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on 20 July 2009
Four of these stories (Dark Integers ; Riding The Crocodile ; Glory ; Oceanic [together with Luminous]), make up the collection Dark Integers & Other Stories.
The other eight (Lost Continent ; Crystal Nights ; Steve Fever ; Induction ; Singleton ; Oracle ; Border Guards ; Hot Rock [together with TAP]), will be appearing
as Crystal Nights & Other Stories in September.
So here you have both these collections for the price of one.
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on 17 July 2014
Most writers these days seem to concentrate on one or the other. This was my first Greg Egan book, although I've followed up on it since. I actually got his name from a New Scientist article on "modern British SF" even though he's Australian. Excellent short stories - give him a try if you're not already familiar with his work.
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on 1 September 2009
Being a long time fan of Greg Egan's since his fantastic book Diaspora, I had grown a little dissatisfied with his more recent efforts up until Incandescent and now the brilliant collection Oceanic.

I would have to call this one of the best collections of short stories I've ever read. Thoroughly enjoyable, the stories collected within dive deep into hard sci fi while never losing the reader. Adventurous, while still making the reader think, yet always being firmly based in humanity and character.

Reading this collection is a pivotal moment. Any sci fi that deals with the expansion of humanity and doesn't deal with it in the way Egan does now seems old-fashioned and plain silly and evokes thoughts of 50s futurism and duck-and-cover absurdity. Greg Egans ideas are brilliantly simple to the point that once revealed to the reader it's hard to believe it isn't exactly what will happen.

I can't recommend this collection enough.
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on 3 February 2010
There are some great stories here and some very far out ideas. That said during some of the stories the author gets a bit carried away trying to make the science plausible, droning on for pages about quantum mathematics or multi-verse theory. He is obviously a very smart guy but I think he loses site of the fact he is writing science FICTION! I don't need to have my fiction proven, it just has to sound plausible! Its ironic that the author would spend so much time, in his story Singleton, trying to explain his idea of a quantum computer, shielded from quantum entanglement but then totally breeze over how they made perfect cyborg bodies! Or in his story Oracle he spends a good few pages having his characters debate whether machines can think by arguing the incompleteness of proof but he has them do it live on the BBC?! I guess the point I am making is that Mr Egan has a great imagination and a mind for a good yarn however the plausibility of his stories sometimes gets lost when he brings his mathematical, programing background to bear. In his eagerness to make the story plausible through personal knowledge I sometimes felt that he was forgetting the reader.
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on 20 August 2012
...but minus two stars for the Kindle edition, as the formatting of each paragraph has been deliberately set one line apart. This means each paragraph appears seperated, like different sections (and like this review), rather than connected to each other.

The other Kindle collections of Egan's short stories, Axiomatic and Luminous, do not feature this "feature", and are consequently more readable and like the actual paper books.

Hopefully whoever is publishing Greg Egan's stuff notices and corrects this ASAP.

In the meantime, the text is still definitely there, and if you aren't irritated by this fault, then enjoy this great collection.
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on 5 February 2010
Firstly; watch out for plot spoiler reviews!!
(it's not a mystery tour if you know where your heading)

Egan's work is 'Hard' Sci-Fi of the highest order. I give him the edge over Brian Aldis (my other favorite), as concepts are heavier and plots driven by 'rawer' science at a blistering pace.

His breadth of vision astounds; always extrapolating logically to the n'th degree. A modicum of effort may be required from the reader at times; but one is richly rewarded with a sense of awe, discovery and achievement. Each book is a Grand Odyssey.

Hold tight and don't look down, because he'll take you a long, long way from where you started....
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on 25 November 2009
Egan is something of a rarity in SF. He uses scientific theory beautifully and skillfully interwoven into believable contexts. He also manages to write believable and often world weary characters.

Reading an Egan novel or short story is a real journey of exploration and conceptual breakthrough- its also an education in the consequences of choice by individuals, political, scientific institutions & society based on the scientific ideology of our time.

If you are in any way interested in SF Egan is a must read.
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on 9 October 2009
It is always a great source of enjoyment when my favorite author publishes a new collection of short stories. In these, the flabbergasted reader can witness the evolution of Greg Egan the artificial intelligence/mathematician to a new breed of scientific philosopher. The philosopher ponders the genuinely possible futures of humanity as the scientist weaves a tale of intricate science. A rich, intelligent and sometimes visionary collection. (This substantial book has been produced in the US in two different smaller volumes: Dark Integers and Crystal Nights. It is cheaper to get this one-volume edition!) As usual, Grand Master Egan does not fail to absolutely fascinate. This is a must!
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With people always rushing around there are times when you're on a journey and only short story fiction will hit the spot and allow you to carry on. Presented here for the first time in one novel (although they have been presented in various magazines) are twelve short stories by Greg that will amaze, enthral and confound the reader each in different measures as he demonstrates various tricks, twists and above all masterful storytelling to the captivated audience. Well written as well as beautifully executed there's a tale in this novel for fans of virtually all subgenres of Science Fiction. A great book to own and something to give you those bite sized chunks that will help your breaks pass amazingly fast.
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on 3 December 2015
Excellent!
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