Read Jim and the Flims as a single online webpage.
The paperback is available via Amazon. The ebook is on Amazon, or on the Transreal Books page. (A Transreal Books purchase gives you two files: MOBI format for Kindle and EPUB format for all other e-readers.)
Night Shade Books published a hardback of Jim and the Flims in 2011. As of December, 2014, Transreal Books has taken over the distribution of paperback and ebook editions of Jim and the Flims. Copies of the Night Shade hardback can still be found. The hardback cover is graced with a painting by Bill Carman.
Jim and the Flims is a novel set in Santa Cruz, California . . . and in the afterlife. Jim Oster ruptures the membrane between our world and afterworld (a.k.a. Flimsy), creating a two-way tunnel between them. His wife is killed in the process. And now Jim faces an invasion of the Flims—who resemble blue baboons and flying beets.
Aided by a posse of Santa Cruz surf-punks, Jim plunges into a mad series of adventures in Flimsy—where he just might find his wife. Jim and the Flims is the Orphic myth retold for the 21st century.
Jim and the Flims is a wild psychedelic romp that recasts the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the 21st century surf-punk/slacker world of Santa Cruz and its eartly and extra-earthly environs. Hilarious, profound, visionary, and genuinely moving, it vaults to the top spot on my list of favorite Rudy Rucker novels... A key component of Rucker's genius, it seems to me, lies in his ability to tackle his subjects on a multitude of levels simultaneously. There's a fractal beauty to it. If you're just into a weird and funny story, you've got it. If you dig mythic resonance—look no further. If theoretical physics is your bag, Rucker's witty allegories will delight you. Philosopher, Phil Dick fan, armchair theologian: there's something to challenge, satisfy, and delight any alert, intelligent reader.
Jim and the Flims offers Rucker’s delightfully eccentric and transrealist approach to what turns out to be a kind of modern-day Orpheus tale. It’s often silly and lighthearted, but it’s buoyed by the emotional weight of Jim’s quest, and also by the often beautiful and moving view of life and death. And I can guarantee that it’s probably not at all like anything else you’re going to read this summer.
The parallel world kicks in around Santa Cruz's northern city limits, the defining line of the duality, the boundary between order and chaos, truth and fiction, professorial normalcy and freaky chemical mentalbrain stuff, worldly secularity and Egyptian gods, Los Gatos/Silicon Valley and the Continent's edge, life and afterlife. And when the line's porous, the paradox, rather than crumbling, becomes even more pronounced.
Jim and the Flims is a perfect showcase for Rudy Rucker's ability to craft a story that is both totally familiar and absolutely like nothing you've ever read before. ... Rucker's ability to create ordinary characters who must confront the extraordinary makes this book quite accessible to anyone willing to stroll on the beaches of Santa Cruz, check out the weird surfers and take in the gorgeous sunset. ... As Rucker's novel shows us, everyday life is weirder than we think and filled with more hope than we might expect.
I love Rudy Rucker. The guy is simply incomparable when it comes to writing science fiction, managing to seamlessly blend highly intelligent existential and scientific speculation with wildly satirical and insanely imaginative plotlines... In this novel, Rucker reimagines the myth of Orpheus as only he can – Jim Oster is a former surfer dude, part-time stoner, and current Santa Cruz mailman who dabbles in high-tech research.
Jim and the Flims...Rudy Rucker's weirdest, craziest, colorfulest book yet? That's saying a lot, I know. But when it is at its most bizarre, it is also most hilarious. Nobody else writes like Rudy.
Rudy Rucker should be declared a National Treasure of American science fiction.
Rucker puts the weird in science. String theory might as well have been invented to give rise to mind-benders like Postsingular.
Rudy Rucker writes like the love child of Philip K. Dick and George Carlin. Brilliant, frantic, conceptual, cosmological... like lucid dreaming, only funny.
Everything Rudy Rucker writes make you look at reality a little bit differently.
Notes for Jim and the Flims, is a freely downloadable 4 Meg PDF file, notesforjimandtheflimsposted.pdf.
Notes for Jim and the Flims is a 217 page single-spaced document containing the working notes for the novel.
The book of notes includes numerous images as well as internal and external links.
And here's a link to a page listing all of my blog posts mentioning Jim and the Flims.
When I'm working on a novel, I often make paintings to help me visualize the upcoming scenes. I made nine paintings while working on Jim and the Flims, and I'll put thumbnails of them here along with comments. Click on any thumbnail to see the image in a larger size. You can also see these images in large format, along with additional information, at my Paintings page.
At the Core of the World
The jiva creatures in my novel are directly inspired by the work of Jim Woodring. Woodring’s jivas are seen, for instance, in the story "Frank and the Truth About Plenitude," that appears in his wondrous and profound anthology The Portable Frank. I told Woodring of my plan to put his jivas into my novel and he kindly gave me his blessing.
Over the years I've written a series of four or five surfing SF stories with Marc Laidlaw. In one of them, "Chaos Surfari," Marc introduced a punk character named "Kid Beast" who used underwater microphones to sample the sounds from a tank of cuttlefish and nautiluses. My character Ira copies this move, and, with Marc's approval, I even lifted a few phrases from him.