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Crown buys ‘Ready Player One’ scribe’s new novel

Ernie Cline's next tome expected to generate Hollywood interest

Bestselling author Ernie Cline, whose debut novel “Ready Player One” is in development at Warner Bros., has scored a seven-figure advance for domestic and foreign publishing rights to his next novel “Armada,” which is expected to draw strong interest from studios in the coming days.

Based on a 20-page proposal, Cline has sold North American publishing rights to Crown Publishing, a division of Random House, while the foreign publishers that landed the book in every major territory will be announced shortly.

Plot details are currently being kept under wraps, but film rights are expected to sell quickly, as “Armada” features a high-concept hook that offers the ultimate wish fulfillment to every video game fan on the planet.

“Ready Player One” was also purchased aggressively by Random House, with Warner Bros. outbidding several studios for film rights. Studio is currently putting together a movie based on an adaptation by Cline and scribe Eric Eason (“A Better Life”).

Cline’s publishing deal was once again negotiated by his manager, Dan Farah of Farah Films & Management, and book publishing agent Yfat Reiss Gendell of Foundry Literary. Farah and Paradigm are repping film rights to “Armada,” which will be edited by Julian Pavia.

“Ready Player One” was originally published in hardcover in August 2011 and landed on a number of 2011 best-of lists. Cline also found himself ranked No. 29 on USA Today’s Top 100 People of 2011 List.

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