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August Books 19) Diaspora, by Greg Egan

A book about a posthuman society - most people exist as virtual entities in the datanet of vast supercomputers - dealing with astrophysical disaster striking the earth and then trying to explore parallel universes. Lots of mathematical theory, but rather short on interesting characters or plot resolution; perhaps a bit like Stapledon without his trademark breathlessness. Glad to have finally ticked this off my list.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
coth
Aug. 20th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
Did you notice that the characters explore every conceivable opportunity for failing to communicate, at every possible scale?

I find myself referencing this book a lot in conversations about conversation.
purplecthulhu
Aug. 20th, 2010 10:09 am (UTC)
I thought this was great - definitely as breathless as Stapledon, and with better characters as well. Sorry you weren't as impressed.
andrewducker
Aug. 20th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, I love the scale of it all. Was particularly impressed by the initial story of Yatima's birth and journey to sentience.
gareth_rees
Aug. 20th, 2010 12:31 pm (UTC)
It's a great book, my favourite of Egan's. Notice how the entire plot runs with almost no conflict or drama between the characters—the few disagreements (like whether to send probes into the oceans of Orpheus) are easily solved democratically.

It desperately needs some diagrams, though, so Egan supplies them on his website. In particular, the descriptions of how extra degrees of freedom can avoid wormhole singularities, and why there are no stable orbits in the macrosphere.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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