“I wasn’t going to cut corners. I wasn’t going to miss something obvious. Somewhere along the way, I started to go overboard. I may, in fact, have started to go a little insane.” -Ready Player One, page 62
So I really should have written this a lot earlier…but you know. I’m still learning about how all this works and what the project should really be. Coming up on 9 months of working on the blog I’m finally getting into a rhythm with actually getting things done and reviewed (movies and music are pretty easy, tv isn’t so bad but literature is tough to get through even with the rate at which I read…)
And I’m only one person. While my brother watches a lot of things with me and is trying to help me work up to playing video games live on twitch, which I am not good at keeping up with, he doesn’t write for the blog. And I have a small circle of friends that will help me with things like finding books or letting me borrow them…or to let me come over and mooch off their streaming services for a tv show I need to watch, they are really just there for moral support.
So, consuming and writing about all of this is a LOT…it’s a full-time job. And I work and have a house on top of it.
Then why have you included all of the things you have (even if they weren’t exclusively mentioned in the book)?
I get asked this a lot. And it was a hard decision to make as I developed this project over the years. Here is what I decided and why…
The book Ready Player One takes place in the year 2045. Halliday grew up during the 1980s. 1990s, and was in his formidable adult years during the early 2000s into the 2020s…. but the book was published in 2011.
Which leaves a lot of time between the publication of the novel and when the actual story takes place.
I could have made the decision to just deal with any media that came before 2011. But it didn’t seem right.
Then there was the route of just going off the references that are directly named within the book. And boy are there a LOT of those. Yet again…this just didn’t feel like the right way to go.
So what was left?
In my opinion it was this:
If Wade was doing his research from around 2040-2045 which are the dates from Halliday’s death to when the first key was found by Wade himself then it would make sense that during that 5-year period he would have delved into all the references in Anorak’s Almanac.
Since we don’t have direct access to the actual Almanac (I’m working on a version of it to post in the blog in case anyone wants to try this for themselves) I am left to guess about what all it contained. Many of the references and things that would have been in the Almanac are quite apparent. Throughout Ready Player One they are listed plainly: The Muppet Show, PAC-MAN, Firefly…
But the issue is with references that were vague…or that had more of the universe than what was mentioned directly. Or even references that were expanded after the novel was published.
Using some general guess work and some logical reasoning the Almanac would have contained many additional items from pop culture that WOULD have existed in 2040 when Halliday died.
For example: Star Wars. Directly in the text Wade talks of the “Holy Trinity’s” which included The Original Trilogy and The Prequel Trilogy. There were several other films out in the series when Ready Player One came out that I do believe Halliday would have watched such at The Star Wars Holiday Special, The Ewok Adventure…etc., as well as a few tv shows, that came out before the book was released. Then after 2011 there was an expansion to the Star Wars Universe. Another trilogy, two more stories set in the Star Wars world…and don’t get me started on the insane number of comics, novels and other media that has existed throughout the years.
And I do believe that Halliday would have been interested in the extended universe of a world that he considered important enough, that he revered enough, to call “holy”.
So that is what I have done. I’ve included some things that wouldn’t have been considered part of the world in 2011 but would have existed in 2040, when Halliday died. Extended universes, more novels, new TV shows…and other things that maybe just weren’t directly messaged.
I’ve done this for a few reasons.
- I think that Halliday would have had these in his Almanac.
- Halliday shows Neurodivergent tendencies (I am also ND and show many of the same traits) that include hyper focus, obsession and an inability to connect with the people around him…which can often be seen in extensive research, over recording and obsession of a specific topic and other coping mechanisms seen throughout the book (and subsequently the film).
- Because it just felt right.
So here you go. My reasons that you will see things like Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Trek: Picard, newer novels from Stephen King, obscure pieces of media from long dead authors, new music from the bands he loved (and maybe some that aren’t in the book just because it was something I thought he would have listened to because he liked They Might Be Giants), AND references from Ready Player Two… because Kira and her likes were much closer to my heart than Halliday’s.
And remember…I’m only one person who doesn’t have “12 hours a day, 7 days a week” to devote to this as much as I would love to. So I’ll get to reviews as quickly as I can.
And Anorak’s Almanac is forthcoming…