Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book review: Jim and the Flims by Rudy Rucker

One of the only real disadvantages of not being independently wealthy is that having to work does cut into one's casual reading time. Then again, it does make savoring that time so much the sweeter.

Jim and the Flims is the latest novel from prolific writer Rudy Rucker. This wonderfully bizarre novel reads like a dream you might have after a night of bad Mexican food, albeit a dream that makes you want to go out and eat that same exact meal again just so you can have that dream again. Jim is an out of work, biotech engineer surfer who doesn't really take the time to ponder the metaphysics or implications of his work until it punches him in the face. While experimenting one night at home, he manages to slice an electron, thus opening a portal into the afterlife but tragically killing his wife in the process. And then things start to get weird.

This quirky and fun yet thought provoking story is wrapped around several philosophical and quantum theoretical concepts yet does not get bogged down in the technical aspects of either. Rucker's characters are both believable and relatable, even for the oddest characters Jim encounters in his travels through the afterworld, and the story is evenly paced and cleverly crafted with a few twists and turns to keep you guessing just as you think you have it figured out. While this novel is my first encounter with Rucker, I know it won't be my last.

Looking for a fun, metaphysical, spiritual science-fiction read? (Yeah, it does actually break that many genre boundaries!) Want an unconventional story that will tug at those back corners of your brain after you've put it down? Pick up Jim and the Flims. You'll be glad you did. 

From Night Shade Books and available at your local, independent bookstore. (Make a difference: shop local and shop independent!)

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