From Publishers Weekly
Rucker cleverly pulls off a romantic comedy about mathematicians in love. Following 2004's Frek and the Elixir
, this even zanier excursion into alternative versions of Berkeley, Calif., is set in university towns called Humelocke and Klownetown, full of quirky, charming life-forms human and otherwise and ruled by a god who's the female jellyfish-creator of Earth. All this seethes around Bela Kis; Bela's roommate, Paul Bridge; and Bela's girlfriend, Alma Ziff, who ping-pongs between them in a sometimes acute, sometimes obtuse love triangle. Bela and Paul struggle for their Ph.D.s under mad math genius Roland Haut by inventing a paracomputer "Gobubble" that predicts future events. While most of the mathematical flights may stun hapless mathophobes, Rucker's wild characters, off-the-wall situations and wicked political riffs prove that writing SF spoofs, like Bela's rock music avocation, "beats the hell out of publishing a math paper." (Dec.)
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Rudy Rucker, formerly a professor of mathematics and computer science, has traveled both into the past and into the future in novels including As Above, So Below
(2002) and Frek and the Elixir
takes place in a contemporary Berkeley-ish setting, offers a "transrealist" and satirical look into academic competition, modern culture, and love. Although the speculative math and science will please knowledgeable fans of those subjects, there's nothing too technical that a larger audience wouldn't enjoy. A few critics commented on some slow, tedious detours, clichéd writing, and a glibness that traded depth for entertainment, butdespite its preposterous storylineMathematicians
is a worthwhile, imaginative read. Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.