Yearly Book Review – Ready Player One

With the spare time I currently have, I think yearly (or bi-yearly) book reviews are in order.

During the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure to read a most interesting piece of writing called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I could join the many other reviewers in labeling the book with all kinds of positive adjectives, but instead I will tell what I felt while reading.

Throughout the entire story I constantly had the feeling that the book was written for me specifically. Of course that also makes it impossible for me to review the book “objectively” as someone who has lived their entire life in a barrel. But for us good and honest folk who have spent the majority of our best years playing videogames behind closed curtains, this book is a gem that should not go unexplored.

I’m not saying that you should have had no life prior to reading to book to fully enjoy it. I’m saying that if you identify yourself as a current or past nolife, you will enjoy this book. If you don’t identify yourself as such, you still probably will enjoy this book.

The virtual reality future described in the story sounds so likely that one might question the book’s categorizing into science fiction. A future like that has also been proposed as one possible solution to the Fermi Paradox: Why haven’t we ever heard from another civilization spreading throughout the stars? – Possibly because all civilizations eventually figure out that it is much more fun and convenient to just sit back and enjoy life in a virtual reality instead of migrating to other solar systems.

And since this was supposed to be a book review… I got really engulfed in the world of this story – so much that when the bad guys were being bad, I felt bad. Thoughts like “How dare they?” often went through my head. The virtual reality felt like such a nice place that I was really worried when its essence was threatened.

At the end of the Avatar movie I felt sadness for having to return to reality. I got the same feeling at the end of Ready Player One, even though its world was a crappy place. Now I have to consider purchasing HTC Vive.

Worldcon 75 Participation

World’s biggest science fiction event, Worldcon, is held in Finland this year. More precicely, it will be held in the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre, Messukeskus, from August 9th to August 13th. I will be there every day, but most importantly I will participate in two specific events:

On August 9th 2017 (Wednesday), I will be giving a presentation regarding conversions between books, movies and games. The presentation is scheduled for 15:00 – 16:00 (3pm – 4pm) at room 207. You can expect me to ramble on and on about my personal experience with Groombridge Log and Eternal Doctrine.

On August 12th 2017 (Saturday), I will participate in a panel discussion regarding scientist characters’ creditability. The discussion is scheduled for 12:00 – 13:00 (12pm – 1pm) The other panelists are Livia Santa Clara, Karen Lord and Kristine Hejna.

I invite you all to come and listen to my presentation and panel discussion. Or you can just come to say hi.

Eternal Doctrine Part IV

Chapters 18 to 23 of Eternal Doctrine are ready. This is the last step before the final step as part V will be the last one.

To read these six chapters, follow this link.

If you don’t know what Eternal Doctrine is, here’s a brief summary for you: Eternal Doctrine is my second novel – the sequel to Groombridge Log. Together these two books form the Star Control storyline. If none of this sounds familiar, you should check out the pages for Groombridge Log and Eternal Doctrine.

Timeline – The Beginning

I wasn’t much of a writer in high school, but this story still begins from those times.

On my third year in high school, during one night like any other, I was having a meaningless discussion with a friend in IRC (Internet Relay Chat, the “social media” of early ages). This friend asked, as a joke, that I would tell him a bed time story.

I started writing (in Finnish) something random regarding a crush I had. I wrote one sentence at a time without thinking about the next one. Very soon the “story” took a turn towards romance and, not long after, all things sexual. But the surprising part was that it was turning out to be rather good. I got completely engulfed in it and, as I later heard, so did my friend. It was already very late, but I kept writing for some time.

You can imagine my disappointment when my friend finally declared that he would have to go to bed. He gave me virtual applause and then disconnected. I was suddenly left alone in a state of great inspiration with no audience to whom I could continue telling the story. So I had to do what anyone would’ve done…

…I copypasted the log from our conversation to Notepad and continued writing. I can’t say what the time was when I finally got to bed, but what I had given birth to was a genuine erotic shortstory. The next day I reviewed it and cleaned it up a bit and then anxiously waited for my friend to come online. When he finally did, I sent him my finished work and he consumed it with much eagerness. And that’s the story of how I got my first reader.

I then shared the story with some other basement dwellers and it got excellent reviews, but that seemed to be the extent of it. I wasn’t planning on doing anything with it.

Then came my one year servitude in the army. Don’t worry, it is relevant to this post. I don’t remember how, but at some point one of my mates got his hands on the shortstory and printed it for everyone’s pleasure. There were lots of jokes and chuckles at first…

…But then people got around to read it and the laughing stopped. Even some of the women found it interesting. I know a few honest men who took the story with them to the bathroom to inspire them, which I consider to be the ultimate goal for an erotic story.

After that I didn’t write anything in about ten years.

I still have the .txt file. Maybe one day I’ll bring it up to date (and change a few names in the story) and host it on this site.