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Name: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline
Year: 2011
Rank: 4.5 out of 5
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Original Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Popularity: 9.3
Genres/categories: Science fiction, Award winners, Fantasy, Cyberpunk

Purchase/research links:

Winner of the Prometheus award for libertarian science fiction in 2012.
Winner of the Alex Award in 2012.

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines'??puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win'??and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.