“Consciousness is paradox,” Moto-O was saying now at Waxy’s bar. “But we exist in paradox. I raise my finger and all the world is there.”
“I don’t see how you plan to program this into Phizwhiz, Moto-O,” Vernor responded, sipping a beer.
I do not normally open my reviews with a quote, but in the case of Rudy Rucker’s Spacetime Donuts (1981) I make an exception: if you do not find piss-taking on zen philosophy contrasted by a supercomputer named Phizwhiz funny, then the novel is likely not for you.
Wacky on the surface yet guided by an undeniable intelligence, Rucker’s Spacetime Donuts is hard sf in the same sense that Stanislaw Lem is the hardest sf writer thereis. Neither getting caught up in endless minutiae of worldbuilding, both cut straight to the heart of the issues at stake in abstract, theoretical fashion—“the place where science shades into fiction.”