Ready Player One by Cline Ernest

Ready Player One by Cline Ernest

Author:Cline, Ernest [Cline, Ernest]
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
ISBN: 9780307887450
Publisher: Crown
Published: 2011-08-15T16:00:00+00:00

My computer woke me up just before sundown, and I began my daily ritual.

“I’m up!” I shouted at the darkness. In the weeks since Art3mis had dumped me, I’d had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. So I’d disabled my alarm’s snooze feature and instructed the computer to blast “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! I loathed that song with every fiber of my being, and getting up was the only way to silence it. It wasn’t the most pleasant way to start my day, but it got me moving.

The song cut off, and my haptic chair reshaped and reoriented itself, transforming from a bed back into its chair configuration, lifting me into a sitting position as it did so. The computer began to bring the lights up slowly, allowing my eyes to adjust. No outside light ever penetrated my apartment. The single window had once provided a view of the Columbus skyline, but I’d spray-painted it completely black a few days after I moved in. I’d decided that everything outside the window was a distraction from my quest, so I didn’t need to waste time staring at it. I didn’t want to hear the outside world, either, but I hadn’t been able to improve upon the apartment’s existing soundproofing. So I had to live with the muffled sounds of wind and rain, and of street and air traffic. Even these could be a distraction. At times, I’d slip into a kind of trance, sitting with my eyes closed, oblivious to the passage of time, listening to the sounds of the world outside my room.

I’d made several other modifications to the apartment for the sake of security and convenience. First, I replaced the flimsy door with a new airtight armor-plated vacuum-sealed WarDoor. Whenever I needed something—food, toilet paper, new gear—I ordered it online, and someone brought it right to my door. Deliveries worked like this: First, the scanner mounted outside in the hallway would verify the delivery person’s identity and my computer would confirm they were delivering something I’d actually ordered. Then the outer door would unlock itself and slide open, revealing a steel-reinforced air lock about the size of a shower stall. The delivery person would place the parcel, pizza, or whatever inside the air lock and step back. The outer door would hiss shut and relock itself; then the package would be scanned, X-rayed, and analyzed eight ways from Wednesday. Its contents would be verified and delivery confirmation would be sent. Then I would unlock and open the inner door and receive my goods. Capitalism would inch forward, without my actually having to interact face-to-face with another human being. Which was exactly how I preferred it, thank you.

The room itself wasn’t much to look at, which was fine, because I spent as little time looking at it as possible. It was basically a cube, about ten meters long on each side. A modular shower and toilet unit were embedded in one wall, opposite the small ergonomic kitchen.


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