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Luminous Paperback – Feb 7 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (Feb. 7 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082083
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #542,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

SALES POINTS Cutting edge science fiction from 'one of the genre's great ideas men' THE TIMES Bio-science is extremely commercial sf sub genre Never one short of startling ideas, Egan's latest, greatest novel presents us with hard SF miracles... Remember to keep your mouth closed when reading this or your jaw might drop clean off' STARBURST; 'Succeeds wonderfully in expanding the mind...rewards the reader with ever expanding vistas of wonder...The Universe may be stranger than we can imagine, but it's going to have a tough time outdoing Egan' NEW SCIENTIST '

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Gets the neurons firing double time Dec 17 2004
By monkey mind - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent collection of hard sci-fi shorts. The stories start on a groudwork of scientific/mathematical speculations and soar from there, exploring a diverse range of themes. Egan can truly envelope you in another world, and show the consequences of the story's central idea.

Anyone with an innate curiousity for science/mathematics and a love of sci fi should definately check these out. I'm a little surprised that I'm the first reviewer.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Luminous - Greg Egan July 31 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Luminous : Chaff - Greg Egan
Luminous : Mitochondrial Eve - Greg Egan
Luminous : Luminous - Greg Egan
Luminous : Mister Volition - Greg Egan
Luminous : Cocoon - Greg Egan
Luminous : Transition Dreams - Greg Egan
Luminous : Silver Fire - Greg Egan
Luminous : Reasons to Be Cheerful - Greg Egan
Luminous : Our Lady of Chernobyl - Greg Egan
Luminous : The Planck Dive - Greg Egan

An agent is sent to kill a geneticist who is working in a druglord controlled stronghold in the jungles of Colombia, and working on important brain altering research.

3.5 out of 5

An organisation is trying to trace a common maternal ancestor for recent humanity. A woman's geneticist boyfriend is dragged into this, and embarks on a long-term supercomputer project to track this.

A racist equivalent for men springs up, and the researching man decides to get subversive.

4 out of 5

A pair of researchers have found a defect in mathematics, where something can be true and false at the same time. This leads to them going on the run to keep the power of changing reality out of corporate hands, and leads them to a startling discovery.

"Alison gave me a strange look. "You still don't get it, do you, Bruno? You're still thinking like a Platonist. The universe has only been around for fifteen billion years. It hasn't had time to create infinities. The far side can't go on forever-because somewhere beyond the defect, there are theorems that don't belong to any system. Theorems that have never been touched, never been tested, never been rendered true or false.

"And if we have to reach beyond the existing mathematics of the universe in order to surround the far side . . . then that's what we'll do. There's no reason why it shouldn't be possible-just so long as we get there first.""

5 out of 5

A man steals a brain patch, and it is blackmarket, called Pandemonium, so no-one knows what it does. He tries it anywhere, and is quite severely affected.

4 out of 5

A private policeman investigates a bombing of a biological research centre looking into natal protection of babies, when he stumbles across the fact of the company moving anyone not died in the wool hetero away from the project, and realises they are also experimenting with preventing non-hetero births by controlling maternal stress factors.

4.5 out of 5

A man is creeped out when he finds out that while being frozen and scanned to be given software immortality as a Gleisner Robot, that there will be dreams involved.

3.5 out of 5

A CDC researcher looks into the agonising titular disease, and has to track it through a travelling dance and music scene, where a cult of sorts has grown up around it.

4 out of 5

A boy discovers he has a serious brain tumour, and it was causing him to be amazingly happy. Removed, he becomes despondent, and undergoes a new and extensive treatment eventually, with a form of brain network, to try and get back to a more useful life many years later.

4.5 out of 5

A man is hired to find a radiocative religious icon. The search turns deadly.

3.5 out of 5

Some polis residents, Diaspora style, perform a highly complex experiment regarding quantum physics and existence.

4 out of 5
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
great NEW science fiction April 18 2006
By AlexJB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
greg egan is one of the few authors who's really breaking into new territory in "hard science" fiction. Luminous is a collection of shorts; like so much writing in that style, they just start to open up an idea, which can sometimes be frustrating, but it's all good stuff.

themes include speculation about the future results of our work with genetic manipulation, microbiology, neuroscience, genetics, nanotech. egan also has a website with 'supplemental materials' to back up the great stuff he writes about.

this is definitely not cowboys in space, or the same old robot stories.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Frustratingly opinionated Sept. 5 2012
By Michael Shulman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like." -- attributed to Abraham Lincoln

I'm not talking about liking or not liking science. I love science; I do it for a living. But based on reading these stories, I conclude that Greg Egan has some definite opinions on other than strictly scientific subjects, such as:

1. Human consciousness is determined entirely by chemical reactions in the brain.

2. Life is essentially meaningless, and any sort of religious or spiritual endeavor that says otherwise can't be stamped out too soon.

3. The great mass of people are stupid, gullible, superstitious, and bigoted.

4. Items (1) and (2) are clear to any intelligent person, but because of item (3), the intelligent people don't stand much of a chance.

If you also hold these opinions, you may enjoy these stories. But if not, you may feel that some of these stories range from ridiculous to offensive. When Egan is trying to make a point, he doesn't take any chances on your missing it.

True, not all of these stories are infected with his sermonizing, and he definitely has some neat ideas. The title story is one of the better ones, and I'm glad I bought the collection in order to read that. However, on balance I found the collection rather more frustrating than fun to read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Visionary, Intelligent Hard Science Fiction May 13 2008
By Judah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Egan has a magnificent imagination, because one hundred years from now this collection of short stories will still contain offerings within the realm of hard science fiction. I can read collections by Asimov and think 'how quaint, technology is already ahead of those assumptions,' but Egan writes centuries ahead.

The book challenged me as reader by making me think about issues I never considered, but may be relevant in a few dozen decades (Transition dreams, cortisone blockers in the womb.) I can't ask for more than that from my hard science fiction.

While I didn't like all the stories (Our Lady of Chernobyl), the good parts redefined my expectations. Five stars. A collection hard sci-fi fans should not miss.

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