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Titre : GNARL! STORIES .
Éditeur : Four Walls Eight Windows ., New York
Date d'édition : 2000
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat de la jaquette : Dust Jacket Included
Signé : Signed by Author(s)
Edition : 1st Edition
Octavo, boards. First edition. A presentation copy with a nice signed inscription by Rucker to "my favorite editor." A collection of short stories, five collected here for the first time. A fine copy in fine dust jacket. (#138468). N° de réf. du libraire 138468
Synopsis : Though he is also a mathematician, computer scientist, and essayist, Rudy Rucker is best known for his ground-breaking science fiction. The companion volume to Seek!, Rucker's selected nonfiction, Gnarl! brings together three dozen of the writer's best science fiction short stories. His first major story collection in 17 years, the volume includes a number of previously unanthologized stories, including tales cowritten with Marc Laidlaw, Paul Di Filippo, and Bruce Sterling. Classics such as "The Fifty-Seventh Franz Kafka," a timely meditation on the paradoxes of cloning, are side by side with works of pseudomemoir like "The Indian Rope Trick Explained." The Rucker formula - cutting-edge physics, a wild but perversely logical imagination, and a decidedly punk attitude - illuminates this new collection.
Critique: The short-story collection Gnarl! is a companion volume to Rudy Rucker's nonfiction essay collection, Seek! (The titles come from Rucker's self-professed motto, "Seek ye the gnarl!") Gnarl! collects all of Rucker's short stories from the last quarter of the 20th century--some 36 selections in all--ranging from a 2-page solo effort to a 44-page collaboration with Bruce Sterling. Rucker has arranged the collection chronologically and also provided autobiographical notes about each piece, making this both the definitive volume and an excellent history of his short-story career. And it's certainly been an interesting career. Rucker is a physicist by day who says he has the politics of punks and hippies, was once obsessed by pot and alcohol, and "tends to write as if women were wonderful, fascinating aliens."
Publishers Weekly called Rucker "a mathematician bewitched by the absurdity of the universe," and it shows in almost every sentence he writes. In Rucker's world people have "face holes" instead of mouths or nostrils, wasps remind him of space monsters, and planet X shares more than a few similarities with Earth. And, not coincidentally, almost all of his protagonists are physicists. Also not coincidentally, physics often plays an important role, even making it into the titles of pieces such as "Pi in the Sky," "Schrödinger's Cat," "Inertia," and "Probability Pipeline." But even though Rucker tends to write "hard SF" in the sense that most of his stories rely heavily on science, this is not the usual nuts-and-bolts stuff of, say, Hal Clement. Rather, this is cutting-edge physics extrapolated almost beyond imagination to create fascinating worlds and wonderful stories. Some traditional SF readers may be intimidated by how far off the beaten science fiction path Rucker sometimes strays, but in the end it's almost always a walk worth taking. --Craig E. Engler
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