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Frek and the Elixir
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Frek and the Elixir

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  204 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
In the year 3003, nothing in the world is the same, except maybe that adolescents are still embarrassed by their parents. Society and the biosphere alike have been transformed by biotechnology, and the natural world is almost gone.

Frek Huggins is a boy from a broken family, a misfit because he's a natural child, conceived without technological help or genetic modifications
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Tor Books (first published 2004)
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Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the Rucker Novel that will be read in schools 50 years from now.
Frek's father left the planet in a big hurry after gov (the government) peeped him with their rather invasive brain scrambling techniques. Ever since then, Frek and his family have been seen as kind of renegades and outsiders, not really proper company for the upstanding citizen. Frek follows in his father's footsteps when he discovers that some alien intelligence is trying to get in touch with him - gov discovers it too and comes after Frek. With the help of a Grulloo, a second class citizen wi ...more
Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had never read any Rudy Rucker before, and after this outing I can not say I'll be running out to pick up something else by him.

The book tells the tale of a Frek a human kid in a crazy future where rampant bioengineering and consumerism rule the day. Most of the original species on Earth have been obliterated, and now only Gov sanctioned creatures can live and reproduce. Frek finds himself on an adventure to retrieve a mysterious elixir that will supposedly restore Earth to its former glory,
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rucker is interesting. A friend of mine is reading some of his books and this one and Spaceland were available at my local library. I feel like this author needs more feedback from his editors because he has a tendency to both over- and under-explain different scenes, leading to some tedious passages and then also some scenes that are sped up and glossed over. He may not feel he needs to do that much refining because his main gig is as a mathematician and so the pressure to listen to feedback ma ...more
Adam Boisvert
Frek and the Elixir incorporates some pretty complex ideas: M-theory, quantum mechanics, genetic engineering, stem cells, the effects of media on culture, journalistic ethics, artificial intelligence, and advertising ethics, to name a few.

In then takes these ideas and weaves a standard cheesy "boy's adventure story" where the protagonist makes a series of bad decisions and worse decisions (because that's what boys do), but he still wins in the end (because he's the hero and it's that sort of sto
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a crazy, wild story of pre-teenaged angst in the far future. While it takes a while to get the rhythm as characters speak in a totally idiomatic vernacular that kids might use in an extremely advanced society where there is virutally no difference between technology and human physicality (cell phones are integrated with their brains), once you do, it's a joyride. Between aliens using our world as a reality show, talking dogs, and a small 12-year-old boy who has to save the world, this is ...more
Dec 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: sff, fiction
a lot of interesting ideas - perhaps too many - it didn't hang together very well, although i could feel the outlines of a good story somewhere in the background. some surprisingly charming characters - perhaps the most affection i've felt for a sci-fi dog since we3's 1 - but i wish they'd been fleshed out more.

mo movie measure report card: FAIL, although there were a couple brief conversations that could arguably make for a borderline PASS. i suppose third-person limited narrative with male POV
David C
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
RR makes you think you understand cosmology: the kids in the story do! From an author famous for inventive worlds, here's one for YA. A far future in which Earth's ecology is severely truncated, aliens want to ride humans like avatars, and Frek is just trying to keep Gov off his back, rescue Earth, and protect his mom and sisters. Which aliens are the good guys? Can he get to the root of Earth's problems and solve them? Avoid getting too big or too small for his britches? All this and more, much ...more
This book is odd. I enjoyed it, but I can't say I liked it. It's a different type of adventure-scifi that I just may not be used to. I appreciate Rucker going for a "wet" scifi world instead of a "hard" one, but the story drags on for hundreds of pages more than I really wanted to invest myself in. Still, if you like Rucker and you like odd worlds that are practically from scratch, this might be for you.
Brett Bydairk
A coming of age book, seemingly for the YA crowd, but not really.
In the 31st Century, all normal plant life is gone, replaced by artificial organisms, and the genomes of the original plants have been wiped from all databases.
Frek, a young boy of 12, must make contact and deal with aliens who promise him an elixir that will restore the genomes. Along the way, he reunites with hi estranged father, and meets many interesting...creatures.
Much imaginative science and social relations.
Richard Stern
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75? Creative, humorous, kept one's interest, a few new ideas. Perhaps a little on the long side. Loved the grammatical twist of the clam headed aliens, the collapsed Biome. A bit of shark jumping is inevitable but did not stop me from enjoying this.
I would actually give this book two and half stars if it were possible. It has a lot of good ideas, but the author attempts to use all of them. This bogs down the story, but also makes events happen in far too rapid succession to make sure everything gets in. Could have used some pruning.
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
There's plenty of plot summaries here already. I enjoyed Rucker's exploration of cosmic physics in the setting of Frek's adventures. The book is a bit long, but for the most part it is well paced and highly enjoyable.
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wacky hijinks! Too fast paced for someone at home recovering from surgery. But I love Rudy Rucker, bless him, the man's imagination is out of control.
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love Kurt Vonegut and you at least like William Gibson, Rudy Rucker deserves a chance. A goggy read, a bit geevy now and then.
Jacque wong
kids do the darndest things...
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man, this one will blow your mind. I guess I'd call it sci-fi, but really really light on the sci. Fun, and I'd call it kid-friendly for a teenager, since the main character is around 10 yrs old.
Sep 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fair. I prefer The Boy Who Reversed Himself for 4th-dimension cleverness.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
so far so good!
Karen Grothe
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal
This is a young adult science fiction novel in which people have biological communication implants which the government monitors. Despite the dystopian nature of the book, I found it quite funny.
Dave Derington
Sep 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book was a total mind-fark. A MUST READ.
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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...

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