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The Ware Tetralogy

(Ware #1-4)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  900 ratings  ·  57 reviews
An omnibus of Rudy Rucker's groundbreaking series [Software, Wetware, Freeware, and Realware], with an introduction by William Gibson, author of Neuromancer.
Paperback, 751 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Prime Books (first published March 29th 2010)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  900 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Feb 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Four books spanning nearly twenty years (Software (1982), Wetware (1988), Freeware (1997), and Realware (2000)) and encompassing a shifting view on technology, drug use, sex, and the direction of humanity. Over all - I ended up really enjoying the direction this series took - though that was not my initial sentiment. Initial I took the books as a series of cheap melding of beatnick, science fiction, and an inappropriate dash of 'new words'. That still may be true for the first book, but taken as ...more
Peter Tillman
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read separately & liked, but this mini-review is prompted by a SUPER EBOOK SALE:
All FOUR books for 99c!
One week sale, expires Monday, April 1

By memory, these range from 3 to 4 stars, 3.5 overall? Read long, long ago. Last one read in 2000. OK, this century, anyway, -- & it was (by far) the weakest. But hey, for 25c/book.....
Oct 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first of these novels shortly after it first came out, and was fascinated by Rucker's imagination. His idea and descriptions of Florida as a kind of nature preserve for Baby Boomers has stayed vivid through the intervening years. Reading all four novels in fairly rapid succession, what stays with me is his optimism about humankind: despite violence, greed, selfishness and our other vices, Rucker ultimately sees happy endings for us all. I will probably reread these novels whenever I a ...more
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, sf

I quite enjoyed the first of this tetralogy, but it went steadily downhill, and I couldn't bring myself to the last...

Daniel Silveyra
Fantastic start, runs out of steam by "Realware"

I wouldn't recommend any of these novels to anyone who doesn't like sci-fi. This is not a cross-over book with wide appeal. If you like sci-fi and you like Phillip K. Dick, read these now.

That being said, I'd give the first two books of the series 4 stars, 3 stars for the third book and two for the last one. I probably should have stopped after the second book.

The books are full of ideas which are logically derived from their starting premise (e.g.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is a book all about taking drugs and having horrid sex with loveless, disgusting robots.
There is no science fiction in this book, beyond the magical idea that robotics and nanotechnology can magically make anything possible.
I have not yet read anything so base and devoid of merit.
Finishing this book felt like eating a rotten-eggs and diarrhea omelet.
(I only post reviews for books I FINISH reading!)

One main character, Sta-Hi, is a drug addled, adult-sized baby who is married to a woman's bod
Pierre A Renaud
"Between 1982 and 2000, Rudy Rucker wrote a series of four sci-fi novels that formed The Ware Tetralogy. The first two books in the series – Software and Wetware – won the Philip K. Dick Award for best novel. And William Gibson has called Rucker “a natural-born American street surrealist” or, more simply, one sui generis dude. And now the even better part: Rucker (who happens to be the great-great-great-grandson of Hegel) has released The Ware Tetralogy under a Creative Commons license, and you ...more
Oct 23, 2010 rated it liked it
OK. I see what all the fuss is about Rucker. He's 'out there' and I enjoyed the first 2 books in the series a lot but number 3 and definitely number 4 left me somewhat jaded. Real Ware in particular I found tedious after the first third. It became unfunny and rambling about trying to make too much out of too little plot line. Maybe I shouldn't have read all 4 on the trot but when they are bundled together in one massive volume what do the publishers expect?
I recommend the first 2 but perhaps it
Paul Hancock
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
This tetralogy is in four parts, thats what makes it a tetralogy. What makes it a really good read is that each of the four parts are very different in style, pace, length, and theme. Each part explores a different dimension of consciousness, with a variety of different 'wares': software, hardware, wetware, and realware. I found each of the books enjoyable for different reasons. The characters common throughout the books helped to tie the books together, but there were enough new characters that ...more
Nick Chatfield
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-home-library
I will admit the last book, 'Realware' is a little tiny bit of tinfoil in an otherwise glorious smorgasbord of science fiction goodness, but the overall abundance of weird, fun, drug-riddled robot shenanigans is simply irresistible to me and a collection I have enjoyed many times.
Tom Morck
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
While the first book was cutting edge on the 70’s, its a little dated now. Fun sequence of books, but dragged at the end.
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, posthuman
An amazing, sometimes disturbing read with rather novel insights into the possible direction of "AI" - Although I don't think he was looking at it as AI in our current sense.

The first three books tend to be a tad hard core but worth it. The fourth is less so, with the author exploring the idea of highly advanced alien entities that straddle multiple dimensions and how they might appear gods. Wetware was my favorite by far.
Rucker's ideas are great...well thought out, imaginative and compelling. Over the course of the 4 books Rucker tells a story of technology rushing forward and pushing at the intellectual event horizon. Change happens fast and becomes more fantastic and more removed from human hands as the novels go on. It is a bit of a slow start in the first and second books but by the third I was hooked and in the fourth I was anticipating the singularity. I don't want to give away spoilers for the book so I w ...more
"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.

How can I not love this author? Well, I don't "love" him: Mr. Rucker's books are a bit too challenging for my literary palate to accept easily. No, he makes me work the old grey matter and even the venerable William Gibson (who wrote the forward) describes Mr. Rucker as an acquired taste.

After a steady diet of fantasy, horror, "soft
Jun 18, 2016 added it
Advice: Considering Rudy Rucker's lineage would be more interesting reading this tetralogy.
A pity, the ending is not good. Each theme of the sections is independent. Rudy's afterword are also very thrilling, attractive, funny -- especially when the mention of "Hollywood" --, and depressed -- life is always so.
SF steps forward with time. For spanning about 20 years, a lot in the tetralogy is being unnovel, but it is just that. I mean, that is normal. Every time I read this old big SF fiction, I g
August Bourré
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Everything about this book feels a generation behind, from the bullshit hippie lingo that's the foundation of Rucker's stiff, barely-competent prose to the Stand On Zanzibar version of a future with advancing technology but social values that didn't change with them. (Yeah, fine, drugs are more acceptable, but no culture of responsible drug use developed? Please.)

The characters are flat, and they seem to have few motivations for how they behave. The plot doesn't move forward based on the needs o
Simon Bailey
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it
It's hard not to echo other people's views on the tetralogy. Starts off very well IMO, it's engaging and plausible, the characters are actually pretty good and I found myself enjoying this all the way through until about the last book. At that point, Rucker's imagination was extended to a full limit I think. He had taken the concept of materialism and applied a meta-physics to it that while it gave him an unlimited possibility for story lines, became a limiting factor for the story because where ...more
Julie Salyards
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of Rucker's "Ware" novels, which follow the descendants of Cobb Anderson - a brilliant robot engineer and emancipator - and a handful of other characters over many decades amid ever changing AI technology. Although, I am not sure if AI or "robot" are appropriate words for Rucker's creations; they are robots, but they are also living and that is what is so intriguing about these books: the technology. It is cool, especially the idea of uploading personalities described in Sof ...more
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rafael Fuente
It takes awhile to get in to the drug filled alt- lingo 60's hippie inspired setting, but once you do it is a lot of fun. I really like how the series characters are all interconnected. The character's story arcs in the sequels really don't sync up with the way they were established. This probably was due to the fact that the first one wasn't written with sequels in mind. I really enjoyed this cyber punk read. It isn't the best book ever but it is fun. I am actually reading it for a second time ...more
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi, cyberpunk
This is definitely the wildest set of cyberpunk stories I've ever read. It's filled with sex, drugs, and robots...often at the same time. Each book in the series gets more gonzo than the previous one. Imagine a book co-written by Isaac Asimov and Hunter S. Thompson and Douglas Hofstadter: lots of interesting speculation about robots and consciousness set in a world populated by utterly depraved people.

All four of the books are fun reads, but I think the second book, "Wetware", is probably the be
Samuel Polacek
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Its rare to find such unpredictable science fiction. Too often authors present technology as the bane or the great solution of our existence. In this series, it is quite clearly a little from column A, a little from column B, and plenty of column C pops out of nowhere too.

A crazy ride through crazy developments leads us from wet machines through photoelectric circuitry and fungally aided electronics and ultimately leaves us surfing beams of light across the universe. Somehow mind-bogglingly insa
Trevor Mcpherson
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is like a firmware update for your brain.
Rucker does a good job of making the scientific and mathematical concepts that inform his fictional worlds reader friendly. At least this reader thinks so. Granted, those who are not fascinated by nanotechnology, emergent sentience and Artificial Intelligence may not be as taken as a geek like me, but so be it.

Without an overly geeky warp to your outlook, the books(Tetralogy consists of 4 related novels) still offer up some solid story lines, in
Viking Litespear
Dec 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I debated giving this a three star review. Rucker is a great writer, he's out there in the same way Phillip K. Dick was, but I found the writing a little sloppy at times. There were characters added who didn't really contribute that much (the two entities in Joke's head for example), and some things never quite connected for me however; if you like the cyberpunk genre, this is certainly worth a read.
Guy Ferguson
A classic. And a great collection. Realware sticks out as written differently..later I guess? I think Stross took his Accelerando idea from this series...leapfrogging through technolution, a few key players stringin the story long. For Rucker it was Cobb and Shimmer, Darla and Randy. For Stross it was Manfred and Anuko or whatever the hell his Lobster p0wned cat was called.
Upload and Live!
Nicholas Tollervey
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it
It was fun at times but also full of "meh". That it took so long to finish indicates that I got bored of it but would eventually return for reasons that I still can't comprehend. Probably the thought that some of it had been quite entertaining (boppers) and I was hoping it'd get better.
Jeremy Brooks
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
An epic tale of technology changing in unexpected ways, the way humans depend on technology, and the nature of consciousness and God. As always, Rucker's imagination creates a world that is familiar and bizarre.
Jason Talley
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent content, and flows one book right into another

I love the few Rudy Rucker books I have read. he is by far my favorite author. this combination of four books of his does not disappoint, and certainly left me wanting more.
Neil Clarke
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Classic Rucker cyberpunk. I read the books in the volume when they were originally published years ago. Nice to see all of them back in print.

I designed the ebook edition for this volume. If you find mistakes, feel free to drop me a line.
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was apparently unconscious when these came out. Because, they are really good reads, the topics are right up my alley. Ah, if I could only go back and turn me on to this then. At least I found it now. You should, too.
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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)
  • Realware (Ware #4)
“The basic idea is simple: All is One. Different religions just find different ways of expressing this universal truth.” 3 likes
“I was strange to keep waking up in the morning feeling good.” 1 likes
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