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Freeware Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Eos (HarperCollins) (March 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038078159X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380781591
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,033,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Wetware the chip mold virus destroyed the sentient robots called boppers. But the virus itself has spawned a new life form called moldies. The moldies are beings made out of a sort of malleable plastic called imoplex. Humans and moldies live in an almost-amicable truce, but radicals (and not-so-radicals) on each side wouldn't hesitate to use--or destroy--those on the other. When a moldie called Monique becomes ensnared in a grand plot that seems to be either the work of anti-moldie humans or anti-human moldies, everyone becomes involved in an effort to either save or destroy the Earth. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In hip, staccato language, the master of cyberpunk (e.g., The Hacker and the Ants, Avon, 1994) merges California surfer culture with a tale of 21st-century artificial plastic and mold lifeforms. The intertwined lives of Heritagist fanatic anti-Moldies, the Moldies' inventors, human "cheeseballs" who have sex with Moldies, and isolationist Moldies on the Moon enliven this fast-paced tale of kidnapping and alien takeover. Recommended for sf collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Rudy Rucker is a writer and a mathematician who worked for 20 years as a Silicon Valley computer science professor. Rucker is regarded as contemporary master of science-fiction, and received the Philip K. Dick award twice. His 37 published books include novels and non-fiction books on the fourth dimension, infinity, and computation.

Rucker's cyberpunk series THE WARE TETRALOGY contains his 4 best-selling novels. His novel of the 4th dimension SPACELAND is a perennial favorite. Rucker's autobio, NESTED SCROLLS offers unique insights into the 60s, 70s and 80s. His 2012 novel TURING & BURROUGHS features a computer pioneer and a Beat author. The art book BETTER WORLDS collects about 100 of Rucker's paintings. His COMPLETE STORIES assembles his short stories. New in 2014: THE BIG AHA, an SF novel of a new psychic revolution.

Customer Reviews

So hardcore fans of Rucker's work may find "Freeware" quite enjoyable; for me it's a bit of a disappointment.
John Kwok
With all the predictions and future strangeness this comes off as Sodom and Gomorrah: the characters are mostly seriously morally challenged ( bright like Molly).
Roger Bagula
Although this sort of thing (I'm not going to say WHAT sort of thing) has certainly been done before, I don't think it's ever been done in quite this fashion.
Joseph Culbert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By KEVIN M. OCONNOR on December 8, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It's light in style and narrative structure, and rucker doesn't take himself at all serriously. Rudy Rucker is a brilliant mathmetician and science fiction writer, and his protagonist, Randy Karl Tucker, is an uneducated redneck, whose primary passion is for sex with artificial life forms that smell of cheese. Other characters include a down-to-earth California surfer girl who, along with her stoner mathmatician husband, runs a fleabag sea-side resort in the autonomous nation of California, the head of a corporate empire who made his fortune selling burgers made from the cloned flesh of his half-human wife, and a delighful host of "moldies," artificial life forms with the power of gods, short lifespans, and generally no other ambition than to buy enough of the expensive high-tech goo of which they're made to form a child to perpetuate their own software.
This book is an absolute gem.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By albemuth on July 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
..what else can you ask from a science fiction book? Good characterization, plausible sciences & other stuff you can find in any boring science speculation book scribbled by engineers.
Rudy Rucker belongs to the GREAT freewheeling tradition of imaginative writers; forget Kim Stanley Robinson and Arthur C. Clarke, think van Vogt, Charles Harness and Barrington Bayley - he invents his science (that's why it's called fiction, eh?) and bounces off to the nomansland like some mutant kangaroo. This is stuff you can barely find on the shelves today as franchise poop is being pushed on all the fronts. Rucker knows his science but isn't limited by it - he writes straight from his subunconscious pool, winging it with gusto and joy. Engineers beware, this works on dream-logic and grabs you by the jellyfish.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Comparisons never quite seem to work. The closest I can get, however, is Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and Greg Egan's "Quarantine". Why? Well, the book <feels> like a prepubescent Heinleinesque make-love-not-war-on-the-moon jaunt, but has a <mind> reminiscent of Greg Egan's heavy physics sci-fi. It seems like a neat synthesis of the two, in fact. On the other hand, it's just a damn good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Culbert on September 22, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've never thought of Rucker as a great writer, but he never wants for interesting ideas. While his characters tend to be fairly broad and cartoonish, the bright colors of his invented slang and weird technology make for a nice pleasant brain buzz.

In "Freeware", Rucker continues his little AI saga begun in "Software" and "Wetware". The boppers (the little AI robots featured in the first two novels) are all dead, but their spirit (or at least their core software) lives on in the "moldies", who are basically big pieces of self-aware floppy plastic infected with a stinky fungus. Of course what Rucker immediately wants to investigate is: Can you have sex with a moldie? The answer, of course, is yes.

The plot meanders through the backstories of its various characters (which also help shed light on the events which have occurred since "Wetware"), shows off the interesting abilities of the moldies (some of which require some suspension of disbelief), showcases exciting new fictional mind-altering drugs, and eventually comes to the Big Reveal, which I found fairly interesting. Although this sort of thing (I'm not going to say WHAT sort of thing) has certainly been done before, I don't think it's ever been done in quite this fashion.

One major complaint I have about the book is its rather abrupt ending. Rucker wraps things up here in about two pages, as if he was in a rush to finish. A bit more denouement would have been nice.

Basically, if you've read and enjoyed the first two "Ware" books, you're likely to find this enjoyable as well. Anyone who HASN'T read the first two books is advised to start with the first book, "Software", which is a rather short (150 pages) and breezy read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've just picked up this book on recommendation that it was an ideal Cyberpunk starting point. And I can hardly get around what I've read so far. As a literate, 24 year old liberal woman, I find the sheer amount of sex within chapters one through three to be absolutely boring. Even if it is one sided sex between the artificial life forms and this "protagonist" Randy Karl, or his escapades with his mothers lesbian lover. The concept was wonderful, the creation of the world and its inhabitants and the social economic climate were all very well done, but sadly it was bogged down with fluff and meaningless pages. And a protagonist I felt nothing but a few good rolls of the eyes for. I found this in a young teen's section in my library..Which perplexes me because it sometimes reads like a slapdash trashy romance novel (minus the romance) and at other times it treats the reader like they're 5th graders, using obvious statements far to often emphasized with exclamations. I felt as if the overarching plot was undermined by Randy Karl and the explanation that through his formative sexual years he was introduced to sex with "moldies" by a lesbian...Meaning he never touched a woman with his own genitalia and therefore ONLY wanted sex with the cheesy rotty smelling creatures. Nearly an entire chapter dedicated to explaining this mans troubled psyche in such an obvious "This is why he's messed up" blatancy felt not only boring but inappropriate. Once I got past that chapter it got a bit better, and i got to listen to the story more. I felt the author had to fluff up chapters one, two and most of three with sex tales before getting into the main plot so he could make us think he paced it well.

Like I said, great concept, good universe design, awful usage and execution.
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