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BioShock: Rapture (edició 2011)
de John Shirley
Informació de l'obra
BioShock: Rapture de John Shirley
No hi ha cap discussió a Converses sobre aquesta obra.
Well written, captivating, and dark. As someone who's never managed to finish a bioshock game this Book has inspired me to give them another try. ( )
John Shirley's Bioshock Rapture
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - January 5, 2018
Go straight to the full review (please): https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/611988-biorupture
I've previously written about & quoted John Shirley in my review of Marco Deseriis's Improper Names - Collective Pseudonyms from the Luddites to Anonymous:
""John Shirley is an unexpectedly repeated figure that I'm now more interested in than ever. In the Monty Cantsin chapter it's stated that he was a part of the vibrant scene of Portland in the late 1970s that included "Blaster" Al, "David "Oz" Zack, Maris Kundzins, Tom Cassidy (aka Musicmaster), Kay Hocket (aka Rhoda Mappo)" (you can see her signing a John M. Bennett poem here: http://youtu.be/l7H8DJ0CYJE ) "Steve Minor, John Shirley, Billy Haddock" etc.. & in the Luther Blissett chapter thusly:
""Named after John Shirley's cyberpunk novel Transmaniacon, the Transmaniacs explored a theory and practice of subversion for a generation that had grown up with a saturated media environment and in times of accelerated capitalist recuperation." - p 136
""In John Shirley's proto-cyberpunk novel Transmaniacon, the hero Ben Rackey surfs a telematic network of sorts, taking on different names and identities with the goal of inciting revolt and destroying the invisible ionic barrier that separates the United States from the rest of the world." - endnote 21, p 249
""the Transmaniacs seek to "liberate the language, use it to produce events, and use the events to create a new language" by quickly moving between liberated "interzones" before capital can recuperate them or shut them down." - pp 136-137
"I'm reminded of Ed Sanders's novel Shards of God (1970):
""Hi! Protestors. I am the
Freedomright Vale of Detention.
We hope that your stay with us
will be temporary. Be nice and
we promise not to chop up your
""Beneath the sign sat the camp bard, a blind poet from the Hudson Institute, who, fed intravenous food and kept awake by cocaine, perforce san twenty-four hours a day a continuous epic tale of the life and manners of the concentration camp. Standing in back of him were his musicians and in back of them were the six tiers of Fender amplifiers that sped the singing to the ears of everyone. The poet's epic was tapes and analyzed for slang and double- and triple-meaning language patterns, which were so complex that several computers were needed to keep track of the constantly changing language of the inmates." - pp 84-85
"I've only read 2 of Shirley's bks but adding to the proofs of his connectedness I quote from his 1988 SF novel Kamus of Kadizhar - The Black Hole of Carcosa:
"""How come the Darklord picked a couple of Earthmen for this?" But then, remembering "Bob"'s lighting-charged pipe, I realized my mistake. "You guys are wizards?"
"""Is the pope Catholic?" "Bob" said, cheerfully.
"""We're Earthmen," Stang said, "but not all Earthmen are really Earthmen." He spoke with a faint Texas accent. The cigarette clamped in his lips waggled with each word, spilling ashes into his lap. "Your Darklord, now, he picked us because we understand the nature of this particular kind of metaphysical infection. What you call the Outfit. We call it the Conspiracy." The car bounced as it went over a hump that marked the edge of an asphalt road. There were no asphalt roads on Ja-Lur. But we'd driven onto one, somehow, anyway. Up ahead was a cluster of harsh white lights. Stang went on, "The Conspiracy's mindset is perverting your planet. We've been chippin' away at the Con on Earth, in our own time." He glanced over his shoulder at me and added casually, "Besides being space travelers, we're time travelers, too. I forgot to tell you that."" - p 134
"It's worth noting that Stang, aside from being the Sacred Scribe of the Church & Foundation of the SubGenius, was also present at the Party for People from the Future on March 9, 1982EV in BalTimOre at the Empire Salon."
- that review starts here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/434743-imp-roper?chapter=1 but is in 4 chapters so if you search for the above you'll have to advance thru them
It's b/c of the above that I have an ongoing interest in reading Shirley's work but I almost never see copies of it used so it wasn't until Bioshock Rapture that I found anything other than the 2 I've already read. Alas, this didn't seem very promising to me b/c the front cover pronounces it: "The Prequel to the Award-Winning and Bestselling Video Game Franchise" wch, to me, translates into: 'Shirley wrote this bk for the money.' The bk is copyrighted by "Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc." (p 4) If I'd grown up w/ stuff like this, I'd probably be a hacker - wch wdn't be a bad idea - but I didn't & I'm not.
I've only previously read & reviewed one other video game bk: Barrington J. Bayley's Eye of Terror - wch is a "Warhammer 40,000" novel. Warhammer 40,000 is a game that's announced thusly: "Welcome to Warhammer 40,000, the thrilling hobby of tabletop wargaming! This is your gateway into the grim darkness of the far future, where mighty armies clash across war-torn worlds, and the bloodthirsty forces of Chaos strive to overthrow the Imperium of Mankind." ( https://warhammer40000.com ) I was a child in the 1950s & 1960s so I grew up before such games existed. As such, I've never really 'gotten into them'. My review of Bayley's bk is one of the only hostile ones I've ever written. Here's an excerpt:
"I'm sick, so I wanted a break from intellect, so I started reading this piece of trash. I can only figure Bayley was desperate for money. This bk is "A Black Library Publication - Games Workshop", a "Warhammer 40,000 Novel". Apparently, these novels share things in common - Space Marines, etc - & authors are requested to write in a certain style. So there must be multiple Space Marine bks by multiple authors. Who is this stuff aimed at? Masturbating adolescent boys w/ fantasies of travelling the galaxies & hacking people up w/ laser-axes?! Beats me (pun intended). That there's actually money for publishing this garbage boggles my mind." - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/16409768
Basically, I tend to lump video game bks together w/ tv-movie novelisations as things-I-shd'nt-really-waste-my-time-on. &, usually, I don't, but I did read & review Keith Laumer's The Invaders so there's another exception. Here's an excerpt from my review of that:
"As a part of my project of reading a slew of Laumer bks & exploring them, I've actually stooped so low as to read a bk "First in a thrilling new series based on the smash ABC-TV hit" as the front cover proclaims: viz: The Invaders. When I bought it, it was cheap, I was still hesitant: did I really want to be so thorough in my exploration of Laumer that I'd read this drek?!
"This bk was published in 1967. I stopped watching TV sometime around 1969 or 1970. SO, this wd've still been when i was watching it. Stopping watching TV was one of the best things I ever did. When I was in my early teens, when this bk was published, I'd spend Friday nites watching things like "Get Smart" & snacking. Now that I have almost no friends & very little social life what do i do almost EVERY nite? Watch movies & drink alcohol. It's not what I do all day, it's my R&R - usually after a long time of working on projects & going out & about in the world. Still, it's a little too much like what i was doing when I was 13. & reading The Invaders makes me feel like I've come full-circle to nowhere." - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6238971-the-invaders
The point is, I didn't exactly start reading this w/ total enthusiasm, I wasn't expecting it to be a novel worthy of Thomas Pynchon or William Gaddis & it wasn't. In fact, almost immediately I was so repulsed by it that I almost stopped myself from reading it. This was basically b/c it seemed like some sort of written-as-a-hack-job SF version of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. I shd've given Shirley more credit. It does start off that way but if ever there's been a critique of Rand's philosophy this bk wd be it!
"I am Andrew Ryan and I'm here to ask you a question: Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his own brow? No, says the man in Washington. It belongs to the poor. No, says the man in the Vatican. It belongs to God. No, says the man in Moscow. It belongs to everyone. I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose soemthign different. I chose the impossible. I chose . . . Rapture. A city where the artist would not fear the censor. Where the scientist would not be bound by Petty morality. Where the great would not be constrained by the small. And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city as well. Andrew Ryan in BioShock" - p 9
"The parasite hates three things: free markets, free will, and free men. —Andrew Ryan" - p 23
The character of Andrew Ryan strikes me as a deliberately Ayn Randian one - w/ the very name "Andrew Ryan" seeming vaguely reminiscent of "Ayn Rand". I read Rand's Anthem when I was a teenager after having read Huxley's Brave New World & Orwell's 1984 b/c I'd heard that it was in a similar vein of soci-political-philosophical criticism of the present in a near-future setting that wasn't SF. Around the same time, I read her The Fountainhead. I've seen the movie of that too. I only have Anthem left in my personal library these 47 or so yrs later so I'm consulting it now. According to the back cover, "ANTHEM is an unforgettable story of courage and rebellion against totalitarian collectivism" & "He was marked for death because he had committed the unpardonable sin: He had stood forth from the mindless human herd. He was a man alone."
I can relate. Where Rand & I seem to part ways is in believing in particular ideologies as conducive to free thinking. I'm not so convinced that any ideology is conducive to free thinking, Rand, as I understand it, believed that Capitalism was. For me, Capitalism is 'great' for those who benefit from it - deluding themselves that the reason why they're the top dog on a radioactive pile of shit is b/c they somehow 'earned it' when, in reality, they're more likely to be beneficiaries of parental crimes — like Rump & the Koch Bros — &/or more likely to be blissfully self-justifying in their massive victimizations of others. No doubt a slumlord, e.g., is full of justifications for charging too much for too little.
In Anthem, I don't find anything I want to use in this review except for a blurb for Rand's The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism at the end of the bk: "She advocates a new morality, an ethics of rational self-interest, that stands in complete opposition to the political, social, and religious attitudes of our day." Now that doesn't necessarily seem like such a bad idea on the surface to me but Bioshock Rapture does an excellent job of showing where that's likely to go wrong. Shirley has Ryan say:
"["]But self-interest is at the root of cooperation, Bill. I intend to prove that self-interest oils the wheels of business—and that freedom from the . . . the tentacles of government, from the usual social shackles on science and technology and growth, will produce unstinting prosperity. I have envirioned a great social experiment. But Bill, ask yourself, where can a social experiment on a large scale take place? Where in this world is there a place for men like us? My father and I fled the Bolsheviks—and where did we end up? This isn't the 'land of the free' it pretends to be. It's the land of the taxed. And it was his reluctance to pay taxes that put my father in jail.["]" - p 59
On the back of Anthem we're told about Ayn Rand that "Russian born, she came to this country at the age of 21".
In Trevor Blake's bk Confessions of a Failed Egoist he points out that: "Egoism not only has the problem of being unable to define when any particular Individual appears, but also when any Individual at all first appeared. Egoism cannot say whether there were egoist Neanderthals, or before them egoist possum-critters who stole dinosaur eggs, or perhaps egoist dinosaurs, or egoist fish, egoist algae... don't stop at selfish genes when you can imagine selfish molecules. There is likely a line of before and after egoism emerged in evolution. Egoism cannot say when that line is drawn." (p 8)
Imagine the "egoist possum-critters who stole dinosaur eggs", who stole them until there were no new dinosaurs to lay dinosaur eggs. Is that "self-interest"? Not if there's no more food for the "possum-critter". "Self-interest" needs to be able to recognize its self as part of a greater whole, needs to recognize when mutual aid is more beneficial than mutual exploitation. Ryan's statements implies that he recognizes this but, as w/ the World Bank or the IMF or Ryan's actual (fictional) practices turn out.. nah, he doesn't really get it: Ryan steals the eggs & eats them until a bigger dinosaur comes along w/ even fewer scruples & starts to eat him. That's the real world of so-called 'Free Trade': steal from the poor until someone who wants to be even richer than you are comes along & crushes you. & I'd hardly call that enlightened self-interest. To put Blake's observations & my take on them more into context by quoting more at length from my review of Confessions:
"Most, or all, the work I like has a sense of play, a sense of fair-play, a cents of fare-pay, a sense of humor - Trevor's exceptional.. but not an exception to what I like. Consider the opening 2 paragraphs:
""I am an egoist, a circular thinker of the most self-contained philosophy. Keep reading, though, and you'll see I'm not a very good Unique One. I see rusty rivets and loose lashings in the HMS Egoism. Egoism is the contrarian's philosophy, and so of course I begin this book with a broadside against it.
""Egoism is the claim that the individual is the measure of all things. In ethics, in epistemology, in aesthetics, in society, the Individual is the best and only arbitrator. Egoism claims social convention, laws, other people, religion, language, time and all other forces outside of the Individual are an impediment to the liberty and existence of the Individual. Such impediments may be tolerated but they have no special standing to the Individual, who may elect to ignore or subvert or destroy them as He can. In egoism the State has no monopoly to take tax or to wage war." - p 5
"An egoist is a person who thinks of themself 1st & foremost - most people do this but in a way that's severely moderated by fear of negative consequences from the larger social whole. Only the brave (or devious) dare to challenge external society's 'right' to try to reel in the Individual's pursuit of their desires & self-definition. Self-definition is crucial to me & to most people I can relate to. The beauty here, for me, in Trevor's beginning is: "Egoism is the contrarian's philosophy, and so of course I begin this book with a broadside against it" - no cow (or water buffalo) is sacred - not even the one you ride in on, cowboy.
"Then again, while egoism might claim that "social convention, laws, other people, religion, language, time and all other forces outside of the Individual are an impediment to the liberty and existence of the Individual" consider this excerpt from a May Day speech I gave in 2014:
""Now, I'm an exemplary lone wolf lunatic fringe individualist. But I still believe in Mutual Aid! In this spirit, I've joined Fight Back Pittsburgh, a chapter of the United Steelworkers Associate Member Program. And I have to say: Fight Back is INSPIRING! Through them, I've gotten to hear from many great people struggling for better conditions for workers - a tradition that Pittsburgh can be very, VERY proud of! Through them, I've learned about the Fight for Fifteen movement, a movement for $15 an hour to be the minimum wage for fast food workers & others. AND I SUPPORT IT! I've worked for less than minimum wage - & I don't recommend it!"
"[The full speech can be witnessed here: http://youtu.be/FUY9DwiE1Dk ]
"In the long run, I really am a "lone wolf lunatic fringe individualist" & don't fit in very well w/ such groups as Fight Back. Nonetheless, I don't see working w/ other people as necessarily being "an impediment to the liberty and existence of the Individual" in all cases - even if it is so in most.
""Egoism not only has the problem of being unable to define when any particular Individual appears, but also when any Individual at all first appeared. Egoism cannot say whether there were egoist Neanderthals, or before them egoist possum-critters who stole dinosaur eggs, or perhaps egoist dinosaurs, or egoist fish, egoist algae... don't stop at selfish genes when you can imagine selfish molecules. There is likely a line of before and after egoism emerged in evolution. Egoism cannot say when that line is drawn." - p 8
"I'm reminded of a friend's dad, someone I like very much. We were sitting around talking when the dad sd something about his being the type of person who "lives in the moment". Being the pain-in-the-ass stickler that I am I replied w/ something to the effect of: "Do you know who I am?" to wch he replied: "Yes" - "Then you don't live in the present moment b/c you learned who I was in the past & have to be living partially in that past to remember me - Do you understand these words?" "Yes" - "Then you don't live in the moment b/c the language we're using is something from way before that wdn't exist as it does for you if you were only in the moment, its use relies on its vast history." You get the idea. Trevor hunts down the usually unexamined broader implications of egoism where few egoists have even had the imagination to consider going before.
""Solipsism slips in the egoist envelope. Solipsism is on board with the Unique One, going further to say that all else is a projection of that one. Egoism is okay with others existing, just not in elevating them above the Self. But who that Self is, and how there can be more than one One, and why it might be that others aren't just imagined, for these egoism is left shrugging." - p 14
"I'm fascinated by solipsism in a similar way to how I'm fascinated by Zeno's Paradox. If one accepts that one's perceptual apparatus is the way thru wch one is able to perceive & if one accepts the notion that that perceptual apparatus is subjective by definition then one is confronted w/ the notion of one's subjectivity being the center of one's universe - in order to reach 'objectivity' one has to get halfway there 1st & then halfway there again.. ad infinitum. In the mid-1970s I coined the word OGJECTIVE to signify a state of perception that defies subjectivity and objectivity to prove themselves to be true. 'Reality' is a Möbius Strip of self-inclusive sets - but that doesn't make it any less painful.
""Politics, philosophy, ethics, all those thinky things, can be corralled into two camps. One is the prescriptive, which can tell you what to do. One is the descriptive, which tell you what happened. Egoism is an exceptionally isolated lone little doggie in the descriptive camp." - p 17
Bioshock Rapture by John Shirley, Jeffrey Kafer (Narrator)
Published by Tantor Media
I checked the Bioshock Rapture audio book from my library via Hoopla Digital. I do not think I would have read this book as a book (physical or ebook). The audio book interested me more because not being a gamer, I thought the audio book would work better for me. It did.
Jeffrey Kafer did a spectacular job narrating. There are a variety of voices, accents, ages, and classes. All the voices are believable. The women's voices are very good. The only voice that got to me was the splicers but that is what their purpose is so it was actually a good job.
[SPOILER] Having watched my son play Bioshock, I found the story fascinating. It tells the events that preceded the game. How Rapture was conceived and built. How it was originally settled. And how it inevitably destroyed itself.
Having listened to the book, I need to seek out more narrations by Jefrey Kafer. If you have played Bioshock, I suggest you listen to this audio book (or read it). Then play Bioshock again. I think it will give the player a whole new appreciation for the incredible world that was Rapture.
An amazing sync of what occurred in Bioshock 1 and 2.
This was so fabulous!
It was a perfect back story to all the fascinating bits and pieces that make up Rapture and Bioshock.
I just wish there were more!
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Wikipedia en anglès (3)
It was the end of World War II. FDR's New Deal had redefined American politics. Taxes were at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had created a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business had many watching their backs. America's sense of freedom was diminishing . . . and many were desperate to take that freedom back. Among them was a great dreamer, an immigrant who'd pulled himself from the depths of poverty to become one of the wealthiest and most admired men in the world. That man was Andrew Ryan, and he believed that great men and women deserved better. So he set out to create the impossible: a utopia free from government, from censorship, and from moral restrictions on science, where what you gave was what you got. He created Rapture--the shining city below the sea. But this utopia suffered a great tragedy. This is the story of how it all came to be . . . and how it all ended.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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