Ernie Cline, the screenwriter behind 2009 movie Fanboys, has signed a "major" (aka $500,000+) deal with Crown to write a novel titled Ready Player One.

The book is described as "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory set in the world of massive multiplayer gaming, TRON, and Hot Tub Time Machine."

Online magazine Daemon’s Books has already asked if Ready Player One will be the new Avatar (there's already a movie adaptation in the works from Warner Bros., with Cline writing the screenplay). Here's more on the plot:

“Player” combines a young teen protagonist and a virtual world in its story line. The story follows an outcast young teen who escapes from the harsh realities of his life by logging onto a virtual world known as Oasis. While in Oasis users can lead drastically different lives from those they experience in the real world. When the creator of Oasis dies, he leaves a vast fortune as the prize in a massive treasure hunt that takes place within his virtual world.

Will you look for Ready Player One? Cyber thrillers aren't usually my cup of tea, but neither are dystopian fantasies/thrillers—and I love The Hunger Games and can't put down The Passage. I am eager to hear more about this big-selling project.

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