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Literature / Color Shock

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Colorshock is the title of a book written by Quin Milton, and the drug of choice in the book's continuity. The book focuses on the story of a boy, Jack, who finds a world filled with color for the first time, and his experiences with color gangs and dreams. One note of interest is that Milton has synesthesia, which heavily influenced her writing. The first page of the book describes a scene in which music is used almost interchangeably with color. the main characters are Darc, Jack (or Jac, or Jak, or Jaq depending on which character is speaking), Path (she is the first character other than Jack whom we meet) and the rest of the Green gang, around whom the main story line revolves. The gang members are Il, Netto (hacker), Ace (second in command), Jade, Crash (plays drums) and Twitch (drug dealer, with the best color shock on the streets).


The world in which the book is set was orginalally created as a LARP game that focused on the conflicts between the major color gangs. The major gangs are the reds (R for righteous), the blues (B for brutal) and the greens (G for crazy). this book takes Color-Coded for Your Convenience to a new level. even the characters know whats up. the greens fight the reds and the blues, and the blues fight the greens and the reds. Each character is defined by his color. In this world it is clear that color chi is Serious Business and the gangs control the entire first 50 floors or so of the city. The book starts out in a city known as the City of All Cities, where two things become quickly apparent: (1) Everything is in black and white, and (2) time and place are interchangable. A character can walk down the street from 1705 straight into 1967 and it's not rare to hear phrases such as "Meet me in 1755" or such.


Now for the drug. The drug colorshock, after which the book is named, has various effects. It operates by "opening up the chakras" and allowing a person's energy to flow. depending on which chakras you hit you get a different effect, although just shooting up the drug in the arm works fine too. As far as apearences are concerned, colorshock is a liquid and appears to be a moving form of pure liquid color when you see it in a vial. There are two forms of colorshock. The original and better (more potent as well as delivering more positive side effects) form of the drug is extremely rare. It is condensed color from the aurora borealis that was collected by people flying up there with silver gossamer wings and catching the color they catch in silver nets. Because it can only be collected during part of the year and because of how difficult it is to collect, it is far more expensive than its manufactured counterpart, which people make by refracting light of crystals and then collecting the color from that.


The effects of colorshock are primarily unknown, although it is implied that it can increase sexual pleasure and induce temporary synesthesia. It is also known to aid in lucid dreaming and it can enhance the magical ability of anyone who already has color chi. it is unknown whether or not it is actually addictive, although the gang leader Dark seems to suffer from an addiction. Children born to a mother using colorshock are known to be born deformed. Additionally, one suffering from an overdose of colorshock will temporarily have multicolored skin and appear to be leaking color as if he were soaked in a form of colorful liquid.

This novel provides examples of:
  • Color-Coded Armies: The reds, blues and greens can be distinguished only based on their style of dress and the color of their chi.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: We're aligned with the Greens. They're the good guys. The blues are violent and the reds are evil planners. The readers know which color the heroes are, and the other colors must be up to no good.
  • Colourful Theme Naming: Nearly all the gang members change their names to a form of the color they control. For instance, Indigo leads one of the blue gangs.
  • Welcome to the Big City: When Jack is first dumped in the luxicultum, he is beaten senseless by a blue gang member and promptly thrust into the hands of another gang who came to his rescue. Talk about rude awakenings.


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