A few years ago there was a book, an author’s first published novel. Originally, it was something she wrote just for fun.
Then, out of nowhere, it became a national phenomenon. It spread around the globe, as people picked it up out of sheer curiosity, or just wanted to be part of this massive viral sensation.
As with every hit book, Hollywood quickly got on board. They turned the author’s fantasy lark into a much anticipated, big-name-affiliated movie, and some people hated it.
They hated the marketing. They hated the story. They hated the characters. They hated the actors. They hated the author. They hated the director. They hated the ads.
I remember arguing with friends who groused that the movie was pop culture tripe that sent all the wrong messages, and was a cataclysmically false appropriation of the culture portrayed in the film.
That movie was Fifty Shades of Grey… I believe there’s a third one out, that has already eclipsed its budget seven times.
Haters gonna hate, right? But another thing haters do, is validate.
Andy Wier’s “The Martian” had a similar introduction to the world. Released chapter-by-chapter online, it gathered enough of a following that it became a published novel. It’s hard sci-fi, and the book can almost serve as an advanced mathematics text. He found a way to make science accessible in a story that was just good clean fun (well, cleaner than 50 Shades anyway).
And when it became a movie, it had haters. People bashed it for being scientifically unsound. Far-fetched. Derivative. And of course we know where that went. His next book, “Artemis”, is a best-seller. Everything the guy does from now on is guaranteed to be a movie.
Soon enough, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash will be a streaming series. People will hate it. Seveneves will be impossible to adapt to film, but Ron Howard is trying, and people will hate it. Dan Brown is a novel-to-hit-movie perpetual motion device, but they hate him too. Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series will be adapted for film or television, and it will have haters.
Black panther has haters. Stephen King has haters. The breakout book of 2018 (which I am digging into right now) is an incomparably brilliant new fantasy tale, and Hollywood has already jumped on board. It will, crushingly, have haters.
Harry Potter has haters.
I’m just sayin’. Everything has haters.
So I’m not surprised that some people hate Ready Player One. I don’t know if it it is coming from the real geeks, or if the real geeks are people like me, who legitimately got beat up by blond kids in the ’80s.
Or maybe I’m one of those dudes who latched onto something after it became cool, I don’t know, like the jocks who discovered Metallica in 1988. But it doesn’t matter. Ready Player One speaks to me. It doesn’t speak to everyone. That’s cool.
Too-cool-for-school is a traditional trope that has been with us since James Dean.
I admit, though, it would be nice if people could focus their hate on something that deserves it.
Disney’s “Zombies”, for example.