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(Ware #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,908 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Cobb Anderson created the "boppers," sentient robots that overthrew their human overlords. But now Cobb is just an aging alcoholic waiting to die, and the big boppers are threatening to absorb all of the little boppers--and eventually every human--into a giant, melded consciousness. Some of the little boppers aren't too keen on the idea, and a full-scale robot revolt is un ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published October 1st 1987 by Eos (first published 1982)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  3,908 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Glenn Russell
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing

"You should think of me as a person. My personality is human. I still like eating and . . . and other things."

This combination of human and robot fused into one – a prime philosophic enigma addressed squarely in Rudy Rucker’s Software. Take a close look at the gal above, a young lady who could be Misty from the novel talking about her identity. Twenty-five-year old, randy Stanley Hilary Mooney Jr. aka Sta-Hi Mooney is certainly attracted, big time, but then again he starts thinking of the wires
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Totally crazy fun. I haven't had this much sheer delight in crazy robot action in ages. The boppers are a blast.

Get this: turn the whole meme of eating brains into a gigantic robot enterprise to upload meat people into imperishable robot bodies, turn the moon into a robot paradise fueled by program evolution, add a serious stoner meat-person to join in the fun up in the moon, and make sure we've got a lot of funny and light and subversive dialogue, and we've got SOFTWARE.

Truly, this is one of th
This is one of those books I am surprised more people have not read or at least heard of. This won the first ever Philip K. Dick Award and book two in the series won the award years later. Not that I put all of my stock in awards but whatever will encourage people to read this book I will mention.

Part of me badly wants to rate this book 5 stars but there were a few things that bothered me enough for a final 4 1/2 star rating. I experienced some difficulty starting but once the action kicked in,
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Re-read of this cyberpunk classic, I read it long before joining goodreads. Great story about sentient robots, old age, transmigration of the soul. All SF fans should give this try, especially if you enjoyed William Gibson's "Neuromancer" or Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash".
Mar 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Kind of dated, but fun the way I like SF to be. Biggest issue was that all the female characters were brainless bimbos.
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I came to cyberpunk from an interesting vector: I discovered it through Marvel's 2099 comic series, of all places, and then watched the Matrix, and only after that became aware of authors like Gibson, Cadigan, and Stephenson. So while I've read a lot of cyberpunk, and have a fondness for it as a genre, it's a patchwork sort of fondness, which is why I'd never heard of this until recently, despite it's role as a primum movens within cyberpunk literature (something that William Gibson talks about ...more
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
Coming to this book again for the first time in about twenty years was interesting because I could hardly remember a thing about it. But having recently aquired it's sequel (Wetware), I thought I'd better go back and read this again to refresh my memory.

I was suprised how light and fluffy it was. Rucker again touches upon some of his favourite themes (the computatability of consciousness, the logical impossibility of a being designing a consciousness equal to one's own - Kurt Godel gets a cameo
Ben Loory
it's weird to think of this as the beginning of cyberpunk because it's nothing at all like what i think of as cyberpunk. doesn't have any of the noirish elements and nobody's running around inside a computer. this seems more like some underground 60s comic, lotsa zany action and stoned philosophizin', mr. natural in space or something like that. not that i don't like it-- this book is a lot of fun (and i can see why it won the first ever philip k. dick award). it's just that (as with White Light ...more
Peter Tillman
Jun 15, 2016 rated it liked it
From my booklog, 12-8-1991: OK+ on reread. Sta-hi vs Mr Frostee! Lots of period California hippie humor, circa 1982. See my note re the 4 WARES for $1! Deal!
May 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults.
This book is set in a dystopian future where the Boomer cohort has been shipped off to Florida to live on free government provided food drops, and rent is free, because Social Security ran out before 2020 (when the book takes place) and riots forced the government to somehow provide for the huge aging cohort. In the book, the aging Boomers are called pheezers - for "freaky geezers" - many of whom still cling to their youthful rebelliousness (remember this book was written before the 80s - when m ...more
Joey Comeau
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Oh Rudy Rucker, what a wacky bastard. His 'ware trilogy and 'the hacker and the ants' are my favourites of his. It's been so long since I read this, but I still have such strong positive feelings when I see the cover that I had to give it 4 stars when Goodreads recommended it to me. It is supposed to be Biopunk, or some were genepunk genre, but really it is science fiction written by a goddamn hippy mathematician. Delightful!
John Loyd
Cobb Anderson is the one who thought of evolving robots. That was the only way to make them more complex, to make them individuals. That led to bopper revolt and anarchy on the moon. Cobb was tried for treason, not convicted, but he did lose his job.

Decades later Cobb is an old man with a failing second-hand heart who doesn't want to die. He is approached by a robot that looks exactly like him who says the boppers want to make him immortal. Mooney saw this replica leaving a valuable shipping cr
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm kinda shocked that I never read this one back in 87. Cyber Punk always meant Gibbson to me and I never followed up with his contemporaries.
The book is a little dated. Gotta love the punk gargon and all the boomers retiring to Florida to have druken orgys before they shuffle off to oblivion. Hold on that last one isn't so far fetched.
It's refreshing to read about A.I. with a plausible explanation on how it cane about and with no pesky build in three laws. The civil war between the machines wa
Jun 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Hrm... Interesting ideas, but the characters are so wooden. It reads like an old fashioned movie, and the characters are secondary to the story which isn't particularly complex. There's a nice thread of philosophy running through it which would have been worth expanding further via character interactions or experiences.
Kent Frazier
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
An interesting take on robots that lies somewhere between Asimov and Terminator, but there were no characters for whom I felt much affinity. Amusing enough that I'll probably finish at least another of the tetralogy... we'll see if I make thru them all...
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This shit is the shit. Stuzzy! Can you wave with it?
Pedro Pascoe
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, re-read, cyberpunk
I read Rucker's 'Ware trilogy back in the 2000's sometime. I remeber loving them, and they blew my mind in regards to thinking about minds being copied into robot bodies yet the original body being destroyed in the first place. I remember Rucker teasing philosophical points out, bearing in mind that nobody except the original 'you' would actually really be affected. Was that a price worth paying? Similar issues were raised in 'The Punch Escrow' which I read recently, and my thoughts drifted back ...more
Twin Lovers
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For lovers of New Wave Science Fiction, Cyber-Punk, Post-Modernism, and Transrealism. This novel was the fist to win the PKD award and that's how I came across it (being an a great admirer of PKD). I am a musician and have been working with Transrealism in sound or ways to further the concept. Little did I know that Rudy Rucker originally coined the term. This is just a great discovery and I look forward to reading other books by this author. The novel feels fresh and contemporary even in 2018. ...more
Michael Hanscom
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick, entertaining read, and I liked some of the ideas for evolving AI rather than trying to build it from scratch. Pity about the racist Japanese “accent” one character uses for a while, though. What was acceptably humorous in the early 80s (well, if you weren’t Asian, at least) is cringeworthy now.
May 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf, sync, cyberpunk
Really badly dated. Surely Rucker's Boppers weren't even believable in 1982.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
Fun. My favorite joke was the robot society bus getting more expensive every day as part of natural selection.
I can't remember if I was the first to read a chapter, or if my husband was, the night I fell in love with Software. Either way, it was my chapter to read. We already had the lights out, the baby was already asleep in her bassinet.

Earlier in the story, Sta-hi Mooney (a stoner and one of the protagonists) had been kidnapped by a gang called the Little Kidders. They were a mongrel group, but all wore brightly colored shoes. Sta-hi was trapped with his head sticking out of a hole in a table, listen
David Agranoff
This 1982 cyberpunk classic is a must read for Science fiction fans. I am not sure why others read science fiction but I read it because the ability for the stories to expand my thinking. Out of date in some ways Software holds up very well and that might be because Rudy Rucker is a genius, for real a genius. A mathematician and computer scientist Rucker writes science fiction novels no one else could match. Inventiveness, radical thinking and pretty comical through out.

Software is closer to tra
Apr 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
On Earth live the Pheezers, a generation of constantly drunk old-timers. By this time in the future, artificially produced organs are cheap and drunks survive for decades by simply replacing wasted livers with new ones at will.

On the moon live the Boppers, the first generation of robots that have learned to 'bop', which means having conscious thoughts and reflections. Because they became sentient, they fought for and obtained their independence from Earth. But humans and Boppers still get along
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Software by Rudy Rucker is a gritty, gripping science-fiction novel that explores cyberpunk themes in a retro (Pulp or early Golden Age) format. Software feel like reading an old Amazing Stories or Astounding Science Fiction magazine. The slim volume and direct prose make Software feel slightly and deliciously subversive.

Winner of the inaugural Philip K. Dick award in 1982, Software is a clear influence on many other science fiction writers, most notably Richard K. Morgan and his Takeshi Kovacs
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Software" by Rudy Rucker poses the one thing most Science Fiction writers dread. The loss of the 3 Laws of Robotics and shows the evolution of Robots to a point in which they consider the Human soul or the "it" of life as the very definition of Software. Therefore Human traits, feelings, memories, actions, and desires. Can all be mapped and moved if necessary. Well as you might have figured that didn't fly well with humans. Which makes this novel a short but very interesting read.
As part of a T
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! Everything I like about sci-fi is captured in this book. Somehow the first things that come to mind are Phillip K. Dick and Kurt Vonnegut. As the foreword by William Gibson states, Rudy seems capable of doing anything at any time. His narratives twist through the bizarre experiences of his characters. The material is funny, fantastically original, and very naughty and edgy. Something like the Illuminati books ... but with a much more coherent narrative.
Wonderful! Love it! Great!
Kylie Sparks
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I loved this. My only complaint is it is too short--it doesn't feel finished at the end. But it's totally hilarious. I'm no good at synopsis, but this is pretty classic sci-fi--robots attempting to steal human's "software" and add it to their massive processor. I love the words he makes up--like pheezer, for "freaky geezer" and his endearing characters. I love the way his universe is so recognizable, even though it is so strange. And it's really wacky, but as one blurb on the back says, there is ...more
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rucker, one of the original cyberpunkers (or as he calls the genre: transreal), plays his gonzo riffs off a world inhabited by self-aware robots and the man who gave them their freedom. Along the way, he messes around with the concept of what makes us human. Are we the same person if all that we are is distilled down to our software? Are we the sum of our memories, our habits, and beliefs? This is part one of Ruckers Ware tetralogy.
This one was a solid SF book,it had good direct prose and it was a fun,enjoyable read. It was also thoughtprovoking,smart with its ideas,the characters was very well done. I agree with the cover blurb that it is a classic Cyperpunk novel.

I could have as easily rated it 4 stars,it was that good but i didnt because i have a feeling the other books in the series will be even better.
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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.

Other books in the series

Ware (4 books)
  • Wetware (Ware #2)
  • Freeware (Ware #3)
  • Realware (Ware #4)

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“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.”
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