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Ready Player Two: Was 10 Years Worth the Wait?

Let’s face it: Ready Player Two is hands-down the most awaited sci fi book this year. We’re mere days away from the release date. The book, a follow-up to author Ernest Cline’s successful 2011 novel Ready Player One, comes out on November 24th. 

News about the sequel started back in 2015 during an interview with screenwriter Zak Penn. Yet, Ernest Cline didn’t begin writing Ready Player Two until 2017. And here we are in 2020, anxiously waiting for our pre-ordered Kindle book to load onto our Paperwhite. Well, at least I am.

Amazon ad for Ready Player Two book

Ready Player Two Plot

From all the articles and social media mentions I could find, the sequel includes all the characters from Ready Player One. Of course, all the pop culture references our little hearts could desire should be included, too. Supposedly Steven Spielberg helped Cline (a little) with the sequel. 

During the 2020 NY Comic-Con, Ernest Cline released the following statement:

Days after winning OASIS founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything.

Hidden within Halliday’s vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technilogical advancement that will once again change the world and make the OASIS a thousand times more wondrous – and addictive – than even Wade dreamed possible.

With it comes a new riddle, and a new quest – a last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize.

And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who’ll kill millions to get what he wants.

Wade’s life and the future of the OASIS are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.

Lovingly nostalgic and wildly original as only Ernest Cline could conceive it, Ready Player Two takes us on another imaginative, fun, and action-packed adventure through his beloved virtual universe, and jolts us thrillingly into the future once again.

YouTube video

New Technological Advancement

What technological advancement could Wade Watts have discovered within the vault? Sentient artificial intelligence? A link to an alternate universe? An unlimited supply of the original Crystal Clear Pepsi?

crystal clear pepsi
You know you’d love some Crystal Clear Pepsi!

I hope Cline avoids the ‘rinse, wash, repeat’ plot formula of Dan Brown’s books. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Dan Brown’s books. But the plots – especially in his first few novels – were the same. 

New Mysterious Easter Egg Prize

Finding the first key took five years from when Halliday’s death initiated the first easter egg hunt. Ready Player Two will have to take over a few years to keep the new hunt challenging. Cline may use the first few chapters of this sequel to catch readers up with the events that occurred in the timeline between the two books.

Now, you’re thinking to yourself, “What else could Wade and the High Five need beyond what they already have?” Recall that Wade’s OASIS character Parzival (and likely the rest of the High Five) is virtually immortal in the game.

Don’t forget how brilliant and introverted Halliday was, though. Who knows what else he invented and kept for himself until well past his death? We’ll find out soon enough. Even the ending of the Ready Player One movie hinted at Halliday’s avatar as something different than a standard avatar. Perhaps where the first book was dystopian, the sequel will lead to utopia.

New Impossibly Powerful Rival

Assume Nolan Sorrento is locked up in prison, and IOI is a shell of its former self. Ready Player Two needs a new antagonist, and it looks like it’ll be a good one. When I read the first book, I felt a sense of dread – a real threat imposed by the IOI corporation (although the movie made me feel less so). 

Hopefully, this new “impossibly powerful and dangerous” threat will live up to the hype of Cline’s press release.

Will there be a Ready Player Two movie?

With news of Steven Spielberg providing Ernest Cline input, I’d say it’s safe to expect a sequel movie. According to ScreenRant.com, Warner Bros hasn’t greenlit a Ready Player Two movie. Even if that happens in 2021, we likely won’t see the film until 2023-2024. 

Although we won’t be watching the movie version of the upcoming book, we can still enjoy the book in another type of format: audiobook. According to Deadline.com, Penguin Random House Audio chose Wil Wheaton to narrate the sequel. Any news, including Wil Wheaton, should excite sci fi fans. The sci fi fanbase loves the Star Trek: The Next Generation and Big Bang Theory actor.

The news is unsurprising to everyone who knows Ernest Cline and Wil Wheaton are good friends.

Ernest Cline and Wil Wheaton sitting on a DeLorean hood
Author Ernest Cline, left, and actor Wil Wheaton, right

What’s Next In Line For Ernest Cline?

I know, Ready Player Two hasn’t released yet, and here I am talking about what’s next for the author. Sorry, but I can’t help inquiring! According to SyFy.com, Cline would like to write a prequel to Ready Player One rather than another sequel. Hopefully, we’ll learn what caused Wade Watt’s world to become such a dystopia. 

Conclusion

Expectations are much higher for Ready Player Two than it’s predecessor. The Ready Player One movie earned over $580 million worldwide at the box office. That’s a lot of hype to live up to – something that didn’t exist with Cline’s previous book. I have no doubt the sequel will live up to these expectations.

By the way – if you loved RP1 and technology-focused sci fi, I recommend checking out Daemon and Freedom from author Daniel Suarez. Both are like RP1 but contain much more adult content. Let me know what you think of them if you decide to read them. 

Otherwise, that’s it for today’s article. Thanks for reading, and expect me to be radio-silent on November 24th, as I plan to skip sleeping and binge-read Ready Player Two.

PS: I almost forgot! Don’t forget to check out our newest podcast episodes!

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