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by Rudy Rucker

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Cobb Anderson, the creator of sentient robots, has decided to spend his "golden years" drunk in a 60-year-old hippy retirement community in Florida. The robots he invented refused to be slaves to humans, so he helped them set up their own city on the moon. One day, a robot sneaks back to earth to offer him immortality by downloading his nervous system into an Anderson-lookalike robot with a computer brain. Things only get weirder from here: live-brain eating punks capture an acidhead for a feast, a homicidal Mr. Frostee Robot terrorizes earthlings, and little robots fight against the big mainframes who want to absorb them, making the machine race stronger as a whole, but sacrificing individual souls in the process.

"Software" asks questions about consciousness, spirit, and flesh:
Which of these are "real?" Which can we preserve? Which can we synthesize?

(M. Frauenfelder)

"Software" is an unpretentious romp, taking place in a turn of the millennia America that never exploded, but fizzled out instead.

Somewhere between Douglas Adams and Philip K. Dick, the best thing about 'Software' is that it never loses its sense of fun.

(A. Mayer)



Rudy Rucker
Avon Books
1982, 164 pgs., pb, $2.95

Here is the TEXT POPUP for Software:

"We really gonna do it!" the green-haired girl exclaimed,
and giggled shrilly. "I ain't never ate no live brain

"It's a stuzzy high, Rainbow," Phil told her. With the fat
and the short hair he looked stupid, but his way of speaking
was precise and confident. He seemed to be the leader.
"This oughta be a good brain, too. Full of chemicals, I

Haf'N'Haf seemed to be having some trouble starting the
little cutting machine up. It was a variable heat blade.
They were going to cut the top of Sta-Hi's skull and eat his
brain with those cheap steel spoons. He would be able to
watch them ... at first.

Software won the 1983 Philip K. Dick Award.

Rucker, a respected mathematician, has written a number of non-fiction books, including a book on the fourth dimension.


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