I started reading Rudy Rucker’s Juicy Ghosts in front of a Safeway pharmacy, waiting to see if my Covid booster shot was going to give me any side effects. This tale of Silicon Valley biohackers merrily running amok was just the thing to pass that time. As for side effects, I felt a little high for a couple of days, like I was at a party back in the old days and took a toke of whatever was being passed around.
The novel grew out of Rudy’s reaction to the political situation of the last few years, that last presidential administration, and what it did to America. Yeah, he wasn’t happy with Trump, and channeled his anger into writing. So, we get a book that begins with a presidential assassination and goes on into a revolution made possible by a new technology that save minds electronically and then plugs them back into bodies of various kinds.
Like ghosts, but juicy. A solution to my complaint about science fiction tending to want to avoid the hot, throbbing, sticky stuff that makes life so wonderful.
It takes place in what could be the present, but is kind of futuristic. Because the future always begins NOW! “We wrote it while Watts was burning, man.” George Clayton Johnson about his bestselling, movie, and TV series-spawning collaboration with William Nolan, Logan’s Run.
The book made me nostalgic for cyberpunk, the New Wave, underground comix, and gives hope for the upcoming generation.
I not only highly recommend buying and reading Juicy Ghosts, but I'm recommending it not just to jaded old fans, like me, but to the kids. After years of dreary, formulaic YA dystopias, this is a welcome change.
And wait, could that be a vision of a hot and juicy, transhumanist utopia?
Maybe it is possible to change the world
As some young Parisians said in May, 1968 “Be realistic–demand the impossible.”