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A line of Compaq's laptops that are sold mainly to large companies. The Armada 7800 is a good example of the Armada series' quality. If you can afford not to get a Presario, you should get one of these, of course since they mostly sell to big business, they cost almost 2x as much as a normal laptop, occasionally out of production models can be found cheap online.

Ernest Cline
Crown, 2015

Armada is the new novel by the author of Ready Player One. It is a near-future science fiction work dealing with first contact, and yes, it is full of pop culture references from the 80s onwards.

Zach Lightman is a highschool student who is wasting his life away playing video games. This turns out to be a good thing when the Earth is invaded by aliens and only his leet gaming skills can save the planet.

Yeah, that was a horrible plot summary. But here's the thing: that's the plot. This is basically a remix of The Last Starfighter, except without the good aliens. It's a pretty good remix; it updates for the 2010s, it has more plot twists and, IMHO, better writing, and best of all, it's a book not a movie. But yes, that was a crappy plot summary, and you deserve better -- but warning, mild spoilers ahead:

Spoiler Alert Zach isn't the only leet gamer involved; there are literally thousands of them. It turns out that for the last 40 years all science fiction movies and video games have been psych-ops and covert training programs run by the government to prepare humans for the upcoming war... a war which is finally at our doorstep. Through a series of amazing coincidences, Zach happens to know just the right people to learn just the right things and be in just the right places to save everyone. End Spoilers.

Armada very much comes across as a cheesy 80s SF movie, with a predictable plot, a predictable set of characters, and a predictable set of cheesy moments. This is sort of made okay by the fact that there are Reasons for this, and also by the fact that the author is quite open about what he is doing -- sort of like Galaxy Quest, this is both a parody of SF tropes and an exemplar of the same. It also has something like a twist ending; the twist is foreshadowed well in advance, but we're kept guessing until the end as to what exactly the twist is.

Even so, I did not enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed Ready Player One, and I gather that I enjoyed Ready Player One more than most SF fans did. Armada is probably a good choice for you if you like popular science fiction movies, if you enjoy characters that are very genre savvy and openly nerdy, and if you liked the hyper-nostalgic aspect of Ready Player One. On the other hand, if this sounds boring, or if you didn't like Cline's first novel, I wouldn't bother with this one.

Ar*ma"da (#), n. [Sp. armada, L. as if armata (sc. classic fleet), fr. armatus, p. p. of armare. See Arm, v. t. Army.]

A fleet of armed ships; a squadron. Specifically, the Spanish fleet which was sent to assail England, a. d. 1558.


© Webster 1913.

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