AustLit logo
Greg Egan Greg Egan i(A27460 works by)
Born: Established: 1961 Perth, Western Australia, ;
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Works By

Preview all
1 1 You and Whose Army? Greg Egan , 2020 single work short story
— Appears in: Clarkesworld , no. 169 2020;
1 1 y separately published work icon Dispersion Greg Egan , Michigan : Subterranean Press , 2020 19479655 2020 single work novella science fiction

'In a world not quite our own, every living thing is born into one of six discrete "fractions" that are incompatible with—and often invisible to—each other.  These fractions have coexisted peacefully for centuries, but now a disease has appeared that seems to drag the infected parts of the body into a different fraction. The effects are devastating. Individual victims suffer painful, protracted deaths. Entire communities turn against one another, and a state approaching perpetual war takes hold.

'Against this backdrop, Egan has constructed an absorbing account of people determined to confront, comprehend and ultimately overcome a disease that has no recognizable cause, that threatens to obliterate the bonds that hold the human community together.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 y separately published work icon ビット・プレイヤ Bit Players and Other Stories Greg Egan , Makoto Yamagishi (editor), Makoto Yamagishi (translator), Tokyo : Hayakawa-shobō , 2019 24040293 2019 selected work short story science fiction
1 y separately published work icon The Best of Greg Egan Greg Egan , Michigan : Subterranean Press , 2019 19457849 2019 selected work short story

'Greg Egan is arguably Australia’s greatest living science fiction writer. In a career spanning more than thirty years, he has produced a steady stream of novels and stories that address a wide range of scientific and philosophical concerns: artificial intelligence, higher mathematics, science vs religion, the nature of consciousness, and the impact of technology on the human personality. All these ideas and more find their way into this generous and illuminating collection, the clear product of a man who is both a master storyteller and a rigorous, exploratory thinker.

'The Best of Greg Egan contains twenty stories and novellas arranged in chronological order, and each of them is a brilliantly conceived, painstakingly developed gem. The book opens with “Learning to be Me,” about a society in which the organic human brain can be replaced by a miraculous piece of technology called “the jewel,” a “mock brain” that confers, among other things, a kind of immortality on its recipients. “Bit Players”—the opening movement in a trio of tales that continues with “3-adica” and “Instantiation”—posits a world in which cheaply generated software beings are exploited for the basest commercial purposes. (Other sets of interconnected stories—all of them reprinted here—include the mathematically-themed “Luminous” and “Dark Integers,” and a pair of stories centered on the complex marriage of a physicist and a mathematician: “Singleton” and “Oracle.”) “Reasons to be Cheerful,” concerns a young boy whose brain tumor has an unexpected effect on his life, moods, and view of the world. “Axiomatic” tells the story of a society in which “implants” can be used to alter the human personality, with potentially lethal results. And the Hugo Award-winning novella “Oceanic” is a powerful account of a boy whose deeply held religious beliefs are undermined by what he comes to learn about the laws of the physical world.

'This book really does represent the best of Greg Egan, and it therefore takes its place among the best of contemporary SF. Startling, intelligent and always hugely entertaining, it provides an ideal introduction to one of the most accomplished and original writers working today. This is an important and provocative collection, and it deserves a place on the serious science fiction reader’s permanent shelf.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 This Is Not the Way Home Greg Egan , 2019 single work novella science fiction
— Appears in: Mission Critical 2019; The Year's Best Science Fiction Vol. 1 2020; (p. 483-506)

'Unable to contact Earth, the last survivor of a moonbase sets off for the Farside with her infant daughter and a plan.'

Source: Rocket Stack Rank ( (Sighted: 31/3/2020)

1 y separately published work icon Zeitgeber Greg Egan , New York (City) : Tor , 2019 18592686 2019 single work short story science fiction

'For millions of years, life on Earth has taken its cues from the rising and setting of the sun, and for most of human history we’ve followed the same rhythm. But if that shared connection was broken, and we each fell under the sway of our own private clock, could we still hold our lives together? One family is about to find out.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 1 y separately published work icon Perihelion Summer Greg Egan , New York (City) : Tor , 2019 15418215 2019 single work novel science fiction

'A story of people struggling to adapt to a suddenly alien environment, and the friendships and alliances they forge as they try to find their way in a world where the old maps have lost their meaning.

'Taraxippus is coming: a black hole one tenth the mass of the sun is about to enter the solar system.

'Matt and his friends are taking no chances. They board a mobile aquaculture rig, the Mandjet, self-sustaining in food, power and fresh water, and decide to sit out the encounter off-shore. As Taraxippus draws nearer, new observations throw the original predictions for its trajectory into doubt, and by the time it leaves the solar system, the conditions of life across the globe will be changed forever.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 1 y separately published work icon Phoresis Greg Egan , Michigan : Subterranean Press , 2018 19294628 2018 single work novel science fiction

'Welcome to Tvibura and Tviburi, the richly imagined twin planets that stand at the center of Greg Egan’s extraordinary new novella, Phoresis.

'These two planets—one inhabited, one not—exist in extreme proximity to one another. As the narrative begins, Tvibura, the inhabited planet, faces a grave and imminent threat: the food supply is dwindling, and the conditions necessary for sustaining life are growing more and more erratic. Faced with the prospect of eventual catastrophe, the remarkable women of Tvibura launch a pair of ambitious, long-term initiatives. The first involves an attempt to reanimate the planet’s increasingly dormant ecosphere. The second concerns the building of a literal “bridge between worlds” that will connect Tvibura to its (hopefully) habitable sibling.

'These initiatives form the core of the narrative, which is divided into three sections and takes place over many generations. The resulting triptych is at once an epic in miniature, a work of hard SF filled with humanist touches, and a compressed, meticulously detailed example of original world building. Most centrally, it is a portrait of people struggling—and sometimes risking everything—to preserve a future they will not live to see. Erudite and entertaining, Phoresis shows us Egan at his formidable best, offering the sort of intense, visionary pleasures only science fiction can provide.' (Publication summary)

1 The Nearest Greg Egan , 2018 single work short story science fiction
— Appears in: Fiction , July 2018;

'When a detective, a new mother, is assigned to the case of a horrific triple murder, it appears to be a self-contained domestic tragedy, a terrible event but something that doesn’t affect the rest of the community. But it slowly becomes clear that something much darker may be at play, something that spreads out from the scene of the crime to corrode the closest relationships of everyone it touches.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine Greg Egan , 2017 single work short story science fiction
— Appears in: Asimov's Science Fiction , November-December vol. 41 no. 11-12 2017; (p. 16-36) The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year : Volume Twelve 2018; (p. 373-406)

'Dan loses his job and goes looking for something that hasn’t already been automated away. There’s not much, and what he does find is rather strange.'

Source: Rocket Stack Rank ( (Sighted: 22/02/2019).

1 y separately published work icon Uncanny Valley Greg Egan , New York (City) : Tor , 2017 11421919 2017 single work novella science fiction

'Immortality, but at what price, in what form, and how could you be you? In the near future it’s possible to build a new you, a better you, one that could carry on forever. But if you could carry on, if you could make choices about who you would be forever, how much of your past would you bring with you? Would you be tempted to maybe…edit? Adam isn’t all that he used to be, but he wants to be.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 y separately published work icon Dichronauts Greg Egan , San Francisco : Night Shade Books , 2017 10702169 2017 single work novel science fiction

'Seth is a surveyor, along with his friend Theo, a leech-like creature running through his skull who tells Seth what lies to his left and right. Theo, in turn, relies on Seth for mobility, and for ordinary vision looking forwards and backwards. Like everyone else in their world, they are symbionts, depending on each other to survive.

'In the universe containing Seth's world, light cannot travel in all directions: there is a “dark cone” to the north and south. Seth can only face to the east (or the west, if he tips his head backwards). If he starts to turn to the north or south, his body stretches out across the landscape, and to rotate as far as north-north-east is every bit as impossible as accelerating to the speed of light.

'Every living thing in Seth’s world is in a state of perpetual migration as they follow the sun’s shifting orbit and the narrow habitable zone it creates. Cities are being constantly disassembled at one edge and rebuilt at the other, with surveyors mapping safe routes ahead.

'But when Seth and Theo join an expedition to the edge of the habitable zone, they discover a terrifying threat: a fissure in the surface of the world, so deep and wide that no one can perceive its limits. As the habitable zone continues to move, the migration will soon be blocked by this unbridgeable void, and the expedition has only one option to save its city from annihilation: descend into the unknown.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 2 y separately published work icon The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred Greg Egan , Burton : Subterranean Press , 2016 10474513 2015 single work novella science fiction

'Camille is desperate to escape her home on colonized asteroid Vesta, journeying through space in a small cocoon pod covertly and precariously attached to a cargo ship. Anna is a newly appointed port director on asteroid Ceres, intrigued by the causes that have led so-called riders like Camille to show up at her post in search of asylum.

'Conditions on Vesta are quickly deteriorating—for one group of people in particular. The original founders agreed to split profits equally, but the Sivadier syndicate contributed intellectual property rather than more valued tangible goods. Now the rest of the populace wants payback. As Camille travels closer to Ceres, it seems ever more likely that Vesta will demand the other asteroid stop harboring its fugitives.

'With “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred,” acclaimed author Greg Egan offers up a stellar, novella-length example of hard science fiction, as human and involving as it is insightful and philosophical.' (Publication summary)

1 Bit Players Greg Egan , 2014 single work short story science fiction
— Appears in: Subterranean Online , Winter 2014; ビット・プレイヤ 2019;

A woman wakes in a world where something, called the Calamity, has changed the functioning of gravity: instead of pulling everything down towards the centre of the planet, it now pulls them sideways. With no memory of her own past, she begins to question the nature of the Calamity.

1 Shadow Flock Greg Egan , 2014 single work short story
— Appears in: Coming Soon Enough : Six Tales of Technology's Future 2014; The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year : Volume Nine 2015; (p. 227-254) The Year's Best Science Fiction : Thirty-Second Annual Collection 2015; (p. 522-541)
1 Break My Fall Greg Egan , 2014 single work short story
— Appears in: Reach for Infinity 2014; (p. 15-40)
Emigrants to Mars are threatened by a mass coronal ejection.
1 Seventh Sight Greg Egan , 2014 single work short story science fiction
— Appears in: Upgraded 2014; (p. 339-364) ビット・プレイヤ 2019;
1 y separately published work icon The Arrows of Time Greg Egan , London : Gollancz , 2013 7008667 2013 single work novel science fiction

In a universe where the laws of physics and the speed of light are completely alien to our own, the travellers on the ship Peerless have completed a generations-long struggle to develop advanced technology in a desperate attempt to save their home world. But as tensions mount over the risks of turning the ship around and starting the long voyage home, a new complication arises: the prospect of constructing a messaging system that will give the Peerless news of its own future.

1 Zero for Conduct Greg Egan , 2013 single work short story science fiction
— Appears in: Twelve Tomorrows 2013; (p. 123-150) The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year : Volume Eight 2014; (p. 35-64)
1 y separately published work icon The Eternal Flame Greg Egan , London : Gollancz , 2012 7008640 2012 single work novel science fiction

The generation ship the 'Peerless' is suffering from a population explosion, and the only way to reduce the number of children is by drastically limiting the food intake of the females, which will trigger a natural response to famine and stop procreation. So population control consists of two barbaric choices: starvation, or suicide.