What is the Author Reading? (Sept 2015)

September 10, 2015 by: Douglas

In the midst of writing, I still find time to read a good book. After all, all writers started as readers, right? Most of my interests revolve around the same subject I write the most about: epic fantasy. (Though I have also written a Steampunk-oriented short story and have plans for an apocalyptic future story.)

There are other interests though, and this book is one of them. I’m reading Armada by Ernest Cline.

I became a fan of Ernest Cline’s work through his first book, Ready, Player One. That book was set in the near future, but revolved heavily around pop culture of 80s-today. Society at that time was heavily integrated…can we say, almost assimilated?…into a virtual online internet world. People spent much of their effort and lives inside the virtual reality rather than the real world. I was very much drawn to the story by the infusion of so much late 1900s culture that infused the storyline. The creator of the OASIS, which is the online world that attaches into everything, even future schools, has died but left an inheritance hidden in the code of the online world. Treasure seekers compete to comb through clues and references spanning video games, 80s movies, and RPG games to try finding this reward. The storyline was great, and I found it amusing that so many references from the culture of my youth were present.

In Armada, Ernest Cline uses similar pop-culture tie-ins but with a completely different storyline. In this one, video games and movies have been secretly preparing a generation of gamers to be able to defend the Earth against an alien threat. Even as I say it, it sounds weird. But, so far I have been enjoying it immensely. The main character even has the sense enough to question and criticize the subject matter in the story, even as it propels his destiny. Fans of Star Wars, Firefly, and Aliens get their fill of wise-cracks involving our generation’s culture. I was even surprised to see a reference to Star Citizen, an awesome space sim which I’ve been supporting and watching the development for some time now.

So, what books have YOU been reading lately? Feel free to answer on my facebook (Dhealoral), or twitter, @ThaminDheaLoral