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About 60 years from now, SeeNet journalist and narrator Andrew Worth (he has a camera and computer software hardwired into his body) muscles in on a colleague's assignment to cover a physics convention on the artificial coral island, Stateless, at which Nobel laureate Violet Mosala is expected to announce a watertight Theory of Everything (TOE). The event, however, is complicated by the presence of several noisy anti-science cult groups--among them the mysterious and secretive Anthrocosmologists who believe that whoever first formulates the TOE will become the Keystone in which the completed TOE, mingling information theory with particle physics, will actually change the structure of the universe. Andrew's Anthrocosmology contact, Akili Kuwale, a ``gender migrant'' (s/he has no breasts or sexual organs), warns that a particularly violent, extreme faction intends to assassinate Violet to prevent the Aleph Moment when the completed TOE's effects kick in. Soon, Andrew falls sick--the extremists have infected him, intending that he pass the virus on to Violet; she falls ill, but has arranged for supercomputers to complete her calculations and disseminate the results. As the extremists redouble their violent efforts, Stateless's former owners send mercenaries to recapture the island, while a sort of reverse echo of the Aleph Moment results in a wave of mass insanity, or Distress, whose victims apparently have all turned into Keystones! Challenging, well informed, and iconoclastic, but also abstruse and often heavy: admirable rather than enjoyable, but an impressive first hardcover nonetheless. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Very strong start in a familiar city of tomorrow changed by broadband communications and biotech. Interesting character development. Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2001 by Gregg Silk
If you like the "Killer B's" (David Brin, Gregory Benford, or Greg Bear) you'll like this. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2000 by Glenn H. Reynolds
Most of the time when I read Sci-Fi I thought that it was ridiculous, until now! Greg Egan writes Sci-Fi the way that it should be written. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2000 by Edna Eudave-Jones
Greg Egan's "Distress" is a most unusual work of science fiction. Most of the story takes place on Earth in the middle of the next century, but on an artificially... Read morePublished on July 29 2000 by Brian D. Rubendall
From the opening "revival" scene that I had to read three times to the final page, Distress was a great read. Read morePublished on Dec 3 1999 by Debra
Epistemology and TOE metaphysics stretched together in the best work of fiction I have ever read on the subjects. Read morePublished on Aug. 9 1999
In "Distress", Greg Egan has provided a thought-provoking vision of the future, and a chilling view of the essence of reality. Read morePublished on July 5 1999
The exposition blew my mind more than anything I've read in a long time - it's soemthing you have to read. Read morePublished on June 25 1999