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Book Cover
Author Burnham, Karen, 1979-

Title Greg Egan / Karen Burnham
Published Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2014
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource
Series Modern masters of science fiction
Modern masters of science fiction.
Contents ""Cover""; ""Title Page""; ""Copyright page""; ""Contents""; ""Preface""; ""Introduction""; ""Chapter 1 Writing Radical Hard SF""; ""Chapter 2 Ethical Standards""; ""Chapter 3 Identity and Consciousness""; ""Chapter 4 Scientific Analysis""; ""Chapter 5 Science and Society""; ""Interview with Greg Egan""; ""A Greg Egan Bibliography""; ""Works Cited""; ""Index""
Summary "Greg Egan (1961- ) publishes works that challenge readers with rigorous, deeply-informed scientific speculation. He unapologetically delves into mathematics, physics, and other disciplines in his prose, putting him in the vanguard of the hard science fiction renaissance of the 1990s. A working physicist and engineer, Karen Burnham is uniquely positioned to provide an in-depth study of Egan's science-heavy oeuvre. Her survey of the author's career covers novels like Permutation City and Schild's Ladder and the Hugo Award-winning novella "Oceanic," analyzing how Egan used cutting-edge scientific theory to explore ethical questions and the nature of humanity. As Burnham shows, Egan's collected works constitute a bold artistic statement: that narratives of science are equal to those of poetry and drama, and that science holds a place in the human condition as exalted as religion or art. The volume includes a rare interview with the famously press-shy Egan covering his works, themes, intellectual interests, and thought processes"-- Provided by publisher
"Greg Egan is one of the "hardest" hard science fiction writers of the last two decades. Contemporary mathematics, physics, and computer science inspire his work, which extends from the near future to times millions of years hence and from distant galaxies to particle physics. Egan is perhaps best known for his novels in which some or all of the main characters are software constructs. In Permutation City (1992), Diaspora (1999) and Schild's Ladder (2002), Egan presses hard on questions of consciousness and self-identity by presuming that computers can successfully replicate all the parts and functions of a human brain, but without all the messy biology. Persons can then "copy" themselves, diverge, and if necessary, reboot. Even flesh-and-blood humans have a "qusp" in their skull, a quantum computer that encodes themselves. If something happens to their bodies, the qusp is used to transfer them into a new one. The extent to which people choose to be physical or to exist in purely digital forms becomes a lifestyle choice. Questions of ethics are as fundamental to Egan's writing as questions of science. He has written a host of stories set in the relatively near future investigating questions of genetic engineering, immigration, government surveillance, drug control, implants, racism, media manipulation, corporate warfare, bioterrorism, and the right to die. Egan is also famously reclusive. He does not allow photographs and takes extensive precautions to protect his privacy. This adds to interest in him and his work. He has won or been nominated for most of the awards available to science fiction writers"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Egan, Greg, 1961- -- Criticism and interpretation.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0252096290 (electronic bk.)
9780252096297 (electronic bk.)