science fiction at its purest.
The era of the transhuman has begun: Entire communities of AIs
are born, live, and die entirely within artificial environments.
Robots of born of human sentience mine the asteroids and prepare
for the first interstellar flights. The few remaining enclaves
of ‘fleshers’ are dominated by the genetically enhanced. The
very definition of what it means to be human is rapidly
expanding, the entire species is heading in a thousand
directions are once.
begins at the end of the 30th century, with the birth
of an AI in the Konishi polis. As the main character comes of
age, we see his life journey mirrored by the species as a whole.
Through vis biography, the story of humanity’s future unfolds
across a tapestry of millennia: A bold, startlingly vivid vision
of our first, tentative steps into the greater universe beyond
the cradle of our pale sun.
From the very
first page, as he describes the AI’s birth of consciousness
with lavish insight, Egan dazzles you with his ideas. Here, with
extraordinary detail, you will read of scientific revolutions,
technological marvels, titanic journeys, startlingly alien life,
unimaginable tragedies, cyclopean art, and vast accomplishments.
Egan takes a canvas of mammoth proportions and paints upon it
And yet, despite
this astronomic and captivating backdrop, Egan weaves a human
drama out of the seemingly inhuman. Where most authors would be
satisfied with telling a Story About the Scenery, Egan makes it
clear that the setting is just one of the dimensions to his
novel: Characters, events, and science are all perfectly
balanced, and the result is a seamless whole. Everything seems
to fall out of Egan’s prose with perfect, ethereal grace –
unconstructed and unconstrained.
thought: I picked up DIASPORA on the recommendation of Elf M.
Sternberg, who said: “Everything since then has been a
commentary.” Well, that’s not quite true, but I’m
amazed at the degree to which it can be said. In a
stunningly slim volume, Egan has created a gestalt of the genre
and pushed its frontiers in a dozen different directions.
For a long time
now there have only been nine books on my Top 10 list of science
fiction novels because I could never quite put my finger on a
book which seemed to fully deserve a place with the other titles
on the list. With DIASPORA, I’ve found the tenth book.