Diaspora

Diaspora

Book - 1997
Average Rating:
4
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Publisher: London : Millennium, 1997.
ISBN: 9780752809250
0752809253
9781857984385
1857984382
9780575082090
Branch Call Number: SCIENCE FICTION
Characteristics: 295 p. ;,24 cm.

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ChristchurchLib Jun 09, 2016

By 2975, Homo sapiens has evolved into three distinct subspecies: two, the disembodied polises and the robotic gleisers, are sentient AIs who exist in a purely digital state; the third, fleshers, possess human brains encased in organic bodies. Diaspora follows Yatima, a spontaneously generated, a... Read More »


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isaachar
Dec 15, 2016

The good: The hard science fiction concepts in this book were interesting. The idea of a distant future where some humans have digitized their memories and consciousness alone is an interesting-but-common concept in science fiction. What makes this book different is that this concept is extrapolated to an odd but believable end. Some of these digital humans live on in gigantic server stations in an artificial reality, and have even learned to reproduce human intelligence without physiology. Others live in our reality in robotic bodies, expanding into the cosmos without the risks that space poses for human biology. There are also remnants of biological humans that have that practiced cosmetic and adaptive biological engineering to such an extent that many cannot communicate with each other without intermediaries. Yet all remain 'human', and are subject to the same fears, motivations, and history driven cultures as modern humans. This was an interesting concept to read about.

The bad: As other reviewers have said, the jargon in this book is offsetting and will require research for readers without backgrounds in physics, computer science and psychology. Another problem was that it was hard to remain wrapped up in the story after the halfway mark of the book. I won't spoil it, but the relationships and history of the different humanities takes second seat to hunting the origins of a massive extinction event. This event takes the story on a philosophical path that was nice to read about, but nowhere near as interesting as the exploration of humanity the book starts off with.

AL_ELAINE Nov 29, 2016

This is an interesting read, super-technical and jargon-filled. Get your notebook handy because it has biology, chemistry, robotics, astronomy, and physics concepts that will blow your mind, taking the description "richly detailed" to another level.

ChristchurchLib Jun 09, 2016

By 2975, Homo sapiens has evolved into three distinct subspecies: two, the disembodied polises and the robotic gleisers, are sentient AIs who exist in a purely digital state; the third, fleshers, possess human brains encased in organic bodies. Diaspora follows Yatima, a spontaneously generated, agender orphan whose consciousness evolves as ve searches for the Transmuters, an ancient and incorporeal race with profound knowledge of the universe. For more SF that explores issues of identity and the nature of existence, check out Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy, which begins with Ancillary Justice.

dresdnhope Sep 08, 2012

This is definitely a difficult book. Greg Egan puts the "hard" back into the hard science fiction genre. The myriad of ideas in the book, however, is well worth the trouble.

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