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Diaspora (original 1997; edition 1998)
by Greg Egan
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061057983, Mass Market Paperback)In the 30th century, few humans remain on Earth. Most have downloaded themselves into robot bodies or solar-system-spanning virtual realities, escaping death--or so they believe, until the collision of nearby neutron stars threatens life in every form.
Diaspora, written by Hugo Award and John W. Campbell Memorial Award winner Greg Egan, transcends millennia and universes in the tradition of Poul Anderson's Tau Zero, Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix Plus, Camille Flammarion's Omega, and Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men. Diaspora is packed with mind-bending ideas extrapolated from cutting-edge cosmology, physics, and consciousness theory to create an astonishing hard-SF novel inhabited by very strange yet always believable characters. Diaspora is why people read SF. --Cynthia Ward
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:53 -0400)
Behold the Orphan. Born into a world that is not a world. A digital being grown from a mind seed, a genderless cybernetic citizen in a vast network of probes, satellites, and servers knotting the Solar System into one scape, from the outer planets to the fiery surface of the Sun. Since the Introdus in the 21st century, humanity has reconfigured itself drastically. Most chose immortality, joining the polises to become conscious software. Others opted for gleisners: disposable, renewable robotic bodies that remain in contact with the physical world of force and friction. Many of these have left the Solar System forever in fusion drive starships. And there are the holdouts. The fleshers left behind in the muck and jungle of Earth - some devolved into dream-apes; others cavorting in the seas or the air; while the statics and bridgers try to shape out a roughly human destiny.But the complacency of the citizens is shattered when an unforeseen disaster ravages the fleshers, and reveals the possibility that the polises themselves might be at risk from bizarre astrophysical processes that seem to violate fundamental laws of nature. The Orphan joins a group of citizens and flesher refugees in a search for the knowledge that will guarantee their safety...
(summary from another edition)
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