It's the year 2044 and the real world has become an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia when you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir has promised that control of the OASIS - and his massive fortune - will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late 20th century.
And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle.
Suddenly he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, as chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions - and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed ...
'When I read Ready Player One, it was like the most amazing flash forward and flash back at the same time, to a decade I was very involved in, the 1980s, and to a future that's out there awaiting all of us, whether we like it or not.' Steven Spielberg
'Enchanting . . . Willy Wonka meets The Matrix.' USA Today
'Fresh and imaginative.' Entertainment Weekly
'Ridiculously fun.' NPR
'A geek fantasia.' Austin American-Statesman
'Part intergalactic scavenger hunt, part romance and all heart.' CNN
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Ernest Cline is a bestselling novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. He is the author of the novels Ready Player One and Armada and co-screenwriter of the blockbuster film adaptation of Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg. His books have been published in over fifty countries and have spent more than 150 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-travelling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.