The Best of Greg Egan: 20 Stories of Hard Science Fiction

The Best of Greg Egan: 20 Stories of Hard Science Fiction

by Greg Egan


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Twenty Stories and Novellas from Hugo, Campbell, and Locus Award Winner Greg Egan, Arguably Australia’s Greatest Living Science Fiction Writer

In a career spanning more than thirty years, Greg Egan has produced a steady stream of novels and stories that address a wide range of scientific and philosophical concerns: artificial intelligence, higher mathematics, science vs religion, the nature of consciousness, and the impact of technology on the human personality. All these ideas and more find their way into this generous and illuminating collection, the clear product of a man who is both a master storyteller and a rigorous, exploratory thinker.

The Best of Greg Egan contains twenty stories and novellas arranged in chronological order, and each of them is a brilliantly conceived, painstakingly developed gem. The book opens with “Learning to be Me,” about a society in which the organic human brain can be replaced by a miraculous piece of technology called “the jewel,” a “mock brain” that confers, among other things, a kind of immortality on its recipients. “Bit Players” – the opening movement in a trio of tales that continues with “3-adica” and “Instantiation” – posits a world in which cheaply generated software beings are exploited for the basest commercial purposes. (Other sets of interconnected stories – all of them reprinted here – include the mathematically-themed “Luminous” and “Dark Integers,” and a pair of stories centered on the complex marriage of a physicist and a mathematician: “Singleton” and “Oracle.”) “Reasons to be Cheerful” concerns a young boy whose brain tumor has an unexpected effect on his life, moods, and view of the world. “Axiomatic” tells the story of a society in which “implants” can be used to alter the human personality, with potentially lethal results. And the Hugo Award-winning novella “Oceanic” is a powerful account of a boy whose deeply held religious beliefs are undermined by what he comes to learn about the laws of the physical world.

This book really does represent the best of Greg Egan, and it therefore takes its place among the best of contemporary SF. Startling, intelligent and always hugely entertaining, it provides an ideal introduction to one of the most accomplished and original writers working today. This is an important and provocative collection, and it deserves a place on the serious science fiction reader’s permanent shelf.

Table of Contents:
  • Learning to Be Me
  • Axiomatic
  • Appropriate Love
  • Into Darkness
  • Unstable Orbits in the Space of Lies
  • Closer
  • Chaff
  • Luminous
  • Silver Fire
  • Reasons to be Cheerful
  • Oceanic
  • Oracle
  • Singleton
  • Dark Integers
  • Crystal Nights
  • Zero For Conduct
  • Bit Players
  • Uncanny Valley
  • 3-adica
  • Instantiation
  • Afterword

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781949102253
Publisher: Night Shade
Publication date: 07/27/2020
Pages: 696
Sales rank: 399,102
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Greg Egan is a computer programmer and the author of the acclaimed SF novels Permutation City, Diaspora, Teranesia, and Quarantine, and the Orthogonal trilogy, all published by Night Shade Books. He has won the Hugo Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Egan’s short fiction has been published in a variety of places, including Interzone, Asimov’s, and Nature. He lives in Australia.

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