Publication date: July 2001
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
Brace yourself when you open this book, for it purports to be the about the visions of neat biotechnologies one Frank Shook brings back from future times where he has been taken to by flying saucers, and gives to the writer, Rudy Rucker, who's telling the story. That's an odd way to begin a work of popular science . . . . but amusing.
Please heed the warning from the Introduction by Bruce Sterling: "If you are examining Saucer Wisdom imagining that Rudy (or some fictional 'Frank Shook') has been actually logging a lot of on board saucer time, well, you can knock that off right now. Rudy Rucker made up the flying saucer part. There is no actual flying saucer. The saucer is not an interplanetary faster-than-light device. Its what we professional authors like to call a narrative device.
"I'm going to spill the beans as directly as I can here: Saucer Wisdom is a work of popular science speculation. Its a nonfiction book in which Prof. Rucker takes a few quirky grains of modern scientific fact, drops them into the colorful tide pool of his own imagination, and harvests a major swarm of abalones, jellyfish, and giant anemones.
"Pop-science writers didn't used to treat 'science' in this boisterous way, but there might well be a trend here, there may be a real future in this. Saucer Wisdom is a book by a well-qualified mathematician and computer scientist, a veteran pop science writer, in which 'science' is treated, not as some distant and rarefied quest for absolute knowledge, but as naturally great source material for a really long, cool rant."
Rucker, in character, describes, and illustrates with delightful cartoon sketches (the way he would use chalk and a blackboard while talking science), the world of the progressively more distant future as it is transformed by computer technology, biotechnology, and human evolution. He also describes a hell of a party in Berkeley. Popular science writing will never be the same.