is a collection of short stories solidly in the
classical tradition of science fiction. While some of the stories
are based on physics (and particularly quantum mechanics), Egan also
draws on more recent work in molecular biology and computer science
for inspiration. His stories are never pure technical gimmickry,
either: the science is largely taken as given and it is the social,
psychological and philosophical consequences which are explored.
A few of the stories seem a little contrived, but most of them
work superbly, completely convincing once the initial suspension of
disbelief is achieved.
Some of the stories which I found particularly memorable: "The Moral
Virologist" is a black comedy in which a fundamentalist molecular
biologist builds a virus which really will kill all adulterers and
homosexuals (except that it can't cope with incest between identical
twins); in "Appropriate Love" a woman carries her husbands brain in her
womb while a new body is being grown for him; and in "Seeing" a victim
of brain damage has his "point of view" shifted so he is looking down
on himself from above (though what he actually sees stays the same).
There are more original ideas in Axiomatic than I've seen in a science
fiction collection for ages, and anyone who likes hard science fiction
will revel in them.
- External links:
- buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
- Related reviews:
- books by Greg Egan
- more science fiction
- more short fiction