Having recently read and listened to Ready Player One and then a couple of other books related to virtual reality, I am reminded how much our writing and our ability to enjoy a book really come down to character.
In Ready Player One, Ernest Cline was not afraid to take his time with the setup, laying out the character, who he is, what his fears are, why he considers his best friend to be so, and so many other wonderful details that bring Parzival to life (although I know his real identity, I don’t want to reveal it here).
The book focuses on this character who attends virtual reality school in a massive system termed “The Oasis,” built by a man who has now died and promised his fortune to the person that can find a very challenging Easter Egg within the system.
Sounds like an awesome plot, right? And it is! Filled with references to 1980’s (and before and after) games, movies, and so much more. But what really pulls us along, and indeed what drives the character in the end, is the character’s wants and desires and his need to interact and befriend the other characters he comes across. We’re left with a sense of not ONLY how awesome the plot was, but a joy that (the relationships play out how they do (I don’t want to spoil it, so no more on that said). You set down the book remembering these relationships, and recounting all the cool ways the author set them up. It’s a must read, and a must listen (check it out on Audible).
So it’s with great excitement that I saw the book was to be picked up as a movie. I can’t begin to imagine how they will do this, with all of the IPs references throughout, but with the world we live in where everything seems to be owned by just a couple of companies, maybe it won’t be so hard.
Of equal excitement for me was that (according to Wikipedia), Cline adapted his own novel into the screenplay. As a novelist and screenwriter, I’m happy to see Hollywood allowing this. And with the help of Eric Eason and Zak Penn on the rewrites (and probably many others), it has some major promise! Oh yeah, and Steven Spielberg signed on to direct the film in March, 2015.
This is big news, and is bound to be an EXPENSIVE film. However, with the success and AMAZING quality of the book (yes, it is now on my favorites list), I can’t imagine anyone not seeing this film – unless someone screws this up big-time, I’m sure it will make an enormous profit.
Regardless, I’m listening to the audiobook again at the moment, and anxiously waiting Cline’s next book.
(Armada: A Novel, scheduled for release in July 2015).
For books by Justin Sloan, his Amazon Author Page.
For Audiobooks, see Audible.com.