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The Ware Tetralogy Paperback – June 29, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607012111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607012115
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rucker's four Ware novels--Software (1982), Wetware (1988), Freeware (1997), and Realware (2000)--form an extraordinary cyberweird future history with the heft of an epic fantasy novel and the speed of a quantum processor. Still exuberantly fresh despite their age, they primarily follow two characters (and their descendants): Cobb Anderson, who instigated the first robot revolution and is offered immortality by his grateful "children," and stoner Sta-Hi Mooney, who (against his impaired better judgment) becomes an important figure in robot-human relations. Over several generations, humans, robots, and society evolve, but even weird drugs and the wisdom gathered from interstellar signals won't stop them from making the same old mistakes in new ways. Rucker is both witty and serious as he combines hard science and sociology with unrelentingly sharp observations of all self-replicating beings. This classic series well deserves its omnibus repackaging, particularly suitable for libraries.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Rudy Rucker is a writer and a mathematician who spent 20 years as a Silicon Valley computer scientist. He's a contemporary master of science-fiction, and received the Philip K. Dick award twice. His 37 published books include novels and non-fiction books such as THE FOURTH DIMENSION. His cyberpunk series THE WARE TETRALOGY and his novel of the fourth dimension SPACELAND are favorites. His memoirs NESTED SCROLLS and ALL THE VISIONS offer uniquely skewed insights into our times. Recent books include COMPLETE STORIES and the novels TURING & BURROUGHS and THE BIG AHA. His new reprint collection TRANSREAL TRILOGY includes his classic novels THE SECRET OF LIFE, WHITE LIGHT, and SAUCER WISDOM. More info at

Customer Reviews

Excellent well thought out and executed.
Thomas Stearns
I recently re-read the 4 books and the first 3 are just great.
This is highly recommended to readers of sci-fi or science.
Patrick Edmondson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By baloney sandwich on July 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Though I own every book of this tetralogy, I think I'm going to buy them collected as they are here because out of any living author I can think of, Rudy Rucker deserves my money (plus at 16 bones this is a STEAL).

When I first read Software (the first book in this collection) I flipped: it has become one of my favorite books ever. The series follows the rise and development of artificial intelligence on Earth and the Moon. Maybe that sounds vaguely interesting to you or maybe you think it sounds stupid and boring or simply over done, but Rucker approaches the whole story with a playfulness and irreverence and creativity that has left me only ever wanting more. The 'ware series is educated and does speculative fiction in a refreshing, funny and even gritty way. Rucker tackles topics like mathematics and spirituality but you would be hard pressed to ever called him pretentious or contrived. Great characters like Sta Hi Mooney, a young drug frenzied loser punk, and Cobb Anderson, an alcoholic old man ex-scientist ex-human (!), color the story with Rucker's unique charm. This is a winner for Philip Dick and Stanislaw Lem fans, though I think even readers that don't like science fiction will enjoy Rucker.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mark VINE VOICE on August 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
In the first three books of his `live robots' series, Rucker is so brilliant on so many levels it is sometimes hard to realize that he was writing to be read for fun.

In the first three books of his Tetralogy, Rudy Rucker shows himself to be one of the rarest and brightest lights that science fiction produces; a science fiction writer who knows what he's talking about in terms of the science involved; and one who makes it happen in prose that an adult will find entertaining-even, and perhaps especially, an adult who has read something other than science fiction.

His books are like looking at an onion in cross-section: you can stay close to the surface layers if you like, or you can look deeper and try to go to see what he does and how he does it. Rucker always lets you go deeper but no matter where you stop looking, it's still a wonderful onion.

Some highlights:

Rucker's central scientific premise works by getting around the limit of artificial intelligence established by Marvin Minsky's observation that a system cannot create another system as complex as itself.

Rucker's plots involve conflict between machines and machines and between machines and humans. What comes from it creates some wildly entertaining reading involving comedy, drama, war ("how about a nice laser-blast?") and intrigue-and sometimes all three at once.

Rucker's use of language is like no one else's. He's been compared to Phillip K. Dick, but only because too many people have read Phillip K. Dick. Rucker's language is all his own and it is just *better*-often better than mainstream fiction writers whose broader audiences allow them to be paid a lot more for a lot less.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rarkm on February 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read a lot of SF over several decades -- not much lately because the shelves seem to be filled with books by vampire, "fey" and fantasy writers that basically don't give a crap about science or the future and copy each other to death.

This tetrology actually is based upon an interesting future/science idea -- what is now referred to as the "singularity", that is, when our intelligent machines achieve consciousness and self-direction, what next? The plot had promise, but 4 volumes of this stuff is just too much. Fortunately I bought the Kindle edition, so no innocent trees were murdered in vain. Some electrons may have been damaged, though.

The trouble with this series is that the characters are cardboard, the science is bogus (as in "Cap'n, the dilithium crystals are overheating, she's gonna blow!) and there is a desperate need for an editor to tighten and pare all this stuff down. Additionally, the author evidently decided that this series would be the next "Stranger in a Strange Land" (Heinlein) and threw in a LOT of 'edgy' drugs/sex/violence into the plot to the point where it becomes irritating and eventually depressing. It's really hard to shock anyone these days, so the effort is wasted -- there's just not going to be a literary buzz, it's just tiresome.

There's no legitimate comparison here with Philip K. Dick -- who is revered because he developed many plot lines that were completely original and startling when first published.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Specklebang on July 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
I recently re-read the 4 books and the first 3 are just great. Clever, inventive and laugh out loud funny. Really great Science Fiction. The 4th book is a disappointment and very tedious. It was written years after the first 3 and Rucker didn't get better. However, the first 3 are FABULOUS.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W. Gupta on February 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I highly recommend the Ware series to anyone who likes finding sci-fi with a genuinely different take on the future. The Ware series focuses on the rise and evolution of artificial intelligences side-by-side with humans. The books explore the differences between biological intelligences and electronic ones and asks the question - is there a difference at all? You'll encounter human minds copied into software that runs in robotic bodies, artificial intelligences biologically encoded into DNA and born into human bodies and even more.

The books in this series were written in 1982, 1988, 1997 and 2000 and the earlier ones still hold up quite well. Rucker's style is humorous (sometimes darkly so), fun and generally fast-paced. If there's a downside, it's an over-use of future slang that occasionally interrupts the flow of the story as you try to figure out what a new word means (or how a normal word is being used). This is only a minor quibble, however, and overall the quality is excellent. The characters are varied, unusual and have depth that's often lacking. Even characters that only have minor roles are very different and well-drawn.

Finally, this collection is a great value - the print length is 700+ pages, so unlike all too many Kindle "novels" of roughly 100-200 pages that they try to sell for $6, you're getting a ton of great reading for your money.
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