Sunday, November 07, 2004


By Greg Egan

Greg Egan is a science fiction author who writes stories with actual science in them. The kind of science that you can only really get your head around if you've got a degree in physics. Luminous is a collection of his short stories. It's definitely not light reading, but very interesting if you can plow through and understand all the technical stuff.

The title story is a discussion of weird questions about philosophy of mathematics, dressed up with a few gun wielding assassins and a bit of corporate espionage to make it a proper science fiction story. He shouldn't have bothered as the story is really quite dull compared to the mind bending ideas. 'Transition Dreams' is probably my favorite story of the lot, it returns to the subject of some of Egan's earlier novels, people making electronic copies of their brains and putting them into robot bodies. The ending is a particularly twisted mind fuck.

Some of the other stories are a bit week, 'Mitochondrial Eve', 'Silver Fire' and 'Our Lady of Chernobyl' all make the same point, "Hippies are stupid and would kill us all if they could", a sentiment I agree with, but the stories come across as being a bit hysterical and preachy.

Other than that it's a pretty good book, if you've got a reasonable scientific background.

No comments: