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by Greg Egan
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006105481X, Mass Market Paperback)
The good news is that you have just awakened into Eternal Life. You are going to live forever. Immortality is a reality. A medical miracle? Not exactly.
The bad news is that you are a scrap of electronic code. The world you see around you, the you that is seeing it, has been digitized, scanned, and downloaded into a virtual reality program. You are a Copy that knows it is a copy.
The good news is that there is a way out. By law, every Copy has the option of terminating itself, and waking up to normal flesh-and-blood life again. The bail-out is on the utilities menu. You pull it down...
The bad news is that it doesn't work. Someone has blocked the bail-out option. And you know who did it. You did. The other you. The real you. The one that wants to keep you here forever.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:20 -0400)
What happens when your digital self overpowers your physical self? A life in Permutation City is unlike any life to which you're accustomed. You have Eternal Life, the power to live forever. Immortality is a real thing, just not the thing you'd expect. Life is just electronic code. You have been digitized, scanned, and downloaded into a virtual reality program. A Copy of a Copy. For Paul Durham, he keeps making Copies of himself, but the issue is that his Copies keep changing their minds and shutting themselves down. You also have Maria Deluca, who is nothing but an Autoverse addict. She spends every waking minute with the cellular automaton known as the Autoverse, a world that lives by the mathematical "laws of physics." Paul makes Maria an offer to design and drop a seed into the Autoverse that will allow her to indulge in her obsession. There is, however, one catch: you can no longer terminate, bail out, and remove yourself. You will never be your normal flesh-and-blood life again. The question then becomes: Is this what she really wants? Is this what we really want? From the brilliant mind of Greg Egan, Permutation City, first published in 1994, comes a world of wonder that makes you ask if you are you, or is the Copy of you the real you?
Is this you?
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