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Luminous [Paperback]

Greg Egan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 Feb 2008
LUMINOUS collects together one original story plus nine previously unpublished in book form. Greg Egan¿s short fiction is at the cutting edge of the genre. His stories range from near future predictions to far future, far space improvisations. His grasp of the latest scientific breakthroughs is unparalleled in science fiction. The stories include 'Transition Dreams', 'Cocoon', 'Our Lady of Chernobyl', the title story 'Luminous' and 'The Planck Drive'. Egan's particular interests range from the farther shores of chaos theory and black hole science to bio-technology and cloning.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (7 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082083
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 646,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Egan lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has won the John W. Campbell award for Best Novel and has been short listed for the Hugo three times.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Greg Egan is an Australian with a worldwide perspective--seven of the ten stories in this fine and thoughtful collection appeared in Britain's premier SF magazine Interzone and the rest in America's Asimov's SF Magazine. In a time when it's frequently claimed that SF holds no more surprises Egan casts a coldly innovative eye on old themes like the problem of consciousness: where in the human brain's intricate mess does the "I" actually live? He delivers shocking body-blows to received ideas in thought- experiment stories that like Jorge Luis Borges's philosophical squibs are booby- trapped with terrible truths and paradoxes. Standouts here include the title piece where a supercomputer built from pure light explores a defect in known mathematics that could smash not only the theoretical but the physical universe; "Silver Fire", an unspeakably bleak examination of our need for superstition, however irrational; "Reasons To Be Cheerful", exploring with chilling logic the implications of the likelihood that human emotions are "only" chemical states; "Cocoon", testing liberal sentiments to destruction with a biotechnology that might let parents choose only heterosexual kids; and "The Planck Dive", a one-way trip into a black hole that makes most previous SF versions of this ultimate bungee-jump seem naive. Egan's visions of the future glow with gloomy intellectual fire. Luminous indeed. --David Langford --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A stunning collection of ground-breaking sf stories from a master of the genre

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This new collection of short stories by Greg Egan delivers more of the hard, thoughtful, Australian Cyberpunk and Science Fiction that he is famous for.'Luminous' is more than just your average Cyberpunk techno-romp, Egan deals with the big issues. For instance, in 'Mitochondrial Eve', Egan invents the field of "quantum genopaleontology" in order to examine issues of religion, tribalism and racism. Another story, 'Mr Volilition', draws on Minsky's pandimonium model of the mind, and describes the effect on a murderous theif when a neural monitor dispels the myth of free will. The title story, 'Luminous', deals with the very nature of reality, as two mathematicians struggle to prevent a pockets of "alien mathmatics" slipping into the hands of a corporation with sinister motives. Great stuff ! Highly recomended. I look forward to his next novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci fi for the 21st century. 25 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback
Not being a big science fiction fan I was suprised how much I enjoyed this collection of short stories.The author is obviously a very intelligent and knowlegeble guy where cutting edge science is concerned.Although some of the science bits went way above my head (paticurlary the 'Luminous' story which deals with some very complex math theory) underneath all the science jargon are some very intresting studies of the human conditon such as what really is happiness in the story 'Reasons to be cheerful'.The stories are not bogged down with the usual sci-fi cliches which tend to put me off this genre and in the main are very inventive and intresting.Most of the stories really made me think and ponder on what some of the issues of the future might be.All in all even if you don't usually enjoy Sci-fi but do enjoy stories which get your brain going give this great book a try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 27 Nov 2000
Format:Paperback
SF has long been described as the genre of "What if", meaning that most science fiction stories take as their premise a hypothetical question such as "what if there were a male birth control pill" and use it as the grist for a story.
In that sense, Egan's work is definitely in the classic mould. The primary difference is that the "what if's" that Egan works with tend to be on the bleeding edge of science and philosophy. The amazing thing is how the human (indeed, humanistic) dimesion manages to shine through.
Some have complained that Egan is too militantly a rationalist. One can just as easily say that he's a champion of rationality. Your opinion of his work is likely to be influenced by your opinion of the broader subject. Certainly if you aren't comfortable with the skewering of such things as postmodernism or religious sentimentalism, you'll probably find his stories to be a source of irritation. If that doesn't bother you, I would recommend this selection of short stories without hesitation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ok 25 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok .. Short stories .. Quite good .. Worth a read if u r a fan so give it a go
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must be the best short stories book ever 15 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback
I first read this book ten years ago and I keep coming back to it. The plots are very good and it's obvious the writer has a scientific background and he's trying to go 'ahead of time' and predict what scientist will be up to in the next 20 years. Also, the characters are very developed which is so rare in short stories. I especially like "Reasons to be cheerful", the happiness recipe (choice and chemicals...).
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