|Mathematicians in Love, a Novel by Rudy Rucker|
by noteworthy at 9:16 am EDT, Mar 11, 2007
This book came out late last year.
A wild, funny tale. Crazy mathematicians compete for the love of two women across space, time and logic.
Berkeley grad students Bela Kis and Paul Bridge have discovered the mathematical underpinnings of ultimate reality. But then they begin fighting over the beguiling video-blogger, Alma Ziff.
First Bela gets Alma’s interest by starting the wildest rock band ever. But then Paul undertakes the ultimate computer hack: altering reality to make Alma his. The change brings more than he bargained for: Alma is swept away into a higher world of mathematician cockroaches and cone shells bent upon using our world as an experimental set-up for deciding an arcane point of metamathematics.
It’s up to Bela to bring Alma back, repair reality, stop the aliens, and, most important of all, discover the true meaning of love.
RU Sirius recently interviewed Rucker; transcripts and audio are available.
Amazon has reviews.
From Publishers Weekly:
Rucker cleverly pulls off a romantic comedy about mathematicians in love. Following 2004's Frek and the Elixir, this even zanier excursion into alternative versions of Berkeley, Calif., is set in university towns called Humelocke and Klownetown, full of quirky, charming life-forms human and otherwise and ruled by a god who's the female jellyfish-creator of Earth. All this seethes around Bela Kis; Bela's roommate, Paul Bridge; and Bela's girlfriend, Alma Ziff, who ping-pongs between them in a sometimes acute, sometimes obtuse love triangle. Bela and Paul struggle for their Ph.D.s under mad math genius Roland Haut by inventing a paracomputer "Gobubble" that predicts future events. While most of the mathematical flights may stun hapless mathophobes, Rucker's wild characters, off-the-wall situations and wicked political riffs prove that writing SF spoofs, like Bela's rock music avocation, "beats the hell out of publishing a math paper."
Rucker draws on his academic mathematics background for a mind-bending tale about the hazards of reshaping reality to suit one's own ends. Set in an alternate-universe Berkeley, California, dubbed Humelocke, the story revolves around a bizarre romantic triangle involving cerebral math majors Bela and Paul and their seesawing love interest, Alma. With the dubious patronage of their mentally unbalanced advisor, Professor Roland, Paul and Bela develop a proof for a radical new theorem that may facilitate prediction of future events with astounding accuracy. The roadblock to capitalizing on their discovery lies in creating a "paracomputer" to spit out usable data. When the cockroach monsters Professor Roland claims to have seen begin appearing in Bela's mirror with a written solution, reality begins to take a decidedly surrealistic turn. In a riotously twisting plot, complete with hypertunnels, alien shellfish from a parallel universe, and an improbable resolution to the threesome's romantic dilemma, Rucker pulls out all the stops for one of his most entertaining yarns to date.