The Arcades Project

A new novel builds a video-game shrine to the past

Everett Collection

For his book tour, Cline will travel in a 1982 DeLorean like the one in Back to the Future

If prerelease literary hype were an arcade game, Ernest Cline would be entering his initials next to the new high score. His first novel, the sci-fi thriller Ready Player One, sold for six figures last year, and its film rights were snapped up the next day. Amazon and Publishers Weekly have raved; Mark Frauenfelder of the influential alt-culture site Boing Boing called it "the best science fiction novel I've read in a decade."

Though Cline's book is a debut, the buzz around it is acutely nostalgic, not unlike the sound of a misinserted Atari cartridge. As its title suggests, Ready Player...

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