The long-awaited new novel from Greg Egan! Hugo Award-winning author Egan returns to the field with Incandescence, a new novel of hard SF. The Amalgam spans nearly the entire galaxy, and is composed of innumerable beings from a wild variety of races, some human or near it, some entirely other. The one place that they cannot go is the bulge, the bright, hot center of the galaxy. There dwell the Aloof, who for millions of years have deflected any and all attempts to communicate with or visit them. So when Rakesh is offered an opportunity to travel within their sphere, in search of a lost race, he cannot turn it down. Roi is a member of that lost race, which is not only lost to the Amalgam, but lost to itself. In their world, there is but toil, and history and science are luxuries that they can ill afford. Rakesh's journey will take him across millennia and light years. Roi's will take her across vistas of learning and discovery just as vast.
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Greg Egan is a computer programmer, and the author of the acclaimed SF novels Permutation City, Diaspora, Teranesia, Quarantine, and the Orthogonal trilogy, all published by Night Shade Books. He has won the Hugo Award as well as the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Egan’s short fiction has been published in a variety of places, including Interzone, Asimov’s, and Nature. He lives in Australia.
The Milky Way has been thoroughly explored and cataloged, and journeying among its networked worlds, called the Amalgam, is a simple matter of digital transmission. People in the Amalgam exist indefinitely in digital form, able to assume any race when they are “embodied,” millennia passing as if only hours. The only unknown is the bulge, home to the Aloof, who resist all communications. Rakesh, who has fruitlessly searched for something new, cannot pass up the opportunity to enter the bulge when a stranger asks him to locate a lost race. Paralleling Rakesh’s investigation is the story of that lost race, a collective of drones with no knowledge of themselves and their world. That changes when two citizens wake from dormancy, sparking an epidemic of scientific discovery that ultimately will save their world. The driving forces of this novel are a pure scientific puzzle and the intellectual joy of finding answers; Egan wastes little effort on character and conflict. Those who like their science hard will appreciate his thorough research and intricate speculations. --Krista Hutley
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