This is the second time in as many months that we are sharing something by Rudy Rucker. But what can we say about one of our favorite Cyberpunk authors? He's a great guy and loves to share his stuff for free. I will say that these works are also offered for sale on Kindle and other electronic formats as well as paper formats. If you like the works, or even if you don't we think you should support the artist and buy it. We are sure Mr. Rucker would appreciate it and if you like Cyberpunk it would be hard not to find something of his that you do like. This week we are offering "Postsingular". As its title suggests, the story takes place after a singularity event. Or after a period where machines achieve some modicum of awareness if not complete awareness. It is told in the style of Rucker's "Transreal" method, which many who don't understand what it is, become frustrated with it. In other words, it is told from the perspective of, as Cory Doctorow puts it, : "...a dope-addled exploration of the way-out fringes of string theory and the quantum universe...".
I'm going to take the time to explain something about my feelings about Rucker. Ever since the "Ware Tetraology" I have viewed him as my "Steve Jobs". Steve was this so-called hippy who was, in part, responsible for the advent of the modern age of computing. He was a high priest of the oncoming digital age. Rucker has always been that for me. He didn't just extoll the virtues of technological advancements. He tries to tell stories that surround those advancements and from the point of view of some very improbable characters. He wasn't just some hippy selling computers (sorry Jobs fans), he was a person with an intimate knowledge of the topics his stories encompassed. If transrealism is confusing to you, it's only because you haven't bothered to step into the character and the story. Not unlike being swept into an undertow, reading a book like this will take you off your feet and leave you disoriented for a time. As it should.
Included below is a link to the book and as a bonus, a link to Mr. Rucker's writing notes for all those who want to geek out over his process a bit.
Unlike some others around Fresh Pulp Magazine, I am not quite as much the Cyberpunk enthusiast. Don't get me wrong, I love the sub-genre, but it isn't my favorite and I am not one to fanboy out over a public sighting of William Gibson (sorry Bill, I do enjoy your work). There are a few books that have influenced me as a lover of Sci-Fi and fewer that have influenced me as a writer. I had not yet been introduced to Science Fiction when the first of these works appeared in 1982. And when I began reading in 1985, the second of the series had not yet been released. In fact, the five books, in total, took nearly 20 years for Rucker to complete. I still remain, perched, from the memory of those long intervals between releases, on the fence between love and hate for Mr. Rucker. Assuming each one was the last, I pined for more secretly and secretly loved Rudy when I learned another was to come. In retrospect, it was not knowing that drove me nearly to insanity.
Now we have a complete collection. Four books that Mr. Rucker has released under Creative Commons license, for free. It doesn't trouble me at all that I paid for mine and you don't have to. I am overjoyed at the idea that the low price might hasten you to download and read them. "The Ware Tetralogy" is one of the founding works of the Cyberpunk genre. Despite the fact that I am not a huge Cyberpunk fan, there is another element to the books that I found particularly noteworthy; the style. Rucker would later go on to pen an essay about his method for writing called "Transrealist Manifesto". You can read and download the manifesto here. Granted, "The Ware Tetralogy" are not considered to be among his "Transrealist" series, but his distinct style of writing is evident in all of his writing. William Gibson called Rucker " ... a natural born American Street Surrealist". I would highly recommend reading this manifesto, it is short and succinct.
One more work I would recommend for the Science Fiction writer and reader is a paid piece called "Surfing the Gnarl". The link can be found below. This book is really an extended interview with Rucker and it covers a broad range of topics and his thoughts on them. I am a firm believer that inspiration can be had not only from reading a writers work but getting a glimpse into their minds. After all Science Fiction is more than fantastical stories and teleological fetishes. And it is important to see what future some of these writers imagine.
I hope you enjoy binge reading "The Ware Tetralogy". You can download it here!