Teranesia, Paperback book


by Greg Egan

3.20 out of 5 (5 ratings)

Orion Publishing Co 
Publication Date:
07 February 2008 
Science Fiction 


As a young boy, Prabir Suresh lives with his parents and sister on an otherwise uninhabited island in a remote part of the Indonesian peninsula. Prabir names it Teranesia, populating it with imaginary creatures even stranger than the evolutionarily puzzling butterflies that his parents are studying. Civil war strikes, orphaning Prabir and his sister. Eighteen years later, rumours of bizarre new species of plants and animals being discovered in the peninsula that was their childhood home draw Prabir's sister back to the island ' Prabir cannot bear for her to have gone out alone and he follows, persuading a pharmaceutical researcher to take him along as a guide.

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  • After his researcher parents die in an air raid, a young Indian boy escapes the small, otherwise uninhabited Polynesian island with his sister. He returns as an adult in pursuit of the causes of a strange genetic malady spreading over the region. "Hard" SF with fully-fleshed-out, sympathetic characters and a compelling plot. A good read.

    4.00 out of 5


  • In this novel, Egan creates some of the most human of his characters. Prabir, Madhusree and others all have strengths, weaknesses and peculiarities in their characters that make real people interesting.At its core, the book explores the nature and courses of evolution and how it pertains to the meaning of life. That's right, the big question! Along the way, Egan presents a world view that is at the same time sober and awing, as well as scientifically persuasive.Another topic that gets some attention in the book is the reprehensible treatment of refugees on Australian soil. In the past few years, Egan has been personally involved with efforts to correct this injustice.Finally, I think that in Teranesia Egan pulls off one of his strongest endings. In my opinion, some of his other novels, despite their many strengths, suffer a let down toward the end. I absolutely love the last line of this book.

    4.00 out of 5


  • I have to admit that I didn't really get this book. It might be that you need to have had at least some formal instruction in biology to follow the plot, even. But I can certainly judge the quality of the writing (excellent!) and the insight of the commentary. For example, this book contains the most persuasive explanation of homosexuality. For social animals such as us, it pays for the gene pool to throw up infertile members @ some low frequency, so that they may contribute elsewhere, and help care for others' kids. Egan imagines this as the occasional lake formed by the steady current of the river of evolution.I buy it!

    3.50 out of 5


  • wanted to like this. but i didn't. kept gettin' bogged down here & there. & again. some interesting biology... the ending is not what i had anticipated, so there's a twist. the overall feeling is too chunky.

    2.50 out of 5


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