The incomparable Rudy Rucker's just posted an ebook collecting his essays called (what else), Collected Essays. There's a Kindle edition, or you can buy directly from him without DRM. What a table of contents, too:
Collected Essays includes the nonfiction pieces from Rucker's two earlier collections, Transreal! (1991) and Seek! (1999). And many newer essays have been added as well. This comprehensive collection weighs in at twice the length of an ordinary book, with sixty essays and numerous illustrations. The essays fall into seven parts: (1) "The Art of Writing." Manifestos and talks about writing science-fiction. (2) "Silicon Valley." Cool scenes Rucker witnessed as he rode the Silicon Valley computer wave for over twenty years, starting in 1986. (3) "Weird Screens." Graphical programs that have obsessed Rucker—cellular automata, artificial life, fractals, space curves, and virtual reality. (4) "Futurology." Playful raps and speculations about the coming times. (5) "The Philosophy of Computation." Digital immortality, artificial intelligence, and the birth of a universal mind. (6) "Personal Stories." Tall tales and reminscences of strange times. (7) "Mentors." Appreciations of the great minds and wild freaks who led Rucker along his path: Kurt Gödel, Martin Gardner, Robert Scheckley, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Ivan Stang and Stephen Wolfram.
Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park invented modern crypto and computers in the course of breaking Enigma ciphers, the codes that Axis powers created with repurposed Enigma Machines — sophisticated (for the day) encryption tools invented for the banking industry — to keep the Allies from listening in on their communications.
In 1948, the Institute of Applied Science commissioned an unknown illustrator to depict a fistful of squirming, terrified criminals caught in an authoritative fist, under the headline “CAUGHT BY THEIR FINGERTIPS” — they were advertising a home Criminal Investigation and Identification course.
Larkin Jones is a hardcore Pokemon fan who loses money every year on his annual Pokemon PAX party; he makes up the shortfall from his wages managing a cafe. This year, Pokémon Company International sued him and told him that even though he’d cancelled this year’s party, they’d take everything he had unless he paid […]
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