You heard us right.
To celebrate the June 5 paperback release of the science fiction/thriller/fanboy quest adventure Ready Player One, Ernest Cline’s debut novel, the author is giving away a car. Not just any car — a DeLorean.
If you solve a puzzle — one puzzle and three video game challenges, as it turns out — a 1981 DeLorean automobile that’s been outfitted with a time machine will be all yours. No word yet if the time travel function is fully operational.
In a press release today, Cline’s publicity agency made the following announcement:
[Cline] has hidden an “Easter egg” in the text of both the hardcover and paperback editions of Ready Player One. If readers can find this hidden clue, it will lead them to the first of three increasingly difficult video game challenges. The first person to complete all three of these challenges will win the grand prize, a 1981 DeLorean automobile, complete with a Flux Capacitor! Ernest Cline will be driving this DeLorean Time Machine across the country on his book tour this June, so contestants will have a chance to see the grand prize in person at each of his book signings.
Lucky (and unlucky) contestants are asked to get more information about the giveaway, challenges and rules here: ernestcline.com/blog
If you don’t know Ready Player One, the book features a veritable geek-gasm of pop culture references from the 1980s, Back to the Future among them. The young protagonist, one Wade Watts, escapes a dystopian reality by spending his waking hours living virtually in online utopia called OASIS. Decades ago, the nutty and brilliant programmer who made OASIS, James Halliday, hid within his creation a Willy Wonka-like “golden ticket” that includes keys to his fortune. Wade and others around the world (including some evil corporate types) battle reach other to find the Easter eggs first and solve the Myst-like riddles, defeat D&D-like monsters, and otherwise prove their geek creds by mastering period trivia — Rush, TRS-80s and WarGames.
Get out there and read (and reread … and reread) the Ready Player One and you could be driving in style. Why a DeLorean? Remember this Back to the Future scene between Marty McFly and the mad professor, Dr. Brown:
Marty McFly: Wait a minute, Doc. Ah… Are you telling me that you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?
Dr. Emmett Brown: The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?