WSU Common Reading Jump-starts Year with Aug. 28 Visit by Ready Player One Sci-fi Author and Screenwriter Ernest Cline

PULLMAN, Wash.—Just one week into fall semester 2017-18, Washington State University students will meet acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Ernest Cline, in Pullman to deliver the 11th annual Common Reading Invited Lecture at 7 p.m. Mon., Aug. 28, in Beasley Coliseum.

Common Reading Book, Spring Spielberg Movie

Cline wrote the 2011 internationally best-selling, sci-fi dystopian novel Ready Player One, which thousands of students on five WSU campuses will use as their common reading book in first-year classes. Cline also co-wrote the screenplay for the adaptation of the book. The movie of the same name was directed by  Steven Spielberg. It will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures on March 30, 2018, but can be seen in select theaters for midnight showtimes on March 29, Cline’s 45th birthday.

Tickets and Streaming

WSU students with IDs can attend Cline’s campus talk for free. Fifteen-dollar tickets for adults, and $10 tickets for non-WSU students, will be sold through Beasley’s ticket office and TicketsWest.

Real-time streaming will deliver the lecture to WSU campuses in Tri-Cities, Everett, Spokane, and Vancouver, thanks to the Global Campus.

Technology and Virtual Reality

“This is a very exciting year professionally for Mr. Cline and we plan to make his visit at WSU a highlight for him and for students and the community,” said Susan Poch, Common Reading co-director and chair of the book selection committee.

“Common readings are a great way to introduce students to the university’s academic environment, the power of thinking critically, and the excitement of exploring new topics through discussions and activities,” said Poch.

“The selection of Ready Player One as the shared book is unique in a couple of ways,” said Karen Weathermon, program co-director. “It’s the first time a novel has been chosen as the common read. And, the book taps into topics that today’s students are incredibly familiar with, such as technology that is pervasive throughout their daily lives, and video-game and virtual-reality role-playing just for fun. We believe they will really identify with this year’s selection and Mr. Cline’s presentation, and we are very much looking forward to his visit.

“His talk will be a terrific springboard to our own year-long look at emerging technologies.”

Cline at a Glance

Cline also wrote the internationally best-selling novel, Armada, and the screenplay for adaptation, which is in the works at Universal Pictures.  He is also the screenwriter of the cult classic comedy Fanboys about die-hard Star Wars followers.

A self-described “full-time geek,” Cline was: born in Ashland, Ohio; ripped from his mother’s arms by a tornado at age one, but landed uninjured on a pile of scrap metal; addicted early to Atari 2600, Space Invaders, and Star Wars; proficient at amassing a large collection of classic video games; and, an acclaimed spoken-word presenter. He currently resides in Austin, Texas, with his family.