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Permutation City

Greg Egan

Average Review Rating Average Rating 10/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Millennium

Published : 1994

Copyright : Greg Egan 1994

ISBN-10 : PB 1-85798-175-8
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-85798-175-9

Publisher's Write-Up

In our children's children's children's future, immortality is possible. The human mind can be scanned and downloaded into virtual environments. The result: 'Copies', virtual people, all memory and identity intact, dependent only on the stability of world computer nets. Which leaves them vulnerable.

Paul Durham has a vision - the creation of an untouchable virtual sanctuary, which he sets about selling to the world's ultra-powerful Copies. But Paul is not motivated by profit. Obsessed with virtual and artificial life, obsessed with what he believes is a new understanding of the nature of consciousness, he does not dream of something as unimportant as money.

Paul might be mad. Or the knowledge he possesses, ultimately, just might transcend space, time, evolution, the nature of matter, the life of the universe.

Paul Durham's vision could be the stuff of the dreams of God.

Greg Egan is dynamite. His work is the fiction of ideas; his imagination, apocalyptic. Encompassing the lives and struggles of several people - the artifical-life junkie desperate to save the life of her mother, the billionaire banker scarred by a terrible crime, and the lovers for whom, in their timeless virtual world, love is not enough - Permutation City steps beyond the boundaries of the human mind and into eternity: Permutation City beggars wonder.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (250600) Rating (10/10) Star Book

Review by Nigel
Rating 10/10
This is one of those novels, if you like thought provoking SF showing glimpses of what the future might bring, that you will never forget.

The prologue blows you away. It sums up the meaning of existence and what we really are better than anything I have read before. What is real, how do we relate to our surroundings? A very good novel that has you hooked from the beginning.

The story opens with an operation taking place to 'copy' the memory of a person and store it as digital information in a virtual world. The clever bit is that as the patient wakes up from the operation, with all memories intact, panic sets in since the waking mind doesn't know if it is the copy or not. How would it, memories up to the operation are identical and virtual worlds are indistinguishable from the 'real' world. Is it real? What is real. Do memories alone make use what we are? ...thought provoking or what?

Greg Egan is a brilliant visionary and I can't recommended this book enough.
Nigel (25th June 2000)

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