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Fuzzy Dice Hardcover – 31 May 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: PS Publishing (31 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902880668
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902880662
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 15 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,076,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jane Aland VINE VOICE on 9 Mar. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wow. Every so often you’ll read a book that just blows you away – Fuzzy Dice is one such book. Paul Di Filippo has produced his masterpiece here, a brain-melting conglomeration of cutting-edge scientific concepts filtered through an alternately hilarious and moving story about an inveterate loser. Given the ability to traverse the multiverse in search of happiness (and the answer to the Ontological Pickle) we follow the lead characters hopeless misadventures from the subquantum shaving cream of the initial singularity to the Omega Point and the end of time, taking in superspace, cellular automata, chaos theory, morphic resonances, Menger sponges, hot babes and plenty more besides (including ultimately the lead characters death) along the way.
The sheer mass of ideas here is impressive enough, with each of the twelve sections providing enough material for an entire novel, but no matter how complex the underlying concept is, Di Philippo makes the novel a joy to read, with the lead character being the driving force and focus of the readers attention. This is great science fiction – mind-expanding but with a solid emotional core.
With the lead characters frequent bewilderment at the strangeness of the universe, and the underlying quest for the meaning of existence, Fuzzy Dice perhaps most closely resembles The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and, heretically, may even be the better book. As such the only disappointment comes from realising that by being a limited edition small press publication Fuzzy Dice currently only stands to be read by a few hundred people. Why this wasn’t snapped up by a major publisher God only knows. Paul Di Filippo seems to have spent his entire career in the small press, so it’s not surprising that the disillusioned failed author who stars in this novel shares his name.
If you enjoy science fiction, wild concepts and belly laughs, you need this book. Utterly essential.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
All Across the Multiverse 18 Dec. 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
First off, this isn't a typical Amazon title, rather it is the product of PS Publishing, which puts out limited, signed editions by various science fiction and fantasy authors. Specifically, "Fuzzy Dice" by Paul Di Filippo was limited to 200 slip-cased hardcovers and another 500 regular hardcover copies, and at the time of this writing, some copies were still available from the publisher. Moreover, there are copies available on the internet, and should the opportunity to acquire a copy present itself, I would strongly recommend doing so.
A relatively recent theory in physics suggest that there is not just the one universe in which we reside, but an infinite number of universes that represent an infinite number of possible variations. For example, there is a universe where aliens invaded Earth in 1492 and another where there is no Moon. Of course this represents just the tip of the iceberg, as there are an infinite number of universes that are beyond the abilities of human conception. Conversely, the very fact that one could conceive of a universe means that exists somewhere (or perhaps more accurately, sometime). So a world where a megalomaniacal Mickey Mouse rules Earth from his base on Mars is no more or less likely than one in which the Boston Red Sox never traded Babe Ruth.

So when Paul Girard was granted the ability to travel among the universes by a post-human time traveler, he was understandably pleased. Here was an escape from the everyday drudgery of his plainly wasted life. The doorway to the full spectrum of human desire and ambition was placed literally at his fingertip in the form of a yo-yo. Made of "strange matter" drawn from pre-Big Bang space, it will, with a flick of Paul's wrist and a thought of where he wants to go, take him zooming across the multiverse. Unfortunately, as Paul quickly realizes, in a continuum of an infinite number of universes, one should be exceedingly particular about where one wants to go. While you might intend to jump to a world run by the Playboy bunnies, you could very easily end up in a world run by bloodthirsty Amazons.

As one might expect, Paul does just that (although under a variety of different circumstances) and pretty much makes a mess out of what should have been the greatest gift ever given to a mortal man. Nonetheless, along the way he inadvertently, and often unwillingly, learns a little something about himself. However, he is routinely thwarted in his efforts to resolve the "Ontological Pickle" as he puts it; simply stated it is, "What started everything?" What came before the Big Bang, or in this instance, what came before all of the Big Bangs? No matter how complex space-time actually is, and no matter how thoroughly it is understood, there has to be an Alpha Point, as it were, a space-time with nothing before it. But if such a place exists, what caused it to spring from nothing into something? It is these questions that gnaw at Paul, and even as he learns more and improves his physical and mental state, he comes no closer to the answer.

However, after a catastrophically bad jump, Paul and his companions (a son, (the result of a digital data swap) and Moonbeam, his erstwhile wife (a one time militant virgin hippy transformed into a bookworm nymphomaniac)) face certain death. That's when things get really interesting.
All that sounds like pretty heavy subject matter, but in Di Filippo's able hands, it is both hilarious and fascinating. Paul's miscalculations are so obvious in retrospect, one can't help but laugh, however, at the same time, the various worlds are by no means clichés. No matter how bizarre the setting, Di Filippo manages to lend a realism that drives the story forward.
Moreover, the author's consideration of the "Ontological Pickle" is exceptionally deft. Through quantum physics, he is able to create a theory of creation and God, of "everything" really, that makes sense and applies a subtle logic to religion. Though obviously only a hypothesis, Di Filippo's distillation of science, philosophy and religion is both profound and sound.
"Fuzzy Dice" is a novel that defies categorization, as it uses humorous science fiction to explore our deepest mysteries. Moreover, Di Filippo weaves in a great deal of science, but in a manner so subtle it would make Michael Crichton drool. This is truly one of the most original novels I have ever encountered, and I am certain it will be one I revisit many times.
Jake Mohlman
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Is contemplating the nature of the universe fun? 13 April 2005
By G Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback
If Paul Di Filippo is doing it, then YES it is.

All I can say is Wow! This book does a very good job of speculating the exact nature of the universe. In any other authors hands this book would have turned into a scientific/sci-fi disaster. But Paul pulls it off and with such ease that you might not notice you are actually learning while reading. It is chocked-full of great existing theories and puts them into words that even I can understand.

It is the story of Paul Girard and how he is granted the ability to travel between every conceivable dimension. What does he do? Well, for starters he seriously F's up. I may like the character because he reminds me so much of myself.

I would recommend this to anyone who has ever wondered "why are we here?" It does help if you have a little bit of scientific knowledge, but the book is so good that you could get by without it.

Why have I not heard of this guy sooner?
Take a ride on the Time Machine 11 July 2013
By Donald Armfield - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My third book by this author I recommend this author to all Sci-Fi, Humor Readers

This was a fantastic ride thru different dimensions. From The beginning normal earth to Cartoon Land. I felt like a passenger in a dolrian traveling beside Christopher Llyod on acid.
Grab your Yo-Yo & Ronald Reagan Pez container and follow this story to the end.
Not bad 22 Dec. 2010
By mike pen - Published on
Format: Paperback
The writing was a little simplistic, but it had loads of imagination in it. It was a page turner that kept me entertained for a couple of days.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Why bother? 11 Nov. 2004
By G. Rovario-Cole - Published on
Format: Paperback
I finished this novel a couple days ago and I need to start by saying that this wasn't a *bad* book at all. But it wasn't a great book either.

I reached the end and felt...nothing. I wasn't glad I read it nor was I upset to not be in the universe the author wrote either.

It has an interesting premise, but I'm not really sure that the author knew what he wanted from the story...there didn't seem to be much passion in the writing and no real reason to *like* the protagonist. There also wasn't a really good reason for him to be an anti-hero.

The last two chapters or so were wonderful...but the game isn't really worth the candle.
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