I have been sifting through the eroding and fragmented memories I have regarding a science fiction story I read in college about a decade ago. My desperate assault on Google -- which has now lasted a full week -- has frustratingly yielded no answers.

The story involves the creator of artificial intelligence, who is nearing the end of his life. The protagonist, somehow involved with either helping or stopping this man (I cannot remember which) ends up travelling to the moon, where the artificial intelligence machines have been exiled. The creator of AI ultimately succeeds in uploading his consciousness into a machine and the story ends with a high-speed chase involving an ice cream truck.


2 Answers 2


This is Rudy Rucker's Ware Tetralogy, published between 1982 and 2000. The bit about the ice-cream truck is from the first book, Software, and the moon bit is from the second, Wetware.

You can download a free eBook of the series from the author's site.

Rucker’s four Ware novels—Software (1982), Wetware (1988), Freeware (1997), and Realware (2000)—form an extraordinary cyberweird future history with the heft of an epic fantasy novel and the speed of a quantum processor. Still exuberantly fresh despite their age, they primarily follow two characters (and their descendants): Cobb Anderson, who instigated the first robot revolution and is offered immortality by his grateful “children,” and stoner Sta-Hi Mooney, who (against his impaired better judgment) becomes an important figure in robot-human relations. Over several generations, humans, robots, drugs, and society evolve, but even weird drugs and the wisdom gathered from interstellar signals won’t stop them from making the same old mistakes in new ways. Rucker is both witty and serious as he combines hard science and sociology with unrelentingly sharp observations of all self-replicating beings.


It almost sounds like a garbled memory of Foundation and Earth (1986) by Isaac Asimov, except for the ice-cream truck part (absent), and the AI uploading to a machine (Daneel R. Olivaw uploads to person).

Several centuries after the events of Second Foundation, two citizens of the Foundation search for Earth, the legendary planet where humans are said to have originated. Even less is known about Earth than was the case in Foundation, when scholars still seem to know the location of 'Sol'.

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