Truth to be told, Booker had a very hard time finding a publisher for his book. All of the editors that he had so far visited had an arguably negative range of reactions. Some of them were disbelieving, either at the book itself or the fact that someone wanted it published. Some others called him batshit insane. One publisher declared that he could not understand the book at all. A few others were constantly trying to find excuses so they would not publish it, as in doubting whether the book would sell well or they were uncertain to what ages should the book address to. A few people called him a radical.
Eventually Booker managed to find a young and of dubious reputation book critic who was generally known to publish the manuscripts he approved of. After he read BioShock: Infinite, unlike all the other publishers that Booker had met so far, he called him back to his office. “Mr. DeWitt,”, he said, “you are way ahead of your time.”. Booker was not quite sure how to take that strange comment, so he let it slide.
Regardless, the book critic accepted to publish BioShock: Infinite with only one condition; if there ever were any sequels or related material, Booker would come straight to him. “If there’s any sequel I won’t be the one writing it.”, said Booker.
After a lot of effort BioShock: Infinite was finally released to the open market. Booker really liked the appearance of the published book. The front cover was dressed with blue leather while the back cover was dressed with red. The choice of colours was fitting, seeing that the “story” started at a place that was “the closest thing to Heaven” and soon turned into a bloody revolution. The title of the book was written with golden letters in the same style as old English religious texts, an also fitting choice given the theme of the book. That book critic had a really good sense of style. The summary was quite simple. “Bring us the girl and wipe away the dept. They didn’t mention the girl was on a flying city full of psychopaths.”. Simple and straight to the point.
He could never possible predict the mayhem that the book would start.
It did not have much of an impact on the public. At first. However, the book critics were a different story altogether. The plot of the book at first glance seemed like something out of a fairy tale: a guy saving a girl imprisoned by an evil… Prophet? Many critics called the book a true masterpiece. However many other critics received the book as an open mockery of religion and a beacon of anarchism. Soon the press was filled with negative reviews on the book and the sales of it shot up due to people’s curiosity. Let’s just say that Booker had his dept almost fully repaid by the following two months. Soon the government interfered as it decided that BioShock: Infinite had attracted way too much attention for all the wrong reasons. Not only the book was, as previously stated, an open mockery of religion, but it contained exceedingly graphic descriptions of violence and highly controversial and incomprehensible bits of science that were generally not accepted by the scientific community. They also condemned the supernatural elements of the book, the scene with the malicious ghost of Lady Comstock being on such example.
BioShock: Infinite would have been officially banned if not for the bomb that fell a few months later, courtesy of a specific pair of twins. BioShock: Theoretical and practical analysis of quantum Physics, by R. Lutece. When that book was published – how did that critic manage to publish it so quickly anyway? – it was proven that Robert Lutece was a real person and not a character of fiction. And more importantly, that science textbook described the causes behind all of the “supernatural phenomena” which occurred in Infinite, Lady Comstock ghost included.
It felt as if the world had momentarily paused. For a while there were no reviews, no angered critics, no people’s gossip, no nothing. It was as if the world was left speechless. Here they had in their hands one of the most controversial novels of all time, and now there was an insane science textbook which not only supported the book, but it basically presented its events – and hence flying cities, alternative realities and time travelling – as real. They could not handle it, so they let them be. Both books had moderately low sales after that, and eventually all sales of BioShock: Infinite died down, save for a few rare occasions. Luteces’ book fared a bit better though. Not that Booker minded. He had managed to repay his depts.
Two World Wars, many not-so-new to Booker songs, and various inventions later, when the book critic was now an old man, he called Booker back to his office. Technically, it was now his son’s office since he himself had retired, but that did not make him any less renowned. “Alright Mr. DeWitt, ignoring the fact that you still look as if you’re in your twenties, is this some sort of a cosmic joke?”. And in front of Booker’s confused look, he presented a book. BioShock: Men, Slaves and Parasites, by Andrew Ryan.
It took a moment for Booker to remember why did that name sound so familiar, but once he did, he smirked. “Only if you think it’s funny.”.
The critic was not impressed. “That man is the most extreme capitalist of all time, he states his outrageous theories in such absolute terms, and you add his book in the BioShock series!? I know people don’t remember your book now, but this is a bit extreme for a comeback.”.
“Why, Infinite was not extreme at all.”, replied Booker sarcastically. “New book must be coming up though…”.
Of course there would not be a clear answer from Booker. “And when will this book be written?”.
Booker seemed to think about it for a moment, and the book critic could hear him mumble some numbers under his breath. Years? “Shortly after 1960.”, he answered.
The critic laughed hollowly. “At least there won’t be that much of a problem with censorship then.”. His expression turned dead serious as he stared at the younger? man in the eyes. “Do you really think I’ll make it to that year, Mr. DeWitt?”.
Booker ducked his head as a sudden sense of shame overwhelmed him. He had forgotten… how it was like to age. “No, I don’t think so.”.
The critic stared at him for a long time. He then leaned back to his chair, raising an eyebrow. “I was not aware it takes that long to write a book.”, he noted, in an effort to change the subject. “Even for you, isn’t that a bit too long?”, he asked, certain that years did not matter to Booker.
“I won’t be the one writing it.”.
The critic sighted. “Too bad. I’d love to read it.”.
Booker smiled. “No worries there.”.
A few days later, a package arrived at the critic’s house. The note on in was, unsurprisingly, in Booker’s ever rough writing character. “Here’s the book. Have fun reading.”.
The book critic read the name of the author. “Jack Ryan, huh? Let’s see what you’ve been through…”.