Hylozoic Novel

(Rudy Rucker is a guestblogger. His latest novel, Hylozoic, describes a postsingular world in which everything is alive.)


My new SF novel Hylozoic starts shipping today.
Hylozoic continues the story of my previous novel Postsingular, although it's self-contained enough that you can read it on its own.

What I was after in these two books was to tackle the notion that our world is going to (or already has) changed in a very extreme way, due to the presence of increasingly powerful computers—this notion is what people often term "the Singularity," a usage introduced by SF writer Vernor Vinge in a classic 1993 talk.

A few SF writers were worried that we wouldn't be able to write about the future after a technological singularity, but Charles Stross's 1995 novel, Accelerando, blew the doors off this fear. Charlie just up and does it, brings on the singularity before our eyes.

Emboldened, I wrote my own version of a world after the singularity, that is, Postsingular. In my take, computation migrates out of man-made devices and into natural processes. Everyone has something like a web browser in their heads, telepathy becomes real, and even teleportation becomes possible. And then a universal memory upgrade takes hold…and everything wakes up.


And that's where Hylozoic starts.

The story is (kind of) represented in a triptych of three paintings that I did while I was working on it. In the left panel, we see our heroine Thuy Nguyen noticing that there some nasty little beings in the subdimensions. In the central panel, a flying alien manta ray is about to rescue Thuy and her boyfriend Jayjay Jiminez—the background patterns indicate that the air itself is alive. In the right panel, Thuy and Jayjay fly up to a higher level of reality in order to fix things up.


[The Hylozoic Triptych. Click on the image to see a larger version.]

If you want to know a little more about the book, you can access my Hylozoic Writing Notes, online as a book-length PDF document containing the working notes for the book. I have numerous images in the document, and internal and external links as well. (If the file fails to open for you, this could mean that someone else is currently opening it, and the server is overloaded—try again another time and mabye save the file to your local drive so you can peruse it at leisure.)


And finally, here's a picture from the Hylozoic Writing Notes, of a plot diagram that I made on the sand at Big Sur. You can see an evil alien Peng bird on the left, the Magic Harp in the middle, and a Hrull flying manta ray on the right. The letters indicate the chapters' point of view, which alternates among Jayjay, Thuy, and Chu.