ID this SciFi Novel
December 10, 2004 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Trying to recall the title of a sci-fi book I read [mi]

In this book the main character lived inside a computer with his wife - and was effectively immortal. He would 'doppel' himself off - make copies of himself, to handle tasks he couldn't be bothered to do as the central copy.

The story involved some aliens who lived in the center of the galaxy amidst the crush of stellar matter, and he had a bit of a nemesis in the form of a General.

I'm afraid that's all I can remember.
posted by Ryvar to Media & Arts (16 answers total)
 
Sounds like one of Pohl's Gateway novels -- either Heechee Rendezvous or Annals of the Heechee. The series starts with Gateway and Beyond the Blue Event Horizon, and is on lots of highly-recommended lists.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:16 PM on December 10, 2004


I believe you're thinking of Gateway by Frederick Pohl. The aliens were called the Heechee, and they lived in the event horizon of a black hole. There are several books in the series.
posted by roue at 2:17 PM on December 10, 2004


Annals of the Heechee was it! Thank you so much, this has been driving me crazy for literally years . . .
posted by Ryvar at 2:22 PM on December 10, 2004


Since your question's been answered, I'll just offer a side note: If you're interested in immortal beings living in computer networks and spawning holographic "selves" to interact with the physical world, while dealing with aliens and other problems, you might dig "Eon" and the sequel "Legacy" by Greg Bear. He's one of my favorite hard-sf authors, and likes dealing with grand, destiny-of-humanity scenarios.
posted by Tubes at 2:24 PM on December 10, 2004


I do, Tubes. I'm very much a firm believer in immortal beings on computers as humanity's destiny. I'll definitely check him out. Thanks.
posted by Ryvar at 2:27 PM on December 10, 2004


If you like humanity's destiny living inside computers, you might like "Darwinia" by Robert Charles Wilson. It's a little bit of a head game, but over all quite good fun.

excerpt: In 1912, the entire European continent and all of the United Kingdom mysteriously vanished.
posted by Megafly at 2:49 PM on December 10, 2004


Yeah, Annals is what he's looking for. I remember reading those books when I was staying at my uncle's one summer.
More recently, David Brin's "Kil'n People" is along the same lines but uses doppelgangers. Published last year.
posted by SpecialK at 3:12 PM on December 10, 2004


Oh, and from Darwinia's dustjacket: Leaving American now ruled by religious fundamentalism, ... gee, this is sci-fi?
posted by SpecialK at 3:14 PM on December 10, 2004


greg egan's permutation city explores similar ideas too.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:25 PM on December 10, 2004


This is strange. I check the green and load up Slashdot in the background. Read this question and think "These books sounds cool, I should check them out," and then switch windows and find: this /. story
posted by gus at 3:33 PM on December 10, 2004


Yeah, "Permutation City," plus "Circuit of Heaven" and "End of Days" by Dennis Danvers. And "Entoverse" by James Hogan.
posted by kindall at 3:58 PM on December 10, 2004


Sheffield's At the Eschaton is also in that vein. It's the collection Far Futures (ed. Gregory Benford, I believe), which is on the whole worth a read.
posted by j.edwards at 4:17 PM on December 10, 2004


I second the recommendations on Kiln People and Permutation City.
posted by rushmc at 5:39 PM on December 10, 2004


Me, I prefer Diaspora to Permutation City.

There are also uploads in Ken MacLeod's Fall Revolution books, but not as main characters usually, more as the forces of nature that make our characters do stuff. Also in his Newton's Wake.

Sarah Zettel's Fool's War has uploads of a different stripe.

See also Charlie Stross's short fiction and maybe in Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise, but any in the last two would be scenery more than characters.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:36 PM on December 10, 2004


You might enjoy Prime Intellect. It was well-received on Kuro5hin. It's free (as in beer).
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:58 PM on December 12, 2004


"closer" in egan's axiomatic as well! (also similar to haldeman's "feedback" in none so blind :)
posted by kliuless at 9:09 PM on December 15, 2004


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