Paul di Filippo Reviews Rudy Rucker’s New Work: Turing & Burroughs: A Beatnik SF Novel

As you may or may not know, we’re elated to be interviewing Rudy Rucker in our upcoming inaugural flood. But we would be remiss if we didn’t point you to Paul di Filippo’s new review  at Locus Online.

Paul di Filippo reviews Rudy Rucker

Paul di Filippo relaxing.

As usual, Filippo is thorough (his reviews are always informative and instructive) without being verbose. His reviews are as fluidly written as his books. Says he,

“Rucker accomplishes a significant feat by mashing up Greg Bear-level speculations with a kind of On the Road vibe, full of slang-laden hipster contempt for the Establishment and a desire to break free of stifling conventions. Turing’s adoption of Beat philosophy consorts perfectly with his known biographical proclivities, and seems extremely plausible and even predestined, once given the initial violent tweak to his career. The Eisenhower-era conformity and general societal suspicion of weirdos is a perfect adventure matrix for these ultimate outsiders: chimeric, telepathic slugs. That motif also rings changes on so many classic invasion movies of the 1950s. On a separate plane, this book reads like some newly discovered 1950s rival to Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Thing from Another World, except of course with a certain taste of knowing irony from a 2012 perspective. It’s the closest Rucker has come to a Howard Waldrop story.”

I’m looking forward to asking Rudy about the tone of this novel, as well as it being perhaps a more direct example of social criticism than he’s ever attempted previously.
I’m currently a little over halfway through the novel and, I can attest, that it doesn’t have the same ecstatic feel that many of his works do. For example, after I read Postsingular, I nearly levitated with joy from the experience. And most of his fiction has that effect. Of course, this isn’t to say that Turing & Burroughs lacks any of the insight and brilliance of his earlier fiction. Quite the opposite. It’s just a different novel where the world, albeit an alternate timeline, is perhaps too much with us. This should not be read as a deterrent.

Well, more later. The flood is coming. Probably right around Halloween. We hope you drown in delight and mischief. Until then…

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