Permutation City

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 review
Paul Durham keeps making Copies of himself: software simulations of his own brain and body which can be run in virtual reality. Maria Deluca is addicted to the Autoverse: a virtual world that follows a simple set of rules as its “laws of physics”. Paul makes Maria a very strange offer: design a seed for an entire virtual biosphere — a feat far beyond the capacity of all the world’s computers. More
Available ebook formats: epub
About Greg Egan

I am a science fiction writer and computer programmer.

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Reviews of Permutation City by Greg Egan

Benoit Goudreault-Emond reviewed on Oct. 5, 2020

Heh, what did I just read, exactly? It was pretty wild.

This is a very good book, especially if you like your science hard. The characterization is a bit "cold": none of the protagonists are all that likable, but that's not the main point of the novel. The main point is to expose some pretty wacky theories which I am not sure I followed 100%.

That said, I can say that while reading it, I felt *smart* - because I could follow most of the author's explanations, and the concepts were not exactly simple. The dust theory, a major part of the book, is not necessarily to be taken seriously; indeed, it seems the author himself does not. It serves more as a thought experiment, and a rather grand one at that.

What if cognition transcended the frontiers of our reality? This is basically the question asked here.

I'm left a bit disappointed by the ending, which asks more questions than it answers, but this is not a book which wants to hold your hand. It's unforgiving, true, but that's what makes it so enjoyable.

Despite my feelings left unfulfilled, this is still a 5/5 for me. I'm sure I'll read it again and remember it very fondly.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
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