From the back of the book:
A life in Permutation City is unlike any life to which you’re accustomed. You have Eternal Life, the power to live forever. Immortality is a real thing, just not the thing you’d expect.
Life is just electronic code. You have been digitized, scanned, and downloaded into a virtual reality program. A Copy of a Copy. For Paul Durham, he keeps making Copies of himself, but the issue is that his Copies keep changing their minds and shutting themselves down.
PERMUTATION CITY is a complex and at times challenging read that is well worth persevering through.
First published in 1994, it reads as relevant today as any modern day tech-fi, if not perhaps more so, encompassing a deep cogitation of reality and it's endless boundaries elevated by technology and re-rationalizing what it means to simply 'be'. PERMUTATION CITY will make you think and read harder - and that's a good thing.
The story is multifaceted, taking the reader on a journey through the possibilities of alternate life, and exploring the inventive use of sophisticated technology, while also delving deep into the human psyche to question it's very existence in both biological and artificial terms.
Author Greg Egan, doesn't limit the novel's pretense to text-book design and pure futuristic academic study, there is a deeply rooted human element that binds these theories to match the complex topical nature of PERMUTATION CITY.
For readers wanting something more than a quick escape into a fictional landscape, PERMUTATION CITY is just the thing - it's a book that will resonate for a long time to come.