"Impressively bizarre . . . Egan may have out-Eganed himself with this one."--Publishers Weekly
"Egan (The Arrows of Time, 2014, etc.) specializes in inventing seriously strange worlds; this one might well be his weirdest yet."--Kirkus Reviews
"Hard science fiction in its purest form . . . Egan has always done the science half of science fiction as well as anyone can."--The 1000 Year Plan
"Per usual for Egan, conceptualizing the math and physics that form the foundation of this bizarre sci-fi tale takes some doing, but the results are well worth the effort."--B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog
"I haven't been this surprised and entertained by world building for a long time . . . the most brutal and poignant depiction of oppression I have ever seen in fiction. This is why I love Egan's work - he is absolutely unflinching. . . . Like all of Egan's work, Dichronauts
is brilliant and sweet, heartbreaking and obscure."--The Kingdoms of Evil
"I enjoyed this one very much--in large part because the characters and problems become very engaging as the story progresses, but also because I just liked messing around with the maths."--The Oikofuge
"I always enjoy Greg Egan's writing. Coupled with his scientific background and fertile imagination, he manages to come up with places and aliens unlike any others . . . not only does Egan offer a unique world and alien race - he also provides a cracking adventure story full of tension and excitement right from the start through to the climactic ending. . . . I love this one. Brilliant and inventive, this book reminds me all over again just why I love science fiction so much."--Brainfluff
, 10/10. Reviewed by Sarah J. Higbee
Seth is a surveyor, along with his friend Theo, a leech-like creature running through his skull who tells Seth what lies to his left and right. Theo, in turn, relies on Seth for mobility, and for ordinary vision looking forwards and backwards. Like everyone else in their world, they are symbionts, depending on each other to survive.
In the universe containing Seth’s world, light cannot travel in all directions: there is a “dark cone” to the north and south. Seth can only face to the east (or the west, if he tips his head backwards). If he starts to turn to the north or south, his body stretches out across the landscape, and to rotate to face north-east is every bit as impossible as accelerating to the speed of light.
Every living thing in Seth’s world is in a state of perpetual migration as they follow the sun’s shifting orbit and the narrow habitable zone it creates. Cities are being constantly disassembled at one edge and rebuilt at the other, with surveyors mapping safe routes ahead.
But when Seth and Theo join an expedition to the edge of the habitable zone, they discover a terrifying threat: a fissure in the surface of the world, so deep and wide that no one can perceive its limits. As the habitable zone continues to move, the migration will soon be blocked by this unbridgeable void, and the expedition has only one option to save its city from annihilation: descend into the unknown.