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White Light: Or, What Is Cantor's Continuum Problem?
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White Light: Or, What Is Cantor's Continuum Problem?

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  508 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Rudy Rucker, two-time winner of the prestigious Philip K. Dick Award, is one of SF's most inventive and irreverent authors, exploring artificial life, chaos theory, and hacker culture. White Light, Rucker's 1979 novel about a university math instructor and his existential beetle friend who get lost in a multidimensional astral universe of warped time-scales and fractal-lan ...more
Paperback, 279 pages
Published November 1st 1980 by Ace (first published 1980)
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(showing 1-30 of 948)
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Ben Loory
a really fun book, less science fiction than a kind of mathemagical fantasia on the concept of infinity, probably closer to Alice in Wonderland than anything else. extremely wild and free-wheeling, though somewhat detached; doesn't carry a lot of (or any, really) emotional weight, but is definitely mind-expanding and a hell of a ride.

(my favorite part is when franx the beetle refers to gravity as "the seriousness.")
Andrew MacPherson
Having had some previous exposure to Rucker’s work (http://www.flurb.net/1/ruckerdifilipp..., http://www.rudyrucker.com/transrealbo...) before starting this book, I had some idea of what to expect: bizzarro-nerdpunk surreal fiction. Or something, I dunno, I’m not great with labels. And that’s basically what I got.

White Light tells the story of Felix Rayman, a math professor at the fictional equivalent of an upstate SUNY campus and his journey to Cimön, which is infinitely distant in normal spac
...more
loudermilk
buy the virgin edition, the true first. never printed in hardback. scrooge mcduck. hilbert's hotel. super exciting high point in post-modern mathematics.

"Holden Caulfield with a hard-on for infinity." - lula sailor, The Times.
Michael Hirsch
It definitely helps to be a math graduate student, as I was, when you read this book. It had some great insights into the difference between different orders of infinity. And a nice in-context descriptions of "Hilbert's hotel".
Little Icelander
Rudy Rucker è, oltre che uno scrittore di fantascienza, un matematico che ha scritto libri di divulgazione in materia. Questo Luce bianca vorrebbe essere un esercizio in stile Flatlandia sull'infinito matematicamente inteso. Lo stile è leggero e gradevole, sono le parti esemplificative sui diversi tipi di infinito che non mi sembrano granché!
tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
This is the earliest of the Rucker bks I've read & probably my favorite. The simple premise of a math professor who has out-of-body experiences when he naps is expanded to a wild ride that's part hallucinogenic daydream, part semi-serious attempt to address notions of how to demonstrate that there aren't one-to-one mappings of specific infinities. The result was completely engrossing & entertaining for me & is proof 'positive' that Rucker's one heckuva imaginative guy. Thank the holy ...more
Michael Hamilton
I've been going through and reading/rereading Rudy Rucker's books since I realized that an acquaintance of mine was Rudy's daughter. People reading Rucker because he's "Cyberpunk" probably aren't going to get this, but this is a really creative book. A blatantly silly sense of humor, a lot less self-consciouses "hipness" than you usually associate with cyberpunk, and a firm foundation in theoretical math (Rucker is a math professor) put this hallucinatory narrative in a category of it's own.
Sean
Math nerd takes LSD in the '70s, finds god, writes book imagining he's as clever as Lewis Carroll. He is not.

Pleasantly loopy at times, but not much to care about in here. And though infinity is referenced endlessly (ha), Rucker doesn't really have anything to say about it, which I found disappointing. This is nerdy in the names and topics it drops, but not nerdy in terms of depth of thought.
Daniel Swensen
It's probably cliche to compare a book to taking hallucinogens, but that's how White Light reads. Surreal, inventive, and a touch aimless, White Light is full of wild invention and mind-bending meditations on the nature of infinity. Another reviewer called it "refreshingly insane," and I tend to agree. I may seek out more Rudy Rucker in the future.
Nickie
sort of a mathematical philosophical hallucinogenic fiction, but a casual, enjoyable read for the interested layman. i think the author does actually have professional background in metaphysics/mathematics but im not sure.
Tim Heywood
both funny and serous, explaining interesting higher level mathc concepts in an interactive manner. dialogues and story intentionally very disjointed in places, adding to the mystique and mysteriousness of the story.
Simon
A great companion to his non-fictional Infinity and the Mind Penguin Science.
Zachary Jernigan
OBJECTIVE RATING (my best stab at looking at the book's merits, regardless of whether or not I enjoyed it all that much): 3

PERSONAL RATING (how much the book "worked" for me personally): 4.5
Steve
Sep 14, 2007 Steve rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Shelves: adventure
White Light is one of those whoa books. You've never read anything like it, you have no idea where it's going, and when you get there you feel like a new person.
Brennan
One of the best science-fiction books I've read. Reads like the astro-meta version of I had trouble in getting to solla sollew
Paul
This is what would have happened if Holden Caulfield had studied transfite number theory. If he'd been in the mood.
Joann Lagomarsino
This book is probably one of the strangest books I've read... It was good, but really strange.
Robbie
This book makes me wish I had grown up to be a mathematician.
KMO
I never knew how many kinds of infinity there were!
Lia
Crazy funny mix of math humor and potent dystopian visuals.
Vladimir Toss
Theosophic new wave. Quite impressive work.
Maria Susana
A true delight for math lovers!!!
Paul
A story about infinity
Mark Heasley
severely incomprehensible
Sarah Mendonca
Sarah Mendonca marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
Will Shogren
Will Shogren marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2015
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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...
Software (Ware, #1) Wetware (Ware, #2) Freeware (Ware, #3) Postsingular Realware (Ware, #4)

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