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Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Axiomatic

Categories: [ Books ]

ISBN: 9780575081741

© Amazon.fr

A collection of short stories by Greg Egan.

  • The Infinite Assassin: the identity crisis of an assassin that exists in an uncountable number of parallel universes.
  • The Hundred-Light-Year Diary: people know what is going to happen because they can read the diaries they will write in the future, until history is too horrible to write about truthfully.
  • Eugene: future parents design their child to be a genius, but their child's message from the future convinces them not to do it.
  • The Caress: a cop discovers a woman-panther chimera, and is then abducted and surgically altered by a billionaire to play for a few seconds in the living re-creation of a famous painting containing the chimera and a man.
  • Blood Sisters: twin sisters get the same disease and one dies because she's given a placebo: pharmaceutical research is more efficient when done on the whole population.
  • Axiomatic: neural implants allow you to chose what you want to believe; the narrator stops believing that murder is never justified to kill his wife's murderer.
  • The Safe-Deposit Box: the narrator regularly moves from one person's body to another; he discovers that his original body is now devoid of mind after an abusive medical experiment.
  • Seeing: after having been attacked, the narrator's subjective point of view (as produced by his brain)is to see his body from the outside.
  • A Kidnapping: the narrator gets a ransom demand for his wife who has not actually been kidnapped; the victim is a simulated, conscious version of his wife.
  • Learning to Be Me: everybody has a computer in their brain learning to be them, before replacing the brain's function; the narrator is the computer who got accidentally out of sync with its brain and now has a separate consciousness.
  • The Moat: while a scientist works on replacing the DNA bases with artificial ones to isolate humans from pathogens, isolationists want to shelter Australia from climate refugees.
  • The Walk: the executioner for a criminal organization walks his victim to his isolated place of execution, but spares him and commits suicide after having convinced him to use a neural implant to share his belief in a form of reincarnation (based on the necessary repetition of the quantum states of the finite number of particles in an infinite universe).
  • The Cutie: the narrator gets Cutie, a process to get a baby that will barely develop for four years after birth and then die; but he got a cheap knock-off who actually learns to talk and walk but will still die at age four.
  • Into Darkness: the narrator is a volunteer who enters the wormhole that randomly reappears in the city, to fetch people who get stuck, as moving backwards is impossible.
  • Appropriate Love: when her husband needs a new body after a terrible accident, his wife accepts (constrained by the insurance policy) to carry his brain in her womb for two years until the new body is grown.
  • The Moral Virologist: a devout christian creates a sexually transmitted virus that defeats condoms and quickly kills people having homosexual relationships or sex with a second partner; when he discovers that it would be fatal to babies being breast-fed longer than 4 weeks, that becomes a sin as well.
  • Closer: a couple tries all forms of body-mind swapping, as the man wants to “really know” his partner; after performing a temporary merge of their minds they separate because for knowing each other too well.
  • Unstable Orbits in the Space of Lies: a phenomenon made people of a city permeable to the beliefs of those in close proximity, creating isolated groups sharing a given belief; some people try to navigate between them, trying not to get caught and find a way out of the city, but someone points out that they too share a common belief.

[ Posted on June 30th, 2022 at 17:58 | no comment | ]

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