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Master of Space and Time

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  460 ratings  ·  48 reviews
The real world is unbearable to madcap inventor Harry Gerber, so he uses his genius to twist the laws of science and create his own tailor-made universe. Master of Space and Time combines high physics and high jinks, blurring the line between science and magic. From a voyage to a mirror-image world where sluglike parasites make slaves of humanity, to trees and bushes that ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 17th 2005 by Running Press (first published February 1985)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  460 ratings  ·  48 reviews


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Peter Tillman
Rucker's best novel? Wonderfully bizarre. 5+ stars

"Master of Space & Time" (1985) is still my favorite Rucker novel -- in which the tale of three wishes granted is explored via quantum mechanics, with wonderfully bizarre results. The apotheosis of Harry
Gerber... I've read MST at least three times, & laughed aloud each time. Who knows what someone else's taste in humor might be, but I've given away a number of copies of MoS&T over the years, and never heard a complaint. Give it a
...more
Never
Mar 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by my good friend Jim, who said it was his favorite novel of all time. While I'm not sure it's my favorite novel of all time, it definitely has lots of the marks of something that could easily be a person's favorite book.

The back of the book talks about Rucker making his living as a mathematician, and I think this comes across in the tone and perspective of the book. Very little in this book is seems to be treated as "natural" or "organic" including the
...more
Adam
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A surrealistic, slapstick journey through time and space. A madcap mix of Lewis Carroll, physics, scif b-movies and Japanese monster movies, Vonnegut, Looney Tunes, and a fairy tale. The “heroes” fight off mind controlling slugs, giant lizards, enter other dimensions, create the universe, change sex, grant wishes, start religions, solve world hunger, and go to jail. Sadly Gondry and Dan Clowse will not be adapting this for the big screen as their sensibilities would translated this well. Along ...more
Amanda
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a completely satsifying light and entertaining read infused with some heavy science bits that i personally, really enjoyed. There is no waiting for the action to happen it's right there in the 1st few pages.

This novel reminded me of Steve Aylett's work but it is considerably more fluid with loads less wandering in the plot. Classified as science fiction,this book felt equally bizzaro with its numerous oddities and social satire. It was pleasantly bizzare without trying too hard to be.

...more
Yannis
Oct 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: you wish "The Science of Sleep" had been a little better?
Wherein a couple of eccentric physicists figure out how to cross dimensions and time, after which a bunch of weird, scary, funny shit happens -- until it ends all cosmic and uplifting, imparting a sense of possibilities inherent in the hypothesized nature of the universe. It's like reading the best movie Michel Gondry will never make (thanks for nothing, Dreamworks).
Paul Kelly
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
So, I found this book in a stack of paperbacks I had bought on a close-out sale years and years ago. For some reason, I decided to read it. The story is like a carnival ride. Quirky. Inane. I suspect Rucker spent way too much of his adolescence watching Monte Python.
Patrick Rodriguez
Apr 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Everyone is just a person trying to be happy.
tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
Rudy Rucker's Master of Space and Time
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - January 9, 2015

Reading Rudy Rucker is like reading about a Ron Goulart wisecracking dysfunctional robot dropped into a bunch of stoners in Flatland. The 1st chapter is entitled "This Is the Name of This Chapter" - the type of self-reflexivity loved by me &, seemingly, by many mathematicians. Rucker was a professor of mathematics & computer science. His novels usually plunge right into the comedic weirdness
...more
Thomas
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rucker, Rudy. Masters of Space and Time. 1984. Running P, 2005.
Five years before Bill and Ted began their excellent and bogus Hollywood film adventures in time, Rudy Rucker, quondam mathematician and computer scientist, sent two grown men and their wives and girlfriends on a romp through multiple worlds and quantum dimensions. Their adventures have the same madcap slacker appeal, with the delightful addition that the author and his characters both seem to know what they are talking about most of
...more
Cliff Jr.
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like Philip K. Dick, you need to give Rudy Rucker a try. This comparison gets made a lot, which is not surprising given that he won the first ever PKD award, but it's still worth saying for those unfamiliar with Rucker. Everything I've read by him so far has been just so much mind-warping fun I can't even say.

Published in 1984, this book somehow feels like golden age sci-fi from the 1950s that's been soaked in psychedelia and polished up cyberpunk-style. I'm always on the lookout for this
...more
Doc Rotwang!
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lightning-fast, surreal, goofy, and entertaining, Master of Time and Space is one of the fastest reads I've had in recent memory. It's weird and it's funny, and though it's light and breezy, it's far from simple -- or simplistic. A lot happens in this bonkers-ass adventure, and some of it's even kinda deep and philosophical. Still, though, plenty of it is break-neck weirdness and gender swaps.

Okay, I may have said too much. Before I spoil anything, I'll stop here.
Christopher
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A quick read. Rucker's imagination knows few bounds. His knowledge of math and physics adds legitimacy to the madness. He also might have explained why when given a 3-wish scenario, one of the wishes can't be for more wishes.
Paul Wells
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sell
Like Rick and Morty? Read this.

Rudy Rucker knows the science and he uses the strangeness of quantum physics in all his writings to make something which can be dark, absurd, cartoonish, but always funny.
Des
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable craziness.
Elar
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Full of action and physics with humorous take.
Ana
Nov 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Well ... this was a mess.
James Salamon
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incredible adventure! Full of fascinating math, science, and time travel. It is also a grasping love story. Never a dull moment and keeps you very engaged.
Bruce
Aug 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Fletcher’s business gets back on its feet when an infinite number of insect-sized versions of his former business partner Harry Gerber appear floating above the dashboard of his car. Harry (who’s just back from the future) want Joe to encourage him to build a “blunzer,” the machine that will allow him to travel in time and bend the laws of physics to his will, in other words, to become the master of space and time. He also needs Joe to lend him the money to buy the equipment and the very ...more
Aaron
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
It's fair to say that I liked it. I remember the colored gluons or something made an impression on me and I thought it was cool how the characters used otherworldly circumstances to act out sexual desires that we might not have expected. However the characters themselves seemed pretty flat to me except to the extent that they might resemble the author. My objection to the characterization here doesn't ruin my appreciation of Rudy Rucker's work generally. I feel the same way about some of ...more
Nicole
Jan 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Rudy Rucker is so weird. I never know whether to laugh at the stuff that happens to the characters in his books - usually the stuff that happens is just awful enough that I feel bad for laughing. I guess I should know by now that everything usually works out. It's like an equation - the two sides always balance by the end of the plot.

This book is not as well-written character-wise as some of his others - it's all about the concept. It's still funny - I like the way that he wove in the logic
...more
أثير
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
"Old school Science fiction story"

Time traveling is my biggest passion along with parallel universes, so just once glance over the title made me pick it up without further thinking.

what I liked the most in this book is scientifically explaining how the process of time travelling can actually work. Moreover, tying it to the common fairy tales of three wishes.

Other than that, I couldn't find a single likable character. They felt like old movies' characters(of course!! it was written even before
...more
Karin
Well, that was... ok. ...I guess. Zany hijinks are never as fun as you think they're going to be. The successors to this book are better. If you still want to read about an "anything is possible" world, I recommend The Closet of Discarded Dreams, which I know is a little obscure, but well worth your time. If you want the math and a little bit of the kooky characters, but without fritter and pork chop trees, I recommend Superposition.
Julie
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is pretty weird. Main character and his friend invent a device that makes them master of space and time, for a finite amount of time (Some master of time that makes them!). And they generally screw things up and then have to try to fix it.

And it's weird in a Douglas Adams sort of way.

What it has going for it is that the women are mostly believable, and there's some transgender stuff that goes on.

You might call it a fun read, but you'd have to be the right sort of person to find it fun.
...more
Kendall
Apr 07, 2010 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It's super easy to read and moves very quickly! It's completely ridiculous on all fronts, but nonetheless enjoyable. My only complaint is that that main character does 2 very UNNECESSARY things in the book, but I won't spoil that. In the end they don't matter at all. However, one of them just happens to be hilarious. Anyway, if you're into sci-fi or anything about time travel and alternate universes, this is a fun book to read!
Craig
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the best science fiction books ever written. If you read "Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy" and were a little disappointed, read this superior book and be satisfied.

Comedy, mixed with science fiction, but in a good way. It made me laugh, it made me think. It takes concepts like time travel to a whole new level.
Matt
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a kind of a Robert Sheckley-esque romp. The characters are a little strange with their personalities and motivations changing within the story.

The lead character's desire to transform himself into a woman, may be a little off putting for some readers, and is probably why this novel isn't as popular as it should be.

Rachel
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it
This wasn't terrible, it seems a little more young adult than what I'm interested in. A little goofy but not unenjoyable. This was more of a parable with some time travel and a side of some x-files style parasitic action. Of course nothing could call itself sci-fi without the inclusion of the obligatory stim units, don't worry, there are stim units.
Catherine
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Meh. I couldn't really get into it. I didn't care about the characters and I thought it was weird how the protagonist accepts everything so readily. Is becoming a god and fiddling around with reality so commonplace? I know this is supposed to be comical, but it just didn't do it for me. I didn't finish it.
Larry
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
fun sci fi reminds me of Spider Robinson and his The Callahan Chronicals
Owen Thaxton
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I though this one was-- pretty cool.

Pretty cool.
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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.