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Perihelion Summer

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  893 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Greg Egan's Perihelion Summer is a story of people struggling to adapt to a suddenly alien environment, and the friendships and alliances they forge as they try to find their way in a world where the old maps have lost their meaning.

Taraxippus is coming: a black hole one tenth the mass of the sun is about to enter the solar system.

Matt and his friends are taking no chances
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Tordotcom
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Average rating 3.35  · 
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 ·  893 ratings  ·  147 reviews

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Chaunceton Bird
Jul 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi-hi-fi
Greg Egan is one of my favorite authors. I plan to read every one of his books. It's a shame that some of them, like this one, are probably the product of contract obligations, and are a bit lacking in the usual Greg Egan staples of complex science-driven plots.

This book had an interesting premise (two black holes pass through the solar system close enough to catastrophically disturb earth's orbit), but the rest of the story felt like Mr. Egan was making it up as he went, and it digressed into
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-to-a-egan, sci-fi
What would happen if a blackhole will pass through our solar system, further enough not to destroy any planet but leaving some traces of its journey behind? You’ll find out in this novella.

The story follows a few characters struggling staying alive in the new environmental conditions. It’s more of a pre-apocalyptical story, if you let your imagination flow beyond the end of the story.

Not as ground-breaking as other of his works, still, a very interesting one, which makes you ruminate upon it aft
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Matt and three of his friends create a mobile fish farm, the Mandjett, when news hits of a black hole moving through the solar system. After it passes, the environmental impacts it has on earth are more profound than anticipated, and though the Mandjett looked like a kooky project to so many prior to the spatial visitation, the fish farm ends up being an incredibly well-thought out idea. The climate is out of whack, and millions are affected adversely. Matt and friends begin pulling o ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Whew, I'm sorry to say, but this was disappointing.

I liked the idea of the drastic change in living conditions on Earth due to cosmic interference. There is potential for an exciting narration. But Egan somehow managed to tell the tale in such an unsuspenseful way that there were several times where I really had no idea why he even bothered with a scene setup if it just came to nothing.

The character development was very weak. Especially when it came to interactions of the MC with his family. The
destiny ♡ howling libraries
DNF @ 30%

Oof, what a bummer. I was actually really intrigued by the plot in this story, but... well, I have a very specific phobia of a certain type of, er, insect, (no, not spiders — (view spoiler) — ugh even typing that made me shudder), and they featured really prominently in the first few chapters of this novella! By the fourth description of these little bastards, I realized it was time to choose between finishing the story or keeping my lunch down.

Thank you so much
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a hard SF novel of post-apoc kind. I read is as a part of monthly reading for March 2020 at SFF Hot from Printers: New Releases group.

The review contains slight spoilers because the first part sets the scene for the remaining two and they cannot be discussed without giving some outcomes of the first one.

Like other works of Greg Egan, it is largely based on the current scientific understanding of the world. This time a small black hole travels near the Earth. Unlike less scientifically i
Holly (The GrimDragon)
3.5 Stars~

"There had to come a point when the sluggish motion of the Taraxippoi across the sky was replaced by a sudden rush, like a train rattling by--and the longer it took for this oncoming train to appear to veer sideways, the closer that placed the Earth to the tracks. If you were waiting for a sign that the headlights were no longer bearing down on you, no news was bad news."

Alrighty.. let's see if I can make this mini review a bit more.. mini. My last attempt wasn't as short as I was hopi
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
This was an interesting piece of hard science fiction exploring the scary realities of a potential global disaster. I loved the scientific ideas explored in this novella, but I found the characters and story itself to be weak. Despite my criticisms, I will definitely read more by this author.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“People have had a couple of years to stockpile whatever they wanted, even if they thought the chance of anything happening was minuscule. The only ones who haven’t done that are temperamentally incapable of entertaining the possibility of disaster, and nothing they’ve heard in the last few days is going to change their minds.”

A third into this short novel (slightly overlong novella?) things haven’t changed so dramatically yet. And the old maps still work perfectly. Or rather, the frog is boilin
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read this in a sitting. Im a huge fan of Egan. This is obviously a novella of his. I love his scifi like permutation city, quarantine and also his short stories. This however is what some would classify as cli-fi. Climate change, end of the world and detailed descriptive science. My issue was that it didnt really have much of a plot. It was really just a group of people, main guy Matt, and othera dealing with issue surrounding them. It may have worked better as a fully fleshed out novel. Just ...more
This book takes a neat idea (black holes pass through the solar system and drastically changes Earth’s climate) and does absolutely nothing interesting with it.

The plot only works if you care about the characters and Egan made zero effort to flesh any of them out or make them interesting, so it’s basically just 200 pages of people you don’t care about struggling to solve problems. I feel like the plot could have easily gone in much more interesting directions, with or without better characters.
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2019
Greg Egan's Perihelion Summer wastes no time introducing its central premise, namely the launch and operation by Matt and some of his friends of the seafaring vehicle called Mandjet: "On the Mandjet," Matt explains, "we'll be self-sufficient in food, and pretty much immune to sea-level changes." Though officially designed as an aquaculture project "that could help a lot of people," Matt's endeavor becomes hyper-relevant in the wake of astronomers' discovery of Taraxippus, a black hole the entran ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
My friend Annti recently said that a book, The Vor Game, was like two novellas strung together with a bad bridging story. Well, this book felt like several novelettes/novellas/short stories not bridged together at all.

Although the concept was interesting, I found myself skipping many paragraphs. Also, characters were not fleshed out, which led me not to care about any of them.

And what was the point of having characters named Aaron and Arun? Really.

Basically, just when a part of the story would
Dec 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you think Greg Egan isn’t to your liking – too dense, too much math, too much science – Perihelion Summer is the title for you. With hardly any science inside, this novella shows yet another side of Australia’s most reclusive science fiction author.

While it may have a difficult world in the title, the fact that Tor published it is an indication of its accessibility. Length is another argument to give it a chance: its 214 pages offer a short, smooth, engaging read. While every online bookstore
Pavel Lishin
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Eh, not the best. A series of connected issues with surviving in a changed world, and an obvious "what if ecological change took place over a single season rather than creeping up over decades" message.

I think it would be better if it were a longer novel.

Also, I'm your classic scifi nerd, and am really bummed we didn't get to spend more time with Taraxippus.
Kam Yung Soh
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
An interesting tale of immediate survival in the face of catastrophic climate change. Compared to his previous stories, there isn't as much 'hard science' involved here, but surviving the changes would involve making tough decisions about how they can prepare and save themselves from the oncoming global crises.

The story starts with the discovery of a black hole that is passing through the solar system. Initially worried about the possibility of huge tides induced by the black hole, a group of pe
I read a short story by Greg Egan earlier this year, and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to read more of his work. So, I picked up this and a collection of his short stories.

This is a nice, taut, short book. It felt just over novella length, and the plot is pretty simple: twin black holes do a close pass of Earth, and pull it just enough out of orbit to really mess things up for everyone.

It's a great look at ecological disaster, and how if something like global warming happened overnight. We'
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
One of my favourite old movies is When Worlds Collide (1951), directed by George Pal, a movie about Earth being destroyed by a collision with another planet. Reading this novella by Greg Egan reminded me of that movie,* for here Greg gives that old world-in-peril idea a sharp makeover for the 21st century.

At first, the set-up seems like your usual potential-disaster story. From early on we discover that Taraxippus is coming: a black hole one tenth the mass of the sun is about to enter the solar
May 05, 2022 rated it it was ok
This audiobook made a boring day even boringer. And anyone who whines that boringer isn't a word is a bigger nerd than the nerd who wrote this nerdy book. ...more
3.5 stars. A short novel, almost a novella. The adventures and experiences of an Australian man and the challenges faced during a period of sudden global warming. In this story, the imagined cause of the global warming is not due to humans, but to an event external to Earth. A grim scenario but an interesting read. I liked the integrity of the central character and his friends.
Antti Värtö
This is not Egan's best work: indeed, it's one of his weakest. But Egan at his worst is still better than many writers at their best, so I enjoyed this short novel, despite it's flaws.

I was reminded of Seveneves when I read this book: both books have a cosmic event that threatens mankind's survival: (view spoiler): both novels have the feeling of impending doom and things falling a
Sunil Laxman
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
*** 3.5 Stars ***

The future sees a black hole moving dangerously close to earth. Although it doesn't cause any direct destruction, it sets the earth on a whole new orbit, bringing it closer to the sun at some times and farther at others. The world goes into chaos with the varied temperature spikes and dips. Matt is a scientist from Perth, and together he and his group of friends must figure out a way to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing conditions.

The story was great! This kind of realis
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Egan, Greg. Perihelion Summer. Tor, 2019.
In Perihelion Summer Greg Egan gives us a climate change disaster that is neither our fault nor the fault of alien monsters. How about a pair of smallish black holes crossing the plane of the ecliptic close enough to disrupt the orbits of Earth and Moon? That’ll do it. Our hero, Matt, is planning to ride out the expected high tides and possible tidal waves in a large aquaculture rig. When the second black hole is discovered, the math suggests a much worse
Tim Hicks
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Remember that a novella is allowed to show us just a slice of a story.

Know going in that the hard science you expect from Egan is mostly in the first quarter. After that it's consequences, and by gosh there are plenty of those.

Let's just say that "It missed us!" isn't always good news.

A thing happens, and we follow one character trying to deal with those consequences. It's well thought out.

And the best thing is that Brock McSquareJaw does not step forward, nor does a Plucky Girl Discovering
Matt Payne
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Greg Egan's one of the best sci-fi writers ever, and one of the best storytellers in sci-fi.

This is a beautiful page-turner about a really tough global situation, seen through the eyes of a small handful of craftspeople facing Armageddon. The focus on craftsmanship and cooperation, in the face of cosmic catastrophe, is genuinely inspiring.
Apr 18, 2021 added it
There was good stuff here - an interesting premise and likable characters. But I feel like the scale of the story was strangely chosen.

Like, if the event of your story is a world-changing event, you can tell a story that's zoomed in on one character's experience, or the experiences of a small group, and give us lots of detail about how their lives are changed. You can also try to tell a story about the world as a whole, by zooming out and showing us the big changes in society or maybe by telling
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good, but not as mind bending as Egan can be.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
A small-scope disaster novel focusing on a few very competent people and their attempts to ride out a climate apocalypse. It's a brief, tight, compelling read--over and done with before many "cli-fi" novels have finished setting the stage. Egan dispenses with much of the societal grist that other writers mill for near future climate disasters: disinformation, nefarious corporate interests, fascist retrenchment against greens, and hyper-inequality are all absent and the social and economic collap ...more
Nicholas Ackerman
Aug 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
What if you started with an intriguing premise, time jumped past interesting events, then relegated the compelling parts to hearsay,  indirect implication, and onerous exposition before being abandoned? What if the most interesting things the reader actually sees addressed on the page are an underwater repair and a boarding party? What if the point of view character is imbued with the least interesting perspectives? If so, this is the book for you. 

This novella is frustrating in all these ways a
Rachel England-Brassy
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook
Hmm a bit also ran as it lacks tension and the plotting is vague at times.
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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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