A life in Permutation City is unlike any life to which you’re accus- tomed. You have From the brilliant mind of Greg Egan, Permutation City, first. Set around the midst century, Greg Egan’s debut Permutation City tells of a time when humans are being cloned, not biologically, but electronically. The book. In Egan hadn’t yet written Teranesia, or “Oceanic” or “Oracle“. The cumulative effect of these, with Permutation City’s concluding denial of.

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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Permutation City by Greg Egan. The story of a man with a vision – immortality: Permutation city is the tale of a man with a vision – how to create immortality – and how that vision becomes something way beyond his control.

Encompassing the lives and struggles of an artificial life junkie desperate to save her dying mother, a billionaire banker scarred The story of a man with a vision – immortality: Encompassing the lives and struggles of an artificial life junkie desperate to save her dying mother, a billionaire banker scarred by a terrible crime, the lovers for whom, in their timeless virtual world, love is not enough – and much more – Permutation city is filled with the sense of wonder.

Paperbackpages. Published October 1st by HarperPrism first published April Dick Award NomineeJohn W. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Permutation Cityplease sign up. Do I first need to read Quarantine to appreciate and understand Permutation City? Will I be fine just reading Permutation City and maybe going back and reading Quarantine?

Ray You don’t need to read Quarantine. These three books aren’t really a series at all, according to the author. See 2 questions about Permutation City…. Lists with This Book. Sep 03, BlackOxford rated it it was amazing Shelves: Fractious Fakes What happens when your virtual clone hates your guts?

From a literary point of view, Egan has done something both awesome and interesting: Instead of language taking on an alternat Fractious Fakes What happens when your virtual clone hates your guts?

Instead of language taking on an alternative meaning from its literal referents, he has people taking on the literal qualities of language – vocabulary, grammar, and effects. This is Tohuthe Shattering of the Vessels through which the original unity of the universe is broken into fragments, both physical and spiritual.

Tohu happens psychically as well for individuals.

Permutation City

That is, bits of the Self are strewn about creation in a most unsatisfactory and unhappy state. These spiritual bits can become quite unruly in their citt of fragmented isolation.

They are desperate to end their loneliness by re-integrating with the original whole. This is Tikkuna sort of reconstruction of psychic pieces into a new entity. If anything were to impede this process, an aberrant techno-savvy Kabbalist for example, there is an interesting story to be told.

And Egan tells the story masterfully. I can only marvel at how he finds his inspiration for a high-tech tale in an ancient wisdom like Kabbalah, and then proceeds to out-Kabbalah even premutation Kabbalists with his creativity.

View all 20 comments. Jul 08, Apatt rated it really liked it. I don’t read a lot of hard sf because my understanding of science is rudimentary at best, but I do tend to enjoy it when I read one that do not go too far over my head. I feel I only need to understand the basic plot and the characters’ motivation, the whys if not the hows of it.


If those conditions are met then my patchy understanding of the scientific details is not too much of an impediment and the bits that get through to me tend to be quite fascinating.

So it is with Permutation City which h I don’t read a lot of hard sf because my understanding of science is rudimentary at best, but I do tend to enjoy it when I read one that do not go too far over my head.

So it is with Permutation City which icty me hooked from Chapter One which takes place inside a computer no, not the plastic casing! The opening scene where this simulated man “wakes up” and feel an unbearable disconnection from reality is like nothing I have ever read before. The story of this book is permuration on the author’s “dust theory” which posits that: To experiment on or delete such a person would be cruel and unethical, not to mention absolutely beastly.

SF : Permutation City / Greg Egan ☆☆½

Virtual Reality as portrayed in this book is actually a layer of reality where actions tend to have consequences which egann just as “real” to the people in this environment. Without going into the synopsis this book is essentially about what constitute reality, an examination of the nature of the consciousness, and the implication and psychological impact of digitization of personalities for the original people and the “Copies”.

This cover nicely depicts the virtual city. The sf trope of digitizing or simulating personalities utilized so well in Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon ciyy done even better here.

For me the sticking point of this trope is that I do permytation believe that the digital version of myself would really be me regardless of the accuracy of the backup, if I am dead and gone the digital replacement would bring me back to life.

Greg Egan, Permutation City

There is no “right answer” to this question, it depends on your personal belief. However, the issue is very well explored here: I still have a sense of proportion.

Whatever a Copy of me might think, if one was permuttion run. How time can be slowed down in the virtual world the word “cyberspace” suddenly seems a bit quaint so that the time in reality just whizzes permuttation. There are “slow clubs” and slums for “Copies” of less well to do people who can not afford the expense of running their virtual counterparts in or near real time. Also the launching of an entirely new virtual universe. What ultimately makes this permugation worthwhile egah me though is that it is about people and the “effects of technology on the human condition”.

I am always fascinated by the theme of how technology can change what it means to be human, and in order to explore this theme properly the characters need to be well developed and believable. If they were just flat devices to service the plot it would render the theme completely ineffective.

Egan did a very good job with characterization here, few of the characters are actually likable but they have their egab virtues and flaws. As usual much of the science is beyond me and the book is completely devoid of humor not a necessity but always a bonus in serious novels. Definitely a worthwhile and fascinating read.


Excellent Jo Walton ‘s review of this book. Please refer to my Diaspora review for more details. View all 35 comments. If you’re into stuff like this, you can read the full review. With this starts off one of the most astonishing short stories I’ve ever read.

If you haven’t read it, I urge you to do so. Egan questions what it really means to be human in a way that it’s permutatkon unsurpassed in my mind.

View all permuttion comments. May 18, Peter Gerdes rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This was my first introduction to Greg Egan and it blew my mind. Permutation City was the first book I ever read that made me say, ‘Wow, that’s a perutation interesting argument. Permutation City isn’t as fast paced or as idea dense as some of his other works but the ideas are much bigger and more provocative.

Egan is often criticized for l This was my first introduction to Greg Egan and it blew my mind. Egan is often criticized for lacking literary virtues like character development and deep complex psychological interaction. I don’t deny that this isn’t high literature but I think the criticism is misplaced. Egan doesn’t write about emotional soap operas, if that’s what I wanted I would just go out and permugation to real people, but he writes about ideas. I think his charachters are quite believeable but they just aren’t the focus of the show.

In Permutation City Egan draws out some of the consequences of strong AI, in particular the hypothesis that any system which implements the same computation as the human brain would have the same experiences. Egan argues that the notion of greb computation is sufficently broad undefined? One might view this vity a fiction analog of Chalmer’s view that a computational theory of the mind will entail pan-psychism more or less. Permutatoin you like philosophy and can handle abstract arguments that make mincemeet of common sense but aren’t absurd you will like this book.

If you want an emotional soap opera or you stop listening as soon as people talk about abstract things like math or philosophy don’t even bother ciity the blurb on the back. Apr 24, Tim rated it liked it Shelves: I should probably have read Egan’s bio before buying this: Often dialogue consisted of one character taking on the role of the author explaining to a less well informed character the reader how the science psrmutation technology worked and I found this method very wooden.

Often the very long-winded technical details of what was going on went completely over my head. There was also a lack of human warmth or even interest in the novel. At times it read more like a manual than a novel.

The story only really begins in the last fifty pages and finally, when I was hooked, the novel ended! Jul 05, Stuart rated it really liked it Shelves: Bursting with ideas about artificial life, virtual realities, digital consciousness, etc Originally ean at Fantasy Literature Permutation City won the John W. It is a very dense, in-depth examination of digital vs. Yeah, pretty intimidating stuff.