You want to accept Anorak’s Invitation. Trust me.

I love narrating audiobooks, because it gives me a rare opportunity to combine my love of reading with my love of performing into something that hopefully entertains people, and gets the Bursar at Ryan's college off my back for another month.

I did a few when I was much younger (Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and and Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers), then nothing for about ten years, when I did an audio version of Just A Geek, and then The Happiest Days of Our Lives. I guess someone liked the stuff I'd done recently, because I was invited to perform a story in METAtropolis: Cascadia, and that led to doing a bunch of books for Scalzi, which eventually led to the point of this post: Ernie Cline's upcoming book, Ready Player One.

I first discovered Ernie's work about ten years ago, when I heard him performing his sensational spoken word piece When I Was A Kid. I loved it so much, I submitted it to Fark, where it was greenlit, resulting in fives of album sales for Ernie (You're welcome, Ernie).

Years went by. Ernie wrote Fanboys. I wrote some books, too. Then, on a magical, unicorn-filled day earlier this year, my manager called and said I'd been asked to perform a new book called Ready Player One, by an author named Ernest Cline. I didn't even need to know what it was about; I knew it would be rad because Ernie wrote it, so I said yes right away. I had an incredibly good time reading it, marvelling every day that I was getting paid to read and perform a book that I loved. I counted down the days until August 16th, because that's when it would finally be released.

Knock Knock, Motherfucker: tomorrow's August 16th, and Ready Player One comes out in both print and audio editions. You can hear a sample of me doing my thing right now, though, because that's how we do things around here.

Ready Player One was in the New York Times this weekend, and I urge anyone who is on the fence about the book to go read it. Here, I'll make it easy and all linky.

Seriously? You're still here? Fine. Here's a taste:

With its Pac-Man-style cover graphics and vintage Atari mind-set “Ready Player One” certainly looks like a genre item. But Mr. Cline is able to incorporate his favorite toys and games into a perfectly accessible narrative. He sets it in 2044, when there aren’t many original Duran Duran fans still afoot, and most students of 1980s trivia are zealous kids. They are interested in that time period because a billionaire inventor, James Halliday, died and left behind a mischievous legacy. Whoever first cracks Halliday’s series of ’80s-related riddles, clues and puzzles that are included in a film called “Anorak’s Invitation” will inherit his fortune.

The world Ernie created for Ready Player One will blow your mind, and alternately make you wish you could live there, while being really glad that you don't. You'll want to meet the characters, and challenge them to a game of Galaxian (though they'll probably kick your ass. Damn kids in the future, I swear to god.)

It's already been bought by Warner Brothers, and will eventually be a film. I'm doing my best to call dibs on playing Halliday, but even if that doesn't work out, at least I got to play Wade in the audio version. Which you should totally go buy, because it is awesome.


40 thoughts on “You want to accept Anorak’s Invitation. Trust me.”

  1. Sounds like a great read and right up my alley, looking forward to it. Perfect timing too, 8 Hour road trip tomorrow – seems like a good place to check out what will be my first audio book.

  2. You sold me on the audio Wil. Is it unabridged? I look forward to see you playing Halliday one of these days.
    Let me know if they are seeking an ‘unknown’ talent to fill a comic relief role or something.

  3. DUDE!!! This is *so* my generation.
    In 2044, I’d be one of the remaining DD fans. :)
    Wil, I am excited for you that you were able to give voice to this project; the sample you provided really piqued my interest in the book. I may buy my first ever audiobook.
    Congrats on this MASSIVE win!!!

  4. Oh shit, Brendan. You're going to LOVE this book. In fact, if you don't, I'll buy it from you for twice what you paid.

  5. That sounds like fun. I haven’t been aware of Ernest Cline’s work but I think I’m going to have a look now.
    Do you know if this is going to be in non-DRM format?

  6. Great idea, i need one more thing for my brother’s birthday and this would be right up his alley
    Usually he’s the one to find the new books and pass them on to me, it’ll be nice to turn it around and be the one to recommend something cool we both wind up liking

  7. That trailer had shades of TRON, WarGames and Buckaroo Banzai to it.
    I don’t need to tell you (but I will) that a non-zero number of me are really excited to get this book!

  8. Wil, you have mentioned that you have authored several books. On the right side of your blog you post links to some of these books. This piqued my interest and I read the samples provided on Amazon. What I read interested me enough to buy a book.
    I am a person who requires instant gratification, Amazon takes to long, so next choice is checking the B&N website to see if they are available at their stores. $94 for The Happiest Days of Our Lives? Hmmm, may need to check the local library. :)
    Will be going to B&N to purchase one (Not HDOUL). BTW, I am saddened by the demise of Eureka. Have been watching it since the beginning. SciFi is shutting down a great show so that they can continue make movies like Megashark vs Crocosaurus and Copperhead. Those are certainly Emmy worthy movies.
    Have enjoyed your addition to Eureka and your part on this weeks show. You have also mentioned THE GUILD, will have to check that out to see what it is all about.
    Hasta Luego!

  9. Woo hoo! We’re heading out on a 6500km roadtrip in September/October and I’ve been looking for some good audio. Already have the “We’re Alive” zombie podcast loaded and ready. This will fit quite nicely!

  10. Omg, that link that said ‘ Knock knock motherfucker’, was the funniest shit ever. Everyone at work is staring at me like I lost my mind. Nice. Oh, and totally gonna check out this book.

  11. One of my grad students just gave me this book yesterday! I teach a class in video game analysis and one on media techno trends and my student is doing his thesis on gaming and education. He’s reading it and says it referencing stuff I teach in both classes and I have to read it. So I’ve just started. It may end up in my classes required reading list!

  12. Please recommend more books! I pre-ordered it on the basis of this blog post and am completely hooked. It’s completely my type of sci-fi! The fact that I will be 72 in 2045 really makes me identify with Halliday :)
    Also please recommend more blogs…your posts have also introduced me to the highly entertaining Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a Half.
    It has recently occurred to me that I am probably in the obscure 5% bracket!

  13. I just finished this book and I loved it! Thanks so much for the recommend. As a child of the 80s I got some of the references, but not all. Now I need to study up on my John Hughes, WarGames, and replay Rush’s 2112 on RockBand or GH.

  14. Right now I finished the book and I have to say, it really is one of the best I’ve read in a long time. The mention of you as an old geezer made me chuckle, considering I found about it here. Thank you for it

  15. I just finished the book last night. And it was excellent. Being an MMO geek this book made me want OASIS so bad!
    It was very well written and kept me on the edge of my seat! I really did not want to put it down, but unforunately i had to go to work. The ending was epic and not disapointing at all.
    I can haz moor plz?

  16. Finished the book and CD Sunday. Great! Everybody rush out & buy multiple copies. (Just so you know, the CD’s are TWICE the price of the hardback. Just sayin’…) I read the book while alternately listening to the CD’s, which is a great way to make it through quickly. Each of you should try it! Will’s a great Book on Tape narrator!!

  17. Just finished listening to this audiobook. The content was 100% awesome, and the narrator was at least 103% awesome. The most fun I’ve had with a book in…well, it’s been a while.
    Psyched for the next Ernest Cline book, or the next Wil Wheaton narration, or both at the same time, or even reversed.

  18. Thank you for this post, I finished the book today and now I will have to buy the audio version too. I totally fell in love with the book, I just devoured it! Hopefully there will be a Finnish translation as well someday.

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