Thursday, January 24, 2013

Spanner Chapter 15: Start the Violence (Final Revision)

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 15: Start the Violence (Final Revision)

Now you’ve done it, Shira. You’ve stolen Leila Shelley’s heart, stolen her from the serial-killing Corporate cad her grandfather the Governor is trying to force her to marry, and started a snowballing political crisis in the process. Governor Brinkman has called his grandfather: King Patriot I of the American Empire, the man formerly known Roger Steele Becket, the World War II superhero Super Patriot and the founder of Dictel Corporation, and now the King is coming to Seattle to do bad things to it. There’s only one thing you can do now, and you know exactly what it is. But at the same time, you’ll have to keep your now nameless girlfriend’s revenge from turning both King and Governor into martyrs the Party can use against you. And Jesus America himself shall appear right before your eyes...

You’ve now put yourself right smack in the middle of the crisis at the heart of the Conservative Revolution — and there is no escape until the American Empire has been brought down. If the world can even survive that long...

And so the second movement of Spanner Series 1 comes to its cyberpunk-operatic climax. Now it’s time to rock!

Table of Contents:
  1. The Calm Before the Storm (August 30, 2011, Final Revision 1/11/13)
  2. The Ingathering (August 31, 2011, Final Revision 1/14/13)
  3. Invocation of the Nation (September 1, 2011, Final Revision 1/16/13)
  4. Epiphany of the God-King (September 2, 2011, Final Revision 1/18/13)
  5. Things Fall Apart (September 3, 2011, Final Revision 1/21/13)
  6. Message Coming on Channel 12 (September 4, 2011, Final Revision 1/23/13)
  7. Interlude 10: You Have Lost the Game (January 25, 2013)
Based on the outline for the never produced Third Revision, with the section titles for all but 15.5 final in that version (15.5 R3 was to be called “Robot Riot”). Incorporating: an abstract “Scream Gems” version of Rebel Styles in 15.4; the terrorist Ogden (of Chapter 2) from Revision 1; originally from Book 3: Shane Chantry, Oswald Bean, Radica Maxx; from the Project Notebooks (besides Shane): the Westin Hotel (and the mention of its two towers in reference to a recurring Sherlock Holmes theme), the terrorist organizations with obscene acronyms, and the computer in Shira’s head; from Revision 4 continuity: healing factor, human sacrifice, Patriot Metal, Leila’s power crystal, and the nameless “Rejectionists” (including Leila herself); new elements: the “finder’s right” idea and the “mermaids” in 15.1, and the hotel heist in 15.6. Sequences removed: the digressions to Port Townsend and Ocean Shores which made it even into the R3 plan. New to R4: the continuous narration with two time tags and one location tag as a counterpoint to the fragmented (in place and time) narrative of Chapter 1, which the Chapter 15 plot otherwise echoes, and to the narrative technique of other chapters with its location tags inspired by a convention of cinematic political thrillers borrowed from newspaper journalism.

Original section titles from Revision 2: “Plots and Plans” (now the title of Chapter 14), “The Calm Before the Storm” (now the title of 15.1 as of R3), “Hard Times in the City,” “Epiphany of the God King,” “You Are the Demons,” and “Message Coming on Channel 12.” The new Interlude 10 combines the R2 Interludes 3 and 11 with material new to R4: the infamous mind virus that inspired the title and a “three minute rock opera” based on the “standard rock opera plot.”

The original Revision 1 chapter notes and the Second and Third Revision notes:
Faithful readers, school is now out. Sure, there’ll still be scenes set at school, but that’s not where the main action is anymore. It’s out in the streets. All the high school kids are about to find that out for themselves once class resumes next chapter. This weekend belongs to the emperor of the world, his would-be assassins shooting for eternal glory, and the Angel of Chaos out to pwn them both. The final act of Spanner Book 1 begins here.

The original canon of cyberpunk science fiction coincides with the end of the political thriller’s heyday, the Eighties. The Left died with the Soviet Union as Stalin’s last and biggest victim. But still there is a political strain within cyberpunk, even if a minor one; naturally, it tends anarchist, just like punk rock itself. (Fortunately there’s still no fascist strain corresponding to Nazi street punk.) Even The Matrix skirts the edge of political cyberpunk, even if the sequels lose themselves in tech-gnostic obscurity. Now, I’m not yet avoiding the problems with political thrillers; the masses have even left the city to avoid getting hurt or killed when the assembled “Cons” (Neo-Confederates) start trashing it. But the Cons and “Corps” (Corporates) are the American Imperial élite. The masses will make their début soon, and then they will make their presence known.

Scenarios taken from my Project Notebooks of the early ’00s: the first visit to Ariel’s New Age shop (which occurred earlier in the 2008 Script Frenzy script) and the police riot (in Seattle, no less); from the early Notebooks of the Nineties come the names of the three networks ABCNN, QVCBS, and ESPNBC.

Now we start rockin’...

Second Revision Update: From the first edition, I’ve made some significant changes. (Also since then, a fascist strain of cyberpunk has unfortunately developed courtesy of first-generation cyberpunk K.W. Jeter, whose recent novel Noir might as well be official RIAA propaganda with extra added ultraviolence, making me wonder if he’s one of that ruthless cartel’s most ruthless lawyers.) Also, in the scene set in Ariel’s shop, the visitors are different yet again (originally Shira and Leila, then Charlie and Desiree in the first draft, and now Ric and Willa in this edition). Otherwise, the original introduction still mostly fits.

Third Revision Update (summary of original plan): Let’s begin with the precogs from Chapter 1. Let Spanner have his say. Then open with a cinematic montage like the ones just before the third acts of Mamoru Oshii anime movies (Patlabor and Ghost in the Shell). Then keep the action directly in the city with no digressions to Port Townsend, Ocean Shores, Victoria, or anywhere else.

Chapter 16

Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
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