In the first chapter of my novel Frek and the Elixir, the young hero Frek discovers a UFO under his bed with an alien cuttlefish as passenger. (Actually that’s my hand in the picture, not Frek’s.) I got the glowing look of the saucer door from an oven door in Hieronymus Bosch’s The Last Judgment in Vienna. The cuttlefish’s name is Professor Bumby. Here’s the passage where Frek sees the UFO—which he calls “The Anvil”:
“Another chirp came, followed by a hiss. Yellow light spread across Frek’s floor. Light from underneath his bed. Frek leaned over and, yes, the purple thing he’d seen that morning was visible again. He knew now that it was the Anvil.
“The Anvil was spherical and purple. A bright triangle of yellow-orange light glowed in its side. The triangle was a door with a thing coming out: a tiny form dark against the light, growing bigger, moving forward, its shape coming clear as it came. It was a flattish lump with a cluster of arms or legs sticking out the front end. It had two shining eyes.—a cuttlefish.
“The cuttlefish gazed up at Frek with large, kind, wise eyes. The eyes were a pleasant shade of gold, with dark, wiggly pupils. The cuttlefish’s flesh was shaded in tints of green. ‘You’re the one,’ said the cuttlefish in a low voice. ‘You’ll save the world.’ The voice sounded human, manly, comforting. The cuttlefish stretched out one of his short sucker-arms and twined it around Frek’s hand, just like Frek had been teaching his toon to do. The creature’s touch was smooth and warm and—tingly.”
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.