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> Good books for Shadowrun, In the spirit of movies...
Maxxi
post Jan 3 2005, 11:26 PM
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I'm sure this has been covered before.

Movies, IMHO, don't seem to touch on cyberpunk topics all that much. The two shining examples of cyberpunk movies, Bladerunner (a Phil K. Dick adaptation) and Johnny Mneumonic (The worst William Gibson thing to work from), are both relatively aging.

Writting on the other hand is a different story. Shadowrun does have novels, the few which I read I enjoyed, but has anyone else found other books good sources of inspiration for Shadowrun?

Here's my list:
-Snow Crash (I'd put this as the absolute best Cyberpunk book EVER. It has megacorporations, wage-slaves, mafia-controlled pizza delivery, The crips being a business, hyper-inflation, cybernetic dogs, taxi drivers that speak another language, skateboarders, mind control conspiracies, Samurai swords, Virtual Worlds, and a giant shadowrun at the end. Not mention the angry Aleutian guy with knives made of glass. It's great because it's a joke and serious at the same time, it has the feel that I got from alot of old shadowrun books.)

-Neuromancer (An illusionist (Diego), A Decker (Case), and a Street Samurai (I think Gibson originated the term). Drugs, sex and violence. Did I mention Gibson also perdicted the internet and called it the Matrix? AI's, Fixers (the Finn) and Shadowruns as well. Shadowrun obviously pulled a butt load of stuff from this.)

-Count Zero (Picks up where Neuromancer left off.)

-Burning Chrome (have yet to read it.)

-Illuminatis Trilogy (The ultimate conspiracy theory book. If you can't pull something from it, you probubly are keeping your sanity.)

-Manchild in the Promised Land (althogh the book reflects growing up in Harlem in the 50's, it gives a pretty rough view of how one kid approaches street life. I do mean rough. )

Can't think of other stuff without checking my bookshelf. So what does everyone else think?
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Kanada Ten
post Jan 3 2005, 11:32 PM
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While not a full novel, The Fluted Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi* rates high on my list of Shadowrun inspiring fiction.
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Synner
post Jan 4 2005, 12:05 AM
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I highly recommend the works of China Mieville, particularly King Rat (ever wonder what its like to become a rat shaman, plus one of the coolest and unexpected villains ever). And while they're definitely not traditional cyberpunk (or steampunk for that matter) IMHO the magnificient Perdido Street Station, the Scar and the amazing Iron Council are a fount of endless ideas for Shadowrun.

Other interesting but unusual references of mine include:
Pat Cardigan (first lady of cyberpunk) - Synners (guess where I got my handle?) and Mindplayers.
Gibson & Sterling - The Difference Engine (and now for something completely different...)
Jon Courteney - the amazing Arabesk trilogy for a distinctly different SR feel.
Greg Bear - Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children (great for the feel of SURGE and Goblinization)
Brian Stableford - Architects of Emortality series (corporate intrigue, tailchasers, biotech and nanotech)
George Foy - The Shift(ultra-cool cyberpunk thriller mystery)
Katherine Kurtz & Deborah Turner Harris - the Adept series (really nice Hermetic setting and inspiration).
Jan Lars Jensen - Shiva 3000 (wait for Shadows of Asia and see)
Mel Odom - Lethal Interface (Odom did some really nice stuff back then).

plus
Transmetropolitan (long live Spider. okay, it's a comic, but it doesn't read like one)
The Resistance (defunct DC comic series. fabulous SR-type characters and setting)
Planetary (there's nothing quite like this comic to blow your mind)
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Tanka
post Jan 4 2005, 12:06 AM
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QUOTE (Maxxi)
-Burning Chrome (have yet to read it.)

If you haven't read it, why include it?

It does depict the decking in the Matrix rather well, though.
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Coil
post Jan 4 2005, 12:27 AM
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Definitely all of the early Gibson works are what I find ideal for cyberpunk writing. Neuromancer has it absolutely all and is easily my favorite piece of science fiction ever. Drugs, violence, sex, combat and recreational drugs, megacorps, rusted away static skies, decking, the Matrix, cosmetic and cybernetic mods, street samurai, the list goes on and on heh. Burning Chrome is definitely right up there with it but since its a collection of short stories it covers quite a broad range of the "cyberpunk" genre. The original Johnny Mneumonic short story from B.C. is absolutely great, FAR better then the movie as usual. I also believe it was hinted at in one of the Gibson books that Johnny was one of Molly's ex boyfriends, but I have yet to read Count Zero fully.
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Crimson Jack
post Jan 4 2005, 12:29 AM
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QUOTE (Maxxi)
-Illuminatis Trilogy (The ultimate conspiracy theory book. If you can't pull something from it, you probubly are keeping your sanity.)

I really liked The Illuminatis Trilogy. Good book for the dark cabals of the Shadowrun world. Nice flavor.
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Kagetenshi
post Jan 4 2005, 12:38 AM
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The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Michael Swanwick.

Dogfight by William Gibson and Michael Swanwick.

Not Snow Crash. It was entertaining, but honestly, I was amazed to learn after reading it that Stephenson knows the first thing about computers. He didn't even do so much as provide a reason why the computers should be remotely as immersive as they're presented. That and the main character's name really irks me.

Stranger in a Strange Land?

~J
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Tanka
post Jan 4 2005, 02:46 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Stranger in a Strange Land?

Heinlein? It was good, but not Cyberpunk. I don't consider any of Heinlein's works to be Cyberpunk, just some of the best damn Sci Fi ever written.
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Kagetenshi
post Jan 4 2005, 02:53 AM
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Not cyberpunk, but couldn't you see that sort of movement arising again? The Sixth World Second Coming?

~J
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Panzergeist
post Jan 4 2005, 02:55 AM
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The internet existed when neuromancer was written.

Don't forget Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which was the basis for Blade Runner, or pretty much anything else by Philip K Dick.
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Tanka
post Jan 4 2005, 02:58 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Not cyberpunk, but couldn't you see that sort of movement arising again? The Sixth World Second Coming?

~J

Maybe. However, in the SR setting it'd be debunked real fast.

Actually...

[ Spoiler ]
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Babel
post Jan 4 2005, 03:03 AM
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Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott, nice decking book
Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams, really good rigger book with minor decking as well.

And personally the name of the main character in Snow Crash is one of the entertaining aspects of the book.
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Tanka
post Jan 4 2005, 03:05 AM
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Seeing that I've never read Snow Crash, what's the main character's name?
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Kagetenshi
post Jan 4 2005, 03:12 AM
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Hiro Protagonist.

~J, in physical pain.
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Kanada Ten
post Jan 4 2005, 03:16 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Hiro Protagonist.

:rotfl: That's @#$! awesome! I am so reading this book now; it sounds just like first edition SR sans magic.
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Tanka
post Jan 4 2005, 03:16 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Hiro Protagonist.

~J, in physical pain.

*twitch*
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Maxxi
post Jan 4 2005, 04:22 AM
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The book (Snowcrash) was supposed to be taken seriously on one level, and was a complete joke on the other level.

It's a welcome break from Neuromancer, which took me forever to read, simply because if I stopped paying attention for one page, the entire book stopped making sense. I'm glad I found a study guide for it online, if only one existed for count zero...
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bitrunner
post Jan 4 2005, 01:58 PM
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Mel Odom's early works such as Lethal Interface have already been mentioned, but he also wrote some books under TSR called the FREELancers series...

Robert Charrette also came back and wrote some stuff, one called King Under The Mountain, IIRC, that was pretty good...

i might be strung up for this one, but Shatner's TekWar series...

i'll scan my collection tonight for the others...
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Jrayjoker
post Jan 4 2005, 02:06 PM
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Stephensen's Cryptonomicron is a good look at a race for a prize and global conspiracy.

Any of the detective/mystery pulp fiction from the 1920's on forward.

The Destroyer series (Remo Williams, Chiun, Emperor Smith, what a hoot)
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Birdy
post Jan 4 2005, 04:22 PM
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QUOTE (Babel)
Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott, nice decking book
Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams, really good rigger book with minor decking as well.

And personally the name of the main character in Snow Crash is one of the entertaining aspects of the book.

Add "Voice of the Whirlwind" by Williams. Sure, a lot more Space than SR has but the style is still there.

A lot of other books have scenes that are often great but belong to the background of the world rather than the main theme. But if you read SciFi, try the "early" (as in: Set in the early years of the universe) "Known Space" stuff (Niven et all) The stuff on "Organ harvesting" in example is "ugly". The "Future History" (Pournelle) has good SR elements in it's description of the Haves and Have nots (Citizen vs. Taxpayers)

Appleseed (Okay, manga but still) has a lot of the moral and technical questions covered. And a nice view at "Arcology vs. rotting outside"

Altered Carbon and it's siblings (Changing bodies like clothing since only your "cortical stack", your "software" is important)

Johny Ringo (otherwise a third rate IMHO) has a nice description of what problems arcologies can face


Birdy
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Crusher Bob
post Jan 5 2005, 07:38 AM
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There's also

Johhny Zed John Gregory Betancourt

George Alec Effinger
When Gravity Fails
A Fire in the Sun
The Exile Kiss

Cold Cash War Robert Asprin

There's also The Diamond Age by Stephensen
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DrJest
post Jan 5 2005, 10:14 AM
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"Oath of Fealty" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle for its close look at an arcology

I would have mentioned Cold Cash War and Hardwired, if I weren't beaten to it :) Hardwired is the unsung "other parent" of the cyberpunk genre; a lot of what Gibson didn't create comes from Hardwired.

Tentatively I mention Noir, by... um... damn, can't lay my hands on it... was it Kevin J Anderson? Deeply, deeply disturbing novel but well worth a read.
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Synner
post Jan 5 2005, 01:40 PM
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Noir is by K.W. Jeter. I don't know how I overlooked it, it's dark, gritty and absolutely twisted.

Other worth mentioning for a merc feel are Pournelle's Falkenberg's Legion novels.
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Ancient History
post Jan 5 2005, 02:50 PM
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John Shirley is often neglected as one of the first innovaters of cyberpunk, William Gibson speaks very warmly of him an inspiration. I highly suggest his novel City Comes A Walkin', which literally set the tone for Neuromancer in many respects and may have started the infamous mirrorshades trend. Plus, a better concept of a city spirit you will never find.

I hghly reccomend the original Mirrorshades collection, but the more recent and available Ultimate Cyberpunk contains most of the same stories.

For a more modern author, I reccomend Jaspar Fforde's Thursday Next series, particularly the first two.

If you ever, ever have to give an account of an Astral Quest, look up Michael Moorcock's Fortress of the Pearl and possibly the Skraylign Tree as well.
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Birdy
post Jan 5 2005, 03:06 PM
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QUOTE (Synner)
Noir is by K.W. Jeter. I don't know how I overlooked it, it's dark, gritty and absolutely twisted.

Other worth mentioning for a merc feel are Pournelle's Falkenberg's Legion novels.

Not to forget political intrigue. One of his WarWorld anthologies (The one that describes the history of Haven before the Saurons) shows how they play politics in a very SR-like world.

And his "Prince of Mercenaires" has a good description of "Educational Life and it's hazards". Granted, you don't get send of to a nice dschungel planet but run out of university.

And they are plain good action! Just plain good action.


More on Mercs is in the "Hammers Slammers" novels by David Drake. The later books (dealing with infantrie/scouts) are better there than classics like "The Tanklords". Oh and the tanks give an idea at Thunderbird operations.


I left no blood in the sand of any world,

Birdy
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