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