Since the Introdus in the twenty-first century, humanity has reconfigured itself drastically. Most chose immortality, joining the polises to become conscious software. Others opted for gleisners: disposable, renewable robotic bodies that remain in contact with the physical world of force and friction. Many of these have left the solar system forever in fusion-drive starshi...more
I thought that the citizens finding the prediction of the galactic gamma burst just 1000 years in the future, from a message left a billion years earlier, was a hugely unlikely coincidence. Just near enough to create tension, far enough that they have time to do something. (less)
Where indeed? Initially, the ...more
As is usual with everything by Egan, Diaspora is so densely packed with ideas that all summaries are inadequate. Only one comparison seems even remotely appropriate - to the biblical Book of Genesis.
Diaspora is a history of the re-creation of the universe, one in which there is no need for divine power to either start it off or continue its development. In fact, this is a history of how the defects and design flaws of the original creation story are corrected by hard e ...more
Keeping Earth habitable is a pressing concern today. Even if we manage to avoid eco-catastrophe (and I’m optimistic on this), that’s only a small hurdle in the grand scheme of the cosmos. We only have about a billion years left before the Sun swells so much that it cooks the atmosphere. A few billion years after that, the Sun will engulf Earth itself—bye, bye, homeworld. Even if we manage to emigr ...more
Möbius Strip: "Diaspora" by Greg Egan
Let’s try an experiment.
Make a rectangle of paper with y width and y times 3.14 length with a little excess enough to connect the ends. Twist the rectangle and connect the ends into a Möbius strip. You'll wind up with something that looks like two joined cones and almost a solid. I like to call it a "Möbius mollusk" since it resembles a conical seashell. Like a seashell it has an opening, two in fac ...more
And yet I would recommend this ambitious hard sci-fi novel to almost no one. How can that be? How does such a strange, lonely situation arise?
Have you ever seen a Shakespeare play? I mean an actual play, performed live on stage, in the original early English.
The first such play I saw was the Duchess of ...more
That's including Cixin Liu's recent trilogy.
I've read a lot of physics books for the sheer pleasure of it and I have a pretty good imagination, but when I was reading this particular novel, I was hard-pressed to keep up with the wall of information, exposition, and detailed descriptions of particle and quantu ...more
There are three types of "people" in the story. There are regular human b ...more
Importantly, it's worth noting that this is a narrative leap forward from it's spiritual predecessor, Permutation City, which tended towards being quite dry, despite it's philosophical enormity. In Diaspora, ...more
My memories of when I used to subscribe to the science fiction magazine Interzone in the 80s and 90s are largely of two types of stories. The magazine had a penchant for a brand of rather gloomy anti-cyberpunk futurism (especially in the 80s, with Britain under Thatcher's iron heel when everything looked bleak, and era which also gave rise to such wonderfully dark comics as V for Vendetta and Crisis) of a sort that made Jeff Noon's books look positively utopian (I'm sure Noon must have had stor ...more
To overcome these limit ...more
Somewhere in Egan's verbose and detailed scientific musings is a rather bland and boring story with flat characters and a dull plot.
If you love hard sci-fi and mathematics or quantum physics, then you'll probably love this book, I don't doubt it.
I just couldn't enjoy the plot and characters while having to make my way through sentences like this o ...more
It asks plenty of interesting questions. Like, what does identity mean if you can shape your form and outlook at will? And if you can clone yourself as much as you like, what does that do to relationships? Are you still ...more
It has some great ideas, such as the birth of an artificial intelligence, and the state of humanity nine hundred years later (and others I will never discover now). My problem was the way they were presented.
The first forty pages were about the birth of an AI. The text was very technical. I can imagine that someone with more knowledge on informatics or other related sciences could enjoy it, but I didn't understand what was going o ...more
Story is about conscious software searching for answers and new home for themselves in the universe. Thanks to an old ...more
On the other hand, the author explained extensively his ideas with scientific analyses, which are beyond the understanding of the average reader. This I guess is very fine in a hard science fiction book, with emphasis on explaining everything scientifically.
The developm ...more
Hundreds of years from now, 'humanity' is mostly a collective of self-generating, autonomous soft...more
It helps that the main character does pretty much exac ...more
That said, if you're willing to dive in, I think this is another of Egan's awesome novels. Spoilers coming.
The premise is that at t ...more
|What's the Name o...: SOLVED. SciFi - Multi-dimensional entity appearing as plants which are shifting patterns on surface of planet and the patterns are code. [s]||4||54||Jun 19, 2015 04:02PM|
|Reddit SF Book Club: 'Diaspora' by Greg Egan is the March Selection||1||26||Mar 05, 2012 11:22AM|
He is a Hugo Award winner (and has been shortlisted for the Hugos three other times), an ...more