cover image Dark Integers and Other Stories

Dark Integers and Other Stories

Greg Egan, . . Subterranean, $25 (232pp) ISBN 978-1-59606-155-2

Adventure blends with mind-boggling mathematics and science in this idea-heavy reprint collection. A detailed introduction for laypeople explains the “malleable” math of quantum mechanics, curved space and number theory. “Luminous” and the title story follow two academics turned spies who fight off deadly incursions from a mathematical realm that could unravel our own universe. Mathematical secrets are also the key to an ancient mystery and a modern war in “Glory,” while “Riding the Crocodile” details the millennia-long efforts of a pair of scientists to understand the Aloof, a mysterious race living in the heart of the Milky Way. The Hugo-winning novella “Oceanic” closes this intriguing array with a look at a far-future colony where science and religion collide in faith-shattering ways. Egan (Teranesia ) is renowned for bringing the most abstract concepts of physics and philosophy to life, and these diamond-hard science fiction stories ably showcase his talent. (Mar.)