Permutation City: A Novel by Greg Egan
What happens when your digital self overpowers your physical self?
A life in Permutation City is unlike any life to which you’re accustomed. You have Eternal Life, the power to live forever. Immortality is a real thing, just not the thing you’d expect.
Life is just electronic code. You have been digitized, scanned, and downloaded into a virtual reality program. A Copy of a Copy. For Paul Durham, he keeps making Copies of himself, but the issue is that his Copies keep changing their minds and shutting themselves down.
You also have Maria Deluca, who is nothing but an Autoverse addict. She spends every waking minute with the cellular automaton known as the Autoverse, a world that lives by the mathematical “laws of physics.”
Paul makes Maria an offer to design and drop a seed into the Autoverse that will allow her to indulge in her obsession. There is, however, one catch: you can no longer terminate, bail out, and remove yourself. You will never be your normal flesh-and-blood life again. The question then becomes: Is this what she really wants? Is this what we really want?
From the brilliant mind of Greg Egan, Permutation City , first published in 1994, comes a world of wonder that makes you ask if you are you, or is the Copy of you the real you?
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