Freeware by Rudy Rucker ReviewEos, March 1998.
Paperback, 262 pages.
Ordering information: Amazon.com
On Earth in 2053, there are two sentient species: humans and moldies. Moldies are artificial lifeforms made from imoplex, a soft plastic material and a mixture of gene-tweaked fungi and algae which give off a "cheesy" smell. The moldies main goal in life is to get enough imoplex to reproduce themselves; therefore, they end up taking a lot of menial jobs for humans to make the money to purchase the coveted material. Humans and moldies cohabit fairly peaceably, although extremes of both groups despise each other and often resort to violence. Some humans like the moldies for their malleable bodies -- such humans are known as cheeseballs for their unnatural sexual attraction to the moldies. Freeware follows the lives of several moldies and fleshers (humans) which all ultimately intersect when a very real threat to Earth appears in the form of a new invention which will allow alien personalities from other galaxies to inhabit both human and moldies' bodies and to wipe out the original hosts' minds.
The third book following Software and Wetware, Freeware is classic Rucker: zany, irreverent, brazen, funny and definitely not for the conservative or faint of heart. But for those who like their SF on the edge with a cyberpunk twist are in for a typically hilarious Ruckerian rollercoaster ride through the cosmos.
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