The Beasts of Electra Drive

Auteur: Rohan Quine
Uitgever: Ec1 Digital
  • Engels
  • 9780992754945
  • april 2018
  • Paperback
  • 358 pagina's
Alle productspecificaties

Samenvatting

From Hollywood Hills mansions and Century City towers, to South Central motels and the oceanside refinery, The Beasts of Electra Drive by Rohan Quine spans a mythic L.A., following seven spectacular characters (or Beasts) from games designer Jaymi's game-worlds. The intensity of those Beasts' creation cycles leads to their release into real life in seemingly human forms, and to their combative protection of him from destructive rivals at mainstream company Bang Dead Games. Grand spaces of beauty interlock with narrow rooms of terror, both in the real world and in the incorporeal world of cyberspace. A prequel to Quine's existing five tales, The Beasts of Electra Drive is a unique explosion of glamour and beauty, horror and enchantment, exploring the mechanisms and magic of creativity itself. Jaymi is an independent games designer living on Electra Drive in the Hollywood Hills. Opposed to him are his former colleagues at Bang Dead Games. Their mounting competitiveness regarding his own extravagant game-creation reaches a point where they attack him physically with a flying drone. Bang Dead is preparing the global release of a game called Ain'tTheyFreaky! , centring on five tabloid-flavoured social-media Newsfeeds for the victimisation of certain people by others - the Gal Score , Guy Score , Trivia Score , Arts Score and Cosy Score . Jaymi decides to fight back, for self-protection and to counteract this game's destructive effects. He takes an irrevocable step: after creating Amber, the most dangerous of the characters (or Beasts, as he calls them) who will populate Jaymi's project The Platinum Raven , he releases Amber from that game, such that Amber slithers out of Jaymi's computer monitor. Appearing human, this now-incarnated Beast is sent to stalk Ain'tTheyFreaky!'s creators in real life - developer Dud Guy, visual designer Kelly, IT boss Ashley and programmer Herb. While Amber terrorises them, Jaymi creates a second Beast, Evelyn, a woman of ease and freedom, from his project The Imagination Thief . Incarnated too, she joins Amber in sabotaging a Bang Dead venture in the physical world. As Jaymi's output spawns three more titles - The Host in the Attic , Apricot Eyes and Hallucination in Hong Kong - he jumps into the creation cycles and subsequent incarnations of five more varied and human-seeming Beasts. These are Shigem, Kim, the Platinum Raven, Scorpio, and his own simulacrum the Jaymi Beast. Targeted by a more lethal drone attack than the first one, he decides that his Beasts' missions must escalate: they will infiltrate the very substance of Ain'tTheyFreaky! . Evelyn, Shigem and Kim therefore sneak into one of the game's visual environments (a mythically seedy Downtown L.A.), where they try to put an end to some of the casually-programmed cruelty in the game. Shigem shames one Bang Dead programmer into secretly working for Jaymi instead; and Kim persuades another high-ranking Bang Dead employee to join Jaymi likewise. Five of the Beasts proceed to sabotage Ain'tTheyFreaky! at code level, turning its own server farm into a radically different kind of environment from before. Their sabotage takes aim at the game in such a way as to break it down into its constituent glyphs and pixels - then electrifies these, recombining them into brand-new forms of such enchanted love and wickedness and originality that they'd certainly have been forbidden by Bang Dead. Amid the resultant conflict, a Beast is sent to kill a human; a Beast is arrested, before escaping and wreaking revenge; and another human is lashed to the top of the transmitter tower above the Hollywood Sign, where... After the ensuing convulsions of destruction and violent creation have run their course, Jaymi's Beasts slip away to their appointed onscreen destinations, one by one; and he is left alone again, just as he was before he brought them into being. As he fires up his newly-completed game The Imagination Thief for the first time, however, it is clear that neither he nor the world around him will ever quite be as before. Rohan Quine, The Beasts of Electra Drive, literary fiction, magical realism, dark fantasy, horror, gay, Los Angeles, videogame, transgender, Hollywood Hills, L.A., creation, incarnation, game, tabloid, refinery, motel, transmitter, contemporary

Recensie(s)

Technologically intelligent, socially clever, and supernaturally chilling - a trippy sci-fi tale. [...] There is a strong artistic element woven into this act of creation, allowing us to see how and why Jaymi creates each of his Beasts, giving them purpose and personality as well as form. [...] This is a book that would have been entirely serviceable with just the hacking and virtual reality interfaces, but what makes it really compelling is the ability for Jaymi's Beasts to step out into meat-space (I love that term) and take on corporeal form. These characters grow, learn, and even challenge their programming - they are somewhat childish in their willful independence, to the point of being sociopaths, although they demonstrate real emotion. There is some wonderful genderfluidity to some of the Beasts, with Shigem never feeling quite like a boy, being half a gender to the left' and Scorpio whose nature flowers with so transgender a beauty,' as well as a gay love affair between two Beasts who were created for one another. Lest you forget that this is a revenge fantasy, however, Amber is modeled after Rutger Hauer's character in The Hitcher, while Scorpio's defining moment is the fantasy of dominating an entire prison as the most dangerous boy in a skirt. [...] What really impressed me, however, is the flair for language, with some really beautiful - and beautifully chilling - passages that had me dog-earing pages along the way. - Sally Bend in Bending the Bookshelf Quine describes [the Beasts'] release like a beautiful dance instead of a strategic infiltration. [...] The novel is a creative mashing together of Hollywood novel, science fiction, eroticism, and dystopia, with a premise that seems at once foreboding and prescient. While the book takes obvious science fictional liberties with technology, there is a real-world parable about superficiality versus authenticity. As the world becomes more digitally mechanized - and we are as much a product of our digital personae as our real-life personae - the book has an important message to tell about what it is to be truly human. [...] Quine obviously has a lot of affection for his Beasts, which has the same effect on the reader. He also injects humor throughout into what is at times a fairly dark storyline, replete with violence and seamy sexuality. In all, Quine has created a wholly unique look that will appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike. Most readers will empathize with the main character and his suboptimal working situation, and the steps he takes to get out from underneath a tyrannical and uninspiring boss. On a science fictional level, the novel works exceptionally well for its creative use of tech, mixed in with a group of highly imaginative characters. A prequel to five other works, The Beasts of Electra Drive will have readers seeking out Rohan Quine's other books in the series. - SPR This novel is essentially near-future cyberpunk subtly blended with elements of LA noir and dystopic fiction to create a darkly stylish and, at times, visionary glimpse into humankind's future. [...] Richly described, the beasts are androgynous characters with full backstories, personalities, and idiosyncrasies. Unleashed upon the world, they allow Jaymi to achieve vengeance in ingenious ways. This is an intriguing premise, but the story's true power comes from its underlying theme: Humans can choose to live in the superficial, and underlying falseness, of tabloid reality (as gamers do when engaging in the novel's online game), or embrace the complexity, unconventionality, beauty and subtlety of truth' of the world around them. Ultimately Jaymi's journey of self-discovery mirrors our own: We all seek happiness in the short time that we inhabit the meat space' of this world. - BlueInk Review Quine's narrative challenges the arbitrariness of commercial gate-keepers and the randomness of success - and has a lot of fun in the process. It's an odd mixture of dark - verging on horror - with more than a bit of kitsch. [...] It's a very visual novel too. Quine gives his narrative voice (and sometimes his characters), the eye of a camera mounted on a drone, able to fly across a valley and zoom in on details miles in the distance - like a tiny reflection in the pupil of someone's eye. [...] Reading this book is a little like watching a particularly unsettling art house movie. You will be, in turn, disoriented, enchanted and repelled. For all the technology involved, this is more magic realism than science fiction. It deliberately pushes the boundaries of the outrageous and challenges you to go along for the ride. - Catriona Troth in Bookmuse Quine's novel centers more on an interesting cast than fascinating sci-fi traits. Some characters are computer code in bodily form but still have depth. For example, Jaymi created Kim, in part, to be Shigem's lover. (A nice touch: both Beasts are male.) There's likewise a rather sublime religious theme. Though one Beast kneels in prayer in front of his creator,' Jaymi, there's an understated notion of free will. Jaymi assigns missions to Beasts (e.g., wreak havoc on Bang Dead) but often leaves them to [their] own devices.' The author's lyrical prose is profound and sometimes surreal, especially in character descriptions. Inside Kim,' Quine writes, there is a lonely savage from the caves, bent on pure first-degree survival, blown by chance and the primal drives of instinct and emotion, alone and uncertain on a dart from birth to death.' [...] Unhurried but engrossing novel in which characters are more enticing than otherworldly technology. - Kirkus Reviews [Protagonist Jaymi] discovers that he can bring his incarnations of excessive freedom, sexuality, intellectual seriousness, cool ambiguity, and dark vulnerability to life, unleashing them on meat space.' They become his beasts, extensions of his own personality, and through them, he interacts with the executives behind Ain't They Freaky! As various elements of Bang Dead's software are released, Jaymi works to help his former coworkers recognize the shallow depravity of their game through unnerving visits to their homes. Sometimes, Jaymi's goal seems to be retribution rather than persuasion, especially when his beasts leave increasingly gory and gruesome messages behind. [...] This is a powerful book that advocates letting people be themselves, despite how far outside the bell curve of normal' they are. Pulsing with sexuality, the story will appeal to readers who enjoy artistic works rich in vocabulary, symbolism, and graphic imagery. - The Book Review Directory Part cyberpunk meditation and part erotic thriller, BEASTS is a stylish narrative romp around a fictional Los Angeles landscape that appeals to the heart first and the head second. [...] THE BEASTS OF ELECTRA DRIVE sounds like a cyberpunk thriller, and it sort of is. It also has an erotic undertone that grows throughout the narrative as the Beasts themselves crawl out of Jaymi's computer screen and gain independence. It's also a postmodern-ish meditation on creativity. Part of Jaymi goes into the creation of each of his Beasts - perhaps something author Rohan Quine can relate to - and as a whole the group is as a kind of kaleidoscope view of its creator. Additionally, part of Jaymi's mission in siccing the Beasts on Bang Dead Games is a retaliation against Ain'tTheyFreaky!, an in-universe alternate reality game that embodies empty mass appeal over genuine artistry. [...] the writing grows increasingly smoother, culminating in a hauntingly pretty passage about man's inhumanity to man and ending up with intense backstories for the Beasts. THE BEASTS OF ELECTRA DRIVE is, as its cover suggests, perhaps more about style than substance. Readers are told not to judge books by their covers - but this is the future. Maybe that's the point. - Indie Reader Jaymi's pursuits are a revenge fantasy taken to the next level, with moral and ethical quandaries wound in. Magical realism meets old school noir in Rohan Quine's technological thriller The Beasts of Electra Drive, which poses philosophical questions around reality, humanity, and where to draw the line with tech-infusion. [...] Distinct writing is filled with lyrical prose and vivid sensory descriptions [...] Jaymi's pursuits are a revenge fantasy taken to the next level. At times, he appears to have moral quandaries about his drastic actions against a rival company. His cyber-creations also lead him to question the nature of existence and his role as a creator - can he ethically order his creations to do his bidding in the real world? [...] The characters that Jaymi creates are refreshing in their diversity of race, gender, and sexuality. The two distinctly male beasts conform to the spectrum of masculinity, with one, Amber, being excessively violent, athletic, and handsome, and the other, Kim, being introverted but boundlessly intelligent and philosophical. These two men are in relationships with Shigem and Scorpio, who are more fluid in their gender and sexual identities. Shigem and Scorpio, along with Evelyn, are of varying nonwhite ethnicities. The scope of variety among the beasts is a nice change of pace. The Beasts of Electra Drive is a techno-thriller that focuses more on its beautiful prose than on nurturing its thrills. Although sometimes repetitive in format, the vitality of the characters is pleasant and engaging. - Foreword Clarion Reviews A fully-wrought origin story like no other. - The Bookbag

Productspecificaties

Inhoud

Taal
Engels
Bindwijze
Paperback
Verschijningsdatum
april 2018
Aantal pagina's
358 pagina's
Illustraties
Nee

Betrokkenen

Auteur
Rohan Quine
Uitgever
Ec1 Digital

EAN

EAN
9780992754945

Overige kenmerken

Extra groot lettertype
Nee

Je vindt dit artikel in

Categorieën
Taal
Engels
Uitvoering
Boek
Verschijningsvorm
Paperback
Studieboek of algemeen
Algemene boeken
Nog geen reviews
Bindwijze: Paperback
15, 99
9 - 14 dagen Tooltip
Verkoop door bol.com
  • Gratis verzending vanaf 20 euro
  • 30 dagen bedenktijd en gratis retourneren
  • Ophalen bij een bol.com afhaalpunt mogelijk
  • Dag en nacht klantenservice

Vragen en antwoorden (0)