Editorial Reviews: Review:
"No writer takes ideas as far or presents them so convincingly, from a spellbinding dramatization of a physical and ethical clash in a society that knows little of either up to an utterly brain-blasting exploration-explication of physics-as-biology."
"In a short story from 1995 entitled "Luminous," Greg Egan first conceived of the brilliant notion of seeding a part of the cosmos with a rival kind of mathematics that would spread and mutate anything it touched. Although not linearly connected to that story, this novel is plainly his further extrapolation of this rich premise....This is not a slam-bang adventure tale for lazy fans. And Egan's way of eliding direct explanations in many cases also demands close attention. (But this latter tactic is, of course, in common usage among the better SF writers.) For instance, Chapter 6 and its mates, which detail a "Slowdown" on Tchicaya's homeworld during his youth, will be initially confounding. But if the reader persists, she will encounter a marvelous idea concerning sublight travel, one I don't think I've ever seen before....And of course Egan does not neglect either the emotional storms of his characters, or a sense of adventure. The simmering relationship between Tchicaya and Mariama is well developed and surprising, and the plunge into the pocket universe has plenty of harrowing moments."
Paul Difilippo, Science Fiction Weekly, 05/06/2002