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Permutation City: A Novel Paperback – September 16, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite my lack of qualification as a literary critic, this book seems to me to be somewhat weaker in style as a literary work than as a scientifically based hard science fiction speculation involving important sociological and morality issues.
On that basis, I strongly recommend reading the other reviews, some of which are very insightful, and will inform you about whether this book is for you or not.
What this book ISN'T is a flashy science fiction romp with action and adrenaline for just for the sake of excitement. What we DO have is a deeply thought provoking series of events and perspectives that challenge how evolving technology can redefine or completely do away with our current concepts of humanity.
My only real cons are that Greg goes to such lengths to explain and take you to each of his thought points and conclusions, that the actual "story" is relatively light. Now, if you enjoy staying in those thoughts and sort of letting them gestate, this won't be much of a problem. If however, these thoughts don't resonate with you, you might find yourself waiting for the next "thing" to happen.
Sort of on the other end of that, I felt that the conclusion of the book was a bit hasty. When considering the effort that went into making sure that the reader has bought and understood the rules of the world, the end felt a tad rushed and unearned. It's not to say that it's bad by any means, it just felt as if SOMETHING that fit a more typical sci fi ending had to happen just for the sake of it, rather than the story logically leading there.
The fact that this book was written in 1994 blew my mind, as many of the technologies mentioned seem like logical progressions of things that have only become common in the past 10 or so years, so the foresight alone is incredible. All in all this book is a must read for any hard science fiction fan. While not perfect, enough love and attention clearly went into it to add it to your collection
This book and this author are one of my most frequent recommendations to my friends, especially millenial (I am a geezer). But not to all: Enjoying technologyand both knowing and enjoying learning about scientific concepts is critical. High school physics or computer science and reading about current events in the science pages of, say, The New York Times is enough. So too, if you enjoyed reading Carl Sagan's or Stephen Hawking's popular books then you are in the potential audience.