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

Jim and the Films by Rudy Rucker

A mind-blowingly gnarly surfing SF novel. Jim and the Flims is set in Santa Cruz, California . . . and in the afterlife. Jim Oster ruptures the membrane between our world and afterworld (a.k.a. Flimsy), creating a two-way tunnel between them. His wife is killed in the process. And now Jim faces an invasion of the Flims—who resemble blue baboons and flying beets. Aided by a posse of Santa Cruz surf-punks, Jim plunges into a mad series of adventures in the underworld—where he just might find his wife. Jim and the Flims is like classic myth retold for the 21st century. Except that it's funny.



  • "Jim and the Flims is a wild psychedelic romp that recasts the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the 21st century surf-punk/slacker world of Santa Cruz and its earthly and extra-earthly environs. Hilarious, profound, visionary, and genuinely moving, it vaults to the top spot on my list of favorite Rudy Rucker novels... A key component of Rucker's genius, it seems to me, lies in his ability to tackle his subjects on a multitude of levels simultaneously. There's a fractal beauty to it. If you're just into a weird and funny story, you've got it. If you dig mythic resonance—look no further. If theoretical physics is your bag, Rucker's witty allegories will delight you. Philosopher, Phil Dick fan, armchair theologian: there's something to challenge, satisfy, and delight any alert, intelligent reader."

    – Paul Witcover, Locus
  • "Jim and the Flims...Rudy Rucker's weirdest, craziest, colorfulest book yet? That's saying a lot, I know. But when it is at its most bizarre, it is also most hilarious. Nobody else writes like Rudy."

    – Marc Laidlaw, author of Kalifornia
  • "I love Rudy Rucker. The guy is simply incomparable when it comes to writing science fiction, managing to seamlessly blend highly intelligent existential and scientific speculation with wildly satirical and insanely imaginative plotlines...You can imagine my delight when a copy of his newest release, Jim and the Flims, landed on my doorstep. In this novel, Rucker reimagines the myth of Orpheus as only he can – Jim Oster is a former surfer dude, part-time stoner, and current Santa Cruz mailman who dabbles in high-tech research."

    – Paul Goat Allen, review on Barnes & Noble Book club



During my senior year in high school, I used to play hooky and go surfing in Santa Cruz—it was only a half hour's drive away. In the morning, I'd stuff my wetsuit into my backpack—instead of carrying books.

My grades weren't a big issue, as I'd already been accepted for admission at the University of California.

My favorite surf break was off a rocky point at Four Mile Beach, on Route 1 north of Cruz. My friend Chang would drive us over there. Chang wasn't into studying at all, he was planning to be a pro surfer, and he figured his day job could be dealing pot. He had a vintage blue Haut board with an epic feel. I was more of a short-boarder, working snappy moves up and down the tubes—when I wasn't wiped out and floundering in the foam.

Some the locals at Four Mile had taken to hassling us. A spaced-out raw-boned guy called Skeeves was on my case in particular. He was a little older than the rest of us. All he did was surf, and he lived in his van.

One particular afternoon, I did a drop-in on one of Skeeves's waves, forcing him away from the curl. When we got back to shore, he put his face really close to mine and started yelling curses at me, even throwing in some gibberish-type incantations that he'd learned. Skeeves had this idea that he was hooked into the magic of the pyramids—or some shit like that.

"Shit-beetle!" yelled Skeeves. "Ankh salaam Amenhotep."

"Calm down," I told him. "It's just a wave."

"It's a magic spell, fool," said Skeeves. "The chant is called 'leaving in the daytime.' I might send you two out of your bodies." He crouched and picked up a dense, sharp rock.

"Let's take a break, Chang," I said, briskly heading down the beach. "We'll get some beer," I called back to Skeeves. "You can have all my waves while I'm gone."

Skeeves's van was parked in the lot near Chang's pickup. Skeeves lived in this van, mostly, and he had tinted glass in the rear windows. He'd painted occult symbols all over the vehicle—ankh crosses with loops on top, scarab beetles, hovering eyes, hieroglyphs, and a long pair of wings flowing back from the front wheel wells. Peering in through the van's dusky rear window, we could make out a long gold box in the back of the van.

"Skeeves got into the Egyptian stuff when he started dealing dope to Julian Crocker in San Francisco," said Chang. "But, wow. Is that a casket?"

"Who's Crocker?"

"He's a screwball descendant of this rich old family. He lives in a mansion with all these wack antiquities. Skeeves is up there all the time. Last week he was putting together a deal to sell Crocker a bunch of ketamine."

I brooded about Skeeves on the short drive to the Quick Mart in Davenport. And when we got back to the Four Mile Beach parking lot, I took a knife out Chang's glove compartment and slashed one of the front tires on Skeeves's van.

Chang and I carried the beer down to the beach and had a mellow hour or two on the waves. I even forgot about slashing Skeeves's tire—until we all went back up to the lot together.

Skeeves got all excited. Chang was laughing so hard that the weird old surfer quickly figured out it was me who'd done the deed. Skeeves said he was going to kill me—he fetched an axe with a green-painted handle from the van. I was scared. It was hard to tell what Skeeves might do. And it looked as if the axe blade already had blood on it.

Chang and I ran, leading Skeeves in a big circle. We got back to Chang's pickup first, then hopped in and drove away.

It was maybe the next day when we saw in the paper that Julian Crocker had been found dead in his home. The cops thought it might be a drug overdose. Crocker was found lying beside a fireplace filled with ashes. Apparently he'd suffocated from some smoke. And an ancient gold sarcophagus was said to be missing from the Crocker manse. But there were no actual signs of rob­bery. In any case, Crocker's surviving relatives weren't interested in trying to make a case. And the cops quickly lost interest.

Quite a few of the surf crowd must have suspected that Skeeves was involved—especially with that funky gold casket right in his van. A rumor was circulating among us that Skeeves was now fucking a mummy that he'd found in the gold box. Not that any of us was going public with this stuff.