SPACELAND by Rudy Rucker


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Occasionally tasteless tale of a technogeek's misadventures in fourth-dimensional space, from the prolific mathematician and SF writer (Gnarl!,2000, etc.). Taking current mathematical understandings to absurd extremes, Rucker attempts a self-consciously hip genre satire that is also a postmodern revision of Edwin Abbott's two-dimensional allegory Flatland, failing at both. Set in Silicon Valley on New Year’s Eve 1999, Joe Cube (Abbott's Flatland hero was “A. Square”) takes home his start-up company's experimental three-dimensional TV screen, hoping to watch the millennial celebrations with his sexy wife, Jena. Alas, 3D television proves boring, and a brief jaunt on the town ends with Jena vomiting and not getting the sex she was after. As Joe lies awake, a cluster of pink blobs emerges from the screen, bumps into him, and announces, “I'm from the fourth dimension. My name is Momo. Fear me not.” After coalescing into a lumpy facsimile of a human female, Momo gives Joe a “third eye” so that he can experience “vinn and vout”—the fourth-dimensional version of our in and out. Not only can he see through opaque surfaces, he can pass through them, too. Joe has edgy sex with Jena, who, after discovering her husband can see through the backs of cards, suggests a trip to a casino. They set off with Joe's colleague Spazz to Las Vegas, where Joe manages to win big, but finds his money stolen by an evil Donner (4D doppelgängers of Momo's Kluppers) and loses his wife to Spazz. Disgruntled, Joe returns to have a gratuitously disgusting fourth-dimensional dream that returns him to a traumatic incident from childhood. The tale goes from farce to worse as Momo announces that she wants to introduce new fourth-dimensional communications technology into our world, an act that is not without more absurdist complications.

Not funny, not fascinating. For fans only.

Pub Date: June 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-765-30366-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2002


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