Sequel to Postsingular (2007), Rucker's yarn of a future where everything—animals, rocks, the planet Earth—is conscious, telepathic and often irrepressibly chatty.
This weird future stems from the exploits of teenager Chu, who strummed the Lost Chord on a golden harp to unfurl the eighth dimension and unleash limitless computing power. Though based on respectable extrapolations of current physics theories, Rucker's approach takes a high-comic trajectory with a satirical edge, adding plot and imagery evidently inspired by the paintings of medieval Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch. Once everything's telepathic, there's little or no privacy, and the Founders—Chu, friends Thuy, Jayjay and many others—do pretty much as they please. Chu strives to become more connected and less fixated. Thuy writes hypertext novels. Jayjay, addicted to the “high” afforded by deep communion with Gaia, spaces out. However, various alien species take notice of the now conscious Earth. While brain-surfing toward a (temporary) pinnacle of omniscience, Jayjay encounters a talking pitchfork, Groovy, and his girlfriend Lovva (the harp who played the Lost Chord). Groovy betrays Jayjay into the clutches of the Pekklet, an invading alien who quantum-entangles Jayjay and forces him to reprogram large blocks of matter; the objects affected lose their “gnarl,” becoming dull and predictable and allowing colonists from distant planet Peng to project themselves into Earth's reality and take up immovable residence. Chu, meanwhile, meets big trouble of his own.
Serious, uproarious fun, with brain-teasers and brilliant ideas tossed about like confetti.