Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > Saucer Wisdom

Saucer Wisdom by Rudy Rucker
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really liked it
bookshelves: sf

This is probably my favorite bk by Rucker yet. It gave me a new respect for him. Its framing device is that he meets a man named 'Frank Shook' who has a technique for traveling thru "paratime" w/ 'saucer' creatures who teach him about future developments that he then informs Rucker about. In addition to an impressive quantity of tech ideas, there's plenty here to make the plot twisty & multi-leveled.

For one thing, Rucker & Shook & co go to a Mondo 2000 party. Rucker uses this passage to both praise Mondo 2000 (a magazine that once promoted an event of mine - thusly aiding the quantity of participation enormously) & to humorously describe why he won't write for them anymore. This touch added immensely to the purported autobiographical approach - as did Rucker's attempts to withdraw from alcohol (although I have no idea whether Rucker, in 'real' life has had a problem w/ booze). Like everything else I've read by him so far, this is a very California novel - filled w/ New Age, Hippie, Stoner, Silicon Valley, & Surfer culture. Interestingly, the back cover says: "File Under Science/UFOs" & the inside copyright, etc, page has this:

"The right of Rudy Rucker to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988"

Is this a clever way of making the 'Frank Shook' story more believable? An actual requirement of the publisher to try to prevent claims on the work? Whatever the case may be, Bruce Sterling's Introduction contests the believability that there's really a 'Frank Shook' person behind it all. It seems unlikely to me too.. but not completely impossible! Regardless, the 'Shook' frame makes the story that much richer.

My friend Jona Pelovska reads Rucker's science bks, wch I've never read. "Saucer Wisdom" (the title of wch I don't particularly like) motivates me to read everything I can find by him - including the science stuff wch I might not ordinarily be that interested in.

Maybe the only thing that keeps me from giving this bk a "5 star rating" is the writing style. Rucker's writing is a very straight-forward 'pulp' style that makes for easy reading but, even though he plays w/ that in some interesting ways & even though there're other 'pulp' writers who have an astounding 'poetic' feel for language, it always seems to never really flow the way that 'pulp' greats like Hammett & Chandler do.

An interesting coincidence, for me at least, is that when I came to the "Devil's Tower" part of the story I was sitting 5 feet away from a VHS copy of a National Park movie about Devil's Tower that I'd had sitting around for a mnth or so. I stopped reading long enuf to check out the movie. I love that kind of synchronicity.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 20, 2010 – Shelved
February 20, 2010 – Shelved as: sf
February 20, 2010 – Finished Reading

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