Ever since Gabriel posted the destinations for our book tour, there has been a steady stream of aggression amassing in his inbox regarding perceived slights towards specific cities or even broad regions. We don’t harbor animosity of any kind for particular geographies, we are not thus constructed; these decisions have everything to do with the limitations of your physical universe and your unrelenting temporal schema. For me, every new place is a broad matrix of unmet people and unhad snacks, two quantities for which I have an endless enthusiasm. I won’t presume to speak for Gabriel, who is more reticent than I when it comes these things, but for my part there is almost nowhere I don’t want to go.
Bioshock was a videogame - I think we can all agree on that much. It was also a vast idea. Do ideas have sequels? I guess they sort of do. A corollary is a kind of idea-sequel, right? Or is a corollary more like downloadable content? I shouldn’t have lead with something like this, maybe.
I don’t remember exactly where the critical dialogue on the original Bioshock ended up. Last time I checked, it was considered a black rift in the earth where red devils clawed their way up from hell; a warped creature of great lineage, withered by drink and dissolution. If your apparatus is returning a verdict like that, one that could take all that Bioshock was and deliver this result, I might have it calibrated. If you don’t emerge from Bioshock having considered it a net positive, that doesn’t make you smarter than other people. All it means is that you’ve mastered the unique gymnastics required to shit in your own mouth - to dilute your own joy, or the prospect of joy. I don’t ever want to be smart enough to learn that trick, and I suspect I’m in no danger. I’m old enough now to settle for the merely great, which I recognize is grotesque and counter-revolutionary.
Reviews of the sequel thus far fall into the expected numerical distribution, primarily on the upper reaches of the scale, but the text often reveals authors in the grasp of a gnawing anguish. As I’ve suggested before, I delight in this kind of thing: I like it when the machine fails. There’s simply too much weight on the scale to get good data. What that means is that we must discover the truth of these things for ourselves, a wholly invigorating prospect.