Frek and the Elixir

( 3 )

Overview

In the year 3003, the world is a biotech utopia. The tweaked plants and animals are quite wonderful, but there are only a few dozen of the old species left. Nature has been denatured by the profiteers of NuBioCom. And the arbitrary, all-powerful, and mysterious Gov runs the pervasive NuBioCom and everything else. It's up to Frek Huggins, a lad from dull, sleepy Middleville, to venture out into the galaxy to fetch an elixir to restore Earth's lost species. At least, that's what a friendly alien cuttlefish tells ...
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Frek and the Elixir

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Overview

In the year 3003, the world is a biotech utopia. The tweaked plants and animals are quite wonderful, but there are only a few dozen of the old species left. Nature has been denatured by the profiteers of NuBioCom. And the arbitrary, all-powerful, and mysterious Gov runs the pervasive NuBioCom and everything else. It's up to Frek Huggins, a lad from dull, sleepy Middleville, to venture out into the galaxy to fetch an elixir to restore Earth's lost species. At least, that's what a friendly alien cuttlefish tells him the elixir will do. But can you really trust aliens? Frek finds himself in the midst of a galactic struggle for humanity's freedom, accompanied by his talking dog, Wow, the down-home mutant, Gibby, and an asteroid-raised girl named Renata. The final liberation depends on freeing Frek's long-lost father with the help of a benevolent alien called the Magic Pig. Rudy Rucker has been creating brilliantly inventive works of imagination for well over two decades. Winner of two Philip K. Dick Awards, he ranges the worlds of science and culture with freewheeling originality and wit, in this case playing with both biotechnology and the monomyth outlined by Joseph Campbell. Frek and the Elixir moves us with its evocation of humanity's struggle against impossible odds not just to survive, but to find happiness and love in a confusing universe.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Rudy Rucker's newest offering -- a unique blend of George Orwell's 1984 and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland -- is a brilliantly wacky cautionary tale about the homogenization of society as only Rucker can envision it.

Fans of Rucker's cyberpunk masterpieces (Wetware, Software, The Hacker and the Ants, et al.) are in for a treat. The hero of this techno-organic fable -- set on a dramatically transformed Earth in the year 3003 -- is 12-year-old Frek Huggins, an ordinary boy who lives in his family's bio-tweaked house tree in the sleepy hamlet of Middleville. In a technologically advanced, ecologically friendly society ruled by the enigmatic Gov, fitting in and not causing any trouble is a way of life. Frek knows all too well what happens to people who question Gov: His father left Earth a year ago for the sanctuary of space after being targeted as a malcontent. But when a tiny alien ship enters Earth's atmosphere and lands underneath Frek's bed, the naïve youngster quickly becomes an outlaw revolutionary on the run for his life. Thus begins his epic quest to find an elixir to restore Earth's biome and to somehow destroy Gov. Before all is done, Frek's quest will take him to the ends of the universe and to the very center of the galactic core.

Profound. Astonishing. Irreverent. Anyone who doesn't cherish this richly described and wildly imaginative novel overflowing with weird aliens, outrageous technologies, and a future Earth with uproarious colloquialisms and a disturbingly closed-minded monoculture is absolutely gollywog gurpy. Paul Goat Allen

From the Publisher
"Oh, excellent! I love books that play with physics - branes and so forth - and this is godzoon googly indeed as Frek would say, and darned exciting. . . . a splendid book."-Diana Wynne Jones on Frek and the Elixir

"This book is Robert Heinlein's Have Spacesuit-Will Travel with the vacuum tubes replaced by wetware and all the knobs turned up to 11!"-SF Weekly on Frek and the Elixir

SF Weekly
"This book is Robert Heinlein's Have Spacesuit-Will Travel with the vacuum tubes replaced by wetware and all the knobs turned up to 11!"
Diana Wynne Jones
"Oh, excellent! I love books that play with physics - branes and so forth - and this is godzoon googly indeed as Frek would say, and darned exciting. . . . a splendid book."
Publishers Weekly
Welcome to suburban life in 3003, after NuBioCom collapsed the biome in 2666 and destroyed the last of Earth's original animal species (and every DNA record needed to re-create them), replacing them with company-designed "kritters." Frek Huggins, the 12-year-old hero of this wry tale of cosmological hijinks from Rucker (Space Land), plays with his talking dog, Wow, argues with his sisters, forever resists his mom's attempts to get him to clean his room and daydreams of making it big someday as a toonsmith, the 31st-century equivalent of a video-game designer. Then Frek discovers the mysterious Anvil, a small UFO, hiding under his bed, and the toons on the wall start telling Frek he's going to save the world. Certain that the Anvil has something to do with his missing father, Carb (a social misfit who ran away years earlier to Sick Hindu, a space colony on an asteroid), Frek manages to escape with the spaceship only to find himself caught up in an alien plan to market humanity's thoughts and experiences to the rest of the universe. Bent on rescuing his father, and Earth, from the machinations of a vast multidimensional and extraterrestrial entertainment machine, Frek has to rely on a little help from his friends. Rucker successfully combines sharp-edged satire with old-fashioned pulp sensibilities to create a frantic tale of dirty double-dealing and high adventure. Readers in search of something "different" need look no further than this droll saga of the future. (Apr. 10) FYI: Rucker's last book, As Above, So Below (2003), was a historical novel about the Flemish painter Peter Bruegel. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765310590
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 476
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Rudy Rucker is a mathematician, computer scientist, professor and writer who has twice won the Philip K. Dick Award for best SF paperback original, and has published a number of successful popular books on mathematical subjects, including The Fourth Dimension and Infinity and the Mind. He lives in Los Gatos, California.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Departure 11
1 Middleville, 3003 13
2 The Thing Under Frek's Bed 34
3 In the Grulloo Woods 59
4 Stun City 84
5 Professor Bumby 112
6 Yunch! 142
Part 2 The Elixir 173
7 Renata 175
8 Unipusk 210
9 The Spaceport Bar 241
10 Orpoly 275
11 The Exaplex 310
Part 3 Earth's Fate 349
12 All Hell Breaks Loose 351
13 The Revolution 382
14 The Shuggoths 419
15 The Toons 444
Glossary 465
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Very entertaining!

    One of the most original teen (okay, and adult) sci-fi reads I've delved into in a long time. The different 'planes derive from some of the latest ideas about how our universe came into existence. The author writes well and pokes fun at some of the ways we entertain ourselves. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2004

    An Enjoyable Journey In 3003

    An enjoyable journey set a thousand years in the future where young Frex, a boy barely twelve years of age, takes readers on an 'Alice in Wonderland' adventure searching for an elixir to restore Earth's bio-diversity. Anti-utopian elements of 'Brave New World' and '1984' are present in abundance which ups the excitement level a few degrees. Taking a tip from 'A Clockwork Orange' there is a liberal amount of future speak slang interspersed throughout the tale which, at times, gets a bit distracting though a list of terminology appears at the back of the book much as it did in the afore-mentioned Anthony Burgess novel. Overall, a well worded and steady paced, inventive tale. (liquidgee@comcast.net)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    Deep, intelligent, often amusing

    His father Carb a notorious malcontent was forced to leave planet earth a few years ago before the Gov and his goons made an example of him. He left behind his wife and son Frek to live in a bio-tweaked house tree in the correct village of Middleville where technology insures everything is done according to ecological righteousness. Though still a preteen, Frek got the message of what happens to those who challenge the authority of Gov. By 3003, twelve year old Frek remains cautious until a miniscule alien vessel lands underneath his bed. The Anvil space ship insists that Frek was their destination as he must save the world with an elixir to repair the biome. Gov declares the son a chip off the old block of the father, an enemy combatant. Meanwhile Anvil has marketing plans for Frek and other humans. Frek accompanied by his canine Wow is on the run from the law while on a quest across the universe when all he wants is to become a teenager. FREK AND THE ELIXIR is a deep, intelligent, often amusing but always impertinent satire ridiculing many of today¿s ¿truths¿ by extrapolating these so called universals accompanied by technological advances a millennium into the future. The story line uses action but ironically provides an outrageous look at a disturbingly closed-fortressed culture in which differences are outlawed as all must support the Gov. Besides Frek being a terrific hero as he grows up rather quickly (aliens and the government will do that), the cast adds depth and the technology is sardonically as off the wall as this wild futuristic tale makes 1984 look freedom loving...................... Harriet Klausner

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