© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
by Rudy R.V. Rucker
Tor Books; ISBN: 0765303663; (June 2002)
Review by Bruce Wallace
Hardcover 301 pages $24.95 Buy this book at Amazon.com
Spaceland takes us back to December 31st 1999. This was the night that even the wisest of the wise feared might be the might be the end of man’s Technological age. Yes, this was prime time for the Y2K bug. Could the end of the modern age as we know and love it be at hand?
The main character of this tale, Joe Cube, has a plan
to ride out the madness and destruction he fears is coming our way. Armed
with a 3D TV from the company lab, champagne and seafood, he figures to spend a romantic
evening with his wife and welcome the new millennium in the relative
safety of their yuppie pad.
Momo quickly succeeds in scaring the living daylights
out of Joe. A quick trip into the 4th dimension convinces him
of the its reality and Momo tells Joe that the purpose of her
trip is to bring change to our world, which she refers to as Spaceland, in
the form of a wonderful new technology.
She then augments Joe, which allows him to see the 4th
dimension through a third but invisible eye then leaves him alone for a
time to get used to his new eye and the new reality it represents. Joe
quickly finds out that it allows him to see through walls and many other
things… Joe wastes no time in telling Jena about his newfound abilities
and she loses no time in finding ways to exploit them. They are soon on
their way to the casinos with a quick stop at Joe’s work to drop off the
3D TV, where they meet Joe’s co-worker Spazz.
Momo appears and reveals her plan to have Joe start a company to
exploit the technology of the 4th dimension. Jena and Spazz
quickly insinuate themselves into the plan; Jena, as a marketing director
and Spazz as Chief Technology officer. Then it’s off to Vegas to raise
some capital for the new venture.
Things develop quickly from this point as Joe begins
to learn more about Momo’s world and its inhabitants. It appears that Momo and her people, the Kluppers are the
mortal enemy of another race called the Dronners. The two races both exist
in the 4th dimension and are separated by Spaceland. Joe’s
strength and vision in the 4th
dimension grow by leaps and bounds after Momo introduces him to grolley, a
small plant raised and traded by her family almost exclusively. She
neglects to tell him that it’s also highly addictive.
Very soon the book is awash with the doings of
Dronners and Kluppers and some very strange beings known as Venture
Capitalists. As events unfold Momo’s promised high tech marvel is
produced and marketed. Sales are brisk and things are going well until
Momo’s son-in-law Deet inadvertently lets slip that these modern wonders
are in fact a sinister plot to destroy Spaceland.
Joe is left with some hard choices at this point and there are
several nicely drawn sequences while he sorts things out.
Spaceland is not only a wonderful homage to Edward Abbot's classic mathematical fiction , Flatland but is a worthwhile read in its own right. Filled with nicely drawn characters, a good story line and an engaging look at the inhabitants of a weird space time continuum, Silicon Valley, Spaceland is a must read for geeks of all dimensions.
|Bruce Wallace has been described as at "Geek God" He lives in Northern NJ and travels across the country saving network servers from immanent disaster. When he's not saving servers, he provides regular reviews for SFRevu.|