Distress by Greg Egan

(discussed April 15, 1999)

On a ten-point scale (1=bad, 10=good), the people who read the book gave the following ratings: 1, 5, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10
Average: 6.3

This book was sponsored by Dedaimia Whitney.

The meeting was quite interesting. The readers broke into two groups: those who loved the book, and those who disliked it because they thought it was too didactic, or otherwise lacking as a novel.

While Dedamia had really liked Quarantine (in e-mail, she called it "the most exciting piece of science fiction I've read in 10 years") and loved the stories in Egan's collection Axiomatic, she didn't like Distress at all; she rated it a 1 out of 10 (!)

She likes a lot of his ideas, but thinks Egan is a terrible novelist. Not much sense of pacing, overall sense of novel, narrative tension .... Peter Kuchera asked if she'd had the same criticisms of Quarantine. Dedaimia said she had, but she didn't think this was as good as Quarantine.

More notes later when I have time -- Raja