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

The Big Aha by Rudy Rucker

Biotech has replaced machines. Qrude artist Zad Plant works with living paint. His career's on the skids, and wife Jane threw him out. Enter qwet—it's quantum wetware! Qwet makes you high and gives you telepathy. A loopy psychedelic revolution begins. Oh-oh! Mouths in midair, eating people! Zad and Jane travel through a wormhole. And meet the aliens. Stranger than you ever imagined. What is the Big Aha?



  • "The Big Aha gloriously and objectively exists on an absolute level with all of Rucker's classic work, chockfull of crazy yet scientifically rigorous ideas embodied in gonzo characters and plots. Like a jazzman, Rucker takes his intellectual obsessions as chords and juggles them into fascinating new patterns each time out. A rollercoaster ride that is never predictable and always entertaining. Straight out of some Kerouac or Kesey novel, yet with a twenty-first century affect. Rucker is remarkably attuned to a new generation. Ultimately, all the craziness and whimsy and otherworldly menaces of Zad's mad odyssey induces true pathos and catharsis in the reader."

    – Paul Di Filippo, Locus Online
  • "Rudy Rucker's latest novel, The Big Aha, is pure transreal Ruckeriana featuring extreme biological and quantum technologies, steamy techno-sex, nasty aliens from higher dimensions — and all soaked in the unique atmosphere of the magical 1960s. … This is a great example of how science fiction publishing is being redefined."

    – Giulio Prisco, io9
  • "Rucker has been writing like a mind-meld of Gödel and Burroughs on acid, but with some sort of academic overmind trying, and for the most part succeeding, to run the result through a logical scientific-refereed-paper process... But there is something else to this novel, a characterological sweetness combined with a political passion the nature of which might cause Rucker to deny that it is political... What Rudy Rucker presents and champions is the last and finally successful battle in the culture war dating back to the Transcendental Movement of the nineteenth century that peaked in the 1960s."

    – Norman Spinrad, Isaac Asimov’s SF Magazine.



What do you think of this guy?" asked my old pal Carlo. It was a fall day in Louisville. I was slouched in my soft chair at the back of my nurb store. Carlo was holding something he called a qwet rat, pretty much shoving the thing into my face. Gray fur, yellow teeth, and a naked pink tail.

"He's skungy," I said, laughing a little. "Who'd ever buy that?"

"Skungy!" echoed Carlo, flashing his version of a sales-conference grin. "The perfect name." He raised the rat high into the air, as if displaying a precious vase. The rat's eyes twinkled like black beads. His pink-lined ears made small movements, picking up our voices and the all-but-imperceptible buzz of the gnat cameras that had followed Carlo in.

"This rat's really your prototype?" I asked.

Flaky Carlo had managed to get a job in business, working at a startup company run by one of our high-school friends, Gaven Graber. In his new persona as a marketeer, Carlo was wearing a jacket patterned in scrolls and cut from the latest termite-cloth. He'd been getting gene-cleaning treatments, and he had a youthful air.

"First thought, best thought," said Carlo, lowering the rat back to the level of my face. "Especially from a qrude dude like you. Hell, we ought to use 'Skungy' as the name for our whole qwet product line."

"What's qwet supposed to mean anyway?"

"Quantum wetware. Nice buzz phrase, huh? It's a new tech. This woman named Junko Shimano invented it."