Postsingular
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Postsingular

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  677 ratings  ·  114 reviews
It all begins next year in California. A maladjusted computer industry billionaire and a somewhat crazy US President initiate a radicaltransformation of the world through sentient nanotechnology; sort of the equivalent of biological artificial intelligence. At first they succeed, but their plans are reversed by Chu, an autistic boy. The next time it isn't so easy to stop t...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Tor Books
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Ben Babcock
Speculation about the future is often a problem of calibration. It’s difficult to dial in our predictions. Sometimes we are too optimistic, too expansive, allowing our imaginations to run away with the plot. Sometimes we are too cynical, too cautious, and end up failing to see what was so obvious in hindsight. Whatever the mode of the day, however, as a species we remain pretty bad at predicting the future. Where’s my flying car?

Indeed, how often do we see the future coming? Yet we insist on pro...more
Rachael
The first chapter should have warned me away. Half the dialogue amounted to:
"Let me tell you what cool things this tech we've been working on together can do!"
"I know. Now let me tell you something else!"
"Isn't this fantastic that we can keep telling each other things we should both already know so we can bring the audience up to speed!"

This kind of obvious exposition is one of my pet peeves of bad writing, largely because it pushes the reader out of the story. The writing got better as the book...more
Sir_orfeo
The author is a ex-drug addict, a Mondo 2000 alumnus, a professor of advanced mathematics, a key figure in the creation of cyberpunk (he preferred the term "Transrealist") a 2 to the 3rd (minus two) descendant of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a multi-PKD award winning novelist and completely obsessed with cuttlefish.

What could possibly go wrong?
Chloe
Sep 29, 2008 Chloe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chloe by: Cory Doctorow
This book took me months to read and I'm not sure whether that's a mark of acclaim or disparagement. This was quite the imaginative story, one that offered a very keen look at a world overrun with nanomachines capable of rewriting reality at the cellular level and the risks and benefits associated with the singularity (ask a physicist).

However, what took me so long to read this book was that Rucker was so focused on the wonders of the technology and the possibilities for it that the story itself...more
Alex
Gonzo sci-fi at its best. Quantum computing, networked consciousness, self-aware evolving artificial intelligence. It's easy enough to get through. But there are a few times when I feel a little too much of deus ex machina, and that the focus of the story is on the technology.

Good writing should always be about the characters, and at some point in "Act III", this book loses sight of the people and you find yourself distracted by how Rucker's technological universe works. That is, until you reca...more
Bruce
It is difficult to write a review of such a work of unremarkableness. The story is forgettable, the writing unsalted, unbuttered grits, and the science is at best that warped nonsense promulgated by the modern media.Given the credentials of the author, disappointing. He can do better.
Andrew
It's not often that I abandon a book, but this one I just couldn't finish. (I might have forced myself to read a few more pages, but then the new Iain Banks book downloaded to the Kindle, so that was the end of that.) The science part of the sci-fi just felt unbelievable to me. Now, I can suspend my belief as much as the next man, unless the next man is a politician. But, it just didn't feel like it made any sense. I like sci-fi where the ideas are followed logically and the author creates inter...more
Marc Weidenbaum
Rudy Rucker starts a reported trilogy with a book about nanotechnology remaking the world, and the consciousness of the world's inhabitants right along with it.

In fact, the world is remade at least twice in the book, first in a freak experiment, and then in a phreakier one. The law of unintended consequences is the law of the land in Rucker's re-re-imagined Earth, where a global, semi-organic network of sentient helper tech grants everyone a form of omniscience, and taps into other dimensions....more
Marco
The book clearly seem divided in 'short stories' somehow, with a main new idea in each.
What I like at first are some of the highly imaginative ideas 'strech' to a future/possible world.

The two first section are excellent, mostly because there are highly imaginative ideas/stretch put into a plausible world.

Then for the middle of the books is just 'good' keeping the main characters alive and the story evolving with action, power, high-tech scifi and plain old guns and explosions. (Although it kind...more
Stefan
Damn, but this is a weird book. In one of the first chapters, a fairly typical weird scientist character uses sentient nano-machines to deconstruct the planet Mars, turning it into a giant super-computer shaped like a Dyson sphere. As a result, the entire sky-view of Earth is now in effect the inside of the sphere. One of the scenes in this book that positively gave me the creeps was a description of that sphere being used as a gigantic Imax screen for political propaganda. Imagine looking up to...more
Daniel
I possibly came into this one with overly high hopes. Rudy Rucker is often mentioned as one of the key authors writing about the Singularity, a concept I find endlessly fascinating. I think I was kind of expecting another Accelerando, but this wasn't up to that level.

Postsingular tells the tale of a few folks who live through a very simplistic Singularity, and how they cope with the new always-networked world populated by artificial intelligences and strange beings from a parallel universe (spec...more
Michael
This book is a disaster!

I can barely form a coherent reveiew after reading such a waste of ideas. And the truly depresing aspect of the situation is how much potential those ideas had to be explored.

Above all, story and science aside, the characters had no dimension. In character-driven story telling, as this novel attempted to be, this is unacceptable in fiction. The characters were given adult problems and situations to deal with, just pleading for some well written prose and dialogue to fully...more
Sue
I was disappointed in this book. I've heard a lot of good things about Rudy Rucker and this was the first book of his I chose to read. I enjoy reading and writing about the Singularity, so it's not the topic that bugs me. It's not the tech. It's the cartoonish characters that leave me cold.

Early on the narrative centers on a family: A mom, a dad, and a kid. We live with them for a bit as the world disappears into a cloud of nanobot munchers. Cool. Then the equations are reversed and everything c...more
Larry-bob Roberts
I like Rucker's books a lot but it's been a while since I've read one. Fortunately my brother gave this to me as a gift. I found that it was a really fast read - Rucker is very good at presenting his conceptual material in a rapidly absorbable manner.

I think that there is something for other writers to learn from his plotting - each character actually has two plotlines - the goals of their ego and the goals of their id or libido.

And another element of the book that appealed to me is that it's se...more
Mark CB
At once painfully awkward and mind-blowingly imaginative. The narrative is almost embarrassingly bad, but the scale of ideass on display make up for it... just barely.

Don't read this for its story telling, read it for its inventiveness. This book is way ahead of its time. Rudy Rucker will be remembered as some kind of prophet- i am sure about that.
Julia Stanton
As with most of Rudy Rucker's books, there are a lot of great ideas in the this book. I really enjoyed reading about some of the (almost) out-of-this-world ideas he came up with. I would say that the characters are a little...awkward, and there were a lot of main characters who didn't really evoke any emotion from me.
Ryun
Rudy Rucker obviously has something up his sleeve. Throughout his literary career, he has explored a huge variety of times and places, and his speculative skills are honed to the point that I’m starting to think that they aren’t speculation: Rudy Rucker is a dimensional wanderer, able to explore the possibilities of the past, present and future on a whim.

Submitted for your perusal: POSTSINGULAR, Rucker’s latest novel. Science-fiction enthusiasts will be familiar with the concept of the Singulari...more
Regina Zabo
In italiano: http://reginazabo.noblogs.org/post/20...

I must confess it: in front of cyberpunk literature I'm virtually helpless. At every nanotech trick, singularity episode and arising metaverse I rejoice as though this were the first SF book I've ever read, or better, as if I wasn't reading at all in the first place. I get deep inside the novel, I let it carry me away, I lose track of time and space.

So when I found out that Rudy Rucker's latest novel was free to download (http://www.rudyrucke

...more
Johnny
Post-Singular serves as another proof of Rudy Rucker’s ability to expand the minds of his readers beyond conventional space and time. Built from a short story on nanomachines that appeared independently (a plot heavily dependent on an autistic child and a mathematician who worked with paper and pencil because he didn’t trust computers and calculators), this novel considers possibilities of inter-dimensional reality that might have taken shape after the initial plot was foiled.

Without sharing any...more
Peter
In Postsingular, tiny machines devour the Earth and copy everybody they eat into a simulation... luckily, one of the machine's developers also created a backdoor, and with the help of his autisitc son, they're able to reverse the situation, restoring everybody.

Soon after, another set of tiny self-replicating machines are released, which don't devour, merely reproduce until they cover every inch of the Earth, sharing information with each other and the people they're on, changing society forever...more
Aaron
This book has fascinating ideas-- a nanotechnology "internet" that encompasses all the senses and pervades the world, a nearby semi-parallel dimension that (Dune-like) has sworn off digital technology... It's also one of the only books that I've read written by a non-Vietnamese author that a) uses the Vietnamese language correctly (he notes the proper pronunciation of Thuy's name, uses the word ban gai with proper Quoc Ngu diacritics), and b) features a Viet-Kieu main character without making an...more
Clifford
This book is stuffed to the brim with big ideas. Like Gibson's Neuromancer, it feels as though it's ahead of it's time. Also, like many Gibson novels, there is almost religious obsession with emergent technologies and sub-cultures that revolve/evolve it. Some of the ideas explored in this book include: Quantum Computation/Quantum Entanglement, Encryption, Nanomachines, Teleportation, Collective Intelligences, Intelligent Agents, Parallel Universes, Universal Telepathy, Simulated Virtual Worlds a...more
Eric Juneau
This book is a trippy, zippy neo-science fiction. Something that combines the campiness of old with the technology of new. I don't really like that sort of thing. It's like what Cory Doctorow writes and what "Snow Crash" evolved into. I don't like my science-fiction in my fantasy, especially when you start as one and migrate to the other.

The story is about a possible "singularity" (look it up). In this case, the singularity is all of us becoming computers, or basically the world becomes an Inte...more
Tim
Try as I might, I just can't get into this style of sci-fi...I'm not even sure what identifies this "style," but it seems to involve a wacky, bohemian view of the future ("gonzo" is the term I see mentioned a bit)...admittedly, a weird thing to dislike, but...yeah.

Postsingular gives up the ghost in the first few pages: the singularity happens and from then on "crazy stuff" is the norm. Everything can be answered via the omnipresent web of "orphids," nothing is unknowable, and the main characters...more
Madeleine Stone
Your Brain May One Day be Infested with Nanobots

Imagine a world where the Internet never cut out. No, I don't just mean a world where Comcast customer service doesn't blow, I mean a world where you literally could not turn the web off if you wanted too. Now imagine the computational power of that interweb is so great you can immerse yourself in any virtual experience you want, and it will seem just as real as our world. A world in which you have instantaneous access to all human knowledge and...more
Eric Thirolle
I really enjoyed this book, which was my introduction to Rudy Rucker. This is the author's take on what might follow humanity's achievement of the "singularity". The singularity is an idea proposed by Ray Kurzweil and others that, within less than 50 years, humans and technology will combine to create something new, something like humans with greatly expanded mental and physical abilities. Sounds kooky and sci-fi, but like so much good sci-fi, the more you read, the more you see how very plausib...more
Joel Tumes
If you look past the giant angels from a parallel dimension, the transhuman genius, the panthiestic artificial intelligence and the battle between competing "singularity" (AKA The Rapture of The Nerds) hardware, what you've basically got here is a (cautionary?) tale about internet addiction and facebook melodrama.
Quirky. Amusing. Typical Rudy Rucker.

Oh, and it's a probably a good idea to have a dictionary on hand for the dialogue between characters getting wasted on vicarious super-intelligence...more
Jakub
I'm very ambivalent about this book.

On one hand, it has fair amount of interesting concepts, little scientific in-jokes and interesting construction of the world. On other hand, it has horribly paper-thing characters, that don't really develop - their behavior looks like something that was reverse-engineered back from their final positions and things that they were supposed to do. The overall plot was rather oneiric, with just a bit of too much of a randomness and deus ex machinae overdose.

Overa...more
Tim Fiester
I wanted to like this book because it was chock full of fun and crazy ideas but when teenagers (drop-outs no less) are spewing theoretical jargon about quantum entanglement--as dialogue--I didn't buy it. I may have to reconsider the other books by this author that I have unread on my shelves.
Tom
Started off great, didn't shy away from "hard science" and had some great ideas about language/ symbol interpretation if/ when AI agents become available. Drops to 3 stars (and almost ot 0 stars) because the last quarter of the book resembles a video game that was enjoyable until the final boss fight: "Oh, that wasn't the real final boss, this is. No, now fight him again. Now fight both of them at one time." Like a kid who doesn't know how to end a story, "And then this happened!"

Also, throughou...more
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130704
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) Realware (Ware, #4) White Light

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