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I am torn. Greg Egan is arguably one of the greatest sci-fi authors of our time, and without reservation my favorite. Permutation City is an exemplary piece. I waited years for audible to release his works. When they did, I immediately went to purchase Diaspora, one of the best books, sci-fi or otherwise, that I've ever read. I clicked the sample audio button... and then checked to make sure it wasn't April 1st. Surely this was joke. I heard a whiny, nasal, mosquito buzzing voice, reading at kindergarten speed, and then using some of the most comically exaggerated and poorly executed accents I've ever encountered in a professional production. I then discovered to my horror that this narrator reads almost all of the newly released Greg Egan material. Give it a try. If the voice doesn't bother you, you are in for some seriously mind blowing hard sci-fi. If it does, pick up some of his books in another format. They are amazing.
If you dig, you can find an old cassette recording of Diaspora online. It is read by John Polk, and even with poor audio quality, is far superior to kindergarten audio-torture version offered by Audible.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Permutation City to be better than the print version?
No, the narration was awful, about as bad as possible without causing me to stop listening or return the purchase to audible. His voice is nasal, and his style monotonous: A deadly combination. On top of this, his accents were awful
What other book might you compare Permutation City to and why?
Anything else by Greg Egan; The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
What didn’t you like about Adam Epstein’s performance?
His voice is nasal, and his style monotonous: A deadly combination. On top of this, his accents were awful I don't recall listening to anything else by him, so maybe he just had a bad day.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Permutation City, the Movie: WTF, Hollywood Actually Made This?
Any additional comments?
Permutation City amounts to a compelling thought experiment on the nature of consciousness, self-identity, and the implications of artificial reality & existence. This is not SpaceOpera scifi; It's hard scifi and requires thinking about the ideas & concepts presented rather than passively enjoying a good story. One of my favorite books.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
The ghost in the machine no longer is a ghost but a replication, a mantra for a new form of creation for making life possibilities that are beyond the grasp of death but not human despair.
A complex tale of machine replicating human consciousness and human environments, to sustain immortal consciousness in imperfect machine realities.
This is one of those ideas that are interesting but so full of paradoxes and possibilities of time restrictions, on not just the biological but the physicality of machines and cultures sustaining ideas of the past or possibility of maintaining a code for hundreds or thousands of years.
No matter how virtual your universe it is still in having a primary reality and physics, not to mention and everchanging culture and political influences that would not at all points in time respect the needs of virtual citizens or entities that do not share a common reality, for example, in the now we do not respect even beings that inhabit our reality.
And interesting mind exercise that was better developed by the movie Inception.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Where does Permutation City rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
The story and concepts are fantastic but is let down a little by the narration.
What other book might you compare Permutation City to, and why?
Islands in the Net or any Hard SciFi / Cyberpunk
What about Adam Epstein’s performance did you like?
There are a few comments here saying Adam Epstein's performance is terrible. While not the best performance in the world it was definitely listenable and once I got used to the way he narrated I began to listen to longer chunks and enjoy the narration.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Some of the concepts introduced in the book held my attention a lot more than the actual story.
Any additional comments?
Concepts gave me something to think about after I finished the book. Give it a chance and take your time with it.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful