by Rudy Rucker, Earthlight 1999
Rudy is my favorite pervy math-nerd sci-fi writer (see review #44). I probably would not have bought this book if it had been more than the £3 I paid, since I have overdosed on his aged hippiness. And Saucer Wisdom is pretty much a retread of his other work (particularly Freeware), with some personal stuff you didn't want to know, like his jealousy of William Gibson, and his (possibly fictional) alcoholism. And less plot. But he is at his best on the kinky genetic engineering:
"Our first product will be called Big Tongue," says one of the techies [...] "It is bioengineered from a cow's tongue crossed with the nervous system of a flatworm and the digestive tract of a shrew." Saleem smiles, takes a drink of ice water. "Such a collage creature is called a chimera, after the Greek myth of a beast that was the combination of a lion, goat and a serpent."
"D'oh!" says one of the venture capitalists, a fat yellowish man. "How in the world are you going to market this, Saleem?"
"I'm glad you ask, " says Saleem, "Big Tongue has four selling points, which we are summarising as Big Tongue licks clean, Big Tongue cares, Big Tongue keeps mum, and Big Tongue licks you." [...] [ Big Tongue is organic, not a machine ] "Big Tongue is our kin, Big Tongue is based on DNA, Big Tongue cares. It participates, if you will, in the Gaian morphic resonance."
[ different scene ]
"You want to shoot this?"
"Of course, that's why I asked you over, duh. I'm going to make a little news feature comparing the Big Tongue and the Lickin' Luv Slug -- for the Suzanna Quarkaese Me-Show. For my hundreds of fans. Once I had four-hundred-and-sixty-three-viewers!"
"Oooo-kay, " says Benny. He puts a piezoplastic uvvy patch the size of a silver dollar on the back of his neck and a little plastic dragonfly ops up off its perch on a kitchen shelf and begins flying around.
There is a drawing of Suzanna in the shower testing the two devices/creatures.
And he uses the word floccilation (fitful plucking at the bedclothes).
So it has its points.