Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.
(1961- ) US media theorist, much influenced by the work of Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), and author of two novels of sf interest. Ecstasy Club (1997) is a Near Future thriller in which the Drug Ecstasy is used in an attempt to gain Transcendence in Cyberspace.
His second novel, also sf, has an unusual history. It was first published as Bull (2001), a narrative set in the Near Future but discovered and annotated by a twenty-third-century editor. This was subsequently serialized online as Exit Strategy (July-August 2001 Yahoo Internet Life) in an "open-source" format that allowed readers to add their own annotations. Its subsequent US print edition as Exit Strategy (2002) includes additional annotations in the form of footnotes from a number of these readers. The narrative itself, a Satire set in 2008, retells the Biblical story of Joseph as a Computer hacker who is betrayed by his colleagues but eventually rises to become second-in-command to a powerful venture capitalist.
A later tale, Testament (2006-2008), a 22-issue Comics storyline written for the Vertigo division of DC Comics and drawn by Liam Sharp, contrasts the Near Future with Biblical times in order to demonstrate the cyclical nature of history; and to show how the Gods repeat themselves. Sf devices include efforts to access humanity's collective unconscious via Drugs and Sensory Deprivation. The series was assembled in Graphic Novel form (2006-2008 4vols) [see Checklist below].
Rushkoff's nonfiction title of greatest sf relevance is probably Cyberia (1994), in which his initial enthusiasm for the Global Village (an enthusiasm never shared by McLuhan) is tempered. [JC/GF/DRL]
born New York: 18 February 1961
- Testament: Akedah (New York: DC Comics/Vertigo, 2006) with Liam Sharp [graph: assembling issues #1-#5 of the comic: Testament: pb/Liam Sharp]
- Testament: West of Eden (New York: DC Comics/Vertigo, 2007) with Liam Sharp [graph: assembling issues #6-#10 of the comic: Testament: pb/Liam Sharp]
- Testament: Babel (New York: DC Comics/Vertigo, 2007) with Liam Sharp [graph: assembling issues #11-#16 of the comic: Testament: pb/Liam Sharp]
- Testament: Exodus (New York: DC Comics/Vertigo, 2008) with Liam Sharp [graph: assembling issues #17-#22 of the comic: Testament: pb/Liam Sharp]
- Ecstasy Club (New York: Harper Edge, 1997) [hb/]
- Bull (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2001) [pb/]
- Exit Strategy (New York: Soft Skull Press, 2002) [rev vt of the above: incorporating online readers' annotations: pb/Dzama]
- Cyberia: Life in the Trenches of Hyperspace (New York: Bantam Books, 1994) [nonfiction: hb/]
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