Frek and the Elixir

Frek and the Elixir

4.6 3
by Rudy Rucker
     
 

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In the year 3003, nothing in the world is the same, except maybe that adolescents are still embarrassed by their parents. Society and the biosphere alike have been transformed by biotechnology, and the natural world is almost gone.

Frek Huggins is a boy from a broken family, a misfit because he's a natural child, conceived without technological help or

Overview

In the year 3003, nothing in the world is the same, except maybe that adolescents are still embarrassed by their parents. Society and the biosphere alike have been transformed by biotechnology, and the natural world is almost gone.

Frek Huggins is a boy from a broken family, a misfit because he's a natural child, conceived without technological help or genetic modifications. His dad, Carb, is a malcontent who left behind Frek's mom and the Earth itself several years ago.

Everything changes when Frek finds the Anvil, a small flying saucer, under his bed, and it tells him he is destined to save the world. The repressive forces of Gov, the mysterious absolute ruler of Earth, descend on Frek, take away the Anvil, and interrogate him forcefully enough to damage his memory. Frek flees with Wow, his talking dog, to seek out Carb and some answers. But the untrustworthy alien in the saucer has other plans, including claiming exclusive rights to market humanity to the galaxy at large, and making Frek a hero.

Frek and the Elixir is a profound, playful SF epic by the wild and ambitious Rudy Rucker.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
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

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.
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466804883
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
02/01/2005
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
480
File size:
491 KB

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.


Rudy Rucker is a writer and a mathematician who worked for twenty years as a Silicon Valley computer science professor. He is regarded as contemporary master of science-fiction, and received the Philip K. Dick award twice. His thirty published books include both novels and non-fiction books. A founder of the cyberpunk school of science-fiction, Rucker also writes SF in a realistic style known as transrealism. His books include Postsingular and Spaceland.

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Frek and the Elixir 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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)
Guest More than 1 year ago
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