Literature: BioShock: Rapture

BioShock: Rapture is a tie-in Prequel to the video games BioShock and BioShock 2. It was written by John Shirley and released by Tor Books.

The novel goes into detail about everything mentioned in the games' Apocalyptic Logs. After World War II Andrew Ryan designs the underwater city of Rapture to escape from the various people he percieves as parasites who want to take from the common man, and invites the best and brightest to live with him. But several problems soon arise: an increase in population leads to a need for more housing; a less educated group of people are brought in to build new housing but are then left to fend for themselves, creating a large underclass. Resources run short when the initial residents do not feel like being totally self-sufficent.

All this creates unrest among the populace, which is made worse with the discovery and widespread distribution of ADAM. Eventually Rapture erupts into civil war and the city falls apart.
  • Apocalyptic Log: We find out it was Ryan who persuaded everyone to keep recording audio dairies, so that generations would see how awesome Rapture was and would end up becoming.
    • In a sense, the novel itself could be one for the story of Rapture.
  • Ascended Extra: Bill McDonagh, a secondary Posthumous Character from the first game's diaries, who is as close to a hero as the book gets.
  • Asshole Victim: The book has a few over the course of its run. A few notable examples include:
    • The cutthroat owner of a grocery store and a trash collection outfit drives a rival grocer out of business by dumping his own garbage in front of the rival's store, gloating about it when Ryan refuses to help. It's hard to pity him when said rival takes a gun and shoots him.
    • Greavy, one of Rapture's city council, speaks quite dismissively of the misfortunes of the working class who are suffering in Rapture. He's practically asking for death from Splicers, which is exactly what happens.
    • Cavendish, a Dirty Cop of the highest order, gets gunned down by fellow officer Karlosky.
  • Ate His Gun: Sullivan.
  • Body Horror: Attention is called to the deformities that Splicers suffer from, along with the destructive effects that Plasmids cause when used on their victims. And that's not counting the experimental subjects that Plasmids were tested out on, of which special mention goes to the... thing in the Special Studies room...
    Clinging to the walls opposite Fontaine was something that might've once been human. It was as if someone had taken human flesh and made it as malleable as clay—bones and flesh made pliable—and plastered it onto the wall.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bill tries to escape and fails, resulting in his execution, but his wife and daughter make it to the surface to live a happy life.
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Implied In the last meeting between Fontaine and Ryan, as Fontaine subtly tells Ryan to stay out of his way, or he'll make him and Ryan knows exactly what's going on.
  • Call Forward: Pretty much every character except Andrew Ryan makes a comment about some flaw in Rapture that will eventually make it the mess Jack finds it to be in by the time of the game.
    • When Bill McDonagh first meets Sander Cohen, Cohen invites Ryan to a gallery show specializing in tableau vivant art that he is holding in Greenwich Village.
    • One character comments about the old Comstock mining empire.
    • One of Gorland's former aliases is "Wang", referencing Fontaine's boast that he "was even a Chinaman for six months".
  • Canon Foreigner: Elaine and Sophie McDonagh have no counterpart in the games, presumably so that the reader will have at least a couple of major characters in the book whose fate is genuinely uncertain.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Frank the conman kills the real Frank Fontaine and steals his identity and fishing business, which he uses to get into Rapture.
  • Decoy Leader: Frank gets Steinman to make one of his henchmen to look like him so he will take the bullet in the upcoming raid and Frank can go underground as Atlas.
  • Dirty Cop: Cavendish
  • Doomed by Canon: Every character except Elaine and Sophie McDonagh.
  • Driven to Suicide: Mariska and Samuel Lutz after seeing their daughter as a Little Sister via overdose, along with Sullivan who shoots himself over the guilt of killing Anna Culpepper.
    • Likewise the shopkeeper who has his business being run into the ground by a rival who also owns the trash collection company and thus refuses to pick up the trash from the former's store to drive him out of business. When Ryan refuses to help, The shopkeeper shoots the rival then turns the gun on himself.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Andrew Ryan is first introduced railing against miners on strike, Frank Fontaine is conning a guy out of his business using an alias, and Sander Cohen is starring in a terrible show.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Fontaine is at first genuinely creeped out by the methods Suchong and Tenenbaum come up with for producing more ADAM. He gets over it when he realizes how much money can be made, however.
  • Eye Scream: Poor Blinky...
  • The Fettered: Bill throughout the book.
  • First Time in the Sun: Sophie McDonagh.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Rapture is not going to last. It even says so on the back of the book.
  • Foreshadowing: Alot of it to later events in the story as well as the games
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The narrative switches between Andrew Ryan, Bill McDonagh, Frank Fontaine, Sander Cohen, Brigid Tenenbaum, Sofia Lamb, Sander Cohen, Dr. Steinman, Sullivan, and occasionally minor characters.
  • Gilligan Cut: When hearing about a emergency involving sabotage, Andrew Ryan guesses that Bill is already dealing with it. Cut to Bill (knee-deep in water) wondering how on earth he's going to deal with the emergency.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Bill Mcdonagh smiles as he's shot point blank.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: Poor Diane
  • Healing Factor: The Little Sisters.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bill at end, asking that his wife and daughter go free since Ryan only ordered for him to be arrested.
  • Honor Before Reason: As Rapture begins to turn into a dictatorship, Bill McDonagh admits what's happening, but can't bring himself to abandon Andrew Ryan. It doesn't last forever, though, and he finally decides to try and escape with his family.
  • Hypocrite: Andrew Ryan becomes increasingly one. Even at the very start it is revealed that Ryan founded his empire on oil which he discovered purely by luck, even though he is so insistent on self-sufficiency. He abhors taxes but puts a surcharge on the oxygen produced by his park. He takes over Fontaine Fisheries by force. In the later stages of the book he is even using black market goods like pork and smoking cigars. Any form of charities are effectively banned. He expects a society to be self-sufficient while having no consideration regarding minimum wage laws for the working class. And while he admires artistic talent, the only entertainment that really flourishes is the music and arts that he supports; other artists coming to Rapture often end up in the gutters.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Said throughout the book, mostly by Karlosky but also by Sullivan and Bill.
  • Mercy Kill: In a way. After he's captured, it was ordered that Bill be pinned to a wall first then killed. Karlosky however notes that he likes Bill and grants him a quick death.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Security chief Sullivan goes through this after Ryan orders him to drown dissenter Anna Culpepper in her bathtub. He kills himself shortly after he confesses to Bill.
    • We see the start of Tenenbaum's attempt to redeem herself when she rescues several Little Sisters and hides them away.
  • Mythology Gag: In a meta sense. Fontaine has a Plasmid that allows teleportation, but pulls it from the market because it makes its users more unstable than the rest. There WAS going to be a Teleportation Plasmid in the game, but it was cut for scripting purposes.
  • One Steve Limit: If Sophie and Sofia are close enough to qualify as the same name, the book defies this trope by introducing Bill McDonagh's daughter.
  • Only Sane Man: Bill McDonagh, the closest thing this book has to a protagonist. Especially apparent when all the other characters start going from deluded to insane. Even moreso his wife Elaine, who points out problems with Rapture right at the beginning.
  • Prison Riot: Sofia's takeover of Persephone.
  • Pun:
    Andrew Ryan: I'm going to show you a marvel taking shape southwest of Ireland. And I promise you that you will be...enraptured.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: During Ryan and Fontaine's meeting
    Fontaine: What I'm here for really is to tell you that if you leave me alone, I'll leave you alone. All that recruiting you're guessing about won't come and bite you in the ass. If. You Back. The fuck. Off!
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Andrew Ryan eventually feels that only other people have to follow the rules of Rapture.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Diane McClintock and Bill McDonagh both decide to go against Andrew Ryan because their consciences tell them to.
  • Start of Darkness: For Rapture itself, and debatably Andrew Ryan.
    • For Ryan, it could also be him witnessing his uncle getting murdered by Bolsheviks.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Bill to Elaine as more splicers start showing up in the city. It comes in handy during the infamous New Years Eve party.
  • Vodka Drunkenski: Karlosky, who is always eager for a drink, but sober when on duty.
  • With Due Respect: Bill to Ryan near the end. It's a mark of how unstable Ryan has become since the beginning, where he openly invited Bill to criticize him.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Ryan's, and, ironically, Fontaine's, entire reasoning throughout the entire book.
    • Fontaine, at least, is pretty certain from the beginning that Rapture is going to collapse. However, he sees a mighty profit to be made in said collapse, if he plays his cards right.