Ernest Cline

Easton Press Ernest Cline books

Ready Player One - signed modern classic - 2016


Ernest Cline biography

Ernest Christy Cline, born on March 29, 1972, in Ashland, Ohio, is an American author, screenwriter, and spoken-word artist known for his contributions to contemporary science fiction literature. Cline's rise to prominence came with the success of his debut novel, Ready Player One, which garnered widespread acclaim for its nostalgic celebration of 1980s pop culture and its exploration of virtual reality. Cline developed a passion for science fiction, video games, and popular culture from a young age. His early exposure to the works of authors like Douglas Adams and his love for classic arcade games heavily influenced his creative pursuits. Cline attended Ohio University, where he studied English and focused on creative writing.

Ready Player One, published in 2011, catapulted Cline into literary fame. The novel is set in a dystopian future where a virtual reality world called the OASIS becomes the refuge for many, and its deceased creator, James Halliday, sets up a quest within the OASIS to find an Easter egg that will grant the finder immense wealth and control of the virtual world. The story is rich with references to 1980s video games, movies, and pop culture, reflecting Cline's deep appreciation for the era. The success of Ready Player One extended beyond literature, as Steven Spielberg directed a film adaptation that was released in 2018. The novel's popularity also solidified Cline's status as a leading voice in contemporary science fiction.

Following the success of his debut, Cline released Armada in 2015, another science fiction novel that explores themes of video games and extraterrestrial threats. While not achieving the same level of success as Ready Player One, Armada maintained Cline's reputation as a writer with a distinct voice in the genre. Ernest Cline's works are characterized by their immersive and nostalgic elements, blending elements of science fiction, pop culture, and gaming. He is celebrated for his ability to capture the imagination of readers who share his love for the geek and gaming subcultures.


Similar to Cline's debut novel, Ready Player One, Armada is known for its heavy incorporation of pop culture references, particularly those related to video games, science fiction, and 1980s popular culture. The narrative explores themes of virtual reality, gaming, and the blurring lines between fiction and reality. Armada received mixed reviews from critics and readers. While some appreciated the nostalgic elements and the fast-paced nature of the story, others criticized it for relying too heavily on familiar tropes and clichés. Comparisons to "Ready Player One" were inevitable, and opinions on Armada often depended on individual preferences and expectations. Ernest Cline's distinctive style, characterized by a deep love for geek culture, video games, and science fiction, is evident in Armada. Despite varying opinions, the novel found its audience among readers who enjoy Cline's signature blend of adventure, nostalgia, and speculative elements.

Ready Player Two

Ready Player Two was published on November 24, 2020. In this sequel, Cline continues the story set in the OASIS, a virtual reality world filled with pop culture references, challenges, and adventures. In Ready Player Two, the protagonist, Wade Watts (Parzival), discovers a new technological advancement within the OASIS, leading to a new quest that unravels more mysteries and challenges. The novel explores themes related to artificial intelligence, the consequences of technology, and the impact of virtual reality on society. While Ready Player Two generated excitement among fans of the first book, it also faced mixed reviews, with some praising Cline's ability to capture the essence of pop culture and others expressing concerns about the pacing and narrative choices.

Ernest Cline's work, particularly with the Ready Player series, has been notable for its nostalgic appeal and its celebration of 1980s pop culture, video games, and science fiction. Cline's literary career and influence continue to grow, and he remains an influential figure in the realm of contemporary science fiction literature.


Ready Player One

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Ready Player One takes readers on a quest through a virtual world that is filled with pop culture references from the 1970s and ‘80s. Wade, or “Parzival” as he is known online, a sweet yet self-deprecating guy, is the unlikely hero of this story. Ernest Cline successfully combines a quest novel, love story, and virtual space opera into one exciting adventure. The reader will be taken into a universe filled with spell-slinging and giant Japanese robots, and along the way, Wade is faced with a decision of virtual world versus the real world. Should he forsake his perfect virtual world for the real life he so desperately wanted to escape?


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