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July - December 2007

If you don't believe in Aliens, watch this,

Date: 12/27/2007 From: ChrisC
Location: Durban, South Africa


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcBV-cXVWFw

I challenge you not to think otherwise.

I'm sure you do however, Greg. :-)
 

Re: If you don't believe in Aliens, watch this,
Date: 12/27/2007
From: Greg Bear

Fine video. There's also a terrific poster of the Hubble Deep Field galaxy picture. The existence of other life forms beyond Earth? That's pretty much a given, as far as I'm concerned. I was giving weekend lectures about the multiplicity of worlds and intelligences when I was seventeen years old, at the old Fleet Air and Space Museum in San Diego--talking about all those big numbers as if I had a clue!

Seasons Greetings from San Diego

Date: 12/24/2007 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Happy Holidays Greg!

I finally caught Bill at Burgette Books, here in Normal Heights. Since your last exchange when you asked me to say "Hi Bill" every time I've gone down there he's been out, either across the street at the Post Office shipping stuff off for Christmas Shopping, or mining some one's estate.

Having not done thing one to celebrate Sir Arthur's 90th Birthday this month, other than watch his 10 minute message, I went down looking for a copy of Profiles of the Future, an out of print, but some one beat me to it. Still found many out of Print Clarke essay collections, and Bill had just gotten in used THE BUTLERIAN JIHAD, hard back, which he "gave" me for $6.

As we were finishing up our transaction I said "An old costumer of yours, who moved away, and used to shop with you when your store was over in Lemon Grove, asked me to send his Regards. You might remember him, he writes a bit of fiction from time to time...Greg Bear"

Bill had been nodding along, slightly interested, and his eyes LIT UP when I got to your name.

"I remember Greg! He used to come in all the time and buy history books from me. And lived over in Spring Valley. I know he's been writing and winning awards, but what happened to him?"

So I quickly brought him up to date that you were living up on the Seatle Area, writing away, and that many of your more recent works were bordering on the main stream, with your latest novel, Quantico, being pretty much a cross over, and that I actually had to find it in the Mystery section of Borders when I bought it new last summer.

He fondly remembered your earlier works, but said he hadn't had the time follow your writing for much of the last ten to fifteen years. I then mentioned that your next novel, due out summer of 2008, seem to be a return to your roots and Stapledonian influences, and that I was eagerly awaiting it.

So Bill says : Hi back!

On a similar note, earlier this month, I was charged with placing some of my Dad's antique furniture with various Antique Dealers along Antique Row near the west end of Adams Avenue. Once I completed my task for the Estate two doors down from the last furniture dealer was Papyrus Antiquities, a Store that dealt in out of print magazines from all decades of the 20th Century...and a great place to score copies of Galaxy Magazine missing from my collection. Popped in, grabbed three of my favorite issues from the late 1970s, and then started chatting up the owners of the store that I was in a hurry, but needed to come back once I figured out which issue's Greg Bear's stories where in...

In Stereo they said "Greg Bear! We haven't seen or heard of him in years, what's he up to?"

So I gave them a brief overview of your writing career since the early 1980s and that you'd moved the Seatle and started a family.

Eventually I need to go back and dig thru their shelves and look for those issues where your stories appeared.

Hoping all is Well with you and your family this Holiday Season, and Best Wishes for the New Year ahead (and the release of THE CITY AT THE END OF TIME!

 

Re: Seasons Greetings from San Diego
Date: 12/24/2007
From: Greg Bear

Hm... makes me wonder how many of my books end up in used book stores in San Diego! I usually manage to check in to Wahrenbrock's when we're down there for Comic-Con, but need to get to the Outlying Regions soon.
 

Re: Seasons Greetings from San Diego
Date: 12/24/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Regarding your books in used bookstores: More than a few, but it seems most of your readers consider them keepers.

There was a point when we had something like seven or ten book stores (some where gift stores as well) on the avenue that any store that had an SF section not only had some of your books, there would at least be one signed copy of The Infinity Concerto, and last time I was at Adams Avenue Books there was one such copy.

In Bill's collectible Paper Back area there is a copy of THE SERPENT MAGE which appears to be signed.

All that's on the shelves of the SF section in Paperback Row at Bill's store is one lone copy of ETERNITY.

Your work can be as hard to find used around hear as almost Anything by Tim Powers, and I should know, since I track both of your works in used book stores.

The only author I find more rare on the shelves is Philip K. Dick, which even after his '82 early passing I could still find rare and unusual paperbacks everywhere. Now, zilch...and that may be my own fault as I was talking up Phil's work to every book seller I could corner for more than five minutes all thru the 1990s, if they have anything, it's now in the special sections.

Book Row on Adams Avenue is pretty much gone, reduced to just two used book stores and one new/used (metaphysical) with the closing of Betty's Bookstore last summer.

Meanwhile, Bill's shelves groan with Gordan Dickson books that are sinking under layers of dust!

So look at it this way: Your writing has hit the point where it's in KEEPER STATUS, with very little of it getting cycled into the used shoppes. And your readership is still mostly your age and then younger. Eventually, though, your work will get back into the used market via Estate Sales, where Bill seems to be getting most of his rare sf paperbacks now. Almost all of my replaced Michael Moorcock New Wave SF came from the Library of a James R. Holly, via Bill's store, and he spookily had a lot of the same tastes in Science Fiction as I do.

Something to ponder as you work on the revisions of your current book: the personal library life cycle of all your books in and out of print out there in people's homes. A thougt to ponder on New Years Eve? An almost Borges meditation, a story that isn't quite a story...

Cheers!

MG

ps: Geez...I haven't been in Wahrenbrock's in 17 years, and I used to hit it at least once a month during the '80s. But living right on Book Row in the '90s spoiled me rotten for browsing, as I could go from store to store from 10 am to 6 PM on a Saturday, stop for lunch, and be within walking distance of home the entire time. Even Aardvark Books moved up here, right on the corner of my Block; but Forrest and Anne sold the business off to their friend Anne when she came into her Fortune, and last they told me they were running the Theosophical Library over on El Cajon Blvd...Aardvark was the third store to go when Book Row started to fade
 

Re: Seasons Greetings from San Diego
Date: 12/27/2007
From: Greg Bear

Ah, well there's quite a few used copies of my books available here in Seattle! I think web sales are accounting for an awful lot of transactions these days, and a number of stores are relinquishing bricks and mortar as a result.
 

Re: Seasons Greetings from San Diego
Date: 12/27/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

The Dearth of used Greg Bear books in San Diego the last five to ten years may also be a "Favorite Son" thing going on.
I remember, way back in the day, actually finding in Book Stop III on El Cajon Blvd selling the first paper back run of HEGIRA nested in it's own special display on the front counter...and I think that was the first and perhaps only time they sold a new book. That WAS my primary used book store for classic paperback SF when I was at Mann and Crawford. And I remember that summer night when I walked into the store, saw the display and told the clerk: Hey! I've met that guy! I'll take a copy! completely forgetting what I had come into the store to browse for...
 

Re: Seasons Greetings from San Diego
Date: 01/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

Of course, I worked at Book Stop for a while a few years before that... Might make a difference!
 

Re: Seasons Greetings from San Diego
Date: 01/06/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

I didn't know that! But it makes perfect sense. But probably long before I shopped there...but then again, we used to hit the Basken-Robbins 31 next door to it from the late-mid 1960s onward...which is how I found Bookstop #3...as I forwent a cone once for books.

Question About A Book

Date: 12/24/2007 From: Ken
Location: California

Hi Greg,

I am a fan from a while back, I read most of your books that were out when I was younger. I came to the site to ask if you or anybody else could point me in the direction of one of your books I forgot the title of.

It's about people being uploaded onto computers, and whether or not they should be thought of as really alive, and then they upload themselves on a virtual computer and make it so 10 minutes in real life is 10 million years in their minds.

Any help would be really appreciated,
Ken
 

Re: Question About A Book
Date: 12/24/2007
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Ken! I'm not sure that's one of my books--not one I remember writing, anyway. Elements of this are in EON, however--just doesn't quite fit. Any clues, readers?
 

Re: Question About A Book
Date: 12/24/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Greg & Ken:

Whoa, I recently came across a description like that, a syopsis, and said to myself "Sounds like some one is running with Bear's idea of the Afterlife in City Memory, with a twist"

It sounds like something that might be in a Stephen Baxter Book...but that is current...I vaguely remember a Science Fiction Novel from the early 1970s where Aliens gave humanity a kind of humanity where they were reduced to the size of Contact Cold Capsules but experienced millions of years of experience in a matter of minutes.

This could be a fun research project, or a bit of schewed Memory for Ken. It happens, as my friend DK SWEARS there was a movie in the 1950s where the Planet Mars tries to Collide with the Earth, but between Storm (Queen of Movie Trivia) Me and the IMDB we have found no such movie, and think it might be a Partial Memory of WHEN WORLD'S COLLIDE.

But I will see what I can find...
 

Re: Question About A Book
Date: 12/27/2007
From: Terran
Location: Winter Park

Hmm... my first thought was of The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey, but here's a list of a bunch of other options: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_transfer_in_fiction
 

Re: Question About A Book
Date: 01/10/2008
From: DanD
Location: San Diego

While likely not the book you are looking for, if you'd more stories about this idea check out Charles Stross's Accelerando, or even Gibson's Mona Lisa Overdrive.
 

Re: Question About A Book
Date: 02/17/2008
From: LindaM
Location: Rockville, MD

Greg Egan has written a number of novels that touch on this topic. One is "Permutation City."

The opposite of solipsism.

Date: 12/20/2007 From: ChrisC
Location: Durban, South Africa

There are many minds out there. Not only on this plain of existence but elsewhere in the universe and other dimensions yet to be discovered. All mind arises from the source and when the organic mind perisheses it returns to the source or Tao. No I and you are not alone, we are surrounded by consciousness in all forms and existences. This information I gained on one of my kinder psychotic episodes. Not all consciousness is good, not all evil. But both sides of the coin exist.

Whats the point in all this? The is no point. There is existence and source. Both everlasting the first as a cycle and the other as a permanent state.
 

Re: The opposite of solipsism.
Date: 12/24/2007
From: Greg Bear

No judgment, no punishment--only love.
 

Re: The opposite of solipsism.
Date: 12/28/2007
From: patrick
Location:

This is similar to an insight I experienced near finishing a short book of Fred Alan Wolf's, where, instead of my earlier position of believing [nothing], believing [eveything] was more funxional. Further, this dispels duality.

Quantico--5 minutes after finishing it

Date: 12/18/2007 From: Eric Henry
Location: Rockville, MD

Hi Greg,
Long-time fan--Saw you'd written a thriller (thought that label doesn't quite do it justice) and had to read it. (Interesting coincidence, I read it immediately after finishing a sci-fi novel by Elizabeth Bear...)
Suffice to say Quantico was a dynamite read. And I intend to copy Rebecca's "sunshine patriot" speech on p. 286 and keep it somewhere--I've never seen it said better.

Thanks, and best wishes
Eric Henry
 

Re: Quantico--5 minutes after finishing it
Date: 12/19/2007
From: Greg Bear

Most pleased you enjoyed the book, Eric. Paperback will be coming out in a few months--spread the word!
 

Re: Quantico--5 minutes after finishing it
Date: 01/12/2008
From: Patrick McGinley
Location: Pismo Beach, CA

Hi Greg, I enjoyed Quantico very much but do you dismiss as coincidence the fact that anthrax was mailed to two Dem. senators?
The senators, Daschle and Leahy were in a position to hold up the Patriot Act when they received the letters.

The Patriot Act is the Bush centerpiece for countering terrorism and to many, myself included, it is key the coup enacted by right wing Republicans.

Quantico is excellent but I don't rule out a conspiracy on the part of this dreadful Bush administration. P McGinley
 

Re: Quantico--5 minutes after finishing it
Date: 01/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

I'm no fan of the Bush administration, but this just doesn't fit the profile.

Different takes on a good story.

Date: 12/16/2007 From: Richard Duckett
Location: Australia

Hi Greg,

Just a few quick notes. Hope it's not clich← to start with a compliment, but I do appreciate you sharing your fantastic imagination with us over the years. Do you go to sleep and dream of impossible corridors twisting through space, or AI's succumbing to loneliness in the depths of space?

One thing that struck me about EON is how different people who I know have read the book have different takes on it. By that i mean the themes that stick with us after reading the book, and occupy our thoughts for a good while. There are the ones, like me, who are optimistic about the future and love the concept of the way. And then there are the ones who grieve over the past and the death, and how it couldn't be avoided.

Good job! Hope you visit space again soon.
 

Re: Different takes on a good story.
Date: 12/19/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Richard. CITY AT THE END OF TIME incorporates a bit of space (well, a journey across the known universe is one small part) and a lot of time!

More esoterica for ya

Date: 12/14/2007 From: patrick
Location:

Robert L. Forward is mentioned in here.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/teleport.pdf


And check out Forward's invention idea -
Extracting electrical energy from the vacuum by cohesion of charged foliated conductors - here:

http://www.calphysics.org/articles/Forward1984.pdf
 

Re: More esoterica for ya
Date: 12/19/2007
From: Greg Bear

Bob Forward was one of my favorite people and thinkers. Anyone who believes we've done it all should definitely take a look at his wonderful ideas.

Roswell Alien Theme Park

Date: 12/13/2007 From: Bryan L. Temmer
Location:

The latest news regarding the proposed alien theme park for Roswell, New Mexico can be found on the front page of the Roswell Record Newspaper. This is the same newspaper that reported the recovery of a flying saucer over 60 years ago.

Link: http://roswell-record.com/main.asp?SectionID=49&SubSectionID=112&ArticleID=18207
 

Re: Roswell Alien Theme Park
Date: 12/19/2007
From: Greg Bear

Alien tourism should be brisk!

Status update on the Warner Bros film option for Forge of God and Anvil of Stars

Date: 12/13/2007 From: John S
Location: Western MA

Hello Mr. Bear

I realize you are probably asked this question often...however, in reviewing your Blog, it looks like this was last discussed in the Summer.

I was hoping you might provide something of an status update on where things stand in bringing "Forge of God" and "Anvil of Stars" to Film.

Does Warner Bros still own the option/rights? Is there a certain time period in which it will expire if they do not act upon their option?

These are two of my favorite SF novels, and I would love to see these developed for the big screen (hopefully by a great Director)

Cheers,
John
 

Re: Status update on the Warner Bros film option for Forge of God and Anvil of Stars
Date: 12/19/2007
From: Greg Bear

Warner has let the option lapse, but that is no real sign that the project is dead. They still own the Ken Nolan screenplay, a very desirable property, and that has now become part of a negotiation with another major production company. The Writer's Guild strike has also slowed a lot of development talk in Los Angeles. As I've said before, sometimes these projects take a decade or more to get going.

good work

Date: 12/12/2007 From: David Greene
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

kudos for darwins radio. most provocative and comforting. thank you and keep up the good work
 

Re: good work
Date: 12/12/2007
From: Greg Bear

Glad you enjoyed it, David. Thanks.

Magnificent indeed

Date: 12/10/2007 From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Switzerland

Greg, that was just the word that came to me, after finishing from interruption, in reading the Nobel speech you posted the link to in News, from Doris Lessing.

I never heard her speak so clearly, but maybe also I have not yet read the right things, appreciating her as I have.

I met a man in his 70's today, in a small cafe, a writer from Africa; found I can read two of his books in the open university library in Basel. It was a very interesting, quiet conversation, and I think he will like receiving her speech as well.

Greg, thank you. And I think you among others carry this torch of the imagination that builds us, yourself. I really value many senses in your work.

Regards, as you know.
 

Re: Magnificent indeed
Date: 12/10/2007
From: Greg Bear

And here's congratulations yet again to Doris Lessing. Her speech addresses a wide range of our prejudices and failings, and offers a sense of perseverance and hope it is difficult to find when surrounded by opulence.

Many years ago, dining at a banquet in California with the adolescent scion of a wealthy family, I watched him load his plate with pieces of chicken, and from each he took only one bite, before discarding it. Perfectly natural for him. The rest was not worth the trouble. I hope he learned better.
 

Re: Magnificent indeed
Date: 12/10/2007
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Switzerland

Greg, I hope so too. Children are children, and life is long. But I think you've involved this topic often and intricately, in your tales of combs and professionals beside them, and especially the interplays of Mary Choi's friends and life, not to mention Cassiea's.

Here in Basel, there are some rich people, yes, but very many more who are anything but, especially in the quarter where I live. It is home to many of the 200 cultures who live here, and before that to the workers of the earlier chemical economy. The enjoyment and often fascination is in how well so many are encouraged to a decent life in the present. And it's been a good place to 'hide' also, to do some quiet work.

How do we make things better again? To me, Doris Lessing's engagement with the imagination of every person holds a treasury's key.

Maybe stop there. And greetings.






Essense - an interpolation of 'Is artificial life moving any closer?'

Date: 12/09/2007 From: patrick
Location:

Unfortunately, the other lad didn't provide a link to your Nature article/book review. So: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v450/n7170/full/450612a.html

Philosophy aside, I suggest the duality (of course only one of many which permeate humanity) of natural/artificial is limiting. Perhaps the terms 'evolved' and 'developed' (both being of the same cosmos you know), with the focus on each's inherent function, vs moral/social role. One of many possible steps toward a neutrality of conception....and function.
 

Re: Essense - an interpolation of 'Is artificial life moving any closer?'
Date: 12/10/2007
From: Greg Bear

I agree that the duality is deceptive. We are part of nature. Our creations are part of nature as well.

Third Law of Thermodynamics

Date: 12/04/2007 From: Jonathan Nugent
Location: Kansas City

Hi,

I would like to say that I am a huge fan of yours. You are on the cutting edge of science fiction and look forward to what you have to offer in the future. I have a serious question though. I read your books "Moving Mars" and "Heads" and was really interested in your ideas on a system's possibility on when absolute zero is achieved. I have been researching this quite a bit, and I was wondering if your idea was purely fictional or if you have some sources that I could read up on. I realize they are just fictional stories, but I like how you incorporate ideas of where science could go if it were able to cross the threshold.

Yours Truly,
Jonathan Nugent
 

Re: Third Law of Thermodynamics
Date: 12/05/2007
From: Greg Bear

Take a look at Bose-Einstein condensates. Here's the official web site: http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/bec/

And that's likely just the beginning!

Quantico

Date: 12/03/2007 From: kurt9
Location: Portland, Oregon

Quantico was quite good. Infecting the muslims with an "amnesia" causing plague is an entertaining idea.

Perhaps you should write more novels in the "here and now" techno-thriller category rather than science fiction.

Some 'skiffy' humor, if you will

Date: 11/30/2007 From: patrick
Location:

This rather surprised me, given there's any seriousness, here:

http://autos.aol.com/gallery/2007-la-auto-show-design-challenge
 

Re: Some 'skiffy' humor, if you will
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Wonderful stuff, patrick! Reminds me both of Syd Mead (one of my favorites) and some of the work for the EON Challenge. Hm--I wonder if cars will decant their passengers and let them sit in a carafe for a while before they go shopping?
 

Re: Some 'skiffy' humor, if you will
Date: 12/04/2007
From: patrick
Location:

Mead is actually better than what I linked - though I prefer Donato. His stuff is quite refined. It has its own distinct physical essence, actually much like the textures of my own dreams, a rare real-ness that is relegated to the most killer illustrators.

http://www.donatoart.com/


Another is Jim Burns, particularly his British edition covers for Peter f. Hamilton.

http://www.peterfhamilton.co.uk//index.php?page=Jim_Burns
 

Re: Some 'skiffy' humor, if you will
Date: 12/05/2007
From: Greg Bear

I like Luigi Coloni as well--great airliner designs. Not sure if he has a web presence. Jim Burns of course has illustrated some of my best covers, too.
 

Re: Some 'skiffy' humor, if you will
Date: 12/07/2007
From: patrick
Location:

Mm. Nothing comprehensive easily found on Coloni. No pictures, and no personal website. What's more is there are links with different spellings - Coloni/Colani.
 

Re: Some 'skiffy' humor, if you will
Date: 12/10/2007
From: Greg Bear

Pardon. That should be Colani, of course. There's a piece in Wikipedia about him, and other sites.

Nice Artificial Life review in Nature

Date: 11/30/2007 From: Keith Ferrell
Location: Virginia

By you, rather than of you, of course, but nice all the same. Good to see you remind readers of Harsh Mistress's historical significance in the development of (literary, anyway) thinking about artificial life.
 

Re: Nice Artificial Life review in Nature
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

All due credit to the pioneers! But I do recommend both books. I might post the unedited reviews here soon. And how goes Virginia, Keith? Any new biographies out there?

SFWA Copyright Comittee Scandal

Date: 11/30/2007 From: Chang
Location: Portland, ME

Greg,

Any thoughts on the latest SFWA scandal and the comittee you were part of?
 

Re: SFWA Copyright Comittee Scandal
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Don't get me started! Working with writers--or on behalf of writers--is always fascinating. But the stuff you read in other blogs--I'll name no names--are just the tip of a very tippy, deep iceberg. (Some people are as anxious as squirming puppies, and tend to whine and snarl and piddle in corners at the slightest provocation. But I name no names! Really...) Results are still being hashed out, but I have no doubt SFWA will come out strongly in support of writers being allowed to control and administer their copyrights and distribute their works, without interference or unauthorized competition, however they wish.

Thanks

Date: 11/28/2007 From: Michael Conley
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

I read "The Forge of God" when it came out in 1987 and twice since then. Each time I am moved to tears. Thank you for writing such a moving story that I now make certain my children read. My thanks has always been felt even if not expressed for many years. Take care of yourself.
Michael
 

Re: Thanks
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks for your kind words, Michael! FORGE was intended as a kind of love letter to Planet Earth...

Book signings

Date: 11/28/2007 From: Patrick
Location: Chesapeake,VA

A friend of mine finished your book and knowing that I am an avid reader and book collector, passed it on to me to read. Great book by the way, read it in about 4 days. While reading you book "Quantico", your name kept nagging in the back of my head, then it hit me. Are you the same Greg Bear that wrote a Star Trek book, called "Corona"? If you are and you live near Maryland, are you willing to attend either the Farpoint Convention in February or the Shore Leave Convention in July? If not, will you be touring the East Coast with your next book? If so, I would like to get a signed copy of it, along with getting "Quantico" signed and if you wrote "Corona" that too.
 

Re: Book signings
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

It's been ages since I've been to a ST convention! Last might actually have been Equicon, way back in the seventies. But I'm so far behind in my Trek lore I'd be lost! Still, let me know dates and such. Maybe it will tie in with other travels.
 

Re: Book signings
Date: 12/19/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Patrick.

Your next book

Date: 11/27/2007 From: Tim
Location: Sydney Oz



I need my Greg Bear fix! When is your next book coming out and what is it about?
 

Re: Your next book
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

CITY AT THE END OF TIME has been enthusiastically accepted by Betsy Mitchell at Del Rey, and will be published in the U.S. this summer. Orion will be doing the UK/OZ editions, but I haven't heard about their publication plans. Hope to begin a viral campaign soon! As to what it's about--hm! About 850 pages in manuscript...
 

Re: Your next book
Date: 12/24/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

So it's not just me.

But if a guy named Jack Harkness makes a cameo in THE CITY AT THE END OF TIME then I'll have to give you a preturbed look at the next ComicCon.

If I were Comic Book Guy on the Simpson I'd have to say:

"Best Teaser Campaign Ever!"

Molecular Biology is beginning to catch up with you

Date: 11/26/2007 From: Barb Langer, Ph.D.
Location: Chicago, IL

Dear Mr. Bear:

You may be amused to know that several of the premises you postulated regarding the evolutionary role of HERV in the Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children books have surfaced in "Annals of Science. Darwins Surprise.
Why are evolutionary biologists bringing back extinct deadly viruses?" by Michael Specter December 3, 2007 The New Yorker, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/12/03/071203fa_fact_specter?printable=true

Every time I reread your "Darwin" books I marvel at your creativity and lament the great researcher science lost so that you could bring us these incomparable stories.

I eagerly await the next installment but doubt whether any film version could do them justice without dumbing them down beyond recognition, the sad fate of Carl Sagan's "Contact". However, I know of no work of literature with greater emotional power than "Darwin's Children." And that IS something the right film might capture.

On rereading the second book, I was struck by features that the "virus children" have in common with "Gaea," the human syncytium that ultimately prevails in Isacc Asimov's Foundation series.

You are a great visionary. I anticipate your books will be read centuries from now when those of your contemporaries have long since been forgotten.

With my admiration and best wishes,
Barb
 

Re: Molecular Biology is beginning to catch up with you
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Barb! I love to read the current papers, just to learn where I'm right and where I'm wrong--and where I completely fell out of the boat. Thinking stuff up is easy--but proving ideas one way or the other is brave, hard work, and scientists do the heavy lifting.

Epigenetics and gene imprinting are fascinating. I've only lightly touched on those contributions to our inheritance--take a look at THE GHOST IN THE GENE on NOVA--so maybe it's time for another novel?
 

Re: Molecular Biology is beginning to catch up with you
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Ruth Gennarelli
Location: USA

Did you see this weeks New York Times story? Magazine section? It made me spend the day re-reading Darwin's Radio. I do that a few times a year anyway... I was due.

 

Re: Molecular Biology is beginning to catch up with you
Date: 12/05/2007
From: Greg Bear

I missed that one. Is it on line?

Explain the theme?

Date: 11/21/2007 From: mike ngo
Location: Home

What is the theme for your novel "Dinosaur Summer"?
 

Re: Explain the theme?
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Ah! Sounds like a school question. How about "Adventure and challenge bring redemption," and "Nothing lasts forever!"

The forge of God

Date: 11/20/2007 From: Ral
Location: Madrid, Spain

Hi,

i'm finding the book "The forge of god" in spanish, but i can't find it!!!!

Where can i buy it?

(sorry for my english)

Thx
 

Re: The forge of God
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Hello to Madrid! The book was in print in Spanish a few years ago--perhaps it's in a used book store or online? Let me know if you still can't find it.

Quantico: possibly error

Date: 11/13/2007 From: Al Lubran
Location: Monument, Colorado ( just north of Colorado Springs)

Greg,

Quantico is a novel set in the near future. It uses as historical background, several real incidents from the past.

On page 271, you refer to the 'Murrow Federal Building. Could you have meant the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. 'Murrah Federal Building?'

Thanks. Otherwise, a great book.

Al

 

Re: Quantico: possibly error
Date: 11/14/2007
From: Greg Bear

Arghh--another one slipped by all of us! I'll try to correct this in the U.S. paperback edition. Thanks for the kind words and worthy catch, Al.

Reprinted Books

Date: 11/11/2007 From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear. I hope you are well. And, I hope it's not too terribly offtopic of me to ask if any of your late father in law, Poul Anderson, books will be reprinted. More specifically, I have in mind works like BRAIN WAVE and AFTER DOOMSDAY. I'm finding it discouragingly difficult to find good quality hard back copies. The used copies I see offered for sale seem to be either in unsatisfactory condition or very COSTLY to buy. Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Reprinted Books
Date: 11/14/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for writing, Sean. When iBooks went under, a lot of Poul's titles were left in limbo. The estate is working to get his classics back in print. Until then, those Anderson first editions can be very pricey--but there should also be a fair number of paperback and book club editions out there, at a much reduced rate.
 

Re: Reprinted Books
Date: 11/15/2007
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear. Thanks for replying. I'm sorry there seems to be copyright troubles with many of Poul Anderson's books.Hope his estate gets it sorted out soon. Actually, a bit accidentally, I have many first edition hard backs of your father in law's works. The first hard cover of any of PA's books which I got wss FLANDRY OF TERRA--way back in 1971. It's gaps in my collection like BRAIN WAVE which is now frustrating me. I would far prefer to have a good quality hard cover reprint of that book than a paperback. I know, I have to be patient! Also, does it bother you to get emails to your blog talking about PA, instead of your own books? I don't want to cause offense. And I have read some of your books! Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Reprinted Books
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Always happy to talk about my favorite authors--and my favorite people, Sean!

Naked Singularities: A flash from the past

Date: 11/07/2007 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Saw this over on Nature just now:

http://www.nature.com/news/2007/071107/full/450147a.html

It's been decades, but didn't one of your intersteller stories, maybe "The Venging" , have a whole area of space full of Singularities, both brashly naked and properly clothed in event horizons?

On other news, San Diego is very cool and overcast, no threat of Red Flag Warning Winds. At times a smokey haze settles over everything.

Mike
 

Re: Naked Singularities: A flash from the past
Date: 11/09/2007
From: Greg Bear

Black holes were definitely cool back in the late sixties, early seventies. We're still arguing over the same things that were bring argued over about singularities back then!
 

Re: Naked Singularities: A flash from the past
Date: 11/10/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

You may have noticed that there was a lead item on the next day regarding High Energy Cosmic Rays having been traced back to Super Massived Black Holes in AGNs, two sources pinned down within 250-300 Million Light years.
After I saw your reply I reflected on these two back to back black hole items, and that I had just recently re-read Benford's COSM earlier this week (and I saw an actual proposal to running U-238 thru the RHIC, reality echoing fiction?) as a) decompression from Heidegger and b) to sort of get in the head space of our Neuroscientist friend who was staying over. Which segue's me back thru my close reading of BEING AND TIME, and waking up sick one morning during the middle of that, two unfocused to do phenominology, so I reached over and started DARWIN'S CHILDREN, which I finished the next evening. I especially like the "Scientist haunted by Epiphany" subplot, which reminded me that Dr. Dan's PhD advisor at UCSD is the Cog-psyche gent who has been pushing the model that the human brain is wired for "God" or "Immanence".
In the last few years I've come to like and see more science fiction about actual scientists, living human lives while trying to get a true glimpse of reality.
And twice, during my sabatical, I've been able to use your work as either a decompression or break from harder work (currently doing research into San Diego's Kumeyaay and their spirtual link to the land here).
From the notes in the back of DARWIN'S CHILDREN am looking to get a copy of Vitals, sounds intruging from the notes there, and a short recap I read.
In parting, when I posted the black hole item, I saw an entry about Corona, which I've never read, seldom reading Star Trek Novels. Burgette Books moved into Normal Heights a couple of years ago, and a copy of CORONA was in their Star Trek section. Was, now it's on the desk next to the laptop...

MG
 

Re: Naked Singularities: A flash from the past
Date: 11/12/2007
From: patrick
Location:

Mmmm, we've talked about this stuff before here. As well, someone, perhaps me, has mentioned Benford's treatment of this idea, particularly in FOUNDATION'S FEAR, in combination with Matt Visser's LORENZTIAN WORMHOLES: FROM EINSTEIN TO HAWKING (which Benford references in the appendix or whatever of FF - and, curiously, which I'd already stumbled over).

http://books.google.com/books?id=hhwJAAAACAAJ&dq=Matt+Visser&prev=http://www.google.com/search%3Fq%3DMATT%2BVISSER%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26startIndex%3D%26startPage%3D1&sa=X&oi=print&ct=result&cd=1&cad=author-navigational
 

Re: Naked Singularities: A flash from the past
Date: 11/14/2007
From: Greg Bear

Say hello to Bill next time you're in Normal Heights! I remember his book stores all the way back to Lemon Grove...
 

Re: Naked Singularities: A flash from the past
Date: 11/14/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: Normal Heights, San Diego, CA

Mike

Actually the Store is within walking distance...it was crawling distance when I lived on Book Row, commonly known as Adams Avenue. Just moved out to Mission Valley's south rim last March.

Over the weekend I got a chance to read CORONA, and was pleasantly suprised, and nearly did a "spit take" when on page 14 I found Uhura describing to backwater a news hound of the future the loyalty of the crew of the Enterprise to Captain Kirk: "I don't think there's a man or woman on board who wouldn't follow him down the mouth of a naked singularity." With a couple other naked singularity lines scattered thru the book.

It's an unfortunate truth that far too many STAR TREK novels are just card board space opera in the Roddenberry Universe; but your short entry into the subgenre had ethical dilemnas, the problems of racism produced by xenophobic human-ism, and a deeper Stapledonian background of the Corona's relation to the phases of the universe.

Corona also appears to mark one of major milestones in your career, as I find "Bear's Future Physics" from your earlier inter-related intersteller stories in the descriptions of Warp Drive (long before the new canon enforced by the four daughter series) and then hints of human enhancement in Captain Kirk's translator implants, reminding me of the citizens of Axis City in EON.

I hit Bill's store on about once a week, as I look for rare paperbacks that need replacing in the Library. I don't think he's on the internet/amazon yet as I see no computer at the front desk or elsewhere. And I'm always wondering when the store will turn into a Book-Singularity, as evertime I'm there, it's more and more and more books, sometimes making it hard to navigate the ever growing and often chaotic selections.

Mike
 

Re: Naked Singularities: A flash from the past
Date: 12/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear Bill's still selling through bricks and mortar. That's my favorite way to buy books! (Take a look at the date on CORONA--as I recall, EON was almost half done in rough draft, going the rounds, and being rejected by all and sundry... Until Jim Frenkel picked it up at Bluejay, bless him!)

Star Trek book called "Corona".

Date: 11/04/2007 From: Patrick Almberg
Location: Chesapeake,VA

Back in 1984, you wrote a very rich and entertaining Star Trek book called "Corona". Is there any chance you might attend either the Farpoint Convention in February or the Shore Leave Convention in July 2008? Both events will take place in Baltimore, Maryland. If you reside on the West Coast and will not be on the East Coast around that time, can I send you the book for signing? I would of course include return postage.

Patrick



 

Re: Star Trek book called
Date: 11/06/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words, Patrick! No plans to attend any ST cons, but will try to make it to Comic-Con in 2008. Of course, ST gets lost in the galactic center glow of all the other media there--but maybe we'll learn more about the new film.

Alive and unburned in San Diego

Date: 10/23/2007 From: Mike Glosson
Location: Normal Heights, San Diego, CA

Greg:

Greetings from your olde home town. We are still safe in my Neighborhood of San Diego, quite a way from both fires and their fronts.
When I read Quantico recently the SoCal fires sequence made me a little uneasy, having been thru the Fires of 2003.
The Harris and Witch Creek Fires make the Cedar fire look like a BBQ at Cholina Park. And I thought that one felt like the End of the World.
I had just been out in the back country days before, and saw and experienced the Santa Ana winds and refrained from taking off too deep into the brush on foot.
Down Town Potrero may be completely gone, according to our friends who live(d) there and have survived two prior major fires. That's the Harris Fire.
The Witch Creek Fire, in it's first hours, took out most of the land around the SR-78 between Ramona and Santa Ysabel. The Ranches and Farms just east of SY are probably gone. The Egg Ranch right on the freeway is gone. Shangrala Ranch, just outside of Romona, is probably gone.
The Cleveland National Forest in the mountain part of the County is CLOSED DOWN, with only one fire burning there.
We've opened up our house to members of pub rescue and FNO is they need a place to hold up.
My younger brother, who works for the law enforcement arm of the California Insurance Commission got drafted last night to do anti-looting patrol in the evac zones. I don't expect to see him until next week, from the stores he told me about being stationed at lake Cuyamaca during the 2003 fires.
There was a bit of a panic around 3 AM as the fires came up and over Mt. Miguel...until I the media clarified where it was I thought it was coming over Cowles Mountain from Santee, if that had been the case we would have bugged out then and there.
Don't know if you still have family down here after all this time. Let me know if you need any follow ups on anyone or any neighborhoods.
Mike Glosson
 

Re: Alive and unburned in San Diego
Date: 10/24/2007
From: Greg Bear

Glad to hear you're well, Mike--we're keeping track of a lot of friends and relatives around my old stomping grounds. I'd be foolish to claim any prescience for describing fires in Malibu (in DEAD LINES) and across five counties in QUANTICO; this sort of thing has been common in Southern California for a long time now. The apocalyptic fire seasons--with orange or dark brown skies and spectacular sunsets and thousands of acres of grey or even white char--still haunt my memories. Stay well!
 

Re: Alive and unburned in San Diego
Date: 10/24/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: "Smokey" San Diego, California

Greg:

Yes, the fires are prepetual. I missed the Pine Valley Fire in, what was it, 1970, riding thru similar fires up in Central California that year. The fires in the mid 1990s down here just darkened the skies.

I was in Witch Creek, Mesa Grande, Palomar Mountain, Potrero, Jamul in the last weeks...and last Thursday it definitely looked like everything was ready to go up at any minute.

The News is spotty for Palomar and Julian.

Air Conditions in the city...wow, it's like a smoggy day in LA several decades ago. I have the mother of all sinus headaches and we are tens of miles from any front lines.

Ash is falling on the city.

Speaking of Cities: I got a chance to scan some of the posts on the blog here during my last visit, and saw some Traffic regading a "City at the End of Time". ???? Axis City from The Way novels (I'm finally getting around to reading Legacy!)? Your spin on the Diaspar theme? Your spin on the Dancers at the End of Time (I remember that you recommend those books to me back in '78).

When not avoiding wild fire The Stapledonian Mythos of Deep Time is one of my main "literary" interests, getting that itch scratched during the 1990s with Benford's novels set at Galactic Centre.

Mike Glosson, hunker'd down in Normal Heights.
 

Re: Alive and unburned in San Diego
Date: 10/24/2007
From: Greg Bear

Falling ash--I distinctly remember that from the 1970 fire, crossing 8 on my way to San Diego State College.

CITY is less like Moorcock, more a touch of Stapledon and Hodgson. No direct connection with EON--except that those events might be fit into one small corner of CITY!
 

Re: Alive and unburned in San Diego
Date: 10/24/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Ashfall, so far, is not nearly as bad as the 2003 fires. The smoke was so thick that the sun was direct eye observable, and there were some LARGE sunspots during that week. Only the second time in my life I have seen sunspots directly.

I see that CITY has an August 2008 Release date. Something to look forward to and speculate about until next summer.

Mike
 

Re: Alive and unburned in San Diego
Date: 10/24/2007
From: patrick
Location:

Having been stationed in that area, I know a little of the landscape an all. I didn't think there was much to go up round Ramona. As for Palomar, that would be bad. Nice pine area I spent a night in near the top.

I know that sunspot situation, alternatively, from the oil fires in Kuwait. As well, when the humid season hit, the filth seemed to disappear from the air, then you'd find it under your nails after scratching an itch. And I was a bit south. I heard that in the north you needed vehicle lights on during the day.
 

Re: Alive and unburned in San Diego
Date: 10/25/2007
From: Greg Bear

Brush and forest country is all over in that area. This kind of burn depletes fuel for a couple of years--but if there's a big wet this winter and next, it will soon be back in enough strength to be a problem. Looking over the burn spots on TV, flooding and erosion could also be expected. Right now, the major health problem as the fires subside will be air pollution.
 

Re: Alive and unburned in San Diego
Date: 10/25/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: "Smokey" San Diego, California

I'm expecting the something like the Winter of 2004 all over again, but perhaps muted if we are in an El Ninia event instead of El Ninio (pardom my transliterations). We had some major mud slides the last time. Palomar, right now, appears to be the worst mud slide/flood zone, if we get any rain this winter.
Right after the 2003 fires we had a rain storm come thru and clean out the air. No rain in the forcast for weeks, if at all. So the smokey air will be with us.
There is a possibility of Fog Friday...but Smoke + Fog = the original version of Smog. That could be very nasty.
One thing no one expected the last time, and we had it with us for nearly two years afterwards: Every time the Santa Ana winds kicked up after the fires we first would have ash falls, then once all the ash was blown away, a stead rain of mica particles from the mountain tops.
We haven't had much rain since the 2003 fires, and those burn areas are still low on fuel, some of that fuel was nearly 100 years old!
There's been talk since 2003, with a few test studies, of letting goats out in the thicker brush.
Palomar has been my biggest worry since the summer of 2003, right before the last round of fires: over half the forest was dead due to the draught and bark bettle infestations. They've been steadily logging the forest since then; but when I was up there last Thursday I was still counting two dead trees for every seven. Helicopter footage this morning showed that the fire on Palomar had gone up over the ride on the south face,and it looked like it was burning into parts of the plateau/valley on top. No word on the fate of the Hale Observatory...

Philip K. Dick

Date: 10/20/2007 From: Jimmy Kinchloe
Location: Houston

Did you ever meet him?

I note that he passed away shortly after you published "Strength of Stones"...


Jimmy
 

Re: Philip K. Dick
Date: 10/20/2007
From: Greg Bear

I met Dick in passing at LACon in 1972, but unfortunately, never got to talk with him. Listening to stories about him from James Blaylock and Tim Powers helps bring him to life for me.
 

Re: Philip K. Dick
Date: 10/23/2007
From: Jimmy Kinchloe
Location: Houston

Who are James Blaylock and Tim Powers? Writers, personal friends of his?

I have been reading him a lot lately. He was a very unusual and unique man. And I thought of you and "Strenght of Stones" after reading his last work (the "VALIS" trilogy). VALIS reminds me of SOS for some reason.

God's Speed with your next book. I am really into the far future lately, after reading Vinge (Vernor) and anything Stephen Baxter writes.


Take care, Jimmy


P.S. I was VERY lucky to find a signed 1st of "Heads" on eBay last week, and bought it on the spot.
 

Re: Philip K. Dick
Date: 10/24/2007
From: Greg Bear

Jim and Tim are two of our finest writers--Jim for a number of humorous fantasy and "steam-punk" novels, and Tim for myth-fantasy-horror novels. They both knew Phil Dick quite well.

How is "City at the end of Time" going?

Date: 10/17/2007 From: Adam Crowl
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Hi Greg

That perennial British SF serial, "Doctor Who" seems to have scooped your timeframe for the new book - the season 3 episode "Utopia" sends the Doctor to "the end of time" in the year 100 trillion (more or less.) Wasn't badly handled either - space-time seems to be collapsing into black-holes all over the place, and all the regular stars are dead.

I've been reading the reports of memory molecules in recent science news with interest because that might indicate a molecular interface for the brain to interact with our DNA - including HERVs - and invasive DNA from exogenous viruses and bacterial plasmids hitching a ride.

Also there was a speculative journal article on life based on plasma crystals - charged dust can form stable helical structures it seems akin to DNA and proteins. What do you think of the chances of plasma based life? I think Olaf Stapledon would have smiled to learn of "dust life" and all the intensely electrical "dust-devils" that inhabit Mars - his Martians, from "Last, And First Men" were cloud-like distributed organisms.

Life has some strange possibilities indeed.
 

Re: How is
Date: 10/17/2007
From: Greg Bear

CITY has been delivered to my U.S. and UK editors. I've caught a fair number of the recent DR WHO episodes, and many have been excellent. I wonder if that year-number is entirely coincidental...? (I also sometimes wonder if EON's success in the UK was due in part to its resemblances to DOCTOR WHO. A time traveling object bigger on the inside than on the outside, leading to any number of times and alternate universes... an ambiguously human male who kidnaps a human female and makes her his partner... You decide!)
 

Interesting parallels
Date: 10/17/2007
From: Adam Crowl
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Hi Greg

Hey I hadn't thought of "Eon" and "Doctor Who" but it makes sense - and the "Lords" of the Infinite Hexamon manipulate time don't they? The Jarts are rather Dalek-like in their single-minded crusade too. LOL

Glad to hear the book is on its way. I'll be looking out for it here in Oz. Any teasers you can leak to us?
 

Interesting parallels
Date: 10/17/2007
From: Greg Bear

No teasers. Wouldn't want the Time Lords to hear!
 

Re: How is
Date: 10/17/2007
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Switzerland

Greg, many congratulations on getting that draft out!

and kind regards...
 

Re: How is
Date: 10/17/2007
From: patrick
Location:

I don't know about the Dr. Who/Eon thing. The Tom Baker episodes were my favorites, but honestly the whole thing was, and continues to be, a bit wonky. I'm still waiting for a serious, in many respects, film.

More on topic: for insight into speculated plasma life forms, check out Gregory Benford's Galactic Centre series.
 

Re: How is
Date: 10/20/2007
From: Greg Bear

Now for a bit of a breather, before the revisions come due...
 

Re: How is
Date: 10/20/2007
From: Greg Bear

The old WHO series are great fun. The new ones have equal manic energy, a very wonky imagination, and sometimes great heart as well.
 

Half the appeal was wonky sets
Date: 10/20/2007
From: Adam Crowl
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Hi again

Before the revived "Doctor Who" was aired here in Oz our ABC began playing all the old "Who" it could blow dust off over a couple of years, so we had the pleasure of seeing all the surviving wonky old episodes from 1963-1969, as well as the more complete 1970-1989 canon. There were many lacuna - a lot of BBC archival videotape had been "recycled" in the late 1960s. The dodgey model work and silly SFX were rather charming, making the old series more like stage-plays than SF TV.

By Jon Pertwee's era (1970-1974) things had improved immensely, though the monsters were pretty rubbery, yet clever TV work gave it real suspense value. Tom Baker's early episodes seemed a bit slip-shod compared to Pertwee's better episodes, but in time that improved. I always remember being genuinely terrified as a child by some of Baker's adventures. The Antimatter Monster of Zeta Minor remains my favourite, perhaps because it reminds me so much of "Forbidden Planet", another old fave. The fact even the Doctor couldn't over-power it and could only placate it always impressed me.

Peter Davison and Colin Baker's era (1981-1986) passed quite quickly when played back-to-back. Davison I actually liked as the Doctor, contra most other Who-nuts. Not much stood out the second time around for Colin Baker's episodes for me - his first runs were never repeated until this point.

Slyvester McCoy's revival (1988-89) was a kind of weird transition between old and new in my mind - first season of the New Who was showing by this time. In the 16 years between them a lot of back-story happened - the Time War/s and so on - but something stylistic survived.

I've never heard the radio-plays, so there's a fair bit of 'canon' I've missed. Some of the old "Who" future history has changed too - is the New Who in a parallel time-stream established post Time-War/s?

 

Re: How is "City at The End of Time going"?
Date: 10/22/2007
From: Richard Blaber
Location: Northamptonshire, England

The old WHOs _were_ great fun - particularly from the mid-1970s, during the Robert Holmes/Philip Hinchcliffe era, with Tom Baker as The Doctor. My favourite episodes are 'Pyramids of Mars' and 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang' (Seasons 13 & 14, available on DVD), both written by Holmes, the former under a nom-de-plume.
Do you have a favourite episode/episodes?
 

Re: How is
Date: 10/23/2007
From: Michael Pine
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Greg,

this certainly is great NEWS about City, can't wait for this book to come out.

Do you believe in eBooks ? Or will this only be delivered via good old Paperback/Hardcover.

Good luck with City as well.
 

Re: How is
Date: 10/24/2007
From: Greg Bear

CITY will no doubt be brought out in ebook form by Random House/Del Rey. (They helped put DARWIN'S RADIO and DARWIN'S CHILDREN on the top ten list of ebook bestsellers for a long time.) A lot of my books are also available from eReads, as well as other sources.
 

Re: How is/ No Teasers
Date: 10/26/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: Less Smoky San Diego, California

You had replied above in the thread:

"From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/17/2007

No teasers. Wouldn't want the Time Lords to hear!"

So, from what little I've been able to glean from one of your replies and the net, it's definitely gotten me intrigued, and the following just kinda popp'd into my head a few minutes ago:

All I know is that it is set on earth 100 Trillian years from now, and there's a metaphysical plague that threatens to corrupt all of history.

I visualize a teaser campaign, like maybe along the temporal freeway in Zelazny's ROADMARKS, along the lines of the Billboards along the I-8 in Arizona and then on the I-10, teasing motorists and families driving cross country on vacation, about THE THING. "What is it?" We passed it four times, twice in the 1960s, and Twice in the 1970s, and my Dad, whose driving mottos were "We're burning daylight" and "We're making good time", would Never never never ever stop there, how much we pleaded.

So I see this Billboard Campaign set up along the upwhen side of THE ROAD, starting just a little past the last exit to Babylon and ending just past the sign that says "Diaspar before Alvin of Loronei: 600 Million Years"

With cryptic hints every 30 million years. I will have to jump back into my study of BEING AND TIME to distract myself.

On a different note: While the fires are still burning on the mountains, the air cleared out in the city at 1:30 PM today, and temps have dropped back down into the 60s. Breathing isn't as much of a challenge. But's not over yet...

Mike


 

Re: How is
Date: 10/31/2007
From: Chris C
Location: Durban, South Africa

Noooooo not eBooks. I like to go to bed with a good paperback.

:-)
 

Re: How is/ No Teasers
Date: 11/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Sounds like a great campaign--now, can you suggest an advertising firm that will last that long? Good to hear the pollution is subsiding. Lots of friends and family in the area.
 

Re: How is
Date: 11/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

I'm sure there will be a paperback as well, Chris! A nice thick one... Though Sony's new reader looks intriguing. Might have to get one, finally.
 

Re: How is
Date: 11/06/2007
From: Jimmy Kinchloe
Location: Houston

Greg,

Will you be signing copies of CITY at the University Book Store (like you did with the UK edition of QUANTICO)?

BTW - just purchased a signed 1st of HEGIRA and SLANT, and they are on their way. (Apparently you reissued HEGIRA in hardback in 1988.)

Now, if I could just find PSYCHLONE...


Jimmy
 

Re: How is
Date: 11/06/2007
From: Greg Bear

I'll probably be doing a signing at University Bookstore. They've never failed to invite me--even had two signings for QUANTICO!
 

Big Rip, the Ripper....
Date: 12/03/2007
From: Steve Guy
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

I am not certain about this, but in only a few billion years, won't all the matter in the universe have been torn apart by the Big Rip? If not that, we will have to contend with proton decay in the future as well.

The story of a civilisation facing the Big Rip might be very interesting!
 

Big Rip, the Ripper....
Date: 12/05/2007
From: Greg Bear

Not quite sure what the Big Rip is--but yes, there are likely lots of strange phenomenon down the road a ways--and lots of opportunities for clever people to do New and Interesting Things. And new nemeses, as well.
 

Ripping yarns and catastophes
Date: 12/06/2007
From: Steven Guy
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Stuff on the Big Rip:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip

On Proton Decay:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton_decay

Another worry! M.31 in Andromeda on a collision course with the Milky Way galaxy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda_Galaxy
http://www.cita.utoronto.ca/~dubinski/tflops/

One of these is going to do us, or life in our galaxy, 'in' well before a trillion years has past, I think.

Sorry to bring the bad news!


 

Ripping yarns and catastophes
Date: 12/10/2007
From: Greg Bear

Only if we stand still...
 

Re: How is
Date: 01/07/2009
From: Fabi Quitales
Location: Manila

hi, greg! just wondrin' if there will also be a pocketbook version of your latest sf "city..."? i usually keep sf books in pocketbook version. what we have here in Manila are only those in paperback.
 

Re: How is
Date: 01/13/2009
From: Greg Bear

There's a paperback of CATEOT due this summer, U.S. edition.
 

Re: How is
Date: 01/19/2009
From: JJ Gianelli
Location: Honolulu

As a fan of Eon, I plowed through "City.." and to me it was a tremendous waste of space. I'm not into fantasy generally, but I'm really abhor pointless fantasy. How was I enriched or educated in any way by the time I wasted on this book?

Having said that and having invested the time in the book, I have some suggestions since celebrity and reputation will lure others:

1. Put in a glossary: What the hell is a "Gape"? After reading the book, still don't have a clue.

2. Tidy up the conclusion. We invested a lot effort in getting to know your characters and locales and at the end we know what happened to just 4 of them. What of the rest? Did they just cease to exist? End up in the garbage heap? Create their own fantasy universe? Seriously unsatisfying.

3 Explain specific fantasy references: e.g. on page 137 of the 1st Edition there is a reference to "that dark day of August 9, 1924 in Rheims". Nothing happened of relevance in our reality on that date/location and nothing is ever revisited in the book to explain what happened in the "reality" experienced by Glaucous.
 

Re: How is
Date: 01/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

I suspect a lot of readers found EON confusing as well. No glossary there, either! Some books request a little extra effort as they attempt to plow new land. Sorry this one did not connect for you. But compare the very enthusiastic reaction of other readers... what's a poor author to think?

Darwin's Radio

Date: 10/16/2007 From: Linda Byrne
Location: Atlanta Ga

I've never read a book before that I will take to my daughter (a doctor) to ask what all the words mean. Also will buy an audio of this book for her. I stopped reading science fiction many years ago when all of the ones I read seemed to have the same plot. Oops! My bad. Should have rechecked the genre earlier. I will of course get a copy of your other books. Thank you for an intriguing book and the mind-stretching ideas within.
 

Re: Darwin's Radio
Date: 10/16/2007
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Linda! (And there's even a glossary in the back...)
 

Re: Darwin's Radio
Date: 11/02/2007
From: Gretchen
Location: Connecticut shore

Books on Tape (from my local library )fill in the sleepless hours of each night. I have seldom been so swept away with fascinating writing as with Darwin's Radio. George Guidall's reading brought these characters to flesh and blood. Only a woman could have written the birthing sequence. How did you do that?

I want to read more about these people...as special humans but not as wierd creatures. I am not into Sci-fi. Reviews of your other books are scary. What else has been put on tape? Gretchen
 

Re: Darwin's Radio
Date: 11/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Gretchen! George's reading is famous, and he did a fine job on my novels. I believe he's also the reader for BLOOD MUSIC. Many of my books are out on tape or CD. I recommend against the bundled packs being sold on eBay and elsewhere--those are usually text-to-speech atrocities, and besides, they're pirated...

You might enjoy DEAD LINES and QUANTICO. They're both available from BBC audio.

Darwin's Radio and The Prometheus Myth.

Date: 10/14/2007 From: Richard Blaber
Location: Northamptonshire, England

You may remember that I posted an item to this 'blog on 01/31/2004 apropos 'Darwin's Children' which mentioned research showing large numbers of Gulf War Syndrome sufferers in Oregon and their families (85%) and a smaller number of recent-onset schizophrenia sufferers (29%) had evidence of activated HERV, either in the form of antibodies to proteins, or RNA in non-cellular cerebro-spinal fluid.
My subsequent research has taken me into a number of different fields, but I want to focus on the following: there is a HERV that was once (and still is) a SERV - a Simian Endogenous Retrovirus - rhesus monkeys have it, so do all the primates - and the common ancestor of rhesus monkeys and humans lived a long time ago. Jun-Seop Kim and colleagues at the National Institute of Health, Seoul, South Korea, found it at 20 different locations on 11 different human chromosomes, including the X.
The name we have given this HERV is SZRV-1: Schizophrenia Related Retrovirus 1. Its GenBank Accession Number, for anyone interested, is AF135487, and it is 2,309 base pairs long. There are 3 other versions, but they are as rare as hen's teeth.
We all have this virus. But rhesus monkeys, orang-utans, gorillas, chimps and bonobos don't get schizophrenia, and only 45 million of us worldwide suffer from it - which is 45 million too many.
Which brings me to Julian Jaynes's theory of the origin of consciousness and his concept of the 'bicameral mind', the idea that schizophrenia and creativity may be linked - and that the former may in some way be of net evolutionary benefit, even though it's difficult for us to see how.
It also brings me to the idea of the 'Palaeolithic Revolution', an idea promulgated by the Stanford University palaeoanthropologist Richard G. Klein, namely that about 40-50,000 years ago, a cognitive revolution took place, which enabled H. sapiens to make the transition to H. sapiens sapiens, paint the Lascaux and Altamira Caves, and ultimately the Sistine Chapel; invent the wheel, make more inventive stone and wooden tools, develop pottery, and eventually develop the science and technology we have today.
In my view, the Klein and Jaynes theories dovetail perfectly. It seems to me that Klein's 'Palaeolithic Revolution' coincides with the birth of Jaynes' 'bicameral mind', the 'voices' of the brain's right hemisphere whispering or shouting to the left hemisphere and telling it what to do - this made possible because language is possible, social communication and cooperation is possible, and cohesion and control are necessary. (But I refer you to Jaynes' book for a fuller argument.)
What sparks the birth, and the Revolution? The activation of SZRV-1, the ancient Teacher of Mankind, whether he is called Prometheus, as in Greek myth, or Raven, as in the stories of the Native Americans of the Pacific NW of the USA, or spoken of in the plural as the 'Fallen Ones' of Genesis 6:4 (see also the pseudepigraphical 1 Enoch 6-8). Why do I call it that? Because I suspect that the activation was caused by early experimentation with hallucinogenic fungus and/or plant materials, such as the ubiquitous (in Eurasia) Psilocybe semilanceata or Amanita muscaria.
If you smoke dope, take ecstasy and drop acid, you are certainly increasing your risks of developing schizophrenia, especially during adolescence, a period of rapid neural re-organisation. Some of our early ancestors may have found 'magic mushrooms' to their liking, and, like many who have experienced visions in such circumstances, seen their gods (or their demons) for the first time.
At some point, some individuals in the tribe would have started 'seeing things', as well as 'hearing voices' without the need for the mushrooms, the virus having taken hold. They would have been very valuable - not shunned as mad - but a conduit to the gods, a way of communicating with them, and more importantly, of receiving communications from them - vital, when everything in your world depends on the will of the gods.
I hope you'll forgive this ultra-long posting - but, a plausible hypothesis, do you think? Is SZRV-1 the Prometheus Virus, its 2,309 base pair DNA sequence The Prometheus Code (sounds like the title of a Robert Ludlum novel!)? Prometheus created and taught mankind, and gave him fire, and rescued Deucalion from the Flood, but there was also that nasty business with Pandora's Box! What gave us the edge over the Neanderthals (if Klein is right) may have left us a horrendous legacy of mental illness.
 

Re: Darwin's Radio and The Prometheus Myth.
Date: 10/15/2007
From: Greg Bear

Fascinating material and speculations, Richard. I tend to think culture, language, biology and DNA go hand in hand. A part that gets used more often may activate a set of genes--and over time, that set of genes may be multiplied for more efficient production of the necessary substances--proteins and what-have-you (with a more modern emphasis on "what-have-you"!). Transposons and retroviruses may contribute to that migration and duplication. But I'm relucant at this point to ascribe the "opening of the eyes" to one gene, and I suspect we know very little about mental illness in simians--certainly in the wild. Monkeys with visions are likely to be taken down by predators rather quickly, or perhaps kicked out of the group to die somewhere else. In society, predation of extreme visionaries is still a danger (from fellow humans, more often than not) but not as much of a danger. But it's still a good question: how often do simians in the wild suffer from mental illness?
 

Re: Darwin's Radio and The Prometheus Myth.
Date: 10/15/2007
From: Richard Blaber
Location: Northamptonshire, England

I am extremely doubtful that any non-human primates suffer, or have ever suffered from, any form of mental illness. I refer you to a report in ABC News' 'News in Science' by Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News, 'Neanderthal brain spared schizophrenia' (Wednesday, 06/13/07), describing findings by Dr Lee Seldon of Monash University, Australia, and Professor Timothy Crow of Oxford University.
I quote from the report:

'[n]eanderthals probably did not possess the cognitive complexities of modern humans so did not suffer from schizophrenia and certain other mental disorders, according to a new theory.
The theory proposes that language, creativity and many mental diseases are linked, due to the fact that they may originate in the neocortex, as well as the densely cell-packed cortex, located towards the top of the brain.
These brain regions appear to mature and develop more slowly than other areas.
Although there are conflicting claims about possible Neanderthal creative abilities, no direct evidence supports that this extinct human species or subspecies possessed fully fledged grammatical language'.

I believe, although I am not yet in a position to prove, that you cannot be mentally ill without a 'fully fledged grammatical language', and without the possibilities of creativity that are opened up by having the ability to think and communicate using one.
This, for me, is the very essence of Richard G. Klein's 'Paleolithic Revolution', and what Julian Jaynes was getting at talking about the birth of the 'bicameral mind'. You need grammatico-syntactical language for that, whether we're talking about Nostratic or Proto-Indo-European or whatever. And it didn't happen until 40-50,000 years ago, with the arrival of William Golding's 'Inheritors' in late Pleistocene Europe - the Cro Magnons, after which we have Lascaux, Altamira, the Venus of Willendorf... and so on to the Pyramids, the Parthenon, and everything that followed.
SZRV-1 is not, of course, a gene, but a HERV - a piece of so-called 'junk DNA'. Only today I suddenly thought of an analogy for it - it's a bit like the Black Monolith in '2001: A Space Odyssey', with the magic mushroom-eating Cro Magnons of the Upper Paleolithic substituting for Arthur C. Clarke's chimp-like hominids.
As for the aliens - they don't come from _outer_ space, but from _inner_ space, and anyone can see them and indeed converse with them (so I'm told, I haven't tried it yet) if they are prepared to partake of certain substances, some of which are legal in the USA. I think that includes Salvia divinorum, but I'm not sure (the active ingredient is Salvinorin A, the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen). Do take care if and when doing so!
 

Re: Darwin's Radio and The Prometheus Myth.
Date: 10/16/2007
From: Terran
Location: Winter Park, FL

Those are fascinating ideas, Richard!
 

Re: Darwin's Radio and The Prometheus Myth.
Date: 10/16/2007
From: Greg Bear

Clearly, Jane Goodall's murdering mother chimp--she enlisted her daughter to kill and eat the group's babies--was what most people would call psychopathic. A theory that is a string of unproven suppositions--Neanderthals did not have language, language is linked to mental illness, therefore Neaderthals could not have been mentally ill--is dubious at best. Never having met a Neanderthal, I leave that question open. I remind us Cro Magnon types that Neanderthals apparently had brains at least as large as our own, and sometimes larger. (Though brain/body size ratio would make Marmosets the smartest!)
 

Re: Darwin's Radio and The Prometheus Myth.
Date: 10/17/2007
From: Richard Blaber
Location: Northamptonshire, England

OK, let me simplify the argument down to a couple of presuppositions, rather than a whole set of them. To be mentally ill, you need to have a mind, and specifically, what Julian Jaynes would call a unicameral, or conscious, mind. Non-members of the sub-species homo sapiens sapiens do not (and did not), if I am right, have minds. Therefore non-humans cannot be mentally ill. (Or only humans can be mentally ill, if you want to put it that way.)
Gorillas, chimps and bonobos, for example, all have brains, and as you point out, H. neanderthalensis had a larger average brain c.c. than we do. But corvids are remarkably clever in spite of their tiny brain size (they weigh about 10g). But having a brain is not the same thing as having a mind, and brain dysfunction is not the same thing as mental illness. Nor, I would contend, is cognitive or behavioural dysfunction, per se - which would rule out Jane Goodall's 'psychopathic' mother chimpanzee. Human psychopaths aren't mentally ill either, btw, in the judgement of many psychiatrists, which is why when they kill we put them in prison (or execute them, if they're in the US) rather than in psychiatric hospitals.
No, the cognitive-behavioural dysfunction has to be coupled with a third ingredient if it is to count as mental illness, and that is consciousness. As Julian Jaynes argues, most of what the brain does is unconscious - it is no more conscious than a computer is. It is the small amount that is that's important here, that constitutes the experience of the ego, the conscious self. It's when cognitive-behavioural dysfunction implicates him or her that you have mental illness, be it schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, or whatever.
But I suspect we will just have to agree to disagree on this issue, because we have a fundamental philosophical disagreement about physical reality. I think there is more to reality than matter, energy, space and time - the things described by the laws of physics and the language of mathematics. After all, where did the laws of physics come from?
At any rate, you have my very best wishes, and I look forward to reading 'Quantico'. I'm sure it will be an exciting and enjoyable experience.

Research Question

Date: 10/12/2007 From: Frank Boyle
Location: United States

Mr. Bear;

This is a simple writing question on research. I'm currently writing a science fiction book and need to find out where or who to find some information on the following.
If half of the moon was destroyed, what would be the effects felt on earth? With only half of a moon, how big would the debris field be around the earth? Thank you for any and all insight you can give me on this subject, it will be deeply appreciated.
 

Re: Research Question
Date: 10/12/2007
From: Greg Bear

Interesting question, Frank! Maybe some of our readers can chime in with ideas. I assume much of the debris stays in orbit, and very likely a lot of it will hit the Earth, so it doesn't sound like a pleasant situation.
 

Re: Research Question
Date: 10/16/2007
From: Terran
Location: Winter Park, FL

I don't have an answer for that, but in doing a quick search I ran across this fun article on Leonid meteor showers on the moon that I thought some readers might enjoy: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast30nov_1.htm

 

Re: Research Question
Date: 10/16/2007
From: Greg Bear

Imagine meteorites the size of Greenland!
 

How did you get half the moon?
Date: 10/17/2007
From: Adam Crowl
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Hi Frank

How do you get half a moon without destroying the whole lot? Which half is destroyed? Outer crust, leaving the core? Or one side? Knowing these things would make guessing what the debris would do a bit easier to model.
 

researh question
Date: 10/21/2007
From: arvind mishra
Location: Varanasi

Could the debris form a multi layered ring like structure similar to that which surrounds the Saturn? But it could initiate some sort of perennial darkness akin to nuclear winter on earth .One thing is certain all low and high tides of the sea would be almost gone!On funny side there would be dearth of lunatic personalities on earth .Some biorhythms of animals like grunion fishes might also be disturbed.
Ancient Hindu scripture Rigveda says that moon is derived from the Gigantic Man's [VISWE DEVAH]mind -Chandrama[Moon] Manaso[mind]jatah[born],if we give some credence to observational knowledge it could also be said that the destruction of moon may also effect man's psyche.
 

Re: Research Question
Date: 10/21/2007
From: Frank Boyle
Location: United States

From: Adam Crowl
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Date: 10/17/2007

Hi Frank

How do you get half a moon without destroying the whole lot? Which half is destroyed? Outer crust, leaving the core? Or one side? Knowing these things would make guessing what the debris would do a bit easier to model.

Mr. Crowl,

What I am trying to basically find out is if the moon was split in 2 as from an explosion,leaving only half of a moon. What would be the effect felt on earth. Also roughly how much of the debris field would stay in orbit and how much would stike the earth?
 

researh question
Date: 10/22/2007
From: Greg Bear

A lot of plants and animals plan their reproductive cycles by the tides and even by moonlight. Would be quite a shock--if any survived!

nobel associations...

Date: 10/11/2007 From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Switzerland

Hi Greg,

I don't know if you knew about this. It appears on the Wikipedia page for Doris Lessing, who just was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and quotes her.


"What they didn't realize was that in science fiction is some of the best social fiction of our time. I also admire the classic sort of science fiction, like Blood Music, by Greg Bear. He's a great writer.".[14]


Regards, Greg,
Clive
 

Re: nobel associations...
Date: 10/11/2007
From: Greg Bear

Congratulations to Doris Lessing. We dined with Ms. Lessing and her son Peter in Brighton in 1987, and found them lovely company. She's said kind things about my work over the years, but this is her moment in the sun. Doris Lessing has written masterpieces, suffered for speaking truth, and irritated more than a few grumpy, bitter old men, and over a remarkable career (far from over) she's created a brave and richly varied opus. These accomplishments make her prize long overdue and well deserved. Three cheers!

Doris Lessing awarded the Nobel price of literature ....

Date: 10/11/2007 From: Lasse Stenholm
Location: Sthlm, Sweden


And the funny thing was; earlier today, before the announcement, I said to a colleague: "Who cares abt the Nobel price in literature anyway? No SF-writer will ever get it anyway!" And until this year I've still more or less always followed the announcement with interest, since 1984.

But what happens, an "obscure" British SF-writer gets it and also mentions Greg Bear's Blood Music as a great influence! :)

Gosh!!

//Lasse
 

Re: Doris Lessing awarded the Nobel price of literature ....
Date: 10/11/2007
From: Greg Bear

She nows joins the roster of William Golding and Rudyard Kipling, both writers of science fiction, of course! Doris Lessing is hardly obscure, however. She's one of the most well-known and influential writers in the last sixty years.

eon

Date: 10/05/2007 From: jofa
Location: uk

what can i say? I've read much of your work but I always come back to eon. Truly beautiful. You've painted thistledown and the axis cities so carefully. could it ever be a film? if so, please let me do the music!

jofa_non

Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.

Date: 10/05/2007 From: Mike Glosson
Location: Normal Heights, San Diego, California, USA, Earth, Sol System, Orion Arm, Milkway, Local Group

Greg: It's been at least a year and a half since I've had a chance to drop you a line. Currently on Sabatical from my Network Engineering Career (more on that later, differnt message)and catching up on my reading. After finally finishing Durrell's Alexandria Quartet I needed something a bit least emotionally exhausting and intellectually stimulating.
Your work has been coming up in our household since you appeared on the Daily Show talking about your latest nearly main stream novel and dazzling John Stewart. And you came up again while we were watching a repeat of the "Worms" episode of Futurama, where Fry is redesigned by super intelligent intestinal worms, and I told my wife that the premise was out of the Bear Story "Blood Music" but with some major redesign.
And Blood Music came up again, both Story and Novel, when our friend who does neural-molecular studies at UCSD (and is working on the receptor site mechanics of schizophrenia currently) when I related the Futurama episode (which happened to be on again when she called) sited above and we got off on a discussion of biochips...she had just finished reading Gibson's Mona Lisa Overdrive for the firt time and I remarked that your story/novel was the first place the concept actually showed up in fiction, she was stunned having only read your two fantasy novels, so I need to educate her on the Bear Oeuvre, especially since she was in a seminar a few years back run by the inventor of the birth control pill who wrote novels about the scientific process.
So, exhausted by Durrell and still needing to replace more Bear in my Library, went out and found copies of THE WIND FROM A BURNING WOMAN, which I'd never previously owned, TANGENTS, which I had owned but only remembered three of the stories in it, plus the final piece about computer graphics, and STRENGTH OF STONES, which the last section didn't quite match up to the original version I read.
I noticed the there was a second copy right date (1988) for the composite "novel" about the dissolution of the cities on GOD DOES BATTLE, was the last section re-written? And I couldn't see any difference between the version of Mandala in this novel, or the one that was anthologized in THE WIND FROM A BURNING WOMAN.
And I'd never before read that title story, though I think you mentioned it during one of the classes you taught at Crawford. The story seemed to fit, and yet not, into the future history of EON and ETERNITY, and re-reading "Scattershot" made me think about the various stories you published in Galaxy and elsewhere of that some where between Niven's "Known Space" some where between the galaxy in "Star Trek" and something completely your own with higher geodesics ftl travel, almost yet not quite a series, with BEYOND HEAVEN'S RIVER being the one full novel from that universe, STRENGTH OF STONES, woven from smaller works, appenedable to that.
I've started to replace some of my lost issues of Galaxy from back in the day (and found a source here to do that), but thought "wouldn't it be great if all that material was compiled in one place, with some authors notes?" And maybe some new material set in that Universe?
Consider that a request. I'd buy that, having done the same with gathering togethers of out of print Niven Known Space characters in CRASHLANDER and FLATLANDER.
Anyway, it's been a fun week reading your prose, leaving me invigorated and page turning.
How much longer before Science Fiction becomes the Main Stream?
Out to finally buy a copy of Quantico...

Mike Glosson
 

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.
Date: 10/06/2007
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Mike! Good to hear from you. Don't recall a new copyright on STRENGTH OF STONES, not since the early eighties. The stories were fixed up for the volume published by Ace Books back then, but haven't been substantially revised since. Mandala is likely much the same, and the recent story collection does include revised versions of the stories. I'm a fan of FUTURAMA, of course! QUANTICO is still rolling along, and we're planning for the American paperback due this summer.
 

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.
Date: 10/06/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

I'm already to Part 2 of Quantico. Having part of it set in Temecula has brought the heebeegeebees a bit closer to home, since a decade ago I had active contacts in the Vineyard country, before the dotcom bust. I haven't had one of your books be this compulsive a page turner since Psychlone; and that's saying something, since I can get engrossed in your prose for several hours at a time and not notice.
Let's see how far I can get before social life starts at 7 PM.
Has this been optioned for film rights yet? Having become hooked on the best main stream scifi show on TV, the original CSI (and the real world still hasn't caught up with the tech they use on that show) I was already seen it as Film as I was reading it.
 

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.
Date: 10/11/2007
From: Greg Bear

No nibbles on QUANTICO yet.
 

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.
Date: 10/11/2007
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Give it some time. Of all your work, this would be the easiest to film, being character and event driven, with minimal special effects needed.
Got thru two thirds of Q before we had to go out (we were 1.5 hours behind schedule) and then finished it Sunday mid day.
The Mulder/Scully getting busted like moments at the climax of the novel even keyed it more for me: This is more of what the X-Files should have been like, instead of getting wrapped up mega conspiracy ufo story arcs.
I see multiple built in audiences for this, crime drama, fbi crime drama, out collective terrorism concern, x-file fan cross overs, etc.
While I stated above that your works tend to be engrossing and engaging page turners I almost got friction burns on my fingers this time!
This could be your "Jurassic Park".

Cheers!

MG
 

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.
Date: 10/11/2007
From: Greg Bear

Ah, but those dinosaurs... tough to beat!

Shuttle disasters

Date: 10/02/2007 From: Nancy Cook Lauer
Location: Honolulu, HI

Aloha, Mr. Bear!

I am a dedicated fan and have read most, if not all, books by "the Three B's," including your wonderful sequel to the Azimov Foundation Trilogy.

However, in the midst of enjoying "Quantico," I was jolted back to reality on the reference to the 2003 "Challenger" disaster. I'm thinking Challenger happened much earlier than 2003, and perhaps that was the Columbia disaster your character was referring to.

Thanks for listening to my comment.

:)
N
 

Re: Shuttle disasters
Date: 10/03/2007
From: Greg Bear

Absolutely, Nancy. How did this one slip by so many readers? And copy-editors! We're going to correct it in the U.S. paperback edition.

Lamarckia?

Date: 10/02/2007 From: Michael Badran
Location: San Diego, Ca.

I've recnetly re-read Eon & Eternity (reading Eon was an epiphany for me which sparked a love for reading that I had never known prior to it). At the end of Eternity there's mention of Lamarckia, said to be set in the Eon universe. Was that book ever written, finished, published? Was it renamed? Also, are there any current movie plans for Eon?

thank you,
Michael
 

Re: Lamarckia?
Date: 10/03/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Michael! LAMARCKIA was retitled to LEGACY. I'm not so sure the earlier title isn't better--we could box it up with Robert Charles Wilson's DARWINIA!

Permission to post your words in eulogy

Date: 09/29/2007 From: Thomas Meacham, MD
Location: South GA, North FL

A good friend died today. It was around the time I was listening to your audiobook ending (epilogue) of Darwin's Children.

She would have agreed, being a Unitarian Universalist and all.

Your words on love,success and failure. Would you send them to me so that I may post them to specific persons (possibly a website if OK) in context of her death? Will attribute gratefully.

I think that those are words that need to be spread. I recommend you set them free into the wild. What a fine UU sermon.

Geeky questions about centrifugal force

Date: 09/27/2007 From: Randy Merkel
Location: Paso Robles, CA

Howdy,

Feel free to post this on your blog if it has any redeeming value... I kind of doubt it ;)

I recently read EON which reminded me about some questions I had with centrifugal force used as artificial gravity in Clarks Ravenous with Rama. My first question is about jumping:

Lets say Im standing on the earth and I jump as high as I can. My legs accelerate me at more that 1G so I leave the ground. However two forces try to slow me down, resistance to the air (very small) and the Earths gravity which exerts a constant 1G at sea level. My attempt at a take off quickly comes to a stop and return to Earth.

But lets say Im standing on the inside of a really big, hollow, spaceship like Thistledown or Rama that spinning for artificial gravity. Since Im in contact with the inside of the ship, centrifugal (or is it centripetal?) force pushes me against the hull and I feel like I have weight. But what happens if I jump? Well it seems to me that as soon as I lose contact with the spinning hull Im no longer accelerated against it, and since there is no gravity, worth worrying about& Im in free flight! Sure the atmosphere will tend to slow me down but at something like 10 meters per second, thats not a lot of force. Seems like Id go for quite a flight! One wonders if it would be best to go about with a small jet pack or a collapsible set of wings just in case ;)

Note that in the Rama book a character took a chance by jumping off of a high cliff south of the big circular sea. My argument was I thought that he should arrive at the water going no faster than when he stepped off of the cliff because there would be no additional acceleration due to gravity. As a matter of fact, the atmosphere would tend to slow him down a little.

This leads to the air in the ship. I was never quite sure if you implied that the air in Thistledown grew thinner near the central axis, there was some sort of barrier, but I seem to recall that Clarke suggested near vacuum at Ramas access. Why? Well because gravity was pushing the air towards the hull& But what! There is no gravity, just spin. Id suggest that only the air molecules in contact with the hull would have weight. Air molecules not in contact with the hull would only be accelerated towards the hull by resistance with other molecules. Thus the gas would tend to fill the entire ship with more or less the same pressure.

So what do you think? Would one past time of the people of these ships be human powered flight or am I missing something?!??

Thanks for your time!

-- Randy in Paso
 

Re: Geeky questions about centrifugal force
Date: 09/27/2007
From: Greg Bear

I used Rendezvous with Rama as a test case when I was doing the equations for EON. While you're figuring this out (I'm not going to do it for you--Ask Marilyn vos Savant for that one!) don't neglect to take into account the Parable of the Spinning Plumb Bob. What happens if some mischievous imp decides to give the bob a little push toward you, as you spin it on the end of a string? (Just a single push--not a continuous force.) Does the bob keep moving until it hits you? If not, why not? (Hint: What are the bob's vector components?) The same effects will determine what happens to the atmosphere and everything else within the spinning cylinder. Objects at the axis are like a little bob on a much shorter string--or stuck to your finger. How would they move outward?
 

Re: Geeky questions about centrifugal force
Date: 09/27/2007
From: Randy Merkel
Location: Paso Robles, CA

You sly dog you! I havent checked with Ms. vos Savant, did I commit a logical fallacy somewhere? Well I wont be surprised&

I found this interesting link on circular motion (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/circ.html#circ) which shows the approximated vectors of our plumb bob.

I want to ask about driving an auto exactly counter to, and at the same speed as the ships rotation, but thinking about it is giving me a headache J

BTW I liked the book. Too bad the USSR broke up huh? I guess thats the risks of setting a story in the near future.

-- Randy in Paso
 

Re: Geeky questions about centrifugal force
Date: 09/28/2007
From: Greg Bear

Ah, but Putin seems intent on making any revision of EON to bring it up to date fairly minor! That car experiment by the way is quite good. It would have to go darn fast, of course, on a smooth circular track. That would be like putting a little rocket motor on the plumb bob, opposite the spin...

Now consider the diameter of a wheeled space station necessary to allow riding bicycles! Remember, the head is inboard and thus spins slower than than the feet... In the movie "2001," it seems very likely the astronauts in their lovely white squirrel cage--diameter approximately fifty feet--would become quite motion sick after a short time of standing up.
 

Re: Geeky questions about centrifugal force
Date: 09/29/2007
From: patrick
Location:

Um, isn't it referred to as 'inertial frames of reference'? In any case, there's probly all kinds of info on the NASA site with regard to things they've done in the shuttle, etc.

On Putin: well, yeah, given the recent story of that new bomb and that they've re-instated strategic bomber missions....and then, again, this news I caught from Bruce Sterling's WIRED blog about them becoming unified under a sort of mafia, perhaps distorted capitalistic, rule makes me wonder in an obscurely different direction.
 

Re: Geeky questions about centrifugal force
Date: 09/29/2007
From: Greg Bear

Of course, I'd have to take out all the Socialist rhetoric... wonder what will replace those five-year plans? Strangely, I feel almost nostalgic about this turn of events. Our good old adversaries, the Russians, back to keep us on our toes! They're even flying bombers of the same vintage we're using. Fifty years and counting... By the way, my guess is, a rotating space station is going to have to be almost a thousand feet in diamter to avoid nausea caused by coriolis. Which is why I suggested tethered crew quarters in MOVING MARS.

News article

Date: 09/20/2007 From: Sundy
Location: Texas

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070920/od_nm/human_ancestor1_dc_1;_ylt=Amp2uqWGhokpPkC9nn4.aqQE1vAI

Interesting news item in the above link. Coincidentally, I just finished Darwin's Children, and I loved it!
 

Re: News article
Date: 09/20/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Sundy! A very interesting piece. Lots more study to be done, obviously.

Blog to blog

Date: 09/20/2007 From: Burt Webb
Location: Seattle

Greg;

Well, we may be blogging but at least we are not streaming yet!!

I am looking forward to participating in your blog. Hope you find some of my ramblings interesting.

Regards

Burt

Article of interest to fans of Darwins' Radio...

Date: 09/18/2007 From: Mike McCaa
Location: Huntington Beach, Ca

Hello Mr. Bear and readers.

This may be old news to some of you who are current in all things genomic(hey! I made a new word!) But I found it interesting, uplifting etc.And of course I immediately thought of Greg's great acheivments: Darwins' Radio.

It's a Newsweek piece about the newly found technique of "speed reading the human genome".

here is a link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20806414/site/newsweek/

peace,
mike
 

Re: Article of interest to fans of Darwins' Radio...
Date: 09/19/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Mike!

Darwin's Radio Comments

Date: 09/11/2007 From: Greg Thorne
Location: Tulsa, OK

Greg-
I have a long drive from where I'm currently attending classes in OKC to Tulsa on the weekends, so I picked up "Darwin's Radio" at my local library to keep me occupied for a few weeks.

I enjoyed it. I thought the science was intriguing, and the concept was fresh and original. I'm an analytical person, and a graduate student in Nutrition Science, so the ideas of this novel really appealed to me.

What did break me out of the narrative, though, was the depictions of Christians. It seemed that whenever Christians were mentioned in the story, they were either (a) uneducated, reactionary simpletons who saw the Shiva infection as some sort of punishment from God, or (b) sheep that would follow the directive of anything Pat Robertson says.

I think I should inform you that there are also educated, rational minded Christians out there as well. Christians who understand science, but also believe in the sanctity of life, that would go through with a Shiva pregnancy. Christians who never listen to Pat Robertson, and could care less about what he says (or, think he's an embarrassment to their faith). I thought these types of Christians, the kinds I know personally, were glaring omissions from an otherwise fine book.

Overall, however, I did enjoy it very much, and look forward to "reading" (listening to) your other books as well. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and keep up the good work!

Sincerely,

Greg Thorne
2nd Year MA in Nutritional Sciences
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
 

Re: Darwin's Radio Comments
Date: 09/18/2007
From: Greg Bear

You cite no specific passages, Greg, so I guess I can't respond. Take a look at DARWIN'S CHILDREN for an even more nuanced depiction of religions and affiliations.

Burt Webb's new blog

Date: 09/09/2007 From: Burt Webb
Location: Seattle, WA

I usually try to tailor my conversation to the interests of my audience. The problem with starting this blog is that I don't know who my audience will be. When I was invited to create this blog, I asked what I should write about. The response was that I should just write about what interests me. That covers a lot of territory.

The first question that had to be answered was what the title should be. I finally settled on the Nexilist's Notebook. The word "nexilist" is derived from "nexialist", a neologism coined by a science fiction author named A.E. Van Vogt in 1950 novel called "The Voyage of the Space Beagle". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voyage_of_the_Space_Beagle

He defined nexialist as "One skilled in the science of joining together in an orderly fashion the knowledge of one field of learning with that of other fields". I changed the spelling because 1) I think his spelling is awkward, 2) I think my spelling is a better use of the root nexus with the usual "ist" ending of a practitioner such as "chem-ist", 3) Nexialist was already in wide use and the domain names were taken.

I have been interested in interdisciplinary studies since I was a kid. So this blog will cover a wide variety of subjects including how everything is connected. Politics, society, psychology, technology, religion, myth, dreams, the arts, and winning at the game of life. Welcome to my blog.

www.nexilist.com

Burt Webb
 

Re: Burt Webb's new blog
Date: 09/18/2007
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Burt! having blogged together on panels at conventions--or is that "clogging"?--I'm sure this will be interesting and fun.

Quantico

Date: 09/03/2007 From: Al Curtis
Location: Atlanta, Georgia area

Loved the book. Best Greg Bear book for me since EON.

I tend to subconsiously look for errors as I read (this helps me slow down enough to really enjoy the book rather than skim). I have not found many errors in your books. However, on page 140 of the Hardback edition, Rebecca Rose refers to the "Challenger" tumbling out of orbit in 2003 and the ant colony surviving. Shouldn't that have been the shuttle "Discovery"?

Keep up the good work. Each time I begin to read a Greg Bear book I know that I have several hours of enjoyment ahead of me.

Regards
 

Re: Quantico
Date: 09/04/2007
From: Greg Bear

Arggh! Excellent catch, Al. How did this one slip by all of us? I blame a chaotic publishing process... and editors who were younger when Challenger went down, as was I.
 

Re: Quantico
Date: 09/04/2007
From: patrick
Location:

I wondered on this one....of course, only past references are given to things, nothing current, and we don't even know the ages of anyone in the front, so we're not even sure when this is. I assumed this was intentional. Nice one, Greg.
 

Re: Quantico
Date: 09/04/2007
From: Greg Bear

Not at all intentional--Rebecca mentions the date! Just a goof. I'm trying to get it corrected in the paperback edition. If anyone else has found goofs, let me know in the next week or so.
 

Re: Quantico
Date: 09/04/2007
From: Al Curtis
Location: Atlanta, Georgia area

The shuttle Challenger explosion is one of those "do you remember what you were doing when" moments for me. I was a Junior majoring in Physics and had just walked back to the dorm after a long night and early morning of studying. Perhaps that is why it seemed to stand out on the page.

I really do enjoy your work and wish I had just a fraction of the creativity it takes to write like you do.

Al



 

Re: Quantico
Date: 09/04/2007
From: Greg Bear

Well, I could certainly use a little of your discerning focus, Al! Thanks again.
 

Re: Quantico
Date: 09/04/2007
From: Joseph
Location:


I have just rediscovered your work, I read some early pieces and now I am immersed in Quantico. This is one nifty book and I too look for silly errors, I don't mind them at all if they are not crucial to the plot.

Being one of those crazy gun nuts I did notice that your FBI students have revolvers at the top of page 34 and then they pull out Glocks and Sigs during the exercise. I am sure you know the difference since the revolver has a cylinder that contains 5 or 6 bullets while the pistols have a much larger capacity in magazines.

A few of the time lines are a bit off and I wonder if this had been a work in process for a number of years. Anyway this is a top notch tale and I don't tend to second guess the actions of the characters, they are all a lot of fun. Thank you Greg Bear for such entertaining readable work.

 

Re: Quantico
Date: 09/05/2007
From: Greg Bear

Check--revolvers will be replaced with pistols. Thanks, Joseph!

On Quantico (possible spoilers)

Date: 09/03/2007 From: patrick
Location:

(I was going to post this at the Quantico forum, but haven't received my confirmation. It's a conspiracy! heheh.)

Well, I just finished Quantico. Curiously, I think I was the first one to get it from my library. Neat tale. As always, you're thinking very queerly, which gives one much to think over. I have some questions (rhetorical or no), or/and commentary:

- SoAz scene: close to home, here. Was this a state route? Which one?

- OCD Rebecca: I identify with the hand thing. However, I bet I got one on her: her phone touches her face.

- securing the barn: perhaps they could've used some kind of gas or aerated powder that would inhibit non-sealed electronics from functioning, so as to prevent the function of most hand-made devices.

- entering the barn: couldn't they've used aerial bots to reconnoiter? Or, when they personally went in, why didn't they use a trailing bot as a com hub?

- inside the barn/down in the basement: perhaps they could've carried electrical extinguishers for a contingency - such as the spark gap. Also, maybe they could've used a tool or their hands to ruin, or use something to somehow obstruct, the spark gap?

- Griff, post-explosion: um, a pen and pad? Maybe a stylus pad and screen above him showing virtual keyboard - and slaved to their slates so they have constant and consistent updating!? They woulda figured out stuff a lot sooner...although, come on, a map location?....GO THERE. NOW. Or just make a call to their local police.

- food and stuff: See's candies?! Blech - an urban myth that that is chocolate. Hot wings....it's interesting how this spicy food has spread across the country; I'm suspicious where they come from, though; I don't eat 'em.

- the bakery: short, but sweet. Grain products have less oversight! Good thing I don't eat 'em.

- contained thinking: they, even William, are constantly thinking very straight line. I mean, in this age of media ironies... Another (perhaps contrasting) thing is their general lack of bearing. Even in the academy, they're still civilians. Our current military branches, including the Marine Corps to some extent, are not disciplined enough. They have civilian mentalities. Of course, there is the concerning prospect of creating 'Saurons' (think Pournelle's War World). Perhaps Dan Simmon's idea of contracted security forces is the better idea.

- lastly, memory: this is a neat idea. Take away their memory of hate. Does fatality follow this, though? Alternatively, perhaps they could design organisms to affect particular neuro-chemisty? And, then there's HAARP.
 

Re: On Quantico (possible spoilers)
Date: 09/04/2007
From: Greg Bear

All good thoughts, patrick. Though Rebecca is not so much a sufferer of OCD as she is an ex-smoker. (Is there a difference, you might ask? Well...) As for coulda-hadda-woulda, to misquote Mr. Rumsfeld, you go to war with the stuff you got...

I like See's! Love the little toffee hammer.

One Species' Genome Discovered Inside Another's

Date: 08/30/2007 From: patrick
Location:

"Bacterial to Animal Gene Transfers Now Shown to be Widespread, with Implications for Evolution and Control of Diseases and Pests"

http://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=2963
 

Re: One Species' Genome Discovered Inside Another's
Date: 08/30/2007
From: Greg Bear

This is fascinating stuff, patrick. Wolbachia can dominate insect reproduction--but now, we're well into VITALS and DARWIN'S RADIO territory! Here's a quote from the Rochester piece: "This study establishes the widespread occurrence and high frequency of a process that we would have dismissed as science fiction until just a few years ago," says W. Ford Doolittle, Canada Research Chair in Comparative Microbial Genomics at Dalhousie University, who is not connected to the study. "This is stunning evidence for increased frequency of gene transfer."

Amen!
 

Re: One Species' Genome Discovered Inside Another's
Date: 08/30/2007
From: patrick
Location:

No sh*&. Look out - you might soon be hailed as the new Nostradamus - with all that might entail.
 

Re: One Species' Genome Discovered Inside Another's
Date: 08/31/2007
From: Alex Tolley
Location: Los Gatos, CA

Time to re-read "Acquiring Genomes: The Theory of the Origins of the Species". This is the hypothesis the book explores.

The more we find out about biological mechanisms, the more the central dogma proves inadequate. It really is looking like evolution by natural selection is the only robust theory in biology to stand the test of time.

Fascinating indeed.
 

Re: One Species' Genome Discovered Inside Another's
Date: 09/04/2007
From: Greg Bear

I'll have to be lots more obscure to meet the standards of old Mr. N....
 

Re: One Species' Genome Discovered Inside Another's
Date: 09/04/2007
From: Greg Bear

One of my favorites from a few years back--still very timely and important--is LATERAL DNA TRANSFER by Frederic Bushman. A technical text--but still accessible. Back when I was writing VITALS, I was searching for a bacterium that could write to host DNA... and couldn't find an example! Now we have one, and probably more will follow. (Mitochondria have swapped genes with nuclear DNA in cells, but it's been a long time since they were free-roving bacteria.)

How I Got Published Latest News

Date: 08/25/2007 From: Duane Lindsay
Location: Denver, Colorado

Big News! Big News!

The advance copies of How I Got Published just arrived. I've been reading through one of them and it is absolutely gorgeous.

The actual release date is mid-September but I'm told I'll have author copies next week. As soon as I do I'll be sending you your copy, with deep thanks for your contribution.

I went to a writing critique group last night with a copy (could not possibly resist) and the reaction was amazing. New writers are eager to hear how to break into this business and they couldn't wait to see how you all did it.

So watch your mailboxes sometime in early September. I think you'll be impressed.

Thanks again,

Duane
 

Re: How I Got Published Latest News
Date: 08/29/2007
From: Greg Bear

Congratulations, Duane! Looking forward to seeing it.

Film Query re Forge of God

Date: 08/22/2007 From: Richard Bruns
Location: Napa CA

Hi
I recently started reading The Forge of God again, and realized that I was associating images with the narrative. The last I heard, Forge was optioned by Warner Bros. but has not been produced. Has it been released, by WB or others, under a different title. I could swear I've seen a recent film that follows the plot line fairly closely?
Thanks,
RFB - Napa
 

Re: Film Query re Forge of God
Date: 08/22/2007
From: Greg Bear

No film quite like that--though there have been a good number of alien invasion pictures since the novel was published. The best of these is Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS, which puts the war machines underground...
 

Re: Film Query re Forge of God
Date: 08/29/2007
From: David Leeman
Location: UK

I have had recently suffered the ambiguous misfortune of seriously injuring my knee! I say ambiguous because it gave me the excuse to read through the Forge of God and Anvil of the Stars back to back. I was lucky enough to accidentally stumble on these titles in 1996, coincidentally the same year that the incidents portrayed in the Forge of God were played out.
I maintain that no books have matched them for depth nor any story succeeded in creating such a convincing, ambitious projection of alien technology, society, culture and biology. Encouraging to see a writer unafraid of avoiding the 'happy ending' syndrome.
Although these book use what I would describe as a hard sci fi backdrop, they are more philosophical in nature, good vs. evil is smashed into myriad cyclical paradoxes of unresolved anguish. No heroes using inborn skills to overcome an enemy conjured into existence merely for a clean 'good guy kills bad guy' high noon type scenario here. The ultimate destruction of the enemny remains uncertain, yet the ending is far from disappointing. The Law is carried out, yet many innocents are destroyed, human perceptions of right or wrong are shown to be miniscule in their importance; cold Judgement is the dish of the day. Our travellers are thrown into a quandary when deciding whether the Leviathan system dwellers are guilty. Even the Judgement, designed to be coldly logical and clear in its intent divides the travellers. The Brothers, so inherently t odds with aggression, yet demanding justice almost appear to hand over the Job to the humans. In this group there are divisions as the philosophical arguments manifest themselves as heresy and betrayal, young adults acting more on emotion than cold calculation.
I did hear a rumour that a third book was to be written, is this still a possibility?
The idea of a movie would be fantastic, yet I fear that it will become so diluted (look at Contact) that the philosophical element will give way to dazzling special effects and gun toting heroes!
The Forge of God stands on its own as a very likely candidate for the adaptation to the silver screen. Anvil of the Stars would be more cerebral in content, so I can see the difficulty for mainstream audiences.
Either I undoubtedly look forward to seeing the destruction of Earth, Brothers, Dawn Treader, the moms, the Wormwood and Leviathan systems and denizens therein played out through CGI!
Masterpieces, sorry for wanting more!
 

Re: Film Query re Forge of God
Date: 08/29/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, David! Movies are indeed a different artform--with a much larger audience. Actually, I quite enjoyed CONTACT the film--however different from the novel. Carl's novel is still there... waiting, I guess, for a 10-part Masterpiece Theater treatment!
 

Re: Film Query re Forge of God
Date: 08/30/2007
From: John P. Brown
Location: San Diego, California

I feel that, in order to do justice to the storyline and all of the characters, "The Forge Of God" should be made into a mini-series. That way, you wouldn't have to cut out so much, and/or combine so many characters. It's a wonderfully written book, and I plan on reading it again (I first read it back in the mid-90s, and I still have the same copy I bought back then. Every so often, I find myself reading a few pages here and there. I especially like the part where Edward Shaw goes to Yosemite, and spends his last month or so there. There, he meets a woman, and runs into his friend Minelli. With special effects the way they are now, this would be a great movie, especially if someone like Spielberg directed it.

For the part of Trevor Hicks, might I suggest Stuart Wilson (Jack Travis in "Lethal Weapon 3"). For Walt Samshow, someone like Richard Attenborough would be wonderful. Anyway, these are just some thoughts I have on the subject.
 

Re: Film Query re Forge of God
Date: 01/19/2009
From: BRIAN H.
Location: San Diego, CA

I remember reading "Forge" a few times in the early- to mid-90's and I could clearly see: Tom Selleck as Arthur Gordon, Nick Mancuso ("Stingray" TV series in '86-'87) as Harry Feinman, Bob Gunton as Pres. Crockerman, David Warner as Trevor Hicks, James Garner as Walt Samshow...
I don't know if that casting would hold up if it were to be made into a film/mini-series today, but it sure seemed feasible at the time I read the book.
 

Re: Film Query re Forge of God
Date: 01/22/2009
From: Greg Bear

Excellent casting. This kind of "fantasy cast" can be great fun--for example, Kirk Douglas was briefly involved with "A Princess of Mars" back in the 1950s, I recall--who would be better as John Carter, him or Burt Lancaster? Who would be the best today? (I thought Brad Pitt did an amazing physical acting job with Achilles in TROY... Then compare his performance in TWELVE MONKEYS or BURN AFTER READING. Talk about range!)

Alternative fuels: it's getting gooey-er

Date: 08/21/2007 From: patrick
Location:

Fungi Make Biodiesel Efficiently at Room Temperature

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/08/fungi-make-biod.html

In a sense, this is nano, just one we haven't created.
 

Re: Alternative fuels: it's getting gooey-er
Date: 08/22/2007
From: Greg Bear

Burning gray goo could be a solution to any nano crisis!

Web site suggestion

Date: 08/21/2007 From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

I'd (and I suspect others would) love to see a links section on your website. I can't even imagine the interesting sites you'd come up with.
 

Re: Web site suggestion
Date: 08/22/2007
From: Greg Bear

Good idea. I do post links other folks find--but am not known for my webcrawling habits!
 

Re: Web site suggestion
Date: 08/27/2007
From: Terran
Location: Winter Park, FL

Hi Steven - Actually, there already is a links section on the site, but there's not a lot of sites there yet - just go to the home page and click on LINKS on the main menu.
 

Re: Web site suggestion
Date: 09/18/2007
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose, CA

Thanks! Missed it completely.

"Quantico" was a real page-turner!

Date: 08/20/2007 From: Chuck Anziulewicz
Location: Spring Hill, West Virginia

DEAR GREG:

I just finished reading "Quantico" and just wanted to express my admiration to you for writing such a gripping, frightening novel filled with so many well-drawn characters. Although Pete Farrow was not one of the MAJOR players, he stood out for me especially in the colorful way he had of expressing himself; I was reminded a bit of the drill sergeant in "Full Metal Jacket."

One tiny bit of the novel stood out and made me chuckle. As the FBI agents conducting surveillance of The Partriarch's farm are wondering how to make contact with him, [FBI agent] Rebecca Rose suggests masquerading as a census-taker ... and I was suddenly reminded of "The Silence of the Lambs," when Hannibal Lecter famously tells [FBI agent] Clarice Starling, "I was tested by a census-taker once. I ate his liver with fava beans and nice chianti."

Your book also made me want to learn more about Islam, and I ended up looking up articles on Mecca and the Masjid al-Haram. Did you have someone who has done Hajj help you with some of the segments that took place there?

Scariest, of course, was your speculation about how easy it might be in the future for terrorists and other nasty people to manufacture genetically-modified pathogens. What little I know about prion diseases suggests to me that it may not be possible to use them in the way you portray (correct me if I'm wrong) ... but STILL, it's quite feasible that gene-assembly technology could very easily fall into the wrong hands. Do you remain optimistic that the nations of this world might be able to act together to keep such things from happening?

Again, thank you for a really gripping read!
 

Re:
Date: 08/22/2007
From: Greg Bear

Glad you enjoyed QUANTICO, Chuck. I admire SILENCE OF THE LAMBS... perhaps unconscious homage? What we know about prion diseases suggests that even a small number of misformed proteins of this type could be "infectious." How they get into the body may be irrelevant. For more info about various topics, please drop by www.quanticothebook.com
 

Re:
Date: 09/16/2007
From: patrick
Location:

This goes back about a month, but at the time, I wasn't done with Quantico, and didn't want to spoil anything. And, this is a small point, though in a certain light, significant:

Full Metal Jacket was about Marines. Marines are Drill INSTRUCTORS. The army has drill sergeants. Further, Farrow was not like one. Just before the training exercise, he chides one of the candidates for how she acknowledged her readiness, saying 'they aren't gyrines'.

Love the Darwin series!

Date: 08/19/2007 From: Jeff
Location: Michigan

I guess this is the second post about this series in a few days, but I also wanted to thank you for the Darwin books and beg you for a follow-up to Darwin's Children! This was a wonderful book, and I can not get enough of your characterizations of the "virus children." Perhaps a narrative by Stella?
 

Re: Love the Darwin series!
Date: 08/22/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jeff! Any plans in this direction will be posted on this site.

Art

Date: 08/14/2007 From: Gary
Location: Martha Lake or at least nearby :)

Hey Greg,

I was wondering if you could provide some info or at least point me in the right direction. As you know, I have a large collection of your work. Who did the cover art for the 'Century' UK hardback editions of 'The Serpent Mage' and 'The Infinity Concerto'? Also, I read somewhere that the artist for The Serpent Mage and The Infinity Concerto in first edition mmpb was Kinuko Y. Craft, can you verify? Thanks so much, Gary
 

Re: Art
Date: 08/14/2007
From: Greg Bear

Kinuko Y. Craft did indeed do the fine covers for the first paperback editions. I don't have the UK books with me at the moment--but the artist should be credited. I'll try to find out.

darwins series

Date: 08/13/2007 From: paul
Location: canada

hi greg i have just finished reading your books darwins radio and children.just wanted to say that i consider them to be two of the greatest storys i have ever read hope maybe there will be more from that series thanks alot
paul
 

Re: darwins series
Date: 08/14/2007
From: Greg Bear

You're most welcome, Paul--and thanks for the kind words.

RE: VITALS

Date: 08/13/2007 From: Vince Singleton
Location: Kingsport TN

Dear Mr. Bear--

I want to express how very much I enjoyed VITALS, which I just finished! You never cease to amaze me. That book seriously wigged me out, as the kids say. Unnerving. Horrifing, in its own way. Masterful!

I've e-mailed before, praising your work and suggesting a Poul Anderson tribute anthology. Read an analysis the other day, arguing that Poul was at least as accomplished writer as Heinlein, but never wrote a "big book" such as Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, or Stranger in a Strange Land. That may be so, but Heinlein's novels always seemed overly didactic and lacked any sense of . . . poetry. Heinlein could never in a million years have written anything as lyrical and exquistite as "The Queen of Air and Darkness" or "Goat Song." Or so I see it. Plus, Poul mastered SF, fantasy, and historical fiction.

I wonder that you two never collaborated.

I will always consider Poul one of he giants of the field, alongside Jack Williamson, Heinlein, Van Vogt, Fritz Leiber, Fred Pohl, etc. I've been reading sf/fantasy since 1965, and suppose I'm pretty opninoated

Sudden segueway: I caught the interview on The Daily Show. Very good!

I have not yet purchased Quantico, but I will. I have most of your books, even the original mmpb's of Hegira, Beyond Heaven's River, and Strength of Stones. My first ed, hardback of Eon is one of my treasures. In truth, I have never read a book by you I did not enjoy. I love Blood Music, Eon, The Forge of God, Darwin's Radio, Dead Lines, and--now--Vitals.

Just wanted to say thanks.

Respectfully,
Vince Singleton
 

Re: RE: VITALS
Date: 08/13/2007
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Vince. Poul won a long string of Hugos and Nebulas and other awards over the years--beats me out by a considerable margin--but never did nab one for his novels, which are among his finest works. Reason? Competition--blind chance. Prizes and fame are often chaotic. Keeping our readers amused and surprised over the decades is what it's really all about!
 

Re: RE: VITALS
Date: 09/19/2007
From: Max Haptonstahl
Location: San Francisco

Dear Greg - I love all your work and collaborations. You're on my A list of authors to look for when browsing the bookstores or Amazon.com.

I usually don't beg for sequels or prequels, but after reading VITALS, I sure would like to know more about what happened with Rudy Banning! VITALS has left me creeped out and exhilarated at the same time... I've found all your stories to have authentic plausibility, but the premise of the "little mothers" sticks with me and won't let go. It seems not just possible but actually likely to be really happening. Thanks a lot!

p.s. I'm selecting my food carefully now. Lots of canned stuff.
 

Re: RE: VITALS
Date: 09/19/2007
From: Greg Bear

Last I heard from Rudy, he was running an organic grocery in Petaluma, California--shipping dates and dried fruit all over the world!

Thanks, Max.

Far Future Book

Date: 08/13/2007 From: Jimmy Kinchloe
Location: Houston

Hello again Greg,

I suspect that you have answered this a dozen times, but could not find it listed as a topic.

When is your next book coming out? It is the far-future one that you talked about working on some time ago.

I ordered the UK signed version from the University Book Store Seattle. oh, back when it was not available here. I could not put it down until I had finished it. I have put a clear cover on it to protect the beautiful jacket. Anyway, it was a great book, and the the idea of using an inkjet printer to apply the little buggers was genius. Also, now I can see why some publishers were reluctant to print it here, in these dark times. "So sad but true..."

Looking forward to that new one - no pressure or anything.


Take care,

Jimmy
 

Re: Far Future Book
Date: 08/13/2007
From: Greg Bear

If I get CITY AT THE END OF TIME finished soon, the pub date will be late summer of 2008. In the meantime, royalty statements for QUANTICO are coming in--and it looks like sales are going to beat my previous best-seller, DARWIN'S RADIO, by a considerable margin. (And these results are before the Daily Show "bump"!)

Citizen Oversight

Date: 08/13/2007 From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Dear Mr. Bear,
I believe you originally discussed "Citizen Oversight" in Queen of Angels (a book my wife has read at least four times!). Just curious whether your thoughts ont his interesting idea had evolved over the past few years, given the political fallout over 9/11.

Thank you
 

Re: Citizen Oversight
Date: 08/13/2007
From: Greg Bear

I've been thinking about Citizen Oversight (public surveillance systems and their data must be accessed through a special, citizen-oriented court) for some time now. It seems like an increasingly necessary program--though I doubt law enforcement officials would think much of it. We're heading into a time of not just increased surveillance, but reduced legal safeguards and a severely weakened or ignored constition.
 

Re: Citizen Oversight
Date: 08/15/2007
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose, CA

My wife and I were speculating whether there'd be any way to keep the citizen oversight process and court from becoming corrupted. The only approaches we came up with were unrealistically restrictive on the people running the operation. It'd be fascinating to see you take another swing at this in a future book. And yes, this is definitely a plea for a Queen of Angels/Slant follow up. Among your very best.

Thank you
 

Re: Citizen Oversight
Date: 08/15/2007
From: Greg Bear

Definitely worth more careful thought about safeguards. One of our principal problems with current leadership is that they believe safeguards--or for that matter, any prior structure--impedes their ability to protect. They're all too burned out or too inexperienced to avoid the Dirty Harry fallacy. The result is they get tangled in their own webs of deception, and perform less efficiently than they would have had they followed the old rules. Happens every time--and every time, those who fail blame their critics. Then they get jobs on talk radio and spread their awful nonsense to another clueless generation.
 

Re: Citizen Oversight
Date: 08/15/2007
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose, CA

Gotta kill freedom to preserve it! I'm guessing Orwell and Cheney would not have been best of friends.

EON and Eternity

Date: 08/12/2007 From: ChrisC
Location: Durban, South Africa

Just a quick word, to say how those books have been the best read since Hyperions Cantos by Dan Simmons. Thanks for the entertainment Greg. You upstaged Blood Music and thats a feat.

Thanks again.
 

Re: EON and Eternity
Date: 08/13/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words, Chris! I'm crawling toward the home stretch on CITY AT THE END OF TIME...
 

Re: EON and Eternity
Date: 08/14/2007
From: ChrisC
Location: Durban South Africa

City At The End of Time? Is this another novel based in the EON universe? Oh I do hope so. :-)
 

Re: EON and Eternity
Date: 08/14/2007
From: Greg Bear

Well, I suppose the entire EON universe could be fit in there somewhere--but so could DUNE, FOUNDATION, STAR WARS, and most of Olaf Stapledon! Not a direct sequel, however.
 

Re: EON and Eternity
Date: 08/15/2007
From: ChrisC
Location: Durban, South Africa

Well I should have coined the term Multiverse. LOL

Scifoo

Date: 08/11/2007 From: Bora Zivkovic
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

So nice to meet you again in Mountain View. When the book tour brings you to NC again, let me know so I can organize local scientists and bloggers to come and meet you.

Bora

Your books in french !

Date: 08/08/2007 From: Alain C.
Location: Montgeron, France

Hello, M. Bear,

Some of your books aren't translated in french !
Please, can you help us to read you more !!!

Thanks !
 

Re: Your books in french !
Date: 08/08/2007
From: Greg Bear

Some of my earlier books aren't available in French, but most of the recent books are. QUANTICO has yet to be picked up by a French publisher.

Forge Of God Film - Or Not

Date: 08/07/2007 From: Colin Steadman
Location:

I've got a Google Alert setup to keep an eye out for anything Google's crawlers find with 'Forge Of God' and 'Warner Brothers' in the content. I was alerted to this fairly recent article today (hope the link appears):

http://www.heisserer.com/?p=32

It would appear that Warner are going to do the film "Forge of God got the thumbs up from Warners", which is the good news.

But...

"Oh, and actually its not called Forge of God anymore. Weve been divorced from that Greg Bear novel. What Kaz and I pitched was so far removed from the book, it was deemed completely original..."

Just wondering what others thought of this news? I'm gutted! I've had my alert setup for years now, and have been waiting for news on the film for years longer. And this is not what I wanted to hear. I expected some changes out of nesscessity, but this sounds way to radical.

Also, if Greg is reading this, any news on the third book in the Forge series? There are only 5 books I rate highly enough to ever recommend to others. Forge and Anvil make up two of that number! So you understand my interest in the third book! :)

Colin
 

Re: Forge Of God Film - Or Not
Date: 08/08/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Colin! Ah, ambitious young screenwriters... Hope they get some money for all of their work.
 

Re: Forge Of God Film - Or Not
Date: 11/06/2007
From: Russ Garvey
Location: Lancshire England

I was looking foward to how the movie (Forge of God) would look, and find it disappointig that it is not going to happen.
earth being destroyed in such a way has not been done before in the movies.It could have been a jaw dropping moment.
Anyway I would like to recommend Greg Bears Eon as a read.
It is about a rock that suddenly appears in orbit of the earth. When scientist explore it they find cities from earths past & present. It could be a warning of what awaits Earths destiny. This also would make a good sci fi movie
 

Re: Forge Of God Film - Or Not
Date: 11/06/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Russ! No reason to count this project either down or out at the moment. I keep reminding folks, it often takes a decade or longer for films to finally come together with the right team. And FORGE is still very much an active project.

What if all illegal drugs are gone?

Date: 08/01/2007 From: Jerzy Kostempski
Location: Mumbai, India

Hi Greg,

I'm not an avid reader of S-F, so maybe it is already well explored idea:

Let's assume that some laboratory (lead be verY well meaning people) produces a virus destroing coca plants, and being spread by people, just as carriers. I a couple OF years all cocaine supply is gone. wht's inetresting for me would be gemeral repercissions: famine in Bolivia and Columbia among coca growers, explossion of production of opium in Afganistan, gomegrown illegal labs making syntetic substitutes, maube the end of th civilization as we know it now. I think you could explore it, have no imaginations and no writing talent.

Comments on Quantico!

Date: 07/29/2007 From: Arvind Mishra
Location: Varanasi

Greg,I enjoyed reading Quantico immensely and find it awesome in its depiction of a possible bioterrorist attack on humanity.It deals thoroughly with various aspects of bioterrorism and its many political and religious implications.
Its a great literary classic,a contemporary one indeed and shall be remembered for its prophetic vision and also as a trend setter thriller sf-emergence of a new sf sub genre with the fragrance of Chase,Christie,Doyle and of course the punk supremo Gibson,all in one.This is something unique in the history of sf as far as i am aware of the trends!
On every front it has come up very beautifully especially the characterization[William,pg 68];narration of the crime scenes,and even humor[skinned eel]and so on...
Its indeed a great bonanza to sf readers of the world.
And the description of human chimera is just mind boggling
but here I am a bit skeptical because as I know fusion of two embryos may result in a tetraploid[4n] instead of normal 2n and would not be viable.Trust you shall explain it a bit please!
 

Re: Comments on Quantico!
Date: 07/31/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thank you, Arvind!

There's a great deal of mystery about how chromosomes are activated and deactivated. We're learning more every day, and what we thought we knew ten years ago is proving problematic now. That said, this idea is a bit of a stretch--but not any more outlandish than many other circumstances in developmental biology!
 

Re: Comments on Quantico!
Date: 07/31/2007
From: Arvind Mishra
Location: Varanasi

Thanks Greg,Your version of human chimera is quite right as mixing of two embryos would not result in 4n combination but would be just an amalgam of the tissues of different genetic origins.
I have consulted the web at length and I am now satisfied.
Your description is not outlandish but very much possible as such human chimeras are now in news though they are rare.
Cheers!

Cincinatti

Date: 07/26/2007 From: Henry Moore
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Greg you need to teach your spellchecker that Cincinatti is not the correct spelling of Cincinnati. Quantico
 

Re: Cincinatti
Date: 07/31/2007
From: Greg Bear

Noted. What edition? Will correct in my electronic file and the paperback.

Eon - eventual movie-adaption

Date: 07/22/2007 From: Roger Pedersen
Location: Sandnessj￸en

I watched the winning contribution of the CG-Contest and I must say that I was impressed. An eventual "Eon"-adaption would do best as an CG-animated affair like "Final Fantasy" (or a hybrid-affair like "Sky Captain").

What do you think,Greg?
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 07/22/2007
From: Greg Bear

Could be very good. With some exceptions, however, these CG animated theatrical features aren't much cheaper than their real-life counterparts!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 07/22/2007
From: Roger Pedersen
Location: Sandnessj￸en

True.. but CG does tend to get cheaper for each day that goes by, since the technology (computers and such) also gets cheaper to buy and utilitize.

 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 07/22/2007
From: Greg Bear

As shown by these wonderful short films. But there's still quite a distance between a theatrical effort and a lower-rez picture. A few more years, though--and who knows?
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 07/23/2007
From: Roger Pedersen
Location: Sandnessj￸en

Exactly.. Who knows?

And it doesn't even have to be years.. Maybe just one or two years..

 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/05/2007
From: jofa
Location: uk

Too much cgi would cheapen eon - in much the same way later (or is that earlier?) star wars films were spoiled with too many effects. To me it's more a story about the human condition. Thistledown can be created using locations and organic materials as can the way and the axis colonies. The difference in cost would be small price to pay.

 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/06/2007
From: Greg Bear

But CGI is about the only way a film like this can be made now. Not that it's cheaper--

Still, it would be interesting to do an old-fashioned big-budget production, with stop-motion animation and Albert Whitlock matte paintings and model work... Might even be a selling point! (But I'm not so sure an old-fashioned production would ever be considered "green...")
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/06/2007
From: Roger Pedersen
Location: Sandnessj￸en

I do agree with Jofa that too much CG would cheapen the production, the CG should not be made just for the sake of CG but to help create and tell the story. Just like all other special effects..

But I also do agree with you that CG might be the only way that EON can be realized.. Maybe you should contact JMS and his team for help (Just look at Lost Tales.. Great graphics which looks incredibly lifelike)

 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/09/2007
From: jofa
Location: uk

Sorry Mr B. You are the creator of this environment. It's true - many of the scapes would need elements of cgi but I can't see that that realism would ever be recreated faithfully using computer modelling alone in the next 10-20 years. As far as green issues are concerned would it really be better to burn up tonnes of energy using processor power?

There is of course a heavy sci-fi nature in the series but your writing is very strong on dialogue and emotion. What I love about eon it that it could be framed in any eon. The Naderite environments could be faithfully recreated in modern day London. The frant world could be rurual New Zealand/Australia? Flawships can be made of metal. Axis city would need cgi but many of the key visuals almost need an old fashioned approach. Not Terry Gilliam but something similar.

Anyway I'll bog off now. Sorry.

Nominate me an section and give me a fortnight and I'll write you some incidental music??

JJ
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/15/2007
From: James Foley Jr
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

I stumbled upon the video while searching for other things and got really excited after seeing the what has been done... now I am dissapointed to find that this is all there is.

I am a sci-fi/sci-fantasy junky. I read all the books I can lay hands on. I eagerly await the release of the full length video of EON.

People tend to nit-pick projects like Star Wars... too much happening, etc. Look at the videos and see a graphic representation of an imagined "real" world with a population going about its daily life as recorded by the fantasy camera. What is to nit-pick? CGI has only made movies better. Some people should try suspending disbelief and just enjoy it for entertainment value. After the 14th viewing, I might pick a nit about something but still find it enjoyable to watch.

Greg, here is a vote that you go with the movie/video project!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/16/2007
From: Greg Bear

The only problem I have with CGI is we no longer need vast sets and huge armies of extras and real airplanes and that sort of thing. I like spectacle!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 11/14/2007
From: Richard Stephens
Location: Manchester, UK

I got to the CG Challenge site through Wikipedia, of all places. I read Eon years ago and still cherish my trade paperback of it, a wonderful book.

I too was initially so excited (and a bit surprised) at the prospect of an EON movie, only to have those hopes somewhat dashed. Nevertheless, the trailers etc were top notch in most respects (although the shape of Thistledown was all wrong in the winning trailer) and very beautiful shorts in their own right.

Maybe some studio or other will find the courage to realsie this as a theatrical movie some day...

BTW, I agree with both sides of the CG debate here. Too much CG can make a movie look cheap if it's over-done just for the sake of it, witness SW Eps I-III, but used appropriately, and provided it's of sufficiently high quality, it would be the only way to do a lot of the Eon story properly. Well, short of actually getting Juno into Earth orbit and starting to dig...

Anyhow, fingers crossed..

Rich
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 11/14/2007
From: Greg Bear

Saw TRANSFORMERS recently--enjoyable film, with astonishing CGI, particularly with regard to clarity, complexity, and the textures and optics of surfaces. Very expensive, I suspect! Looking forward to BEOWULF, for a number of reasons.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 03/27/2008
From: Matthew Crome
Location: San Francisco

I also stumbled upon the CG videos and was very impressed with all the CG videos. I was very excited and then disappointed only to discover there isn't going to be a movie. I read the books years ago and it still remains one of my all time favorites. I figured I'd add my voice in the hopes of an eventual movie.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 03/28/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Matthew!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 09/22/2008
From: Matthew Smith
Location: Adelaide, Australia

I'd like to put forward my vote for a movie too. Eon is probably my favourite novel, I absolutely loved it. Thanks for writing it Greg.

Finally, I wish people would stop hammering starwars, the series in its entirety is excellent also. People need to look at their wayward expectations of a movie I think and stop being so critical.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Greg Bear

I'm a fan of STAR WARS. Have been from the beginning.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/21/2008
From: james mc mahon
Location: galway,ireland

greg, hi i cant believe it i just saw the cgi trailers omg im 34 i read your book 15 years(i've read it about once a year since) ago and to this day STILL im waiting for the movie the trailers are good but this movie has to be live action i love your book the greatest story i ever read i have two copys of it!!!! will somebody give this book to the people in hollywood and lets get this thing going for god sake!!! its nuts there should be a tv series by now or something! so anyway cgi live action i dont care i need a movie of this or im going to go mad!! see ya later
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/24/2008
From: Di Kennedy
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Hi Greg & Others

I too think it would be fantastic if it was put into film - I think CGI would be the only way to go: I really don't know whether you'd get the feeling of vastness of the way any other way. I think anything less would probably reduce the feeling of space and power of the previous occupants.

I think the problem with CGI in a lot of other SciFi movies is not a matter of the usage of CGI, it's the content - I'm very much over SF movies (and books, for that matter) that constantly portray aliens as 'baddies' and use the CGI to over emphasise the blood and gore. For this reason (or lack thereof, as the case actually is) Contact is one of my favourite all time SF movies: I'd be extremely happy for 'Eon' to take over that place!

Keep up the great work, Greg - I love all your books, particularly what you did with the Foundation series - Dr Asimov would have been more than happy!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/24/2008
From: Greg Bear

There's been sporadic interest in LA, and the book is circulating--but the focus is still on THE FORGE OF GOD and ANVIL OF STARS. No options for EON yet.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/24/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Di--I'm very fond of CONTACT as well.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 11/25/2008
From: Steve Cooper
Location: UK

Hi Greg

I don't think EON could be done in a single movie without loosing alot of the attention to detail (not just the the landscapes) you put into it.

Contact lost alot from book to film.

I read EON and Eternity when they first came out and was blown away by the vast pictures you were painting. Both are my all time favourites along with The Forge of God.

What about an Epic style mini series for Eon and Eternity on the same scale as Band of Brothers with feature film budgets?.. now that would be my dream!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 12/03/2008
From: Greg Bear

All good ideas. Know anyone with $40,000,000 dollars and a crew of talented screenwriters and producers and directors? Not being flip--that's how hard it is to get such ideas together, the team has to be in place as well. But it all starts with screenwriters!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 04/20/2009
From: todd d
Location: Charlotte, NC

Stumbled on the trailers (two years later). Thought they were great. I don't care if it is animated....I still think any kind of movie would be great! Has anyone come up with 40,000,000 yet? Whats the word?
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 04/25/2009
From: Greg Bear

Probably more like 100,000,000. No nibbles yet.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 04/25/2009
From: Roger Pedersen
Location: Sandnessj￸en, Norway

I do agree that EON is to big to be made into a single movie.. I would prefer to see it be made as a miniseries, that would perhaps be the best.. Or a triparter like the LotR-movies..

 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 04/30/2009
From: Greg Bear

That would be fun.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 05/29/2009
From: Graig Burns
Location: Enderby BC Canada

For Gods' Sakes--- MAKE THE FRACKIN' MOVIE!

Ugh was he really referencing BSG?
EON is the most incredible fascinating mind-blowing movie that could ever be made, and a series would be the inevitable use for all those sets, either CGI or actual?

Graig Burns, Enderby BC Canada

PS, another good series to movie is the Forge of God
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 05/31/2009
From: Greg Bear

FORGE/ANVIL still in development--and if anyone wants to make a 3-hr epic space war film, we've already got the best screenplay I've ever read in the genre, from Ken Nolan. A superb piece of work. But the current goal is to bring it down to a more manageable two hours.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 05/28/2011
From: Wizzard Dragleonus (alias/pen name)
Location: South Africa

Hmmm... I wonder if anyone else besides me has read this post recently.. lol.

Was also looking for an Eon movie... A pity there isn't one yet.

As has been previously stated above... It is an awesome book..

Its memories still linger in my mind.. hence the search for a movie.. so that i may relive the experience... since i have no time for reading anymore...

And so that i can share that experience with my friends and family who have not read it, and are otherwise also too engaged... lol

hehe...

I don't even know why i'm bothering to write something here.. I hardly ever do... perhaps something...

I dream to become a writer one day too... I have received many compliments on my writing(Facebook)

but alas.. as mentioned earlier... pressing matters engage all of my time... but perhaps one day...

Excuse me if my writing is not so good... I have had no formal training in writing apart from high school.. I just love to write... lol..

anyways.. I think i'll go and write something on facebook now... perhaps...

cheers all...

goodbye...

(I guess i was attracted by all the intellectuals here, and the common interests)

I too am a great fan of sci-fi, and Contact is also one of my most favorite movies... thought provoking stuff... sci-fi..

anyways.. bye for now...
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 06/25/2011
From: Mike Kober
Location: Milwaukee, WI

I stumbled across this thread while I was looking for potential movies about my favorite Sci-Fi books. Eon, plus a host of other Greg Bear books are among my top favorites.

There have been a handful of decent sci-fi movies in the past few years, but most suck. In my searching I saw that Morgan Freeman was trying to get Rendevous with Rama as a movie. This led me to look at Eon, which I actually place above Rama.

Any luck moving forward with a screenplay for Eon?!

 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 07/30/2011
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear from you, Wizzard! I, too, am a fan of CONTACT. Keep up the writing! The more you write, the better you get.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Still talking with interested parties, Mike. Wish us luck!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 08/30/2011
From: Sean
Location: South Africa

I am an avid fan of scifi, in fact I have an entire bookshelf reserved only for this genre and am busy filling my second one, and as mentioned above there are only a very few movies that even begin to come anywhere close to "good". I have been holding my breath for the last couple of years since I first read the book for a movie and will continue to do so. It is one of my all time favorite books and I tend to reread it about once a year. I kept an eye out when the CG challenge did the compo for Eon, and there I loved some of the interpretations. I wish I'd had the ability to take part, but unfortunately I am CG challenged. Please keep up the talks.

Always inspired

Sean
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 09/13/2011
From: Andy Houghton
Location: Romford, London

Like the last few posts I stumbled across this whilst looking for news about an Eon movie. I have just finished reading Eternity, which is also excellent, and easier to read than Eon i found, some of Eon goes straight over my head. But they are both excellent stories.

I just wish someone would bring them to the screen. Big preferably, but a small screen miniseries would also be amazing.

Good luck Mr Bear, and any news??
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Will do, Sean! Thanks.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Still working on it! No firm news yet. Thanks, Andy.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/30/2011
From: SkeedR
Location: UK

I've just come across this and as it's been a while, how're the talks going Mr Bear? I'd love to see a well done film adaptation of EON. I'm certain it'd even blow away Transformers (The first, the second and third... :meh:). Also, great books (EON, Forge of God and their sequels).

SkeedR
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 12/07/2011
From: Herve
Location: Lorraine, France

I am reading Eon for the second time (first time i was 16 yo, now 33), and still enjoying it as a true "chef d'oeuvre".

Whereas billions of $ and huge amount of CGI are spent in some poor movies or remakes, The Way is still waiting for a producer, and we, readers, are still waiting for the movie...what a mess...did James Cameron ever pay attention to Olmy and Patricia's adventures ?

Nevertheless, please Greg receive my sincere thanks for the good times they give.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Nothing new or exciting at the moment. Occasional perks of interest! Thanks, SkeedR.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 01/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Herve! I think we're actually in a golden age of sf and fantasy films. That doesn't mean some more good ones can't be made!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 03/17/2012
From: Justas R.
Location: Lithuania

I'm a young filmmaker, working on my first feature now. I'm reading EON now and if nobody will adapt it in next decades I will definitely do this because it became my new dream to put this story into the screen. Thank you, Greg, for sharing it with the world.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 04/07/2012
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear from you, Justas! We have a good many friends in the Lithuanian community here in Seattle. Let me know when your first feature is ready--I'll keep my eye out for it, and pass along the word to our friends here.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/22/2013
From: darach b
Location: Bay Area

Any new news on film adaption of EON/Eternity?

I first read EON back in 1992 and re-read it every 5 years or so (as well Eternity).

Since Hollywood is so lacking in original material at the moment (remakes of almost everything, apart from LOTR etc), isn't it time for EON/Eternity to be made into a film series. I would love to see the Stone/Way in IMAX...
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/24/2013
From: Greg Bear

As would I, darach!

 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 05/17/2014
From: Ewan Morrell
Location: South Island, New Zealand

I've just finished reading Eon for the second time, (first time was 20 years ago), what a stunning achievement the book is. I would love to see it made into a movie or series. Still trying to get my head around the space-time twisting concept of all of it. Thank you for writing a great book.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 05/17/2014
From: Greg Bear

Thank you, Ewan! I haven't quite managed the geometry myself. Twists me in pretzels!
 

Eon movie (did some one say it was a series of books?)
Date: 06/21/2014
From: Graham Lee
Location: Nevermore

Hi there Greg, you are one of the most amazing authors (sorry, Robert Jordan gets the top spot)

I borrowed this book from a friend of mine about 10 years ago (never returned it)

and i only just started reading it last night... im on chapter 2 SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

The part where Gary is in his office after doing gymnastics in the *Stone*...

ok... this has been going on for some 7 years now... PLEASE can you turn this into a film? this is soooo amazing!!!

and it CAN be done with live action (just look at *Red Planet* or w/e it was called with Gary Sinise or what ever his name was)

ALSO near the top of the page i saw someone mention that Eon was a *series* of books??? or was that my misunderstanding?

Also Gary, do you have any similar books in circulation???

Thanks
 

Eon movie (did some one say it was a series of books?)
Date: 07/18/2014
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Graham!

Thanks for the kind words. After the novellas, "The Wind from a Burning Woman," and "The Way of All Ghosts" (both available in my collected stories) comes LEGACY, EON, and ETERNITY. That completes the series--so far!

Greg
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 10/15/2014
From: John Seldon
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

I started reading through the sci-fi masterworks recently and was pleased to see Eon included in the list. I first read Eon in my late teens (I'm 41 now) and it totally blew me away, as did Eternity. Reading them again now and they are just as good.

I was kind of hoping this would have been optioned by now, but sadly not. I think it would probably be better as a TV series rather than a film, as films often tend to lack the detail of a book.

When I read Eon originally, Legacy hadn't been written, so I'm going to read that next.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption... or while we are waiting......
Date: 11/04/2014
From: Martin Dean
Location: Mauritius (temporarily) UK (ordinarily)

I too would love to see EON as a movie and cannot believe this thread has been active for 7 years!

When you look at the rubbish that actually does get made, it is a great shame that this series has not been snapped up.

MEANWHILE... I was wondering if you have considered another novel... beyond Eternity.

Olmy is on the Frant world; Tapi has only just been born, Suli is on Earth and I am certain that Gary, Ry Oyu and Mirsky would love to take on some new pan-universe struggle, even with some Jarts providing support...?

This Sparks another thought... what about crowd-sourcing a story plot? Allow the great unwashed to propose storylines and to carry out voting, then build a book on the result. No money should change hands, perhaps a credit in the afterword for the storymongers....

Too wacky?
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption... or while we are waiting......
Date: 11/11/2014
From: Greg Bear

Very interesting ideas, Martin! Who knows where all this will go? Thanks!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 11/11/2014
From: Greg Bear

We've got good people working hard on these projects, and EON is one of the major projects being worked on! Wish us luck, John. And check out the MOSF Thistledown model video, listed at the top of the home page.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 11/25/2014
From: Ward Whittaker
Location: An Aussie in Brazil

I must weigh in here. I can not believe that a book as rich as EON has not yet been made into a movie. I has to be done, and with a decent budget and big name stars. Can anybody tell me why this has not yet happened ?
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 11/25/2014
From: Greg Bear

MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE and FOUNDATION have just been announced, one at Amazon, the other at HBO. Sometimes good books take time to get adapted! Let's hope EON gets done sooner than Isaac's classic.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 03/04/2015
From: Olivier Lahaye
Location: France

Still waiting for an EON Movie. No way?
That would be a real blockbuster especially if it's filmed by BSG Movie maker for example.
I want that film in 3D UHD if possible :-) The book is one of the best SciFi book I've ever read.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 03/05/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Oliver. The Way in 3D would be pretty cool.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 05/08/2015
From: Ron Theunissen
Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Eon still remains one of my all-time favourite books. I would LOVE to see it on the screen one day. But it's such a rich story that a TV miniseries might be the best option to ensure that the story remains intact.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 06/10/2015
From: Derek Roen
Location: Phoenix Az

Eon as a movie would be GREAT! I've been wishing that for a long time. Just started Hull Zero Three. I love how I have no idea what could happen next while reading your stories.
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 06/10/2015
From: Greg Bear

Seems to be happening to books I've loved more and more often--like THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE. Fingers crossed!
 

Re: Eon - eventual movie-adaption
Date: 06/15/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Derek!

Tricky to get Forge in the UK

Date: 07/18/2007 From: Andy
Location: UK

Hi,

I'm a newcomer to Greg Bear but I'm looking forward to reading my first (Forge of God) over my hols this year. I just wanted to mention that for a book that has generated so much interest and so many good reviews I was surprised that it was out of print in the UK. Managed to order a copy from Abe books online though.

It's great for an author to have an online presence like this and to actually take time to "interact" with his readers. Our own Mr Stross has this feature on his web site too but my all-time favourite science fiction writer, Iain M Banks seems very conspicuous by his absence.

Anyway, I'm thrilled to find another writer so highly regarded and with a back list that'll keep me busy for a while.

Thanks and Best Rgds,
Andy
 

Re: Tricky to get Forge in the UK
Date: 07/18/2007
From: Greg Bear

Hmmm... Can't seem to find any new copies on Amazon.co.uk, either. Shouldn't be OP. I'll check into this. Thanks, Andy!
 

Re: Tricky to get Forge in the UK
Date: 07/18/2007
From: patrick
Location:

Andy: a few years ago, Banks didn't even have an official site. He's stepped up his profile, really.
 

Re: Tricky to get Forge in the UK
Date: 07/22/2007
From: Andy
Location: UK

Greg, Glad to help.
Patrick, Yep, you're right I guess but I'm afraid the official site is a bit of a token gesture really and. The forum can be a useful source of news though TMH has never made an appearance as far as I know.
 

Re: Tricky to get Forge in the UK
Date: 08/23/2007
From: Andy
Location: UK

Finished Forge of God and enjoyed it very much indeed. I'll certainly be back for more. I'd love to know a bit more about the aliens so I'll have to go for Anvil of Stars next but, again, it's not easy to get over here. Amazon only have used copies. Only new one I can see is on historybookshop.com!

Am I right in thinking there's a 3rd book in the pipe-line?
 

Re: Tricky to get Forge in the UK
Date: 08/29/2007
From: Greg Bear

We're prodding the UK publishers to re-issue FORGE. BLOOD MUSIC is out in a beautiful new edition. No plans yet for a third in the FORGE grouping. Thanks for writing, Andy!

Thank you for hosting the party!

Date: 07/16/2007 From: Amy (Ava) Lau
Location: Clarion West

Hi!

Just wanted to say thank you again to you and Astrid for hosting such a wonderful lovely party for us Clarion Westies. It was also great to meet Alex and Eric.

The lily pad roots in your lake are actually going to make an appearance in my next story so thank you!

-amy
 

Re: Thank you for hosting the party!
Date: 07/17/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Amy! Martha Lake's lily pads take a bow.

Best to all--

Greg

Communal vs Darwinian evolution

Date: 07/16/2007 From: patrick
Location:

Freeman Dyson Casually Blowing My Mind

Bruce Sterling July 14, 2007 | 4:01:24 AM
(((This guy is eighty-four years old! How is his brain still that supple? How does Freeman do it? Was it all the physics? And who is this Carl Woese guy? And how did Open Source become a paradigm for evolution all of a sudden? I mean, if three billion years is all of a sudden.)))

Link: Our Biotech Future - The New York Review of Books.

"Whatever Carl Woese writes, even in a speculative vein, needs to be taken seriously. In his "New Biology" article, he is postulating a golden age of pre-Darwinian life, when horizontal gene transfer was universal and separate species did not yet exist. Life was then a community of cells of various kinds, sharing their genetic information so that clever chemical tricks and catalytic processes invented by one creature could be inherited by all of them. Evolution was a communal affair, the whole community advancing in metabolic and reproductive efficiency as the genes of the most efficient cells were shared. Evolution could be rapid, as new chemical devices could be evolved simultaneously by cells of different kinds working in parallel and then reassembled in a single cell by horizontal gene transfer.

"But then, one evil day, a cell resembling a primitive bacterium happened to find itself one jump ahead of its neighbors in efficiency. That cell, anticipating Bill Gates by three billion years, separated itself from the community and refused to share. Its offspring became the first species of bacteriaand the first species of any kindreserving their intellectual property for their own private use. With their superior efficiency, the bacteria continued to prosper and to evolve separately, while the rest of the community continued its communal life. Some millions of years later, another cell separated itself from the community and became the ancestor of the archea. Some time after that, a third cell separated itself and became the ancestor of the eukaryotes. And so it went on, until nothing was left of the community and all life was divided into species. The Darwinian interlude had begun.

"The Darwinian interlude has lasted for two or three billion years. It probably slowed down the pace of evolution considerably. The basic biochemical machinery of life had evolved rapidly during the few hundreds of millions of years of the pre-Darwinian era, and changed very little in the next two billion years of microbial evolution. Darwinian evolution is slow because individual species, once established, evolve very little. With rare exceptions, Darwinian evolution requires established species to become extinct so that new species can replace them.

Now, after three billion years, the Darwinian interlude is over. (((A billion years here, a billion years there, pretty soon you're talking about real timespans.))) It was an interlude between two periods of horizontal gene transfer. The epoch of Darwinian evolution based on competition between species ended about ten thousand years ago, when a single species, Homo sapiens, began to dominate and reorganize the biosphere. Since that time, cultural evolution has replaced biological evolution as the main driving force of change. Cultural evolution is not Darwinian. Cultures spread by horizontal transfer of ideas more than by genetic inheritance. Cultural evolution is running a thousand times faster than Darwinian evolution, taking us into a new era of cultural interdependence which we call globalization. And now, as Homo sapiens domesticates the new biotechnology, we are reviving the ancient pre-Darwinian practice of horizontal gene transfer, moving genes easily from microbes to plants and animals, blurring the boundaries between species. We are moving rapidly into the post-Darwinian era, when species other than our own will no longer exist, and the rules of Open Source sharing will be extended from the exchange of software to the exchange of genes. Then the evolution of life will once again be communal, as it was in the good old days before separate species and intellectual property were invented.

"I would like to borrow Carl Woese's vision of the future of biology and extend it to the whole of science...."

((("Biology's Next Revolution" by Nigel Goldenfeld and Carl Woese:))) http://arxiv.org/abs/q-bio/0702015v1 http://arxiv.org/abs/q-bio/0702015v1

(((Where one finds stuff like this:))) http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge216.html At EDGE they are godlike beings and we might as well get used to it
 

Re: Communal vs Darwinian evolution
Date: 07/17/2007
From: Greg Bear

Freeman has been saying for years now that biology is where it's at. Carl Woese suffered strong disapproval for decades for his ideas, and now comes out on top of the game. My take on all this is that a billion years or so was required to simply learn how to be a cell! After that, it's a faster, slipperier slope. (And it's Freeman who is 84, of course, not Bruce.)

Taylor Algorithms rediscovered

Date: 07/15/2007 From: Jim Rayfield
Location: CT, USA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_algorithms_(fiction)


http://www.beskerming.com/commentary/2007/07/15/218/Destroying_Sandboxes

"In a sign that malware that targets sandbox environments is not far off, detailed code and analysis have been released that give developers a means to probe around while inside the sandbox. Previous attempts at identifying the presence of virtual machines has been targeted at applications like VMWare and Virtual PC, with little attention paid to those created by anti-malware software for analysis of files on end user systems (which is different to the use of VMWare and Virtual PC in the antivirus lab)."
 

Re: Taylor Algorithms rediscovered
Date: 07/16/2007
From: Greg Bear

Hmmm... But can these malware apps determine what kind of chip or motherboard the system is using, based on analysis of internal characteristics, and not some ID code embedded in the chip? That would be a true Taylor algorithm!
 

Re: Taylor Algorithms rediscovered
Date: 07/16/2007
From: Jim Rayfield
Location: CT, USA

There's additional discussion at: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/15/2116215

Since no VM will be perfectly faithful to the system it's emulating, I guess it's the usual tug-of-war between the defenders and attackers. As long as the VM reports status to the outside, there is a potential attack path (same as for Jarts :-). The malware can exploit bugs in the VM to attack it, and possibly break through. You can probably learn a lot by measuring how long operations take. Of course the VM could virtualize the clock also....

`Pulling back a bit'

Date: 07/15/2007 From: Lutz Barz
Location: Newcastle NSW Australia

I was astounded, to read in the `Sydney Morning Herald' 11.06.07 in an article `Invasion of the terrorist snatchers' a quote by you saying in regards to your creative ideas to quote the author Tim Shipman that `some ideas are best not made public' and quotes `you' "There are some things we just don't talk about and put in our books. We pull back a bit." `Bear said.'
As said: I am astounded. Actually as an unpublished writer that gives me hope. It means others can go for it.
However is this a truthfull quote? I always thought science fiction was about breaking down or away from myopic mental barriers, not go in the opposite direction. Still you could have been misquoted.
Anyway I wish you well in your future works.
And won't be offended it this post is deleted. Just a thought.
 

Re: `Pulling back a bit'
Date: 07/16/2007
From: Greg Bear

I can't find the Morning Herald piece on the web (URL, please?) but I'm pretty sure they were quoting me in context--that when writing a near-future thriller about terrorists, you just don't give them detailed blueprints for devices or techniques they could readily use. As well, I don't discuss certain scenarios offered up in threat analysis workshops and seminars, whether devised by myself or by others. Just common sense, no?
 

Re: `Pulling back a bit'
Date: 07/18/2007
From: Lutz Barz
Location: Newcastle/NSW/Australia

Thank you Mr. Bear. The SMH wasn't doing an upbeat, and when i find the article [got 2 pc's] will forward it. Like you, answering emails can be time consuming so I appreciate you responding so quickly! [you must get squillions of them!] that is appreciated. i even read a few of your books.
As for details aka terrorists, I think they figure out their nastiness without `your' insights. After all, though this new wave the world is burdened with, when reading history, well, us humans, we're a worry! Anarchists in the 19th Century, the Terror post French Revolution, the religious wars of the 16th century, what a bunch of homicidal maniacs we are. Some for god, others for the state, any excuse to be terrible.
Luckily I find sf in general UPLIFTING [yours included of course] in that it liberates us from some of our dellusions.
It's interesting to note that during the cold war the Soviets accused US writers of being `warmongers' etc, whilst the US called you writers `communists'. Says it all. Means you are on the right track! Congratulations on being a readable enjoyable writer.
No need to reply to this one. As said will get around to find said article.

Thoughts from a fan

Date: 07/12/2007 From: Michael B. McCreless
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Hello, and thank you for reading. I purchased Quantico last year published with Madison Press and enjoyed reading it very much. It is so differnt from anything else I have read by you. I have first editions of every book you have published except for the Forge Of God and Hegira, which I read from the library. How is this new edition different from the one I read? I also noticed that the jacket cover is scary, whereas the cover on the one I read is more thought provoking.
Thank You,
Michael
 

Re: Thoughts from a fan
Date: 07/12/2007
From: Greg Bear

The true first trade edition of QUANTICO is the UK edition published in 2005. Easton Press published a signed limited edition around the same time. The Madison Press edition was produced for various book clubs--all these editions use the same text. The U.S. edition from Vanguard-Perseus featured on our opening page was published this spring and contains a few textual amendments, mostly reflecting the FBI's changing assessment of the American Anthrax case. That's the one now available in most U.S. bookstores, and promoted recently on THE DAILY SHOW with Jon Stewart.
 

Re: Thoughts from a fan
Date: 07/12/2007
From: Michael B. McCreless
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Thank you very much. I have enjoyed your writing for several years and have been amazed at your growth both in style and content. Will you be going back to your hard Sci- Fi roots in space adventure in the future, or do you have another fantasy book in the works. I do think you can write within any subject matter and I will read anything you put out. But, I do have to say I love your space operas the best.
I gave my son a copy of "Songs Of Earth and Power" and he thanked me for the awesome book. You now have another fan. He is also a writer and reporter.
Thank you for responding to my post.
Michael
 

Re: Thoughts from a fan
Date: 07/13/2007
From: Greg Bear

Next up--more of a "time opera" than a space opera, but certainly has elements of space opera--vast empires, strange voyages, alien concepts! And a thread of contemporary weirdness... That's CITY AT THE END OF TIME.
 

Re: Thoughts from a fan
Date: 07/13/2007
From: Michael B. McCreless
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

YAHOO, Will it end when the Fat lady's great grandaughter sings? I know it is a bad pun but I am a musician, so it is expected. The way you weaved time into the plots of the Eon trilogy and Anvil of God. The concept of time has always been foremost in my thoughts when I am attempting to solve the universal combined theory of "why do drummers always drag". By the way, your art certainly reflects your way of weaving charaters and plot together. I like it very much and would not mind having some on my walls.
I am also an artist, google me and you will find out a lot about me. My relatives and I are all over the net. Or check me out on the trombone page of the world.
Just a shameless plug for myself,
I look forward to your book I will be one of the first to buy it.
Michael
 

Re: Thoughts from a fan
Date: 07/14/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words and for horning in, Michael! (Bad puns are thick this summer...)
 

Re: Thoughts from a fan
Date: 07/16/2007
From: patrick
Location:

Drag? I thought it was the other way round, generally, that guitarists and vocalists were too leading. It could be that drummers are taught to use time in a metronomic sense, but are constrained to it due to a conception of percussion not having any duration. This is largely a popcul phenomenon.

Selling Your Books

Date: 07/05/2007 From: Pierce Watters
Location: Seattle

Hi Greg,

My earlier email started me wandering around your site. I was a sales rep in Texas for Warner Publisher Services when Eon came out. I remember it well. It was the first Tor book I ever placed on the D/FW Airport Best Seller List. I had to talk and talk and sell my tail off and finally got the buyer to agree to 1/2 a spinner strip in each of D/FW's 13 stands. Well, Eon sold like crazy! I had to order in more copies, immediately, and the D/FW buyer gave me an entire spinner row. Eon stayed on their list for over a year and opened the way for me to place more Tor books on the list, as well. Ah, memories...

Pierce
 

Re: Selling Your Books
Date: 07/07/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the persistence, Pierce! EON is still selling steadily and in pretty decent numbers twenty-two years later. Airports are a very different market now...

Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?

Date: 07/04/2007 From: patrick
Location:

I'm not asking a personal question. I mean this from a philosophical stand-point: are social pleasantries a necessary item, or just a conditional one relative to the psychological security of humans? Granted, some may think it's a 'finery' of human behavior they enjoy indulging in...but, couldn't an acute appreciation for the functioning of a system negate this? For example, say you have two beings who are highly concerned with the quality of how things operate. One may assist in something particular to what the other is involved in, and which the fomer may not be, directly. And suppose there is a confidence in the inclusion of what the latter is doing relative to the fundamental principles upon which they, together, think promotes (what I will call psycho-spiritual) development. Then, that the former assisted the latter, and that the latter recognised the 'value' in being aided, there is already a 'recognition' of all things (people, resources, events, etc) involved. It's in-built into the system. (Actually, this process could possibly be invoked within the mainstream paradigm(s).) Where then would pleasantries be necessary?
 

Re: Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?
Date: 07/05/2007
From: Greg Bear

Total communication and reciprocation would probably eliminate the need for mere pleasantries--and for social grooming, as well! But a little mystery, a little unexpected interaction, spiced by a little frustration and disappointment--isn't that the sauce of social life?
 

Re: Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?
Date: 07/05/2007
From: patrick
Location:

Well, I think humans are capable of quite wildly different mentalities while simultaneously maintaining a cosmic homeostatis. If they wish it. (A brief aside: I think the 'if we were all the same' deal is a popcul myth people invoke when propositioned with the idea of easy intimacy.) There's plenty of mystery in that to tide us, I think, let alone if it were an 'art of existence' thing. (That last isn't new, of course, but within it, the standard conception seems to be to take one's characteristics as they are, rather than direct them toward - or within - a cosmic principle.)

The sauce is then a matter of whether we wish it to be gourmet, store-bought, or some mixture, etc. I'm for gourmet, cos even if you've gotten one thing to the best it's going to be, then it means you have room for other things to be so, too.* Know what I mean?

*there is a balance between quality and satisfaction.
 

Re: Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?
Date: 07/10/2007
From: Arvind Mishra
Location: Varanasi

Social pleasantries what I understand are of adaptive value to human survival/existence.They are products or even by- products of a long neuro-behavioral process man has gone through his evolutionary history.
They are going to be us for a long time as natural evolution is a very slow process and if they loose relevance or context in ages to come nature may allow man to get rid off from such behavioral repertoire.
Am I out of context Greg?
 

Re: Alien thoughts: A need for pleasantries?
Date: 07/12/2007
From: Greg Bear

Not at all. Natural evolution may not be all that slow--and social evolution ties right in to natural evolution, in the sense that we seem to adjust our genetic expression to the situations in which we find ourselves. How often we pass those adjustments on to our offspring is a very interesting question--and one that's increasingly being asked now. (It's not strictly speaking Lamarckian inheritance--probably more epigenetic, the adjustment of which gene complexes are switched on or off--but some of the literature uses that term.)

Jon Stewart

Date: 07/02/2007 From: Ben Eiynk
Location: Minneapolis

Mr Bear,

I caught you on Jon Stewart last night... nice seeing you! My fiancee was watching too and said "I can tell why you like him... I don't understand a thing he says."

B..
 

Re: Jon Stewart
Date: 07/02/2007
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Ben! Was she referring to me or Jon Stewart?
 

Re: Jon Stewart
Date: 07/17/2007
From: Michael Pine
Location: Melbourne, Australia

If anybody has a link to Greg's interview on Jon Stewart I would much appreciate it, I don't get the show on free to air TV on here and I don't have cable.

cheers
Michael
 

Re: Jon Stewart
Date: 07/17/2007
From: Greg Bear

The Daily Show web site may still have the clip. If not--any other suggestions, readers?

 

Re: Jon Stewart
Date: 07/18/2007
From: Michael Pine
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Thanks for the hint Greg, I found it.... and in case anybody else wants it, while it is still up there.

http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/player.jhtml?ml_video=88999&ml_collection=&ml_gateway=&ml_gateway_id=&ml_comedian=&ml_runtime=&ml_context=show&ml_origin_url=/shows/the_daily_show/videos/celebrity_interviews/index.jhtml%3FplayVideo%3D88999&ml_playlist=&lnk=&is_large=true

Never seen you or heard your voice before... so was good to see.