Ernest Cline Was ‘Raised by Screens.’ Look How Well He Turned Out!

Ernest Cline Was ‘Raised by Screens.’ Look How Well He Turned Out!

Ernest Cline Was ‘Raised by Screens.’ Look How Nicely He Turned Out!

GAME ON When “Prepared Participant One” got here out in 2011, Ernest Cline purchased his dream automobile — a “Again to the Future”-inspired DeLorean — and logged 4,000 miles driving to bookstores to speak about his debut novel, which was made right into a film directed by Steven Spielberg. He’d park out entrance so followers may snap footage of themselves alongside the long-lasting car. “It was like a touring ’80s museum,” Cline stated in a telephone interview. “It made for sort of a festive occasion.”

In November, his sequel, “Prepared Participant Two,” landed in a really completely different world — one the place the futuristic expertise Cline envisioned in “Prepared Participant One” has not solely come to fruition however change into indispensable. This time, as a substitute of traversing the nation, the previous spoken phrase poet, lifelong gaming fanatic and self-described “full-time geek” carried out a digital writer tour from his residence in Austin, Texas. Gross sales of this novel don’t appear to have suffered: “Prepared Participant Two” debuted at No. 1 on the hardcover fiction checklist, spent three weeks in that spot and is now at No. 4 in its sixth week as a greatest vendor. It’s No. 1 on the audio fiction checklist, and “Prepared Participant One” is No. 15. (The actor Wil Wheaton narrates each books, in addition to Cline’s alien invasion thriller, “Armada.”)

Cline has embraced digital actuality on account of his work on the “Prepared Participant” books — actually, when he realized in-person visits can be curtailed, he provided family and friends with Oculus Quest headsets so they may hand around in 3-D. Clearly surmising that he was in dialog with a late adopter of every part, Cline defined, “My spouse and I had our anniversary in a VR room. It was actually cool. There’s an app known as Massive Display the place you may hand around in a lounge with a film display and we confirmed video and pictures from our marriage ceremony slideshow. We really feel like we have been the champions of social distancing.”

This Ohio native is married to Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, a fellow writer whose 2014 guide, “Dr. Mütter’s Marvels,” crossed paths with “Prepared Participant One” on the best-seller checklist. The pair, who met on the poetry slam circuit, have real-life, framed proof of the overlap hanging of their lounge.

In his novels, Cline stated, he strives to painting “the great aspect and the dangerous aspect” of innovation. “I believe there’s at all times each,” he stated. “Every time we create a expertise, it’s to enhance our lives, however it could actually have unexpected uncomfortable side effects that we then need to mitigate. That’s humanity’s push and pull, that love-hate relationship.”

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