sfr3d.gif (19860 bytes)

columns - events - features - booksmedia

© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
Editor:  Ernest Lilley
Associate Editor: Sharon Archer

subscribe
 

Aug02 Contents
Prev  Next  Home

Columns:
Editorial License
US Books
UK Books
Can Books
Comics
DVD

Events/Cons:
CanVention 22 and the Aurora Awards
If It's Tuesday, this must be TOR

Feature Interview:
Ken Macleod

Feature Review: Cosmonaut Keep by Ken Macleod

BBook Reviews
The Alchemists Door
by Lisa Goldstein
Alternate Generals II
ed by Harry Turtledove
Argonaut by Stanley Schmidt
Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks
The Iron Grail by John Woodstock
The Sacred Pool by L. Warren Douglas
The Sky So Big And Black by John Barnes
Spaceland by Rudy Rucker
Straw Men by
Michael Marshall Smith
Sisters of the Raven by Barbara Hambly
To Trade The Stars by Julie E. Czerneda
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror
, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Graphic Novel:
Murder Mysteries. Original short story and radio play by Neil Gaiman. Graphic story script and art by P. Craig Russell
Zine: The Journal of Pulse Pounding Narratives

SFMedia:
Film:
Austin Powers: GoldMember

Metropolis (2002) Restoration
& Metropolis Essay
PowerPuff Girls
Reign of Fire
Signs
Simone

 

Spaceland 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. 

His young wife Jena has different plans.  Returning tipsy from town where they greeted the New Year, which arrived with little fan fare, Jena immediately falls asleep leaving Joe with the 3D TV for his sole entertainment.  Turning his attention to the screen he discovers that something unusual is occurring.  The screen is covered in pink blobs which, when he turns the TV off, don’t go away.  Worse yet, they begin to speak and manifest outside the TV set, introducing itself as Momo, a visitor from the 4th dimension.

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.