Nested Scrolls

A Writer's Life
by Rudy Rucker

Tor Books, December, 2011.
PS Publishing, July, 2011.


Paperback & hardback editions out of print.
Ebooks and used print copies on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or AbeBooks.
Or read it free online.

Info & Links

Nested Scrolls is the winner of the 2011 Emperor Norton Award.

Photos for Nested Scrolls, plus many extra photos.

Notes for Nested Scrolls, a free booklength PDF file of writing notes, the file's under a megabyte in size

Read Nested Scrolls online the whole book as a webpage.

Software by Rudy, free downloads.

Paintings by Rudy.

Wheelie Willie cartoons.

Rudy's Lifebox, for searching through Rudy's online material.

YouTube Channel of Rudy's videos.


Immensely entertaining, spirited and deep. This is Rudy Rucker at his thoughtful best.
—Greg Bear, author of Hull Zero Three

Both the funniest and the most scientific of cyberpunk SF’s fab four, Rudy Rucker’s autobiography Nested Scrolls is a laid back groove, in the best sense. It’s funny, real, a bit off center… yet friendly and so thoroughly engaging that I was sorry that it ended.  Maybe Rudy could live another life so that he could take us along, once again.
—R. U. Sirius, Acceler8or

Like all the best memoirists, Rudy Rucker allows us to glimpse thorugh him the contours of our own lives, and to ponder, a little wistfully, why they couldn't have been more like his.
—Paul Park, author of A Princess of Roumania

This is a wild memoir, certainly as satisfying a read as any of Rucker’s novels... He knew from an early age that he wanted to be a beatnik writer, and in many ways, he has succeeded—in others, of course, he has surpassed his inspiration. It is, being the story of a life, not an easy road: there is trouble with his parents and with his wild-man lifestyle, and with work and sheer existence. By the end of the volume, though, the reader has a sense that it’s been an interesting and well-lived life, and it makes for a fascinating story, even the time he spends as a math teacher. This reads like Rucker’s novels, packed with adventures, filled with humor, and often quite surreal.
—Regina Schroeder, Booklist

Rucker is a writer to whom that cliché "a genuine original" legitimately applies. Nested Scrolls is a pleasantly meandering, chattily digressive read. We hear the authentic voice of the beat, the hippie, the cyberpunk, the hacker, the bomb-throwing revolutionary iconoclast that, at heart, Rucker has always been and remains even at the age of 65—though, to judge by Nested Scrolls, he is the most pleasant and decent bomb-thrower one could ever hope to meet.
—Paul Witcover, Locus

Rudy Rucker has had an exhaustingly full life. He helped define cyberpunk with a series of novels beginning in the early '80s. He earned a Ph.D in mathematics and has taught computer science for over twenty years. He's written over thirty books, both SF and nonfiction focusing on computation, the fourth dimension, and infinity. In his new memoir, Nested Scrolls, he details these accomplishments, as well as their attendant travails.
—Brendan Byrne, BoingBoing

What distinguishes Nested Scrolls is Rucker's voice, which has this sort of steely, understated clarity. He writes in an almost flat, declarative style, which makes his rather amazing life all the more entertaining. He moves with equal ease through the halls of academia, science and science fiction. He effortlessly pushes the envelopes of math, technology, writing and art. He's told us many stories chock full of verve and imagination, but his own story may be the most powerful he has to tell. ... Perhaps, just perhaps, Nested Scrolls will change what people think, not just of Rucker but books.
—Rick Kleffel, review in The Agony Column

Nested Scrolls (the title refers to the coral reef-like ramifications inherent in storytelling) reveals the transreal roots of Rucker's successful attempts at creating a body of work "ecstatic and countercultural" with "logic and rigor to its weirdness." Recognizing that "there actually aren't any normal people," he writes for the outsider in all of us. The results are stimulating and illuminating — and also just plain old goofy fun.
—Nisi Shawl, review in The Seattle Times

Nested Scrolls is funny, surprisingly touching, and the photos of the 1989s cyberpunks are a scream... A rewarding journey.
—Henry Wessells, New York Review of Science Fiction

Rudy Rucker is the bridge from Dick-era, drug-induced paranoia to Gibson-era, network-minded paraspace. He was around early enough to be a Dick fan before Dick died, but noticeably older than the rest of the cyberpunk crew. Nested Scrolls secures his place joining the generations of the genre. Rucker has had a storied career as both an author of science fiction and nonfiction, as a college professor, and as a software developer, all of which inform each other to varying degrees, and all of which inform Nested Scrolls, making it an engaging narrative of high-science, high-tech, and high times.
—Roy Christopher's blog.