Loco: a new story by Rudy Rucker & Bruce Sterling

(illustration by Carl Wiens)

"Loco," a new story by Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling is the weirdest fucking thing I've ever read that managed to still make sense. I've read pretty much every word both of them ever published and together, they are infinitely weirder and more interesting than they are on their own. I'm willing to bet that writing this was half euphoric loony-laughter, half weird-out contest, and 100 percent awesome.

The house was a jumble of crazed debris—except for one shining treasure, the culmination of years of off-the-books black-budget research, a bubbling, green-lit aquarium-tank, with glassy little cells subdividing it like an uneasy high-rise—a tenement for leeches.

Eight or nine species of leeches. Careful Loco research had proved that leeches in particular excelled as plug-and-play biotech implants. Leeches were simple and rugged, they ran off human blood, and their boneless flesh could hold a fine payload of wetware programming. Plus, once you got used to the concept of interfacing with leeches, it didn't hurt all that much to stick them on.

Happier than clams and flexing in slimy topological ease, the bioprogrammed invertebrates were the ultimate product of the Loco Project. They carried the experimental Loco translocation apps. The parasites' aquarium boasted its own battery-operated power supply to keep the creatures at a comfortable blood-warm heat.

Gordo pressed his chilly hands against the warm green glass. Outside the safehouse walls, the steamroller clattered on like a coffee grinder, casually, remorselessly. Every once in a while a ragged stranger would wobble by on a bike, but nobody seemed much bothered by the goings-on at a derelict house.