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Shock: Bibliography

Started by Joshua A.C. Newman, November 15, 2005, 02:41:11 PM

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Quote from: JoshuaIf anything he deserves a place on your list.

Given its been a while since I read these books.
Take the latest: The Algebraist
Issues: Religous Intolerance and Human Greed
Shocks: Faster than light, impending war and AI persecution and mysterious aliens reluctant to share technology.

And that is of the top of my head, I am not a literary critic.
back again


I have one Book to add that is absolutly a big inspiration for Shock: and for me the one that delivers the kind of sci-fi with a social twist I was after for the last four years.

Richard Morgan's "Altered Carbon"

It's his debut novel and I read it in 3 days, i read it and thought that this is the way I imagine a story of shock.

The shock would be that personalities are digitaly saved on a chip in the back of your head and in the case of your death you will be uploaded into a new body (except in cases where heavy firepower is used to destroy the data-stack)

There is a hint of another shock (something that is described in the second or third novel by Richard Morgan... both are on my must buy list :) )
The data on the stacks - short D.H.F. Digital Human Fright can be send to the stars... and the Protagonist is from another Planet.

It is at the core some kind of brutal and violent noir detekive story where the Protagonist Tekeshi Lev Kovacs has to solve the murder of a rich methusalem named Bancroft. THe intersting thing is, police says it was suicide, but the victim does not think so... Bancroft has an 24 hour backup system instaled into his head and is still alive... problem is that his stack was destroyed during the killing and that short befor the new backup.

Takeshi now has to solve the case and find the solution to the riddle why someone like Bancroft would kill himself or who killed him. Every fact points toward the suicide-theory but Bancroft is sure about one thing "there is nothing that would have lead him into killing himself in 24 hours"

It has so many cool little infos where I thought... wow this is how Minutia should be played. Street Riots of Catholics who are against a special resolution because they belief in final death and the fact that the soul can not be saved... a lot of other things.

People's Minds get stored as data / Digital Human Fright (there are even virtual rooms you can enter with your stack-system)

Space Colonisation / Instant Travel (called Neddlecast... not realy explained but people, if they have the money just upload themselves in New York and get downloaded into a body in Singapore to do business deals in person... as already said there are also virtual rooms)

Strange Philosophies (there a lot of cool inserts about different philosophie about the colonies)


Catholics Rights (only on earth)


The worth of the Human Soul

So, everyone who loves good Sci-Fi, Detective Novels and Technologie where the Author really makes the world a living breathing thing with a lot of details... I have to say check that out

For me it is the "new" Cyberpunk... while I think Neuromancer was a bit slow (and I have my problems with it that don't belong here) this novel seems to move in a pace I would compare to Formula-1 racing (or Nascar).

It has a lot of Issues to explore, a Shock (or Shocks) I totaly love and so many details (Minutia) that I could definitly say: "This is my Shock:-Novel"
- - - Michael - - -

Joshua A.C. Newman


It sounds surprisingly like Asimov's robot stories: "OK, we have these incontrovertible rules, but how have they been circumvented?"

I'm itching for some reading. This sounds like something exciting! Thanks!
the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.

Old Man Qfwfq

There are a few movies and books that I'd like to recommend.  I'm sorry if this post ends up being a bit long, but I have the tendency to read too much while having no one to talk to about it.
The first is a French Science-fiction film by Jean-Luc Godard called Alphaville.  I know French films have a stigma of being pretentious, and, well, Godard is pretty much that, but this is by far one of his more accessible works The film centers around an outlands agent, Lemmy Caution, who is sent into Alphaville, a dictatorial state where such concepts as emotion and art are outlawed, on two missions.  The first is to find to find a missing agent, Henry Dickson.  The second is to kill Professor Von Braun the creator of Alpha 60, the dictatorial computer that controls all of Alphaville.  It is very reminiscent of the setting of Orwell's 1984, but brings more focus to the theme of lost humanity and how a person may regain it
Jeff VanderMeer's novel, Veniss Underground, walks on the border between fantasy and science-fiction. It is, at once, a very Grecian commentary on humanity's ultimate downfall laying in its hubris in attempting to control nature itself, but also a sci-fi Orpheus tale in which a man ventures into the underworld to rescue a lost love only to find that it is something which he can never attain again.
Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the only science fiction novel written by Haruki Murakami.  The novel alternates between two inter-related narratives.  The odd chapters take place in a cyberpunk Tokyo.  The nameless protagonist is a Calcutec, a human data-processor who is able to encode data with the unique qualities of his subconscious, who works for the System, a semi-governmental organization that protects data from The Factory, an information mafia.  After receiving a job from a mad scientist who invented the Calcutec technology, he finds himself caught in the middle of the infowars between the System and the Factory as the key to the next phase of the conflict.  The second narrative, told in the even chapters, is much more surreal, and I'd have to agree with a reviewer who described it as Kafka's The Castle meets BBC's The Prisoner.  This narrative is told by an again nameless protagonist who is given the title Dreamreader in a town referred to as being the End of the World and focuses on his attempting to find the true nature of the town and recover his lost memories.  I'm a bit unsure of whether this is truly a social science fiction novel, as, while it does make some commentary upon society, focuses instead on more personal and philosophical ideas of identity, self-knowledge, the idea of two consciences contained within one mind, and the role of the mind with the two main narrators.
I'd also recommend reading a little-known author called R.A. Lafferty.  His science fiction short stories are, I think, a good example of the shock and issues.  You can actually read one of his most acclaimed short stories, A Slow Tuesday Night, at this website:
If you enjoyed this story, several of his collections and novels have recently been republished, including Nine Hundred Grandmothers, Does Anyone Else Have Something Further to Add?, and Iron Tears.
Last, there is the movie, The Final Cut, starring Robin Williams, in which he plays a "cutter" named Alan Hakman.  The setting is much like the modern day except for the introduction of ZOE devices, produced by a company called Eyetech.  These implants make a recording of a person's entire life, from the moment of their birth to their death.  It is a cutter's job to edit the ZOE recording upon a person's death into a feature-length film, called a Rememory.  While editing the ZOE recording of an Eyetech manager, Bannister, two things become apparent, that Bannister was sexually molesting his daughter and that he knew a man that may hold the truth to a childhood memory that has haunted Hackman into adulthood.  While attempting to discover the truth behind this memory, Hakman is hounded by anti-ZOE protesters, who want Bannister's recording to discredit Eyetech.  The film brings in themes of privacy and memory, questioning that, if history lies in memories, then what happens when we edit memory?

Joshua A.C. Newman

Old Man Qfwfq! That's from Cosmicomics, right? Playing bocce with quarks and first sensing color in the nipples of his companion?

Final Cut is one of my favorite SF movies, actually. Good call.

I've also heard that Alphaville is good. I'll check it out! I didn't know that Murakami had written some SF. I'll have to check that out, too!
the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.


Have you seen the movie Videodrome? It's a little much for some people, but its really trippy and fascinating.

Shocks: Television-reality

Issues: Subjective reality, Media homogenization

It takes place in modern day.

Also, there's an author I think is great called Robert Reed, but he's really obscure so you'd probably have to find his stuff on the internet. My favorite book of his that I've read so far (he has quite a few) is Sister Alice. (He has a novella too that I love, but there are only 300 copies and they all cost $40.)

Shocks: God-like aristocracy, Cloned aristocracy, Immortality, Selective genetics

Issues: Inequality,  Aristocracy above the law, Will to power, (There's one more but its a spoiler)

Gabriel Lopes Anaya

 I would like to recommend Bloodchild from Octavia E. Butler. There you go some thoughts about how  some ideas in Bloodchild can give amazing elements we can use play Shock.

To explain these elements I like to use some words of Nicholas Whyte review about Bloodchild ( If you read the complete review you can ruin some awesome surprises. I just quoted some ideas from the original review (no spoiler risk) here to explain the Bloodchild related Shocks!

`The story is set on a world dominated by the insect-like Tlic, whose reproduction system includes laying eggs inside a living host; the larvae then hatch and eat their way out. However the mammal-like animals native to the Tlic world have evolved a natural defence which poisons the eggs before they hatch. Fortunately for the Tlic, humans also live on the planet and are ideal hosts for their eggs. The Tlic have moved from a period of time when humans were basically kept as brood animals for the eggs, to a social system of adopting humans into their family; with any luck, the newly hatched larvae can be removed from their human host before too much damage is caused (...)
  Helford describes the Tlic power structure as "a metaphor for human gender relations under patriarchy", as illustrated by "men suffering the pains of childbearing (and when 'birth' means removing grubs from around your internal organs, the pain can be intense)"(...) She sees pointers to the slave-owning society of the Old South in the implantation scene, the widespread use of narcotics to control the humans (...)  And she also hints that the treatment of humans as animals by the Tlic goes beyond the usual categories of class and race...`

Suggested Shock.

Human families used as living hosts by the Tlic species.

Suggested Issues

Moral abuse
Physical dependence
Stockholm syndrome

Suggested Praxis Scale

Revulsion - Lure
Pattern - Deviation
Zeal - Survival
Brutality - Finesse
Nourish - Enfeeble

"Escreve-se para não ser solitário e por amor aos outros; se você não tiver essa solidariedade, é bobagem escrever"
- Ignácio de Loyola Brandão

Joshua A.C. Newman

That's pretty hot. I'll have to check it out.

I wish I could read faster. I'm still chewing on Cyteen, which is really excellent.
the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.