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Realware (Ware #4)
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(Ware #4)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  766 ratings  ·  40 reviews
This hilarious finale to the award-winning series offers more cutting-edge science, raucous social satire and deeply informed speculations from one of science fiction's wittiest writers (San Francisco Chronicle)
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Eos (first published 2000)
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  766 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This one might be too wild for maiden aunts. Heck, maybe it's too out-there for the run-of-the-mill reader of SF.

But for the REST OF US, it's a truly wild ride that ramps up the same wild directions as Rucker has been taking us all along. Let's go crazy!

First of all, the aliens aren't ALL dead. Two-dimensional, multi-timeline-living, reality-hacking aliens. Death isn't really a big thing for these guys. Blowing up their own cities doesn't really mean much because the cities live on in all the ot
Peter Tillman
Ware #4 was the weakest of the 4, but still pretty good. Say, 2.6 star? From Booklog notes for 10-2000.

These would be long novellas by today's standards, I think. Still, a lot to be said for not wasting words!
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Aptly ends with a giant reunion of all the various characters introduced throughout the series. This one is probably my least favorite. It isn't bad, just less weird and intense than the others.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
While it feels slightly less thought-out then previous books, it's nice to get to the end of a series. Also it does have some interesting thoughts explored and still in a cartoonish but fun way.
Kim Zinkowski
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A. "Fun".
Quinton Young III
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stay High
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Whole series is decent mature fun, where everything and everybody is connected and like Roborally boardgame you just start bots and give them some instructions, but you never know where they end up
Dana Cameron
Jan 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
Bad. It seeks to undo and invalidate the entire story and all of its themes and thoughts.
Laura Dragon
Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels, rudy-rucker
"Reality," pontificates one of Realware's characters to another, "is, after all, a consensual hallucination," and Rudy Rucker makes a first class run at convincing us this is so.

Phil Gottner is not an ambitious man -- a fact which has long set him at odds with his brilliant mathematician father. Phil figures he's doing okay. He has a job as an assistant chef in a fancy restaurant. He has a place to live: a birdcage room he built himself inside a warehouse he shares with three other tenants. He e
Jul 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Book 1 (software) was awesome. A must read.

Book 2 (Wetware) was pretty awesome. Had a kool nee drug called merge which was wicked.

Book 3 was okay.
Book 4 (this one) was kinda a slog

I felt like this fourth book was maybe one too many. It was nice to see it all end, but i found this last book a real slog. after book 3 I was getting a bit tired of the series. it became way too much about the world, and descriptions of weird shit, and sex, than about the characters in book 4. just wasnt holding my at
The cycle is complete; it took me 10 years to finish this series with a good three or four year break between Hard and Wet. Ironically, I started this series right around when Realware came out not even realizing it existed. Like the Dune series, this series really went off the deep end trying to outdo the previous book. The further I got into this series the more I felt like it was a young adult novel as he drifted away from the hardcore sex and drugs he pushed in Software, which is what attrac ...more
Mark Schomburg
May 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
A little kilpy for a ware book. The allas leave me deflated in the same way that the matter converters of Farmer's Riverworld did. You can create anything instantly. Great. Now all we have to do is wait for the author to put it to use interestingly... for Rucker, that's not usually a problem, but you know, when the limits are taken away completely, who wants to wait for the book to load into one's head. The level of cultural & philosophical critique in this book seems so simplistic, that it' ...more
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cyberpunk
The final chapter of this extremely banal series was, in some ways, the least offensive, although still extremely negative about the nature of human beings. The book spends a pointlessly large amount of time following two characters around Tonga for a while, then jumps back to the expected cast of perverts and druggies that have been hanging around the other three books. The author keeps resurrecting poor Cobb from the first book like Dune's Duncan Idaho (this series actually resembles the Dune ...more
May 05, 2011 rated it liked it
For anyone who has read the first three "Ware" books it is worthwhile to finish the tetralogy. However, it is a tall order for Rudy Rucker to compete with the wildly imaginative books that started the cycle. The original book Software was unlike any book I ever read. The ideas were ahead of their time and Rucker's zany take on life, drugs, sex and ice cream trucks was a thrilling ride. By the time the fourth book rolls around the series feels tired. Rucker gives it his best shot by creating alie ...more
Chris Craddock
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The 4th book of a 4 volume tetralogy. All 4 books outstanding. This was a good tying up of all the loose ends as the story followed multiple generations, and the original patriarch was still around, since his soul had been downloaded and reincarnated in a 'moldie' body, half fungus, half robot. Strange drugs and colonies on the moon are part of the story, but also the nature of god and existence. Rudy Rucker is a writer and a math professor and his books combine strange imagination with science, ...more
Dev Null
Publishers who print sequels without any indication on the book that it is part of - and not the start of - a series, should be publicly flogged. I'm having a bit of trouble getting into this one, and I have no idea if the reason for that has anything to do with the fact that its apparently book 4 in a series.


Yeah, I never really managed to get into this, in part because of the aforementioned problem with it assuming information (presumably) in the first three. I'll try to find the others,
Jun 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I'd read Wetware but didn't realize there were 2 other books between that and this, so it's possible I missed something from skipping those. That said, overall it was an interesting look at a possible high tech future, with the (now) fairly usual gritty cyberpunk feel of drugs, decay, and partial anarchy. Basic theme: aliens contact earth, give everyone a way to create absolutely anything they want, chaos ensues. The characters were ok, the world was interesting, but it felt like the details and ...more
Angela Randall
Rudy Rucker has reprinted the series as a complete set: The Ware Tetralogy. As a bonus, he's also released the whole Tetralogy as a free PDF available on his site.

The Ware Tetralogy (Ware, #1-4) by Rudy Rucker
Brick Marlin
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Rudy Rucker delivers another great read in The Ware Tetralogy! Anyone who is a fan of cyberpunk should look this author up! Even though I did not own the third book in this series and read 1, 2 and 4, each novel could be considered a stand alone novel. Mr. Rucker does not leave the reader scratching his head about terms he has developed, explaining each one, if you do decide to read these books out of sequence.
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing

Rudy Rucker is always a pure delight to read.

His writing style is unfettered, and flows from page to page, and is always unique in its perspective. Rucker can make the science in sci-fi supremely palatable, and the fiction deliciously mind-blowing.

This is one of my favorite stories of his.
Sasha Romesburg
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm near certain that if I'd read the series in order, I would rate this higher. as it stands I picked this up at a dollar store when I desperately needed something to read, was as lost as one would expect with such intricate world-building. I love Rudy Rucker's short stories, and I intend to start this series from the beginning. I will change my rating when that happens, for sure.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not sure what I thought of this one. Yes, there were robots and not-robots, and surfer-style laidbackness, and the same sort of playful drunken stumble toward utopia as the other three books in this series. This one came with a hefty shot of meta and a surprising* walk-on by the 510 in the end.

*Sorta surprising

Dec 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
In the final instalment, this series melts into a messy, stupid mishmash. The allusions to Alice in Wonderland hint at what the author possibly had in mind. But what comes out isn't terribly different from watching sausages get made.
Nicole G.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, sf-fantasy
I didn't find this as satisfying as the other three. Even the craziness of Freeware was more intriguing than this. I'm glad I finished it to see how the series ended, and the allas are certainly food for thought, but I just think it could have been better.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as "Freeware", but nevertheless a solid final chapter to this series. Some shades of Robert Heinlein in terms of the naivety and simplicity of the characters, but some clever new ideas make this story definitely worth the effort.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not as good as his others, a little too out there for me.
Jul 15, 2010 rated it did not like it
What was I thinking? New genre, in the middle of a series, poor editing, *sigh.*
Dennis Schvejda
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
"Realware" is the fourth book of the "Ware" Tetralogy. Definitely a let down, and a forced read. This series and its 800 pages could have been shortened quite a bit.
Jessica Harmon
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Typically I do not like science fiction, but I LOVED this book!
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
His characters and writing isn't always top-notch, but his setting, events, ideas, and wacky hijinks sure are. The tetralogy is well worth reading.
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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)
  • Software (Ware, #1)
  • Wetware (Ware #2)
  • Freeware (Ware #3)
“But Onar turned out to be a poor lover, certainly the worst of Yoke’s
few partners thus far. Onar stinted on the foreplay, made a long messy
fuss of his prophylactic preparations, and was up for at most sixty
seconds of actual coitus. As a final turn-off, Onar said something British
when he came, something like “Cor blimey,” or “Top drawer,” or “Bit of
all right”— Yoke’s outraged brain disdained to retain the phrase.”
More quotes…