Egan specialises in hard science fiction stories with mathematical and quantum ontology themes, including the nature of consciousness. Other themes include genetics, simulated reality, posthumanism, mind transfer, sexuality, artificial intelligence, and the superiority of rational naturalism over religion. He is a Hugo Award winner (and has been shortlisted for the Hugos three other times), and has also won the John W Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel. Some of his earlier short stories feature strong elements of supernatural horror, while due to his more popular science fiction he is known within the genre for his tendency to deal with complex and highly technical material (including inventive new physics and epistemology) in an unapologetically thorough manner.
Egan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Western Australia, and currently lives in Perth. He has recently been active on the issue of refugees' mandatory detention in Australia.
Egan is a "famously reclusive" author.. He does not attend science fiction conventions, and does not sign books.
From December 1994 to September 1999 he contributed regularly to the group rec.arts.sf.written, where he engaged in dialogue with his readers about his work, and science fiction in general, which is an invaluable source of information. See External links for the Google archive of these posts.