three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
33-Mar-Apr-2008
By: 
Rudy Rucker
user_rating: 
0

A-PostsingularAfter self-reproducing nanomachines have transformed Mars into a giant computer, they proceed to attack Earth. An autistic child and mechanical lice save the planet, but at the price of Earth’s transformation into a world where one can never log off the Internet. The planet’s unprecedented processing power draws the attention of mystical beings from another dimension. And that’s just the beginning. Rudy Rucker’s novel explores this future of nearly unimaginable innovation through several generations of characters—from the bitter scientist who releases those first machines to a novelist working in a world where anyone can access another person’s thoughts at any time.
Tor Books. 320 pages. $25.95. ISBN: 0765317419

Sci Fi Weekly 4 of 5 Stars
"This book is densely written, requiring the reader to fully participate in the intellectual games, yet also captivatingly plotted for sheer narrative verve and laced with plenty of humor and suspense. Walking a tightrope between information overload and thriller action, the book captures the heady zip, zest and buzz of the post-singular milieu, a world where miracles are commonplace but structured logically to provide real challenges, risks and triumphs." Paul DiFilippo

Aintitcoolnews.com 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Postsingular feels like it was written in a series of 48 hour drug-induced marathons and the inclusion of higher math and bleeding edge physics doesn’t help. But the mere act of trying to make sense of it all just pulls you in further." Adam Balm

BoingBoing.net 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Rudy Rucker’s new novel Postsingular is pure Rucker: a dope-addled exploration of the way-out fringes of string theory and the quantum universe that distorts the possible into the most improbable contortions." Cory Doctorow

Critical Summary

While less well known than William Gibson or Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rucker was one of the founders of the cyberpunk movement—science fiction with a grittier, dystopian turn. In Postsingular, Rucker explores the idea of the Singularity, a hypothetical point in the future where the combination of artificial intelligence and human enhancement will launch technological advance into an unprecedented overdrive. Reviewer (and fellow SF novelist) Paul DiFilippo writes that while the Singularity—the "Rapture of the nerds"—has become a common theme in science fiction, Rucker is one of the few writers who have sufficiently explored what it would be like to actually experience it. Then again, for novices to Rucker or the SF genre, Postsingular—each page, according to BoingBoing, "weirder than the last"—isn’t necessarily the place to start.