Rudy Rucker has written forty books, both pop science and SF novels in the cyberpunk and transreal styles. He received Philip K. Dick awards for his Software and Wetware. He worked as a professor of computer science in Silicon Valley. He paints works relating to his tales. His stories can be read online his Complete Stories webpage. His for coming novel Juicy Ghosts is about telepathy, immortality, and assassinating an evil, insane President who has stolen an election. Rudy blogs at www.rudyrucker.com/blog

Million Mile Road Trip by Rudy Rucker

Rucker's smart, hilarious, and uniquely gnarly science fiction version of the classic road-trip story. When a seemingly-innocent trumpet solo opens a transdimensional connection to a parallel universe containing an endless plain divided into basin-like worlds, three California teens take a million-mile road trip across a landscape of alien civilizations in a beat-up, purple station wagon— with a dark-energy motor, graphene tires and quantum shocks. Their goal? To stop carnivorous flying saucers from invading Earth. And, just maybe, to find love along the way.

 

REVIEWS

  • "There's an alien under the bed and another on the lawn. This is Los Perros, Calif. — playground for Rudy Rucker, setting for his newest novel, Million Mile Road Trip. And things are only going to get stranger from here. What it cooks down to is music. What it cooks down to is a jubilant looseness. A freak collision of dialect and voice and neurons well-greased, and a man who wants to tell a story about three teenagers going on a road trip through alien worlds without leeching any of the inherent strangeness from it. This kind of thing, you just jump in and hang on, warmed by the goofball joy of it all, buoyed up by the high, jazz-cat bebop of the language, the glazed stoner rhythms. And by the end of it, your mind will be inevitably expanded — open to the possibility of almost anything."

    – NPR Review
  • "Tipping his hat to Thomas Pynchon, Jack Kerouac, and Douglas Adams, Rucker immerses readers in a fantastical road trip adventure that's a wild ride of unmitigated joy. Rucker populates his story with boldly surreal, humorous personalities and environments and moves it at a frenzied, ever-increasing pace. He ties everything together with internal consistency, playful use of language that keeps his ideas alien yet accessible, and a solid grounding in fourth-dimensional math. This wacky adventure is a geeky reader's delight."

    – Publishers Weekly
  • "Rucker has outdone himself in creating the most bizarre and surreal and overstuffed cosmic ecology of his career. The vast majority of the concepts are brand new. And the abundance of alien characters is the richest yet of his oeuvre. Yes, it's all obvious now—Rucker is Lennon & McCartney rolled up into one."

    – Paul Di Filippo in┬áLocus Online
 

BOOK PREVIEW

Excerpt

Zoe Snapp is a total outsider, unable to finish anything on time, and unwilling to work society's games. She plays trumpet in her school's jazz ensemble. She refuses to polish her trumpet—she likes tarnish. She wears hoodies, T-shirts, and jeans. She makes her own jewelry out of crystals and rubber bands. Her best pal is skinny Villy Antwerpen, who lives a block or two away from her. Villy has zero ambition and poor self-esteem. But he gets what Zoe's about, and he'll always listen to her, and maybe she has a crush on him.

Often Villy gives Zoe a ride home from school. Today's not, strictly speaking, a school day—Zoe, Villy, and the other seniors just came for the afternoon to rehearse tomorrow's graduation ceremony. They didn't do the speeches, or the reading of the names, and they didn't mess with the gowns, so it didn't take long. And now, here they are in the parking lot, like the end of a regular school day.

Villy has an '80s beater wagon. He's pretty good at fixing things, but he has trouble with his math and science classes. Villy says he's dumb, but that's not exactly what it is. It's more that he's too practical. Too into the physical world. He can pretty much figure out the inner workings of any gadget you hand him. Even so, there's still plenty of things wrong with his car. Because he's not in his garage all that much. More likely he's out surfing or riding his skateboard.

"All hail the purple whale," says Zoe, settling onto the ancient car's wide, bench-style front seat. She does a low laugh and shakes her dark hair. She wears it in a bob with bangs. And then she uses her lively eyes to shoot Villy a sideways glance which pretty much slays him, or at least that's what she likes to think.