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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  876 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Collected together here for the first time are twelve stories by the incomparable Greg Egan, one of the most exciting writers of science fiction working today. In these dozen glimpses into the future Egan continues to explore the essence of what it is to be human, and the nature of what - and who - we are, in stories that range from parables of contemporary human conflict ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published 2009 by Gollancz (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  876 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Ami Iida
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
I read it once upon a time then I read it twice just now.
Since I learn Quantum mechanics,General relativity and IT,
I am easy to understand the contents of it.
Generally speaking science fiction are many physics novels
but Eagan's short stories contains the contents of Molecular biology.
Maybe slightly more towards 3.5, but my whole judging is somewhat unfair, because I read some of the stories before in other collections and re-reading (without explicitly planning to) always make me a bit of annoyed (I loved them in collections, though) and because I keep waiting for yet another story that will have the punch of "Cutie" (which is one of my two favorite short stories ever, something that deeply ate it's way into my brain by now). ...more
A nice short story. I was wavering between 3 and 3.5 stars.
My rating refers only to the eponimous Hugo award-winning novella, freely available online here:
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This strong collection from hard SF maestro Greg Egan features his signature blend of fitful characterisation, competent prose, and exhilarating speculation.
- "Lost Continent" is a flat, nonspeculative criticism of Australia's refugee policy; while politically admirable, it is unsubtle and bathetic. **
- "Dark Integers" and "Crystal Nights" are computation-oriented stories which clearly prefigure the second half of Permutation City. "Dark Integers" also explores the notion of mathematics "superve
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another tight set of head bursting hard sci-fi from Egan - not an easy read but always rewarding. Slow going at some stages, but very rewarding when it all comes together at the end of each story.
Most of the stories are set in "The Amalgam" of highly advanced races capable of corporeal-data person transfer and intergalatic travel. "Oceanic" itself is set in probably the strongest story of the collection and is set in a re-corporealised post Amalgam society.
"Dark Integers" carries on the alterna
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Hard SF for folks who enjoy ideas over characterization and style. Some of the ideas are intriguing, and a bunch of people seem to think Egan is some sort of genius for rambling on about esoteric subjects, but I don't understand the hype.

The blurb about the book says Egan writes stories about "what it is to be human." I think maybe they read a different book.
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: t-hard-sf
The two Amalgam stories were closer to a 4, but everything else was pretty subpar, including the titular story. Two of them were completely unreadable, and would have still been unreadable without the bizarre rape subplot (???). Disappointing, since I figured Egan's dense ideas would be better suited to a shorter format anyway. ...more
Teo 2050


Egan G (2009) Oceanic

01. Lost Continent (2008)
02. Dark Integers (2007)
03. Crystal Nights (2008)
04. Steve Fever (2007)
05. Induction (2007)
06. Singleton (2002)
07. Oracle (2000)
08. Border Guards (1999)
09. Riding the Crocodile (2005)
10. Glory (2007)
11. Hot Rock (2009)
12. Oceanic (1998)

Ami Iida
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I read it once upon a time then I read it twice just now.
Since I learn Quantum mechanics,General relativity and IT,
I am easy to understand the contents of it.
Generally speaking science fiction are many physics novels
but Eagan's short stories contains the contents of Molecular biology.
Robert Laird
Nov 01, 2013 rated it liked it
A nice, short story about how the feelings of faith can have biological causes, and the challenge of determining if that is inconsequential or not. Good read.
Danila Sentyabov
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: _fiction-and-fun
Not all the stories were equally engaging for me, but the eponymous novella deserves 5 out of 5 stars. Overall, I'd give this collection a solid 4 out of 5. Femtomachines FTW! ...more
Strange short story about people living on an ocean planet that was populated by a starfaring race that has long since disappeared. Some interesting discussion of how religion and science collide.
Claire Carton
Good stories and author, could be great if...

Oceanic is the third book of short stories I’ve read by Greg Egan—so clearly I like his work well enough. Still, he can be pretty clunky as a writer. I don’t mind that the characters are pretty flat and that relationships are crudely drawn, really, because this is a fiction of ideas first and foremost.

Still, these stories could be head and shoulders above what they are now if it weren’t for:

1. The poorly explained science concepts! I’m definitely not
Joe Silber
I'm a huge fan of Greg Egan's short stories, but I found this collection to be slightly underwhelming, though still enjoyable. Egan typically writes hard, hard sci-fi that either delves into advanced physics or biology/neurology/the human brain/consciousness, in high-concept ways that really "wow" the reader. His stories are still hard sci-fi in this collection, but were, for me, less memorable than usual. A number of the stories were not fully, truly stand-alone, in that they were either sequel ...more
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by far the best collection of short stories and novellas from Greg Egan. As many others will note, his stories are among the ‘hardest’ of hard sci-fi, often to the point of drowning in scientific detail. If that appeals to you though, this book is a rare treat. This is the last of three short story books by the author, and in it he follows up on several of his previous stories and novels, such as the story Dark Integers, which is a sequel to the mathematical universe story Luminous in hi ...more
Omar Rodriguez-Rodriguez
'There's more to life than mathematics,' Joan said. 'But not much more.'

That's a line from one of Greg Egan's character in this collection of short stories. The stories are plagued with mathematicians, astronomers, physicist, and a long list of scientists and intellectuals. Though I consider the stories "page turners", there are no big explosions, no chases, no countdowns, no contrived drama. The plots span centuries or millennia and most of the characters are never in real "physical" danger. Th
Ben Shee
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read some of the articles on Greg Egan's blog / website, which were good accompaniments to this collection of short stories. Greg's passion for refugees (which is a little stark in the first story of this collection), mathematics (sprinkled throughout, but particularly in the sequel to Luminous), space, physics and religion make for an engaging and thought provoking collection of stories.

I would especially recommend reading Greg's story about his encounter with God called "Born Again,
Mar 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately a real slog to get through. The stories here are much longer than what Egan usually puts out, but no more interesting.

Enjoyed 'Oracle' the most, since it earned its length (and offered a neat perspective on the time-travelling inventor story). 'Crystal Nights' was also alright as (basically) a short story version of Egan's Permutation City.

I did not like the other ten stories. I liked parts of them, but they often ended abruptly, well after they'd worn out their welcome.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Uneven but some stories span to brilliance. Egan has grown more mature and confident in his writing.
Łukasz Stafiniak
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I especially liked the Amalgam stories in the collection.
Carlos Castillo
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oceanis is truly epic

Oceanic is truly epic and as a post-post-transhumanist story is quite unique. It is the jewel of this collection, but the other stories are also excellent.
Matthew Talbert
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how to describe this except mind-bending. ...more
Colin Marr
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a fantastic read
Bill Merrill
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Loved Dark Integers, Crystal Nights, Hot Rock. Liked Glory, Oceanic. Was hard to beach read, needed to space with others authors.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good collection of cerebral stories
Paul Morisset
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shorts

Glory - 4 stars
Jake Casella Brookins
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Superb collection. Particularly enjoyed the linked Singleton stories.
Timothy Lohrey
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing

The stories in this book were overall very interesting. I particularly liked the stories with the amalgam. I did not read two of the stories: Dark Integers, and Border Guards.

Crystal Nights: 5/5. I loved this one. It's a story that inspired me to seek more fiction similar to it. It's about AI, biology, evolution, and more. Really liked it due to the idea of 'playing' with civilizations.

Glory: 4.5/5. Another one I heavily enjoyed, an Amalgam first contact story.

Lost Continent 3.5/5. While
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short stories. The Dark Integers is a sequel for Luminous, so I advise you to read the Luminous collection before this one, but not to seriously... The idea of (multi/)universe being divided by different competing mathematical theorems making up sort of their own dimensions of consistency that would lead to kind of a cold mathematical war between parallel universes is made pretty clear.
You can also look forward to (or get scared away by) Quantum Soccer an
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the third collection of short stories by Egan I've read. It definitely does not disappoint, and I'd say it's somewhat better than Luminous, though not as good as Axiomatic. I'd also say that though ideas are often the main focus of Egan's writing, a lot of the stories in this collection are written with what I imagine to be somewhat more relatable characters than before. Notable stories in this regard are Oceanic, starring a religious scientist discovering evidence which sheds new light ...more
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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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“Mathematics catalogues everything that is not self-contradictory; within that vast inventory, physics is an island of structures rich enough to contain their own beholders.” 40 likes
“Death never gave meaning to life: it was always the other way round.” 24 likes
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