Ready Player One's Ernest Cline's Next Novel Titled Armada
Those who liked Ernest Cline's sci-fi adventure novel Ready Player One have likely been waiting to hear about the writer's next project, beyond bringing RPO to the big screen. The writer has reportedly inked a new book deal, with plans to write a new novel that caters to video game fans.
In exchange for his next book, Cline has secured a seven-figure book deal with Random House's Crown Publishing. At this point, the title, Armada, and the vague description, which states that the story will have a "high-concept premise that caters to video game fans," is all of the information THR had to report on the subject matter of the book at present. While there's no word on a publishing date, the site report that film rights are said to be in the works. THR doesn't say who's looking to acquire the rights to adapt the story, but it's Warner Bros. that has the rights to Cline's Ready Player One. And it's Ready Player One that likely has many of us eager to see what Cline writes next.
For those who haven't ready his first novel, Ready Player One is set in 2044 during a major recession. Video games and the internet have been merged into a virtual reality-like simulation universe called the OASIS, where people can exist as avatars and play games, shop, date, etc. When the OASIS creator, James Halliday, dies, he leaves the OASIS to whoever can collect the three hidden keys. This leads many people on a scavenger hunt throughout the OASIS, on search of the easter eggs. Years have passed and no one has made it onto the scoreboard. This Willy-Wonka-like story's Charlie Bucket is Wade Owen Watts, a poor orphan teen who spends as much time as possible in the OASIS determined to study the universe and Halliday in an effort to find the keys.
RPO is brimming with 80s pop culture references, as Halliday was was child of the 80s, so the OASIS includes plenty of references to 80s movies, music, TV, tech and video games. These nostalgic nods to the decade are peppered throughout the story, added a fun layer of geekiness to those of us with a fondness for the decade. But that's just part of what works about the book. The adventure element keeps the story moving at a great pace, and he does a nice job of developing the characters and the setting as the story progresses. While I wouldn't mind if Cline put out another OASIS-set story (a prequel, sequel or spin-off of RPO), it's very exciting to hear that he's begun a new project.