Fnord12 won't read it. He says if it takes me 3 tries and a website to get thru a book, he doesn't want to have anything to do with it. I don't think that's fair to poor Greg Egan. And anyway, you don't have to actually understand the math to understand the story. Despite my website reference, i think i only understood 1% of it all. So sad for me. Stoopid brain.
So, the plot. As provided by Amazon: "By the end of the second millennium, the human race has evolved into three distinct groups: conscious software programs known as citizens, sentient robots called gleisners, and unaltered humans or fleshers."
Actually, the fleshers are mostly genetically mutated/enhanced, but some remained unaltered. The book mainly follows the life of a citizen named Yatima. In the first half of the book, you see how Yatima starts as a sentient with no self-awareness - like a baby looking into a mirror for the first time - and evolves thru its experiences. The innocence/ignorance Yatima exhibits in the first few chapters are the best part, i think. Others' lives are often touched upon and later linked with Yatima's story.
The second half of the book deals with the discovery that the universe will soon be destroyed in a second Big Bang that nothing will survive. Yatima and others work towards finding a way to escape the outcome and this is where the math comes in. Hyperspheres. Five, six, nine dimensions. Oy.
I liked this book. I especially liked the math, but would definitely appreciate it if someone could sit down and draw me pictures to explain it. I also liked the interactions between the characters - how different must your frame of mind be when you can clone yourself and live completely separately from your clone for thousands of years, only to merge back into one identity in the future?
I think i liked it less than his other books, though. I think it was the ending. Sort of anti-climactic considering the whole "the end of the Universe" thing. I don't want to give away too much in case some of you want to read it (you know, the ones who aren't big weenies like FNORD). Let's just say that the ending is a quiet and calm affair. It fit. I wanted something more conclusive, mebbe, but it fit.
By min | July 27, 2006, 1:21 PM | Boooooks
*tee hee*. Math is hard.
Just wait for it to come out as a movie. I'm sure Rutger Hauer needs some more work in the SciFi movie industry. They could just try and make it into a sequel for "Omega Doom". I mean, just change the citizens and gleisners to Roms and Droids and you've got yourself a movie.