Rudy Rucker
Software Cover

Software is Soul


Software is soul and meat is machine in Rudy Rucker's Software, a fun and freaky novel that can also get you thinking about just what it is that makes you who you are. In the near-future world of Software, a person can achieve immortality as long as a sufficient quantity of brain backups are available as well as scions in which to download them (and as long as the ice-cream truck stays cold enough). Robots (who "had long since discarded the ugly, human-chauvinistic properties of Asimov") and humans, and various subgroups of each, all have different agendas--whether it be to eat brains or obtain a Happy Cloak (a truly remarkable garment) or overthrow the robot bosses or merge with the One--and these all intersect in a delightfully strange book. Which also contains lots of drugs, and some sex, and a few references to rock 'n' roll (be-bop-a-lula). I'm not entirely certain just how to categorize Software; I do know that it is a deliciously demented story in which themes of human and post-human identity run strong. "I am. I am me. That's all there is really, isn't there," states one of the characters in the book. But as you progress through Software you start to realize that "me" is malleable, so don't get too attached to the body and brain you started out with, kick back with some reefer or z-gas, get wiggly, and enjoy the ride.