Ernest Cline is an author very dear to me. He was the author who introduced me to the genre of LitRPG. Now I know that most people consider his popular book, Ready Player One, sci-fi, and fantasy, but, those of us who are LitRPG fans know the truth. He is one of the founding fathers of the LitRPG genre. His book, in fact, revolutionized the entire genre to become what it is now.
Reading the Ernest Cline books in order is quite an easy feat. Of course, we are all familiar with Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. You probably wouldn’t be on this page if you weren’t. Still, the author has written a few additional books, including Armada, but – if we are honest with ourselves, we are still waiting for a Ready Player One sequel. And the good news is, the author is writing a sequel.
So here are the Ernest Cline books in publication order. The list will be updated, of course, with any new Ernest Cline book (dear author, Ready Player One #2 pretty please…)
Ready Player One Series
- Ready Player One, 2011
Other Ernest Cline Books
- The Importance of Being Ernest, 2001 (humor/poetry)
- Armada, 2015
Ernest Cline Biography
The author Ernest Cline was born in 1972 in Ashland, Ohio. He has a younger brother, Eric, who is currently a major in United States Marine Corps, an explosive-removal technician.
Ernest grew up with books he loved to read, movies he loved to watch, and games he loved to play. One of his most favorite games is Black Tiger, one which the Ready Player One book lovers will recognize, as the book is heavily influenced by it.
The author married in 2016 a poet and non-fiction author, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz.
Before becoming an established author, Ernest Cline had to hold down several jobs to pay his bills. However, as a true geek lover, his passion for computer games and sci-fi won and he is now a well-known personality in the world of science fiction and the LitRPG community.
Between 1997 and 2001, Ernest performed his own poetry creations during the various Austin Slamp poetry events. His first ever book, The Importance of Being Earnest, is a collection of his own writings in the form of a poetry chapbook.
Before that, however, in 1996, he wrote a fanfiction piece as a sequel to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension by W.D. Richter and released it for free on the internet. Two years later, in 1998, he also wrote a screenplay called Fanboys, which was purchased by the Weinstein Company (yes, yes, yes, that Weinstein Company). In 2009 the movie Fanboys was released with actors such as Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Kristen Bell, Dan Fogler, and Jay Baruchel in main roles.
Another screenplay by Ernest Cline, titled Thundercade, was bought by Lakeshore Entertainment, to make a movie from it. The story follows a 30-years-old computer game junkie on his adventures. This script was one step closer to his memorable piece, Ready Player One, to be written a short few years later.
After the two book released, Ready Player One and Armada, Ernest Cline was hired to write the screenplays for movie adaptations. The first movie will be out in 2018.
His biggest work to date, Ready Player One, was sold in 2010 in a fierce bid war, in which a Random House division, Crown Publishing Group, managed to buy it. The same day the book was bought, the film rights were also bought by Warner Bros. The movie is direct by none other than the famous Stephen Spielberg, which says something about the quality of what we are about to watch in just a few short months.
So what is the Ernest Cline next book? We know that his Ernest Cline’s masterpiece, Ready Player One will get a sequel, however, so far everyone is mum about it. The only thing people more or less agree on is that the new title might be called Ready Player Two.
Regarding the sequel, I think people are divided about it. Like many others, I also got into the LitRPG genre through this book as a gateway to it. Since 2011, the genre has evolved into something that something jumping in time from that date wouldn’t be able to recognize.
These days the genre is mostly dominated by Russian authors like Vasily Mahanenko (probably my favorite LitRPG author of all times), Andrey Livadny and Michael Atamanov. So Ernest Cline would have to do something phenomenal to surpass what is out there right now.
On the other hand, those who consider his masterpiece a science-fiction book will be even more enthusiastic about it than the former group. Nevertheless, I am pretty sure that almost everyone who has read Ready Player One, will pick up the sequel as well.
For what it’s worth, the Ernest Cline books, specifically his Ready Player One story, introduced me to a world that I find fascinating and I am reading its authors’ books even today.
Armada by Ernest Cline is, however, a slightly different type of novel. While both books have teenagers as main characters who are playing computer games, this latest novel is set in a future world that is threatened by an alien invasion. Jack Lightman and other video gamers are asked by the government to save the Earth by fighting the aliens using a video game.
In a way, it could be said that Armada is also a LitRPG book with a sci-fi setting. Afterall, even Mahanenko wrote his sci-fi LitRPG book Start the Game, the first book in his Galactogon story set in space.
Praise for Ernest Cline
Books Reading Order » Science Fiction Authors » Ernest Cline
A masterful tale of Earth’s desperate struggle against a powerful alien foe. (Andy Weir)
Nerd-gasmic…another science fiction tale with a Comic-Con’s worth of pop-culture shout-outs. (Rolling Stone)
A fantastic second novel…fans of Ready Player One, it is time to rejoice (Huffington Post)
A novel so fun, you’ll want to reboot it and read it again…the best novel this gamer geek has read in a long, long time. (Hugh Howey)
Armada proves Ernie Cline is the modern master of wish fulfillment literature – and of reminding us to be careful what we wish for. (John Scalzi)
This non-gamer loved every page of Ready Player One (Charlaine Harris)
Gorgeously geeky, superbly entertaining, this really is a spectacularly successful debut (Daily Mail)
Fascinating and imaginative…It’s non-stop action when gamers must navigate clever puzzles and outwit determined enemies in a virtual world in order to save a real one. Readers are in for a wild ride. (Terry Brooks)