- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (7 Feb. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575082070
- ISBN-13: 978-0575082076
- Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 2.5 x 14.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Permutation City Paperback – 7 Feb 2008
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What would happen if you could copy your memories and personality into a computer generated universe, live there, and return? Greg Egan, author of Quarantine explores the possibilities in this suspenseful book. Battles rage on different levels as computer personalities on a locked chip fight to escape. Meanwhile sticky legal questions are raised in the real world. Think about the copyright laws, and what about the legal rights of computer programs? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Few science fiction writers can run as far with the implications as Greg Egan. Copies are just the premise, and before long we are in much deeper waters as one man begins to question the fundamental nature of reality. It's a magnificent exploration of the true implications of computationalism. If you feel the same when you're scanned and run on a supercomputer, would it feel the same to be run on a billion abacus over a billion years? To be accidentally implemented by the random shuffling of atoms across countless universes? Go read it and feel your mind boggle.
There are several other themes, of lesser importance, but fascinating in their own right, notably the "Autoverse": A piece of software that allows you to have complete control over your own virtual mini-universe - a world capable of modelling objects as complex as bacteria, down to the level of individual atoms.
Well that's the sci part. The human story behind all this doesn't have much intrinsic interest - the characters are vehicles for the ideas, and often one gets the impression that it is Egan who is speaking, not the character (they all seem to be uncannily good at making detached, intelligent comments on whatever is happening). This aspect didn't really bother me, as I think the ideas deserved some detached, intelligent commentary anyway.Read more ›
This is just a SF book, but it has still changed my perspective of the world.
Read it and then think.
If the following terms mean something to you, then you will absolutely love this book. If not, you should Google each of them, then read this book as quickly as possible. You will never think the same way again.
Cellular automata (Conway's Game of Life or "Wolfram NKS")
"I exist because I exist." (You'll get it, trust me...)
However, myself being a research student in the field of brain-inspired artificial intelligence, this is definitely my favourite scifi book so far and I totally recommend it!
It has evoked countless discussions with my friends about various philosophical issues and changed my views on many things.
Can't recommend this one highly enough. And as someone else here says, it gets better with every read. The tiny details you may skip over the first time play such an important part in the ideas Mr. Egan is trying to convey.
The opening anagram poem is fantastic in itself... almost a perfect description of the concepts in itself, and presented as the work of a 'madman'.
Beautiful work 10/10
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is too much scientific language in this for my taste. I soon got lost in the plot. The author never uses one word if four or five will do. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Michael Tomlinson
One of the deepest sci-fis I've read. And it left me feeling like an enlightened idiot.
This is hard sci-fi. Not the opposite of space opera, just f****** hard to read. Read more
Much food for thought and exciting too. This is a book I come back to every few years and enjoy reading again. The ideas in it are as current as when I first read it. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mr. David Mason
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and it's certainly thought provoking, but beyond that I've really nothing to add to Neil Fitzgerald's and "A customer"'s most helpful... Read morePublished on 11 Sept. 2014 by DB
If you are a lover of thought provoking science fiction then this book is for you. Beautiful read that sets the imagination running wild.Published on 8 April 2014 by Danny Brown
Permutation City is a brilliant book I can highly recommend to any scifi fan who has an interest in scientific and philosophical themes. Read morePublished on 25 Mar. 2014 by CloseToCircular
Arrived earlier than expected in great condition - looked like it hadn't been touched! Slight crease on the spine but that's pretty normal, could even happen to a book in the book... Read morePublished on 13 Aug. 2012 by kza
I found this to be more a philosophical investigation of virtual reality than a story that exposes concepts. Read morePublished on 14 July 2012 by Nick
This is what all hard sci-fi should be like - brilliant. I full of great concepts and ideas, Greg Egan is a very intelligent ideas man - and this is jam-packed full of great ideas... Read morePublished on 6 Dec. 2011 by TalkingAfricanApe