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Frek and the Elixir Paperback – January 13, 2005
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Frek's pretty much an ordinary kid on an Earth with a collapsed biosphere controlled by NuBioCom. Then he receives a message that the Anvil, an alien's ship, is coming for him. Outside the house, the Gov's agents set up shop to watch for the Anvil. Under his bed, Frek finds a cuttlefish that tells him he's going to save the world. The agents find it, too, and chemically interrogate Frek, ruining his short-term memory. Frek and Wow, his dog, run away, and then Frek is taken aboard and away on the Anvil, traveling the galaxy with the alien, who wants exclusive rights to humanity's "branecast." Branecasting is popular with a number of other species, and humanity is the hot new thing on it. By fortuitous accident, Frek becomes humanity's agent with the Planck brane entities who run the whole shebang. Of course, branecasting is far more sinister than mere observation, for it allows a viewer to manipulate those who are branecast. Rucker fills out a bizarre future with a myriad details. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Oh, excellent! I love books that play with physics - branes and so forth - and this is godzoon googly indeed as Frek would say, and darned exciting. . . . a splendid book.” ―Diana Wynne Jones on Frek and the Elixir
“This book is Robert Heinlein's Have Spacesuit-Will Travel with the vacuum tubes replaced by wetware and all the knobs turned up to 11!” ―SF Weekly on Frek and the Elixir
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Rudy Rucker's new novel is the third attempt in the last couple of years by a major science fiction author to recapture the primal excitement of that moment by embracing and radically re-inventing familiar ideas and sub-genres. John Clute's "Appleseed" is a dense, trippy, phantasmagoric riff on the 1920's and 30's space adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs and E. E. Doc Smith; Gene Wolfe's "The Knight" is a crystalline post-modern distillation of Mervyn Peake and J. R. R. Tolkien. Now, in early 2004, comes Frek with his elixir--a brash, sardonic, endlessly inventive take on the 1950's counter-culture socio-political adventure-romps like Alfred Bester's "The Stars My Destination" and Pohl's and Kornbluth's "The Space Merchants."
In 2666 multinational corporation Nu-Bio-Com releases a virus that kills off the reproductive capacity of every single organism on earth, except those that it had bio-engineered. In other words, it now holds the copyright on the entire biome.
In 3003, Frek, a twelve-year old kid (coincidence?--I think not) goes on a galaxy, no, universe-spanning, adventure to fix their mistake.
His adventure has everything you could possibly want from a book like this and then some. Plus, like every great science fiction novel, "Frek and the Elixir" is really about the present--about the power of corporations, about media and entertainment, about bioengineering, about quantum mechanics, about your wife or girlfriend, your next-door neighbor, and your boss, and about you, at age twelve, and now (do you really think you have changed?)