This is a kind of alien nightclub scene. I was thinking about the other-worldly hangout La Hampa that appears in my novel Mathematicians in Love. Also of the classic Toulouse-Lautrec poster, Moulin Rouge. That’s a star frog in the limo on the right. The jellyfish are based on Belousov-Zhabotinsky scrolls, which are one of my favorite types of cellular-automata-based computer graphics.
When I came to write these scene, I didn’t in fact stick very close to my preliminary painting of it. But here, just for fun, is the way the written version turned out:
“Rowena’s verdant island domed up from the water, the very image of a tropical hideaway. Thickets of red-blooming shiny-leaved bushes lined the shores amid stands of succulent broad-leaved stalks dangling purple flowers and clusters of bananas; higher up the island’s slope were gnarly lop-leaved trees bearing heavy oval breadfruits and ivory blossoms; the island’s summit was crowned by tall, swaying palms. Springs trickled from the dark soil; ferns and fat-leaved epiphytes nestled in the tree crotches; vines twisted about the mossy trunks; bright birds fluttered from branch to branch.
“We followed Rowena straight through an inlet into a calm lagoon with sand on the bottom and a smooth rock ledge at the shady far end. I saw a fire in a pit back there. Waiting on some comfortably curved rocks by the fire were six aliens: Rowena’s cone shell sister, the two big cockroaches I’d seen in my mirror, a pair of man-sized lizards, and a flat white mollusk with a crest of branching tendrils. This last creature resembled a six-foot-long sea-slug of the type called a nudibranch.”
Rudy Rucker, Los Gatos, California Member Since February 2007 Artist StatementRudy Rucker is a well-known science-fiction writer who enjoys painting surreal Pop SF scenes that are often related to incidents in his books. His favorite artists include Bruegel, Hieronymus Bosch, Rene Magritte, Wayne Thiebaud, R. Crumb and Carl Barks.
Born in Kentucky in 1946, he studied mathematics, earning a Ph. D. in the theory of infinite sets. He worked first as mathematics professor, then as a computer science professor, coming to rest in Silicon Valley, where he now paints, photographs, and writes novels full time.
Rucker has published over 30 books, mostly speculative fiction. A founder of the cyberpunk school of literature, Rucker also writes in a realistic/fantastic style known as transrealism. Rucker took up painting in 1999 while doing research for his historical novel about the life of Peter Bruegel, As Above, So Below. He often paints pictures as a way of imagining the worlds of his novels such as The Hacker and Ants, The Hollow Earth, Frek and the Elixir and Mathematicians in Love. and Postsingular.