Iron Fist, Silicon Glove
The Bionic Commando series and the Ghost In The Shell series represent a few points on a continuum in an intriguing transhumanist narrative, and have a surprising number of parallels. I’m going to use this background page to detail some of my thoughts on how things dovetail, and eventually collect some timeline information and useful links.
One of the primary ideas of the GitS series is that of the Ghost- what might normally be termed a ‘soul’, but is that aspect of consciousness that marks an entity as sapient. Therefore, human beings will have a Ghost, cyborgs who were originally human will have them, and sufficiently advanced AI (such as some of the Tachikoma) will as well.
An obvious precursor to this is presented in the 2009 Bionic Commando, where it is revealed that Nathan Spencer’s missing wife has been sacrificed in the process of having her consciousness bound to his bionic arm. Joseph Gibson mentions that the advanced features of the bionic apparatus require the presence of a loved one’s consciousness to integrate with the bionic operative’s consciousness. Perhaps as this technology evolved, nondestructive means of Ghost manipulation were created, along with the development of the cyberbrain. Another example from BC might be the resurrection of Master D, a personality construct of Adolph Hitler placed in a cloned body.
The politics of GitS can be reconciled with that of BC, if we see the civil war that ends up fragmenting the USA as being the BC conflict between the FSA and the Imperials. The use of the witherer on Ascension City (as opposed to a conventional nuke) may be attributed to BioReign’s wish to avoid an easy cleanup of the radiation by GitS’s Japanese Miracle.
As far as timing goes, going by the dates in BC, Nathan Spencer defeats the Imperial’s Hitler resurrection plot in 2010, and is called out of prison by Joseph Gibson in 2020. GitS Stand Alone Complex takes place in 2030, which allows the two settings to be blended fairly well. ONe problem of course is that it is 2011 right now and the tech level is vastly different. For the moment let’s say that there was a point of diversion somewhere in the 20th century that allowed for a more rapid pace of development.