Ready Player One & 80s Sci-Fi Nostalgia


(Riffle Sci-Fi/Fantasy) #1

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m getting pretty excited for the upcoming ‘Ready Player One’ movie adaptation! It’s out on March 29th, and if you haven’t seen the trailers, here’s the latest one:

As the book is a pretty cool mashup of futuristic VR sci-fi and 1980s nostalgia, it got me thinking about great sci-fi that was actually written in that decade - so I gathered together a list of Hugo Award Winners from the decade. But I’m curious which '80s-esque sci-fi books you all love most?

Which books (written in the time, or more recently in this wave of 80s nostalgia) evoke the era for you best? And what is it about them that does it for you?

Also, any recommendations generally for people loving this new wave of Stranger-Things-esque throwbacks? And why do we think this is becoming such a trend at the moment?

That’s alotta questions, phew. Let’s get this throwback disco started!


(Riffle Sci-Fi/Fantasy) #2

Just looping in a few of you Ready Player One fans and SFF readers. :slight_smile:

@Blair_MacKinnon, @Justin_Robinson, @Cheri, @Neil_Baptista, @Outlandish_Lit, @Rachel_Cordasco, @Michal_Karni, @BookBroad, @Metaphorosis_Reviews, @Julio_Velasquez, @Janine_Tabor


(BookBroad) #3

I would say Douglas Adams, Piers Anthony and Arthur C. Clarke evoke the eighties and early nineties for me. Mainly because that is the time period in which I read them, not because I remember there being anything anything inherently eighties about them.

https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/966939


(Riffle Sci-Fi/Fantasy) #4

Yes yes! Especially Douglas Adams for me too. I think his particular depiction of space is very much of its time - relativity and the space-time continuum, wormholes and the multiverse, that all feels very 80s to me. The kind of zaniness that means an entire space fleet can be accidentally shrunk down and swallowed by a small dog.

AND the guide itself in Hitchhiker’s Guide is described as looking like a large calculator, which somehow for me conjures up all of the huge clunky devices, phones, VHS etc. of the time, which is so at odds with our slick devices now and the more minimalist tech, nano-technology, implants etc. that has surfaced in more modern sci-fi.


(Cheri) #5

I tried Hitchhiker’s Guide several years ago and couldn’t get into it. At the urging of a friend, giving it another go. Seems to be working for me now!


(BookBroad) #6

I’ve had several books that didn’t work for me until later in life. It’s great that you’re giving it another chance :slight_smile:


(Sarah Linder ) #7

I found I liked it more when I got older. The audio book is nice background noise while working