Hylozoic by Rudy Rucker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hylozoic by Rudy Rukker
I recently added about twelve books to my library. They were all bargain books, but were also authors whose work I've not yet read. Hylozoic is book two to a series, but there are enough breadcrumbs in the book to fill in any blank details necessary to bring a reader up to speed. This is a good thing because of many of the made-up words and colloquialisms. This is a book about a singularity phenomenon that takes the world by storm and makes everyone aware that all living things have awareness and allow them to Teep (telepathically) each other and inanimate objects. And it's a novel that's hard to follow; not because it's book two and not because the science is most the time hand-wavium enough to suggest that this was someone’s thought experiment that tried to manifest on paper. It's more a matter of having characters that are so disconnected despite the fact that the whole concept is supposing that they are connected with everything.
We start the story with newlyweds Jayjay and Thuy trying to put together their new home in what almost sounds like a secluded area where they can literally commune with nature. The biggest conflict seems to be with the nearby stream named Gloob who is not excited about new neighbors moving rocks and other features away from his pleasant flow. There’s a good thirty five pages of setting things up, which for a new reader is good because it helps realize what you're getting into.
For the most part the science sounds like magic and it acts a lot like it also. But there are rules and Jayjay has a potential for getting too into things when dealing with Gaia so he has to avoid it like an addict, which is probably the first noticeable conflict. But this is a slow moving story and even after he slips off the wagon on his honeymoon night leaving Thuy to go to bed alone, it takes even longer before the reader begins to realize that Jayjay's habit has led to the first step in an alien invasion.
As to the magic world, I was almost ready to draw comparisons to Diane Duane’s Wizard series; but this story contains too many elements that sound more like Bill and Ted’s Awesome adventures. Mix that with Charles Stross Singularity and banal mentions of body functions and slowly add in some disturbing underage sex elements it becomes apparent that though it reads like Young Adult it quickly becomes something I wouldn't suggest to my grandchildren.
There’s a story in here somewhere and I made it all the way to the end. It is about alien invasion. Two races; the birdlike Pengo and the stingray like Hrull are enabled access to Earth through the process that brought the singularity. While the Pengo are after our world with the thought of driving us to extinction, the Hrull want people who can Teep to help push them through the universe. And the Earth is left with the most unlikely group of people to save it; although they have already saved the Earth once. But it's difficult to sort out what the real conflict is in the story and at one point this reader almost thought it might be a matter of who the father of the baby was, but I don't want to spoil the story so I'll leave it at that.
If you're looking for something that is strictly fantasy in a world of Telepathic, Teleporting Magic that is explained through technology derived of the singularity (which makes it mostly inscrutable to us mortals) this is the book for you. I want to call it SFF, but it’s really mostly meant for Fantasy readers; though there might be some put off about having too much fascinating but strange science in their fantasy.
View all my reviews