EPS Review #183 - Postsingular

Postsingular, by Rudy Rucker, Tor, 2007, 320pp.

Rudy Rucker painting Rudy Rucker painting Ross and I read this together as the whole family sat in dentists' offices. Ross and Griffin have had their braces removed, yay! We chuckled at the geeky humor around the plot of nanotech and supercomputers taking over the world. The only problem with this arrangement was that Ross reads quicker than I do, and eventually took the book away and finished it first.

I did not like the story as much as Frek. Writing a few weeks after reading, I only vaguely remember the characters and their problems, but I do remember getting tired of them. Strangely, what sticks in my head was the splash of a wave that a super-AI was trying to get as beautifully real as reality. Some familiar tropes appear like a transcendent pig and branes.

I keep thinking I should buy one of Mr. Rucker's paintings, but I can't make up my mind. It would be pretty cool to have an original painting by one of my favorite authors, but I suspect P would make me hang it in the attic.

A typical section of the book:

The Big Pig butted in now, her voice plummy in their inner ears. "I assume you realize there are maybe ten to the hundredth power possible ways to strum that harp, Jayjay. You'll never find the Lost Chord."

"Help me. You heard the sound too, right? The harp music when I died?"

"Not really," said the Pig. "That stuff was coming from somewhere outside my simulation. Be that as it may, we did some nice VR work, no? Those results about unrolling the eighth dimension for unlimited memory are quite fine. You're a good helper."

"Helper? Those were my ideas."

"Call it a collaboration. You were piloting an agent in a virtual reality that I designed. By the way, did you enjoy the experience?"

"It was hell! Weren't you paying attention to my feelings?"

"When you take a shower, do you wonder if your skin bacteria are having a good time?"

Emily wrote: I am not crazy about the paintings. Just a bit too bright, a bit too naive.