The Austin Chronicle

Ernest Cline and Felicia Day Are Waiting Under the Bridge to Bat City

By Richard Whittaker, April 8, 2024, 3:58pm, All Over Creation

The eclipse may have been a cloudy bust, but there’s still time for some twilight fun today with a special book signing for and reading from the new book from local author Ernest Cline.

It’s a chance to get your hands on the newest volume from the author of Armada and Ready Player One, which was turned into a film by Steven Spielberg.

But Bridge to Bat City (published tomorrow by Little, Brown Books) is the first young adult book by Cline, and it’s set in his hometown. So, suitably, he’ll be holding a special signing today at a location where you might find some the central characters in his book: the Congress Avenue bridge, home to the world’s biggest urban bat colony. Confused? The synopsis might explain a little:

After losing her mother, thirteen-year-old Opal moves in with her uncle Roscoe on the family farm. There, Opal befriends a group of orphaned bats. But just as the farm is starting to feel like home, the bats’ cave is destroyed by a big mining company with its sights set on the farmland next. If Opal and the bats can fit in anywhere, it’s the nearby city of Austin, home to their favorite music and a host of wonderfully eccentric characters. But with people afraid of the bats and determined to get rid of them, it’ll take a whole lot of courage to prove that this is where the bats – and Opal – belong.

The event begins at 6pm at the former Austin American-Statesman (305 S. Congress) with a reading from Felicia Day, who also narrates the audio book. The reading will be followed by the signing.

Cline’s been busy, having announced back in January that he’s part of Readyverse Studios, a new venture with Futureverse dedicated to bringing IP like Ready Player One to the Metaverse.

Find more details about the signing and reading here, and buy tickets for the signing (including a copy of the book) via BookPeople.

Bridge to Bat City

by Ernest Cline
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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