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Perihelion Summer

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  659 ratings  ·  113 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
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Average rating 3.35  · 
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 ·  659 ratings  ·  113 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
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
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
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
“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
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
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
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
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
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
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good, but not as mind bending as Egan can be.
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.
Shorouk Abd Elhamid
May 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars
Dnf at 50℅

Review for the half:
This had scientific heavy stuff at the beginning so if you don't like stars , black holes and stuff like that,Stay away. The writing style was dense for my taste . I got used to it after dozen pages or so but there was nothing keeping me reading other than just trying to finish the book not any thing else. The characters were not strong but I think the story depended more on the plot.Aaron and Arun confused me . The author should have used other names. I ha
Daniel Bensen
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is probably the only climate change fiction I can manage. Egan side-steps the politics of the issue by talking about a cosmic accident that screws up Earth's orbit and stresses the hell out of civilization. The main character is one of the people trying to find solutions to problems so big the very face of the moon changes.
I resonated with Egan's treatment of violence and blame (they're bad) and his descriptions of courage, kindness, and forethought. Egan continues to be one of the very few
Stan James
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Greg Egan's Perihelion Summer does a mostly good job of taking a high concept science fiction premise--a black hole comes through our galaxy, possibly imperiling Earth--and marrying it to how it affects a relatively small group of people.

In this case, the people are a team on a custom-built ocean-going aquaculture vessel called the Mandjet. Early on, marine biologist Matt tries to convince his family to come aboard the Mandjet, as initial predictions expect the black hole to cause mega-tsunamis
Taraxippus is a rogue black hole, smaller than the Sun, making its way through the Solar System. It's estimated to pass by Earth, where it could do a number of things, like suck off most of Earth's atmosphere, jar the planet from its orbit, or simply destroy it. Matt, our main character, plans to be offshore on a self-sustaining boat when this happens. This is where Perihelion Summer begins.

This is the second story of Egan's I've read, and both of those stories have been novellas. In both cases,
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
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
A short and confusing novel. Or novella? Yes, quite confusing. Though the main question that left me confounded was why I was unable to put this book down even through it lacked any sort of actual plot. As the back cover notes, a pair of black holes enter the Solar system and kind of “jiggle” things about. This leads to some messy longish-term effects on Earth, and to a strangely bland and uneventful series of events for our equally bland protagonists. Egan seems to be attempting personal drama, ...more
Alexander Tas
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Read the whole review at The Quill to Live:

Climate change is an issue that has plagued me ever since I walked out of the theater after seeing An Inconvenient Truth. I was always a bit of an environmentalist, having been exposed to Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest as a small child, but this felt bigger than my seventeen-year-old brain could comprehend. The documentary was the catalyst for the veritable avalanche of books and films that would eventually lea
Bogi Takács
A near-future science fiction novella. Greg Egan often writes about gender, so I thought this might have something relevant to the Tiptree award, at least tangentially (I’m a jury member this year), but it actually didn’t. Perihelion Summer is about drastic climate change induced by an astronomical event, and it has a surprising amount of solarpunk vibes, though it hasn’t been marketed that way. I thought it was interesting, but not Egan’s strongest work by any means.

Source of the book: Lawrence
Vincent Hernot
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A new one for Egan (since, probably, his much earlier Teranesia, and perhaps Zingali): a people-centred novella!
Here the science, usually so prominent and the main character in Egan's novels, takes a background role, a simple premise for a novel of feelings, thoughts and emotions.
Ok, it's not your psychological novel or anything (I fear his style doesn't lend itself easily to a warmer tone) but it is something of a departure.
It wants to be prophetic, too, in the Stanley Robinson's way, or follow
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'
Jeremy Eaton
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
A book about climate change that uses the premise of an approaching black hole in order to turn the crisis into an immediate emergency. This is not the hard scifi you'd come to expect from Egan. It reads like "2012: the movie: the book".

The first half gave off strong Seveneves vibes though, and that energy was able to push this short read into a generous 3 stars.
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.
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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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