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The Ware Tetralogy (Ware #1-4)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  713 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
An omnibus of Rudy Rucker's groundbreaking series ["Software," "Wetware," " Freeware," and "Realware"], with an introduction by William Gibson, author of "Neuromancer."
Paperback, 751 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Prime Books (first published March 29th 2010)
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Mar 04, 2013 Modi123 rated it really liked it
Four books spanning nearly twenty years (Software (1982), Wetware (1988), Freeware (1997), and Realware (2000)) and encompassing a shifting view on technology, drug use, sex, and the direction of humanity. Over all - I ended up really enjoying the direction this series took - though that was not my initial sentiment. Initial I took the books as a series of cheap melding of beatnick, science fiction, and an inappropriate dash of 'new words'. That still may be true for the first book, but taken as ...more
Pierre A Renaud
"Between 1982 and 2000, Rudy Rucker wrote a series of four sci-fi novels that formed The Ware Tetralogy. The first two books in the series – Software and Wetware – won the Philip K. Dick Award for best novel. And William Gibson has called Rucker “a natural-born American street surrealist” or, more simply, one sui generis dude. And now the even better part: Rucker (who happens to be the great-great-great-grandson of Hegel) has released The Ware Tetralogy under a Creative Commons license, and you ...more
Dec 20, 2010 Gary rated it liked it
OK. I see what all the fuss is about Rucker. He's 'out there' and I enjoyed the first 2 books in the series a lot but number 3 and definitely number 4 left me somewhat jaded. Real Ware in particular I found tedious after the first third. It became unfunny and rambling about trying to make too much out of too little plot line. Maybe I shouldn't have read all 4 on the trot but when they are bundled together in one massive volume what do the publishers expect?
I recommend the first 2 but perhaps it
Oct 07, 2011 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first of these novels shortly after it first came out, and was fascinated by Rucker's imagination. His idea and descriptions of Florida as a kind of nature preserve for Baby Boomers has stayed vivid through the intervening years. Reading all four novels in fairly rapid succession, what stays with me is his optimism about humankind: despite violence, greed, selfishness and our other vices, Rucker ultimately sees happy endings for us all. I will probably reread these novels whenever I a ...more
Paul Hancock
Dec 06, 2014 Paul Hancock rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
This tetralogy is in four parts, thats what makes it a tetralogy. What makes it a really good read is that each of the four parts are very different in style, pace, length, and theme. Each part explores a different dimension of consciousness, with a variety of different 'wares': software, hardware, wetware, and realware. I found each of the books enjoyable for different reasons. The characters common throughout the books helped to tie the books together, but there were enough new characters that ...more
Jun 18, 2016 Duip added it
Advice: Considering Rudy Rucker's lineage would be more interesting reading this tetralogy.
A pity, the ending is not good. Each theme of the sections is independent. Rudy's afterword are also very thrilling, attractive, funny -- especially when the mention of "Hollywood" --, and depressed -- life is always so.
SF steps forward with time. For spanning about 20 years, a lot in the tetralogy is being unnovel, but it is just that. I mean, that is normal. Every time I read this old big SF fiction, I g
Daniel Silveyra
Fantastic start, runs out of steam by "Realware"

I wouldn't recommend any of these novels to anyone who doesn't like sci-fi. This is not a cross-over book with wide appeal. If you like sci-fi and you like Phillip K. Dick, read these now.

That being said, I'd give the first two books of the series 4 stars, 3 stars for the third book and two for the last one. I probably should have stopped after the second book.

The books are full of ideas which are logically derived from their starting premise (e.g.
Rucker's ideas are great...well thought out, imaginative and compelling. Over the course of the 4 books Rucker tells a story of technology rushing forward and pushing at the intellectual event horizon. Change happens fast and becomes more fantastic and more removed from human hands as the novels go on. It is a bit of a slow start in the first and second books but by the third I was hooked and in the fourth I was anticipating the singularity. I don't want to give away spoilers for the book so I w ...more
"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.

How can I not love this author? Well, I don't "love" him: Mr. Rucker's books are a bit too challenging for my literary palate to accept easily. No, he makes me work the old grey matter and even the venerable William Gibson (who wrote the forward) describes Mr. Rucker as an acquired taste.

After a steady diet of fantasy, horror, "soft
Simon Bailey
Dec 26, 2013 Simon Bailey rated it liked it
It's hard not to echo other people's views on the tetralogy. Starts off very well IMO, it's engaging and plausible, the characters are actually pretty good and I found myself enjoying this all the way through until about the last book. At that point, Rucker's imagination was extended to a full limit I think. He had taken the concept of materialism and applied a meta-physics to it that while it gave him an unlimited possibility for story lines, became a limiting factor for the story because where ...more
Guy Ferguson
A classic. And a great collection. Realware sticks out as written differently..later I guess? I think Stross took his Accelerando idea from this series...leapfrogging through technolution, a few key players stringin the story long. For Rucker it was Cobb and Shimmer, Darla and Randy. For Stross it was Manfred and Anuko or whatever the hell his Lobster p0wned cat was called.
Upload and Live!
Samuel Polacek
Mar 05, 2014 Samuel Polacek rated it it was amazing
Its rare to find such unpredictable science fiction. Too often authors present technology as the bane or the great solution of our existence. In this series, it is quite clearly a little from column A, a little from column B, and plenty of column C pops out of nowhere too.

A crazy ride through crazy developments leads us from wet machines through photoelectric circuitry and fungally aided electronics and ultimately leaves us surfing beams of light across the universe. Somehow mind-bogglingly insa
Mar 20, 2011 Gendou rated it did not like it
This is a book all about taking drugs and having horrid sex with loveless, disgusting robots.
There is no science fiction in this book, beyond the magical idea that robotics and nanotechnology can magically make anything possible.
I have not yet read anything so base and devoid of merit.
Finishing this book felt like eating a rotten-eggs and diarrhea omelet.
(I only post reviews for books I FINISH reading!)

One main character, Sta-Hi, is a drug addled, adult-sized baby who is married to a woman's bod
Julie Salyards
Jun 22, 2011 Julie Salyards rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of Rucker's "Ware" novels, which follow the descendants of Cobb Anderson - a brilliant robot engineer and emancipator - and a handful of other characters over many decades amid ever changing AI technology. Although, I am not sure if AI or "robot" are appropriate words for Rucker's creations; they are robots, but they are also living and that is what is so intriguing about these books: the technology. It is cool, especially the idea of uploading personalities described in Sof ...more
Eric Evans
Sep 11, 2014 Eric Evans rated it it was amazing
Great book about the future of human kind and technology. It gets a little strange there for a bit but gets better as you move on. A fun read for anyone looking for a quick book to read.
Xenodream G thornton
May 12, 2016 Xenodream G thornton rated it really liked it
It starts as a tribute to Philip K Dick in the old wacky style. Then each book gets wackier.
Trevor Mcpherson
May 01, 2012 Trevor Mcpherson rated it really liked it
This book is like a firmware update for your brain.
Rucker does a good job of making the scientific and mathematical concepts that inform his fictional worlds reader friendly. At least this reader thinks so. Granted, those who are not fascinated by nanotechnology, emergent sentience and Artificial Intelligence may not be as taken as a geek like me, but so be it.

Without an overly geeky warp to your outlook, the books(Tetralogy consists of 4 related novels) still offer up some solid story lines, in
Mclasen Clasen
Feb 26, 2014 Mclasen Clasen rated it it was amazing
took a long time bu
Dec 29, 2012 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi, cyberpunk
This is definitely the wildest set of cyberpunk stories I've ever read. It's filled with sex, drugs, and robots...often at the same time. Each book in the series gets more gonzo than the previous one. Imagine a book co-written by Isaac Asimov and Hunter S. Thompson and Douglas Hofstadter: lots of interesting speculation about robots and consciousness set in a world populated by utterly depraved people.

All four of the books are fun reads, but I think the second book, "Wetware", is probably the be
Aug 30, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Viking Litespear
Jan 04, 2011 Viking Litespear rated it really liked it
I debated giving this a three star review. Rucker is a great writer, he's out there in the same way Phillip K. Dick was, but I found the writing a little sloppy at times. There were characters added who didn't really contribute that much (the two entities in Joke's head for example), and some things never quite connected for me however; if you like the cyberpunk genre, this is certainly worth a read.
Frederick Garber
Nov 06, 2014 Frederick Garber rated it it was amazing
Great SF.
Nicholas Tollervey
Feb 25, 2012 Nicholas Tollervey rated it liked it
It was fun at times but also full of "meh". That it took so long to finish indicates that I got bored of it but would eventually return for reasons that I still can't comprehend. Probably the thought that some of it had been quite entertaining (boppers) and I was hoping it'd get better.
Jason Talley
Jan 19, 2014 Jason Talley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent content, and flows one book right into another

I love the few Rudy Rucker books I have read. he is by far my favorite author. this combination of four books of his does not disappoint, and certainly left me wanting more.
Neil Clarke
Dec 20, 2010 Neil Clarke rated it really liked it
Classic Rucker cyberpunk. I read the books in the volume when they were originally published years ago. Nice to see all of them back in print.

I designed the ebook edition for this volume. If you find mistakes, feel free to drop me a line.
Aug 16, 2013 Donald rated it it was amazing
I was apparently unconscious when these came out. Because, they are really good reads, the topics are right up my alley. Ah, if I could only go back and turn me on to this then. At least I found it now. You should, too.
Jeremy Brooks
Mar 01, 2012 Jeremy Brooks rated it really liked it
An epic tale of technology changing in unexpected ways, the way humans depend on technology, and the nature of consciousness and God. As always, Rucker's imagination creates a world that is familiar and bizarre.
Sep 10, 2010 Patrick rated it it was ok
I cannot make myself adjust my self to the "for it's time this was amazing" mindset needed to be impressed by this story. Which is a pity, because the writing itself is fast paced and solid.
Jim Nicholson
Jan 25, 2013 Jim Nicholson rated it did not like it
This is, I gather, supposed to be a pastiche of Philip K. Dick. It's made of fail. Worst thing I've ever read on a kindle. Do yourself a favor and download bad mind control porn instead.
Mar 22, 2011 Heather rated it liked it
The evolution of the artificial life forms was cool, the concept of the moldies was very cool, and I just could not make myself give a shit about any of the characters in this saga.
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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)
  • Software (Ware #1)
  • Wetware (Ware #2)
  • Freeware (Ware #3)
  • Realware (Ware #4)

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“I was strange to keep waking up in the morning feeling good.” 0 likes
“This is like the joke where the guy climbs the mountain and asks the guru, 'What is the secret of life?,' and the guru says, 'All is One,' and the guys says, 'Are you kidding?,' and the guru says, 'You mean it isn't?” 0 likes
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