Monday, October 28, 2019

The Best of Greg Egan

The Best of Greg Egan by Greg Egan
Subterranean Press: 10/31/19
eBook review copy; 736 pages
deluxe edition ISBN-13: 9781596069428

The Best of Greg Egan by Greg Egan is a very highly recommended collection of twenty stories spanning 1990 to 2019. Egan is a Modern Master of science fiction from Australia and all of these stories are winners.
The twenty stories in this collection are arranged chronologically and were all chosen by Egan as being the best of those covering his career from the last thirty years. As Egan writes in the afterward: "If there is a single thread running through the bulk of the stories here, it is the struggle to come to terms with what it will mean when our growing ability to scrutinize and manipulate the physical world reaches the point where it encompasses the substrate underlying our values, our memories, and our identities. While the prospect of engineering our minds might still seem remote, anyone who has read a few case studies by the late Oliver Sacks will understand that we have already confronted the materiality of the self in the starkest terms."

These are all intelligent, hard science fiction stories with technical and scientific advancements as an integral part of the plot, but they also explore relationships, personal identity, and morality of the characters. The writing is exceptional and intelligent. Some of the stories are interconnected. All of them have well-developed, diverse and interesting characters. This is a door-stopper of a collection but it was well worth the time invested in reading it. For all of you who enjoy and appreciate hard science fiction, The Best of Greg Egan would make a great addiction to your science fiction collection. This is an amazing collection and I enjoyed every story.

Contents include: Learning to Be Me; Axiomatic; Appropriate Love; Into Darkness; Unstable Orbits in the Space of Lies; Closer; Chaff; Luminous; Silver Fire; Reasons to Be Cheerful; Oceanic; Oracle; Singleton; Dark Integers; Crystal Nights; Zero for Conduct; Bit Players; Uncanny Valley; 3-adica; Instantiation; and an Afterword.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Subterranean Press

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