Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling are two of the original cyberpunk writers, crafting tales about our warped postmodern times.
The above book trailer starts with a a four-minute talk by Bruce on the writing and meaning of the book, followed by two-minute pitch by Rudy.
It's a speculative fiction tradition to write stories about two guys. Rucker and Sterling formed the idea that the "two guys" didn't need to be the same in each of their stories, nor did they have to be "guys." But the two characters did always have to be, in some sense, Bruce and Rudy. Often arguing about what to do next.
So what do you get if two cyberpunk masters spend thirty years writing tales about transreally warped versions of themselves? A unique perspective on giant ants, flying jellyfish, Soviet rocketeers, runaway genomics, Silicon Valley, and the death of the Universe.
As a bonus Transreal Cyberpunk includes "Kraken and Sage," a brand-new story written for this volume. In this story, Rudy is a flaky hermit sage who's made all organisms programmable---and Bruce enters the tale in the form of a flying jellyfish. But soon he becomes a shady deal-maker and then---a giant world-devouring kraken. A great guy to work with! You can hear a preview audio podcast of the new story here.
And scroll down for more info.
As scholar Rob Latham puts it in his introduction to Transreal Cyberpunk,
"This book is unlike any other collaboration I know of in the field, ... the whole is not only greater than the sum of its parts, but wilder, and weirder, and more wondrous. Science fiction is the richer for it... These aren’t just SF buddy stories, they’re metafictional reflections on buddy stories—and, more than that, potent fictive meditations on the virtues and vicissitudes of friendship itself. They don’t just reflect, they embody collaboration, dialogue, disputation. The stories are organized chronologically, and the characters seem to grow older together, the tones darkening, the humor taking on a sharper edge."
The volume includes authors' notes on each of the stories, detailing Bruce and Rudy's sometimes fractious, sometimes ecstatic process of collaboration. Plus, as already mentioned, a brand new story.
"You might think there's a limit to how weird Rudy Rucker or Bruce Sterling can get, but when they team up, their combined weirdness rises exponentially." — Charlie Jane Anders, io9
"Rucker-Sterling stories are half euphoric loony-laughter, half weird-out contest, and 100 percent awesome." — Cory Doctorow, Locus
Stretch Goal: Audiobook
We've passed our orignal fundraising target, so the ebook, paperback, and hardback editions are assured---and heartfelt thanks to our backers for that. So we've added a stretch goal. If we can reach the new target of $11,000, we'll produce a full nine-story audiobook of Bruce and Rudy reading Transreal Cyberpunk. We'll each read four or five of the stories. We'll publish the audio material in two forms: traditional and cyberpunk. Traditional: the whole package as a single commercial audiobook available via Audible, iTunes, and other channels. Cyberpunk: the individual story readings available free online as podcasts. As mentioned above, you can find "Kraken and Sage" online as a podcast, and our giant-ant story "Hormiga Canyon" is online as well. With more to come...
Ill Old Illos
Down below, just for fun, are some ill (in a good way) illustrations that the stories have appeared with.
Left to right and top to bottom we have: Asimov's illo by J. K. Potter for "Storming the Cosmos," Asimov's illo by Jim Burns for "Hormiga Canyon," Asimov's illo by John Allemand for "Junk DNA," Tor.com illo by Tim Bower for "Goodnight Moon," Rudy's concept painting for "Kraken and Sage," and the perspective-wrenching Tor.com illo by Carl Wiens for "Loco."
These illos are copyrighted to the individual artists, and they will not be included in the anthology---they're just here to give you a sense of what the stories are like. Many thanks to all concerned!
Risks and challenges
The nine stories have all been written, and the book has been designed. It will be published via Transreal Books, a channel which Rucker has used before. The book will be available in paperback, hardback, and ebook via Amazon and various other channels. This will be Rucker's fourth Kickstarter book project, so this process is by now fairly routine.
Bruce and Rudy have extensive experience with reading their work aloud, so producing podcasts of the stories should go smoothly---using the Audacity software to tweak the files. As for a commercial audiobook, the plan is to use the ACX platform to distribute it via Audible and iTunes. The commercial book would include some additional features not in the podcasts---for instance, it would include the book's introduction, and the author notes on the individual stories.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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