Tech & Work

Photos: 23 vacation reads that take a fictional look at real technology

​Ready Player One

This New York Times bestseller is all about 80s nostalgia mixed with virtual worlds, virtual reality, digital currency, and dystopia. The main character is a young man named Wade Owen Watts, who goes by Parzival in the digital world of OASIS.

The world of 2044 in Ready Player One is a bleak one: Fossil fuels have dried up and the world faces crisis from energy shortages and global warming. OASIS, a VR world that is part Second Life, part MMORPG, is the source of the most stable currency in the world and is an increasingly popular refuge for the disaffected and poverty-stricken citizens who make up the book's reality.

The founder of OASIS has died, leaving several easter eggs hidden throughout OASIS. The first to solve all the puzzles wins his fortune, and the hunt leads Parzival on a dangerous journey through cyberspace and heaps of nostalgia for those who grew up on Blade Runner, Monty Python, Dungeons and Dragons, and other 80s classics.

The audiobook, which I highly recommend for those interested, is narrated by Wil Wheaton. It's a great way to enjoy a book while giving your eyes a rest.

Note: This gallery is also available as a free PDF download.

Image: Penguin Random House

By Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.