I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad). The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.
19/1 - FANTASTIC!! Best book I've read in at least 20 books' time. Reading Ready Player One shows me exactly why I should never attempt writing a book - the work Cline put into the world building of not only the dystopian future, but even more so, the world of the OASIS. The time Cline must have spent researching every aspect of the book; every book, movie, piece of music, tv show and especially ALL the games of the era, is amazing and daunting for anyone out there, like me, who thinks they might have a story in them.
While I wouldn't consider myself a gamer, I am a child of the 80s, but born in the 80s rather than grew up in the 80s, so I missed out on experiencing the 80s firsthand. I was there (for 5.25 years), but was too young for most of the experiences that would be considered a classic 80s experience, most of which Cline has referenced in his book. Fortunately, my dad is pretty tech savvy, so we've always had a computer (for as long as I can remember, anyway) and he recorded all his favourite movies off the tv, giving me the chance to grow up watching them, as if I was a child of the 80s, even though I was watching them in the 90s. My earliest movie memory is of watching Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future or Mad Max with the ads of the time (dad hadn't gotten the hang of pausing the recording at the beginning of an ad break and then restarting it just as the break was ending in order to 'tape out the ads', so a lot of the movies he taped when I was a young child, or even before I was born, included some very interesting/corny ads). I still love those movies and I love that Ready Player One gave me the chance to feel some nostalgia over the good ol' days of VCRs and slightly snowy movies taped off the tv, with ads included. I can still watch those same movies today (as soon as it became clear what the future of VCRs was going to be, I went out and found DVDs to replace all my tapes), but I'll never see those old timey car/beer/Home and Away ads again and although they were just ads, thinking about them reminds me of when I first watched the movies all those years back and how they made me feel.
While my dad unconsciously instilled a love of 80s tv and movies and a few specific examples of music (mostly rock - Bon Jovi, the Boss, etc - definitely no Pseudo Echo or any of their synthesising buddies), and he was good with computers he never understood the lure of gaming consoles. We had one of the original Nintendos with some kind of bulk game pack with over 300 games, my favourites were BurgerTime, Clu Clu Land, Excitebike, Tennis, Baseball, Hogan's Alley, Lode Runner and Mario Bros. I do remember dad spending hours mapping out the correct way through the Colossal Cave, but that was on one of our earliest IBMs (we're not a Mac family), unfortunately our version had a bug that allowed you to get to a certain point and then you could go no further, no matter which direction you attempted to go, so I never got to see how it all ended.
MY GOD!! I've just realised that I've been waffling on and on about my own 80s experience for two paragraphs, or about an hours' writing time. Please excuse my slight sidetrackedness, I'll get back to discussing the books' merits now (well, actually later as it's now after midnight and I was going to start a new book). To be continued (even though I've already finished the book)....
20/1 - If Cline can't make a living as an author he should get together with some game designers and create the OASIS. I'd play, although I hope I wouldn't become quite as addicted as Wade did. The world Cline created, the destroyed world of 2044, is a grim reminder of the crap we're doing to this planet and how not-impossible that future really is. How close I could be to spending my dotage in a human sardine can, stacked like a supermarket shelf with the only entertainment coming from my online life. That's a depressing thought and it's enough to make me want to go out and save the world from ending up like that.