Greg Egan and His Critics. Karen Burnham. Modern Masters of Science Fiction: Greg Egan.

Citation metadata

Author: Jerome Winter
Date: Summer-Fall 2017
From: Extrapolation(Vol. 58, Issue 2-3)
Publisher: Liverpool University Press (UK)
Document Type: Article
Length: 878 words

Document controls

Main content

Article Preview :

Greg Egan and His Critics. Karen Burnham. Modern Masters of Science Fiction: Greg Egan. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2014. 208 pp. ISBN 978-0-252-07993-1. $25.00 pbk.

Due no doubt to the nearly peerless technical rigor of his fiction, the literary and aesthetic underpinnings of Greg Egan's sf are frequently passed over in silence by reviewers. Karen Burnham's single-author study, an installment in the ever-expanding Modern Masters of Science Fiction series from the University of Illinois Press, however, seeks to redress this prevailing critical blindness through an emphasis on the metaphysical and philosophical dimensions of Egan's overall treatment of scientific inquiry. Burnham contends that this attitude of science popularization is consistently dramatized throughout his now substantial fictional oeuvre.

This study begins with a chapter that offers some reception history and basic literary context, concluding with an interview in which Egan takes a vigorously embattled and snarky attitude. Against broadsides attacking his "perceived lack of characterization" (13) or his putatively technocratic aversion to discussing "socioeconomic forces" (37), Burnham declares in an introduction that "I hope to show that there is more to [Egan's] work than simply equations and physics experiments" (15). Foregrounding the thrilling aesthetic and literary drive of his fictional speculations, Burnham admirably succeeds at tracking how Egan offsets his astonishingly lucid extrapolations on the hard physics of impossible environments...

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A609412311