“Postsingular” by Rudy Rucker
Cover page from www.rudyrucker.com
In Postsingular, a mad scientist creates a race of nants — nanites — that digest the planet and turn it into a computational simulation of Earth, called Vearth. However, an autistic child memorizes a long string of numbers that poisons the nants and causes them to reverse themselves (luckily, they’re engaged in reversible computation) and put the planet back. That’s the setup.
Via Boingboing about Rudy Rucker’s new book “Postsingular”:
Alt-cultural folk strive to save Earth from digitized doom in this novel from the prince of gonzo SF. A computer mogul’s threat to replace messy reality with clean virtuality and by a memory-hungry artificial intelligence called the Big Pig propels nanotechnologist Ond Lutter, his autistic son, Chu, and their allies on an interdimensional quest for a golden harp, the Lost Chord, strung with hypertubes that can unroll the eighth dimension and unleash limitless computing power. Though he tries to unite the hard and the fuzzy sides of physics, Rucker (Mathematicians in Love) favors the flower power of San Francisco over the number crunching of Silicon Valley. His novel vibrates with the warm rhythms of dream and imagination, not the cold logic of programming (or, for that matter, plotting). Playing with the math of quantum computing, encryption and virtual reality, Rucker places his faith in people who find true reality gnarly enough to love.
I have to buy this book.