was supposed to be available for all, and gain money by charging for extra things, and yet they decided to charge for just getting around to other planets. Why would anyone restrict a poor user to a single planet, his school? Just makes no sense to me. That’s not how anyone would design a P2P game; then that user can’t even begin to do things that gain him money which he can use to spend more money.

But really, my main beef with the game was this: the Sixers are presented as Very Bad Guys. They’re paid to hunt the eggs, and that’s not fair to others. They also know all this 80s old stuff because they learned it for the hunt. Except… that’s what Wyde has done as well. He has no life, so he has all the time in the world (minus school, but even that’s inside OASIS), and he has decided to use all that time to the hunt. He learns all about the 80s stuff and memorizes everything Halliday liked just for the sake of the hunt. And he has a lot of time for it, having no life. So, that’s different from the Sixers… how? Wade wasn’t some guy who just happened to love 80s games, he learned them all specifically for the Hunt. The only difference is that he isn’t getting paid and isn’t part of a Big Bad Corporation, but really, at the end both just apply a lot of perseverance and time to the Hunt. I know IOI does a lot of other bad things and I’m not trying to claim the way they do things is exactly great, but I remember the book made a pretty big deal about the difference between Wade’s “authentic” knowledge and skill and the Sixers’ somehow wrongly-acquired knowledge and skill. I know they shared all the info, which can be seen as bad, but even excluding that, Wade’s way was presented as somehow better, because he cared for the things he learned about (but who’s to say the Sixers didn’t?).

Also, I remember at the end being kind of conflicted about how I felt about the characters’ RL appearances. Wade conveniently lost weight and became a bit muscular during the course of the story, which sort of felt like a cop out, or it might have been good character development. I’m not sure. And Artemis… well, obviously she had to be really good looking, as women do. IIIRC she had some birthmark or something, I don’t remember how big/obvious it was. But I don’t know, I would liked it more if she would’ve turned out to be more normal looking, maybe even a bit overweight like Wade - it would’ve better brought in the point about appearances and how much they matter (they DO matter, but a little less when you’ve made a real connection online). But I’m still conflicted about all that. Loved how aech turned out, though.

But despite all this, I really liked the book, I’m just pointing out the things I disliked since you asked. I couldn’t for the life of me put the book down, it was exciting and just a lot of fun. A lot I could relate to, there, too.

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Spoilers Ahoy

Ah. good point. I don’t think I thought critically about that, just kinda suspended disbelief.

In some ways, I took that as a comment on indie vs corporate. It might play better to Americans, though, who mythologize the greed of the individual entrepreneur, but tend to be skeptical of mega-corps and big labels with their A&R men.

In other ways, yeah, lazy generic evil.

Related to your point about generic bad guys, I think the 80s references are the point. It seemed to me that Cline wanted to create a nostalgic romp through the 80s. Thus, heavy on the 80s, tack-on bad guys as an after-thought. For me, that was the joy of the book, and kept me page-turning. Then again, I’m an old fuddy-duddy, so I am easy amused by a return to a more civilized, and neon, age.

Agree. Forced kumbaya ending is forced.

Still, loved loved loved the book for it’s perspective on the interplay between video games and society, nostalgic, and future-oriented. Was a page-turner, and I’ve bought the book for a few friends. It’s one of the better fiction focused on vidya, far more engaging than YOU.

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How do you use that spoiler blur?

I wasn’t so bothered by them being generic evil guys (even though it is kinda lazy), just the fact that what they often emphasized as making Sixers and Wyde so different was the latter’s “authentic” knowledge and skill, even though both aquired them for the same reason (the Hunt) and with time and perseverance

It wasn’t the 80s references themselves that bothered me (otherwise there’s no way I could’ve enjoyed the book!), and using cliched 80s TV or video game tropes is a good way of using them, It was the name-dropping sort of references I sometimes disliked, where things were mentioned just so the reader could say “I know that thing!” but then never actually used in the story/setting.

Yeah, I loved it for all those things as well. Best video-game related fiction book I’ve read, and I really liked the setting (dystopian, yet in a realistic way) and the characters.

Also… is this YOU some book, or are you saying I’m not very engaging?

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captive markets are awesome, especially if you can get exclusive licensing deals. i could elaborate on this forever, but it all basically comes back down to that. if serf lord X doesn’t want his peons seeing how good the world can be other places, and you want his licensing fees, you’d implement something similar.


your text

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Hopefully the sequel will contain fewer lists of old video games masquerading as narrative.


I enjoyed it but one thing it made me realize is how much we are pushing old stories and movies from our childhood onto our kids. Like Star Wars, I love Star Wars because it came out when I was a kid and thought it was a great universe to play in. But there are parents my age that get their kids X-Wing rockers and dress them in Wookie costumes.

I’m not arguing that the kids don’t love it or that the parents shouldn’t share their appreciation, but I can’t figure out how my kids are supposed to find their own thing that they love if they’re busy letting me relive my second childhood. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Goonies, ET, these weren’t forced on me by my parents, I don’t even think my parents have seen any of these movies, these were discoveries my generation made due to the filmmakers putting them out there.

Harry Potter was a great new universe that kids were able to explore that eventually brought their parents into it. But where’s Wade’s version of Joust? He’s busy playing the 1980’s one. Where’s Wade’s chance to explore new worlds, he’s busy learning about an earlier generation to explore a world created and referenced by someone else obsessed with that generation.

This novel was a ton of fun for me because it’s about my generation and references to it, but I can’t expect my kids to enjoy it the same way given that they don’t even know what a 2600 was or why you’d need tokens to play a game in an arcade, let alone what an arcade is. It’s also made me try harder to pay attention to what they bring to me and less about me making them see things because I enjoy it.


It’s and .

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On the other hand, I was disappointed with how long it took me in life to discover for myself that both the Beatles and John Fogerty cribbed from Chuck Berry.

Certainly, your lil plantains will discover the sprouts of evolving culture on their own, but ain’t nothing wrong with an old nanner like you connecting those new buds to their roots.

I enjoyed the book for the most part, but what really grew tiresome for me was how every goddamned thing from the 80s that he referenced was “classic” or “vintage”. None of it was just “old” or “not bad for its time.” It just got to be too much for me. I mean, life in the future has got to suck some very sweaty donkey balls if all of anyone’s absolute favorite things are 80s videogames and every single thing that surrounded them back then.

I mean, I get where he’s coming from, but come on… I lived through all that shit, and even though I have great fondness for Tempest and Asteroids Deluxe and Iron Maiden and a bunch of other stuff from that era, I have no patience for much of the stuff that does not, IMHO, stand the test of time… but Cline acts like all of this stuff is, like, the pinnacle of civilization!

Otherwise it was a hoot and a half.


it really does suck that much. apparently most people live in “apartments” made out of stacked and welded trailer homes in the middle of nowhere, which frequently fall off or explode. they can’t afford even today’s level of technology unless it’s part of a subsidized DRMed MMORPG surveillance world where they are still serfs.

if my only choices are Angry Birds, Welfare Recipient Edition and the subculture of 80s ROMs, i’d probably join the cult.


Yeah, that’s true that the future does suck them sweaty balls… but just because Cline loves his DeLorean doesn’t mean it was actually the most awesome car ever made. I know, I know, he wrote that book to please his own inner 10-year-old, but he’s only two or three years younger than I am, and I simply felt the novel’s obsessive focus was just a tad too narrow. I dunno, I feel similarly nostalgic about the years 1977-1981, but only to a point. I certainly don’t feel nostalgic for every game, song, movie, or cultural event of that period. For the most part, I kinda hated the Reagan years, and most of the stuff that came out then with the exception of heavy metal, certain science fiction movies, and maybe The Breakfast Club.

What the hell. Though I’m the right age, I’m not the target audience. Still a fun story overall, and I would recommend it to anyone our age who grew up immersed in that culture.

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This (both of the quoted parts) is what I meant. I loved a lot of those things when I was younger (I know you think I’m too young for that, but my older brother wasn’t, and I sort of lived through him the 80s and the early 90s media), but even though he had a great excuse to talk about all those nostalgic things in the story, he could’ve toned it down a bit, or at least made it more relevant to the plot.

But again, I did really like the book.

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