About this project
Stretch Goal: Media Page
As an added-on stretch goal, I’m going digitize some of the old videos from my basement cupboard archives, many of these coming from the time periods when I was writing my transreal SF novels The Secret of Life, White Light, Saucer Wisdom, and when I was writing my beat scroll memoir All the Visions. The idea is to make a nice rich media page to accompany the launch of the Transreal Trilogy + All the Visions project
One old video I’m eager to revive shows me at an international high-academic psychiatric convention, reading my All the Visions account of a hedonistic 1979 Manhattan day when the cinematographer Eddie Marritz and I wandered high in the city. My reading of the eventual written account is on the order of performance art, and includes honks from a squeeze-bulb bicycle horn I'd brought along. The reading was videotaped by one and the same E. Marritz, in the obscure SONY helical scan format, and will take some effort to digitize.
Another tape I want to get out there shows a series of public access TV shows I made in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1986. One time our dog Arf came on camera with me. The series was called Brain Food, and featured my discussions of books, authors and artists I happened to be thinking about—including Anselm Hollo, William Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, Edgar Allen Poe, Steven Levy’s Hackers and Thomas Bass’s The Eudaemonic Pie, Margaret Atwood, and J. G. Ballard.
And I’d like to post my educational live-computer-demo videos on Chaos and on Cellular Automata. And a video of the evening when Rudy Jr. and I performed our collaborative story, “Jenna and Me” in San Francisco. And the stage performance of my 3D-Mandelbrot-set play, As Above So Below, in Fort Worth, Texas. And a 1983 video of me reading from Master of Space and Time in Sweetbriar College, near our then-home in Lynchburg, Virginia. All kinds of footage in the archive, and with a few extra bucks from this Kickstarter, I’ll finally get some of the stuff digitized and online for the historic record.
Thanks for helping!
Transrealism is about transmuting your ordinary life into SF. All my novels are transreal to some degree, but my most transreal novels will be found in Transreal Trilogy. I’m arranging them in the order of the events they describe—as if in a transrealized myth of my life.
* The Secret of Life: A 60s college student learns he’s a saucer alien.
* White Light: A hipster math professor travels to the afterworld.
* Saucer Wisdom: A cult author tries to write about alien abductions. (With 57 line-drawing illos by me.)
All three of these novels are currently out of print, and I want to reissue them as a single-volume trilogy. I'll be publishing this volume via my own press, Transreal Books.
The other book in this project, All the Visions, is a short autobiographical novel that I wrote In 1983. The new edition has a cover painting based on the photo shown above. Wanting to emulate Jack Kerouac's composition of On the Road, I typed All the Visions on an 80-foot scroll of paper instead of using separate sheets. The book describes the adventures of Conrad Bunger: mathematician, writer, seeker, rebel, freak.
Much of the material from the autobiographical All the Visions made its way into the transreal SF novels of the Transreal Trilogy---which is why I'm issuing these books as part of a single project.
I need your support for my two new books so as to pay for the design, proofreading, and production expense---and to earn a little money for myself. I'll be grateful if you can help.
I first formulated my concept of "transrealism" in a 1983 essay, "The Transrealist Manifesto," which I'll reprint in Transreal Trilogy. Paraphrasing a few sentences of my rant:
"The transrealist writes about immediate perceptions in a fantastic way. Any literature which is not about actual reality is weak and enervated. But the genre of straight realism is burnt out. The tools of SF offer a means to thicken and intensify realistic fiction, introducing power chords that are symbolic of archetypal modes of perception. Thus, time travel is memory, flight is enlightenment, and telepathy stands for the ability to communicate fully..."
The covers of the first editions of the three Transreal Trilogy novels are shown above.
The Secret of Life appeared in hardback in 1985, but never in paperback. White Light came out in 1980, and has appeared in numerous editions over the years. Saucer Wisdom was published in 1999 as a work of futurist speculation, although in fact it's a transreal novel. One of the characters is named Rudy Rucker.
As I mentioned, Saucer Wisdom includes 57 of my line-art drawings.
I wrote All the Visions in in 1983. Later it came out in hardback and paperback, bound with a book of poems by Anselm Hollo. But now it's out of print as well. I've done a pretty thorough rewrite of it for my new edition.
Blurbs for White Light
White Light is a good, intelligent powerful novel, and the most auspicious debut in the SF field since I don’t know when. — Thomas M. Disch in Fantasy & Science Fiction.
In White Light Rucker commandingly synthesizes mysticism, pop imagery, the Devil Himself, Jesus Christ, the great mathematicians and their ideas, ‘head culture,’ and even voodoo into a novel that takes us on a wild journey to infinity, to the Absolute, and back again. As for sheer writing, there’s probably no one like him. — John Shirley, author of the Eclipse trilogy.
White Light is a marvelously inventive and lunatically logical story, where not only is the scaling of infinity a mad, convincing adventure, but where ordinary human happiness matters too movingly. — Ian Watson in Vector.
Blurb for All the Visions
An interesting memoir by a great transreal author. If you like any of Rucker's books and want to know more about him this is an excellent choice. I sometimes forgot if it was fiction or nonfiction (just love that Rudy). On the Zig-Zag scale, it scores an unprecedented slo-burning kut-kornered 9! — Anonymous reader review on Amazon.
Blurb for The Secret of Life
Rucker is an artist well worth discovering, reading, and keeping up with... [His novels] sparkle with deadpan wit and a natural storyteller’s flair...blending mathematical speculation, such concepts as Hilbert space, rock’n’roll, drugs, and sex...[with] imaginative ideas worthy of H.G.Wells. — Washington Post Book World.
Blurbs for Saucer Wisdom
With Saucer Wisdom Rucker has reached a new peak. Saucer Wisdom is absolutely one of the best books of the year. Rucker has ... grown up, elucidating the wild-eyed, gonzo ideas of his youth with the clear-eyed, well-honed craft of a mature writer at his creative peak. — NOVA Express.
Saucer Wisdom is, first and foremost, a wild and exhilarating ride through the next 2,000 years of human history, throwing up enough bizarre concepts to sustain two or three careers of SF writing. What saves the book from overload is Rucker’s characteristically snappy, wisecracking style... A pop-science novel like no other. — Locus.
Rucker’s sensibility is a combination of gonzo humor, fictionalized autobiography in the Kerouac mode (what Rucker calls “transrealism”), and the sheer, bugs-in-your-teeth thrill of scientific extrapolation taken to blitz-punk extremes. — Mark Dery in Salon.
Go to my publishing page for more information about my publishing enterprise, Transreal Books!
Risks and challenges
I plan to publish these books via my own publishing house, which is called Transreal Books. Here are the steps of my process:
Step 1).Rights. Get back the publication rights to the four books that make up this project. This took me a few months of back and forth, contacting the publishers and waiting for responses, but with the help of my agent John Silbersack I got it done.
Step 2) Book design. Clean up and organize the manuscripts. This involves several read-throughs, as well as a certain amount of formatting work. As part of the process, I import the documents into InDesign desktop publishing software, experimenting with several possible layouts. Once I have good layouts, I print proofs, and hire someone to proofread them, relying also proofreading by friends.
Step 3) Cover design. I design the cover art myself, using photographs and oil paintings of mine. To get a nice looking design, I rely on my daughter Georgia Rucker, a professional book designer.
Step 4) Production. I export my InDesign book files in the PDF format and send them to Amazon Create Space and to Ingram Lightning for producing paperbacks and hardbacks. At this point I have some facility with InDesign. I can also export EPUB format ebooks from InDesign, and it's relatively easy to convert these to the Kindle-friendly MOBI format.
Step 5) Distribution. I sell the ebooks via Amazon, Nook, iBooks, and my own Transreal Books site. I sell the paperbacks and hardbacks via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and I distribute the paperbacks and hardbacks to retails stores via Lightning.
I've published several Transreal Books titles by now, and I'm confident that I can take both "Transreal Trilogy" and "All the Visions" through these five steps.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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