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FANBOYS screenwriter & Poetry Slam God - Ernie Cline sold his first Novel for a few bucks!

Hey folks, Harry here... and that awesomely fast bastard, Mike Fleming gets the credit for nabbing the news first... even if his Logline isn't quite right. Long time friend of mine, Ernest (Ernie) Cline has sold his first novel for an advance of high Six Figures to Random House in a deal brokered by Foundry Literary + Media and Yfat Reiss Gendell.. Now - there are big geeks in the world - I should know, I'm one of them... but in terms of 80s geeks, there is no question in MY mind who the biggest geek in the world is. Ernie Cline. You see - unlike Mike Fleming, I've actually read READY PLAYER ONE. And I can say - without any hesitation - this is the most awesome 80s geek novel ever written - and it is set 60 years further down the road in the 2040s. Well, here's the official logline:

READY PLAYER ONE - In the near future, outcast teenager Wade Watts escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to the OASIS, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives. When the eccentric billionaire who created the OASIS dies, he offers up his vast fortune as the prize in an elaborate treasure hunt. Along with gamers from around the world Wade joins the adventure, and quickly finds himself pitted against powerful corporate foes who will do anything, in the oasis or the real world, to reach the treasure first. Think Willy Wonka, The Matrix, and Avatar all rolled into one.

Yeah. "Think Willy Wonka, The Matrix and Avatar all rolled into one..." then add every 80s thing you've ever known... be it DnD, the early video games, all the great 80s films, music & television... the Hacker world, the politics of that world, everything that Ernie & Mine's particular age group holds over all you younger and older generations as being why being a kid in the 80s was simply better than every other decade before or since. BUT - this isn't a Nostalgia novel, it is a mystery, an incredibly viable science fiction future - and the film it would make would BLOW THE MINDS OF THE UNIVERSE - and ideally would be directed by Robert Zemeckis in my estimation. It would require an awesome amount of licensing - but the real key would be to launch Ernie's OASIS to replace the Internet. That's the real dream of the novel. There's a soul to his novel that I absolutely love. And yes he's a friend, that's why I chose not to write anything in advance of this sale. But the first person I called when I landed in Atlanta on my way back from Aruba was Ernie, as I had read his first novel on my iPad on the flight to and from Aruba - and had to call and spend a good hour or so geeking out about the novel - and his own particular brand of mental illness. In addition to the news about the sale of the book to Random House, I've heard there's a couple of studios that have already shown up trying to acquire the film rights. Of that... I have no doubt. I've already seen the movie, in my brain screen and it was pretty damn awesome. Congrats to Ernie! And when Random House publishes this - You'll bet I'll be telling you about it. It's the best GEEK novel I've read in ages! Just wait till you read about "THE STACKS" not to mention what the "Quarter" is for.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 17, 2010, 9:50 p.m. CST


    by jjwalrus

  • June 17, 2010, 9:51 p.m. CST

    I never thought it would happen to me...

    by jjwalrus

    This is the happiest day of my life.

  • June 17, 2010, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Sounds like Caprica.

    by RPLocke

  • June 17, 2010, 9:56 p.m. CST



    not in the least

  • June 17, 2010, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Books fuckin' rule!

    by Jaka

    So congrats to him. Sounds cool, too. Look forward to it's release.

  • June 17, 2010, 9:58 p.m. CST

    It sounds like Caprica, except that:

    by SonicRiver

    it has the whole 1980s connection.

  • June 17, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Well, Caprica has that whole world inside your head thing

    by RPLocke

    and this does too, except in this it's more of a video game concept.

  • June 17, 2010, 10:05 p.m. CST

    i'm interested

    by Waka_Flocka

  • June 17, 2010, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Like Spykids it in 3d?

    by OutlawsDelejos

  • June 17, 2010, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Not edgy enough.


    Every 80s thing I can think of? Like Smurfs, Transformers, Karate Kid, and Monster Squad?

  • June 17, 2010, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Fuck dude...

    by Massawyrm 1

    *Slow clap*

  • June 17, 2010, 10:30 p.m. CST



    there is no world inside any heads.

  • June 17, 2010, 10:30 p.m. CST



    um, yeah

  • June 17, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Then how is it like Avatar?

    by RPLocke

    Avatar didn't have a place where people went to. They just went to a Navi body.

  • June 17, 2010, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Will it be as boring as AVATAR?

    by Trannyformers_Apologist

    How bout as cliched as Avatar?

  • June 17, 2010, 10:55 p.m. CST

    World of Willy Wonkacraft

    by ebonic_plague

    I'd buy that for a dollar.

  • June 17, 2010, 11:01 p.m. CST

    It is like Avatar


    In it's desire to "Put it to the man" - but AVATAR is a tiny film in comparison.

  • June 17, 2010, 11:10 p.m. CST

    And it's a book

    by RPLocke

  • June 17, 2010, 11:13 p.m. CST


    by LimemonkeyX3

    I am insanely jealous. But I bet he's not an unemployed loser living in St. Louis! Is he.

  • June 17, 2010, 11:33 p.m. CST

    sounds really cool

    by The_Crimson_King

    I'll read it, when's it coming out?

  • June 17, 2010, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Congrats Ernie

    by hawks5999

    Being from Ernie's hometown and running around some with his little brother back in the day, this is a proud day. The Ashland Balloonfest will have to be supplanted by the Ernie Cline Geekfest at the Ashland Square Cinemas.

  • June 17, 2010, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Does it share the same AMAZING nostalgia...

    by nnnuts

    as Fanboys? Does it have that wonderful sense of hilarity about a genre (80s geek cliches) mixed in with a bit of sci-fi? Yeah...not so excited here.

  • June 18, 2010, 12:18 a.m. CST

    you didn't mention this is a YOUNG ADULT novel

    by Browncoat_Jedi

    And YA novels have been ruined forever by Twilight. Blah.

  • you can say that's a fucking shame how bad this new generation is turning out.between their add,no respect for music or film i'll just steal it, remakes,the way mtv has turned out is enough to make you puke if you grew up in the 80's

  • June 18, 2010, 2:36 a.m. CST



    that's because it never occurred to me, all the references were made for me

  • June 18, 2010, 3:02 a.m. CST

    AVATAR is a tiny film in comparison?

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Time to find a new gig Harry.

  • June 18, 2010, 3:32 a.m. CST

    Damn x 2

    by reaper28

    <p>1. Any new author who manages to get a half mil advance on their first novel deserves a pat on the back. Good luck, Ernie.</p> <p>2. I don't think I've ever seen so much 'black talkback' - looks good.</p>

  • June 18, 2010, 3:39 a.m. CST

    The 80s are so much better if you didn't actually

    by gotilk

    grow up in them. The idea of being in the 80s to some people is a dream. A big, loud and flamboyant dream. But living it, at least in my part of the world, is part of the reason why I have such disdain for nostalgia. Having said that, this still sounds like something I WILL have to read and OWN. And by the way, I had no idea people still received advances of...(Ackbar voice) that magnitude. HOLY CRAP! Time to actually finish one of the many unfinished novels I've been writing for the last 9 years or so.

  • June 18, 2010, 3:51 a.m. CST

    I was a teen in the 80's

    by Righteous Brother

    and I'd like to relive it again, only this time with a mobile phone.

  • June 18, 2010, 4:28 a.m. CST

    The generation looking back at the 80's

    by V'Shael

    are doing it with the same rose coloured glasses that EVERYONE looks back at their era with.<br /><br />The 80s' was my generation too. Let me tell you some shit that wasn't so cool about the 80's.<br /><br />Reaganomics, for one. <br />The world also said hello to AIDS.<br />The fact that nuclear annihilation was still a real possibility.<br />Blue fucking eyeliner. (Seriously, what the HELL was that about?)<br />Electronic synth sounds appearing in EVERYTHING.<br />NASA management stopped listening to engineers who knew what they were talking about. (Challenger go boom.)<br />The Mullet broke out of that hellhole which is New Jersey, and conquered the world.<br />Oh yeah. And people were so unbelievably stupid, they still thought digital watches were a neat idea.<br /><br />The 80's had some cool things, sure. But it wasn't fucking utopia and it wasn't some mystical awesome decade stuck between the badly dressed and hung over 70's, and the whiny emo-grunge-selfharming 90's.

  • June 18, 2010, 4:53 a.m. CST

    Harry shamelessly shills his friend's novel

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Avatar a "tiny film" (Shouldn't that be story?) compared to this? Just retire now, Harry, before you embarrass yourself further. It would be best for everyone; it's clear you don't have your finger on the pulse of geekdom anymore, and haven't for quite some time.

  • June 18, 2010, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Let's make a deal

    by vadakinX

    When I sell my first script, novel or comic book story, do an article on me. And no this isn't me being a smartass, I'm actually going to try selling one or all of the above and I could use the publicity. <p> Can't blame a guy for trying. As for the 80's, I was born in the 80's and don't remember much about them. What I do remember though are the kick ass movies that could deliver action but with characters you could engage with and comedy that wasn't lowest common denominator fart jokes...for the most part. <p> It was the time of Raiders, ET, Blade Runner, Back To The Future, Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back...the list goes on and they were all great films. What do we get today? Thundersmurfs on Pandora and original Smurfs in New York.

  • June 18, 2010, 6:18 a.m. CST

    The eighties did rock.

    by hallmitchell

    Like every decade it has it's negatives. Yet for those who weren't around let's have a think. 1.Stallone 2.Hair Metal. 3. Rock N roll wrestling. 4. Transformers. 5. Thundercats. 6. Sam Kinison.

  • June 18, 2010, 7:53 a.m. CST

    You lost me at Poetry Slam God

    by m_prevette

    There is no such thing. Poetry slam sucks. That is all

  • June 18, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Not Unlike My Already Published Novel

    by nexxus7

    But sounds more like a comedy. Since I don't know know Harry and's a couple of links. Kindle: YouTube: Hey, you do what you can. I wrote mine first.

  • June 18, 2010, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Long URL

    by nexxus7

  • June 18, 2010, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Virtual Death

    by nexxus7

    Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble: Virtual Death Youtube: Virtual Death Novel zoyfGiMUYcg

  • June 18, 2010, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Congrats to anyone

    by HapaPapa72

    For dodging the bullet of the Goddamned Desk Job and actually doing something they love for a living. I'm a wee bit jealous without coffee. Sounds cool.

  • June 18, 2010, 9:24 a.m. CST

    @Nexxus7 : You might want to try...

    by V'Shael<br /><br />It's shorter.

  • June 18, 2010, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Testing... 1, 2, 3... Sybalis...

    by the_beard_of_Chuck_Norris

    It is Friday... New movies are released on Fridays... <p> Hello? <p> Pixar's much anticipated Toy Story 3 is out today... review anyone? <p> Also Jonah Hex is out today. I know this is a bad... bad movie from my close personal friend Victor Kros but it would still be nice to see AICN's take on it... <p> Hello... anybody there?

  • June 18, 2010, 11:59 a.m. CST

    I can't believe how thick some people...

    by Jaka

    ...allow themselves to appear in a "public" place. First of all, learn to interpret sarcasm already. Damn! Second, if you owned a website you'd pimp every damn thing your friends did, so get over it.

  • June 18, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Say "Hi" for me....

    by Caeric_ArcLight

    I knew Ernie (online) back in his Rafterman days when he wrote that fun "Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League" script and had a great Banzai website. Tell 'im ArcLight says "hi" and "congrats."

  • June 18, 2010, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Do they do a lot of E?

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    'Cause me, in the 80s -- whew! I was doing that shit like I was getting paid by the pill.

  • June 18, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Harry doesn't do 'sarcasm'. He is completely guileless.

  • June 18, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Souns like a Fantasy Island episode.

    by StatelyWayneManor

    Where is my 500 grand? Number of times I laughed during Fanboys...0

  • June 18, 2010, 6:34 p.m. CST



    You're so right. Sarcasm is a completely alien and foreign concept to me. And as for shilling for a friend... actually, I'm just celebrating the already announced accomplishments of a friend I've known online for about... oh... 15 years. <BR><BR>As for 500 grand, apparently it is actually higher than that. DEADLINE got that wrong, Ernie let me know. I love that he's got this - because it will mean he's moving back to Austin! With his awesome wife and their lil ewok princess. And that's the best news of all. <BR><BR>That and Ernie is totally going to get me a Delorean. Or else I'll destroy him!

  • June 18, 2010, 7:54 p.m. CST

    So who will adapt the screenplay???

    by Nice Marmot

    Yuk yuk yuk . . .

  • June 18, 2010, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Again with the sarcasm, and this time ABOUT sarcasm

    by Jaka


  • June 18, 2010, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Spy Kids 3D?

    by TheJudger

    I'm not the only one thinking this, right? <P> 30 years from today. Technology will not make that much of a leap, anything that goes into skin has 3 stages of clinic trials to pass and those take 15 years. I must read this books. Are the stacks memory blocks stored in the spine? I read a book about something like that. Like the persons soul lives in the stack and they andthe stack could be transfered into another body. Had to ask.

  • June 18, 2010, 10:52 p.m. CST

    by TheJudger

    That's where the "stacks" comes from, now I remembers.

  • June 18, 2010, 10:53 p.m. CST


    by TheJudger

    Tinyurl: <P>

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  • June 19, 2010, 9:44 p.m. CST

    and we still live with the fact that

    by frank cotton

    NUCLEAR FUCKING ANNIHILATION is a real possibility - what dimension do YOU live in?

  • June 20, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    is this another case of....

    by TheHumanBurrito

    ....the assumption that geek culture references=good, entertaining, clever writing? Though I'm curious about this OASYS idea-sounds very much like an old school cyberpunk twist, which twists my pantaloons in the right way.

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  • June 21, 2010, 4:04 a.m. CST

    @Frank Cotton -

    by V'Shael

    Hey chicken little. The sky ain't falling. Nuclear annihilation is a long long long long long way from happening. The cold war is well and truly over.