Rudy Rucker's autobiography: Nested Scrolls

Rudy Rucker sez, "So I decided that I’d better write my autobiography before it was too late. What with death and senility closing in! I didn’t want my autobio to be overly long or dry. I wanted it to read something like a novel. Unlike an encyclopedia entry, a novel isn’t a list of dates and events. A novel is all about characterization and description and conversation, about action and vignettes. I wanted to structure my autobiography, Nested Scrolls, like that."

In addition to the Tor edition, there's a fine limited edition from PS Publishing.

Nested Scrolls reveals the true life adventures of Rudy Rucker--­mathematician, transrealist author, punk rocker, and computer hacker. It begins with a young boy growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of a businessman father who becomes a clergyman, and a mother descended from the philosopher Hegel. His career goals? To explore infinity, popularize the fourth dimension, seek the gnarl, become a beatnik writer, and father a family.

All the while Rudy is reading science fiction and beat poetry, and beginning to write some pretty strange fiction of his own­--a blend of Philip K. Dick and hard SF that qualifies him as part of the original circle of writers in the early 1980s that includes Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, John Shirley, and Lewis Shiner, who were the founders of cyberpunk.

At one level, Rucker’s genial and unfettered memoir brings us a first-hand account of how he and his contemporaries ushered in our postmodern world. At another, this is the wry and moving tale of a man making his way from one turbulent century to the next.

Nested Scrolls



  1. Interesting…what would the cyberpunk fans out there recommend for discovering Rucker’s work ? I love Sterling, Gibson et al., so I should probably read that guy.

    1. The Ware tetralogy is fantastic. Software, Wetware, Freeware, and Realware (not 100% on the order). Postsingular I really liked as well, and his Flurb online magazine is outstanding.

      Plus, he was a professor at my alma mater, SUNY Geneseo, sadly before my time but still, its great to discovery one of your favorite writers likely ate at the same pizza shop once upon a when.

    2. I’m kind of hot and cold on RR’s work — some I like, some I don’t — but I agree with William: the *-ware series is good, and a good place to start.

  2. This sounds a lot like Buckaroo Banzai in the 4th dimension. I saw pre-release print at the Lawrence Hall of Science. The audience was mostly boys from families where one or both parents had Ph.ds or worse. It was hard to hear the dialog for the laughter.

  3. I strongly recommend White Light, if you ever desire to imagine a SciFi story set in the landscape of the transfinite sets.

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