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Crystal Nights and Other Stories

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The nine stories in Greg Egan's new collection range from parables of contemporary human conflict and ambition to far-future tales of our immortal descendants.

In "Lost Continent", a time traveler seeking refuge from a war-torn land faces hostility and bureaucratic incompetence. "Crystal Nights" portrays a driven man s moral compromises as he chases an elusive technological
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Subterranean Press
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4.17  · 
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 ·  132 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Kolya Matteo
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Most of these stories are really 3-stars ("liked it"), but the last story "Hot Rock" is very good, and "Steve Fever" and "Lost Continent" are also probably worth 4 stars.

A nitpick: In "Oracle", people apparently take their mother's last name as their own—so Turing is named Stoney, and Lewis is named Hamilton—but this doesn't actually make sense, since if their mothers had also been given their own mother's last names, and so on, they'd have different family names going back to generations immemo
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some stories were really good, some a bit less.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Just read the titular story, rating based on that
Feb 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hard cases
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
The first thing you need to know is that Greg Egan has axes to grind. His science fiction is as hard and sharp-edged as he can make it. He extrapolates rigorously, and stares unflinchingly at the implications of quantum theory, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and personality uploading for human beings and human societies.

Sometimes this makes Egan seem really rather angry, as in the collection's title story, with its titular allusion to the events of 9-10 November 1938. The story is dida
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't know of any short-story collection by Egan that I don't love, but I am really enjoying my second reading of this anthology, particularly the final story, "Hot Rock", an Amalgam story like "Riding the Crocodile", and very reminiscent of Egan's novel /Schild's Ladder/, which is one of my favorites of his.

(ETA: Just finished, and the ending is satisfying as well.)
Alea Teeters
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Most of the setups were phenomenal. Follow through varied: one was amazing, most were pretty good, and one ending was a terribly over-moralizing cop-out. Overall, I was intrigued by the imagination coupled with hard science.
Pedro Marroquín
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Ningún relato es especialmente memorable, porque en los que la ciencia es interesante/accesible la ficción ni importa demasiado; y en los que la ficción/personajes interesan, la ciencia es aburrida/inaccesible (para mi). Solo a destacar el relato que da nombre a la colección y el último- Hot Rock
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
(3.7) Lost Continent
(4.8) Crystal Nights
(4.3) Steve Fever
(4.8) TAP
(3.9) Induction
(4.8) Singleton
(4.2) Oracle
(4.4) Border Guards
(4.5) Hot Rock
Apr 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Read the title story. Good, plug in modern science at high speed evolution. Techies stuff, but no awe.
Rich Brown
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it
2.5. Tedious.

Several of these stories do the same thing — make the once-amazing idea of the many-worlds *dull*.
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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
“When everyone had backups of themselves scattered around the galaxy, it required a
vastly disproportionate effort to inconvenience someone, let alone kill them.”
More quotes…