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Software (Ware #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,657 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Cobb Anderson created the "boppers," sentient robots that overthrew their human overlords. But now Cobb is just an aging alcoholic waiting to die, and the big boppers are threatening to absorb all of the little boppers--and eventually every human--into a giant, melded consciousness. Some of the little boppers aren't too keen on the idea, and a full-scale robot revolt is un ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published October 1st 1987 by Eos (first published 1982)
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Neuromancer by William GibsonSnow Crash by Neal StephensonThe Diamond Age by Neal StephensonAltered Carbon by Richard K. MorganDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
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31st out of 203 books — 835 voters
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Community Reviews

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This is one of those books I am surprised more people have not read or at least heard of. This won the first ever Philip K. Dick Award and book two in the series won the award years later. Not that I put all of my stock in awards but whatever will encourage people to read this book I will mention.

Part of me badly wants to rate this book 5 stars but there were a few things that bothered me enough for a final 4 1/2 star rating. I experienced some difficulty starting but once the action kicked in,
Ben Loory
it's weird to think of this as the beginning of cyberpunk because it's nothing at all like what i think of as cyberpunk. doesn't have any of the noirish elements and nobody's running around inside a computer. this seems more like some underground 60s comic, lotsa zany action and stoned philosophizin', mr. natural in space or something like that. not that i don't like it-- this book is a lot of fun (and i can see why it won the first ever philip k. dick award). it's just that (as with White Light ...more
-Astracanada cybersurrealista.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Cobb Anderson tiene sesenta años, mala salud, bebe demasiado y un día fue responsable de dar la capacidad a los robots de tener inteligencia y tomar sus propias decisiones, por lo que encabezados por Ralph Números se revelaron y crearon su propia sociedad en la Luna. Cuando su doble robótico se presenta para ofrecerle la inmortalidad viajando a nuestro satélite, conocerá mejor al hijo de su amigo Stan, un taxista traficant
Mar 04, 2011 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
I came to cyberpunk from an interesting vector: I discovered it through Marvel's 2099 comic series, of all places, and then watched the Matrix, and only after that became aware of authors like Gibson, Cadigan, and Stephenson. So while I've read a lot of cyberpunk, and have a fondness for it as a genre, it's a patchwork sort of fondness, which is why I'd never heard of this until recently, despite it's role as a primum movens within cyberpunk literature (something that William Gibson talks about ...more
"Software" by Rudy Rucker poses the one thing most Science Fiction writers dread. The loss of the 3 Laws of Robotics and shows the evolution of Robots to a point in which they consider the Human soul or the "it" of life as the very definition of Software. Therefore Human traits, feelings, memories, actions, and desires. Can all be mapped and moved if necessary. Well as you might have figured that didn't fly well with humans. Which makes this novel a short but very interesting read.
As part of a T
Joey Comeau
Oh Rudy Rucker, what a wacky bastard. His 'ware trilogy and 'the hacker and the ants' are my favourites of his. It's been so long since I read this, but I still have such strong positive feelings when I see the cover that I had to give it 4 stars when Goodreads recommended it to me. It is supposed to be Biopunk, or some were genepunk genre, but really it is science fiction written by a goddamn hippy mathematician. Delightful!
Kind of dated, but fun the way I like SF to be. Biggest issue was that all the female characters were brainless bimbos.
This shit is the shit. Stuzzy! Can you wave with it?
On Earth live the Pheezers, a generation of constantly drunk old-timers. By this time in the future, artificially produced organs are cheap and drunks survive for decades by simply replacing wasted livers with new ones at will.

On the moon live the Boppers, the first generation of robots that have learned to 'bop', which means having conscious thoughts and reflections. Because they became sentient, they fought for and obtained their independence from Earth. But humans and Boppers still get along
David Agranoff
This 1982 cyberpunk classic is a must read for Science fiction fans. I am not sure why others read science fiction but I read it because the ability for the stories to expand my thinking. Out of date in some ways Software holds up very well and that might be because Rudy Rucker is a genius, for real a genius. A mathematician and computer scientist Rucker writes science fiction novels no one else could match. Inventiveness, radical thinking and pretty comical through out.

Software is closer to tra
Felix Zilich
Никто не спорит с тем, что Андерсон Кобб был гениальным программистом и что весь этот бардак вокруг бопперов начался именно из-за него. Если точнее, то из-за нового программного обеспечения, позволившего лунным роботам отказаться от азимовских законов, поднять мятеж и объявить Луну независимым бопперским государством. Человечество прокляло бопперов и забыло об их существовании, не подозревая, что в недрах Дисков начатый Коббом эволюционный процесс продолжает свое неспешное и постепенное развитие ...more
Jun 30, 2011 Simon rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
Coming to this book again for the first time in about twenty years was interesting because I could hardly remember a thing about it. But having recently aquired it's sequel (Wetware), I thought I'd better go back and read this again to refresh my memory.

I was suprised how light and fluffy it was. Rucker again touches upon some of his favourite themes (the computatability of consciousness, the logical impossibility of a being designing a consciousness equal to one's own - Kurt Godel gets a cameo
Software by Rudy Rucker is a gritty, gripping science-fiction novel that explores cyberpunk themes in a retro (Pulp or early Golden Age) format. Software feel like reading an old Amazing Stories or Astounding Science Fiction magazine. The slim volume and direct prose make Software feel slightly and deliciously subversive.

Winner of the inaugural Philip K. Dick award in 1982, Software is a clear influence on many other science fiction writers, most notably Richard K. Morgan and his Takeshi Kovacs
I loved this. My only complaint is it is too short--it doesn't feel finished at the end. But it's totally hilarious. I'm no good at synopsis, but this is pretty classic sci-fi--robots attempting to steal human's "software" and add it to their massive processor. I love the words he makes up--like pheezer, for "freaky geezer" and his endearing characters. I love the way his universe is so recognizable, even though it is so strange. And it's really wacky, but as one blurb on the back says, there is ...more
Allan MacDonell
My biggest problem with science fiction is the dates. I hate feeling the need to correct a narrator’s assertion that space settlers established the Earth Federation’s first Martian base camp in the early 1990s. The lack of real world historical data anchoring any such development sets me adrift. Exceptions do exist, stories so thick with ideas and drilling so deep into the human spirit that they keep me grounded in alternate realities despite burst time frames. 2001: A Space Odyssey, for example ...more
Fantastic! Everything I like about sci-fi is captured in this book. Somehow the first things that come to mind are Phillip K. Dick and Kurt Vonnegut. As the foreword by William Gibson states, Rudy seems capable of doing anything at any time. His narratives twist through the bizarre experiences of his characters. The material is funny, fantastically original, and very naughty and edgy. Something like the Illuminati books ... but with a much more coherent narrative.
Wonderful! Love it! Great!
Dmitry Verkhoturov
Легко и с юмором написанная книга, ради которой мне пришлось не раз и не два заглядывать в интернет, чтобы удостовериться, что она действительно написана в (sic!) 1982 а не каком-нибудь 1998.
Дедушка киберпанка показывает нам мир, в котором можно скопировать человеческий разум (привычки, воспоминания, убеждения) и перенести этот образ в любого андроида, выбрав его внешность на своё усмотрение. Возможно это не благодаря людям, а роботам, бопперам, вышедшим из под контроля создателей поселенцам лун
This one was a solid SF book,it had good direct prose and it was a fun,enjoyable read. It was also thoughtprovoking,smart with its ideas,the characters was very well done. I agree with the cover blurb that it is a classic Cyperpunk novel.

I could have as easily rated it 4 stars,it was that good but i didnt because i have a feeling the other books in the series will be even better.
Hrm... Interesting ideas, but the characters are so wooden. It reads like an old fashioned movie, and the characters are secondary to the story which isn't particularly complex. There's a nice thread of philosophy running through it which would have been worth expanding further via character interactions or experiences.
Ike Sharpless
I've been trying to catch up on various scifi-related classics that I somehow missed out on, so I read this and Wetware recently, and was entertained but not particularly impressed. The premise was fun and the plot progressed reasonably quickly, but it all seemed crudely juvenile and one-dimensional.
Kent Frazier
An interesting take on robots that lies somewhere between Asimov and Terminator, but there were no characters for whom I felt much affinity. Amusing enough that I'll probably finish at least another of the tetralogy... we'll see if I make thru them all...
I'm leading an online book discussion for this in June 2011. If anyone wants to read it with me, you can download a free copy here:
Nick Sconce
Very inspiring and a fresh writing style!
Γραμμένο το 1982, δυο χρόνια πριν τον Νευρομάντη του Γουίλιαμ Γκίμπσον, πρόκειται για το πρώτο cyberpunk βιβλίο, βραβευμένο με το Philip K. Dick το 1983!

Τι μπορώ να πω για το βιβλίο αυτό; Ότι είναι παλαβό, ακραίο, παρανοϊκό, τρελό; Είναι όλα αυτά και άλλα πολλά. Γέροι χίπηδες που ζουν στην Καλιφόρνια και κάθε λίγα χρόνια αλλάζουν ανθρώπινα όργανα για καλύτερη λειτουργία. Ρομπότ στην Σελήνη, που ονομάζονται και Σεληνορομπότ, που είναι στα πρόθυρα εμφυλίου πολέμου, αλλά θέλουν να χρησιμοποιήσουν
Mike Franklin
Software is normally described as early cyberpunk but I feel it fails in that sub-genre; it’s just not sufficiently techie enough. Now this could be excused since its publication was way back in 1982 – before the internet and only just after the first IBM PC – but actually that’s not really an excuse when you consider that Gibson (a contemporary and friend of Rucker and who had considerably less computing inside knowledge than Rucker) published Neuromancer just two years later and that was defin ...more
Ethan Miller
Software is a fast-paced blast by infinity mathematician/ sci-fi writer Rudy Rucker. Software reads like a pulpy jive meeting of early 70s PKD and an Asimov 'robot' story. The first in the "Ware" tetralogy. Rucker was playing with some very interesting ideas about the uselessness of the living human body once an individual's 'thought' and the contents of the mind could be stored and run inside a robot/ mainframe/ hard drive. In our own lives is a casting off of the human body and in essence immo ...more
I wanted to like this book. I really did.

An award-winning book about robots in revolt living in a colony on the moon? YES, PLEASE! That sounds like everything I'm about! Based on the premise, I figured I'd be reading the entire four volume series in fairly short order, but alas, that was not to be.

It's difficult to describe exactly why, but the writing style and content just did not agree with me. I should have known all was not well when even the first few pages had me rolling my eyes and retch
Cobb Anderson wrote the program that introduced the digital equivalent of evolution into the software of the world's robots. The robots quickly evolved consciousness and threw off the yoke of slavery. After the uprising, Cobb was tried as a traitor, and the robots colonized the moon. That was all years ago. Now Cobb is just another "freaky geezer" drinking himself to death in the semi-autonomous retirement colony of Florida. When Cobb's robot double shows up on the beach and offers him immortali ...more
Jul 03, 2012 Bart rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
Cobb Anderson is the creator of the boppers: anarchic robots that have rebelled against the humans and now live autonomously on the moon. He built a simple directive into their code: each robot or bopper must rebuild bodies for themselves every 10 months. This directive cause rapid evolution among the boppers, the idea was "we couldn't build intelligient robots, but we could cause them to evolve."

At the beginning of the novel Cobb Anderson is retired and living in the "gimme retirement state" of
Aug 29, 2014 Joshua rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I'm not sure this book has aged as well as some of its cyberpunk contemporaries. I enjoyed it just fine, but between the hippy tinge to the text and the wild variety of robots, it felt a little bit like Futurama trying to take itself seriously-- and I don't mean in the way that Futurama did in episodes like "Luck of the Fryish."

Still. It'll be interesting to see where it goes-- there are some interesting ideas here.
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Rudolf von Bitter Rucker is an American mathematician, computer scientist, science fiction author, and one of the founders of the cyberpunk genre. He is best known for his Ware Tetralogy, the first two of which won Philip K. Dick awards. Presently, Rudy Rucker edits the science fiction webzine Flurb.
More about Rudy Rucker...

Other Books in the Series

Ware (4 books)
  • Wetware (Ware, #2)
  • Freeware (Ware, #3)
  • Realware (Ware, #4)
Wetware (Ware, #2) Freeware (Ware, #3) Postsingular Realware (Ware, #4) White Light

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“I think you should kill him and eat his brain," Mr. Frostee said quickly.

That's not the answer to every problem in interpersonal relations," Cobb said, hopping out.”
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