Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Teranesia” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  615 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Nine-year-old Prabir Suresh lives alone with his baby sister, Madhusree, and his biologist parents on a tropical Indonesian isle. Teranesia is so small and remote, it's not on the maps, and its strange native species of butterfly remained undiscovered until the 21st century. Prabir never wants to leave, but war forces him to flee with Madhusree. He believes he has saved hi...more
Published (first published 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Teranesia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Teranesia

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,041)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Quien pensaba que la ciencia ficción no podía dar más de sí, es porque no ha leído a Greg Egan. Greg escribe ciencia ficción hard, es decir, sus novelas están plagadas de términos y explicaciones científicas y técnicas, y esto no hace fácil su lectura. Pero, aun así, es uno de los escritores, en general, no sólo dentro del género de ciencia ficción, con el que más disfruto. Sus historias poseen tal capacidad especulativa, son tan ricas en ideas sobre el futuro que está al cabo de la esquina, que...more
Gary Baker
This book was sent to me by a mystery philanthropist in South Africa. (Actually, I have a pretty good idea who sent it.) It took almost three months to get here. Three months. Roll on quantatronic matter transfer machines I say.

This is lifted from the cover:

As a young boy, Prabir Suresh lives with his parents and sister on an otherwise uninhabited island in a remote part of the Indonesian peninsula. Prabir names it Teranesia, populating it with imaginary creatures even stranger than the evoluti...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aaron Arnold
Not his best work. I liked the shift from astrophysics and technophilia to biology, but even though the main evolutionary puzzle/MacGuffin in the book was fairly interesting, a good cross between quantum computing and evolution, I thought Prabir was one of the weakest protagonists Egan has ever written, and the emotional logic behind his decisions was as incoherent as it was annoying. Prabir was especially irritating in the beginning of the book, when he was an unconvincing wunderkind; it was th...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in December 2002.

This novel cunningly avoids two clichés of the science fiction genre, something that in itself makes Teranesia an interesting read for aficionados. The first, one which has tended the ghettoisation of science fiction as a genre considered suitable only for adolescents, is the coming of age story of a precocious teenager. Central character Prabir Suresh is certainly precocious, but his adolescent years are omitted - in part one he is not yet a...more
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime)
Greg Egan is one of my favorite "hard science" SF authors, but in this one I felt he missed the mark. It wasn't until page 160 - half way in - that I finally figured out where he was trying to go, and even then he never tried to develop his hypothesis to its conclusions. Animals are mutating: Why? We learn "how" - the mechanics - but nothing of underlying causes, and the final conclusion seems like a cop-out.

Somehow it seems that only an Australian writer would have needed to set part of this n...more
Dans ce roman assez court, on suit les pas de Prabir, fils de scientifiques indiens ayant grandi à Vancouver et à la recherche de son passé. Je résume très rapidedement car le roman, déja court, ne se laisse pas facilement dévoiler. Ou plutôt, si j'en dévoile une partie, je risque très fort de trop en dire et de vous en gâcher le plaisir. Donc, si vous voulez éviter les spoilers, arrêtez de lire maintenant.

Je crois que, de tous les bouquins d'Egan que j'ai eu l'occasion de lire, c'est sans doute...more
Guillaume Jay
Quelque part dans un futur proche : une nouvelle espèce de papillons mutants vient d'être découverte par un couple de biologistes indiens sur une île du Pacifique. Parti sur l'île avec leurs deux enfants, Prabir et Madrushee, pour étudier ces lépidoptères, les chercheurs vont disparaître, victime de la guerre civile qui ravagent les Moluques, laissant les enfants livrés à eux-mêmes. Trente ans plus tard, les mutations se sont étendues à l'ensemble de la faune et de la flore des îles avoisinantes...more
This book has a good dual life as science fiction and contemporary fiction. In fact, and this is unusual for an Egan book, the story and characters really won out over the science. Please don't hold your breath for a satisfying resolution to the plot's biological mystery.

(view spoiler)
Thom Foolery
More slowly paced that Egan's previous novels. Focuses on intra- and interpersonal stuff more than traditional science fiction. Not sure if the main character is chillingly mechanical on purpose or by accident; purpose and accident are the driving intellectual themes of the novel, which adds to the uncertainty. Features Egan's typically unbelievable character expositions on scientific and philosophical themes, along with his broad-brush hostility toward religion per se. The novel finally went of...more
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]This is basically the book I wished that Darwin's Radio, by Egan's near namesake Greg Bear, was going to be. The central idea is the same: peculiar mutations are occurring which will not only upset evolutionary biology but also perhaps imperil the future of humanity. However Egan ties his viewpoint character into a disturbing but believable family background with consequent psychoses, and the politics and biology all seemed considerably more...more
This was the first Greg Egan sci fi novel I've read. I picked it up on the recommendation of a friend of mine who said this was what sci fi was supposed to be -- not fantasy but real science fiction. One difference from the hard sci fi of my youth was the emphasis on the character of the protagonist. Prabir Suresh actually feels like a person, not a type. It's nice to have a non-white main character, and one who happens to be gay. The only times Egan really lost me were in his clumsy send-ups of...more
This is the first Greg Egan book I have read and although I enjoyed it, I couldn't help but feel like I was reading a 'teen sci-fi' novel. The somewhat simplistic protagonists appeared to be rant vehicles for Egan to righteously expound the idiocy of academia, new age woo-woo and religious ideology. Fair enough, his arguments are valid to a degree, however imagining and dedicating space to unlikable and pompous 'straw men' characters that embody everything that he is critical of and then proceed...more
If you've read enough of my reviews you know I have certain "rules" and maybe I should even bother to collect them one day. One rule is as follows: the best stories are about people. That is especially important to remember when reading science fiction as a lot of SF is very concept oriented, and sometimes character development is sacrificed for problem solving. In Teranesia Egan goes to the other extreme-there is so much going on with the protagonist and his sister the mystery of why evolution...more
A sluggish start, but it builds up into something quite interesting, and less weird than Quarantine or Distress -- although still weird, in the way that only Egan is. The end is abrupt, but does wrap things up. Needlessly heavy-handed in its uniformly scathing treatment of the religious and the intellectuals of the arts community, but that's really my only criticism. Otherwise, a solid entry in Egan's impressive opus. I'd still start with Incandescence, but Teranesia is easily up there with Dist...more
Ugh! I've really enjoyed Greg Egan before but his patronizing caricatures of humanities academics in this book really pissed me off. I kept reading because I was enjoying the plot and characters, but I was ultimately disappointed by both. The ending might have made sense to someone with an advanced biology degree... but I got the feeling that it also might not have. I was with it about half way through the book, but at some point it lost me.

(And no, I'm not an insulted Derridean.... I just expe...more
This is a sci-fi novel about DNA and mutations, or something. The book starts off with two kids on an island with their parents, who are studying mutations in butterflies. The island gets caught up in war, and the parents die. The kids grow up, and end up coming back to the same island. Some other things happen, I think.

I liked the beginning of this book, but I liked each page less than the page before it. The writing started off pretty good, but at some point the story didn't make a lot of sens...more
Giuseppe Persiano
great like all Egan's book.
Who but Greg Egan could combine quantum physics with genetic biology? I rated this book a 4 simply for the enjoyment of exploring how those two could be related. Egan has a light touch in this book and banters about genetics, he also pokes fun at academic postmodern pseudo-science. The plot itself was less enjoyable, a bit heavy on the childhood guilt theme, but interestingly the main character's homosexuality turned out to be significant in terms of the plot twists - so not gratuitous.
Another interesting book from Greg Egan. Highly interesting scientific ideas, backed up by writing that's pretty good. Kind of a spoiler here: but I particularly liked the fact that the main character was gay. When I read this book I suddenly noticed that you don't see that much in sci-fi. I also liked how that was fully intertwined in the plot, not just an attention getting add on.
Joel Howard
First Greg Egan book I've been honestly disappointed with, so far. As usual with Egan, you expect an interesting scientific possibility expressed or extrapolated in some unique way. This book had that, kind of - but unlike the other Egan books I've read so far, in this one the deep insight was overpowered by weak characters and a boring, mostly interpersonal plot.
With a focus on one of my favorite subjects (evolution) this book starts out promising as a boy begins his life with an island adventure in Indonesia. Its stays promising through the middle, and then falls apart completely in the last chapter. Disappointing, so don't bother even though it's short. Maybe you would like _Diaspora_ instead?
Janek Bogucki
Egan sets sails in a different direction to his earlier computational based works in this story of biological shennanighans. I did not enjoy it. If the main character Prabir was replaced with a more plausible personality and the emotional churning was replaced with more hard science then I would look again.
Not in any way "bad" but pretty uninspiring.

Really a study of childhood trauma, the associated guilt, how it shapes lives and may eventually be accepted (if not resolved).

The SF elements feel fairly superfluous with a rather rushed conclusion / reveal of the scientific mystery.
I'm a huge fan of Greg Egan, but this book was a pretty terrible effort by him. The characters just didn't make sense. The plot was convoluted and unbelievable. The twists and turns, as well as the ending, simply weren't very satisfying.
Not sure what to make of this book - loved the bits where social studies people got ripped (as I remember having to make that stuff up in uni for several units) but overall it was pretty weak in terms of its premise and structure.
Ben Cops
Well written but a bit pedestrian by Egan's standards. Does evolution and mixes in the usual themes and does that expertly. I'd definitely recommend this but not over quarantine, permutation city, etc.
I enjoyed it. Kept me turning the pages and had a great ending. Greg has a talent for using existing scientific theory to construct some plausable yet pretty outlandish fiction. Well worth a read!
Apr 29, 2012 Jane added it
Shelves: own
I can't remember this story! I'm pretty sure I've already read it, but have added it to my 'to read' list as I just can't recall!
Started off interesting but by the halfway point I was bored! My advice, don't bother, read the paper instead!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 34 35 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Vitals
  • Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman
  • Zeitgeist
  • The Extremes
  • Probability Moon (Probability, #1)
  • The Martian Race
  • Take Back Plenty (Tabitha Jute, #1)
  • The Turing Option
  • Fools
  • White Light
  • Silver Screen
  • The Silk Code (Phil D'Amato, #1)
  • Bloom
  • Bios
  • The Ganymede Takeover
  • Orion Shall Rise
  • Missile Gap
  • The Empire Novels (Galactic Empire, #1-3)
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...more
More about Greg Egan...
Permutation City Diaspora Quarantine (Subjective Cosmology Cycle, #1) Axiomatic Schild's Ladder

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“It was like listening to two badly written computer programs trying to convince each other that they were sentient.” 0 likes
More quotes…