Short works

Books : reviews

Rudy Rucker.
Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth Dimension.
Dover. 1977

Rudy Rucker.
Infinity and the Mind.
Paladin. 1982

rating : 2.5 : great stuff

Rudy Rucker.
The Fourth Dimension: and how to get there.
Penguin. 1985

rating : 3.5 : worth reading

Rudy Rucker.
Master of Space and Time.
Baen. 1985

rating : 5.5 : waste of time
review : 11 May 2013

Dr Joe Fletcher is in a dead-end programming job since the collapse of his company. But in the car on the way home he is accosted by a two-inch version of his old partner, mad inventor Harry Gerber, who tells him that Harry is now the Master of Space and Time, who can make any wish come true. This is the start of a life changing adventure for Joe and his wife Nancy.

Published in the mid-80s, this doesn't just show its age, it shows the age of the worst 1930s pulps. It combines "mad inventor who doesn't know how his inventions work" and "be careful with what you use your three wishes for" with a mish-mash of nonsense technobabble, all acted out by unpleasant, stupid and loutish cartoon characters. I think it is meant to be funny, and possibly deep.

The only reason I finished reading this was that I was on a train with no other reading matter.

Rudy Rucker.
Mind Tools: the mathematics of information.
Penguin. 1987

rating : 2 : great stuff

Rudy Rucker.
Artificial Life Lab.
Waite Group Press. 1993

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 10 September 1996

Rucker dubs chaotic -- "complicated but not random" -- systems 'gnarly' (from "a knot in the wood of a tree", by way of California surfer slang for "complicated surf conditions").

This book-and-disc package explains and implements various a-life programs, for you to play with, experiment with, and help develop your intuition about the behaviour of 'gnarly' systems.

But it all feels rather trivial and rushed -- not up to Rucker's usual standard at all.

Rudy Rucker.
Four Walls Eight Windows. 1999

Rudy Rucker, ed.
Four Walls Eight Windows. 2000


Jumpin' Jack Flash. 1983
Enlightenment Rabies. 1987
Schrödinger's Cat. 1981
A New Golden Age. 1981
Faraway Eyes. 1980
The 57th Franz Kafka. 1982
The Indian Rope Trick Explained. 1983
A New Experiment with Time. 1982
The Man Who Ate Himself. 1982
Tales of Houdini. 1981
The Facts of Life. 1983
Buzz. 1981
The Last Einstein-Rosen Bridge. 1983
Pac-Man. == Peg-Man. 1982
Pi in the Sky. 1983
Wishloop. 1988
Inertia. 1983
Bringing in the Sheaves. 1987
The Jack Kerouac Disembodied School of Poetics. 1982
Message Found in a Copy of Flatland. 1983
Plastic Letters. 1987
Monument to the Third International. 1984
Rapture in Space. 1989
Rudy Rucker, Bruce Sterling. Storming the Cosmos. 1985
In Frozen Time. 1986
Soft Death. 1986
Inside Out. 1987
Rudy Rucker, Paul Di Philippo. Instability. 1988
The Man Who Was a Cosmic String. 1987
Rudy Rucker, Marc Laidlaw. Probability Pipeline. 1988
As Above, So Below. 1989
Rudy Rucker, Marc Laidlaw. Chaos Surfari. 1989
Rudy Rucker, Bruce Sterling. Big Jelly. 1994
Easy As Pie. 1993
Rudy Rucker, Marc Laidlaw. The Andy Warhol Sandcandle. 2000
Rudy Rucker, Paul Di Philippo. The Square Root of Pythagoras. 1999

Rudy Rucker.
The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul: what gnarly computation taught me about ultimate reality, the meaning of life, and how to be happy.
Thunder's Mouth Press. 2005

Rudy Rucker.
Tor. 2007

Rudy Rucker.
Tor. 2009

After the Singularity that occurred in Postsingular, life on Earth has been transformed by the awakening of all matter into consciousness. The most intimate moments of your life can be experienced by anyone who cares to pay attention. Or by hundreds of thousands of anyones, if you are one of the Founders, celebrities who helped create the Singularity.

Young newlyweds Thuy, a hypertext novelist, and Jayjay, a gamer and brain-enhancement addict, are living a popular live-action media life. But now alien races that have already gone through this transformation notice Earth for the first time and begin to arrive to exploit both the new environment and any available humans. Some of them are real estate developers, some are slavers, and some just want to help, but who can tell the difference? Who can save humanity from the alien invasions? It might well be reality-media stars Thuy and Jay-jay.