384 pages

Published March 9, 2008 by Gollancz.

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4 stars (3 reviews)

It is the end of the thirtieth century and humanity has divided into three. The fleshers, all that are left of the naturally evolving Homo sapiens, remain in the jungles and seas of Earth, living out their extended but mortal lives.

The rest of humankind have achieved apparent immortality, some as gleisner robots—human minds within machines—and the majority as polises—direct copies of human personalities living out their eternities in communities run by vast supercomputers. Amongst them is Yatima, an orphan, created by a random mutation of the Konishi polis base mind seed.

When an astrophysical disaster threatens to destroy Earth, Yatima sets out to discover a home where random acts of God will never again threaten their existence.

9 editions

reviewed Diaspora by Greg Egan

Very creative hard scifi

4 stars

A good but demanding read with great concepts for science fiction, but at times it does feel like the author tied several great short stories into one trench coat novel. Mind you, that's not a bad thing, just something to consider.

The first chapter can be seen as its own small and can be read on the authors blog, which i highly recommend! It sets the tone of the story pretty well by introducing a level of "techno-babble" that will be present at other parts of the book. You have the choice to read it and attempt to fully comprehend it or skim through it with the necessary understanding to catch the intent. If you want to understand the techno-babble or broaden your understanding, the author even supplies visual guides and very short explanations on his website, easily findable from the link for the first chapter. www.gregegan.net/DIASPORA/01/Orphanogenesis.html

SciFi can't get harder than this

No rating

I've seen it described as "diamond-hard SciFi", it might even be an understatement. It starts off being confusingly abstract. After ~15% it gets more coherent, slightly more corporeal, though never entirely so.

Even through its abstract and detached universe, it revolves around modern issues of reality, subjectivity of perception and even memetic reality bubbles.

There's a lot to get from this, provided you can keep your mind clear enough to absorb the weirdness of it all.