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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  717 ratings  ·  113 reviews
In 2012, journalist Martin Seymour travels to Iran to cover the parliamentary elections. With most would-be candidates disqualified this turns out to be the expected non-event, but shortly afterward a compromising image of a government official captured on a mobile phone triggers a political avalanche...
ebook, 213 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Night Shade Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,502)
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I’m a sucker for a free science fiction novel, especially when it’s an author I’ve heard of and the book is published by a cutting-edge publisher like Nightshade Books. Zendegi was offered free, but would have been worth paying for. If we had half stars, this would get a 3.5 rating. The first half alters between the story of an Australian reporter caught up in an Iranian revolution in 2012 and an Iranian researcher in America who is working on a project to map the human brain. It takes well over ...more
This was a pretty good science fiction novel about virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and political reforms, made more interesting by being set in a modernized near-future Iran. It's also a fairly hopeful novel, rather than the more dark and gritty scenarios typical of its cyberpunk forebears. The main characters are an Australian journalist who is in Iran to witness the collapse of the old regime and the shaky birth of democracy there, and an Iranian expat neurobiologist who moves back t ...more
Ben Payne
This is a near-future SF novel, set in Iran, dealing with the potential precursors for intelligent AI. It's possibly the most human book I've read of Egan', and certainly one of the most accessible. The science is definitely more background, here, compared to some of his far-future books, and the novel focuses more strongly on character. I've often thought criticism of Egan's characterisation was unfounded; to me he writes very believable, intelligent, three-dimensional characters, and that's ve ...more
Simplemente no parece que sea Greg Egan. Es con diferencia lo más flojito que me he leido de el (Sin contar la diarrea mental de Diáspora). Una primera parte donde relata un conflicto iraní desde elk punto de vista de un periodista posicionado que se hace realmente pesada. Una segunda trama narra como se desarrolla un sistema de realidad virtual que debe ser el precursor de lo que vemos en muchos cuentos de Greg Egan y en su obra de Ciudad Permutación. Se ve el desarrollo de este sistema de real ...more
Quizás ’Zendegi’ sea el libro más asequible dentro de la bibliografía de Greg Egan, el famoso autor de ciencia ficción hard. Y digo asequible, que no simple, ya que aunque el peso de terminología científica es mucho menor en esta obra, las ideas que maneja son de gran calado. Egan deja esta vez las grandes ideas especulativas para centrarse en una historia más de ámbito social y ético, donde priman las experiencias y relaciones de los protagonistas. Parece que esta vez la ciencia ficción es una ...more
Apr 01, 2012 Jason rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci fi fans, Transhuman Space fans
Recommended to Jason by: Wikipedia
Wikipedia mentioned “Zendegi” on the main English page for some reason. I remember seeing it at work, and I read a few sentences before I decided it was a story I wanted to read (partially because I needed something new). I was pleased when I found it in the Kindle store for 0.99 cents. I started on it after I finished “Neuromancer”.

I really don’t want to give away too much of this story…

The book follows two characters that come into contact about halfway through…

Martin Seymour is an athe
Greg Egan's books usually contain High science fiction, the sort of things that really makes the readers imagination sparkle with the wonder of the ideas they hold. His inclusion of "Wang's carpets" in his book Diaspora, for instance showing how 2 dimensional patterns ever moving on a football field sized map could be extrapolated into complex 3 dimensional beings living in a quite separate reality to the one we observe.

So upon starting to read Zenegi, I had high hopes about advanced intellige
Nov 20, 2010 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ian McDonald fans and cultural imperialists
Recommended to Alan by: A back-page blurb
Greg Egan's foray into near-future science fiction feels like a departure of sorts; his gaze has been focused on much farther horizons of late. But I think this change of pace has turned out to be a really good thing; Zendegi is a taut, plausible future history which, even if it does turn out to be overtaken by events, still partakes of the best of hard sf—rigorous extrapolation from what is known into the dizzying ramifications of what-if.

Martin Seymour is a journalist who goes to Iran just bef
Why I Read This Book: I'm a big fan of Greg Egan, and had been on my local library's waiting list for the hardcover for about a month before it arrived. Then I saw that it'd been added to the Kindle store—and, more to my tastes, Baen's ebook store (where it's cheaper, can be downloaded in several formats, and has no DRM).

I'd rate this 9/10. Egan's previous novel, Incandescence , is set in the far future and is somewhat inaccessible as a result. Zendegi has two parts; the former is set in the ve
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime)
When Greg Egan is good, he's great, and this one is a keeper.

Intertwining a perfectly believable near-term future of Iran with highly realistic experimentation into artificial intelligence, it covers human (and AI) rights, life extension, ancient Farsi stories, virtual realities and what it means to be a family; blending it all seamlessly into a touching narrative.

As a computer geek, I'm always eager to read stories about artificial intelligence, and naturally have a pretty high threshold of bel
Jose Cuesta
Es una novela muy prescindible, no parece de Egan.

Si algo suele ofrecer su narrativa son ideas y planteamientos que lleva hasta límites insospechados, siempre dando un giro de tuerca más, aun a riesgo de pasarse de rosca. Y si algo suele fallar en sus novelas es la construcción de personajes, que son meros instrumentos que utiliza como vehículos para transmitir esas ideas.

Sin embargo en "Zendegi" ocurre todo lo contrario: personajes sólidos, bien desarrollados, emocionales, para hablar sobre un
Mohammad Ali Abedi
I wasn’t looking to read this book. I was searching for something else and this popped up and it seemed like it could be a good break from the other ultra-serious stuff I have been reading for a year. A sci-fi book set in Iran!

The story is split into two parts. The first part is the revolution that topples the Iranian government which is like jerk-off porn for westerners. The young, freedom loving, peaceful Iranians causing the change of government who are full of tyrannical, old mullas. The aut
Realistic near-future SF, more mainstream and accessible than what Egan usually writes.
This is a rare sort of book in that it dares to be serious in adressing real issues with technological developements and contemporary culture without deliberately making a joke or a literary game out of the whole thing (or being unwittingly laughable).
Oh, there is some of the usual Egan sarcasm at the expense people who've more than earned it. But for the most part, the characters are believeable.
Because of it
4.5* Well-written, thoughtful, and sad story of Middle Eastern politics and the implications of modeling human minds (or characteristics of human minds) using virtual reality software (the title, "zendegi," means "life" in Farsi and also partly refers to the "Zendegi-ye Behtar" ("Better Life") VR system which many of the book's characters either help design or participate in. Well-drawn characters; my only real complaint about the book was that the ending felt somewhat abrupt.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruth Browne
It's been some time since I picked up a sci-fi novel heavy on the science and thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Perhaps that's partially because this novel couldn't make up its mind what it wanted to be: philosophical treatise, geeky odyssey or political drama. Of course it was all three, and more, but the sharp divisions in content and the jump-cuts through time could be disorientating. In a sense, Egan has no shame: he'll happily sit three scientists round a cafeteria table and have them discuss ...more
Robin Edman
I checked the other reviews, and most people like this book. I freakin' hate it! It's all about Iranian politics, which are boring, boring, boring! And a lot of morally superior crap, which I hate even more than Iranian politics. It's also not so very science fiction-y; my husband ( who is a patent lawyer) tells me more interesting things than this book imagines. I'm two thirds in and giving up on it.
Australian SF writer Greg Egan is known especially as a hardsf writer, where the science/technology is meant to be realistically speculative. I have found much of his work to be more true to the concepts than to the characters, and of course that limits his appeal beyond a select subset of SF readers. However, this is a singular novel in his bibliography, in which the plot is driven by the characters, even while the science/technology maintains it in the hardsf category. Sort of the best of both ...more
Jason Price
It's been a long time since I have read any Greg Egan, I think I was avoiding him even though he really is one of my all time favorite authors. It may have been that I couldn't face the abstract high concept content as easily anymore. Zendegi has been a relief as it is very approachable but still has important things to say in speculative fiction, it feels more mature as well. I do wonder, is my appreciation of this book coloured by my maturing age and growth along side of Greg Egan's works. I w ...more
Un libro raro en Greg Egan. Me ha gustado en que es una versión más humana, desde le punto de vista de los personajes de un futuro cercano y como nos puede afectar la tecnología, pero lo que más me ha gustado es que de todos esos caminos que puede haber puede que muchos se corten o no se elijan y se perderán y habrá gente que viva esos cambios.

Lo que no me ha gustado, pero igual porque no era el objetivo del autor, es no saber sacar todas las implicaciones de las nuevas tecnologías y poder saber
The other list of books I'm pulling from is "books that caught my eye at Powell's last summer". This is one of those. But my list just has titles; when they come in at the library I have no idea what they're about.

The first half of the book made me check whether the book was really science fiction, as it was pretty much about a (fictional) protest that leads to the overthrow of the Iranian government. Which was interesting enough but not exactly space marines. There was a long part about music t

My e-copy of this book categorises it as "Fantasy; short stories." It is neither. Rather, it is a near-future novel about politics, virtual reality, religion, family relationships, and death.

No, it is not a Patrick Rothfuss or George RR Martin-style tome. It is elegant.

Two strands: Nasim is an Iranian woman living in America, working on the mapping of individual finch brains to try and create a generic brain map. Martin is an Australian journalist working in Iran, who gets to cover escalating po
A very different book from anything I've read by Greg Egan before. Set almost entirely in Iran, "Zendegi" is barely a science-fiction novel at all, but instead focuses poignantly on the relationship between a former journalist, Martin, and his young son, Javeed. Weaved into the story are some ideas on virtual reality and the nature of consciousness, but this is tentative, and is not explored in the mind-bending way of, say "Permutation City".

The characters are rich, the setting is well research
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in March 2011.

Science fiction is associated with prediction of the future in the minds of many. Few writers in the genre would feel that this is the main point of what they produce, but sometimes their work can be eerily prophetic. Zendegi is a near future SF novel (written in 2010, with the first part set in 2012), so it is perhaps less surprising that it is reasonably accurate; but actually its portrayal of a popular uprising in Iran has a huge number of si
Funny how in most Sci-Fi works the vastly different technological base seems to have a little or no effect on society: up until 5 years ago people from the far future were still watching channelized television: 3D, extremely high resolution, sometimes even extending to all senses, but channelized, like a society can invent interstellar travel, but still somehow miss something as obvious as VoD.

Not so in "Zendegi" - Egan focuses on the emerging VR's societal impact. The setting in a reformed, "d
Los avances tecnologicos han pasado a definirnos. Hoy en dia vivimos dos vidas: tenemos una presencia en el mundo real pero se vuelve cada vez mas importante esa personalidad que construimos en el mundo virtual, desde un foro de discusion hasta subir fotos para que todos vean lo felices que somos. Pero no deja de haber una brecha enorme entre los seres de carne y hueso que en verdad somos y el mundo que edificamos en el cyberespacio.

Greg Egan nos ha llevado casi siempre con sus novelas tan adela
Reading a Greg Egan books always makes me feel smart or well dumb since sometimes I fail to understand the science going on. But I still look forward to them. I'll see how this goes.

This book is unusual one for Greg Egan as it starts in the present and continues to about 15 years in the future. Unlike his other novel which take place in the far far future. The other thing about this book is that it is not the first book I have read along these lines. The Silicon Man by Charles Platt written awhi
Zendegi starts during but is set mostly after a democratic revolution in Iran. Fifteen years after the fall of the theocracy, a scientist and an ill father living in Iran explore the possibilities of advancements in artificial intelligence, through the popular multiplayer game Zendegi.

This is probably my favorite Greg Egan novel to date. The setting of a near-future Iran is interesting, the characters real and relatable, and the science believable without being too overwhelming (unlike some of h
Ann Louise
I haven't read tons of Egan's work yet, but it seems that as he goes on he's losing his interest in being ultra-hard sf, and that might not be a bad thing. I found the relationship of Martin and his son was quite touching, and his characters in this book were believable in a realistic setting — no small feat for this author, who often struggles with the storytelling in the face of his big ideas. While this work lacked the intense scientific rigor scene in some of his other books, it was a more c ...more
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Greg Egan specialises in hard science fiction stories with mathematical and quantum ontology themes, including the nature of consciousness. Other themes include genetics, simulated reality, posthumanism, mind transfer, sexuality, artificial intelligence, and the superiority of rational naturalism over religion.

He is a Hugo Award winner (and has been shortlisted for the Hugos three other times), an
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