Diaspora by Greg Egan


Science Fiction

Diaspora DiasporaGreg Egan; Eos 1999WorldCat

This novel is for the true hard science fiction fan. At the end of the 21st century mankind will have taken genetics and growth three different ways. Some will improve their bodies and stay on Earth. Some will transplant their brains into robot bodies and settle on the moon. Some will imprint their mind into sentient software and gather in special colonies on Earth. Each section of people distrust the others.

When a natural cosmic disaster threatens Earth, the digital beings (the sentient software) try to first protect the “fleshers”, then to expand out into the universe to discover ways to control the stars and salvage Earth. Since they are digital beings, they can clone themselves to travel different ways and follow different possibilities.

They try to discover faster than light speed in naturally occurring wormholes. First they have to find the theoretical wormholes. Then they have to learn how to shape them into a useful tool for travel.

I am not a scientist. As much as I enjoy science fiction, I prefer the science to compliment the story rather than the story be added to the science. There were times I could understand and enjoy Greg Egan’s Diaspora. Too many times, though, I got lost in the science, then lost the story. I do not recommend this book to the light reader or the person who doesn’t care for true scientific facts. Diaspora is fiction based on possible theory. Does/will it work? I really don’t know or care.

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One Comment

  1. Comment by Ponderable:

    We deal with being spread here. That is the meaning of diaspora. Who is spread: humankind, because the end is nigh! The book (story would say too much) is set in the future. We have about three sorts of concsious beings: Fleshers, Robots and ‘virtual humans’ being in a computersystem, of whose outer parametres nothing is told.

    OK so far: We have a bit of interaction between these different life forms. We have the discovery that the solar system is NOT eternal and we have curious aliens all way around.

    The book does not pull. The plot is not well done, the personalities lack depth. The sourroundings are not explained properly, but in some detaisl it went beyond my horzon.

    The philosophical of some implications of a few more obscure scientific theories are examined VERY WELL. All in all a good read for everyone interested in Quantum theory, space travel, virtual life, multidimensionality and topological problems connected therewith.

    Caution: we have no real ending.

    And Jandy a D is a bit hard, isn’t it?


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