Ready Player One

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Are There Lesbians? Yes

What Happens?
In the near future teenager Wade Watts (username: Parzival) discovers the first key to finding a hidden fortune left by the creator of the world’s largest MMORPG, OASIS. On the run from a corporation who will stop at nothing to control OASIS, Parzival and a small group of friends race to be the first to find the “Easter Egg” and keep OASIS from corporate control.

The Verdict:
Ready Player One is one of those books which I had been meaning to read for ages before I finally got to it. In fact I’m pretty sure I’ve been meaning to read it since it was first released in 2011, but it wasn’t until a month or so ago when The GF picked it up at the local library and encouraged me to read it, claiming it to be one of her top three books this year (I keep meaning to ask what the others are). It did not disappoint.

I absolutely loved this novel. It is fun and humorous – how could it not be when it has so very many 80’s pop culture references and Monty Python quotes? At the same time however, it paints a very real picture of a world where the majority of people live online because reality has gone to shit. The comparison between virtual and real worlds is stark but without the pessimistic grittiness that you might get from, say, a DC movie, and the extended use of virtual worlds is written without judgement from the author (unlike the lady I served at work yesterday who was mad about Pokemon Go, like honestly Debbie why do you hate fun?) Let’s just say that Debbie definitely wouldn’t like Ready Player One because it is, at its heart a fun book. The good guys are complex and the bad guys are really bad, and the whole of humanity is put somewhere in between, and its nice to see people come together in a positive way against the evil corporation. Though I guess that really just goes to show we, as humans, really do like to root for the underdogs.

“But the lesbians!” You say. “Hurry up and get to the lesbians!” Ah Gentle Reader (always wanted to say that) if only I could. You see, the lesbian in Ready Player One is my favourite kind – the surprise lesbian. Sometimes used as a way to represent the LQBTQ+ community without any actual representation by saying “they were gay all along muahahaha, we’re all the same!” Ready Player One manages to take a short breather to point out that being gay in an almost-apocalyptic world can have its own problems, even when you can hide your identity online. It was also good to see “the big gay reveal” have such a realistic response, rather than the clichéd and annoying drawn out session of soul-searching. Because when the fate of free media is at stake, whether or not your friend is gay becomes a minor issue.

To be honest, I’ve read a few hit-and-miss books this year, ones that lacked immersion or extended interest. Ready Player One has given me back my reading mojo, so I definitely owe it that, even if it made the few books I read afterwards pale in comparison.

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