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Download Diaspora. epub

by Greg Egan

Download Diaspora. epub
ISBN: 3453161815
ISBN13: 978-3453161818
Category: No category
Author: Greg Egan
Language: German
Publisher: Heyne (February 1, 2000)
ePUB size: 1463 kb
FB2 size: 1627 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 634
Other Formats: lrf mobi txt mbr

I haven't read science fiction in years, and this happened to be one of the first new books I picked up. When I was younger, I read science fiction for its escapist qualities, but a lot has changed since then. Diaspora is as much an introspective journey as it is an entertaining romp through new worlds.

That said, there's no getting around the fact that this is a difficult book to get into. On the very first page, the author invents a new set of pronouns: "vis" and "vers," as analogs for a virtual "his" or "hers." Since an early usage of the word "Vis" is capitalized, I first thought it was a posessive name: "Vi's" or "Violet's" with the apostrophe missing. Science fiction authors often invent new nouns or adjectives, but new pronouns were a bit much for the first page. Once I began to follow what was occurring, however, Diaspora made for a wonderful journey.

Other than escapism, science fiction can be viewed simply as another backdrop for the only drama that counts, the human experience. Any argument can be done as a "reductio ad absurdum," an idea taken to an extreme and perhaps illogical conclusion. It is for this reason that science fiction is often used as vehicle for delving into the human psyche. Through an exploration of simulated reality and transhuman experience Greg Egan does just that. Because the human mind can ponder neither oblivion nor infinity, both are nearly absurd from our perspective, resulting in a paradox: oblivion itself is a sort of infinity. In an examination of that question, Egan takes the reader on a journey into the bounds of existence, and embraces its logical conclusion. Diaspora serves as an ontological lesson in the guise of fiction.

While the journey and its conclusion are both wonderful, and it is a pity that the novel appears to be out of print, I can't say it is a surprise. Diaspora is hard science fiction, with an emphasis on science. Without a mathematical background and knowledge of multi-dimensional topology, I would imagine that the book would make for a tough read. If you're comfortable reading a book that uses concepts like the tesseract in a pursuit of what Greek philosophers called "logos," though, Diaspora makes for a mindbending adventure.
This is a far-flung futuristic blast that fails to deliver. I consider myself a scifi fantatic and have experienced a taste of it all - punk, hard, visionary, fantasy, time travel, end of world. But in this one I could never really identify with the characters. Perhaps it was their almost alien existence, so radically different from ours, that made the connection difficult.
First of all, one had to wade through the new creatures - both biological and artificial. There is the writing- cautious, certainly not lyrical or poetic. Then there is the language, meant to be representative bof a future Earth but coming off hokey. Finally the plethora of new terms and abbreviations boggle the mind and are hurled at the reader so fast that simply absorbing and remembering them was a task unto itself. The (biological) beings here seem almost placid, curiously non-human in their incredible strangeness. Maybe another read would have improved my evaluation but why should reading be a burden?
A castastrophic astronomical event means living on Earth is a no go. As in a black hole zapped my planet.

Thus created is the Diaspora, and humanity separates into people that live in different modes. In virtualities, as robots, or points on between.

The main thrust here is these extreme posthumans trying to work out what is still important. For example, do we make children - how do we make them, what do we make them? Things like that.