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Post Singular Paperback – 3 Feb 2009

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 Reprint edition (3 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765318725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765318725
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,333,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Mathematicians in Love & nbsp; "Rudy Rucker should be declared a National Treasure of American Science Fiction.& nbsp; Someone simultaneously channeling Kurt Godel and Lenny Bruce might start to approximate full-on Ruckerian warp-space, but without the sweet, human, splendidly goofy Rudy-ness at the core of the singularity."
--William Gibson, author of Pattern Recognition & nbsp; " Dr. Seuss meets Dr. Wolfram by way of Dr. Leary. This is vintage Rucker: whimsical and weird, with a chewy center of hard physics that's gnarly as hell." - Cory Doctorow, author of Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
& nbsp;
" A mind-bending tale. In a riotously twisting plot, complete with hypertunnels, alien shellfish from a parallel universe, and an improbable resolution to the threesome ' s romantic dilemma, Rucker pulls out all the stops for one of his most entertaining yarns to date. " -- Booklist

Praise for "Mathematicians in Love" "Rudy Rucker should be declared a National Treasure of American Science Fiction. Someone simultaneously channeling Kurt Godel and Lenny Bruce might start to approximate full-on Ruckerian warp-space, but without the sweet, human, splendidly goofy Rudy-ness at the core of the singularity."
--William Gibson, author of "Pattern Recognition" "Dr. Seuss meets Dr. Wolfram by way of Dr. Leary. This is vintage Rucker: whimsical and weird, with a chewy center of hard physics that's gnarly as hell." -Cory Doctorow, author "of Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town"
"A mind-bending tale. In a riotously twisting plot, complete with hypertunnels, alien shellfish from a parallel universe, and an improbable resolution to the threesome's romantic dilemma, Rucker pulls out all the stops for one of his most entertaining yarns to date." --"Booklist"

Praise for "Postsingular":

"Rudy Rucker should be declared a National Treasure of American Science Fiction. Someone simultaneously channeling Kurt Godel and Lenny Bruce might start to approximate full-on Ruckerian warp-space, but without the sweet, human, splendidly goofy Rudy-ness at the core of the singularity."
--William Gibson, author of "Spooks
""Rucker takes on the hot topics of nanotechnology and the transformation of humanity with exuberance and irreverent wit....Wildly inventive, tossing out ideas on the cutting edge of science with attention to their most offbeat consequences."
"--The Denver Post
""Rucker puts the weird in science. String theory might as well have been invented to give rise to mind-benders like this book."
--Cory Doctorow
"This is over-the-top as only Rudy Rucker can do it."
"--Analog"

Praise for "Postsingular":

“Rudy Rucker should be declared a National Treasure of American Science Fiction. Someone simultaneously channeling Kurt Godel and Lenny Bruce might start to approximate full-on Ruckerian warp-space, but without the sweet, human, splendidly goofy Rudy-ness at the core of the singularity.”
—William Gibson, author of "Spooks
"“Rucker takes on the hot topics of nanotechnology and the transformation of humanity with exuberance and irreverent wit….Wildly inventive, tossing out ideas on the cutting edge of science with attention to their most offbeat consequences.”
"—The Denver Post
"“Rucker puts the weird in science. String theory might as well have been invented to give rise to mind-benders like this book.”
—Cory Doctorow
“This is over-the-top as only Rudy Rucker can do it.”
"—Analog"

Praise for "Postsingular"

"Rudy Rucker should be declared a National Treasure of American Science Fiction. Someone simultaneously channeling Kurt Godel and Lenny Bruce might start to approximate full-on Ruckerian warp-space, but without the sweet, human, splendidly goofy Rudy-ness at the core of the singularity."
--William Gibson, author of "Spooks

""Rucker takes on the hot topics of nanotechnology and the transformation of humanity with exuberance and irreverent wit....Wildly inventive, tossing out ideas on the cutting edge of science with attention to their most offbeat consequences."
"--The Denver Post

""Rucker puts the weird in science. String theory might as well have been invented to give rise to mind-benders like this book."
--Cory Doctorow

"This is over-the-top as only Rudy Rucker can do it."
"--Analog"

"Rudy Rucker should be declared a National Treasure of American Science Fiction. Someone simultaneously channeling Kurt Godel and Lenny Bruce might start to approximate full-on Ruckerian warp-space, but without the sweet, human, splendidly goofy Rudy-ness at the core of the singularity."
--William Gibson, author of "Spooks
""Rucker takes on the hot topics of nanotechnology and the transformation of humanity with exuberance and irreverent wit....Wildly inventive, tossing out ideas on the cutting edge of science with attention to their most offbeat consequences."
"--The Denver Post
""Rucker puts the weird in science. String theory might as well have been invented to give rise to mind-benders like this book."
--Cory Doctorow
"This is over-the-top as only Rudy Rucker can do it."
"--Analog"

Rudy Rucker should be declared a National Treasure of American Science Fiction. Someone simultaneously channeling Kurt Godel and Lenny Bruce might start to approximate full-on Ruckerian warp-space, but without the sweet, human, splendidly goofy Rudy-ness at the core of the singularity. "William Gibson, author of Spooks"

Rucker takes on the hot topics of nanotechnology and the transformation of humanity with exuberance and irreverent wit .Wildly inventive, tossing out ideas on the cutting edge of science with attention to their most offbeat consequences. "The Denver Post"

Rucker puts the weird in science. String theory might as well have been invented to give rise to mind-benders like this book. "Cory Doctorow"

This is over-the-top as only Rudy Rucker can do it. "Analog""

About the Author

Rudy Rucker is a writer and a mathematician who worked for twenty years as a Silicon Valley computer science professor. He is regarded as contemporary master of science-fiction, and received the Philip K. Dick award twice. His thirty published books include both novels and non-fiction books. A founder of the cyberpunk school of science-fiction, Rucker also writes SF in a realistic style known as transrealism.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first book by Rucker that I've read. I don't remember where I heard about 'Postsingular', but it was somewhere where Charles Stross' accelerando was discussed. It could have been Stross' blog itself, or it could have been amazon recommendations, but I digress.

The book starts relatively strongly, although the story does a 180 in the first 40 or so pages (already). Thee first two thirds of the book are what make it - an exploration of a society fundamentally changed by a global computing network that anyone can access at any time. These are interesting and worthy topics, and I think Rucker deals with them well, moving through the first "honey moon" period, to deeper implications, to how it could affect life. Then it all goes south. The final third of the book is a mix between Deus Ex Machina, unpredictability and sudden solutions. The story loses its momentum and becomes chopped and in-cohesive, with dreamy bits thrown in that should have been left on the cutting room floor. The episode in the Subnet comes to mind - it didn't really add anything to the story, it didn't develop the characters and it didn't get us anywhere new. So, in conclusion, I think the plot, and the interesting ideas, could have been tightened up significantly. If you compare this to Charles Stross' classic Accelerando, the ideas and execution on those ideas are excellent in the latter, because Stross exhibits an unflinching ability to take an idea and its implications to the next and next and next level.

Another thing that prospective readers of this should be aware of, is that Rucker's language is some times very strange. There is a distinct dryness, or maybe an inability to deeply connect to the characters emotional states.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa2229780) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa26a19e4) out of 5 stars The Latest Is the Greatest 16 Nov. 2007
By Mike Reid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Postsingular is the latest in a long line of high-speed brain rushes provided by Rudy Rucker. While every one of his novels has combined mind-blowing ideas, vivid characters, and gripping (and occasionally goofy) plots, Postsingular is a more tightly written tale than any to date (which shows that even great writers find ways to continue to perfect their craft).

The story is told in layers, and that device works for a book essentially about the layers between worlds and between objects in worlds (that's as close to a spoiler as I'm dishing out here). While being a science fiction tale, and very much involved with technology (to be expected from a retired professor of computer science), it is ultimately a human story, a story of people and life and the search for meaning and happiness. The book works on all of these levels: feel-good read, brain dance, and sci-fi goodness. (Note: for a non-fiction exploration of some of the ideas in this book, see Rucker's The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul: What Gnarly Computation Taught Me About Ultimate Reality, the Meaning of Life, and How to Be Happy).

Rucker has surpassed himself (again) and continues to demonstrate why fellow science fiction author William Gibson declares Rucker "a National Treasure of American science fiction."
38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa263fec4) out of 5 stars When anything is possible nothing is interesting 28 Jan. 2008
By R. Hubbard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Rudy Rucker for many years and admire the inventiveness and irreverence of his earlier works. However, I feel that his more recent work has become increasingly sloppy and Postsingular is probably the worst example of this. There are some ideas about quantum computation, string theory, cryptography, etc at the heart of this story, but they are so overlayered with slick sounding, brightly colored but ultimately meaningless nonsense that the book has nothing to say about technology or people or the interface of people and technology or, well, anything really. There is no problem encountered in the story that isn't solved a few pages later by an inexplicable application of magic. It is impossible to empathize with (or be the least interested by) the antics of the characters when the rules of the game are constantly being changed by the magical intervention of other dimensional demi-gods and aliens. The book would have been much improved if Rucker had stuck to his original idea (in which von Neumann machines provide infinite computation but at the price of devouring the physical earth and replacing it with a simulation) and actually developed it rather than just piling crazy garbage on top of it hoping that some of it might stick.

In addition to this lazy plotting, the characterization is inconsistent and two-dimensional. Especially the characters from the alternate dimension have no consistent motivation and alternately intervene to help or hinder the protagonists as suits the plot. The protagonists themselves have very little depth. And for a book about life after the technological singularity, the events of the book seem to have little or no impact on the characters, banging them about for a while, but at the end leaving them the same boring caricatures they were at the beginning.

The stories of Cory Doctorow provide far more interesting gonzo technological extrapolations if that's what you're in the market for. And for readers interested in speculation on how infinite computational resources would transform humanity I would recommend Permutation City by Greg Egan. In one of the latter chapters of Postsingular, Rucker describes life inside the simulated virtual earth. His description of this world is so depauperate, so lacking in creativity, that it is almost embarrassing when compared to the works of Greg Egan who developed these ideas really brilliantly over 10 years ago. If Rucker couldn't be bothered to invest this section of the book with creativity or thought, it should have been omitted. I feel the same could be said for about 90% of the novel. If you, like me, are looking for the next great work by Rucker, I guess my best advice would be to keep waiting.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa25f412c) out of 5 stars Vasty Mentation 22 Mar. 2008
By doomsdayer520 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Rudy Rucker's bodacious ideas are easy to love, but it's harder to love the books. His level of creativity will amaze the adventurous reader, but his skills in distilling those ideas into a coherent plot still have some catching up to do. This book is overflowing with quirky forward thinking about the upcoming quantum singularity, in which every atom in the universe possesses computing power and humanity is freed from earthly isolation. And unlike many of his fellow extropian authors, Rucker makes his stories fun and engaging with brightly described settings, oddball adventures, and quirky characters. He also overloads his prose with wild terminology that might seem like made-up slang but are actually constructed neologisms that will mean something a few decades from now (such as "ubbaflop"). It's certainly fun to read this story of geeky villainy, street-kid heroism, and inter-dimensional shenanigans in the race to either save or ruin humanity in the face of the oncoming singularity. That is, after a rocky start that was apparently pieced together from multiple pre-existing short stories, with incredibly vast but under-explained thought experiments by Rucker appearing and disappearing haphazardly. The book eventually becomes more functional, notwithstanding some very inconsistent plotting. But the real problem is the poorly-written romantic relationships - which are so obviously not Rucker's forte. This novel highlights all of Rucker's weaknesses, sometimes to the point of embarrassment, but the strengths of his ideas and cosmos-sized compu-thinking still make for an adventurous read. [~doomsdayer520~]
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By K. M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
That -- WHEENK -- is the name of the "metanovel" one of the POSTSINGULAR characters busies herself creating during the course of the book. It's also a perfect poster word for describing this Rudy Rucker sci-fi extravaganza. This is one wheenkin' ride!

Early in the book, the autistic boy genius, Chu, corrects his joking biotech genius father about a BIG number: " 'Ten to the thirty-ninth is duodecillion' " he chides, " 'Not umptisquiddlyzillion." But umptisquiddlyzillion just about covers the nearly endless gush of ideas that Rucker looses in this novel. What most people wouldn't give to have that many inventive thoughts in ten lifetimes, and he nonchalantly dispenses them in one volume!

Think of POSTSINGULAR as "Jack and the Beanstock" on uppers (and downers). Ye olde fairty tale is updated with extrapolations about the latest theoretical physics (such as "branes") and trendy sci-fi speculations about how artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and virtual reality might revolutionize or even extinguish life as we know it.

The early chapters, entitled "Nant Day," "Orphid Night," and "Chu's Knot," originally appeared as short stories; and in the middle of POSTSINGULAR, the tensile strength of those early chapters slumps just a mite...even though it is filled with mind riffs by the vagrant (and randy) technogeeks who climb onstage beginning in Chapter 5. Then, however, the frantic dash for the finish gets the old adrenaline pumping as all the socially awkward heroes try to save earth from devouring nants!

You may be wondering about the sea creature on the cover. Rest assured you'll learn all about it when you jump into this trippin' mind squeeze! Go for it! Wheenck! [4.7 stars]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23a63b4) out of 5 stars Rudy Can't Fail 28 Nov. 2011
By Kurt_Mastodon - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I picked this one up on a whim despite the mixed reviews, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Postsingular offered chapter upon chapter of Rucker's mind-blowing imagination, while always keeping the zaniness rooted by a scientific underpinning. If you enjoyed 'Frek and the Elixir' or 'Spaceland', then you'll enjoy this trip past the singularity.
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