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by Rudy Rucker
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312868839, Paperback)Are there aliens watching you right now? After reading Rudy Rucker's Saucer Wisdom, you'll wonder. Rucker's "nonfiction novel" follows the author as he works with a saucer contactee who has bales of information about the future and expects him to make a book out of it. Written straight, it presents the author's vision of future technology as though benevolent aliens were filling him in, though some of the details seem suspiciously similar to his novels. It's brilliantly funny, prescient, and as fully engaging as a coffee-fueled late-night conversation with a slightly manic genius. From the aloof-yet-naughty aliens (they refuse to show his contactee friend the future of artificial intelligence because it's "boring") to the detailed, personalized visions of future people's technology, Saucer Wisdom shines with a humanity firmly rooted right here on Earth.
Rucker's style is perfect for this material, and his imagination soars. What if aliens travel through complex interstellar radio signals and are attracted to chaos? What if we develop telepathy transmitted over television? What if we perfect genetic engineering? It wouldn't occur to other futurists to suggest a half-dozen pet compsognathii in the backyard of the future, but Rucker goes a step further and literally draws a picture. The 57 illustrations--attributed to Frank the contactee--highlight the text like James Thurber on acid. Saucer Wisdom could have been as boring as most other future histories, but it seems that "the William S. Burroughs of cyberpunk" can't help but write good books. Lucky for us. --Rob Lightner
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:47 -0400)
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