By Glenn Dallas
City Book Review
April 2nd, 2012
Rudy Rucker is weird. And I say that with all the respect and esteem in the world. His novel Master of Space and Time is one of the most gleefully bizarre books I’ve ever read, and parts of it have been lodged in my brain ever since. He is deserved considered an icon in the science fiction genre, and his work has opened countless eyes to the possibilities of language.
He’s virtually impossible to encapsulate, but Surfing the Gnarl makes
an impressive attempt at doing so. It features two short stories — the
first on the far end of fantasy’s richly anarchic bell curve, the other
firmly lodged in cyberpunk’s social commentary middle ground — as well
as an expansive personal essay and an interview with creative
comrade-in-arms Terry Bisson.
The centerpiece essay is also the highlight of this collection, allowing Rucker to meander deftly from explaining what “gnarl” has to do with his writing, right into an exploration of science fiction and fantasy’s role in society, and the infinite potential they hold to change how we view the world.