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History Literature / RiftersTrilogy

20th Jan '16 5:56:43 AM Shnakepup
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->''"Take a dozen children, any children. [[DysfunctionJunction Beat and mix thoroughly]] until some lumps remain. Simmer for two to three decades; bring to a slow, rolling boil. Skim off the full-blown psychotics, the schizoaffectives, the multiple personalities, and discard. Let cool. Serve with dopamine garnish. What do you get? [[DarkAndTroubledPast Something bent, not broken]]. [[PsychoForHire Something that fits into cracks too twisted for the rest of us.]]"''
-->—Excerpt from personal diary of [[MadDoctor Yves Scanlon]], N'[=AmPac=] GA [[PlayingWithSyringes Industrial Psych]]

A SpeculativeFiction series by Creator/PeterWatts, intended as a trilogy of three novels: ''Starfish'', ''Maelstrom'', and ''βehemoth''. The last novel, however, was published [[ExecutiveMeddling as two separate books]]: ''βehemoth: β-Max'' and ''βehemoth: Seppuku''. Owing to Watts's troubles with publisher Tor, the printed versions of these are hard to find in stores, so Watts ended up puting all the novels online [[DoingItForTheArt for free]] on [[http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm his website]].
Set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, the trilogy is set in a CrapsackWorld where [[JustBeforeTheEnd the end is nigh]].

The [[MegaCorp N'Am-Pac Grid Authority]] is constructing geothemeral power stations along tectonic rifts at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Staffing these stations is difficult, since keeping normal people alive and functional at such depths is prohibitively expensive. As such, the company has developed methods of cybernetically altering people to function in the deep, making them water-breathing and pressure-resistant: the titular "Rifters". With one of their lungs removed and filled with machinery, a Rifter can breathe underwater indefinitely as well as function in the crushing depths of deep sea. Combined with a self-cleaning skinsuit, a voice-modulator for speaking underwater, and [[ProphetEyes light-amplifying "eyecaps"]], a Rifter can feel [[HeWhoFightsMonsters more at home in the deep]] [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul than anywhere else]].

Unfortunately, [[FreakOut most people go crazy]] when they're miles underwater, literally under extreme pressure and in a working and living situation where they [[AnyoneCanDie might die at any moment]] from the many dangers in the rift. So in a somewhat questionable bit of decision-making, the company decides they can save time and money by making Rifters from people who are ''already'' psychologically damaged - in other words, abuse victims, war vets, criminals, etc. This actually works [[DysfunctionJunction surprisingly well]], since these people, having already acclimated to living in stressful environments in their everyday lives, are better able to pyschologically handle the stresses of working on the rift.

The downside, of course, is that this can (and does) lead to a [[AxCrazy bit of friction]] between the staff, seeing as [[RoomFullOfCrazy they're all disturbed individuals]]. This becomes a recipe for disaster when, deep within the Juan de Fuca rift, an ancient microbe is discovered. One that has been [[SealedEvilInACan isolated for over two billion years]], and that could mean [[ThePlague the end of all life on the surface]]. And the people put in charge of containing it feel less and less connected to humanity every day.

to:

->''"Take a dozen children, any children. [[DysfunctionJunction Beat and mix thoroughly]] until some lumps remain. Simmer for two to three decades; bring to a slow, rolling boil. Skim off the full-blown psychotics, the schizoaffectives, the multiple personalities, and discard. Let cool. Serve with dopamine garnish. What do you get? [[DarkAndTroubledPast Something bent, not broken]].broken. [[PsychoForHire Something that fits into cracks too twisted for the rest of us.]]"''
-->—Excerpt from personal diary of [[MadDoctor Yves Scanlon]], N'[=AmPac=] GA [[PlayingWithSyringes Industrial Psych]]

Psych

A SpeculativeFiction series by Creator/PeterWatts, intended as a trilogy of three novels: ''Starfish'', ''Maelstrom'', and ''βehemoth''. The last novel, however, was published [[ExecutiveMeddling as two separate books]]: ''βehemoth: β-Max'' and ''βehemoth: Seppuku''. Owing to Watts's troubles with publisher Tor, the printed versions of these are hard to find in stores, so Watts ended up puting all the novels online [[DoingItForTheArt for free]] on [[http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm his website]].
Set
sci-fi author Creator/PeterWatts. Taking place TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, the trilogy series is set in a CrapsackWorld where [[JustBeforeTheEnd the end is nigh]].

The [[MegaCorp N'Am-Pac Grid Authority]] is constructing building geothemeral power stations along tectonic rifts plants at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Staffing ocean, along tectonic rifts. But constructing and staffing these stations is difficult, a problem, since keeping normal people are hard to keep alive and functional at such depths is prohibitively expensive. depths. As such, the company has developed methods of cybernetically altering people to function certain cybernetic enhancements for its workers, resulting in the deep, making them water-breathing and pressure-resistant: the titular "Rifters". With one of their lungs removed and filled replaced with complex machinery, a Rifter can breathe underwater indefinitely as well as function in the crushing depths of the deep sea. Combined with a self-cleaning skinsuit, a voice-modulator for speaking underwater, and [[ProphetEyes light-amplifying "eyecaps"]], a Rifter can feel [[HeWhoFightsMonsters more at home in the deep]] [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul than anywhere else]].

Unfortunately, The thing is: normal people tend to suffer [[FreakOut most people go crazy]] complete nervous breakdowns]] when they're miles underwater, literally under extreme pressure and in a working and living situation where they [[AnyoneCanDie might die at any moment]] from the many dangers in of the rift. So in a somewhat questionable bit of decision-making, the company decides they can save time and money by making to recruit new Rifters from people who are ''already'' psychologically damaged - in other words, words: abuse victims, war vets, criminals, etc. This actually works ends up working [[DysfunctionJunction surprisingly well]], well]] since these people, having already acclimated used to living in stressful environments in their everyday lives, constant stress, are better able to pyschologically mentally handle the stresses of working on the rift.

The downside, of
rift. Of course, is that this can (and does) lead to a [[AxCrazy bit of friction]] between the staff, seeing as [[RoomFullOfCrazy they're all disturbed individuals]]. This becomes a recipe for disaster when, deep within the Juan de Fuca rift, an ancient microbe is discovered. One that has been [[SealedEvilInACan isolated for over two billion years]], years]] and that could mean [[ThePlague the end of all life on the surface]]. And the people put in charge of containing it feel less and less connected to humanity every day.
day...

Originally written by Watts as a trilogy of three novels: ''Starfish'', ''Maelstrom'', and ''βehemoth''. However, due to ExecutiveMeddling, ''βehemoth'' was split and pulished as ''βehemoth: β-Max'' and ''βehemoth: Seppuku''. This, among with other troubles from the publisher, means that printed versions of the novels are hard to find in stores, so Watts ended up puting all the novels [[DoingItForTheArt for free]] on [[http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm his website]].
19th Jan '16 6:34:36 AM Kalaong
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** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus does every within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter, deciding that βehemoth's simpler srtucture is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it]].

to:

** ...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus does every everything within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter, deciding that βehemoth's simpler srtucture structure is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it]].
19th Jan '16 6:27:38 AM Kalaong
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Added DiffLines:

* RightHandVersusLeftHand: What turns the first novel into a trilogy. After [[spoiler:βehemoth]] is identified, everyone involved starts screaming at everyone ''else'' involved;
-->'''Rowan''': ''...Tanaka-Krueger wouldn't trust Japan. And then the Columbian Hegemony wouldn't trust Tanaka-Krueger. And the Chinese, of course, they don't trust anybody since Korea...''\\
'''Scanlon''': ''Kin selection... Tribal loyalties. Never give the competition an edge. It's basically genetic.''
**...resulting in everyone not only turning responsibility over to a [[AIIsACrapshoot smart gel]], not only pulling one from the network at ''random'', but also '''refusing to tell the programming team what they were doing!''' [[spoiler:So the programmers don't know to program the gel to value human life. And as the gel's previous function was to protect files from viruses, it thus does every within its ''completely'' unlimited authority to hand the planet over to βehemoth on a silver platter, deciding that βehemoth's simpler srtucture is a file and Earth's biosphere is a virus threatening it]].
28th May '15 1:50:54 PM allium
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* BecomingTheMask: Achilles developed mental blocks and a "nice guy" persona in an attempt to clamp down on his innate sadistic sexual urges. When an enthusiastic masochist asks him to get rough with her while they're in the sack together, he finds himself [[TheLoinsSleepTonight suddenly unable to perform]]. When he starts asking her if she's ever sought therapy for her "problem", she leaves in disgust. [[spoiler:When his capacity for guilt is removed later on, [[StartOfDarkness the mask is smashed to pieces]]]].

to:

* BecomingTheMask: Achilles developed mental blocks and a "nice guy" persona in an attempt to clamp down on his innate sadistic sexual urges. When an enthusiastic masochist asks him to get rough with her while they're in the sack together, he finds himself [[TheLoinsSleepTonight suddenly unable to perform]]. When he starts He then insults her by asking her if she's ever sought therapy for her "problem", and she leaves in disgust. [[spoiler:When Later on, [[spoiler:when his capacity for guilt is removed later on, on [[StartOfDarkness the mask is smashed to pieces]]]].
28th May '15 1:49:28 PM allium
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* BecomingTheMask: Achilles developed mental blocks and a "nice guy" persona in an attempt to clamp down on his innate sadistic sexual urges. When an enthusiastic masochist asks him to get rough with her while they're in the sack together, he finds himself [[TheLoinsSleepTonight suddenly unable to perform]] and she leaves in disgust. [[spoiler:When his capacity for guilt is removed later on, [[StartOfDarkness the mask is smashed to pieces]]]].

to:

* BecomingTheMask: Achilles developed mental blocks and a "nice guy" persona in an attempt to clamp down on his innate sadistic sexual urges. When an enthusiastic masochist asks him to get rough with her while they're in the sack together, he finds himself [[TheLoinsSleepTonight suddenly unable to perform]] and perform]]. When he starts asking her if she's ever sought therapy for her "problem", she leaves in disgust. [[spoiler:When his capacity for guilt is removed later on, [[StartOfDarkness the mask is smashed to pieces]]]].
28th May '15 1:47:38 PM allium
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* BecomingTheMask: Achilles developed mental blocks and a "nice guy" persona in an attempt to clamp down on his innate sadistic sexual urges. When an enthusiastic masochist asks him to get rough while they're in the sack together, he finds himself [[TheLoinsSleepTonight suddenly unable to perform]] and she leaves in disgust. [[spoiler:When his capacity for guilt is removed later on, [[StartOfDarkness the mask is smashed to pieces]]]].

to:

* BecomingTheMask: Achilles developed mental blocks and a "nice guy" persona in an attempt to clamp down on his innate sadistic sexual urges. When an enthusiastic masochist asks him to get rough with her while they're in the sack together, he finds himself [[TheLoinsSleepTonight suddenly unable to perform]] and she leaves in disgust. [[spoiler:When his capacity for guilt is removed later on, [[StartOfDarkness the mask is smashed to pieces]]]].
28th May '15 1:47:06 PM allium
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Added DiffLines:

* BecomingTheMask: Achilles developed mental blocks and a "nice guy" persona in an attempt to clamp down on his innate sadistic sexual urges. When an enthusiastic masochist asks him to get rough while they're in the sack together, he finds himself [[TheLoinsSleepTonight suddenly unable to perform]] and she leaves in disgust. [[spoiler:When his capacity for guilt is removed later on, [[StartOfDarkness the mask is smashed to pieces]]]].
28th May '15 1:37:12 PM allium
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* ShoutOut: The [=TheraPal=] software Achilles confesses to uses dialogue from the confession booths in ''Film/THX1138''.

to:

* ShoutOut: The bootleg [=TheraPal=] software Achilles confesses to as a teenager uses dialogue ("Could you be more specific?") from the confession booths in ''Film/THX1138''.
28th May '15 1:34:58 PM allium
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Added DiffLines:

* ShoutOut: The [=TheraPal=] software Achilles confesses to uses dialogue from the confession booths in ''Film/THX1138''.
14th Oct '14 2:39:02 PM Xtifr
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A SpeculativeFiction series by PeterWatts, intended as a trilogy of three novels: ''Starfish'', ''Maelstrom'', and ''βehemoth''. The last novel, however, was published [[ExecutiveMeddling as two separate books]]: ''βehemoth: β-Max'' and ''βehemoth: Seppuku''. Owing to Watts's troubles with publisher Tor, the printed versions of these are hard to find in stores, so Watts ended up puting all the novels online [[DoingItForTheArt for free]] on [[http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm his website]].

to:

A SpeculativeFiction series by PeterWatts, Creator/PeterWatts, intended as a trilogy of three novels: ''Starfish'', ''Maelstrom'', and ''βehemoth''. The last novel, however, was published [[ExecutiveMeddling as two separate books]]: ''βehemoth: β-Max'' and ''βehemoth: Seppuku''. Owing to Watts's troubles with publisher Tor, the printed versions of these are hard to find in stores, so Watts ended up puting all the novels online [[DoingItForTheArt for free]] on [[http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm his website]].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Literature.RiftersTrilogy