Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Spanner Chapter 12: Bad Girls Can't Win (Revision 4)

Chapter 11

Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 12: Bad Girls Can’t Win (Revision 4)

Bangor High’s most psychotic ’shipper is murdered! Will the mean girls get off? Well, are their parents rich? Also, Amanda reveals a secret life; the world’s most annoying goth-loli kogal tries to swipe her loli-chan Ayla back from Shira; her beaten-down boyfriend, the world’s most pathetic Yakuza, escapes her lair while she’s gone and sets off on a quest to suffer sweet defeat at the hands of the now grown-up ex-loli he still worships (i.e. Shira); Leila, Oliver, and Christie challenge the marriage arrangement and fail; Shira takes on all challengers in the airfighting pit at Game Wars; and Shira’s new neighbours, a trio of women who claim to have no name, give Leila an idea of how to break that marriage arrangement to an evil man she hates, even as Drusilla reveals her plot against her...

Table of Contents:
  1. Gangster in a Strange Land (August 13, 2011, Final Revision 11/26/12)
  2. Waking Up with the House on Fire (November 28, 2012)
  3. Mean Girl Murder Case (August 11, 2011, Final Revision 11/30/12)
  4. Anonymity Is Freedom (August 14, 2011, Final Revision 12/3/12)
  5. Dark Side in Your Mirror (August 12, 2012, Final Revision 12/5/12)
  6. Showdown at Game Wars (August 15, 2011, Final Revision 12/7/12)
Moved from R2: 12.1 (“I Want My Loli-chan”) is now 12.5 R4 (“Dark Side in Your Mirror”), condensed with new scenes; 12.2 (“Mean Girl Murder Case”) is now 12.2 R4, greatly improved; 12.3 (“Gangster in a Strange Land”) is now 12.1 R4 with slight modifications and a few new scenes; 12.4 (“Pretty vs. Sexy”) is now part of 13.4 R4 (“Guess Who’s Coming”); 12.5 (“Showdown at Game Wars”) is now 12.6 R4, heavily modified and with new scenes; 12.6 is now part of 13.4 R4 (“Breaking Amanda”). Interlude 8 R2 (“Scary Monsters”) has been massively transformed into Interlude 9 R4 (“City on the Edge of a Dream”) and now comes after Chapter 13. New thread for R4: “Anonymity Is Freedom,” featuring the nameless women next door to Shira, and now involving both Leila and Amanda. Original Revision 1 title: “Medium Cruel,” a title now being used for a chapter in Book 2. There is no Third Revision version.

The original introduction and revision notes:
If the title of this chapter [“Medium Cruel”] sounds punny, that is entirely deliberate. It’s also no coincidence that Shira starts to look even more amoral than in previous episodes, particularly considering which major villain is making his début here. After all, morality is not really the point. In the school scenes, this time the mean girls get their day in the fighting spotlight that the bullyboys have hogged till now; believe it or not, they’re actually better fighters than the Tournament-obsessed boys. Willa, Ayla, and Nenene also get major roles this chapter, and the Yakuza ex makes his first appearance in second person.

Once again, this chapter contains mostly new material written during NaNoFiMo 2010. Even so, it still contains some material originating in my early ’00s Project Notebooks: the girl-on-boy love-hotel rape scenario, the dance-off during which Shira wins the Japanese national championship (though the character of Nenene didn’t exist then), and the Aya Shibata arcade battle. The character of Byron Scofield is, along with Henry Becket and Diana Shockley, one of the original three villains I created back in 1992, but the only one of the three I forgot. Now he takes his rightful place in the story I created him for.

And the seemingly science-fictiony high tech returns as the savior of the video arcades. The first two versions of the fighting-game scene involved motion capture (which I first saw used to control a fighting game at Seattle’s GameWorks) and immersive virtual reality; one is now becoming standard home console equipment and the other is better suited to MMORPGs and related environments such as Second Life (the original Metaverse in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash can be described as Second Life plus immersive VR). I asked myself, What would be the cutting edge of Japanese arcade technology in 2014? The answer I guessed below is related to hoverboard technology.

Now featuring mid-air drunken monkey kung fu!

Second Revision Update: This chapter contains some of my best writing so far, in the sections “I Want My Loli-chan”, with its strange Japanese subculture vulture speaking in broken English; “Gangster in a Strange Land”, written in second-person POV from the perspective of her put-upon gangster boyfriend; and “Showdown at Game Wars”, which ultimately leads into the later virtual reality plotlines that come to the fore once the School Arc ends. These sections were so cool from the beginning, they remain mostly unedited in the second edition.

If much of this chapter is good and/or cool enough to remain unedited in the second edition, the introduction to the first-edition version is every bit as relevant to the content as ever. If it can be believed, the first sentence is even more true than it was when I called this chapter “Medium Cruel”.
Chapter 13

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