- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 5 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 25 Nov. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00GMOI3DE
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Diaspora Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
In the past authors have felt obliged to patronise their readership by providing a certain amount of explanation of the science involved. To be fair to the average readership this is sometimes necessary and indeed Egan provides a glossary at the end of the book which defines some of the terms and concepts explored.
Even so this novel, described by one critic as ‘more science than fiction’, although a brilliant and rewarding piece, is in places very hard work, particularly when Egan goes off into pages of lengthy and eloquent scientific arpeggio.
The basic premise is that toward the end of the 30th century, Humanity has schismed into several forms: the Polises (a polis being a virtual city of digitised human brain structures), Gleisners (similarly digitised humans, but who choose to inhabit physical bodies) and Fleshers (who are physically human but may or may not have genetically engineered their structure). There are also extreme degrees of difference and divergence within these three main groups.
The aftermath of a cosmic disaster forces the polises and the gleisners to send a thousand copies of their populated cities (with copies of the inhabitants) out into the galaxy. There it is discovered – from a vanished Elder Race known as The Transmuters who have left coded messages locked within the structures of neutrons - that a similar collapse is about to occur at the core of the galaxy. One millions of times more powerful than the original disaster; one which will engulf the entire galaxy.Read more ›
Post-human civilisation is a land where most science fiction writers fear to tread. Egan, however, charges in like the tourist guide to the end of the universe, training the spotlight of his fearsome narrative skill on all its most interesting and relevant features.
Egan deals with such abstract, difficult concepts that it seems miraculous that he can explain them at all, let alone with such clarity that a lay reader like myself has no trouble following his thread. That he also manages to tell a genuinely emotive story in this strange and alien world is even more surprising. Readers should be advised however that the first quarter of the book is quite hard going - stick with it, you won't be sorry you did. Towards the end the book becomes so intense that you won't be able to put it down, no matter how many multi-dimensional perceptual spaces or quantum-level machinery descriptions Egan can throw in to see if you're still paying attention. Wonder after astrophysical wonder flies from the page, and I guarantee that if you make it past the halfway point, you'll finish it wanting more.
Hundreds of years from now, 'humanity' is mostly a collective of self-generating, autonomous software running on underground computers. When an unexpected cosmic event kills off all remaining organic life on earth, and also shakes the foundations of known physics, it stirs this somewhat decadent posthumanity to launch these 'polises' on a grand quest to the stars, to find out what happened, whether it will happen again, and if there is any way of escaping it.
They find the rather bleak answers to their questions, and much more besides, in a tale so unlike anything else, that it can barely be called a novel. Instead, it's a travelogue through realms of incredible physics, concisely and, if you're prepared to make a bit of effort, very clearly explained.
A lot of the science is doubtless borderline gibberish (although you get a bibliography at the end which includes at least one scientific paper!), but that's not important. This is art, and what Egan has done is used the language of contemporary maths, physics and occasionally biology to conjure up artefacts so poetic, so beautiful in concept, that they demand to be believed.
And, bravely, he's left it at that, challenging the reader either to enjoy the exuberance of his worlds as much as he does, or go and do something else instead.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can be a bit heavy going and sometimes I felt as if Egan had lost the story in the detail. On the whole, thoroughly enjoyable.Published 15 months ago by arabsandals
Great SF with trans-Humanism themes, got a little hard SF for me at some points but that's just my personally preference, Greg Egan is a big ideas man.Published 22 months ago by Mr. Ojo Marsh-bardrick
I must admit I did have to Google some of the quantum physics concepts a few times, but persevering I found this to be utterly brilliant. Read morePublished on 8 May 2013 by Paul
This is a book I still think about when I consider my place in this universe. The way Greg Egan extrapolates real-world concepts to their logical, but fantastical conclusions is... Read morePublished on 21 Aug. 2012 by Dylan Hall
Diaspora reads more like a series of interconnected short stories than a solid novel like Egan's Permutation City or Quarantine. Read morePublished on 11 Oct. 2011 by 2theD
Oh lord. I came to Diaspora after having it recommended by several friends. I'm not a MASSIVE fan of sci-fi but had, once, greatly enjoyed the Big (cheesy? Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2011 by Mrs Quoad
The story idea is a good one - the book starts off without explaining a damn thing - so its a good puzzle to solve; but just as you manage that - it goes into chapters of pseudo... Read morePublished on 26 May 2010 by CjW
I enjoyed this tale of Virtual life and space / universe travel. A couple of things irritated me, the use of 'vis, ver, vim' as personal pronouns and the unnecessarily detailed... Read morePublished on 30 April 2010 by StephenMB