A man dies in an apparent suicide, but a police detective suspects it may be murder. However, he can’t get anyone else to care because a four-mile-wide asteroid is going to hit the Earth in six months and probably wipe out humanity.
My whole family had a ton of fun reading Ready Player One, and its sequel Ready Player Two gives more of the same (this is a good thing). There’s a hugely important, intricate puzzle to be solved that requires massive amounts of 80s pop culture knowledge, and our hero and his friends must crack it before the bad guys ruin everything.
No? That’s the premise of Charles Stross’s hard-science Halting State, where virtual characters rob a virtual bank for millions of not-virtual dollars, and no one has any idea how to solve the crime. It’s fast-paced, seriously smart, and filled with more Scottish that you usually get in science fiction.
I’ve read that the most futuristic-sounding technologies tend to be ones that could be achieved in the next fifty years. Oddly, if you made that list today (flying cars, bases on the moon, self-aware AI), it’d be similar to that list made 50 years ago.