After a childhood filled with Heinlein and Asimov (thanks, Dad!) I’ll always have a soft spot for science fiction – which is why I couldn’t resist picking up Ernest Cline’s Armada when I spotted it at the library. I’ve been meaning to read his first novel, Ready Player One, since it came out in 2011. Now his second book Armada is primed to be one of the biggest sci-fi titles of 2015.
To be honest with you, it wasn’t really my jam. Maybe it was the classic moody teenager outlook, or the lack of believable female characters, or the fact that I have such a high standard for science fiction, but it just didn’t entertain and captivate me in the way I was hoping.
The one element of the novel that I found thoroughly hilarious: just how many geek culture references Cline managed to work into a single novel. Classic science fiction authors? Check. Video games? Check. Comic books? Check. Movies? TV shows? Pop culture? Check, check, check. You can hardly go a page and half without stumbling into an inside joke or a nod to the great works of the genre. It makes for a surprisingly comprehensive list of works that have moulded science fiction over the years.
So I built a bingo board.
Read the book, spot the reference, cross out the square. Get five in a row and win Armada Bingo!
I had no problem weaselling out the 24 sources above, but let me know if you spot any more. (Bonus reference: Ernest Cline poses with a DeLorean in his author photo.)