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Permutation city (Subjective Cosmology #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  5,451 Ratings  ·  352 Reviews
In un mondo alternativo generato al computer, possono essere duplicati anche gli esseri umani, con le loro ansie, i loro ricordi di "vita" e addirittura le loro personalità. Queste sono Copie che possono interfacciarsi con il mondo reale, seguire gli avvenimenti politici e i propri affari addirittura post mortem. L'unica differenza sta nel fatto che il tempo soggettivo di ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published 1998 by Shake (first published April 1994)
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Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't read a lot of hard sf because my understanding of science is rudimentary at best, but I do tend to enjoy it when I read one that do not go too far over my head. I feel I only need to understand the basic plot and the characters' motivation, the whys if not the hows of it. If those conditions are met then my patchy understanding of the scientific details is not too much of an impediment and the bits that get through to me tend to be quite fascinating.

So it is with Permutation City which h
Peter Gerdes
May 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Geeks and Philosophers
This was my first introduction to Greg Egan and it blew my mind. Permutation City was the first book I ever read that made me say, 'Wow, that's a really interesting argument.' Other books made me think, 'huh, maybe we will have jet blaster space rays in the future.' but this one presents a serious and troubling philosophical argument. Permutation City isn't as fast paced or as idea dense as some of his other works but the ideas are much bigger and more provocative.

Egan is often criticized for l
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopia
I should probably have read Egan's bio before buying this: "Greg Egan specialises in hard science fiction stories with mathematical and quantum ontology."

I rarely read SF and soon realised I might be out of my depth with this novel. It’s incredibly cerebral, consisting of more science than story as if Egan was more concerned in establishing the credibility of his vision of a world where humans clone themselves electronically and live in virtual worlds to computer programmers and quantum theory
Permutation City: Bursting with ideas about artificial life, virtual realities, digital consciousness, etc
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Permutation City (1994) won the John W. Campbell Award and is probably Greg Egan’s best-known book. It is a very dense, in-depth examination of digital vs.physical consciousness, computer simulations of complex biological systems, virtual reality constructs, and multi-dimensional quantum universes. Yeah, pretty intimidating stuff. In fact, it was so ov
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Rereading this book 15 years later reminds me why I still bother reading Egan's books, despite very lukewarm experiences like his more recent Zendegi. Why hasn't this been reprinted? (update: super cheap Kindle edition available, you lucky reader you!)

This book crackles and hums with ideas that are not just brilliant within their own context, but ask deep questions about our existence. The extrapolation of these ideas is solid and well meshed with the unique and intriguing plot.

Egan is at the to
B. Rule
This is a tough book to evaluate. The characters are two dimensional exposition machines, the prose is largely utilitarian, and even the plot is pretty flimsy. Further, the conceit at the heart of the novel and the fulcrum for all of the action is a theory (the so-called "dust theory") that is ridiculous balderdash (and, if taken seriously, basically an excuse for moral heinousness).

However, the book is also an amazingly thoughtful rumination on the philosophical and psychological issues that w
Jason Pettus
There's a running joke throughout Greg Egan's 1994 Permutation City that neatly encapsulates both all the good things and all the bad things about the book in general. Namely, a TV show has recently been created in their day-after-tomorrow world that was specifically designed to sell the just-invented concept of virtual reality to the mouth-breathing masses, a show that's been deliberately dumbed down to make it more palpable to the slack-jawed yokels, in which crazy fantastical things are alway ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Im not the biggest hard scifi fan but thought I'd give this a go. I have loved most of Egans short stories. However this was too much Science for me and not enough plot. Some parts just dragged a little too much for me.
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

This is one of those books that stayed with me long after I put my kindle down. The ideas Egan shows are so big, so compelling that you cannot help but try and put yourself on the shoes of some of the characters.

Questions like if before dying, I get scanned and turned into a sentient AI with all my memories and experiences, a “copy”, does the copy is really me? If both copy and he original can coexist, the death of the original matters? Were we the same person anyways? Or am I only giving
Peter Mcloughlin
Sci fi story about creation and immortality and computer virtual reality. Don't want to give away too much but gives a plausible vision to the idea of immortality through being uploaded and questions the boundaries between the virtually created and their creators. Very deep story touch on many philosophical themes. Definitely very good sci fi.
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This is the second Greg Egan novel I've read, after Distress. Both books follow the same rough template: a (relative) everyman protagonist encounters a person or group of people with bizarre metaphysical beliefs about science, and is initially skeptical until some startling event vindicates those beliefs. Both of these books are very pure instances of conceptual science fiction; the philosophical and scientific ideas are the meat of the book, not just convenient setup for the plot.

Permutation Ci
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ci-fi
Buena novela sobre inteligencia artificial y simulación de mundos, aunque hay partes que hay que tocarlas con un palo.

Como no voy a soltar spoilers comentaré un poco los aspectos que más me han gustado y los que menos.

El meollo del asunto es cómo solucionar simulaciones de mundos o universos. Mundos y universos incluye todo lo de dentro desde los átomos a las relaciones entre estos. No voy a opinar que lo hace bien porque tiene un par de fijaciones froidianas con los números enteros y el determi
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A mediados del siglo XXI es posible escanear la mente humana y generar una Copia, para que viva de forma consciente y autónoma en un universo virtual con sus propias reglas físicas. Una mezcla entre filosofía e informática, en la que las Copias en su autoconsciencia desarrollan crisis existenciales. Es una novela de ideas y abstracciones conceptuales, por lo que la postura ante los personajes es más bien fría.
Entre los planteamientos que más me hicieron pensar, está el de que el dinero sigue si
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Cosa sono io? I dati? Il processo che li genera? Il rapporto tra i numeri?
Tutto questo messo insieme?

Esattamente dieci anni dopo Neuromante e cinque anni prima di Matrix, si impone questo ricco e visionario romanzo, con una rilettura della realtà virtuale forse troppo complessa, ma che davvero è capace di aprire la mente.
Scenari cyber degni di Gibson e soci, scenografie e paesaggi mastodontici che ricordano un po' Ian M. Banks (Criptosfera è il più simile, ed è proprio dello stesso anno - le mig
Dec 03, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have this awesome string of random bits that I'm hiding in my pocket. It is a magical fairy land with dragons and wizards and lots of attractive princesses that need saving. What do you mean that's just pocket lint? It's all information! I can interpret it however I want. There's so much pocket lint in the world surely some of it is actually Narnia. In my pocket lint universe I am an immortal god! My name is only spoken in awed pocket lint whispers. What do you mean pocket lint immortal god Me ...more
Nov 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Egan writes sci-fi, heavy on the sci. It’s what sci-fi was meant to be: a tale that takes a scientific idea and leads the imagination, wide-eyed, past the event horizon. The protagonists of Permutation City are software humans, scanned from fleshly originals, virtually immortal, and fated to craft a purpose for themselves in a world of infinite flexibility. Those who revel in the vertigo of Egan’s world may want to move on to Diaspora next.
Alex Chaffee
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has all the stuff I was thinking about in the early 1990s -- artificial life, genetic algorithms, cellular automata, philosophy of consciousness, virtual reality, neurochemistry, brain simulation -- all woven together into a premise that is absurd but with enough actual computer science (and inside jokes) to make it mind-blowingly plausible. Not a lot of action, but fun -- if you can follow the details.
Tudor Ciocarlie
Fantastic book, very well written, with great characters and full of fabulous ideas. But what's really incredible is that this is an almost 20 years old near future hard SF novel that doesn't feel outdated at all.
Luke Burrage
Second time through after forgetting I'd read it before.

Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #272.
Natlaie sometimes known as Natalie
Dull metaphysical nonsense. Also, 70% could have been axed.
Avi Singh
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
If you want to read science fiction for interesting ideas and their consequences on the human race, then it's hard to beat Greg Egan (Stephenson is the only other contemporary author that comes to my mind, maybe some of the work of Charles Stross and Hannu Rajaniemi is in the same domain).

Permutation City takes an intriguing, plausible idea (simulating human brains on computers), and extrapolates it to an extreme (but less plausible) form. Along the way, you get explanations that are mostly accu
Sreejith Pp
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those rarer, delightful hard sci-fi books that deal with multiple complex concepts simultaneously.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Abstraccionismo de Egan pero esta vez sin desbocarse.

Imagina que antes de morirte te escanean todo el cuerpo a nivel molecular copiando hasta la última neurona y luego esa copia la vuelcan en un programa informático de realidad virtual en el que cobras vida de forma inteligente, dándole un continuo a tu "yo" pero sin ser de carne y hueso. Imagina que una vez que esas copias viven en su mundo virtual deciden dejar de depender de hardware físico y terraqueo para proporcionarse una vida infinita..
Nick Fagerlund
This one came up when Schwern and I were poking around the Wikipedia articles about Conway's Game of Life, and I was like, "You know what, it's been way too long since I just said 'fuck everything' and downed a whole book of potentially dubious quality in a single slurp. _Let's do this._"

I can't really say I'd recommend this one: the dialogue is plain embarrassing in that classically hard-SF-speechifying way, and the characters were forgettable ciphers. The plot didn't lock together very well,
David Olier
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cifi
Me va a ser muy difícil hablar de este libro. Es realmente un rompedor de cocos de alto nivel.

Quizá si lo hubiera leído como si fuera un observador externo que no necesita comprender del todo las reglas de aquello que está viendo y simplemente se limita a deleitarse con el despliegue que el autor hace delante de él... Pero no ha sido mi caso.

Yo he decidido entender y cuestionarme todas y cada una de las afirmaciones y teorías que Greg Egan plantea en esta Ciudad Permutación. Y hacerlo ha consegu
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Desde las ideas y las reflexiones que estas deberían generar, abrumadora.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. En la segunda mitad del siglo XXI, nuestro cerebro, nuestra mente y nuestra consciencia pueden ser reproducidas mediante avanzados soportes tecnológicos de software y hardware. Esas “copias” pueden ser usadas como elementos de seguridad en caso de que a la persona le suceda algo, pero también son conscientes de sí mismas y de no ser “reales” y sí ser simulaciones informáticas. Pa
PERMUTATION CITY is a complex and at times challenging read that is well worth persevering through.

First published in 1994, it reads as relevant today as any modern day tech-fi, if not perhaps more so, encompassing a deep cogitation of reality and it's endless boundaries elevated by technology and re-rationalizing what it means to simply 'be'. PERMUTATION CITY will make you think and read harder - and that's a good thing.

The story is multifaceted, taking the reader on a journey through the poss
Кирилл Темненков
Автор фантазирует про копирование человека в виртуальное окружение. Тема изьезженная, но написано интересно.

Копии эти не обгоняют внешний мир, как, у Иена Бенкса в "Безатказном Аркадии", а наоборот - замедлены относительно него (сложности виртуализации). Копии утрясают свой юридический статус, подыскивать себе занятия на 7000+ лет существования и больше, вмешиваются или не вмешиваются в свою психику.
João Eira
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What would you give in exchange for immortality? Greg Egan‘s unabashed answer to that question in Permutation City is simple: Your humanity. Its sounds cliché, but Permutation City is a book that is able to do what only the best science fiction books can: make you think of questions you never knew you had, and imagine futures that seem ever more possible as time passes.

Around the mid-21st century, mind-uploading technology has been perfected, but its use
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Episode 272, Permutation City. 1 10 Jun 08, 2015 12:31PM  
  • Fairyland
  • Synners
  • Schismatrix Plus (Complete Shapers-Mechanists Universe)
  • City Come a-Walkin'
  • Vacuum Flowers
  • Wireless
  • Aristoi
  • In War Times
  • Genesis
  • Beyond Apollo
  • Brother to Dragons
  • Song of Time
  • The Child Garden
  • The Lifecycle of Software Objects
  • On Wings of Song
  • Ventus
  • The Years Of The City
  • Random Acts of Senseless Violence
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
More about Greg Egan...

Other Books in the Series

Subjective Cosmology (3 books)
  • Quarantine (Subjective Cosmology #1)
  • Distress (Subjective Cosmology #3)

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“Is a stranger in a crowd less than human, just because you can’t witness her inner life?” 5 likes
“How does it feel to be seven thousand years old?"
"That depends."
"On what?"
"On how I want to feel.”
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