The eccentric and the slug discover a
way to impose mystical enlightenment
upon an unwilling public.
I wrote it slowly, loath to face the market again. Really, it’s the process of writing I enjoy. The narcotic moments of
creative bliss. The dissolution of self via
the yoga of craft. I was calm and happy in
my burrow, limning a new ascent to the
cosmic One mind.
When I finished Zip Zap, I deemed
it another masterpiece. I flew to New
York to visit the offices of my long-term publisher and proposed a fresh
start. Waxing elegiac, my former editor called a few underlings into his office and presented me with an entire
smoked salmon, an extravagant delicacy, a reminder of an earlier Manhattan
publishing culture. With tears in his
eyes, he advised me to live as a simple
hermit and abandon all hope of publishing again.
I went home and sulked. A coarse
joker rolled a stone across the mouth
of my tunnel as if I lay in some eternal
tomb. One of the cognoscenti alerted
me. Oozing forth from the dirt and
dripping acid, I inscribed a beloved
motto upon the stone.
Eadem mutata resurgo. “The same,
yet changed, I arise again.”
I would become a publisher myself.
Retreating again into my burrow, I
twitched and spasmed for days, nour-
ished by dirt and by the remains of my
smoked salmon. I budded out a fresh
array of pincers, then delved within my
flesh to craft electrogenerative glands.
Soon I was prepared to self-publish
Zip Zap as an aether wave. With my
voice piping forth from the earth as a
shrill, excited twitter, I broadcast my
intentions to the uncaring world.
At first I tried selling my aether
wave in the manner of a traditional
publisher. But then, growing impatient with the pawky, dawdling pace of
commerce, I began offering it for free.
But, other than my pitiably few cognoscenti, nobody accessed Zip Zap, either
commercial or free.
I needed a new mode of distribution.
Here I turned to my old friend Yonson,
a ground-dwelling qrude like me, a one-time writer now turned cyber-criminal
for hire. Yonson showed me a spammer
trick for forcing unwanted aether waves
onto strangers’ reader pods.
[ContinueD FRoM P. 136]
i budded out
a fresh array
then delved within
my flesh to craft
So at this point my plan was to distribute Zip Zap—my novel of mystical
enlightenment—as malware. If the cretinous, slavering fans balked at a free
Zip Zap, then, in the name of all that is
holy, I’d force it directly into the warp
and woof of their pods.
I’d forgotten, or chosen to ignore, the
fact that Yonson is a complete incompetent, and under close surveillance by the
aether authorities. Within hours, these
puritanical, anti-beatnik martinets descended upon me. Rather than deigning to charge me with a crime, they deployed an aether-wave filter to prevent
anyone from viewing any of my novels
upon any pod ever again. They neglected only to tear out my tongue.
Eadem mutata resurgo.
Of late, I’ve taken to giving public
readings of my work. I have, after all,
a certain notoriety. People come to
be amused. What they don’t initially
realize is that I’ve found a way to cast
my novels into cytoplasmic biological
forms known as a Golgi threads.
If you come into the same room with
me, my threads writhe into you, and
you begin to dream my novels. Especially Zip Zap.
It goes without saying, you’ll forget
that I told you about the Golgi threads.
Thank you for inviting me to speak
to you today.
Rudy Rucker ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a professor
emeritus in the department of Computer science of san
jose state university, san jose, Ca, and author of pop
math and Cs books, including The Lifebox, the Seashell,
and the Soul, basic books, new york. He also is a science
fiction writer known for his novels Postsingular, tor books,
new york, and Turing & Burroughs: A Beatnik SF Novel,
transreal books, los Gatos, Ca.
© 2013 aCM 0001-0782/13/01