Sandi's Reviews > Zendegi
by Greg Egan
by Greg Egan
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 half the book for the two characters to connect. ( I found the story of Nasim’s research to be intriguing, but thought the story of Martin in the revolution was a bit long. ) The novel really kicks into gear in the second half. Set 15 years later, we find that Martin is married and living in Iran with his wife and young son. Nasim has returned to Iran and is a developer for a popular VR game, Zendigi. Of course, Martin’s little boy is addicted to the game. Martin and Nasim’s stories connect very quickly and things take unexpected turns. I don’t know how to describe the progress of the novel because it seemed both predictable and surprising at the same time. I thought Egan did a really good job of illustrating the technological research process and how scientific research in one area can end up applying to something else entirely.
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