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Editorial Reviews

Set in a turbulent Iran in the near future, Zendegi is an explosively entertaining sci-fi story by Australian writer, Greg Egan, about a supercomputer being developed that has the ability to fully map the brain and even develop artificial human consciousness.

Narrated in perfectly plainspoken llit by Parisa Johnston, the carefully constructed plot centers on the relationship between emigrated Australian news reporter and dedicated family man, Martin Seymour, and Nasim Golestani, an Iranian crack computer scientist. The fate of the world is in their hands.

A gripping story about the power of technology, the pull of family, and what it means to be human.

Publisher's Summary

Set in a near future Iran (where the theocracy has been overthrown, but where Muslim religion still dominates the culture), an Arab/Muslim focused MMORG gaming companies cutting edge AI software might hold the key achieving "uploaded consciousness." Martin is an Australian journalist who covered uprising and overthrow of the Iranian theocracy, and has since "gone native" with a Iranian wife and child.

As tragedy strikes his multicultural family, Martin struggles to maintain his place in his adapted culture, and to provide for his child. Zendigi explores what it means to be human, and the lengths one will go to in order to provide for ones children. This emotional roller coaster explores a non-Western-European near future that both challenges ideas of global monoculture and emphasizes the humanity we all share.

©2013 Greg Egan (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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realistic, human, but uneventful

the story had what I think is an accurate portrayal of how to upload a brain and the limitations of doing so. the characters feel real and the story is grounded. It is well written but not like Egan's earlier works. not nearly as grandiose

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prophetic

the deep thought and breadth of this story makes it an instant and powerful force in one's thinking about the (near) future.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-19-18

An artful and emotionally complex simulacrum

What if you could hook up an MRI to Oculus Rift, and bring down an oppressive regime in the meantime? A near-future technocratic fairytale presaging Black Mirror's 'San Junipero,' Egan's richly detailed Tehran of 2027 bristles with deep reflections on freedom, mortality and the promethean dilemma around the proper uses of virtual realities and artificial intelligence. Sign me up for the VR Shahnameh in machine-translated Farsi please!