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Diaspora by [Egan, Greg]
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Length: 352 pages Audible Narration:
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Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

Since the Introdus in the twenty-first century, humanity has reconfigured itself drastically. Most chose immortality, joining the polises to become conscious software. Others opted for gleisners: disposable, renewable robotic bodies that remain in contact with the physical world of force and friction. Many of these have left the solar system forever in fusion-drive starships.

And there are the holdouts: the fleshers left behind in the muck and jungle of Earth-some devolved into dream apes, others cavorting in the seas or the air-while the statics and bridgers try to shape out a roughly human destiny.

But the complacency of the citizens is shattered when an unforeseen disaster ravages the fleshers and reveals the possibility that the polises themselves might be at risk from bizarre astrophysical processes that seem to violate fundamental laws of nature. The orphan Yatima, a digital being grown from a mind seed, joins a group of citizens and flesher refugees in a search for the knowledge that will guarantee their safety-a search that puts them on the trail of the ancient and elusive Transmuters, who have the power to reshape subatomic particles, and to cross into the macrocosmos, where the universe we know is nothing but a speck in the higher-dimensional vacuum.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 688 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1597805424
  • Publisher: Gollancz (30 December 2010)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #129,299 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 164 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best sci-fi of our time all the way to the very end 23 March 2017
By Jenny - Published on
Verified Purchase
My favorite fictional, written story of all time after Lessing's Briefing for the Descent into Hell, Macleish's J.B, and some of Neil Stephenson's stuff (and of course, the must-read-first Permutation City)...and probably a bunch of other's I'm forgetting. Permutation City struck a deeper chord with me than anything I've read since On Civil Disobedience when I was 19. I am now in school to be a biochemist so (methinks, at least) I know biochemistry well enough. I am not a physicist by any means though I hope someday, to work as a biophysicist and this book has inspired me to work harder. His books have made me a better thinker.
This story made me spend more time alone. All I wanted to do was read. What beautiful images he conjured up for this beautiful work of art (which is, in my opinion, canonical literature).
I finished the novel in tears. I can't put into words how I feel about this novel (not sure I could be a writer). Just read it.
Someday SOMETHING by Egan has to be a film. PLEASE within my lifetime. And PLEASE can I help make it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible mind-blowing hard sci-fi 18 September 2015
By ethios4 - Published on
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What an incredible book. I was intimidated at first and a little turned off by some of the reviews, but I am so glad I read this book as it is possibly my favorite sci-fi book ever. Yes, it is challenging and some of it I didn't understand, but its written in a way that you don't have to understand all of it to understand the story. It is probably necessary to have some basic knowledge of modern cosmological theories and AI speculation, and yes you will have to pay attention and think about some things, but that's part of the great pleasure of reading this book.

Diaspora is written in a mostly straightforward manner, but it almost feels avant garde just because the concepts are so mind-blowing and Greg Egan goes so far with them. This is a story of scientific discovery, of pushing the boundaries all the way, of surviving the ultimate catastrophe. Yes, the characters are not the focus of the story, and yet I felt more connected to them than characters in many other books. I wouldn't trade a single sentence in this book for more "character development". Greg Egan pushes the limits of the imagination so far that I was left speechless in awe and wonder at the worlds being described... which gave me a taste of what the characters might be experiencing, and thus I connected to them strongly.

His descriptions of universes with more dimensions than ours got me closer to being able to imagine those higher dimensions than anything else I've read. The way he imagines life on other planets stimulates my imagination beyond the traditional earth-bound imaginings of other books I've read. The AI and virtual reality settings blew so far past my usual thinking that just about anything else seems tame. This is what sci-fi should be, to my tastes - pushing the limits of imagination so far it overwhelms my connection to this reality and I end up fully absorbed in the world being created by the writer.

The biggest drawback to this book, for me, is that it has forever shifted my standards for appreciating sci-fi. Fortunately Greg Egan has written several other books, and I'm already looking forward to reading Diaspora again. This book is written for a particular kind of reader, and if you think you might be such a reader, read this book immediately!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exercise in existentialism 26 August 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Honestly one of the greatest epics ever written. Greg Egan's ideas are bigger than his prose allows for. "What does it mean to inhabit the universe?" If you don't understand the science (fiction or not), stay for the philosophy. Diaspora brings the issue of time to its knees and looks at, not only classic existentialism, but questions the philosophy of science as well. Give this book a chance and it will change the way you perceive reality. It certainly changed me.
5.0 out of 5 stars A staggeringly epic work of science fiction 14 February 2017
By J. M. Raines - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You don't have to have a physics degree to enjoy this book, but some passing familiarity with the terminology of relativity, particle physics and curiosity about the nature of consciousness certainly amplifies the experience. I can think of three separate parts of the book that would qualify among the best short stories I've read, but woven together into an epic of discovery and self-preservation by an advanced and more civilized form of humanity, it is truly a gift. I can't wait to read more of Egan's work. And I must disagree with another reviewer's panning of the ending -- which is not, in my opinion, a spoiler; but they should be more careful as a reviewer -- the last page of the book was both beautiful and satisfying to me.
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite book. 2 September 2015
By adam likes to cook - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's this one scene in this book where a small society of AI and humans who migrated their consciousness into computer programs are traveling in an intergalactic space ship/super computer and they find this one star system with a planet that has life on it. It's the first time these sentient programs have discovered life outside their own species/ancestors. This life is giant tiles of algae floating on the ocean of the planet, which they deem carpets.

The AI spend decades trying to figure out if the carpets are at all sentient, until one of the AI's realizes that the carpets are actually growing and moving in patterns that is computer code... Upon further investigation the the carpets are just one slice of a sixteen-dimensional sentient species...

This is just one amazing part of this crazy book. If you're at all into futurism, physics, AI, math and or programming, you need to read this.

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