It's the year 2044, and Wade Watts vastly prefers the online utopia known as the Oasis to an increasingly grim, poverty-stricken real world. Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual reality. Somewhere inside the Oasis are hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late 20th century. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.