Rudy’s Blog

Buy Rudy's books! Click covers for info.                 Blog text and images copyright (C) Rudy Rucker 2014.

Archive for the ‘Upcoming Events’ Category

Talk at TEDx Los Gatos. Joan Brown show in San Jose.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

On Wednesday, October 26, I’m giving a short talk for TEDx Los Gatos. At this point all the seats for the event are taken, but eventually videos will be available and I’ll post a link to them here. The idea behind TEDx events is that they are set up to resemble the official TED talks, but any local group in the world can mount a TEDx, assuming they stick to certain guidelines.

Here’s a preview PDF file of my slides and text for my talk, “Transreal In Los Gatos.” It’s a large file, so when you click the link, it’ll take up to a minute before you see the images onscreen. Note also that I’m still revising the text, and in the end it’ll come out different during live performance.

Sylvia and I were in downtown San Jose this weekend, nice to get a taste of city without driving all the way to SF.

Downtown San Jose does tend to be a little deserted.

But they have a great patisserie called Bijan near the art museum.

The San Jose Art Museum is an interesting building, expanded out from an old stone Post Office.

And they’re having a show of paintings by Joan Brown (1938-1990). She hasn’t had a big show around here since 1998, when there was a somewhat larger two-site show in Oakland and Berkeley. About the best book on Joan Brown was based on that show.

The SJ show is definitely worth a visit. I like the transreal, narrative quality of Brown’s later paintings, and how they go right down into the subconscious.


Reading “The 57th Franz Kafka” Friday Night

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Tonight, Friday, I’ll be reading my weird old SF story, “The 57th Franz Kafka,” under the auspices of the SF in SF group, who have arranged a Kafkaesque reading for the annual San Francisco Litquake festival. Doors (and drinks) at 6 pm, Readings start at 7 pm. Terry Bisson and Carter Scholz will be reading as well as me.

And here’s an R. Crumb-illustrated plug for our reading in the Huffington Post.

My story will be reprinted soon in Kafkaesque: Stories inspired by Franz Kafka, edited by John Kessel & James Patrick Kelly. Here’s part of the story note that I wrote for this new anthology.

I wrote “The 57th Franz Kafka near the start of my literary career, in the spring of 1980. My wife and I were in Heidelberg for two years—I had a grant to do research on infinity at the Mathematics Institute of the university. During this period I read and reread the Penguin Modern Classics edition of The Diaries of Franz Kafka several times, drinking in Kafka’s vibes and chuckling over the crazy letters he’d write to his relatives and to the family of his lady friend.

One aspect of Kafka’s writing that’s perhaps not as well-known as it could be is that Kafka himself considered his stories to be funny. His friend Max Brod reports that Kafka once fell out of his chair from laughing so hard while reading aloud from one of his works, perhaps from Die Verwandlung, that is, The Metamorphosis. Our puritanical and self-aggrandizing American culture tends to make out Kafka’s work to be solemn and portentous. But it’s funny in somewhat the same way as Donald Duck comics…

And here, just as a teaser, are the first two paragraphs of my dark tale:

Pain again, deep in the left side of my face. At some point in the night I gave up pretending to sleep and sat by the window, staring down at the blind land-street and the deaf river.

The impossibility of connected thought. Several times I thought I heard the new body moving in the long basin.

Here’s a photo taken at the event—me, Terry Bisson, and Carter Scholz. There’s also some video of the event on YouTube, there’s a link to the video segment with me reading “The 57th Franz Kafka.” Thanks to Litquake, Evan Karp, and Stellar Cassidy for making and posting the video.


My Emperor Norton Award (Tachyon Party at Borderlands)

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

I was at Borderlands Books in SF for the annual Tachyon Publications party on Sunday from 2-4.

Among the assembled SFictional luminaries were my fellow-writer (and Kentuckian) Terry Bisson, Charlie Jane Anders , a writer and impresario known for editing the SF site io9 & running the Writers With Drinks salon, and Jeremy Lassen—my editor and publisher at Night Shade Books—dressed in a full-on zoot suit from Mission Street.

One of the events at the party is the awarding of two Emperor Norton Awards. As Locus magazine explains:

The Emperor Norton Awards are a San Francisco Bay area specific award given each year for “extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constraints of paltry reason”. The award is named after and commemorates the memory of Joshua Norton I, Emperor of the United States of America and Protector of Mexico, and are presented annually by Tachyon Publications and Borderlands Bookstore in San Francisco.

I was a proud recipient of one of the Norton Awards! It’s nice to get an award now and then, very heart-warming. Along with me, the photo shows Jacob Weisman of Tachyon Books, Jude Feldman of Borderlands Books, and SF eminence grise Richard Lupoff.

The other Emperor Norton award went to Steve Boyett.

Here’s a close-up of my finely printed certificate. Emperor Norton was known for printing his own money—which became an accepted local currency in 1870s San Francisco! Kind of like being a writer, really. We deal with funny paper.

It was a great day and a fun party. Many thanks to Tachyon and Borderlands.

A main reason for my award is that many of books are set in the SF Bay Area, most recently Jim and the Flims, my fantastic novel of Santa Cruz and the afterworld, published by Night Shade this June. See my JIM AND THE FLIMS page for more info.

Unrelated photo: Rooting through some old scrapbook-style journals, I came across this picture of me with my SF mentor Robert Sheckley in Venice Beach, CA, around 1987. Bob would be proud of me today.

By the way, if you stop by Borderlands, they have a number of large, very high quality, signed color prints of my paintings that I made on heavy archival paper. We’re looking to sell a few of these off, so the price is all the way down at $18 a print. Stop by and get one if you’re walking by. Another kind of “Emperor Norton money.”


JIM AND THE FLIMS Reading, now with Podcast

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

[Added on Monday, July 11, 2011] Here’s a podcast of my reading on July 10: the first chapter of Jim and the Flims with some Q & A. By the way, the station also has a podcast (made by Rick Kleffel) of reading I did back in January from my forthcoming autobiography Nested Scrolls on “The Birth of Transrealism”. You can click on the icon below to access my Feedburner podcast station.

(Note that Feedburner only shows my most recent podcasts. For older audio files, see my archive on Gigadial, which runs back to 2005.)

My publisher and editor Jeremy Lassen was there yesterday with Liz Upson and Tomra Palmer of Night Shade Books, which was nice.

And here’s the assembled audience.

And I was glad to have fellow writer John Shirley and my artist pal Paul Mavrides there, too.

[Now back to the old post...]

Jim and the Flims, my fantastic novel of Santa Cruz and the afterworld has appeared from Night Shade Books. See my JIM AND THE FLIMS page for more info.

On Sunday, July 10, at 3:00 pm, I’ll be giving a reading from Jim and the Flims at the fabulous and cozy Borderlands Books (and cafe) on Valencia Street in San Francisco. We’ll have a Q & A session after the reading, and we’ll be giving away a large, high-quality art print of one of my paintings.

Get in your flying saucer and come on over.


JIM AND THE FLIMS in Capitola/Santa Cruz Saturday Night.

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Jim and the Flims, my fantastic novel of Santa Cruz and the afterworld has appeared from Night Shade Books. See my JIM AND THE FLIMS page for more info.

I’ll be giving a reading from Jim and the Flims at the Capitola Book Café on June 4, at 6:30 pm, sharing the podium with Kim Stanley Robinson, who’ll read from Galileo’s Dream, with Rick Kleffel moderating a discussion.


Four New Books

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I have three new books coming up in 2011-2012. Well, four, if you count the new edition of my self-published art book

(1) I just published a new edition of my art book, Better Worlds, on Lulu. It has 79 color paintings now, and sells for $29 paperback or $5 as a PDF.

(2) Jim and the Flims, my fantastic novel of Santa Cruz and the afterworld will appear from Night Shade Books in June, 2011. See my JIM AND THE FLIMS page for more info.

I’ll be giving a reading from Jim and the Flims at the Capitola Book Café on June 4, at 6:30 pm, sharing the podium with Kim Stanley Robinson. And I’ll be reading at Borderlands Books on Valencia St. in San Francisco on Sunday, Jun 10, at 3 pm.

(3a) My autobiography Nested Scrolls is also coming out, first in a limited edition from PS Publishing in July, 2011.

(3b) And a second edition of Nested Scrolls will appear in a hardcover from Tor Books in December, 2011. See my NESTED SCROLLS page for more info.

(4) Last of all, my small anthology Surfing the Gnarl will appear in the Outspoken Authors series from PM Press in January, 2012.


Speakage, and PDA 2011

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

First I’ll mention three talks in this post. And later, at the end, I add an update about the PDA 2011 con at Internet Archive.

(1) On Friday, February 25, at 4:45 pm, I spoke for a half hour on “Lifebox Immortality” at PDA 2011, a Personal Digital Archiving conference at the awesome Internet Archive in San Francisco—which is housed in a repurposed, Greek revival style Christian Scientist church, shown above

For background on my lifebox idea, see my recent post on “Digital Immortality Again.” I used “lifebox” to mean a digital or online simulacrum of a person. I go into considerable detail about the lifebox in my non-fiction book, The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul, and in a recent article “Lifebox Immortality” in h+ magazine.

In a nutshell, my idea is this: to create a virtual self, all I need to do is to (1) Place a very large amount of text online in the form of articles, books, and blog posts, (2) Provide a search box for accessing this data base, and (3) Provide a nice user interface.

I made a first crude stab at this a couple of months ago, with my Rudy’s Lifebox page at This page lets you Google-search my rather large site.

[A skyline in San Sebastian, Spain]

(2) Rick Kleffel made a nice podcast of a reading I did of “The Birth of Transrealism,” a chapter from my forthcoming memoir, Nested Scrolls: A Writer’s Life, back on January 15, 2011, in San Francisco at the SF in SF gathering. Here’s his post about the podcast on his blog, “The Agony Column.” You can also get to the podcast via my Feedburner podcast station, click the icon below.

(Note that Feedburner only shows my most recent podcasts. For older audio files, see my archive on Gigadial, which runs back to 2005.)

(3) A videotape of my Garum Day talk in Bilbao is now online as well.

[Rudy being a Continental writer in his new *eeek* Basque beret]

You can find my description of my Bilbao talk in my recent post, “Selling Yourself”. It relates to the lifebox theme as well.

(Back to 1) Now for some notes on the PDA 2011 meeting at the Internet Archive.

As I mentioned above, the venue was in an amazing building. Brewster Kahle (shown above with his server) acquired it a year or two ago for housing the Intenet Archive. Instead of air-conditioning the servers, Brewster has fans drawing air through them…and the air cycles into the building to heat it.

Good old Ted Nelson gave a talk, to some extent promoting his awesome autobiography, Possiplex.

Gordon Bell, the famous lifelogger was there. I stood next to him and talked to him for a few minutes—a genial guy. And the SenseCam he wears around his neck must surely have taken my picture. So I’m safe in his lifelog!

Cathal Gurrin of Dublin City University was wearing a SenseCam as well, he’s accumulated I think 7 million photos over four years, it takes about 3 shots a minute. Searching the database is the hard problem. I asked him the two obvious privacy questions, and he said he reflexively pauses it for 5 minutes as he walks into a restroom and…he takes it off at night so it can recharge.

And my old pal Faustin Bray from the Hacker and the Ants days was there as well, looking good and, as always, taping and filming for her Sound Photosynthesis site, which features Richard Feynman, Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson and other freaky luminaries.

The meeting had an interesting vibe of a whole lot of people turning up and discovering that there were others interested in the same thing—logging aspects of our lives in digital forms. One thing that struck me was that everyone has their own very distinctive notion of what they’d like their lifebox to be like. In a way, it’s similar to the way that people select different kinds of statues for putting over their graves! Virtual funerary monuments. Ghostly pyramids of Cheops. I’m telling you, this is going to be a huge industry.

More: Daniel Reetz gave a great talk on the impact of ubiquitous low-cost cameras, especially as relating to DIY Book Scanning. And Rich Gibson gave an inspiring and relaxed presentation of the new movement towards gigapixel (and larger) photos, see the Gigapan site. I also met Evan Carroll, co-author of Your Digital Afterlife…this book was mentioned the recent New York Times Sunday magazine article about digital immortality.

Videos of the talks will be up in a week or two.


Rudy’s Blog is powered by WordPress