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Distress (1995)

de Greg Egan

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7871920,806 (3.8)16
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  1. 10
    The Dispossessed de Ursula K. Le Guin (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: These books share isolated anarchist communities and discoveries in physics that change everything.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 17 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Ok ... technically that 5 star rating isn't exactly deserved. Yes, i liked the book, but it's no egan's best. It had some weaknesses.

So, why 5 stars? When I started reading this I thought that Egan was riding a bit on some of the more recent trends with the gender pronouns, genders in general, the dystopian news stuff and the general zeigeist he expressed, especially in the first third. So I was more than a little surprised when I went to check reviews and noticed that this bookwas published in 1995. I guess Egan was ahead on this one, but this time in the sociological sense as well as the sf sense.

starting from the middle, the book turned more into a relatively standard cyberpunk-ish techno-thriller, with a few nice mindfuck aspects. The science was ok, but I thought some of Egan's other books were quite a bit better on that front. ( )
  102joa82 | Jan 1, 2021 |
Another great Greg Egan book, the last book of his first trilogy. Great hard SF, although I found the physics "Theory of Everything" main theme to be less interesting than the themes of Permutation City (Simulation) or Quarantine (Quantum Mechanics). However, the secondary theme ("Stateless", an anarchist libertarian island paradise) more than made up for it. (Audible audiobook edition for most of the book, some Kindle edition.) ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
It has been a long time since I've read any Greg Egan. That was silly of me. Distress is evidence of his exceptional ability to craft a good story around intriguing ideas. He is clearly willing and able to casually sweep aside the acculturated biases that dominate our lives -- economic, political, and social -- today. The end result is illuminating, engaging, and crisply presented so that everything becomes clear to the invested reader.

I wish I had known this was the third book in a series before I was two thirds of the way through. I certainly intend to read the preceding two novels soon. If there's anything wrong with this book, I think it's the fact that the publisher did not see fit to make it clear that it was a sequel. Lack of familiarity with the preceding novels does not seem to have damaged the enjoyment and inspiration I experienced reading it, though; the author did an excellent job of making it stand well on its own. ( )
  apotheon | Dec 14, 2020 |
This book made my brain hurt. Probably more due to the socialogical language and idea than the physics ones (I was, after all, a physicist myself). I can see that the scientific ideas would be hard for many to follow, but the author did well to explain them via various clarifying conversations between characters. Great ideas about what will be standard items in the near future. I think I may return to Egan after a rest, but Ill be careful about which one I pick! ( )
  CliveUK | Sep 20, 2020 |
In a lot of ways, this is exactly what I hunt for in SF in general. Give me hard science, slather me in a hundred beautiful hard-science ideas, blow me away with high-tech biotech, computer science... and especially the hardcore physics geekery.

Mind you, this isn't any kind of soft cookie full of throwaway made-up terms. Egan goes for the jugular and explores as much science and possible science and fully-realized future societies changed by total control. Or somewhat total control. Lots of magic bullets for diseases and gene-editing and living by photosynthesis and hardware augments of all kinds including built-in video recording... such as that our MC uses as a reporter.

And all this is just a sweet setup for the beginning of the novel before he switches tracks from biotech to pure physics.

But wait, isn't that a bit too much for readers to digest? Concept after concept?

Oh, sure, probably, but I'm one of those readers who LOVE to be slathered in concepts and be blown away by smarts. :)

Once the novel switches from bio to physics and the hunt for the Theory Of Everything, things get wacky. The part of the world he's sent to is all kinds of Anarcho-syndicalism and what seems to be cults springing up around these leading scientists who are hot on the trail for not just the Grand Unified Theory, but the math model that encompasses everything. They're treating these theoreticians like gods. Or prophets. Or saints.

...And for a rather interesting reason.

This is a novel of Consensual Reality. :) They believe that whoever reaches the most popular model of reality will thereby CREATE that reality. It's a cool-as-hell idea supported by none other than REAL QUANTUM THEORIES. :)

And so we're thrown into a thriller that leads to chaos and warfare, political intrigue, religious nuttery, and no little exploration of sex in the rest of the pot.

I had a great time! I think this was my favorite of Greg Egan's Subjective Cosmology trilogy. Now, I should mention that the trilogy isn't a true trilogy in normal terms. They're a trilogy in theme only. They are very much standalone novels that don't intersect except in the Grand Idea and how much can be delved.

Honestly, I'm kinda blown away here. I expected him to be a rather decent author, but not one who is this adept at so many different fields of study and doesn't mind going wild (or brave) with the Big Ideas.

I've just gone from fan to fanboy. It took a few novels, but once I discovered how much depth and breadth he's willing to go across these few books, I'm honestly amazed. :)

So yeah. I think I'm going to go wild reading everything he's got. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (5 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Greg Eganautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Kempen, BernhardTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Thiemeyer, ThomasAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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