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Axiomatic (Collected Stories #1)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  2,703 Ratings  ·  199 Reviews
Axiomatic is a collection of Greg Egan's short stories that appeared in various science fiction magazines (mostly Interzone and Asimov's) between 1989 and 1992.

The Infinite Assassin (1991)
The Hundred Light-Year Diary (1992)
Eugene (1990)
The Caress (1990)
Blood Sisters (1991)
Axiomatic (1990)
The Safe-Deposit Box (1990)
Seeing (1995)
A Kidnapping (1995)
Learning to Be Me
Paperback, 293 pages
Published December 1st 1997 by HarperPrism (first published April 17th 1995)
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Kevin Kelsey
Mar 26, 2016 Kevin Kelsey rated it really liked it
Hugely original ideas, not every story is a home run but there are enough 5/5 stories here to make this very recommended for any fan of hard science fiction. The concepts are extremely unique even 20 years later. Very similar to Ted Chiang’s writing. I have no idea why Greg Egan isn’t a household name in SF.

“As the unknowable future becomes the unchangeable past, risk must collapse into certainty, one way or another.”

“We think of our lives as circumscribed by cultural and biological taboos, but
Feb 03, 2009 Oscar rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans de la ciencia ficción hard
Greg Egan, el hombre de las ideas. ‘Axiomático’, calificada como la mejor antología de relatos de ciencia ficción de los últimos 20 años (tal vez junto a ‘La historia de tu vida, de Ted Chiang), es una obra imprescindible para el aficionado. Cada uno de sus relatos contiene ideas que darían para varias novelas. No había leído nada parecido desde la Trilogía de Marte, de Kim Stanley Robinson, que incluía capítulos plagados de ideas. Tipos como estos te hacen pensar si no se habrán dado un viajeci ...more
Jul 07, 2016 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection of sci-fi short fiction, told in the key of Philip K. Dick but with much better characters and dialogue. Some of the ideas presented in this collection are haunting and seem day-after-tomorrow possible; Egan seasons his stories with just the right amount of science and technology to give the reader a sense of realism amidst the unfolding dystopia.
Ben Loory
May 28, 2015 Ben Loory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
brilliant. every story is literally amazing and his voice is one of a kind-- so calm, understanding, intelligent, and rational, while still being fun (not funny but actually fun). there's a part of me that wishes he could actually land an ending, but i'm not sure it's even really possible in this mode. so don't wait for the big cathartic moment; i think he probably sees catharsis as a low-level trap.

anyway, i'll certainly be reading this book again. as well as all his others.
Oct 27, 2011 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Axiomatic is an absolutely incredible collection of hard science fiction short stories, comparable to Ted Chiang's best work. Reading this book meant being bombarded by idea after idea, challenging my imagination as well as thoroughly taxing my scientific knowledge. The biologically-leaning stories were the easiest to comprehend for me, as I have tertiary biological education. High-school physics (and my history of reading sci-fi) was enough to arm me for the rest of the stories, although some c ...more
Pablo Bueno
Feb 26, 2015 Pablo Bueno rated it really liked it
Axiomático está considerada hoy en día como una de las antologías de relatos más importantes de la Ciencia Ficción de las últimas décadas. Ciencia ficción Hard. Muy hard en algunos casos.

Mi experiencia con este libro ha sido curiosa: para empezar, no soy un gran consumidor de este tipo de literatura salvo en su versión menos dura; para seguir, llegué a él con respeto y temor reverencial por todo lo que había leído al respecto y las innumerables referencias que existen. Sea como sea, tengo que co
May 18, 2011 Derek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, anthology
If there's a common thread in this collection of short stories, it's "what makes me, me?"

From the opening story, in which a man travels the multiplicity of parallel universes, assassinating the people who cause breaches between them; to a pair of tales involving the use of neural implants to change what a person believes; to the stories about the Ndoli Jewel: a device that everybody has implanted in their skulls at birth, that learns everything they do, and is eventually used to replace the brai
Yon Salgado
Mar 16, 2017 Yon Salgado rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He necesitado unos días para decidir qué era lo que quería contar sobre Axiomático, porque creo que una reseña al uso quedaría muy superficial para lo que implica este libro.

Lo primero que debo decir, y que valga de aviso/sugerencia, es que son relatos que exigen concentración si quieres sacarle el máximo partido. Hay tramos de ciencia ficción hard, aunque creo que son sobrellevables con un poco de ganas.

Bien. Sin entrar a spoilers, ¿qué vas a encontrar en el libro de relatos de Egan?

Sara Mazzoni
Axiomatic è una raccolta di racconti di fantascienza cyberpunk, o post-cyberpunk, ambientati spesso sui fondali polverosi di un noir (poliziotti, investigatori privati, situazioni “muscolari”) che nei momenti migliori prende la strada dell’assurdo, dell’imprevedibile perché improbabile.

Il cyberpunk si trova nel tema ricorrente del potenziamento dell’umano, in virtù del quale l’uomo vive la propria mente e il proprio corpo come una realtà biologica aumentata attraverso dispositivi di sua invenzio
Matthew Gatheringwater
Who are you, really? It isn't always easy to tell, especially when you live in a society where 18-year-olds routinely have their heads scooped out like melons and replace their brains with computers. Sure, the computer does everything the brain did and it is less likely to malfunction, but what if something does go wrong, just every now and then?

This is the premise of one of an interesting collection of stories by Greg Egan. Most of the stories have something to do with the way technology shapes
Jan 27, 2012 Juan rated it it was amazing
Esta es la primera vez que leo una novela de Greg Egan y tengo que decir que la experiencia ha sido más que satisfactoria.

Axiomático esta compuesto por una colección de relatos, todos ellos de enorme calidad, que se podrían encasillar dentro de lo que se denomina ciencia ficción dura (Hard SciFi).

Como decía, el libro consta de 18 relatos, algunos mejores que otros, pero todos con una gran capacidad de provocar en el lector momentos de reflexión que te acompañan durante varias horas después de su
Jan 26, 2015 Rich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aquesta antologia m’ha obert els ulls cap a una Hard-SF que mai m’havia plantejat llegir. Estic confús, i sobretot, espantat per algunes històries molt creïbles però horrorífiques. Inicialment volia posar-li sols 4.0/5.0 perquè Egan utilitza una narració molt similar en tots els relats; però els conceptes són tan bons, i tenim aquí relats tan originals, que no puc treure-li el seu mèrit... Que parlem de contes escrits fins el 1992!
Volia quedar-me amb la simple recomanació, però per futures relec
Mar 24, 2017 Roy rated it it was amazing
Amazing collection of short stories. My first reading of anything by Egan. Complicated ideas but extremely well written and alot of fun. At times quite in depth with his knowledge of the scientific topic but it challenges the readers ideas and perceptions which I love about Scifi.
Mar 23, 2015 Manu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
I have always been amazed at Neal Stephenson for being able to write Snowcrash and The Diamond Age in 1992 and 1995 respectively. I am now equally amazed that Greg Egan wrote this in 1995. In fact, even more, because while the first two books were novels and dealt with a smaller number of concepts, this book is a collection of short stories, and except for a (connected/repeat) couple, are unique concepts. Imagine, 18 stories with ideas that would still be regarded as science fiction!
In addition
Mar 10, 2014 Daniorte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Axiomático es una recopilación de relatos con la que he disfrutado tal como si fuera "Yo, robot". Cada relato es una posibilidad futura de lo mas enrevesada y en mayor o menor medida incluso plausible. Desde ciencia ficción enmarcada en la biología,los avances tecnológicos pasando incluso por los universos paralelos.

Cada relato te deja ganas de que continuara y sobretodo te deja un rato pensando y con ganas de contarle a alguien lo que acabas de leer e imaginarte si eso fuera posible. Te plantea
Aaron Arnold
Great stuff. My favorite author as a kid was Isaac Asimov, and his Foundation and Robot novels gave me a permanent appetite for books that try to take ridiculous ideas about the future as seriously as possible, factory-farmed MFA-approved "literary" qualities be damned. The average story in this collection of 18 is twenty pages long, but each one has an absurd number of nutcase ideas per page, and it's wonderful. There's no way I can summarize all of the stories so I only want to talk about two, ...more
Nov 26, 2009 Jason rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: nodozejoze
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 14, 2014 Malapata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro con un puñado de relatos realmente brillantes junto a otros que me han dejado indiferente. Abre con uno de mis relatos favoritos "El asesino infinito". Es difícil para un matemático no emocionarse ante el espectacular dominio que demuestra Egan de las complejidades del infinito. El problema es que junto a relatos de gran nivel, como "El diario de cien años luz", "Aprendiendo a ser yo" o "Hacia la oscuridad", se encuentran otros que no pasan de ser una buena idea alargada demasiado, como ...more
Apr 12, 2015 Elchamaco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Un libro muy interesante, con una calidad muy alta en todos los relatos. Algo que sorprende porque incluso en recopilaciones de distintos autores que en teoría sería más sencillo poder tener todos los relatos muy buenos lo normal es que varios flojeen, y no sucede con esta compilación de Greg Egan.

En cuanto al libro la mayor parte de los relatos se construyen planteando una tecnología y las implicaciones que tienen, es más un libro de filosofía sobre el ser que de ciencia ficción en realidad.
Egan is evidently a remarkably clever author. And he's got a clue. It makes for a most satisfying read.
Looking at the publication dates, I've got to say he was ahead of his time as well.

There are naturally a few duds among these stories but enough really good ones to make up for them.
Peeking at the other reviews, I noted with interest that some people loved stories I hated and vice-versa so I'll play the game: my faves are The Hundred-Light-Years Diary, The Safe-Deposit Box, Seeing, Learning to
Joe Silber
A heady collection of hard sci-fi short stories mostly revolving around themes such as identity, free will, and the nature of consciousness. Egan's prose isn't the greatest, but his ideas are so unique and fascinating that the pages fly by. Some of these stories will blow you away. Highly recommended.
I've only read some of this guy's stuff online, and once his short fiction appears in affordable versions i will snap it up. A hallucinatory, mind warping, and terrifying combination of Triptree jr.,Ted Chiang,Ballard, and Borges. Hard Science and painfully realized concepts that will effect the way you view each moment of your life.
Sonya Christine
Aug 03, 2013 Sonya Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for hard sci-fi lovers. Mr. Egan knows his business and his ideas are mind-blowing!
Mar 10, 2013 Leemaslibros rated it it was amazing
Voy a tener bronca con Elías por dejarme pasar tanto tiempo este libro. Alucinante.
Bon, je n'arriverai pas à tout faire en un coup : les nouvelles sont trop denses, et je sors trop chamboulé de chacune pour pouvoir me permettre d'attendre la fin de cette lecture. Voici donc mes avis sur chacune des nouvelles qui composent ce qui est pour moi un authentique chef d'oeuvre.

L'assassin infini

J'ai à peu près compris la base de cette histoire : dans un multivers connu, c'est-à-dire où on sait que c'est un multivers, il existe une drogue permettant de "voyager" dans les univers parall
Raccolta di racconti piuttosto varia, molti quelli interessanti. Una buona unione tra fantascienza e concetti etici e morali che vengono trattati in ogni racconto.

The Infinite Assassin ★★★★
In una serie infinita di mondi paralleli vi sono infiniti assassini dalle probabilità di successo variabili, non tutti falliscono e non tutti portano a termine il loro compito; ma allora, si chiede il protagonista, chi sono io tra quelli?

The Hundred Light-Year Diary ★★★★
E se la propria vita fosse già stabilita
Roddy Williams
This is an interesting collection of Egan's published stories from the early Nineties, many of which examine the Dickian issue of what it means to be conscious and how we define 'the personality'. Egan often looks at this question from intriguing and sometimes oblique angles.

The Infinite Assassin (1991)

Interzone 48 - June 1991

The protagonist is a man employed because his self tends to remain consistent across infinite realities in a worlds where a drug called S allows access to these parallel w
Apr 28, 2014 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a lot of good stuff in this collection. Read it. Spoilers follow.

For the majority of the stories, the premise alone justifies the reader's time (The Company, Hazzard Machines, and the jewel are, to me, the three most striking examples). However, there were stories for which there both an incredible premise and a compelling narrative left me mulling over the intricacies long after I had stopped reading.

Some thoughts on individual stories follow. They should be read in the context spelled
Apr 30, 2016 Emilio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ci-fi, distopia
Que conste que me ha entretenido.

Las dos primeras historias y la última me han gustado bastante. Me han resultado geniales, muchísimo. La forma en la que trata el concepto de infinito y las iteraciones me parece genial. El dominio de las abstracciones es de lo mejor que me he encontrado.

En medio, unas 15 historias, que son una sombra de filosofía especulativa. Una suerte de relatos de distopía emocional, no muy afortunados, en los que trata, fundamentalmente, de inadaptados en mundos futuristas.
Charles Dee Mitchell
Nov 30, 2014 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary-sf
I might have enjoyed these stories more had I understood them.

That is a slight exaggeration. I was not completely in over my head with every story, but since Egan is known for writing the hardest of hard SF, I am sure I would have been having a different experience at times if I knew more about the physics of parallel universes or the behavior of wormholes. When Egan builds the stories around psychological or biological concepts I was on surer footing.

My favorite story was his last, “Unstable O
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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
More about Greg Egan...

Other Books in the Series

Collected Stories (3 books)
  • Luminous
  • Oceanic

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“All we can ever know about are the portraits of each other inside our own skulls.” 8 likes
“A sei anni i miei genitori mi raccontarono che dentro il mio cranio c’era una gemma piccola e scura, che imparava a essere me.
Microscopici ragni avevano tessuto una ragnatela dorata nel mio cervello, perché l’istruttore contenuto nella gemma potesse udire il sussurro dei miei pensieri. La gemma origliava i miei sensi e interpretava i messaggi chimici trasportati dalla circolazione sanguigna: la gemma vedeva, udiva, odorava, gustava e toccava il mondo esattamente come me, mentre l’istruttore monitorava i suoi pensieri e li confrontava con i miei. Ogni qualvolta questi pensieri erano sbagliati, l’istruttore, più veloce del pensiero, dava una risistemata alla gemma, facendo una piccola modifica qua e là, apportando i cambiamenti necessari per correggere i suoi pensieri.
Perché? Perché quando non avessi più potuto essere me, la gemma avrebbe potuto esserlo al posto mio.
Io pensai: “Se ciò che sento mi fa sentire strano e mi dà le vertigini, cosa deve provare la gemma?”. Esattamente la stessa cosa, riflettei; non sa di essere la gemma e anch’essa si domanda cosa può provare la gemma, rispondendosi poi:
“Esattamente la stessa cosa, non sa di essere la gemma, e anch’essa si domanda cosa può provare la gemma”.
E anch’essa si chiede...
(Ne ero certo, visto che io me lo domandavo.)
... anch’essa si interroga se è l’Io reale o se semplicemente è la gemma che sta imparando a essere me.

Divenuto un dodicenne pieno di superbia e di scherno, mi presi gioco di quelle preoccupazioni infantili. Tutti avevano la gemma, salvo i membri di oscure sette religiose, e sprecare tempo su una banalità simile mi appariva una perdita di tempo. La gemma era la gemma, un fatto universale della vita, una cosa comune come una cacca. Io e i miei amici vi costruivamo battute stupide, come facevamo con le cose del sesso, per provare a noi stessi quanto eravamo saputi in quel campo.
In realtà, però, non eravamo saputi e imperturbabili come pretendevamo di essere. Un giorno, mentre giocavamo nel parco chiacchierando del più e del meno, uno della banda, il suo nome l’ho dimenticato, ma lo ricordo come una persona troppo intelligente per il suo stesso bene, si mise a domandare a ciascuno di noi: — Chi sei tu? La gemma o l’essere umano?
Noi tutti rispondemmo indignati, senza esitare: — L’essere umano!
Quando tutti ebbero risposto, lui rise e affermò: — Bene, io no. Io sono la gemma. Siete degli stronzi perdenti e mangerete merda, perché voi tutti finirete spazzati via nel cesso cosmico, ma io, io vivrò per sempre.
Lo picchiammo fino a fargli colare il sangue dal naso.

Dal racconto Imparare a essere me.”
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