On Writing, by Rudy Rucker

November 11, 2021.

How to Write

A Writer's Toolkit
A set of notes that I use for teaching workshops or for advising beginning writers. Always under revision. I used this as a starting point for a workshop at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, June, 2004, and at the Clarion West workshop in Seattle, July, 2009. Passages from various of my talks and essays on writing are incorporated as well. Last revised in 2012.

How to Self Publish
A series of blog pages about how to publish your own ebooks and print paperbacks.

All the Interviews
A book-length collection of all the email interviews people have done with me, starting in 1997 (with one from 1990) and running through 2021. Includes over four hundred questions and answers about my writing practice.

Essays on Writing

A Transrealist Manifesto
Reprint of my 1983 manifesto, which is, in a way, a blueprint for my career. You can listen to my podcast reading of this essay along with a discussion of the part it's played in my writing.

What SF Writers Want
My 1985 attempt to survey the topography and subtextual menaing of the known SF tropes.

What Is Cyberpunk?
Something like another manifesto, from 1986, with an information-theoretic Postscript.

Power Chords, Thought Experiments, Transrealism and Monomyths
Text of a talk I gave at Readercon in Burlington, Mass on July 12, 2003. Readercon is an annual print-oriented science-fiction convention and I was a guest of honor for 2003.

Seek the Gnarl
Text of my Guest of Honor address at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, March 27, 2005. A variant of this talk appeared in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.

Introduction to Mad Professor
Introduction for my story collection, Mad Professor, (Thunders Mouth Press, 2007), discussing thought experiments, thought experiments, gnarliness, and wit.

A talk given for the "Cyberspace Salvation" series in Amsterdam, April 11, 2007, about using psi concepts in contemporary SF, leading to thoughts on worlds in which everything is alive, as in my novel Hylozoic. As I was nervous about this talk, I actually read this paper verbatim. A video of the talk is online.

New Futures for SF
Notes for a talk at Westercon in Pasadena, July 4, 2010, in which I'm groping towards some new and relatively unused ideas for SF stories. The actual talk came out somewhat different than these notes, and a podcast of the talk is online.

What I Write

All Books

Free Books

Complete Stories (Online version)

Collected Essays (Online version)

Writing Notes

I create book-length sets of notes while writing my novels and nonfiction books. Here are links, mostly to PDF versions of these notes, with some webpage versions as well.

Notes for Juicy Ghosts (Transreal Books, 2021). 6 Meg PDF file with no links, 133,600 words. Also available as web page with live links.

Notes for Million Mile Road Trip (Night Shade Books, 2019). 6 Meg PDF file with no links, 133,000 words. Also available as web page with live links.

Notes for Return to the Hollow Earth. (Transreal Books, 2018). 120,00 words. 28 Meg PDF, with no links. Also available as web page with live links..

Notes for The Big Aha (Transreal Books, 2013). 3 Meg file with links and pictures, 112,000 words. This time around, I decided to publish the Notes document as a book as well. See my Big Aha website for the ebook and paperback formats.

Notes for Turing & Burroughs (Transreal Books, 2012). 3.9 Meg file with links and pictures, 85,000 words.

Notes for Nested Scrolls (Tor Books, 2011). 0.5 Meg file with links and pictures, 45,000 words.

Notes for Jim and the Flims. (Night Shade Books, 2011) 4 Meg file with links and pictures, 110,000 words.

Notes for Hylozoic. (Tor Books, 2009). 3 Meg PDF file with links, 196,000 words.

Notes for Postsingular. (Tor Books, 2007). 2.5 Meg PDF file with links, 145,000 words.

Notes for Mathematicians in Love. (Tor Books, 2006). 2.6 Meg, 100,000 words.

Notes for The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul. (Thunder's Mouth Press 2005). 1.5 Meg, PDF file, 62,000 words.

Notes for Frek and the Elixir. (Tor Books 2004). 1.2 Meg PDF file, 75,000 words.

Notes for As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel (Tor Books 2002). 1.4 Meg PDF file. 64,000 Words.

Notes for Spaceland. (Tor Books 2002). 400 K PDF file, 40,000 words.

Notes for Realware. (Avon Books 2000). 500 K PDF file, 48,000 words.

Notes for Saucer Wisdom. (Tor Books 1999). 660 K PDF file, 50,000 words.

Notes for Freeware. (Avon Books 1997). 500 K PDF file, 50,000 words.

Notes for The Hacker and the Ants (Avon Books 1994, Four Walls Eight Windows 2003). 160 K PDF file, 14,000 words.

Random Extra Articles

A Timeline of my Transreal Novels
A timeline that matches my thirteen most transreal novels with periods of my life

The CA Lab Manual. An introduction to cellular automata.

The Boppers Artificial Life Lab Manual. An introduction to artificial life.

Paper on Cubic Julia sets, Cubic Mandelbrot Sets and the "Rudy set". A math discussion of what comes after the regular Mandelbrot set.

Paper on Kappatau Space Curves. A math paper about a new kind of gnarly space curve.

Treatment for "Search for Infinity," an IMAX Movie about the Mandelbrot Set. We never got the NSF grant to make this, but it's still kind of a cool SF story.

Review of Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science(American Mathematical Monthly, November, 2003). I liked this book a lot.

Review of David Foster Wallace's Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity, (Science, January 16, 2004). I didn't like this book.

The Men in the Back Room at the Country Club. SF/Horror story. In the online magazine Infinite Matrix.


Jenna and Me, Political Satire / Science Fiction story, by Rudy Rucker, Sr., and Rudy Rucker, Jr. In the February, 2003 edition of the on-line SF magazine Infinite Matrix.

Frontwheeldrive.com interviews by Tom Georgoulias. Two interviews about SF and computer science, latest was June, 2002.

Web Mind Columns . In 2000, I wrote four columns for a webzine called Galaxy Magazine. I think they only ran two of them. And now they're out of business. This link goes to a directory on my site where you can find my columns, which are about the mind and the web.

Big Bang Bust: Interview With Cosmologist Andrei Linde, by Rudy Rucker. Article for WIRED magazine about Andrei Linde's theory of a "fractal chaotic inflationary universe."

Robot Obstetric Wards, by Rudy Rucker. Article for WIRED magazine about Rudy's tour of the clean rooms at AMD and Intel chip fabs.

Use Your Illusion: Kit-Bashing The Cosmic Matte, by Rudy Rucker. Article for WIRED magazine about Industrial Light And Magic's special effects.

Ten Mathematical Favorites, by Rudy Rucker.   Posted on an interesting site by Wade Powell, reprinted from The SF Book of Lists by Maxim Jakubowski and Malcom Edwards.