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Postsingular

(Postsingular #1)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  961 ratings  ·  141 reviews
It all begins next year in California. A maladjusted computer industry billionaire and a somewhat crazy US President initiate a radical transformation of the world through sentient nanotechnology; sort of the equivalent of biological artificial intelligence. At first they succeed, but their plans are reversed by Chu, an autistic boy. The next time it isn't so easy to st
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  961 ratings  ·  141 reviews


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Sir_orfeo
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The author is a ex-drug addict, a Mondo 2000 alumnus, a professor of advanced mathematics, a key figure in the creation of cyberpunk (he preferred the term "Transrealist") a 2 to the 3rd (minus two) descendant of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a multi-PKD award winning novelist and completely obsessed with cuttlefish.

What could possibly go wrong?
Kara Babcock
Speculation about the future is often a problem of calibration. It’s difficult to dial in our predictions. Sometimes we are too optimistic, too expansive, allowing our imaginations to run away with the plot. Sometimes we are too cynical, too cautious, and end up failing to see what was so obvious in hindsight. Whatever the mode of the day, however, as a species we remain pretty bad at predicting the future. Where’s my flying car?

Indeed, how often do we see the future coming? Yet we insist on pro
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Rachael
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: specualtive-fic
The first chapter should have warned me away. Half the dialogue amounted to:
"Let me tell you what cool things this tech we've been working on together can do!"
"I know. Now let me tell you something else!"
"Isn't this fantastic that we can keep telling each other things we should both already know so we can bring the audience up to speed!"

This kind of obvious exposition is one of my pet peeves of bad writing, largely because it pushes the reader out of the story. The writing got better as the book
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Mauro
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one bizarre novel. Earth and Mars are dismantled by nanomachines and then put back together again in the first dozen pages, and then things get even weirder. There are a lot of neat ideas, and Rucker seems to know his new-age physics (his technobabble game is strong), but the idea of (view spoiler) was a bit too much for me. Or maybe I don't take enough drugs. Interestingly, Rucker doesn't seem to be a fan ...more
Chloe
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Chloe by: Cory Doctorow
This book took me months to read and I'm not sure whether that's a mark of acclaim or disparagement. This was quite the imaginative story, one that offered a very keen look at a world overrun with nanomachines capable of rewriting reality at the cellular level and the risks and benefits associated with the singularity (ask a physicist).

However, what took me so long to read this book was that Rucker was so focused on the wonders of the technology and the possibilities for it that the story itself
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Michael
Jan 26, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book is a disaster!

I can barely form a coherent reveiew after reading such a waste of ideas. And the truly depresing aspect of the situation is how much potential those ideas had to be explored.

Above all, story and science aside, the characters had no dimension. In character-driven story telling, as this novel attempted to be, this is unacceptable in fiction. The characters were given adult problems and situations to deal with, just pleading for some well written prose and dialogue to fully
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Hank Hoeft
When I was twelve or thirteen years old, I worried about the ecological death of the planet, because that was when ecological concerns were beginning to get a lot of media attention. And it didn't help that I read a lot of science fiction dealing with man-made environmental catastrophes. That was when I learned that science fiction could be scary. (The quasi-documentary "The Hellstrom Chronicles," about the eventual--and according to the movie, inevitable--takeover of the earth by insects scared ...more
Bruce
Nov 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
It is difficult to write a review of such a work of unremarkableness. The story is forgettable, the writing unsalted, unbuttered grits, and the science is at best that warped nonsense promulgated by the modern media.Given the credentials of the author, disappointing. He can do better.
tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
Rudy Rucker's Postsingular
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - January 26, 2015

For the complete review go here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/...

At 1st this just seemed like reruns to me. The "nants", life-as-we-know-it-threatening nanotechnology intent on eating the Earth & its inhabitants & recreating them virtually in order to create a super-computer more in keeping w/ the nants's own self-organization, seemed like a rerun of Rucker's own The Hacker and the Ants (1994) from 13
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Eric Lawton
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
I only finished this in the sense that I'm not going to read any more. I've liked other books by this author, so disappointed. The characters are caricatures, the "science fiction" is far more fiction than science, in the sense that he invents what ever is needed for the plot, such as it is. In the first chapter, nano machines take apart Mars and Earth, assemble them into super-powerful computers and then put them back exactly how they were, to the point where the people who were turned into bot ...more
Jimmy
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
The book had its moments, and I’ve read worse; but it started to completely go off the rails about halfway through. What started out as a believable, creative, thought-provoking idea degenerated into utter nonsensical deus-ex-machina moment after moment. By the end, the unbelievable absurdity of everything ruined the creative impulse underlying its initial conception.
Stefan
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Damn, but this is a weird book. In one of the first chapters, a fairly typical weird scientist character uses sentient nano-machines to deconstruct the planet Mars, turning it into a giant super-computer shaped like a Dyson sphere. As a result, the entire sky-view of Earth is now in effect the inside of the sphere. One of the scenes in this book that positively gave me the creeps was a description of that sphere being used as a gigantic Imax screen for political propaganda. Imagine looking up to ...more
Andrew
Oct 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi, abandoned
It's not often that I abandon a book, but this one I just couldn't finish. (I might have forced myself to read a few more pages, but then the new Iain Banks book downloaded to the Kindle, so that was the end of that.) The science part of the sci-fi just felt unbelievable to me. Now, I can suspend my belief as much as the next man, unless the next man is a politician. But, it just didn't feel like it made any sense. I like sci-fi where the ideas are followed logically and the author creates inter ...more
Daniel
Jun 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
I possibly came into this one with overly high hopes. Rudy Rucker is often mentioned as one of the key authors writing about the Singularity, a concept I find endlessly fascinating. I think I was kind of expecting another Accelerando, but this wasn't up to that level.

Postsingular tells the tale of a few folks who live through a very simplistic Singularity, and how they cope with the new always-networked world populated by artificial intelligences and strange beings from a parallel universe (spec
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Marc Weidenbaum
Rudy Rucker starts a reported trilogy with a book about nanotechnology remaking the world, and the consciousness of the world's inhabitants right along with it.

In fact, the world is remade at least twice in the book, first in a freak experiment, and then in a phreakier one. The law of unintended consequences is the law of the land in Rucker's re-re-imagined Earth, where a global, semi-organic network of sentient helper tech grants everyone a form of omniscience, and taps into other dimensions.
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Alex
Oct 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Gonzo sci-fi at its best. Quantum computing, networked consciousness, self-aware evolving artificial intelligence. It's easy enough to get through. But there are a few times when I feel a little too much of deus ex machina, and that the focus of the story is on the technology.

Good writing should always be about the characters, and at some point in "Act III", this book loses sight of the people and you find yourself distracted by how Rucker's technological universe works. That is, until you reca
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Larry-bob Roberts
Oct 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
I like Rucker's books a lot but it's been a while since I've read one. Fortunately my brother gave this to me as a gift. I found that it was a really fast read - Rucker is very good at presenting his conceptual material in a rapidly absorbable manner.

I think that there is something for other writers to learn from his plotting - each character actually has two plotlines - the goals of their ego and the goals of their id or libido.

And another element of the book that appealed to me is that it's se
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Mark CB
Jul 10, 2009 rated it liked it
At once painfully awkward and mind-blowingly imaginative. The narrative is almost embarrassingly bad, but the scale of ideass on display make up for it... just barely.

Don't read this for its story telling, read it for its inventiveness. This book is way ahead of its time. Rudy Rucker will be remembered as some kind of prophet- i am sure about that.
Robert Bogdon
Dec 05, 2012 rated it did not like it

This was exactly what I expected out of a Rudy Rucker book after having read Spaceland: A Novel of the Fourth Dimension. Someone please take away his writing license.
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Kenzo Pan
Mar 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book is the most unbelievable and fantastic (as in remote from reality) that I have ever read.I gave up on page 221 of 320. I just didn't care enough to finish. The first 94 pages are insane enough that I can actually recommend you read them. Then YOU can say you read the most insane story ever. The book devolves after chapter 5. Don't bother.
Chip
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
TL;DR: Wuuuut
Malcolm Little
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
As I was reading Postsingular, a thought about the structure of writing pervaded throughout: perhaps detailed exposition will be done away with after the singularity event.

That’s certainly what I felt whilst reading the disconnected and rushed prose inundating me throughout Rucker’s Postsingular. It’s as if the author wrote the novel thinking that readers are editors, that all they need are a cast of characters, a bevy of locations, and an array of things, and words bridging all those together i
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Pdendrijver
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This was... interesting?

A lot of interesting things happened, with possible... interesting and exciting implications. However, the most interesting characters were still as flat as a nanoparticle, while the others weren't deeper than a single Planck length.

The thing read dreamlike, while all the characters showed a profound emotional detachment from reality. This book feels like a dream you half remembered, which is interesting given the storyline, but usually not what I'm looking for in a boo
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Greg Frederick
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rudy Rucker is a genius. I first read his Ware Tetralogy, which was the craziest sci-fi series I'd ever experienced. Parts of those stories still haunt and amuse me. This story checked all the same boxes, but didn't unravel the wtf yarn quite as far... which was just fine with me.

This story was full of creative sci-fi concepts from the start, had interesting yet cliche-type characters, and was full of action and inter-relational drama.

I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys cyberpunk or stor
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TheOldWoman&TheSea
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cyberpunk
The first couple of pages sucked me right into the story. I wanted to know more about the two best friends and what they were up to.

Instead, their story stops, and we meet a bunch of new characters some ten, twenty, ... years into the future. In fact, there were so many new characters that there just didn't seem to be enough time to get to know any of them properly. And so, I didn't care about their stories.

The idea for the book though, is interesting : Gaia vs. technology.
Peaseblossom
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Imaginative but disjointed. Had a hard time getting through it. Helps if you have read Ray Kurzweil's "The Singularity is Near." Based on the idea of a coming time when collective machine intelligence will surpass that of humans..
Mike W
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
2 and a half stars but I gave it 3 because I like his style.
Patrick McConnell
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Good quick read. Prophetic?
Jim H
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to drop this many times. But in the end this was worth sticking with precisely because it's all too, uh, absurdly fantastical. A great pleasurable mind fuck for sure.
StrangeAeons
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a tough book to get into. The fact that it's so disjointed is both its boon and its blight, yet... I wouldn't expect otherwise from Rudy Rucker. This is probably one strictly for the "heads".

I've only read Postsingular in full once, but I've been picking it up and reading chapters at random in the years since, and I've been enjoying it more like that. There's a lot of interesting things going on here, but they're hard to digest in one long slog.

I am due for a proper reread though, which
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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.

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