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Striper Assassin (1993)

Striper Assassin (1993)

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3.49 of 5 Votes: 2
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0451452542 (ISBN13: 9780451452542)

About book Striper Assassin (1993)

The last of the Shadowrun books I bothered reading9 February 2012tI really can't remember this book though I know that I have read it because a friend of mine suggested that this was the best Shadowrun book ever written. I am not sure whether I thought it was that good, and considering my current position on spin-offs, I probably would only put it down to entertainment value. I do like reading stories and watching movies about assassins doing their work, but in the end I have generally found them to be quite wanting. Probably the best movie that I have seen about an assassin would be Grosse Pointe Blank.tInstead of talking more about this particular book I will finish off my discussion of the Shadowrun books (and the Shadowrun world) talking about the matrix. I have touched on it briefly in my review of 2XS, but the simsense/btl chips (silicon) are only one aspect of the vast computer network that is the matrix. The reason they are an aspect of it is because these programs give the user a full sensory experience of the movie/story. There is a similar thing with the matrix is that the technology allows one to access computers by hooking the machine up directly to one's brain, which means you don't simply look at the operating system on the screen but rather become one with it.tAs I suggested before, not everybody has cyberware, particularly mages. In the Shadowrun world having cyberware affects one's ability to perform magic, though it is not uncommon for somebody to have what is called a datajack. This is a plug that is installed on your body, connecting directly with your cortex, so that you can access the information directly from a computer without worrying about using a screen. While standard computers are still available, most computer programmers and hackers (the term in the Shadowrun universe is Decker) do not like them because they are quite slow (and have earned the name turtle). Instead they use what are termed as decks, which are keyboards that can be connected to the net and then to your brain. While one can connect directly too the net, it is generally not wise as the deck protects the user from any malicious software or sudden electrical spikes.tThe concept of the matrix was nothing new at the time of the creation of Shadowrun. The concept have been borrowed from William Gibson, who had written about the idea at least a decade previously. However, in the early nineties the internet was pretty much non-existent. Only computer programmers, engineers, and their kids, were really the only people who had exposure to it. Even with my father being an engineer/scientist, who had been working with computers right back to the mid-seventies, we did not get internet access until at least 1996.tMuch has changed between then and now, but it is difficult to suggest that with regards to the matrix, that Shadowrun was before its time. I don't think it was, but rather was borrowing ideas that had been around for a while. The idea of a world-wide computer network, cyberware, connecting your cortex directly to the computer network, and a visual matrix, had all been around since William Gibson. While the concept of a magical future was different, once again it was not new, and even the rise of the mega-corporations had been around for a while, particularly considering Eisenhower's warning about the military-industrial complex.tIt is interesting to look back at these books, and games, from 2012 because we seemed to have moved forward somewhat. Nobody back in 1993 would have believed that we would all have a personal hand held computer that we could use for a variety of things. Back in 1993 only yuppies had mobile phones (not entirely true, as tradesmen also found them very useful), the internet was restricted to government, corporate, and educational institutions, and the corner deli was still owned by a self-employed individual. However, through the nineties many things changed, the corner deli was replaced by the chain store, mobile phones became ubiquitous, and pretty much most of the developed world is connected to each other by the net.tOh, and before I forget, if you wanted porn you had to sneak into an adult book shop and pay for it, and if you wanted to meet people you had to go about it the old fashioned way. The internet has both its good side and its bad side, and personally, I would rather not return to a world without it. I do find the explosion of pornography to be a little disturbing, and while there are many arguments for and against it, and that one can argue that all of the participants are willing (I actually suspect that many are not, and also suspect that they actually do not make huge amounts of money by taking their clothes off and having the body plastered all over the net), the biggest concern that I would have is the greater amount of temptation that it puts on people. Previously if you wanted porn, you had to buy it in full view of everybody (unless you had mail order), however these days you can access it in the privacy of your own home, and the only people that will know about it is your ISP (and maybe the IT professional that you live with).

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