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July - December 2008

Forge...again

Date: 12/30/2008 From: Tim Mundorff
Location: Fremont, CA

Hello Mr. Bear and all,

My wife and I, (27 years on Sunday) were touring the book store last week picking out Christmas gifts for ourselves, no surprises after 27 years. I just wanted you to know that I picked out a replacement copy of "Forge" for Christmas and I'm re-reading it now (oh I'm probably the millionth one to point it out...Crockerman eyes green on page 83 and brown on 123...sorry). Love Forge, Eon and Darwin series...would love to see movies. Thanks for all the wonderful images...very inspirational, sir. Happy New Year (Year of Astronomy, don't forget) to all.

Tim
 

Re: Forge...again
Date: 01/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words and correction, Tim! There were worse errors in the first edition. But I'm glad to catch this one--if twenty years late.
 

Re: Forge...again
Date: 01/17/2009
From: Greg Careaga
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Perhaps Crockerman is heterochromatic?
 

Re: Forge...again
Date: 01/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hmmm... well, I did that with a character in QUANTICO... I'll think this over as a quick excuse!

City -- is this a holographic universe?

Date: 12/29/2008 From: chris pickens
Location: Fairfax, CA


City is a great novel! It was a tough read, but I really
enjoyed it.

The last time I read a book that make me rethink the structure of time and space, and of symbols, was Samuel
R. Delany's Dhalgren or perhaps Janet Morris' excellent
space novels from the 80s about the Kerrions (Cruiser Dreams, Earth Dreams)

The idea of dreaming the far future
and that the dream is real falls under a kind of
holographic universe framework --- thank you for an enjoyable read Mr. Bear.

Cheers
Chris Pickens


 

Re: City -- is this a holographic universe?
Date: 12/30/2008
From: Greg Bear

Glad you enjoyed it, Chris.

A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!

Date: 12/29/2008 From: Christopher Cherry
Location: Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK

You know, the fact that there is more of an amount of people taking drugs/medication especially psych meds. Reminds me that society is bordering on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

I mean why do people take anti-depressants and anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers? I'll tell you why to conform to society and be able to work and be a good little citizen. We can' have to many people thinking outside the box can we.

Just my conspiracy theory moaning for today.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Christopher! No moaning about it. Drugs have been with us as long as the original Soma, which might have been beer, mead, or mushrooms. Huxley apparently died on LSD. His book THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION is well worth reading.
 

Queen of Angels should be dramatized for the screen...
Date: 12/29/2008
From: chris pickens
Location: Fairfax, CA


Hi Christopher,

You know, you are right. We do live in a Brave New therapied world....
There was some talk about Ridley Scott directing
a remake of Brave New World....


I am the proud owner of a signed hardback of Queen of Angels and I might try to suggest to Mr. Bear to suggest
to Mr. Scott to consider Queen of Angels instead....
I am not a fan of hollywood and their remaking sensabilities, but Ridley Scott would no doubt honor
the spirit and essence of queen of angels.

Cheers
Chris Pickens



 

Queen of Angels should be dramatized for the screen...
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

Agreed--Ridley Scott is a terrific film-maker.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

There will always be a tension between conformity and creativity, and in a healthy society the dialogue is open and ongoing. The powers that be will tend toward "mind control," conspiratorily or no.

But I feel compelled to answer Mr. Cherry's question a little more severely. Only someone who's never been depressed, psychotic or unstable would ask why people take medications for these conditions.

By depressed I don't mean just "down in the mouth." Sure there are folks who'd rather have a quick fix than buckle down and address their issues. And sure it's cheaper to dope trouble-makers than accommodate them. Where does one draw the line between "sensitive" and sick? Is there a practical referent other than ability to contribute to society as it stands? These are deep questions.

However, there are legions of people at the ends of the neurological bell-curve who are not just "thinking out of the box." They are in hell. Many are bright, sensitive individuals who indeed WOULD provide unique perspectives, insights...but can't focus, or bathe, or even connect the fragments of what used to be a "self."

Be careful. To suggest that this latter group should resist treatment is bigotry, and a form of supression all its own.

Believe me, artists and mavericks will always buck the system! We don't need to make traitors out of the mentally ill to affirm our distaste for traitors of the free mind.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 12/30/2008
From: Ryan
Location: Cleveland, OH

Huxley's Island is very underappreciated. Both as an exercise in some goals society could aspire toward with more mundane technology, and as a criticism of some modernity.

America's biggest narcotic is television. Followed by driving too fast. I enjoy both narcotics. Perhaps excessively.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 12/30/2008
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Just a comment on Bill Goodwin's comment. Very, very well said.

In my read, Huxley was getting at conformity as security and control.

Take that metaphor too far, and you ignore the genuine suffering of people whose DNA puts them beyond their own ability to lead the lives of their choosing.

I better stop there as Mr. Goodwin put it so much better.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 12/30/2008
From: Greg Bear

I'd be more inclinced to target Huxley's satire on drugs (and Chris's reaction) with the variety of prescription drugs available by the time Huxley wrote ISLAND: valium etc. The fifties and sixties were indeed a kind of early stoner generation. Of course, personal drug use is often an attempt at self-medication for a variety of mental illnesses. (And I wish that modern anti-depressants were more universally effective. The chemistry of depression is individually very complex and variable.)
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 12/30/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Christopher, Greg, Chris, Bill and everyone else


Having been primary care giver for some one who sank into Clinical Depression for nearly six years I can see some of Christopher's argument, as the care source was run by the County we live in, and they were more apt to throw the drug of the week at my Care Focus than anything else, until an effective combo was found: instead of going toward the root problems that the depression was arising out of: debilitating migraines and congenital dental problems.

But what the Psych-Industry is doing is at most taking the edge off for that part of the population who is having problems, whether genetic or environmentally induced, dealing with life in the Modern World.

There "was" something more like Christopher's Societal Control in one of the first few "realities" presented in Le Guin's LATHE OF HEAVEN.

But if some Power Cabal really wanted to control the Populace with a Drug Like SOMA in BRAVE NEW WORLD that group would have hopped on Shulgin's work, taking control of the whole MDMA phenomenon at the get go, when it was still basically used in Therapy, before South Western Methodist University started the whole thing of recreation Ecstasy usage (Dry Campus).

Unfortunately for such a Cabal of Alphas the Reagan's JUST SAY NO campaign manifested at the same time, which maybe for us, nearly a quarter century later, had a hidden blessing.

Imaging if either of the Major Political Parties were passing out Free and Compulsary MDMA to the populus...while there might be less conflicts in the work place and the social mileau, the majority of SOMA/MDMA'd populous would also probably LOVE their leaders uncritically.

And it doesn't need to have ben MDMA, that was just one of the two most effective spins on the MDA molecule that Shulgin came up with.

Would chemically compulsory Empathy & Bonding be a Bad Thing or a Good Thing?

This may be a SERIOUS WORRY again around 2020, as Millenialism in Christian Countries dies away (we still have another freak out amongst New Agers in 2012, which will vector out into the general population) and various religions lose steam for a time: Radical Religion may be the only thing that has stood between us and Chemical Control by our Government.

Mike Glosson.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 12/31/2008
From: Christopher Cherry
Location: Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK

Allow myself to be clear here. I do take anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. What I have an issue with (or is it more of a thought) is that I have to take these drugs to be a good worker earner and supporter of my family.

If I was to have anything to do with it and had money enough, so that I did not need to work. I would cease the use of these medicines to explore the stranger and more bizzare states of mind I might find myself in.

Probably a bizarre thing but it's always something I have been interested in. How many musicians, artists, writers have been mentally ill and gained inspiration from there illness or affliction.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 01/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

This was an issue in QUEEN OF ANGELS of course... only therapied workers could get good jobs. Fascinating discussion and points here.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 01/06/2009
From: robert Bollard
Location: birmingham UK

There is something in what you have all said but as one person mentioned Island is the book we should all be looking at. Huxley has gave us a perfect template of how we should live, his ideas in this book are astounding and if were put into place there would be no need of any use of Pharmaceutical drugs to help people. Therapy would be a natural part of our upbringing. Brave New World is what were living, we should living in Pala. Lets look to the Good and Positive.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 01/08/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles

"Created sick, commanded to be sound" --Fulke Greville

A can of many worms. Confession time: I've never read Huxley's book (must fix that). I do suggest we all dust off our copies of Neutron Star and reread Larry Niven's "The Ethics Of Madness."

Mr. Cherry: One danger of going off meds is supposed to be that the patient might not be a fit judge of when to go back on. On the other hand Oliver Sacks writes of a man whose Tourette's medication, while allowing him to work 9 to 5 during the week, impaired his ability as a jazz drummer on the weekends. His "disorder" made him more spontaneous. Fortunately he was able to schedule his dosages to allow him out of the box on Friday nights, and get him back into it by Monday morning. Presumably this was possible because the medication required very little lead time to work; again, one must listen to the experts.

Having been a "starving artist" in L.A. (where it's been seriously suggested that Prozac be added to the water supply) I've known a perhaps disproportionate number of troubled people. I've seen one friend vanish into schizophrenia while refusing medication because taking pills would "be weak." I've seen another friend's brother hanging from a rafter because he stopped taking his, and crashed.

As an artist I'm sympathetic to your viewpoint however. I too am curious about the marvelous beings beyond the edge of my personal map. And frightened! I'm reminded of what Ray Bradbury told Aldous Huxley when the latter encouraged him to use drugs to let his inner creatures out: "I'm afraid I wouldn't get them back in!"

You are to be commended for considering those who depend on you.

A bag of thoughts:

Chemically compulsory Empathy and Bonding: Bad Thing. Nature needs wiggle room to work. Fiddle away as much as you like while someone's around to tend the garden, but doesn't adaptation narrow option? I'm no expert but it seems to me our miseries must corellate with a certain fund of novelty that stands us in good stead. And ruthlessness has its place. As I remember, Empathy-Kirk made a poor starship captain in "The Enemy Within."

Then again, bombs operate a lot faster than evolution.

A great many men must, in order to earn their living, tie a strip of silk into a complex knot underneath their shirt collar each morning. OCD? Of course! But it's been "enculturated," like rosary beads or separate refrigerators (in separate rooms!) for milk and meat. We are ALL mentally ill; crazy chimpanzees whose diverse coping mechanisms, in mass and over time, land cameras on Mars.

Going farther out, the late Terence McKenna believed the appearance of consciousness itself was mediated by hallucinogenic plants, and that a craving for substance-induced altered states is a definitive human trait (McKenna believed a lot of things, some intriguing, others merely lucrative I suspect).

Mind/Body issues are always hotspots. They challenge deep-rooted western notions of the inviolability of the soul. Adding to the problem is a confusion of conflicted theory, financial incentive, tort law, public misunderstanding and politicized science that's enough to make anyone paranoid. Public facilities are being overwhelmed as economic stress triggers an avalanche of "borderline" cases, yet public knowledge is in a deplorable state. I was appauled when PR for the (well written) series "Monk" emblazoned the words "Defective Detective" on buses and billboards. Suppose Shaquille O'Neil starred in a television series? Would we have been entreated to follow the expoits of the "Bigger N-----?" Yet I'm sure the PR people meant no harm. They Just Didn't Think.

My own opinion is that etiology, diagnosis and pharmacology are all clumsy and haphazard and only good fortune and/or trial and error ever result in profoundly efficacious treatment. Psychopharmacology wants so badly to be an exact science, but it's just not. Failing that it wants at least to be on a sound footing...well, maybe. But surely there are broad strategies generally likely to leave patients better off than they were before, no matter how frustrating the remaining hurdles. That's assuming an intelligent and well-meaning practicioner of course. There will be disasters of incompetence or plain bad luck, same as for teachers, cooks or accountants.

At the 2006 Worldcon in Anaheim I was unfortunate enough to wander into an exhibit "coincidentally" housed down the hall from the panel rooms. Workers for the "Citizen's Advisory Council on Public Health" (guess who) denied any knowledge of a science fiction convention in the building. Inside were life-sized montages of Nazi concentration camp victims hanging from gallows and being bulldozed into mass graves. The purpose of the display was to blow the whistle on modern psychiatry, which--one was made to understand--was founded by Adolf Hitler.

Get 'im, Tom!
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 01/12/2009
From: Jeff
Location: MI, US


I have some personal perspective on this as well, but I won't go into details about it. Just a few things to mention, and please correct me if my assumptions are wrong:

Mental illness, mainly depression, is the single leading cause of disability in the US, and is at or near the top of the list in other "developed" nations as well.

One of the causes is thought to be that the complexity of modern societies has many more sources of stressors than the environment in which we evolved. The limbic system, which is very old, is being engaged more often, and to a greater degree than it would than if we were in a simpler environment. In some people, who for one reason or another, are more sensitive, this continual barrage, in part being sensed by the amygdala-hippocampus system, actually causes changes in the size and function of these structures. It causes other changes in the brain as well, I'm sure, but I'm not an expert in brain physiology.

I seem to recall that some studies also suggest that there is an epigenetic link in there somewhere as well. Something about the environment that a grandparent was in could cause a change in a grandchild's mental health. But I could be wrong about that one, and maybe not remembering it correctly. Forgive me please, I'm too lazy to double-check my facts.

I think it will be interesting to see how we respond to this in the future. Perhaps, as the world becomes more and more complex, we may select for less sensitivity. Could be that this also involves selecting for less creativity as well, as it seems creative types are sometimes more at risk for suffering. I think it is hard to say, because we really have no historical model for what's going on.

Jeff
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 01/13/2009
From: Greg Bear

Spot-on thoughts and theories here, Jeff. I'm also thinking over the possibility of long-term toxic metals poisoning. Lead has been with us for a very long time, and has been associated with both diminished intellectual capacity, mental illness, and criminal behavior. Who gets exposed most often to lead, as children? The poor.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 01/16/2009
From: Jeff
Location: MI, US

Bill Goodwin wrote:

"Where does one draw the line between "sensitive" and sick? Is there a practical referent other than ability to contribute to society as it stands? These are deep questions."

I know you may not be asking about clinical diagnoses, but
there are such practical references which determine when someone is ill. I won't say they are always accurate, but often they are. Science is learning more about it, but it is taking time. I conject that one of the root causes will be that irrationality is an environmental toxin...
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 01/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Big issues and questions abound. One guideline: personal satisfaction compared with one's contributions to society as a whole. If both personal satisfaction AND contribution are in a deep slide, then perhaps there are actual physical/mental issues to deal with. Today's treatments are getting more effective, but some of our pharmacological solutions are still very blunt instruments. We're all custom-made, after all.
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 03/19/2009
From: Dr. Arvind Mishra
Location: Varanasi ,India

Greg, You mentioned about Soma ! Recently I came through a reference while reading Atharv Veda that the soma was nothing but a preperation from some kind of Mashroom searched and earthed out by Pigs !
Thought to share this info with you !
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 03/21/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Arvind! This does indeed seem to be true. Soma's ingredients are still available in marketplaces in India. Michael Wood tried some in his recent excellent PBS documentary on India... and started talking even faster than his usual brisk delivery!
 

Re: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a thought!
Date: 06/21/2010
From: Alex
Location: st neots

This is really interesting.
Jeff wrote
"I think it will be interesting to see how we respond to this in the future. Perhaps, as the world becomes more and more complex, we may select for less sensitivity. Could be that this also involves selecting for less creativity as well, as it seems creative types are sometimes more at risk for suffering."

Huxleys Brave New World was ultra-rational, and although presented as a nightmare vision and a cautionary tale doesnt actually look all that bad in some respects compared to the Third World.

With regard to the psychology of depression, and of happiness, there are a several excellent lectures posted by Yale on this topic on Youtube. The other big American universities also post a lot of their courses. Pick any one at random and I guarantee an hours interesting discussion.

As for metal exposure as a long-term problem; early copper smelting locations are still poisoned thousands of years later.

Talking about MDMA solving the worlds problems, the empathy of MD, or Ketamine, or acid can be truly lovely, but you'd need make sure the leaders sign the treaties at 1am before the comedown kicks in or the nukes would fly...

Darwin's radio --- discussion

Date: 12/28/2008 From: Jen Ohzourk
Location: Lisle, IL

Dear Mr. Bear,
I moderate a science fiction/fantasy book group here at our library, and we will be reading Darwin's Radio for our February selection. I wanted to let you know that we have some fans in the group who are really looking forward to our discussion, and on average, we have about 8-9 people attend. So, that's an average of 7 copies of the book that we purchase for the library's collection (in addition to your other titles that we own).

In addition to letting you know about your books' popularity here, I also thought I would ask if there is anything that you'd like us to consider in our discussion (or to consider when reading the book). Anything you might like to add would be greatly welcome and appreciated.

Thanks very much,

- Jen Ohzourk
Assistant Director, Adult Services
Lisle Library District
777 Front Street, Lisle, IL 60532
 

Re: Darwin's radio --- discussion
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jen! If your readers have any questions, feel free to have them pass them along to the web site, and I'll try to answer them.

more treats - new GB ebooks

Date: 12/27/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Fictionwise.com is serving these up:

Queen of Angels - so now Slant is complete with its predecessor, very interesting in an entirely different light

Sleepside: The Collected Fantasies, which includes two favorites of mine, The White Horse Child, and above all, Petra

Hardfought, on it's own, a greatly poetic adventure which connects a little with Anvil of Stars

Women in Deep Time, which also publishes Hardfought, combined with two other very good stories, Scattershot (another connection to Anvil of Stars), and Sisters

Well. The boon is that we can have more of Greg's imagination to appreciate, wherever we are, and these are certainly some fine examples.

Regards,
Clive







 

Re: more treats - new GB ebooks
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

And more to come, I believe...
 

Queen of Angels and Slant
Date: 12/29/2008
From: chris pickens
Location: Fairfax, CA


Hi there,

I have read Queen of Angels several times and every time I
can feel more of the story. Mr. Bear has done something
very significant with sci fi with this story - though I
do not think I am smart enough to articulate it. By far,
Queen of Angels stands well on its own without Slant.

Interestly however, you are correct: Slant opens up so
much more to ponder in Queen of Angels --- I feel like Mr.
Bear wrote a 1000 page world-builder BEFORE writing
Queen of Angels and realized that at some point he would
have to explore this world in a second book later.
The two stories are an amazing feat of storytelling.

Cheers
Chris Pickens
Physics Instructor, Ph.d. Astrophysics.
Fairfax, CA
 

Queen of Angels and Slant
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Chris! I'm writing a novel that ties QUANTICO into this particular story sequence even now. Should be an interesting segue.
 

Re: more treats - new GB ebooks
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Ok, I will be patient. I thought just to pass on what Fictionwise sends, which comes once a week.

On Queen of Angels, yes, that is a very ambitious story, and I can remember a very strong response the first time reading it. There's a shift, with Slant, of something besides a few intervening years, and this is very interesting. Somehow Slant feels even more deeply, or maybe it is 'smoothly' imagined, and I like this. On the other hand, the evocation of the Haitian technological but own-cultured society is fascinating in Angels, among other things.

It seems the difference may have to do with the relative nightmarishness of the problems, the catastrophes. It's something of the way, if it is not too far a stretch, that Petra jumps out as a fantasy that feels so sympathetically real. In Slant, the nightmare is less; and so the story and stories interwoven are right with us.

Some of my abiding enjoyments and interests come in the imagining of future societies, the ways we might knit the kinds of things we discover into new social realities. I would guess that this next book will be the greatest challenge of the three this way, for coming 'first'.

To say we'll be looking forward...of course.

Best to both,
Clive

CITY and The Night Lands

Date: 12/23/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego,CA

Greg:

I think, nearly three months later, I've finally mentally digested THE NIGHT LAND and The Homage Sections of CITY...the quest for Nataraja.

The Last Redoubt and the Lesser Redoubt.

Diaspar and Lys.

Kalpa, the Chaos Lands, and Nataraja.

The Youths of the Great Redoubt going on quest, and X's Quest.

Alvin and his Adventures.

The half million years of Ancient Breeds going on the March.

The Four Watchers vs The Witness.

X's Armour and the Suits used by the Ancient Breeds.

At this moment I'm not sure which is worse, the Night Land around the Last Redoubt, or the Chaos Lands around Kalpa...worse as in harsher toward "human" life and "spiritual" survival.

Has anyone really addressed these aspects yet?

The first two times I read CITY AT THE END OF TIME had not yet read THE NIGHT LANDS...doing so has given those sections greater "depth" and also ties in with my general thesis about a new-Homeric level of literary tradition emerging in Science Fiction: The End of Time Cycle.
 

Re: CITY and The Night Lands
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Hi Mike,

You know, what you said kind of make me reflect in another direction. This is to do with what Ursula K. Le Guin said in one of her prefaces: that if she'd known another way to discuss what she wanted to than by metaphor, probably she would have used it.

I read Greg's latest through, finally, a few weeks ago in the library. I was struck not by references to other works, but by the straight feelings of it -- the very rich and constructive feelings that finally come into play.

I found myself also very aware of a generosity, which is one of the things that I most often value in Greg's work.

And, in the image of the cats deciding, some generous and intricate idea which has a very fairy-tale feeling, where senses creatures in our real world bring to us take on a greater strength and meaning; and thus as we read, even more strongly 'make our world', to be as truly rich and mysterious as it is.

For surely anything we can notice, can become a part of our own sense of matters, and of the art with which we approach each of our own choices, imaginations, makings.

I think I am trying to appreciate imagination as something more than just the things it might have begun in, and to enjoy the specific ways it has each time it emerges. These are the real treats, that someone shares with us. And I share the idea with you, this holiday season, and look forward to more of your own.

All the best,
Clive

 

Re: CITY and The Night Lands
Date: 01/05/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

The comparisons between CITY@etc and THE NIGHT LAND are more of a skeletal mythology underpining only one part of the Novel, that being the Chaos lands around Kalpa, and those who go out into the Land.

Just one small part, but an obvious part in the entire End of Time/Dying earth SubGenre.

As I've been telling greg in some private messages, I think this novel contains some of the best prose he has ever written. When he was at Mysterious Galaxy back in August of 2008 he referred to the Novel as Extreme-Sport for Characters, and the writing of it was Extreme-Sport for the Novelist. And it shows.

I could spend pages and pages just on the descriptions of how the Fate-Shifters interact with the world of possibilities. I may yet.

But I've read it three times since Publication in August, the second time within a Month...and this third time I caught a whole new layer, as I had read THE NIGHT LAND after my second read of CITY, and had that in mind for some of the parts I read.

And I could go on and on here, but I will stop for now.

Mike Glosson

Vitals--ending

Date: 12/22/2008 From: Rich Kisch
Location: Minneapolis MN

Hi Mr. Bear,
I've read a number of your novels and have enjoyed them all, with the exception of Vitals. The story concept was good, but the ending SUCKED! I was almost mad at being left hanging like that--what really happened? Who was really in charge? Was Rob alive or dead? Was Banning really behind everything? Were the Little Mothers actually speaking and controlling things or was everyone nuts...? Where' they come from? The tie in with the longevity stuff was nebulous and unclear at best, unnecessary at worst--didn't go anywhere. Could've been any cellular biology studier.... I know "artists" love this kind of open ending crap, but to the reader it's very unsatisfying and frustrating! I've never written an author before, and I know you could care less about some schmuck's opinion, but I was so frustrated after wasting my time reading that book, getting involved in the story and the science fact/fiction, I felt like I was robbed and had to speak out! Love to see a sequel to the Forge of God, though.... (Where'd the little snake people wind up?)

Rich
 

Re: Vitals--ending
Date: 12/22/2008
From: Greg Bear

The book is a puzzle box, to be sure, but not without a solution. I wrote it with a few of my favorite contemporary suspense novels and movies in mind. My readers are clever people, and a fair number of them regard VITALS (and its scientific speculations) with favor.

If movie goers can make hits out of films far more tortuous and obscure than VITALS, then why should I expect any less of you?
 

Re: Vitals--ending
Date: 12/24/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Ha. Every time I read some complaint such as this, I'm reminded why most people can't handle non-tertian and especially non-tonal musics. Resolution, often of a definitive, if not familiar, sort is an innate, deep desire.
 

Re: Vitals--ending
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

I've been ticked off at first by some movies and books as well, and then come to realize my enjoyment. Reading is always an odyssey, and so is music appreciation.
 

Re: Vitals--ending
Date: 12/29/2008
From: chris pickens
Location: Fairfax, CA

I think I enjoyed the experience of reading vitals more than
the ending - but that is why I am a Greg Bear fan. The power of his work for me has been his overall sense of drama and storytelling and great characters. Endings are not as important to me compared to his sense of structure, tone
and his very impressive world-building.





 

Re: Vitals--ending
Date: 11/29/2010
From: tom hackwelder
Location: usa

ok-- liked the book very muchand ending was mystery.
could someone out there that is better at puzzles than me give me some interpretations of the ending?

Some Interesting "News" regarding CITY

Date: 12/17/2008 From: Mike Glossons
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

Was poking around in the Wiki article about you, and saw there was an extended article regarding CITY AT THE END OF TIME.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_at_the_End_of_Time


The header is "Literary significance and reception"

The article is still a stub at this point.
 

Re: Some Interesting
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Mike. All good reviews is a good beginning!

Hurray -- more ebooks released!

Date: 12/17/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Just found a notice from Fictionwise.com in my inbox.

At the least, they have Eternity -- finally! Now I can muse with Mirsky's future whenever the urge strikes.

As well, Anvil of Stars (!), Blood Music, and Dinosaur Summer. Great for each. And they have lots of others, from Quantico back to Beyond Heaven's River, which I've always enjoyed.

Looks like your perseverance is paying off, Greg. And I hope the sales figures show it's good to further serve this place on the 'long tail' of the market. Certainly there must be many persons interested in your books who also enjoy a digital library that goes with them.

I am still reading besides on laptop, often on my early-decade Palm 505, by the way, which besides excellent notes-taker is actually an excellent reading device, Louise Erdrich's Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse on at present.

By the way, it was on one of her books that I made the answer about characterization mentioned, not Ursula Le Guin. My, what company ;).

Best,
Clive
 

Re: Hurray -- more ebooks released!
Date: 12/17/2008
From: Greg Bear

And more titles to come!

Songs of Earth and Power

Date: 12/16/2008 From: Diane Leeman
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Dear Mr Bear
I have just finished re-reading your wonderful and inspiring book, "Songs of Earth and Power", for perhaps the seventh or eighth time. I am writing for two reasons. The first is to thank you for sharing your gift with others (I have several of your other books also). The second is to ask your permission to use two paragraphs from "Songs" as a quote in one of my own books - with full accreditation of course. The passage is on page 526 and commences with: "We are eternal..." and ends with: "...never repeating, always improving." It illustrates, perfectly, the subject matter of the book which I am currently writing. I would be more than happy to send you a synopsis of the book, if you wish. I look forward to your reply.
Sincerely
Diane Leeman
 

Re: Songs of Earth and Power
Date: 12/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Diane! Feel free to use the quote.
 

Re: Songs of Earth and Power
Date: 01/14/2009
From: Shaun
Location: Chester

A great book indeed, I read it when I was about 16 and very few books I have read since have come close.

Telling Al Qaeda how to make Smallpox.

Date: 12/11/2008 From: Richard Blaber.
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.

I recently went on to the Entrez Nucleotide site, and was able to obtain complete genome sequences for two strains of the Variola major (Smallpox) virus. See, for example, the web-page at http:/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/viewer.fcgi?db=nuccore&id=109724243 ,which gives the Bangladesh 1975 v75-550 Banu strain.
Is it really responsible of the NIH to put this information in the public domain, along with - again, for example, complete genome sequences for Bacillus anthracis and other nasties?
If I can download said material to my laptop with ease, so too can Osama bin Laden and Ayman bin Zawahiri. Surely there's already far too much material that's useful to terrorists in cyberspace, without the US Government and its agencies actually putting more there.
 

Re: Telling Al Qaeda how to make Smallpox.
Date: 12/11/2008
From: Greg Bear

Good question, Richard. This information has been available for decades, however, and not just on the Internet, but in scientific journals. (One of the researchers who decoded this genome was actually an advisor on DARWIN'S RADIO.) And this concern is certainly widespread. Actually creating a virus from this information is problematic, however--though not impossible, in a fully equipped laboratory, which certainly exist in nations that promote terrorism. (Though I suspect smallpox is a little too iffy to be a weapon of choice.) The plain fact is, details on diseases, explosives, poisons, nuclear weapons, etc., have been available for decades in all of our libraries--and that information has been part of the free flow of scientific information, essential to the economic health of our nation. Solutions? Well, we could block it all... censor it... stop scientific development. But remember--the major goal of terrorism is to force nations into self-destructive postures. And that would certainly qualify. Are we ever going to be completely safe against these threats? No. Watchful vigilance--and sensible precautions and professional awareness--are our best defense, as always.
 

Re: Telling Al Qaeda how to make Smallpox.
Date: 12/12/2008
From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, La

Bravo Greg, could not agree more. I think fear is used to motivate and separate us without knowing it. Censorship, civil rights and such things can never be taken to lightly because once you lose those even for a presumed security threat you may have a hard time getting them back. To me Mother Nature(pandemic) is potentially far more likely to cause mass death than bio-terrorist.

I do believe security in those labs needs to be re-evaluated and constantly audited. We do have recent security breaches in missile defense labs in both Clinton and Bush Sr. Administrations a problem does exist.
 

Re: Telling Al Qaeda how to make Smallpox.
Date: 12/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

Absolutely. Security problems are like death and taxes--guaranteed, and eternal!

Teilhard de Chardin?

Date: 12/06/2008 From: Grant Hyde
Location:

Hey, Greg,

I appreciated your last message regarding terrorism. I'm surrounded
by beautiful nieces and nephews and stepchildren--a regular horde--who love me but assure me that terrorists are an invention of Bush and that my hard-working FBI brother is nice but duped by the "powers".

I swear allegiance to no party, but I want this country to do the right thing. Your super-cool books have sustained me since high school. Was "Blood Music " influenced by Teilhard de Chardin?
You not only soar above "bipartisan," it seems to me, you rocket to a realm where life matters. I wish I could do it.

Anyway, how do you keep the kiddies in line without being a fascist? These are strange and frightening times we live in, brother.
 

Re: Teilhard de Chardin?
Date: 12/11/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Grant! Good leadership is a must. Everything flows from the top down; bullshit begets skepticism. As they say on TV, "Just the facts."

Sorting the partisan rhetoric from the real threats keeps a lot of good, hard-working people up at night. I respect and appreciate their efforts.

Forrest J Ackerman

Date: 12/05/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2008/12/forrest-j-acker.html

I was out on a walk, called in to let the wife know I would be longer than planned, and she had just gotten the news.

Off to buy some Root Beer in a few minutes
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

We've been expecting this for some weeks now; Forry will be with us in so many ways, it's difficult to imagine him gone.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/05/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

I've been working the wires and been to the store since my first post on this. We are having a small gathering here at my house tonite, and I've been in touch with a lot of Forrey Fans across the nation this afternoon.

He may even get mourned in Malaysia tonite.

The man was a veritble fixture at various events.

We've been wonder who all will be at the actual funeral...
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/06/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Root beer is a good idea. Root beer and an old ish of Famous Monsters.

Spoke with Bradbury this afternoon, who knows this drill and is forging through with his usual sanguinity.

To the inhabitants (too many) of scienti-heaven: Forry's coming! BEWARE OF THE CONCUSSION!
 

Your Memories of Forrey on your main page
Date: 12/07/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

Wow! Thanks for posting that rememberance of Forrest J Ackerman on your main page. I acutally choked up reading it aloud to my wife just now.

The LA Times did a better Obit for him yesterday, which can be found here:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-ackerman6-2008dec06,0,3646064.story?page=1

Mike & Storm in San Diego
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/10/2008
From: David Clark
Location: San Diego, California

I thought it both fitting and ironic that Sunday's LA Times Calendar section was mostly devoted to "Sci-Fi" films being released or in development. The term sci-fi was plastered all over the headers. This in the town where Forry lived his life, coined the term, and the city that did not want his one-of-a-kind collection and allowed it to be scattered to the winds.

I seem to recall that the Ackermansion we used to visit in the sixties was on Sherborne Drive (Sp?)
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/11/2008
From: Greg Bear

Quite right! Sherbourne Drive is the name I was looking for. The actual address was 915 S. Sherbourne, which, looking it up on Google Earth, seems to be an apartment complex now. Glendower was the location of the second Ackermansion, which I never visited.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/17/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

"The greater world grieves and draws together in a time of tragedy: the loss of a Kennedy, a Martin Luther King. So we in the special world of Fantasy share our sorrow and try to comfort one another with words as we think of the deeds of our departed Hero and mourn his passing. We can no longer say, "O king, live forever." Instead, will you join me in your heart and beam this thought into the great beyond: O King, love--forever!"

The words are Mr. Ackerman's themselves, in memorial to Boris Karloff. Famous Monsters has been on my mind of course, and when I finally dug out a random issue last night (#56) they were the first thing I saw upon opening it. Naturally I was struck by how well they applied to their author, himself.

Further along one finds another note, mailed in by a 17-year-old enthusiast:

"I write this letter sadly but not with a tragic sadness; I feel we should all grok Mr. Karloff as a great man who lived happily and died with much accomplished. Few people could ask for more.

Greg Bear
San Diego, Calif."

!!!
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/17/2008
From: Greg Bear

In that same issue, the young Bear also has a second note signed G.Reginald Urso. And somewhere out there, a cartoon of the Frankenstein's monster with a tear in his eye... like a similar cartoon of Mickey Mouse, after Disney died.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/18/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles

Hah! How could I have missed it!

I had letters published back to back in the L.A. Times once, as Bill Goodwin and Wilma Ginwood.
Perhaps they were fooled. I'm sure GReg Urso didn't slip past a mind like Ackerman's though--even if easily eluding mine.

Will B Good in
Los Angeles
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

I sent in two letters, and Forry coined the pseudonym for me! If you have that issue available, a scan for the web page might be fun. (Send it c/o webmaster Terran.) I can't find mine at the moment.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 06/22/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I spent some Father's Day time with Ray Bradbury this afternoon, which was good for both of us I think (my own dad passed away when I was three). He told me about his last visit to Forrest Ackerman--how he held Forry's hands and "thanked him for my life." Tragic and yet not so, as we so seldom get the chance to make all our various ammends and/or goodbyes in this world with the grace and celebration they deserve...anyway, I thought I'd scoot down here to December '08 and mention it.

Ray was talking about Robert Wise at one point, and asked me to hand him a VHS tape of Citizen Kane so he could point out Wise's editing credit (which I hadn't known about). As I passed him the box I saw it was signed to him by Orson Welles. The things that appear out of the "clutter" in that den continue to amaze...Ray's got quite a collection of his own and I hope someone does better justice to it one day than was done to Ackerman's. Spotting a Mugniani print from The Halloween Tree, I mentioned that Greg Bear had done a great painting of Mr. Moundshroud's kite. "It's fantastic!" Ray burst out, with obvious joy. (On an infinitely more prozaic level, I drew him an "Applause" sign earlier in the week--to replace one that had been lost--and the very next day found him holding it up in a NY Times piece...what fun!)

Ray's short-term memory is chancey and "peripheral apparati" well-worn, but his spirit simply refuses to be inconvienced by it. I treasure every moment I've spent with this dear, dear man.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 06/22/2009
From: Greg Bear

Good people keep Ray's memory in fine shape. Our visit was a delight, and we'll post pictures soon on the blog.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 06/22/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Looking forward to that! And of course when I speak of memory I only mean minor things, the sort I misplace myself, at half Ray's age.

Incidentally, I have not forgotten the above-mentioned Famous Monsters scan...it's just that I'm an unbelievable Luddite: only recently got a scanner and haven't mastered (okay, unpacked) it yet. When I do, I may pester you with several things!

Wisdom to share?

Date: 12/04/2008 From: Sandy Arce
Location: New Orleans, La

I want to start by mentioning that I admire your keen writing ability. And I would be honored if you were to give me any input at all.

My question is regarding writing a book of my own. A children's book. Could you give me any advice on how to start or even point me in the right direction? I have no idea and I'm sure I will have my work cut out for me. I can't tell you how proud it would make me to be able to accomplish something for others to enjoy. As I'm sure you can appreciate.

Thank you for your time and above all for your amazing talent which we are all so eager to enjoy,

Sandy
 

Re: Wisdom to share?
Date: 12/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

Writing advice is easy at this stage--just sit down and do it! Carve out some time for yourself each day, and don't worry about the results until you've got a body of work to shape and revise. Try as much as possible to find your own voice, and write about what you love! Then--revise it, put it aside for a few weeks to mellow, and start right away on another story. One is never enough. It takes a while, but after you get the hang of it, come back to us with a report. Good luck, Sandy!
 

Re: Wisdom to share?
Date: 12/07/2008
From: patrick
Location:

And, as I've mentioned before, you can check out Dan Simmons' Writing Well essays. Definitely intense, but (perhaps) universally applicable.

OK, I'm stumped.

Date: 12/02/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

And I've read CITY AT THE END OF TIME twice.


What is "1298"

Or should I ask that in private?

Twice now I've incorporated 1298 into a Blog-Joke:

--------

Error Code 1298

Biography Mismatch. Biography not available. Attempting to reconcile with one or more available time lines.

--------

Or some such Variation.

Mike
 

Re: OK, I'm stumped.
Date: 12/11/2008
From: Greg Bear

Why not Google it? Treat it as a date.
 

Re: OK, I'm stumped.
Date: 12/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

Look again. Think in Chinese.
 

Re: OK, I'm stumped.
Date: 12/17/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

1298 + China/Chinese....

That's the year "Movable Type" for printing first came into existence on this planet...

Mike

The Return of Star Trek the Experience

Date: 11/28/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

Something that feel off my "Thankful For" list for yesterday.

Have meant to update you on this for a while: It looks like Star Trek The Experience will be coming back for another production in Vegas, this time in the Olde Down Town:

http://www.trektoday.com/news/081108_01.shtml

Current estimates have it coming on line sometime either shortly before or shortly after the new Trek film.

It sounds like the rides will be very different...no word yet whether or not Quark's will be beeming over to the new location.
 

Re: The Return of Star Trek the Experience
Date: 12/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

With a new movie coming out--STAR TREK is reborn!
 

Re: The Return of Star Trek the Experience
Date: 12/18/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Apparently. Though, like Star Wars and many comic book flicks, this seems to be 'video gamed' out.
 

Re: The Return of Star Trek the Experience
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

I feel kind of old-fashioned this way as well. But hope springs eternal.
 

Re: The Return of Star Trek the Experience
Date: 12/29/2008
From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, La

I have said it before Greg you need to get a video game of one of your books. I'm not sure which one would lend it's self to it but that is a whole new type of PR and revenue.

Jim

Third Book in Forge of God Series

Date: 11/26/2008 From: Shaun
Location: Chester, UK

Hi there - I have searched through the site but can't seem to find an answer to this: do you have a title for the third book in the Forge of God series? If so any approximate dates for release?

Here's to hoping Warner Bros finally get the FOG/AOS movie made and it being the greatest Hard Sci-Fi movie ever!

Shaun
 

Re: Third Book in Forge of God Series
Date: 12/03/2008
From: Greg Bear

Third book not written yet! But definitely under consideration. Thanks for the good wishes, Shaun.
 

Re: Third Book in Forge of God Series
Date: 12/07/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Under consideration! Quite a progress over the last year or so. I'm quite curious. (Still waiting for City in BOOK format to get to my library, but at least at my prompting they've deigned to acquire it. You know, insert an 's' in 'deigned' and it becomes an interesting juxtaposition.)
 

Re: Third Book in Forge of God Series
Date: 12/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

There's also an audio book version from BBC Audio...
 

Re: Third Book in Forge of God Series
Date: 01/25/2015
From: Gregg
Location: BC, MI

Embarrassed to type that I forgot I had these upon my shelf until one of my dogs took them both down. Took it as a sign that I should devour again. And I did. So...yeah...another one would be a treat...! (No pressure, mind you. Just an encouragement.)

Passing it down.

Date: 11/24/2008 From: Rob Reynolds
Location: Baton Rouge, La

Mr. Bear,

I know that you must receive correspondence from parents who have grown up with your works and are passing them along to their children. I am from the same ilk.

I have two children age 7 and 11, I introduced them to your works via the Anvil books a number of years ago and we haven't looked back since. The passage below relates how our 'evolution of story time' took place and I simply wanted to let you know that your works have played a large role in that development.

The effects of your works in story time have gone well beyond the vocabulary improvements that are probably the most easily measurable of the effects. I can see in their thought processes a wider spectrum of ideas and a increasing depth of context, particularly for appreciation of deep and complex characters.

One notable observation that the eldest son made was what he calls the 'glowing descriptions' that you make in the introductory paragraph in many of your chapters.

Thanks for your works and we wish you the best!

My son Gavin just walked up to me with holding our lovable but over-sized cat draped across his arms. He says, "Daddy, can you believe, we need to buy a Shrink-Ray to shrink this baby cat."

--------------------

Story Time: My entire life culminates into about a 1 hour period that occurs usually between 730 and 830pm. This is colloquially known as Story Time. Story time has had many changes and evolutions over time as the boys have grown.

Original story time consisted of kids books like Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Brown Bear, The Giving Tree and the like. The boys have always enjoyed this time together and story time is truly one of the only times that the boys seemed to really give their focused attention.

Story time changed at some point to an interactive sort of role-playing. I would pick a theme and begin the story and the boys would be given choices throughout the story that would guide how the story unfolded. An example is the 'western' theme or the 'Ditch'.

Example:

You are in a dark room with no light at all. You stumble through the darkness feeling along the wall until you find a switch mounted to the wall. It is a wooden lever protruding from the wall and it is in the up position. Do you want to pull the switch down or keep feeling along the wall?

Child: I want to pull the switch but I want to pull it slowly.

As you slowly pull the lever downward you see that a shaft of light appears about 6' away. The wall itself appears to be sliding down and light is shining in from the top of door. Do you want to pull the lever down all the way or do you want to try and peek out of the top of the door?

Child: How high up is it?

The crack at the top of the door is about 4' high.

Child: Ok, I climb up on Gavin's shoulders and peek out over the top.

When you look out through the crack you see a road that snakes off to the left and right. You also see a small shack directly across the road from the door. You see a lit candle burning in through a dirty window.

Child: I pull the lever down enough so that we can climb out of the door.

The door slides down and you stop it when it gets about 3' from the ground and climb over. When you get out you look back and realize that the door that you just climbed over was a actually a large rock concealing the entrance to the passage. The rock appears to be leaning against a cliff face of a large mountain. A small trail leads off to your left and winds it way into the mountain. Would you like to investigate the shack with the candle, follow the trail in the mountain or take the road left or right?

You get the picture. We did this for a number of years and the boys developed certain strategies, particularly being careful with their responses such as pulling the lever 'slowly' in the example above. Daddy was quick to dish out nasty consequences for impulsive or thoughtless behavior in the stories.

The interactive stories evolved too as things went on, the boys began telling more and more of the story. This usually involved addition of strange and powerful weapons to their ever building arsenal of mechanica and magica. Lava Swords and Tidal wave shields, guns that would shoot holes through inescapable dilemmas. However, daddy was there to ensure that the Dues ex mahchina was not the permanent resolution for conflict.

Eventually, the boys would take turns telling entire stories. We focused on a start, some exploration, discovery of a problem, deciding on how to face the problem, acting and working out the consequences.

Our current incarnation of story time consist of fast but passionate readings of 'chapter books', these have included Harry Potter, Goose Bumps, Deltora and currently Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials.

Story time however is closely regulated by a few factors; if daddy is traveling, what time daddy gets home, how late Hunter finishes his homework, what time both boys finish supper and bath time, as well as the daily behavior grades from school and mom.

Bedtime is 8:30pm, firm. However, we have stretched that out more than once to mom's irritation, but only for really good story parts that must be resolved before sleep!

A few odd bits about story time. The boys like me to read nearly as fast as possible. I was once employed as reader for a court reporting school where we read metered material to court reporting students to transcribe. One of the tasks involved reading interrogatories at a a rate of 240-280 wpm, this is very fast but still intelligible. I would say this is close to the rate that we conduct story time.

The voices: When I read to the boys I change my voice to fit either the character or the situation. This is not your typical reading in character, we also do it to break some of the monotony. For example Hunter loves when I read using the 'Terminator' voice for parts of the story where the bad guy is talking or there is a great deal of suspense or action. I use the 'shogun' voice as well for these type of parts as well at times.

What does that word mean? I've read that Scientology(TM) teaches that you should always look every word that you read that you don't completely understand. I'm not a sci-to but we tend to follow the same policy, however we don't stop reading to explain. I will define the word or use a string of 2 or 3 synonyms right in the flow of the read.

example (definition/synonym):

The barrister looked up with a pained look on his face while grasping his hand after he poured the scalding (hot) water onto it from the espresso (coffee) machine. The insistent customer (a person who keeps asking for something over and over) seemed to pay no attention to the mans plight and continued to tap the bell on the counter repeatedly (over and over) and exclaim "Service here!"

Every other weekend my oldest son goes to his bio-dads as a result we hold off on whatever main book we are reading and Gavin and I will read other books. Once Hunter read ahead in one of the chapter books and it caused a lot of problems as Gavin and I had to catch up. However, Hunter was still excited to hear the story read again. At first he insisted that I had read that chapter to him, he said "Daddy I have a great memory, and I know you read it us. You remember it has the "Sub-tal" knife. His mispronunciation of the word 'Subtle' clued us that he had only read the word rather than having heard me read the correct pronunciation. He confessed to reading ahead after I presented this evidence to him.

I don't have a lot of scientific method in place to show me that Story Time benefits the boys either emotionally or cognitively. However, someone would be hard pressed to proved to me that it doesn't. Hunter has written some very imaginative stories for class and both have an above average vocabulary that I credit much to story time.

For me the countless hours that have been put into story time have been some of the best spent hours of my life. There is no 'shortcut' or 'fake' way to replace story time, because that type of one-on-one interaction is both immersive and time intensive. I believe that hunting/camping and sports are similar type of interactions that a parent can engage in, however story time is more focused on the child's 'minds eye'. Whereas hunting/camping is centered around 'nature awareness' and sports centers around body mechanics and situational awareness.

I hope that what I do now with the boys will help them and that it will carry over to their children. My kids are my life, getting home in time for story time is not always possible but no matter where I'm at between 730 and 830p, it's still story time to us.

bobby john
 

Re: Passing it down.
Date: 11/24/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Bobby John! This is a fascinating idea--adventure gaming without the computer. Parts of your family narrative here would fit perfectly into a Heinlein story! Our own night-reading patterns were this: Astrid read our kids Narnia and Moomintroll and such, and I read them Moby Dick and Herodotus--and quite a few sf books.
 

Re: Passing it down.
Date: 11/24/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Just to say, this is quite charming about the family story times, from each of you.

Regards,
Roald

Moving Mars!! THANK YOU!!

Date: 11/21/2008 From: Alex
Location: Jennings

Thank you for an exceptional story with Moving Mars. After the excellent Forge of God which I tend to read every 3/4 years or so, I wasn't sure if it could be matched.
Written the the first person made it a very compelling story as the facts are revealed only as Casseia sees them.

Only your second book I've read, and that will be corrected very shortly, it's a strange thing to read a book that you love so much, that you wonder if an author can really captivate you a 2nd time, sorry I've wasted so much time.

Very much appreciated your story, thank you.
Alex Jennings
 

Re: Moving Mars!! THANK YOU!!
Date: 11/21/2008
From: Greg Bear

High praise never wastes my time. Thanks, Alex!
 

Re: Moving Mars!! THANK YOU!!
Date: 04/02/2009
From: Gavin cook
Location: sidmouth, devon .uk

I would also like to say that moving mars is the most wonderful story, i also read this book regularly ,mainly because i just fell in love with casseia (silly i know!!).
I also came to this book via other Greg Bear novels..eon and eternity which were fabulous.
I would like to ask one question, Was casseia inspired by anyone real, as she is never really described in detail herself in the novel it would be interesting to know what she would have looked like.
You do give quite a lot of detail about charles, sandra and even ahmed crown niger but suprisingly little about casseia..anyway ,wonderful story, wonderful characters and a rare marriage of hard science and a genuine human story...10 out of 10
 

Re: Moving Mars!! THANK YOU!!
Date: 04/04/2009
From: Greg Bear

I suppose Casseia is a little shy that way! She's of medium height (as a Martian, she might be a little taller than she would be had she been raised on Earth), with intelligent, slightly skeptical black eyes, a soft but on occasion assertive and commanding voice, and she tends to be a little restless, as if always searching for something to do. She does not regard herself as attractive, but I suspect most males would disagree. Her accent has not lost that lovely, friendly lilt common to those whose heritage derives from the the Indian subcontinent--in fact, on Mars that is a common accent for English-speakers.
 

Re: Moving Mars!! THANK YOU!!
Date: 05/28/2009
From: Rob
Location: Manchester

I have to say that I think Moving Mars is my favourite Sci Fi book -- or at least the one that has made the most impact on me. I still get tingles down my spine at the descriptions of travels through 'hyperspace' (for want of the correct name).

It will be a truly scary day if we ever reach such a technological stage.
 

Re: Moving Mars!! THANK YOU!!
Date: 05/29/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Rob! We've had a lot of those scary days in our history... Especially in the last century.
 

Good ideas.
Date: 06/18/2013
From: Rock
Location: Oregon

The story caused me to think about the increasing dangers inherent in our continuing understanding of science. The human race has so far been fortunate enough to survive the natural world up to the atomic age. The matrix-matter manipulation in "Moving Mars", while fictional, is the sort of power necessary for a species to spread over many star systems.

So, I started thinking about what it would take for a species to live through having the power of gods. Then the consideration that we have not been openly contacted by aliens. Perhaps it is more unlikely for an intelligent species to survive obtaining the required power, then it is likely for such intelligent speciesices to exist at all. As if Science itself was a part of evolution, where only a species of saints may pass through.

 

Good ideas.
Date: 06/25/2013
From: Greg Bear

Interesting thoughts, parallel with the 1950s (and earlier) idea that developing atomic power could provide a pinch point for advanced civilizations...

A step closer to the biological...

Date: 11/17/2008 From: patrick
Location:

"Researchers in the US have used computer simulations to show that nanometre-sized rotary motors could be driven by electron tunnelling. Although their design has not been confirmed experimentally, the team says that it is very similar to how naturally occurring biological motors work."


http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/36627

If My Palm Itches, And I Find Grass Growing In It, What Should I Stop Doing? (Morgellon's Disease)

Date: 11/17/2008 From: Howard E. Miller
Location: Augusta, GA

I've been trying to find information about this condition (Morgellon's Disease). I was particularly intrigued by the fibers that seem to grow from the lesions. I was hoping to find some scientific desciption of the makup of these fibers, but apparently they're difficult to find on the internet. I ran across a mention the you had tried to contact Kaiser Permanente about Morgellon's. Were you able to find any information about the makeup of those fibers.

This all began because of a program I saw on the Discovery Channel this evening. Listening to it, I heard the victim of this illness describe symptoms similar to another condition called 'Scabies'.

For many years, I worked in a rural hospital. One of the delightful side benefits of working there was that I got Scabies nearly every year. It's a kind of a weird thing. It's a mite that gets under your skin. It lays eggs, and when the eggs mature, each mite takes off for new territory, burrowing along your skin. The first couple times I had outbreaks, it was pretty bad. I'd have large areas where these bugs were having their way with me. Once I learned that I was susceptible to this thing, I would treat it immediately with Lindane, and once I stopped working at the hospital, I stopped getting scabies.

Anyway, Morgellons sounded somewhat like that ... it starts with this intense itching, which spreads, then you get these lesions. In my personal experience with scabies, if you're itching, and it's not treated you will scratch a hole in your body. If you have several patches of scabies, you will have several holes.

You won't pull fibers out of them, though. At first I thought maybe it was something that was causing subcutaneous cells to think they were supposed to be hair follicles, making different color hair because they weren't really hair follicles.

The thing I saw on TV suggested that the problem was being caused by a plant virus that made the jump to animals. Humans, at least. But it didn't say much about the fibers at all, and the stuff I read on the internet doesn't make much sense. How can this fibers be cotton, or plastic, or just about anything else except something consisting of human proteins?

I understand the reference to "Blood Music", which made me a fan of yours. But that level of nanotechnology isn't available yet.

Awww - I apologize for going on and on. I guess the temptation to air my personal observations is impossible to overcome.

So, bottom line. What do you know about Morgellon's?
 

Re: If My Palm Itches, And I Find Grass Growing In It, What Should I Stop Doing? (Morgellon's Diseas
Date: 11/25/2008
From: patrick
Location:

I'm highly skeptical of the condition of this phenomenon. I'm not crying conspiracy, at least yet, but I can think of at least a few questions that aren't terribly technical, though perhaps subtle, that I haven't seen even approached, let alone the ideas of expressed, in the information I've seen.
 

Re: If My Palm Itches, And I Find Grass Growing In It, What Should I Stop Doing? (Morgellon's Diseas
Date: 12/28/2008
From: Jo
Location: Illinois

Hi! I know I saw an article about this recently, and I also found this, if you're interested: http://www.morgellons.org.

Ok -- found the article (it was in 2006, not that recent, sorry): http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/24/health/24cons.html

makes for some interesting reading. Just looking at the article made me itch.

RE: Quantico and Advice

Date: 11/16/2008 From: Shelly Li
Location: Omaha, NE

Thank you for the congratulations, Greg, it means a lot. (I've read your story from Nature too. Ram Shift Phase 2, if I remember right. Great story!)

Actually, I've written a book, and it's currently with Claire Eddy at Tor, but she's basically reading it as a favor to me--everyone tells me that I need to tighten my prose, and that until I do, the story just kind of flops around on the page.

Thank you so much for the advice. I will take it and definitely keep writing to keep a story strong from start to finish. I just got a rejection letter from Sheila Williams, who told me that my "writing was promising and the plot was good, but you to end with a bigger bang to keep the reader's mind moving even after the story."

So... I guess I'm back to the drawing board.

Sincerely,
Shelly

By the way, Greg, you're the best! I know that you're a busy guy, so I appreciate your time all the more.
 

Re: RE: Quantico and Advice
Date: 11/17/2008
From: Greg Bear

I pass along the sage words of Ray Bradbury, who told me--when I was a teen--that you must paper the walls of your room with rejection slips! But most of my rejection slips back then came without editorial notes, so you're already making progress.

Quantico and Advice

Date: 11/15/2008 From: Shelly Li
Location: Omaha, NE

Dear Mr. Bear,

Hi, my name is Shelly. I recently finished your novel, QUANTICO, and it was just as the book cover promised me: frightening, and at the same time, thought-provoking. At first I was a little confused with the different characters and plot lines, but then they all tied together perfectly. Most of all, the characters were SO REAL. I loved the book, and I can't wait to read another one.

Currently, I'm 15 years old, and I just sold my first short story to Nature magazine. However, I'm having a lot of trouble selling another one. My friend Peter Watts tells me that you also sold your first short story around my age, so I was wondering if you could give me some advice: how do I continuously sell my stories?

Sincerely,
Shelly Li
 

Re: Quantico and Advice
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Shelly! Thanks for the kind words about QUANTICO, and congrats on the sale to NATURE--that's a great market! My only advice is to keep writing and sending out stories, and start on some longer works as your confidence builds. Don't be afraid of the usual things younger writers go through--unable to start a story, unable to find a finish for a story--because those are phases. They pass, and you may already be beyond them. Getting an early start means you'll have gone through most of the real difficulties about the time many writers just get started. So keep us informed about your progress, and feel free to ask more specific questions as you go along. Good luck, and give my best to Peter Watts!

Forry Lives!

Date: 11/13/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Just found by Storm and passed on to me:

From one of FJA's closest confidants, Joe:
Following a long depressing haul, there is some GOOD NEWS.
All of your cards, letters and well-wishes have really caused Forry to rally! The torrent of love flooding the Ackerminimansion has encouraged Forry to fight for his life. I can't predict how much longer we'll have him
around. A day? A week? A month? Who knows? But I CAN tell you we're ... aking full advantage of this upturn to really encourage Forry to get stronger and hang around a while more. I am actually feeling hopeful he'll make it to his 92nd birthday on Nov. 24th. Please pass this message on
and let everyone know that their tributes, stories and prayers have had a miraculous effect on Forry. We should all continue to support him (and each other) and enjoy his presence as long as we are able...
Thank you all so much!
Joe
CHFB NEWS: Word from the Ackermansion is that thanks to all the words of encouragement and remembrance, Forrest J Ackerman, 91, has rallied a bit. He's still quite weak, though, and the situation remains day to day. As
noted, he's been visited by numerous friends, including Jim Warren, John Landis, Rick Baker, Bob and Kathy Burns and Ray Bradbury. Expressions of well wishes can be snail-mailed to his address:
Forrest J. Ackerman
4511 Russell Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
90027
 

Re: Forry Lives!
Date: 11/14/2008
From: Greg Bear

Forry has always been a man happy to see the future... for a while longer! Great to hear.

Science ever closer to Darwin stories

Date: 11/11/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Greg, you may well have seen this already.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/11/healthscience/11gene.php

In it, the part mid-way through about the Dutch children gives a direct example of environmental effect on the results of the genome. There are a lot of other interesting aspects mentioned as well.

I was just reading an article from Nature which deeply and very carefully explores current thinking about genes and drugs for schizophrenia, for a sister and husband who have a son I'm very proud of for his standing up to this condition, and his success in it.

There's a link in this material to what the Provost of Harvard University, who is also a researcher in the field, said in the Nature article, where the construction of drugs from understanding of non-coding RNA is mentioned.

I like that we're getting somewhere, with a challenge now visible as clearly based in a vast complexity. This is where I keep referring you to Walter Fontana, who was given his own department at Harvard Medical School for his work in showing how genetic neutrality can work.

In this, the fascination is in how nature apparently combines enormous stabilization of the results of an actually highly unstable, 'noisy' genetics, while in the process managing to 'neutrally', i.e. without unduly disturbing the present species, search the genetic space for variants that can come to be the essential 'one mutation' away from causing a change that could be valuable in a changed environment.

Well, and here I was making good use of some of your personalities in another of your longer stories. To help me remember, model, and see where I need to for that long project.

Literature has many places for us, doesn't it. And imagination itself, many rewards with its trials and responsibilities. Your description of writing process in the preface for the Collected Short Stories book hits perfectly.

Best, Greg,
Roald



 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 11/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

Genes are just the beginning, like the keys on a piano. We are the score!
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 11/14/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Well, and with our volition, and a few other things that we work with as if they are friendly secret-givers for us, we also compose the score!

A smile, Greg. I paw through your works and find over and over how you have been generous, very generous, and a great explorer. I am beginning to understand though why you spoke to/with the Google audience as you did. Nothing straightforward, in the best of our world, is there, exactly ;).

In speaking of such, Alain Lipietz. I don't know if you know of him, and particularly his ideas about third sector economics/politics. His partner died, recently, and he wrote in his weblog about it, so some of us answered, in our forgotten French. A fine person, I think, and very sincere. I don't know but what he may interest you - lipietz.net.

All best,
Roald



 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 11/23/2008
From: Richard Blaber.
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.

I love this idea. One of my hobbies is composing. (I use my computer for that - I also sing, baritone.) There are keys on the piano and then there are keys, as in C major, A minor and so on. What would be the genetic equivalent, given that to have a score - assuming the music is tonal, and not atonal - you need either keys or modes (as in Dorian, Hypodorian, etc.)?
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 11/24/2008
From: Greg Bear

The piano metaphor is good to get one idea across--but remember that DNA does not code for music, but for musicians! Imagine the flexibility and complexity of any system that does that!
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 11/25/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Good riposte, Greg. Now I don't have to in a perhaps stiffer fashion. And we've had this discussion before, in some fashion(s), anyway.
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 12/03/2008
From: Greg Bear

Formal analysis of DNA patterns, I recall, does bring up linguistic-style patterns. I don't know if they've actually found a way to analyze musical patterns, given the diversity of music in the 20th century... Stockhausen, or Mozart?!
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 12/03/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Well, having designed a natural language understanding system once, your comment intrigued, Greg, and I immediately found this paper, which on a skim hits on both language and music motifs in DNA.

http://www.nslij-genetics.org/wli/pub/sa_pre.pdf

The 1/f 'spectrum' as music doesn't seem so surprising; it's an energy spectrum there, and might be thought of as a measure of presence of levels of detail.

Further in the article, which is clear and short, they're picking up some of the difficulties with both comparisons. Indeed, the linguistic one is according to context-free grammars, which are the limited kind computers can directly deal with, and which alone can't cope with more than a very limited part of what we express in even everyday language.

Having just re-read with great pleasure in slow attention both your Darwin stories, I have to think of the multiple uses of 'genes' which even your short explanation at the end of one of them notes, which has more of the character of in-context internal influences of human languages, the ways we too can change a meaning by dropping in a 'twisting' word or phrase.

I should say, open a meaning, from a way I always liked to write poetry, and as a very well educated Korean fianc←e once talked to me about, in her own. How many intricate and multiple meanings we can open, it's sure. And that's as I keep feeling now that we really begin to conceptualize, in Nature's forming so many paths in its own systems.

Not predict or bound, but hold in concept, and find some hopes there, it seems to me...since we like things where there's a example.

Best to each here, and still (or maybe less) quizzical about your enjoyments here, Greg ;)
Clive



 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 12/07/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Dude. Set Theory. Milton Babbitt and John Forte. It's even used as a compositional device/determinant. And there are other analytic devices/methods. Check out a Journal of Music Theory or Perspectives of New Music (http://www.perspectivesofnewmusic.org/). And you can always hang out with my retired music instructor: http://solomonsmusic.net/
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 12/11/2008
From: Greg Bear

Music of the genes? Birds certainly use music to communicate--I presume its underlying structure can be considered linguistic, perhaps in the sense of a meaning-free context, rather than a context-free language... but I'm way out of my depth here. Maybe we're looking at a language so ornate and rich we don't have the vocabulary or theory to even begin to encompass it. After all, the result is a three-dimensional, extraordinarily complicated, problem-solving behavior-shifter.
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 12/12/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Hi Greg,

Very nice - music of the genes, and I like your bird-context vs. specific utterance thought, which is very pretty. And intuitively accurate. In some way like body language?

I suspect you are exactly right also on the ornate view. Certainly the inter-relations are very, very complicated. And in this are some of the paradoxes of our approach to gaining the knowledge and getting use out of it. I just listened this week to an hour-long seminar of a kind with Nina Federoff, who has even been appointed to Condi Rice's panels, and came away quite bemused that someone this knowledgeable would play so fast and loose -- or really it is playing cards tight to chest -- with our future. Thus the 'other topic', central really in your books, of humans working at the edges of things they barely understand, except in a _context-free_ manner.

Well, it is not easy. And I was quite unfair with that paper citation it turns out. A better Google search turns out that there has been quite a good deal of work in computation linguistics of DNA, which is what you remembered. In the late 80's-early 90's it seems was a hot spot. I think it has probably mostly foundered as more and more complex interactions have been realized, but people try on that still, and we may learn something.

I don't know. I had a constitutional resistance to this kind of kneebone-thighbone reductionism at the time I did that natural language story understander, and so I took a different kind of approach, of de-layering meanings, a concept area at a time. This would only work in a limited overall context, but that's what I had. The work's been used for 18 years by AT&T, I found out, so it was solid.

In story, in discovery of what our future activities can be, I think influences are so important. They are the subtlety in our language as well, the associations we much communicate with, even or especially if you notice it in many casual situations. Kind of like your birds, just more environment, more context.

I've long had a thought in this relating to the complaints the books you and other very serious and generous people write get sometimes, about 'not being good at characterization'. Ursula Le Guin is another who gets this, and i just saw and replied to one this morning.

But I myself think you are wonderful at it, that the subtlety, the Asian brush approach is just what is needed. If -- we are going to understand each other better on this planet. And we must, mustn't we, not for Cold War reasons anymore as much as opening the fields of what we can do, and fin value in together, that makes such fundamental things as economies. Messages again in the faces on the roadways of all those SUVs ;). And more subtle messages we could learn to more widely enjoy, and contribute in.

Well, it is Friday, isn't it. And much to do, but we can only do the best when we pause enough to gain those contexts of the birds singing. So I think. Scents of the flower, also.

I so enjoy your work, Greg. Thank you, as I appreciate it further each time. And feel all the layers very worthwhile.

Regards,
Clive

 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 12/13/2008
From: patrick
Location:

I would hesitate to call it 'music'. Sonic exclamations that appear to be similar to components of music.
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 12/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Clive.
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 12/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

True--birdsong often being a kind of signpost or warning. But there's definitely musical language involved, since the songs evolve over time, and are influenced by "cultural" conditioning... even genetic shifts.
 

Re: Science ever closer to Darwin stories
Date: 12/18/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Mm-mm. 'Musical' at least implies some kind of question-answer scheme, if not harmonic (as in chordal, let alone large-scale) structure.

Malthus, Bayes and Brandon Carter.

Date: 11/11/2008 From: Richard Blaber.
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.

I am, unfortunately, not a mathematician, so I am struggling here, and relying on intuition perhaps rather more than logic. However, I have come to the tentative conclusion that there must be a way of combining the arguments of the Rev Thomas Malthus and Dr Brandon Carter - the so-called 'Doomsday Argument', itself derived from Bayesian statistics.
The key variables are population (P), total food produced (F), total potable water supply (W), and total energy supply (E). The latter would have to be divided by c^2 to achieve dimensional consistency, with F and W measured in kgs/annum if the SI is used.
It is clear that, if the ratio F + W + E/P declines, whether because of increased population relative to resources, or declining production, or both, then people have a problem, because there is less per head, and when that happens, competition for resources gets fiercer and the gap between the resource-rich and the resource-poor gets wider. That is a sure recipe for conflict on a massive scale.
 

Re: Malthus, Bayes and Brandon Carter.
Date: 11/11/2008
From: Greg Bear

Mathematical predictions fail in the face of large-scale complexities. Malthus's direst predictions have yet to come true--but at least he inspired Darwin! Interestingly, evolutionary theory in Russia (and we're not talking about Lysenko and Stalin here--a disastrous anomaly) went down a somewhat different path--they were unaware of Malthus.
 

Re: Malthus, Bayes and Brandon Carter.
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Richard Blaber.
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.

With regard to the alleged 'failure' of Malthus's predictions - tell the 178 million malnourished children in the world, and the 1.5 million children who die each year from hunger (WHO statistics) that Malthus's predictions have failed, and I don't think they will believe you (of course, you would have to explain to them who Malthus was, and what he predicted, but that is a minor quibble). You may find what the WHO has to say about threats to food security illuminating - at least I hope so.
As to the issue of complexity - this is a smokescreen. I am well aware of chaos theory, and of Godel's undecidability proofs, but non-linear dynamics does not apply here. I am not trying to predict what the weather in Topeka, Kansas, is going to be like at 1700 UT on Thursday, June 21, 2040. Short of being in possession of Dr Who's Tardis, and paying a visit and reporting back, there is no way of doing such a thing (and the violation of enforced ignorance - non-linearity and undecidability - might constitute a proof that time machines of the Tardis type are impossible).
If, on the other hand, you know that proven reserves of oil, coal and natural gas will be exhausted by 2050 at the latest, even at present rates of consumption; that millions of people are threatened by food and water shortages, and that these are going to get worse if no remedial action is taken; that global warming will cause catastrophic average temperature increases, again unless urgent remedial action is taken; and that human population growth is outstripping the planet's capacity to cope with it, as the WWF has argued, then you need to act.
My prediction, such as it is, is not an absolute: I am not saying, 'The extinction of H. sapiens is inevitable' - although it is, at some point in the future. Indeed, the entire Universe faces a future death every bit as black as the one vividly described by Byron in his marvellous poem, 'Darkness'. No, my argument is that, if we don't want to find ourselves being rendered extinct in the 21st Century, as Prof Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, has warned we might be, then we need to start doing things like curbing population growth, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency, and developing alternative energy sources - pdq.
My fear is that, by the time the politicians have untwisted their underwear, it may be too late!
 

Re: Malthus, Bayes and Brandon Carter.
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

I quoted "Darkness" in my first novel, HEGIRA, way back when. Agreed that resources are going to be in a severe pinch--but the problem with setting endpoints and running equations is they must always be amended and updated as the measured organisms--you and me--respond. And we do respond. Looking back at past linear predictions of total world resources collapse, economic failure, starvation, etc.--Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich, just being a couple of examples--their direst predictions have not come true. Not to say some group of another won't get it right some day! As for populations growing too fast and starving--that's a certainty in regions filled with patriarchalism, war, and political upheaval. It's been with us since human agriculture and civilization began and reset the population dial. My concern is that aid to these troubled countries is already suffering drastically due to the present recession. Which is why I've been beating the drum for decades now against ignorant, parochial leadership and me-first conservatism. Ultimately, failure of outreach and of charity comes back to haunt us and cost us dearly in world crises. And that's where dire predictions begin to make scary sense--after eight years of miserably uninformed, arrogant, inadequate leadership. Strangely, there was something of a bright spot in the administration's program for AIDs in Africa. But of course it was not enough. Malthus may yet have his day. (For contrast, however, read Blish and Knight's brilliant A TORRENT OF FACES.)
 

Re: Malthus, Bayes and Brandon Carter.
Date: 11/15/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Indeed, if one looks into history, more of the world's populations had it far worse vs those in the last century. Communications technology has, however, made the recent cases of poverty and such more obvious, while at the same time obscuring the historical, as well as discouraging the sense to know of such.

Following all that, it comes to mind whether the OP has 'an axe to grind', mm?
 

Re: Malthus, Bayes and Brandon Carter.
Date: 11/23/2008
From: Richard Blaber.
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.

Thanks, Greg, for your replies to my comments. You are, of course, right in saying that the Club of Rome got it wrong. Maybe I'm wrong about energy, food and water - but the fact is that it's not a good idea for us to go on burning large quantities of fossil fuels, even if there were limitless supplies of them, given what that does to the climate. And the trouble is, even when the reserves are there geologically, they are not necessarily there geopolitically. Iran, Russia and Venezuela are not exactly pro-Western, are they?
 

Re: Malthus, Bayes and Brandon Carter.
Date: 11/24/2008
From: Greg Bear

I think all sides can agree on energy independence and utilizing and developing sources other than fossil fuel. That's what puzzles me about the global warming skeptics--they seem politically tone-deaf in the extreme. Ever since Katrina and New Orleans, that boat has sailed. The public heard many experts say New Orleans would be the canary in the coal mine. New Orleans drowned. The public now believes. So--

Why not hook up with the research money sure to come--and multi-task?
 

Re: Malthus, Bayes and Brandon Carter.
Date: 11/25/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Here's something interesting - and only 1.5 million:

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/36758;jsessionid=3444EED42F71B29C6F4EBACEB898FA98


"Now, however, Hyperion Power Generation  a US company based in New Mexico  has brought the dream of tiny nuclear reactors one step closer with its Power Module. This nuclear reactor  or "battery" as the firm calls it  is not much larger than a hot-tub and could supply thermal energy at a rate of about 70 MW. That could be converted into about 27 MW of electricity, which would be enough to supply about 20,000 US households.

Unlike conventional nuclear power plants, Hyperion's reactor uses uranium hydride, which is essentially enriched uranium metal that has absorbed a large amount of hydrogen. As the uranium nuclei decay by fission, they release neutrons that are slowed down by the hydrogen, which acts as the moderator. The slow neutrons can then split further uranium nuclei and trigger a chain reaction.

No moving parts
The novel feature of the reactor is that the power output is kept steady without the need for any moving parts, flowing water, or human intervention. If the uranium hydride gets too hot, the hydrogen is driven out of the uranium metal and the chain reaction stops. But as the system is sealed, the hydrogen flows back into the uranium when it has cooled, allowing the reaction to restart. The up-shot is that the temperature and concentration of hydrogen stabilize, although if the sealed core is breached for any reason, the hydrogen will escape and fission stops.

Heat from the reaction is removed by liquid metal flowing in pipes with mesh wicks. According to the firm, these sealed systems are about 1000 times better than solid metals in transferring heat. Using these pipes is also an important safety feature because they keeps water, which can act as a moderator and slow down the neutrons (thereby speeding up the chain reaction), well away from the reactor core."
 

Re: Malthus, Bayes and Brandon Carter.
Date: 11/25/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Whoops, that was 25m. Still, vs hundreds of millions or billions.

Forrest J Ackerman

Date: 11/08/2008 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Regret to inform that legendary editor and supercollector Forrest J Ackerman passed away early in the evening of November 6th, 2008. Peacefully and surrounded by friends, fans and tokens of affection.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Greg Bear

Coming back from France, I sent a note to Forry apparently on his last day with us. He received my message and smiled, according to his caregiver, Joe. Farewell, Forry. You will be missed.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Greg Bear

Not gone yet! Apparently this rumor was started at LOCUS, which has posted a correction. Forry is still with us.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Dead/Not Dead? Only Forry! God bless 'im.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman and Poul Anderson
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear: I'm glad Mr. Ackerman is still alive. As an SF fan, I have of course heard of him. Altho I was not STRONGLY famiilar with him.

I wss reminded of your father in law, Poul Anderson. I was dismayed to find out from another fan that he was dying in 2001. I used PA's email address kindly given me to send him a message expressing my good wishes and the pleasure, stimulating thought, and wisdom his books and stories have given me. And which they still do. Alas, my note was dated August 1. At least a few hours too late for it to have been read to Mr. Anderson.

I do wonder what happened to all those expressions of affection!

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg & Bill:

My Wife just got an update of Forry's IMBD page, where a mail address is listed, and also that his care giver is reading comments on Facebook page to him.

The following was extracted from the comments on Forry's IMDB page from back on November 3:

___________________________

I talked to Joe Moe, Forry's caregiver and best friend. He told me to spread the word about Forry. Forry is leaving us quickly. If youre going to write or call, do it now before it's too late. He's in good spirits and not in any pain but his body is starting to shut down and he's sleeping alot now, hes very weak.

Even if you do what I did, just write "I love you" on a piece of paper and mail it, please do something................joey OBrien

FORREST J ACKERMAN
4511 Russell Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
90027
--------------

You can also send him messages on facebook. Joe reads all the messages to him

___________________________________________________

So it sounds like his Facebook Account is active, while the MySpace has been already sent to "The Archives"

Thanks go to my wife for digging this info out.

Mike Glosson
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman and Poul Anderson
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Greg Bear

A lot of the messages were printed out and read to Poul on his last day, and he was very pleased, as were Karen and Astrid by his side.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Mike!
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 11/27/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I met Mr. Poul Anderson only once. It was at a Loscon--nine years ago this Thanksgiving weekend in fact. Someone had an enormous, homebuilt telescope set up in the parking lot, and a bunch of us were standing in line to see Saturn...when I realized with a start that the man waiting next to me was the author of half the books on my top shelf.

Somehow I found myself asking if crops could really be grown under the microwave receiver-grids that would catch beams from solar-power satellites. Silly, random question...but he cheerfully delivered an off-the-cuff essay on the subject. That's what I remember--the combination of sure intellect and good humor. Rare and delightful.
 

Re: Forrest J Ackerman
Date: 12/03/2008
From: Greg Bear

Poul knocked around ideas with me long before I was married to his daughter--a gentleman who was always happy to exchange ideas and share his knowledge.

EON CG Challenge

Date: 11/06/2008 From: Aaron Lawrence
Location: New Zealand

I had some difficulty finding the "EON" CG challenge on CGSociety. So here is the URL for others:
http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/eon/

bit dissappointing to me; the trailer winner is the best by far, but such a "teaser" is unbearable, I demand the movie be made!!
 

Re: EON CG Challenge
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

Pretty inspiring, no?
 

Re: EON CG Challenge
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, La

Pretty cool, looks like a possible hit!
 

Re: EON CG Challenge
Date: 11/25/2008
From: Reginald
Location: Lelystad, The Netherlands

Wow! Absolute fantastic.
I was just re-reading EON for the dozenth time, and I regret discovering the CG challenge a year late. I might have send in a wallpaper I made years ago.
Let's hope it will be a hit.
 

Re: EON CG Challenge
Date: 11/25/2008
From: Steve Cooper
Location: UK


I'm not sure a single movie would even start to give Eon the justice it would deserve. But I'd like to see them try with The Forge of God?


 

Re: EON CG Challenge
Date: 12/03/2008
From: Greg Bear

Love to see that Wallpaper, Reginald! Send us a link, please.
 

Re: EON CG Challenge
Date: 12/03/2008
From: Greg Bear

Still in the scripting stage. ANVIL OF STARS is the focus at the moment for our grand screenwriter, Ken Nolan, but of course everyone is now departing their offices in LA for the holiday seasons.
 

Re: EON CG Challenge
Date: 01/06/2009
From: Reginald
Location: Lelystad, The Netherlands

Hello again!

Here's a link of the wallpaper I made in april 2005!

http://img243.imageshack.us/img243/185/distelpluisdesktopds5.jpg

Distelpluis is the dutch translation for Thistledown, and just below the image of Juno you can see Europe at night. ;)

The wallpaper is made in Photoshop with images found on the internet, including a nice artist impression of Juno.
 

Re: EON CG Challenge
Date: 01/13/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Reginald! This would make a lovely cover.
 

Re: EON CG Challenge
Date: 01/22/2009
From: Reginald
Location: The Netherlands

I just remembered that the wallpaper was heavily inspired on the dutch cover...

DNA: Nature's own Windows OS (floating on linux?)

Date: 11/02/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Was checking NATURE before calling it a day and found this item:

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081102/full/news.2008.1199.html

DNA as a multitasking: Not only do 94% of human genes produce more than one output product, they the code is distributed in a nonlinear fashion: alternative splicing.

Closer and closer to your "vision" of biological computing.
 

Re: DNA: Nature's own Windows OS (floating on linux?)
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

Actually, this sort of thing has been known for quite a while... But still rich with implications. Biological theory is well on its way to catching up with such phenomenon! Back in the late 90s, these truths were very difficult to find in the popular press--and still are, today.
 

Re: DNA: Nature's own Windows OS (floating on linux?)
Date: 11/16/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I'm assuming the computing you describe the biosphere doing is quantum computing...thus nature's non-linear, creative capabilities. Genes are active across timelines (bring the new fruitfly over from the neighboring universe!) Am I mistaking you?

I remember reading Darwin's Radio and thinking of David Deutsch's point about information-bearing matter (DNA) forming patterns across the multiverse. Seems to me the difference between life and mere chemistry is that a corpse is (only) universal, a living organism, Multiversal.

This would constitute an intrusion into time of "hypertime," yes? Which would go a long way toward solving the problem(s) of free will and solipsism. The variations on "Me" that we perceive to exist simultaneously [sic] in spacetime are localities in what is actually an undifferentiated continuum (the entire family tree of life--of which you and I are twig-tips--viewed in "block time"). A continuum accesible to nature (it IS nature) through 4-space but which our fragmentary-selves can only approach through language/culture. Thus culture is not a chance development but follows neccesarily from...the "omega point" of chemical-culture?

Successive omegas are composted (there is only one end of time...). Man's culmination is to fiddle his way back to the DNA's...orders are fused and the volition of Nature erupts into view by virtue of oneness with human volition...Blood Music.

Best thing about the multiverse is that Al Queda does no damage to the book. Plenty of Trade Centers to go around (ouch).

More nonsense,
Bill
 

Re: DNA: Nature's own Windows OS (floating on linux?)
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

Actually, the biosphere--and all organic systems--solve most of their problems through neural networking, not computing per se. (Although there may be computational algorithms embedded in some of that networking.) I'm not convinced by the notion that we have to reach into the quantum realm to explain ourselves--or to make the decisions that branch us into the multiverse!
 

Re: DNA: Nature's own Windows OS (floating on linux?)
Date: 12/14/2008
From: ryan
Location: cleveland, oh

I can picture the MBAs at America's largest fast food franchises reading summary articles about multiverses and quantum physics and pitching a plan for gaining market share in the multiverse to the board of directors. committees will be formed and funds budgeted.
 

Re: DNA: Nature's own Windows OS (floating on linux?)
Date: 12/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

Cool idea for a story! Now--about converting currency... Actually, this kind of reminds me of "The Gods Themselves" by Isaac Asimov. Or "Jack of Eagles" by James Blish.

Create your own universe kit

Date: 11/02/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

This item, which goes on sale shortly:

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2008/10/the-makeyourownuniverse-kit.html

Is touted as being a method of creating trillions of universes via the "observation" route only.

I could rig something up like this at home using my plasma coil and a smoke dector, though it would only run for maybe a century due to Americium.

A toy for Fate-Shifters or Friends of Fate Shifters?

The original description of the device sounded more interesting. I was thinking more along the lines of that "accident" in COSM coupled with a home cyclotron...and spent half an hour just now wondering if the LHC melt down was the birth of a baby universe.
 

Re: Create your own universe kit
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

Reminiscent of "Mimsy were the Borogroves"! What will we teach our children next?
 

Re: Create your own universe kit
Date: 11/08/2008
From: patrick
Location:

If the phenomenon is even existent, then Keats's example is ridiculous simply by the fact that any quantum event - ie: a photon being absorbed by a spec of dust in the asteriod belt - is an example. This universe is a complex of universes and universe makers and this is recursive and reflexive in scope. I'll say again: which is the prime? Answer: it's not relevant. As for it being art - No.
 

Re: Create your own universe kit
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Greg Bear

Art, no--hobby, perhaps?
 

Re: Create your own universe kit
Date: 11/17/2008
From: Howard E. Miller
Location: Augusta, GA

All sorts of questions occur to me concerning this topic, but my conclusion is that I will wait to create a universe until I become omniscient, omnipotent, etc. Until then, I may just watch some TV. Hmmm ... I think that in my universe they'll have a 'Greg Bear' channel on TV.
 

Re: Create your own universe kit
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

Yeah, but I'll be too old to write scripts for the shows!
 

Re: Create your own universe kit
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

I'm hopping in on Howard Miller's subthread here:

"I think that in my universe they'll have a 'Greg Bear' channel on TV."

While we'd go thru Greg's material pretty quick, there are a lot of long time SF authors out there who REALLY NEED TO have their work adapted...and far too many of them have already passed on from this Mortal Coil.

There have been some really BAD attempts to do that in recent years, such as the "Masters of SciFi"...and I become increasingly upset with SciFi Channel and what they do...with first a prety good Adapt of the first 3 Dune Books, then the Botched Job of just not getting it on LeGuin's Earthsea Trilogy.

So not just A Greg Bear Channel (How about a Greg Bear Hour or Greg Bear Cavlacade...as our inspiring Author for this project/concept) but a Real SF/SciFi/Fantasy Adaptation Channel.

For all we know it already exists, in that Alternate Earth I call 'The Superworld' were everything is "better" and Colbert is the President Elect...

Mike

About "Blood Music"

Date: 10/31/2008 From: Sotirios Birbas
Location: Lititz, PA

Hello Mr. Bear,

My name is Sotirios Birbas. I am currently a student at DeVry University pursuing a Bachelors Degree of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology. When I finish my degree I would like to obtain my masters in some sort of nanofabrication field.

During my Science Fiction Criticisms and Analysis class, I was thrown into this unknown genre of literature with a predisposed prejudice. I did not want to be a part of the subculture that obsess over Star Wars and Star Trek. However, after reading the short story "Blood Music," my thoughts on the genre as a whole changed from night to day. I went out and purchased the novel, and I must say it truly is a great work. I am compelled as a soon to be graduate to uphold an ethical responsibility for the future projects and assignments I will participate in. Machines built, whether on a cellular or gigantic level, must be given very restricted intelligence and attributes so as to never aid in or cause humanities destruction. Your noocytes gave me chills as they were able to take over everything.

If you don't mind me asking, did you write this book hoping that it may enlighten future researchers to be aware of scientific boundaries? I understand that science gone wrong is one of the themes in your novel but was it used to warn people directly?

Thank you for your time,

Sotirios
 

Re: About
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for writing, Sotirios! BLOOD MUSIC was written to play off the emotions caused by big changes outside one's control--a kind of metaphor for both evolution and the stages of bodily growth and development. While I'm certainly happy to have it taken as a warning, it's a little more subversive... Not that I believe we should follow Vergil's example. He is a bit out of control. I look forward to hearing your thoughts as you explore other science fiction--perhaps BRAVE NEW WORLD, then on to my later books on biological themes?
 

Re: About
Date: 11/08/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Gone wrong?

Subversive: yeah. I find it mildly amusing that others don't pick up on this - though I'm not surprised they don't embrace the idea.

Musing along the Martian byways

Date: 10/30/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Hi Greg,

A muse came to visit this morning, and had me thinking about another writer who I think you know well, KSR, Kim Stanley Robinson.

I had been dipping into his 'The Martians', which I enjoyed after really reading the Red-Green-Blue Mars group. It is long, this addition, and has things in it that even look like the sort of 'tried this for a short story or a chapter' items which often turn out to have something very worthwhile in them at the same time as we can see why they were elided at first.

What's on my mind is what I believe is his patience about the kinds of developments we apparently need as humans, to get past the 20th century's distortions. I think I've heard you on a similar topic. Old enough and full of history and experience enough, it's quite something to consider with a little more open mind than we usually do, the balances of advancements and sometimes emergent difficulties.

I've felt before that KSR may be trying to write the patience into his work. The recent 40-50-60 Degrees books are like that for me. He pretty clearly wants to give experiences there, privileging them over plots, again in some tune to another writer I know of.

I like the generosity of that, and it reminds me of something I believe to have read of an essay or speech by Ursula Le Guin, about writing to give us time.

Perhaps in circumstances as today, to the degree they affect us personally, this kind of time-taking may feel hard, but is just what the doctor ordered. My personal feeling is that with a quieter mind, we can gain the contexts, and work the best with our corner of situations. A good discipline, maybe.

I think it may be so in approaching the quandaries of work itself, which in many ways is source to all in question. How we build learning of all dimensions into our own corners of it, for the most powerful way things can change here is by emergence, by each of us taking the pace so that we can see what would be fruitful, what would make the next work so everyone has some, out of the effort we put into a project today.

Far from the desk of a writer? Maybe not in this case. I am thinking then of another moment recently, reading through some of the concluding discussions in 'The Collapse of Chaos', probably unfortunately titled, by Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart. That book I have been reading in for at least ten years. They have been right enough about enough of the things they have been speculating about there, as evidence comes in from work of persons like Walter Fontana. The sum that comes out recently seems to be interestingly calming, in the midst of some real upset.

I am thinking there is a message in science by now which might be the kind can make its own emergences, can free us from all the hidden and evident determinisms, thus suggest a new opening of the proper kinds of patience. If you believe you can't find the perfect answer to financial economics, for a good example -- and you believe you can expect adequate economics to emerge if you -don't- put persons generally in a position of high pressure, you would argue even as a bank for a great deal of change in the ways we got ourselves into this mess. For sustainability, in fact, in all its dimensions.

Well, I stop, with my own smiling elisions.

I like what you do, Greg, in taking a scenario and playing it fairly out. We need the excitement of, exactly, experiencing, perhaps as a primary of life. It's an interesting matter to find that if we have enough of that, then we can have that patient kind of entry also into matters. As all things, it seems here variety lets us do and see more. I am probably riding the edge of being obscure, so again will stop musing. But I smile.

Best, Greg, and again, hope this is what you asked for.

Regards as you know,
Clive

 

Re: Musing along the Martian byways
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Well, I thought later it would have been nice to be able to silently withdraw this ;).. Harmless I'm sure, but could use a good edit in at least two places, to make it just a little clearer what was being talked about.

I will exercise a little more discipline in future, Greg. I am sure you know this was with good intentions, and I learn once more about the division between preparation and work we want to show. This is useful, as I realize how much work it is to enter a field where one was not so actually practiced before, or not in the styles needed now.

With regards,
Roald
 

Re: Musing along the Martian byways
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Greg Bear

I keep editing long after a book is published--and hope for indulgence from readers who catch any inelegance!
 

Re: Musing along the Martian byways
Date: 11/09/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Greg, thanks. That was very generous, and helped one of those places in pride that's sometimes important.

Best,
Clive

A sort of crisis

Date: 10/29/2008 From: patrick
Location:

I'm not one for audio books. Yet, for some rather odd reason, my local library has five or six copies of City - that are all audio books. Weird.
 

Re: A sort of crisis
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

Good for them! Although commuters listening to CITY might be disturbed to see misspellings suddenly occurring on the electronic traffic signs...

Some musings

Date: 10/29/2008 From: Jeff
Location: MI, US

Hello Greg!

I've enjoyed your work over the years, and am somewhat awestruck that you are so accessible on this forum... but I'll try to get over that!

I recall that you had worked on an advisory council for space policy. I'm not sure what your contributions were, but I'm sure they were positive, so thanks for your efforts there!

In "Footfall"(Niven, Pournelle), there is an advisory council composed of some sci-fi authors; do you think you were written in as a character there?

One of the themes that struck me most(and for others as well I'm sure) from reading "Moving Mars", was the idea of information being at the base of universal functioning. For me this has helped place my mind in the universe; perhaps allaying some existential angst. It may be, that at the limits of our ability to understand, what we can describe about all in the universe, at it's most basic level, is that all is information. What has gone before, and all that is yet to come, is information. Ahh, just trying to fend off solipsism...

I kind of wonder if in "Cyber Way"(Foster), they were accessing the Bell Continuum as well...

Along a different line, perhaps, I think of the Riverworld(Farmer) series. "To your scattered bodies go" was the very first sci-fi novel I had read, while in high school. I don't recall there being a theory about how their minds were reproduced, they just were, through some elaborate machinery.

Some time ago, I had read about some conjecture regarding the patterns of our minds somehow being linked to another universe/space/time, etc.. The mechanism was proposed to occur at the quantum level; perhaps wormholes that may exist in the quantum foam.

I sadly don't recall who had propsed this; I may have read it in a forum somewhere. Do you know who may have proposed this specifically?

I know that "Timeline"(Crichton) used quantum foam to somehow access different, well, timelines, but I don't know if the mind-pattern thing came directly from there. Forgive me, I'm too lazy to go back and research this more.

So anyways, perhaps this method may have been used in the "Riverworld" series...

I'm not sure if I've neatly tied anything together here, but sometimes I imagine myself as James Burke, making "Connections"...

Be Well

Jeff


 

Re: Some musings
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

The ideas certainly link up! But I don't know specifically who might have originated this version of the Copenhagen interpretation, which it resembles. Thanks for your kind words, Jeff.
 

Re: Some musings
Date: 11/14/2008
From: Jeff
Location: MI, US

Hi Greg!

What strikes me about the Copenhagen interpretation was from an article I read in "Science News" many years ago. The proposition was that seemingly disparate observations are always needed in order to describe a given phenomenon. The simple example they gave was of the old glass half full, half empty. How can it be one, if it is the other? It is both. I don't have a scientific background, so I can't really follow any of the reasoning about wave-particle duality, and so on, but I think that was one of the things they may have been getting at. The phrase I really remember was "No paradox, no progress".

For me, I toy with the idea of using this principle when trying to figure out what is opinion, and what is fact. By one definition, opinion is when something can be proven to be false. I kind of think also that opinion is when something has a conjugate, or something like that.

Take Care

Jeff
 

Re: Some musings
Date: 11/14/2008
From: Greg Bear

Now that brings up the question whether opinion alone can flip a quantum state! If it's strongly held, of course. Apparently may not have worked for Republicans recently.
 

Re: Some musings
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Jeff
Location: MI, US

Hello Greg!

However the quantum (S)tate has been resolved lately, I just feel like a dead cat...

Regards

Jeff
 

Re: Some musings
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

Until a scientist sees you, you're still alive--right? So party on. (And mice don't count... literally.)
 

Re: Some musings
Date: 11/17/2008
From: Howard E. Miller
Location: Augusta GA

What are the chances? Flip a coin so it lands on a table. There's almost a 50% chance it will land heads or tails. There's also a tiny chance it will land on edge. I'm 60 years old and it's happened to me once in my lifetime. To be honest, I don't spend a lot of time flipping coins, so there are probably people who have more experience with that.

So the time it takes for a flipped coin to land on edge varies, but flip one enough, and it will.

In Earth's history, something really bad has happened every 60 to 100 million years. So we can expect something really bad to happen some time in the next 95 million years or so.

So, a bad time for Earth is pretty rare, but give it time, and it will happen. Having a coin land on edge doesn't take nearly as long, but it still takes time.

My point here is that anything that CAN happen, WILL happen, if there is sufficient time.

Some cosmologies have the the universe going on for an infinite time, bumping into another universe every trillion years of so and starting a new cycle.

The question is, if there is an infinite amount of time, will there come a time that someone exists who remembers me, my lifetime, and remembers me writing this?

If there is an infinite amount of time, it will happen. Eventually. Maybe not this go round or next, or the one after that, but with an infinite amount of time anything that can happen, will happen. Over and over.

How often it happens, depends on whether there is any information generated by my existence as I travel through the universe, and whether this information persists from one Bang to the next. If there IS this information persisting throughout time, then chances are better that another me will come into being. Another me, another you, another Edward George Bulwer-Lytton.
 

Re: Some musings
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

That's what is so interesting about the universal library--it tells ALL stories, for all universes. An awful lot of bad writing is inevitable!

CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD

Date: 10/24/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

Late last week I ended up sending Track 12, Zawinul/Lava to Andy Robertson at the Night Land Website over in England:

www.thenightland.co.uk

And got back to me on Saturday morning requesting a slight rewrite of part of it, and a link to where it was posted. Gave him the background of the project, and how that track arose naturally out of prior track, which was the fate-shifter piece crystallizing out of "Becalmed".

This lead to a complete and "final" rewrite of all the tracks on Sunday.

The Night Land Piece is short, one of the shortest of the tracks and is currently posted at:

http://chimpstop.livejournal.com/1714532.html

Andy will be linking to me once he gets his household move completed. I have found his website extremely helpful in doing research about The Night Land, and the map on his site was essential in describing the geography around the Pyramid for the piece.

The final rewrite of the Fate-Shifter piece is at:

http://chimpstop.livejournal.com/1714343.html

'Becalmed' may be the longest piece in the whole set I did.

The tags "Another Green World" will take the reader to the other tracks in the set. You will also notice tags for CITY AT THE END OF TIME, AGAINST THE FALL OF NIGHT, etc, which lead to postings on those subjects.

I wasn't just praising you a while back when I said CITY was the book I wish I had written...our thoughts on possibility were spookily congruent as permeated all thru the novel, leading to off the cuff theories of "Like Minds" and "Death's Basic Cable Service" and "Last Men contact" to "parallel processing"...but our perceptions of the possible are filtered thru our individual life experience. A level of spookiness as a reader that few others would probably experience. And I'm probably the only person on the planet who read CITY between reading parts I and II of BEING AND TIME (second study of the text in a year).

ONE A MORE SERIOUS ISSUE REGARDING CITY: For the last week or so I have been contemplating opening a moderated discussion group up on Live Journal for people who have read CITY and enjoyed it. I have no idea how many of your readers have Live Journal Accounts, or how much of a demand/traffic there would be. Per your message this moring, I am posting the possibility of a CITY AT THE END OF TIME Discussion group: currently with plans to host at Live Journal.

Your webmaster has been very helpful in recovering my sides of several of the initial RIGHT AS I WAS READING IT posts regarding CITY that I forgot to make copies in my haste and excitement. Just wanted you to know the great job done in that regard.

Still thinking about writing something more serious about CITY&

Mike Glosson
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 10/27/2008
From: Greg Bear

Sounds great, Mike! The NIGHT LAND site is marvelous.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 10/27/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

"The NIGHT LAND site is marvelous"

It's a great resource, extremely helpful in processing the reading experience that goes with the book. Andy et al have done a great job.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 10/29/2008
From: chris mcgee
Location: Corpus Christi, Tx

Loved the story. I have enjoyed reading your books for many years. They are never boring or simple, and take a little cross refrencing throughout to keep all the people, places and themes in order, which makes them an invigorating read. They are certainly thought provoking too, giving rise to endless dreams of further possibilities for the characters. I am half way through The City at the End of Time, and can't help but think that this is a very familiar story. I know that I have read this before, did you publish this under another name? I do read !alot!, but the book has only been released for two month so I find it hard to beleave that I read is so recently and forgot. Although this summer I did read a great many of your older books, searching them out at our local resell store. I don't mind rereading books, as I often revisit authors cyclically any way, but I'd hate to think that I have lost track of what I have and have not read so recently. You are certainly one of my favorites to read, and I want to say thanks for the many years of enjoyment that I have recieved form your efforts and imagination.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 10/30/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Mike, to be honest, I stopped at the warning about 18 years old.

I am not unworldly nor a prude, but this seems a rather stark message of unpleasantness or some kind of risk; at least this is how it looked.

I know well we aren't to the stage of Rod-D, but...!

If you would like more of us to hear the music, maybe it should go on a fully tame site?

Thanks, and glad Greg is liking it,
Roald
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/03/2008
From: Tim
Location: Sydney

I have been one of your biggest fans for 2 decades. I have read, loved and recommended to friends: Psychlone, Eon, Eternity, Moving Mars, Heads, The Forge series and Darwin's Radio. If Hollywood had made any of these books into movies they would have had several hits. The shear scope of Eon/Eternity would leave Lord of the Rings for Dead. Their loss. Saying all that - City at the End of Time sucked, cats eating the Typhon???? Dude, if you had stuck to the hard science and left the Harry Potter fantasy stuff out it would have been a thumping read.

Looking Forward to buying you next book

Tim
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, chris! You might have read "The Way of All Ghosts," a story set in the EON universe and also inspired by Hodgson.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

"From: Roald Laurenson
Location:
Date: 10/30/2008


Mike, to be honest, I stopped at the warning about 18 years old.

I am not unworldly nor a prude, but this seems a rather stark message of unpleasantness or some kind of risk; at least this is how it looked. "


The age limitation is strictly a liability thing, as about a year ago Live Journal had a content freak out.

Not much in the way of Sexual Content on my blog, and what is is behind several invitation only Filters.

So why did I lock it Adults Only? Because I frankly discuss life in a way that the Censors in our society take offense at, all those Soccer Moms out there afraid some one is gonna corrupt their 14 year old.

Life, Death, and everything in between gets hashed out there.

The ANOTHER GREEN WORLD tracks are almost G rated, as are my posts regarding CITY AT THE END OF TIME.

If you are over 18 you should be farely safe viewing most of the open content.

Sorry for any confusions or risks of Scandalousness this may have instilled.

Mike Glosson.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Adult Content Settings regarding the Another Green World pieces:

I just simulated Roald Laurenson experience of linking to my live journal, and it was giving the "False" impression that everything was "risque'" and Scandalous, when it probably wasn't.

Reviewing Live Journal's policies I've downgraded the restrictions to Adult Concepts, which puts the cut off level to 14 years of age.

My appologies for any false expectations this may have caused.

Mike Glosson
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Hi Mike,

Well, thanks -- both for the explanation, and for adjusting the rating system, which I hope also will get you more audience.

I went in, then, and...I had expected music, when you'd talked about 'tracks'. This writing though is intriguing, and as I read the first 8 chapters of City at a library this Monday, and had read (and re-found, re-read) 'The Way of All Ghosts' before, so I could appreciate your descriptions, your paths of entering a story. It's an interesting way, and you made me thoughtful about it.

So, music of a kind...and thank you!

Best regards,
Roald

 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Greg Bear

Sucks like an Electrolux, eh, Tim? Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it--but it sounds like you at least finished it, so thanks for that! Sigh. What's a writer to do? All of the books you mention liking have also received negative reviews and comments over the years... some, many and very negative. There's no way of knowing. Meanwhile, look around this site at other reactions--and to confuse things even more, CITY has been chosen as one of seven best sf novels of the year by PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY. I'll join you in bashing heads against a wall!
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Attn: Roald Laurenson:

"I went in, then, and...I had expected music, when you'd talked about 'tracks'"

There's an explanatory piece about the little project in there, in the afterward:

http://chimpstop.livejournal.com/1732129.html

If you click on the tag ANOTHER GREEN WORLD it will list the other "tracks". Some of them also have tags for other of my writings about CITY AT THE END OF TIME. I'm still contemplating something Much More Serious to write about this novel....as soon as it settles down in my head a bit more!

This writing project was first born in a snail mail letter to Greg Bear back in 1980, as I had been greatly impressed with the first Album of Brian Eno's I ever purchased:

Another Green World. Six months ago I decided to give it a go, and finally started writing it in October. The track "becalmed" stuck me for over a week...then in a moment of inspiration write the fate-shifter/fate-mire piece...which was followed naturally by a piece on THE NIGHT LAND.

The original conceit 28 years ago was for it to be a novel inspired by the Album. The actual project is more a set of prose poems that could be read in the time it takes to hear the tracks.

The full history of the project can be found here:


Most of Eno's Catalog is available up on iTunes, or CD's can be bought via Amazon or other services.

I've been trying to get a copy in front of ENO, but he's notoriously hard to contact outside of Agent Channels.

One way to hear some of the tracks, without getting the album, is go to YouTube and do a search for Eno. Several Video artists have set the tracks to videos they have done.

It's an album I've listend to THOUSANDS of times over the last 28 years...

Mike
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Regarding Tim's disappointment about Cats eating the Typhon.

Actually I thought that was a pretty neat touch, as by that point, if I remember correctly, the Universe wasn't much bigger than a football stadium, if not the playing field. And leaves me wondering "Just" where Cats fit in to the overall cosmology. And by that point in the story the ground rules of the universe were worn pretty thin...an alternate end for the Typhon could have been Max Glaucous accidentally stepping on it as he crossed the ice plane.

Harry Potter Stuff? Wow...that reminds me of that one film critic who hated 2001 and thought it was ALL COMIC BOOK STUFF. Though I still need to hunt down that Anthology that has your "The Way of All Ghosts" in it...though it sounds like it should actually be re-run in one of Andy's THE NIGHT LAND collections

Congrats Greg on the Publisher's Weekly 7 Best Novels of the year recognition!
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location:

Still laughing about Greg's Electrolux, and smiling for his good humor. That is a special sound definitely.

Mike, I went in on your explanation, and read more of these. I also listened to the Another Green World track and few others off that Brian Eno album. I see why you like it.

Sometimes in reading your tracks I thought about Bruce Cockburn, the Canadian songwriter etc.. I think the connection is there also in the Brian Eno music - maybe this is one you already picked up.

Thanks, and I ran into just one of what might have set LiveJournal's bells ringing. Pretty mild indeed, especially for kids who've listened some of the music out there, so I think you're fine with the lower rating. 14 seems just right.

Best,
Roald

 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/11/2008
From: Tim
Location: sydney

City is getting a publisher's weekly award? What the hell do I know then! When are they going to make one of your books into a movie/mini series? Psychlone would be a cracker.

Tim
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/11/2008
From: Greg Bear

Some books are a slow burn. I know that's true for me. I keep some difficult books around for years, waiting for the right moment to grok their essence... Oops! Does that date me?
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/11/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

"Some books are a slow burn. I know that's true for me. I keep some difficult books around for years, waiting for the right moment to grok their essence... Oops! Does that date me?"

I know that all too well. And do that with Durrell a lot. But only one of your books has fit that category: DINOSAUR SUMMER. And it really shouldn't...but I tried to start reading it on the Eve of the one year anniversary of my Father's death...got 70 pages into it and couldn't figure out why this Father n' Son adventure was upsetting me...then it hit me...so I'll have to wait a while before finishing it...and isn't Forry in it...or was that Harryhausen?

Otherwise NONE of your books have slow burned me...quite the opposite...your prose grabs me by the back of the eyeballs and doesn't let go!

Mike

PS: other than the Dino book, the only one I've not ead is SLANT...

 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/13/2008
From: Tim
Location:

I can see Forge and Eon being made into mini series. At the minimum it would take people's minds of the credit crunch.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

Ray Harryhausen and Willis O'Brien and a host of others, including John Ford!
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

Having just returned from Utopiales in Nantes and a few days in Paris, where Astrid and I had a lovely time, I think perhaps we need more miniseries about food... If we're heading into a deep recession, then food, dance, and fancy clothes might be just the ticket. And it may be that Peter Jackson remade King Kong too early! The depression-era scenes resonate really well now. Where's Fred Astaire now that we need him?
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/13/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

In regards to Dinosaur Summer:

"Ray Harryhausen and Willis O'Brien and a host of others, including John Ford!"

That was more fall out/confusion from that 36 hours where Forrest J. Ackerman and Ray Harryhausen got fused in my feverish brain.

So France...for a few days I thought maybe you had gotten a tour of CERN and maybe brought back a Quark-Plasma sample.

Wow, try getting THAT thru customs, let alone across the street!

:)

Mike
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/13/2008
From: Somakosmos Malheiro
Location: Basswood Lake Quetico Provincial Forest

Jeez! The City book is good. Read some of Forge of G.
awhile back~cause I was back and forthing thru the volcanic
tufts around Barstow.
I read Rosenbaum's "The House Beyond Your Sky"
early this am..it was fun to compare.
It's amazing that in the past year or so/Dragons of Babel/Thunderer/Dreaming Void..all trying to get to the
point. What is 18 zeros/1 Quadrillion?
A whole lot less than One hydrogen molecule as
situated in the pan*googol 999^999^999.
Don't think you utilized the Word Ineffable
in your fine effort. The end sentence in tCatEoT will do nicely. PA's story~The Horn of Time the Hunter is a favorite
of mine~Along with~Gonna Roll Dem Bones by the Gray Mouser~I did put forth stuff bout your Novel on the John Shirley Message
Board. Since I'am very young...I hope you take it as
an old fatherly kind of man would. Those silly prophets
of antiquity and the slightly more liberal apostles got
a smudge on their doors of perception.
They only saw one part of the first 3 digits
and that was upside down.
The 100 trillion is a bit older than Gene Wolfe's
Citadel of the Autarch(understatement 3 billion subtracted from 14 zeros)...The pre Cambrian explosion
wrigglings of the Human Race. I met someone who has a
birthmark...that's is where the 999^999^999 comes in.
I'm ensconced with the Timberwolves up here in the BWCAW~
so I have a tad of cabin fever. Well Poul didn't actually
say that about the Commanche..But the message in his million
year boat came out pretty close. I sure and the heck hope you don't have a limit on the characters in this comment
section. Goodnight Mr. Bear and thank you for the earwigging effort
of The City*** at the End*** of Time***.

P.S. Q. Is it possible for earwigs to be polydactal?

 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/14/2008
From: Tim
Location:

Knowing your imagination Greg - Fred will find Ginger in an alternative world line and the 'Naked chef' Jamie Oliver will use a distortion in the Higgs field to bring both dancers forward to 2009 - just in time to save us from Depression 2.0 and win 'So You Think You Can Dance?'


Tim
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/14/2008
From: Greg Bear

Old man! Hmph. Great musings, Somakosmos (and a pretty cool name as well.) Earwigs, I believe, would be polytelsonic. Trying running that through a spell-checker.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/14/2008
From: Greg Bear

Cool idea! Fred and Ginger avatars will return to save us all. While we're at it, let's bring back that Radio City chorus line... did they actually dance before the 1933 showings of King Kong? Any experts remember? And if so, were they the Rockettes back then?
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/14/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

One of the things we've let out of the discussions on CITY, other than my longer pieces, are all the terms you coined in the process of building the world of the book.

Fate Shifters and Sum-Runners being the central and most obvious.

Oh...but in the long long history of the far Future, and the quest to bring back Polybiblos: Sangmer and his bad of Philosopher-Adventurers

Philosopher-Adventurers! Almost sounds like how I lived my life in the 1990s.

And my favorite coined term from the book: Fate Mire. While used to describe the end result of being Collected I've been sneaking this word into conversations where possibilities are curtained down to nothing...even used it to discourage a friend from commiting an act of "political suicide" leading up to the recent election.

Then of course there's "Terminus" and "Gape"

But as a good Heideggerian the term "Fate Mire" just resounds and rebounds with the crashing possibilities of total lack of possibility in situations...not quite Terminus, but probably worse!

I could easily cross this term over into the central cultural mythos and language and make it almost as household a term as Cyberspace became for the Internet.

The coined terms may be my next effort on serious writing about CITY.

Before I forget: if you are still pondering appendixes for the paper back edition: a section on the various types of artificial matter would be...well...fun to read!

Mike
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Somakosmos Malheiro
Location: Basswood Lake Quetico Provincial Forest

The a for the y was intentional...this is why..
A for Alpha...the binary code...the zero could be the O..here is how..
I got this from from the 6 9's person.
That person said to me..
" Awhile back i was in Buffalo, New York and desired
to purchase a Toyota Landcruiser..so i looked in the
Buffalo Evening News Sunday paper classified section.
33 landcruisers were for sale...all of the ads said they had worn hubs....i thought/what honest people~these
landcruiser owners are..but why would i want to purchase a vehicle with worn hubs..especially an all wheel drive!"
This person than said to me..." Many a time I have seen the New York Times best seller books listings and I always came to those years when Ken Kesey was there with
that one called "Sometimes a Great Nation"
Always my mind read it so..same as those ads in the Buffalo paper..
Worn hubs for Warn Hubs and Great Nation for Great Notion.
The transposition of A's and O's.
The 137th millionth Century Limited..we are all riding that Glory Train..The biggest wheels..The most powerful locomotives..The longest tracks..passenger and freight rolling stock that has everything that can be created by the known and unknown Periodic Tables.
The prayer of Matthias in "The House Beyond the Sky" is relevant to this and to tCatEoT...
"O God who is as far beyond the universes I span as infinity is beyond six; O startling Joy that hides beyond the tragedy and blindness of our finite forms; lend me Your humility and strength. Not for myself, O Lord, do I ask, but for Your people, the myriad mimetic engines of Your folk; and in Your own Name. Amen."
The infinity beyond six part is most revealing/Rosenbaum/possibly a Gnostic Jew who knows that the Demiurge of the Hebrew Testament is only an astray simpleton
factotum of the Ineffable First Principle.
Six is the number of matter/the number of the sidereal universe...a piddling puddle of base elements.
As Pritzger's Zohar tells over and over again..
The Shekinah is the only facet of the Word that is available to the lower realm verses {and I say/they can stop hiding Her/Him in the foundation or 10th sephiroth}..The 9th is the proper place. If you havn't read Pritzger//it is chock full of the funniest and weirdest stuff in any book that there is.
Thank you 'guy from the 50's' for your indulgence..and Crocuta Crocuta Spelaea Ursus Travertinus Spelaeas Teyjat to yorn. oops! I probably made another error? since i almost never use the spelling thingee.


 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

I certainly hope fate mire doesn't describe our present economic situation. My guess is, we're in this muck for at least a year--end of the present administration, beginning of the next one, and their learning curve), with two or three years for recovery. Not quite as bad as being collected.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

How nice to be among Gnostics! Takes me back to Nag Hamadi and FRAGMENTS OF A FAITH FORGOTTEN. Just as a trivial aside, here's a cinema question: in which very popular motion picture did the direst form of the Shekinah make a spectacular appearance?
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

"I certainly hope fate mire doesn't describe our present economic situation."

Yow...that's how it felt to me during parts of October, which was part of the emotional inspiration around "Becalmed". The "situation" which I was following microscopically closely was literally making me sick, and lead to a month of ill health...which I'm just getting over now.

As far as our possibiliities collapsing down to nothing...I think we are out of the worst of "that"...though it's not going to be anything like a cake walk in the near future, it's also not going to be dreadfully dire, that we are not hip deep in the tar of lost possibility.

After last night's post I ended up referring to one of my correspondents in China, who is over there doing a "free thought" project (and so far not hassled by the governement) as a Philosopher-Adventurer.

There are times that the last eight years have felt like they were progressing toward fate mire status...which on my second read of CITY gave me an uneasy feeling...that this novel should come out right as some many diverse strands in our society crashed into a brick wall.

You're really good at doing that...spooking readers into thinking deeper on issues...while providing hours of entertainment.

Mike
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/15/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

On the Time Travel thing...the wife had DVR'd the BACK TO THE FUTURE movies, which we finally got up to III tonite. I'd seen the first one many times, but never II, and parts of III.

In the process of this she mentioned something she saw on SciFi Wire this morning:

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=62138

Some one else has bought the film rights to THE END OF ETERNITY, my favorite Asimov novel and favorite time travel novel...and one of the first things I thought of when I saw the original blurb for CITY, that and the "Ghost" of THE CITY AND THE STARS.

I am sad to here though that this book has been out of print for some time.

If it does well as a film (still way in pre-production) it might make CITY more of a possibility as a film.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/17/2008
From: Somakosmos Malheiro
Location: Basswood Lake Quetico Provincial Forest

tCatEoT had none..not an erratum!
Whereas The Dragons of Babel had errata/same for Thunderer and The Dreaming Void. 3 aboutz for each.

That all by itself makes Rajapolis unique.

Did you polish off some fine liquor or a 12 pack of
Ranier beer? 2 errata/Hamadi? Direst?
The second s for c..cs/an abbreviation for a powerful
temporal name of the S.
The missing m..could signify...Manike/as in
Phaedrus,244..." The act of the prophet is more perfect and
venerable than the act of the augur, by so much the more,
as the ancients testify, is madness superior to reflection,
for reflection is only human, but madness springs from Ultimate Reality." I feel sure that Socrates and Plato
would like my substitution of 'Ultimate Reality' for (the gods).Prophecy and Madness=Manike.
Plato and Socrates maintained that the Greek word
for prophecy(mantike) and the word for madness(manike)
was spurious divergence from the single word manike and that the t was added only in Plato's time. Cetainly the word
manike was in usage in Homer's time as well as in the time of the Great Poet Lady from Lesbos..a century of antiquity
is about 500 years of modern time>an acient greek accomplished in a day what it takes us to do in 5.
You are a Gnostic?

Fragment A...Cosmological Fragments of Basilides.
"The Octet of Subsistent Entities"
Irenaeus wrote of six in his summary....
Parent, intellect, verbal expression, wisdom, power,
and the sixth/prudence. The remaining 2/St. Irenaeus could not speak of as he had not the authority to do so.

St. Clement said "Basilides believes that "justice"
and its offspring "peace" substantially exist, being arranged inside an octet, where they remain."
Titus Flavius Clemens had the goodness in his heart
to speak of peace and justice.
Bishop Stephen Hoeller..Gnostic Bishop/Ecclesia Gnostica
Los Angeles has written a few books on Gnosticism and
the Shekinah.
Though Bishop Hoeller is a Wandering Bishop...The Augustinian Doctrine of Orders applies.
Bishop Hoeller's superior resides in the boreal
between the Lac La Croix reserve, Ontario, Canada and the North American Bear Center, Ely, Minnesota.
Is it Rachael of "Bladerunner"?
Guilietta Massina's character in "Nights of Calabria"?
Karen "the child of light" in "The Virgin Spring"?
Blonde Lucifer in "The Ninth Gate"?
Blonde androgyne Gabriel in "Constantine"
Dark haired JC/MM 67th great granddaughter in Da Vinci Code?
Darkhaired girl that the "Robot Monster" disobeyed
command and control for to get his gorilla arm mitts on in "Robot Monster" starring
future sci-fi writer George Nader?
Kristine Kaufmann girl in "Town Without Pity"?
Deborah Kerr underwear lady in "Night of the Iguana"?
Leslie Caron as she appeared dancing and singing
"Jolie Jaqueline" at the Chez Bozo on Bourbon Street "Glory Alley"?
Roy Batty of Bladerunner?
Jean Seeburg of Joan of Arc fame?
Lucious blonde wife of minister played by "Bonnie" of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame.."Little Big Man"?
Weena of The Time Machine..circa 1960?
Blonde who lived across the hotel hallway in "Eraserhead"?
Dunno..this could be a trick question!
I can't say that it's me..I mean Bishop Hoeller's
Superior...might be the Theologian of the Malthusian order of the Roman Catholic Church...He is the #1 Theologian of that highest order of the RCC.
He was offered the Bishop post of Opus Dei, Wash,D.C. when he was 26 and he refused because that Bishop is only answerable to the Fisherman..
The only Bishop in the world who has just one sliver of a leash. He told them Not at this time..perhaps at a later date...so they left the offer open for life.
Besides..Wandering Bishop...I mean Cardinal comes without any leash and is at least as legitimate....extra legitimate..he said.
"Senaon" is from The Nag Hammadi and it occurs only once in all the manuscripts of the NH...Many times the main epithet occurs/which is the "Concealed Aeon".
Is that the S...
Is the missing M..macro or meta as in
macrometasomakosmos?
I will not use live frogs to catch smallmouth bass/the one bait they cannot ignore...would earwigs with that added flash do the job?
Wonder if the bait shops would have a sack full of those special earwigs..
Am now looking at 670 words that I went through
with my time allotments to figure the meaning of 1298.
Hod...Yesod...Chokmah...Kether in reverse order..
numeral wise with reduction it could be a 3..Binah:Understanding...The Supernal Mother, The Great Sea, The Yoni, the Triangle....the Sphere of Operation is Shabbathi/it gives form and similitude onto chaotic matter.
And Jehovah Elohim is the perfection of Creation and the life of the World to come.(That is if you credit all the mumbo jumbo of the killers of canaan.)

Could be that construct 17.89 light minutes from here....supposed to have 51 billion square miles of living
space expansive and reconfigured to 10 or 100 or 1000 tmes that..with 51 quadrillion x 2/acre feet of potable water...can be here in 130 hours at 10% light..a leisurely pace I'm sure.
Supposed to have 6 drive units..3 aft and 3 fore...each of the 6 are 300 miles across.
Takes any name the owner wants...letters 700
miles high by 500 miles wide..so the name can be up to 23 letters long at that rate...could telescope out letters
10,000 high and wide or anysize...but a letter as big as everything...could that be seen?
What skycraper is exactly 1298 ft. including or excluding comm towers?
Is there an ocaen ship 1298 ft.?
is it the number of miles from Lynnwood to somewhere...is it an I.Q.?
not a prime!...the exact number of nanoseconds
to fire an encrypted message from here to Thule?
Thanks for being a nice guy...Mr. Bear..

P.S. worked at a zoo as soph. in HS and
don't you buy no spider monkey for pet...they open books and will dump on pages and just about anywhere else.










 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/17/2008
From: Greg Bear

Makes a difference as to whether the rights were bought or optioned, of course. Outright purchase may indicate very serious intent.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/17/2008
From: Somakosmos Malheiro
Location: Basswod Lake Quetico Provincial Forest

If I wasn't thinking about Dire Wolves..
Direst....that narrows it down... my faced became pink for a second due to embarssment...Hamadi's not a mistake either is it?
You tricked me into revealing things.Strike that/tricked my ownself.
you cannot be faulted in any event...you are a very clever& intelligent human..I'm not(intelligent/well the needle oscillates on the upper half...I only have intellect.
cause you got me... big plum this/an ostrogoth variation of the word 'chaos' is an identifcation marker 3 levels removed from a current name of the incarnated Shekinah...to bad the Ostrogoth of c.e.399 is a {somewhat} lost dialect.
another reward for your smarts..
Tell me what bothers you/is it this?
Accelerometer blues?

The molecules of existence are moving @approx 2.3m mph..
if the 72% ratio of so-called dark stuff is increased 5%
all matter zooms to light speed and no waiting 1000 billion years for acceleration arc to reach light speed.
It is a quantum effect...the nit who did it..thought it was making something immortal..but when can an engendered thing make something unengendered.
thats not half the story...that big boy at 11.9+bm
out is not a generation starship...for travel to higher realms...only does it the way it will/for the equilibrium of and funtimes
for the guests. Direst form of the S. hmmm/The Shekinah is about Love not living and dying again...Living and not dying again as the Gnostics said.


 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/17/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Regarding Eternity's Movie Rights: This has been the second time it's gone into Pre-Production, but with a totally different team. According to the piece they are still shopping for a Director, with no screen play yet.

That whole train of thought Saturday Night lead me to pulling all of Ike's FOUNDATION work I have here, plus three newer Novels by three up and coming writers ten years back...well, actually, already well established in their own fields creations, you being one of them.

It had been 8 years since I had read the "New Trilogy" which I much enjoyed, The "Chimps" and "Worm Holes" in Benford's part, your exhibit of the "Chaos" in humanity in book two, then Brin's work at wrapping it up.

This got me thinking about October's "Pseduo-Fate-Mire" being more along the lines of Chaos errupting from the collective human mind in the modern Spin on the Foundation Universe.

I'm at a loss regarding the Shekinah manifesting in a dire form in Cinema...but I've been done with a major migraine since 4 AM today. Unless we are talking about the Climax Scene in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ART. My Cabala teacher talked about some prophesy regarding her in the Zohar, and that world rulers in the future would try and steal her from the Creator...

Just a note: Live Journal will probably be down most of this week for a Move, making my Another Green World items inaccessible. I may end up dropping my more "literary" output on a Blogspot journal at some point.

Trying to have a better week...at least Forry is still with us!

Mike
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

I think we need to bring in William Vollman and maybe even Phil Dick as interpreters! But I'll definitely stay away from spider monkeys until everything's on my washable Kindle...
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

Some Jewish housewives make signs and spit when you mention the Shekinah... the punishing hand of God in some conceptions, in others, more ancient, God's handmaiden or even wife. Still no answer to my trivia question about the movie appearance? If everyone gives up, I'll spring a clue...
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

We have a winner! RAIDERS it is.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Wow...that power of the Migraine...even though I got part of the Movie title wrong: Lost Art for Lost Ark.

I haven't yet encourted the house wives spitting when Shekina's name is mentioned, then again I know better than to talk about the Kaballah in front of Jewish Women, just one of those stranger Gender Seperation things in Jewish Culture.

My Warning on Live Journal appears to have been overly pesimistic, but as of this writing 1:26 PM, it's still mightily sluggish.

The Live Journal connected with the CITY AT THE END OF TIME promo site should still be working.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Somakosmos Malheiro
Location: Basswood Lake Quetico Provincial Forest

I thought I had lost you..cuz of the madness..
and I scrolled down this and didn't want to read any small response,if any...to say first of all...17.89 light hours
is the actual distance/and when I was walking into the forest I thought...why do I think people would agree in any way that "Robot Monster" was a very famous film.
And the direst mistake? hurt for a bit...
but it was the mind reading what the true mind saw.
The Shekinah cannot be in a dire situation...because it is the Consort and has guardians without limit.
The Jews are only hiding it/because they did not want any possibility of it not happening...they can't think beyond that..who can!
Of course/The Matrix/I thought you were referring
to the chocolate chip lady/than it was Neo...afterall the
Shekinah could be a Man...or a metasexual...
I will admit that I'am a Cosmologist Theologian..I'am Theologian
to all of the First Nation's of North America...those that cling to and will not deviate from their belief in the Great Spirit which is synonymous with the Ineffable First Principle....It has alway been my hope that truth can enter into Caucasoid minds/the creatures of the forest all know truth..a turtle knows truth before any other...
...Truth..the name of the girl
in Cordwainer Smith's story..."On the Storm Planet"/that young girl had a speck of the Shekinah in her mind..if a speck can accomplish that..what of the entirety of it. Now I will enter this and scroll and hope.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Somakosmos Malheiro
Location: Basswood Lake Quetico Provincial Forest

Kindle? you used that word.
a rare enough word....on the JS board from a member
who was responding to an entry by mmsk.
Co-incidence factor acceptable level-will investigate further in any event.
The Shekinah is not about anger or destruction.
The Ark of the Covenant is a repository of
force...the vril battery for the Lord of Manifestation.
The Shekinah is beyond that.
The Shekinah is from outside the brane.
The Shekinah loved PKD.
PKD loved the Shekinah.
 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/19/2008
From: Somakosmos Malheiro
Location: Basswood Lake Quetico Provincial Forest

After the opening part of tCatEoT...when you introduced G.
before he had his visit with the Moth...
I knew G. was a good man.
William V./I suppose/knows about the nature of good men.
Prostitutes/always a great novel...should have a place for these wonderful women.
I think there was 1 Mary Magdalene
kind in tCaTEot.
The homeless persons in the novel.
Have you stopped and thrown them a juicy bone now & again
there in Seattleland?
I bet you have.
True...Bill V. might tumble to what this all
could mean...PKD resides in the Pleromamany people including sc-fi writers are derisive with their written and oral remarks about Horselover Tubby.
PKD had a chat with BZ...He/like MLK..knew he wasn't going to be around for much longer...PKD did put it pretty well in The Exegesis..In Search of Valis/page 83-84 theoretical Explorations/underwood-miller softcover edition-L. Sutin,editor.
He worried about saying this(83-84)...even if he had not the intention of the exegesis ever becoming public.
That is why later in the ramblings/he put the part
in about the (ultimate)entity living in Sri Lanka.
which reminds me...did you hold off putting
the Ultima Entity info on your public board..I suppose it
was too strange/inasmuch as gunk about the non-electronic
classified dossier with the cover that reads...U E 1... and that outlandish penalty for simply touching it as if anyone except the one authorized person could ever come within 1,100 feet of concrete and steel and all those layers of lethal security/
Or it was an intercept and/or you are on the side of the goodguys in the intelligence sector.{giggle}
In San Diego...that woman mayoral candidate
a few years ago...ran on a platform/with a main plank being.."Cracking down on the homeless" in San Diego.
Not as bad a place for the homeless as Miami, Fla and Lawrence, Kansas..if you can believe the reports in the National Newspaper of the Homeless.
That newspaper which could be extant..takes display ads...with the money going to help the Homeless and distribution of paper.
What a great place to run a marketing ad*eh!
I think a quarter page is only $500...
The paper is probably defunct...
Can you imagine Radio City Music Hall or Eddie Bauer advertising
the Rockettes and 5 lb. goosedown sleeping bags respectively in that paper?
I always help with the local food bank up here and
yesterday..10 cases of Kokalada came in from Zagreb...chocolate covered cherries as good as Cella..and Elk steaks and roasts from a local doctor and his doctor wife...Mr. Doctor harvested it(ugh) out near Richfield, Utah...a small town that I have driven thru a few times when I drove the loneliest hwy in America,,it is a interstate junction for going south to St. George and Las Vegas...going due west from there is Hyw 50..which eventually winds up around Fallon, Nevada. A few hundred miles east of Fallon and well east of Ely, Nevada is the
no services warnings next 168 miles...makes for no one driving this U.S. Hwy during the dusk to dawn time.
IT is the only time to drive it as the Jackrabbits
use the hwy on moonlit nights to have conclaves..tens of thousands of them over a certain 15 mile stretch.
Oh oh! just got flick'd by Deja vu or some
snicker of eternal recurrence.




 

Re: CITY AT THE END OF TIME/ THE NIGHT LANDS/ANOTHER GREEN WORLD
Date: 11/24/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

A "final" word on the ANOTHER GREEN WORLD project...while my notes state it was originally inspired 28 years ago in a letter to Greg Bear...it first reappeared on February 26th of this year, having been mulled over on the night of February 25th

The original statement "I'll start it tomorrow"...and it wasn't started and finished for another 8 months! With the last track done on October 15th, and the Afterward/Guide on the 19th!

Makes me worry about my production speed for "focused works" even though I write on average 3000 words a day. This while going thru my virtual desk...where I've found speculations regarding CITY going back that far and further.

That's the next editing/gathering task: Speculative notes regarding CITY pre-publication...all toward that more serious and focused piece about CITY I still want to write.

Mike

SEASON'S CREEPINGS

Date: 10/21/2008 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I know you're not running a fanzine here...

But I thought a bit of October SF spookiness might squeeze in! ONWARD TO MARS!


The Pumpkin Planet

by
Bill Goodwin


When first I felt that clime that creeps
Up downward-slanting years from death
Death cloaked in fog perhaps but hid
No longer by such heights as from
The young conceal that vale where life is
Not
A clime of soul and chill of season
Year and spirit ill at ease and
Hungry still for reason, theme or
Plot
Autumn waxed while I relaxed
To tend fire from my favorite seat
Youth awane but like a wine
My mem'ries better bittersweet
And yet no place in age for grace
No poise I should by rage debase
I stood and cried in sudden heat
"Now what do I do what now?
Unknown my name! Unsung my song!
It's such a shame! How much I long
For that electric sort of fall
When starry skies made me feel TALL
And crackling winds enlivened all
The boys throughout the town!
Now nights awake and flame-hung trees
But blight with ache each lame-lunged wheeze
I seldom drowse, afraid of dreams
And draw my shutters shut because
Orion's cloudy blade, agleam
Seems drawn to cut me down!"

Then hark! a tone, or was it a taste?
From out black space--alack!--it raced
Some spectral breath or whispered word
Sweet like the spherical notes unheard
Yet drear and fraught with consequence
Like fever-thought with hints of sense
Did drop like rain that sometimes seeps
In through my roof and plaster, cracked
To arouse me from idle, restless deeps
To assign me some vital quest I lacked

So beckoned I arose to roam
The wild around my toasty home
Wonder kindled, bright and brisk!
Within a heart unfond of risk
And from the gate, so chanced to spy
A seed of red fire, middling high
Sewn into the eastern sky
A seed of crimson fire

A fire no kin to dawn I deemed
And wondered if at last I dreamed
As, helpless, I was drawn along
The way into the countryside
A country overgrown and hushed
Hushed with Halloween
Reminded through which night I rushed
By spicy smoke and rustling clover
I ambled damp and weary over
Rutted earth and up the rise
Above which red Mars rose

The tangled vines beyond that slope
Wove gourdian knots of prickly rope
Lush with leaves afrost in fuzz
Nature's treasure trove it was
A thousand pumpkins in that snare!
The hope chest of the virgin future
Daylight's gold in even's care
The cold, it stung me like a suture
The freezing autumn air

But listen now for this is odd:
The hoarded daytime humours rising
Warmly from those golden tumours
Played a freakish trick
Somehow when they met the layer
Of icy-dry autumnal air
A lens was formed, and what was far
Appeared as near!--no more a star
But all at once an amber globe
That swelled obscenely ripe and showed
A haughty, hob-gob grin!
A Jack-O-Lantern smile!
The wargod Mars a planet
Yet a pumpkin all the while!

For seconds more like centuries
I didn't think to breathe
Then lowering my gaze I saw
That I was not alone
Tall and noble 'mongst the gourds
There stood a rusty, wrought-iron man
Whose embered eyes pierced mine like swords
And who, with anvil-hammered finger
Indicated something more
A monstrous stem that down unfurled
Down uncoiled
Down uncurled
Down from space to forest floor
From what surely was his world

As I was bid, I climbed that bridge
Struggling for an age to reach
The frozen cream-and-sherbet pole
From which canals do darkly bear
The silent barges, pale as bone
To shores of smoking coal where beach
The tasty crystal worms that feed
The drones who manage to exceed
The measure of last season's toil
Toil in burning fields of thorn
For lords whose em'rald babes are born
In cities hard, like fists of nails
That ring with mint-skinned women's wails
As, lobster-clad, their singing males
Go forth in merry hosts!
Forth to blacken-stain the sand
That half-conceals the tarnished ghosts
Of war-machines immense and grand
Of silver shields and chariots
And carven, sapphire helms!
Dazzled by the scene I rushed
To join the bold, in lust as well
Abandoning my mortal past
Marching over goblin vermin
Through poison cold and gusts from hell

Streams of blood and molten magma!
Parching sun and Ether Spiders!
Demon-Bugs of gold we hacked
Apart from underneath their riders!
Battling till the blazing standard
Flown above our milling throng
Was ebon from the gory blast
And yet the host opposing us
At least a million strong!
Captains killed and bravery slandered
Fast, our final hopes were flown
The mounting of our mob in vain and
In our veins but dread alone

Then 'twas goblins bound my wrists
Slaves of the patient Monster Brain
That throbs inside its dome of mists
Beneath an ancient diamond plain
Prepared I was, as sacrifice
Before its single awful eye
Prepared was I, with inks and oils
But not prepared to die!

Then one goblin shed its cloak
The wrought iron man, he was revealed!
His arms like axes whirled and smote
Like windmills, how they wheeled!
Tortured metal shrieked as shrieking
Goblins clutched their cloven bellies
With a waft of rotting meat the
Broken brain-dome spilt its jellies
The stench, it made me choke!
A vortex tore the horrid lair
A storm of war and gory air
Around the place it blasted slime
Gray matter a-fly in flaming bits
Confounded space and plastic time
They shattered all my remaining wits
As down coronal solar slopes
I spun, an endless, aching gyre
The vacuum sucking at my cries
The icy void at weary flesh
Until I opened bleary eyes
On blades of green all fresh!
Young again
My blood on fire
Yes young, and full of hopes!

For what is youth at all, I ask
But just a jeer at clocks?
First or last each dusty year
Is dashed against the rocks
Dealing pikes like poker cards
I'd learned to call the bluff of Death
And having rhymed with warrior bards
Cared not if ice-rimed by his breath
For soon or late our number's null
Till then each moment's just as new
Each deed a seed from out the goo
Of mine own mellon skull!

The fever dream revolved away
In the west its light descended
While in the east a pinkish ray
Declared All Hallows' ended
And so I headed home
But as I buttoned up against the dew
A thought droned in my head:
For Earth, one night when summer's through
For Mars, eternal dread
ETERNAL HALLOWEEN

Such fearsome beauty! Fearsome cost!
Endless mayhem! Endless gore!
Volcanic mountains clad in frost!
Iron-crusted globe, all rusted o'er!
Dark moons twain and terror-tossed!
And overripe in its starry patch,
That ruddy planet rolling lost
Through endless halls of time!

So hail the Legion of the Dead!
Of the Great Vermillion Gourd!
The Pumpkin Planet, crimson-ichored,
Slides through vacuum like a sword!
Lotus-drugged and perfume-liquored!
Spinning with its bloody horde
Through all the tangled stars!
The Pumpkin Planet, Mars!

END
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 10/24/2008
From: Greg Bear

Wonderful! Poe meets Bradbury!
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 10/24/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Yeah, it's cute. (I'm not really hip to poetry, but I think I recognise quality.) Make sure you pass it round to others.
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 10/27/2008
From: Greg Bear

I'd like to pass it on to Ray Bradbury, with your permission, Bill. And I suggest submitting it to the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction!
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 10/28/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

"Poe meets Bradbury:" Now THAT'S a compliment!

Absolutely you may pass it on to Ray. As for F&SF, do you think it would even get a reading? I didn't think they (or anyone else) used long poems...

I've taken a vow of poverty to write, and it's taking a toll. Your words are much appreciated, thank you.

Anyone wants to check out the Martian Cylindar crashed into my front yard, hop on over to www.myspace.com/evenweirder

--Bill ("Liam")
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

I'll send it on to Ray, with your compliments. F&SF would certainly give it a reading. Worth a try!

Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'

Date: 10/21/2008 From: Chad Sandberg
Location: Houston, TX

First of all, your work is amazing. In 'Anvil of the Stars' there are multiple references to 'sending a "noach" message' and I was curious about your intent. It sounds like a directed communication form (LASER or MASER)?

Thank you,
Chad Sandberg
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 10/24/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Chad! Noach is short for No-Channel communication, using my crackpot theory of physics which postulates that all particles are described by internal bits--particle bit structure--connected through the "Bell continuum." This was also the basis for the physics in MOVING MARS.
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 10/24/2008
From: patrick
Location:

I don't know. It could perhaps be at least remotely related to entanglement. I read these before I knew of entanglement, but the spirit of it jived with me in the same fashion.
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 10/26/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach

Well, 'crackpot'. Your theories are of good intrigue, Greg. They provide much enjoyment, in the stories they decorate and allow. They make us think. What could be a better way to understand that there is _something_ appropriately mysterious at the heart of what we call quantum reality?

I know you borrowed aspects of the Noach from speculations physicists had made, and painted it to be real enough. Your imaginations provide a unity, and who is to say yet whether they are closer than others to any truth we might come to understand?

We desire power in the world, as deepest myth. I think often enough of your speculations on the results of it. All these creatures and persons you've invented, and then my favorite who escaped this question in a way, Mirsky.

A broad canvas; imagination worth a lot to have a chance to share.

Best, Greg, in this and other musings.
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 10/27/2008
From: Greg Bear

The curious should study Bell's Theorem (Wikipedia has a nice entry) and the Bell Inequality. EPR-quantum entanglement was the nudge that made me posit a Bell Continuum, hidden channels of particle communication, and eventually--the noach.
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 10/27/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach

Yes, it's very interesting how you arranged this, apparently turning around the 'no _local_ hidden variables' to postulate some in the wide surround.

I still think how well woven, into that so appreciatedly woven full and broad story, 'Moving Mars'.

You can do great things, Greg. I really like it. And get a lot out of appreciatively reading.

C.


 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 11/17/2008
From: Allan Kellner
Location: Seattle, WA.

Greg, I've been meaning to post a message for a long time. this seems like a good place to do it. MOVING MARS and EON/ETERNITY are some of my most cherished books of "hard sci-fi". I am also a huge fan of THE FORGE OF GOD and ANVIL OF STARS. I have always been fascinated in a perfunctory way with mathematics, and MOVING MARS almost made me want to go back to class. Unfortunately, Physics nearly caused me a nervous beakdown in college so I stick to Stephen Hawking and count my blessings.

You are one of the most original and innovative writers living today. I heartily thank you for the many many hours of wonder and pleasure you've given me.

Sincerely,
Allan Kellner
Seattle, WA.
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Allan! I long ago flunked calculus, myself... So have to content myself with advanced theory. (sigh)
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 08/03/2009
From: Rainbow Starchild
Location: London, England

I love the idea of NOACH, I find myself thinking about it probably at least once a week although I read "Anvil" at least 2 years ago. My physics is at what you might call first-year college level, but I am convinced that there is some form of communication in the cosmos which is instantaneous and I think this may be the way to go to explain gravity among other effects. I have been searching for more information, so I'll happily go read the Bell continuum stuff on Wikipedia and elsewhere. Thanks Greg, and keep up the great work.
p.s. do you like the work of Stephen Baxter, particularly "Time" if you have had a chance to read it ?
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 08/03/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, RS! Stephen Baxter is definitely one of the great UK visionary sf writers.
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 09/06/2012
From: Bill Auclair
Location: Sunnyvale, CA

It looks like the real world has already taken its first steps in this direction:

http://news.yahoo.com/quantum-teleportation-beams-information-farther-ever-132433155.html

Life imitates art :-)

BTW Greg, love all of your books!
 

Re: Anvil of the Stars 'NOACH'
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

I'm of two minds about this. Literally, as I just teleported and forgot to erase the original...

Thanks, Bill!

Mouse's holiday?

Date: 10/20/2008 From: Michael Roy Ames
Location: BC, Canada

Okay, you've stumped me on this one, Greg. You describe a house as "... a mouse's holiday of neglect ..." in chapter 4 of "City at the End of Time". What is a mouse's holiday?
 

Re: Mouse's holiday?
Date: 10/20/2008
From: Greg Bear

Not tidy. Mice never clean up after themselves when they're on vacation.

Scientific theory in Blood Music

Date: 10/16/2008 From: Jim Wyatt
Location: Guernsey, Channel Islands

Hi. I have just finished reading Blood Music (fantastic by the way), and was facinated one of the theories touched upon. I have read a little into Anthropic Principle, but it was the idea that to some measure we shape the laws of the universe as we develop within it.
Id be really interested to hear any further thoughts you had on this, or if you could suggest any further writings on the subject

Thank you for your time

Jim
 

Re: Scientific theory in Blood Music
Date: 10/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

Actually, BLOOD MUSIC is a hyper example of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Look that up on any search engine and you'll find hours of fine reading.
 

Re: Scientific theory in Blood Music
Date: 10/18/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Yes, but little definition in what determines an 'observation'. After searching for answers to my questions, below, I came across David Deutsch's website and thought I'd ask him:

Me: Does a quantum event require one or the other: a detection?...or a person knowing the result? Or, are you saying, neither?

Deutsch: Yes, neither.


He said this answer wasn't widely accepted, though.
 

Re: Scientific theory in Blood Music
Date: 10/24/2008
From: Greg Bear

I recall Heinz Pagels reached the same conclusion. But it's difficult to design an experiment that is not eventually witnessed by an observer!
 

Re: Scientific theory in Blood Music
Date: 10/24/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Well, at least the data from it. So how the hell do you know? How the hell did the idea come up in the first place? Seems like nonsense to me.
 

Re: Scientific theory in Blood Music
Date: 10/27/2008
From: Greg Bear

Does sound like nonsense (as does much of 20th century physics, from a materialist-rationalist perspective), but significant aspects of this interpretation of the theory have been pretty well confirmed. Physicists like John Cramer, Pagels, and apparently David Deutsch have proposed reasonable and on occasion brilliant work-arounds or alternatives, but frankly, I like this connection between observer and reality... always have! (And observations are always encoded in data--which is part of the conceit in CITY AT THE END OF TIME, that text--data--is the DNA of the universe.)
 

Re: Scientific theory in Blood Music
Date: 11/16/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

"There once was a man who said, "God,

Must think it exceedingly odd

If he finds that this tree

Continues to be

When there's no one about in the Quad.""

--Ronald Knox

Insects

Date: 10/15/2008 From: rlm
Location: alexandria,va

Enjoyed duo of Darwins Radio.
Wondering about insects. Nature has already developed optimal microbotic delivery systems: mesquitos, ticks, fleas, bees, ...
Idea: a future where insects have become more symbotic with mammals, especially, humans, delivering vaccines instead of disease, or producing immunities with smart immune systems that create them, or possibly in honey such as bees. It would be beneficial to them, if they were symbotic purveyors of health, instead of vectors for disease, and of having humans trying to exterminate them. Mesquitos were the first to have a genome decrypted; wouldn't be cool if they were modified to create vaccines and distribute them instead of spreading disease. Then again there could be the dystopia, where insects spread addictive drugs, ...
 

Re: Insects
Date: 10/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

Very cool ideas here! Genetically engineered bee-stings! Wild thought.
 

Re: Insects
Date: 10/18/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Already implied in Legacy - when Olmy was being 'sampled' by the flora/fuana on that planet he went to.
 

Re: Insects
Date: 10/29/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

"Where the bee sucks..."

The bees will inject us with ARPHIDS (radio-frequency identification chips). These will be biochips, however, manufactured according to spec by the insects' bodies. The arphids will talk to banks, goods, phones, OnStar, the police, immune systems, each other...and to the folks that write the specs.

The chips will mutate. Flawed chips are noise in the system, "loyal" chips will evolve means to deal with them (it is the bees that evolve: the chips "reward" them, an apparent Lamarkianism but not really). A superorganism already half-in-place now goes global. The tables are turned on the Illuminati: a Bee Computer rules the world.

It chooses a Speaker to address the disoriented humans while their troublesome and no-longer-necessary cerebral cortexs are being dismantled. The Speaker? Buzz Aldrin.
 

Re: Insects
Date: 11/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

Hum a few bars... And we'll get down to beesness!
 

Re: Insects
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

You kill me, B!
 

Re: Insects
Date: 11/08/2008
From: Greg Bear

Now zzzz....

Books for Soldiers Charity Faces Closure: Corporate Donations Dry Up

Date: 10/13/2008 From: Ellen
Location: USA

North Carolina  Booksforsoldiers.com has sent thousands of care packages to our troops deployed outside the US since March 2003. But Booksforsoldiers.com is in dire financial need now, and may close. The site must raise $22,000 by October 31 or it will stop taking new requests on December 1, finish filling remaining care package requests for the holidays, and cease operations December 31.

"It's a bad economy," says Storm Williams, the founder and webmaster. "Times are tough for all non profits." Williams says they had an aggressive fundraising campaign that started the first of 2008. Corporations they had previously relied upon have been unable to repeat their support this year. "By April, we received a stack of letters that began with, 'we deeply regret not being able to donate this year.'"

Starting in May, they tried again, managing to shrink a $53,000 deficit to $22,000 by September's end. They also asked for help from deployed troops, sending them US flags to fly in Iraq and Afghanistan to give as thank-you gifts for the more generous donors. "We are so grateful," said David, one of the site's moderators trying to drum up fundraising. "Soldiers and Marines have flown flags for us, sending them back with certificates signed by their Commanders. It's an activity we used to arrange for the members. It was a lot of fun, 2-3 times a year and most importantly, for free. Now it's just to survive."

"Right now, we are just looking to get donations. The regular members have been awesomely generous, but can only do so much." Williams jokes, "BFS has always been in survival mode."

"We use our website. Soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors and Coast Guard make requests at http://www.booksforsoldiers.com. The site is secure; we restrict access to those who've been approved to send
packages."

"With our financial difficulties, we've not been able to upgrade. The member-approval process is still by hand from snail-mail applications. We had hoped to hire a programmer to make the site more responsive. We are pursuing a number of avenues for fundraising, looking forward to 2009 and beyond, but there is the very real possibility we will close in 2008." Williams concluded, "We're broke. Our parent organization gave us an ultimatum to stand on our own in 2008. We have not been able to do that yet."

Donations are gratefully accepted (and are tax deductable), either through PayPal on the site's donation page ( http://booksforsoldiers.com/donate.php ), or by check payable and mailed to

Books For Soldiers
2008 Fund Drive
116 Lowes Food Drive #123
Lewisville, NC 27023

Right now, we have a donation challenge going on. For every $1 you donate to Books for Soldiers, one of the Online Volunteers will match your donation by 50 cents, up to $1,000. Be sure to send a note to bfs010@gmail.com with your name and the amount donated and how it was donated.

More details can be found at
http://booksforsoldiers.com/forum/index.php or by writing
info@booksforsoldiers.com
 

Re: Books for Soldiers Charity Faces Closure: Corporate Donations Dry Up
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

An excellent service. Let's all chip in!

I'm exhausted.

Date: 10/12/2008 From: Carol Aldinger
Location: Green River, WY

I've been a fan of yours for years, reading every Si-Fi you've published.
But,
But never have I been as exhausted by a book as this latest "City". Not even the Dune series by Herbert left me this drained. Like that series, I had to read this in small sections just to try to comprehend what was going on, and when I finally finished it yesterday, I wiped the sweat off my brow, and just sat there for 5 minutes.
Good Book, and Good Job (I think. I'm still trying to digest it 24 hours later!)
 

Re: I'm exhausted.
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks for your efforts and kind words, Carol! Glad you've stuck with the book. Any suggestions how I might help the paperback readers slide into these worlds more easily? A glossary or primer of some sort, perhaps?
 

Re: I'm exhausted.
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

A primer would be wonderful on multiple levels. A number of your books have incredible eye openers for one or another area of science. That said, a primer would have helped me get more out of them than I was able to do so on my own.

In addition, a primer on an interesting area of science by a writer with your insight would be tremendously valuable in and of itself, let alone as an intro to one of your stories.
 

Re: I'm exhausted.
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

Which areas in CITY would be of most interest? I already have a piece almost ready to go on the theory and history of Babels, and a piece on entropy published on the Del Rey website. Both could be included in the paperback. Anything else?
 

Re: I'm exhausted.
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Stapledonian Time Scale Charts! Current Era to End of Bright. End of Bright to the Time of the 500 Living Galaxies. 500 Living Galaxies Vs. Typhon. Typhon vs. Earth/Kalpa

A glossary of fate-shifter/collecter terms? Just the thought puts a quiver in the sky.

The hint of Appendixes opens up whole new avenues of enjoyment and "veritas". An Article on the history of Babels? Wow!

Very exciting!

Mike
 

Re: I'm exhausted.
Date: 10/14/2008
From: Carol Aldinger
Location: Green River, WY

In your first note, you mentioned a glossary. That would definitely be a useful tool. I would have referred to it numerous times throughout the book.
Even with my scientific background I still had trouble following at times although I did understand your references to particles splitting in cloud chambers.
A brief primer as you call it about entropy and other notions you bring up would help the more serious readers tremendously, but the casual reader would probably skip over, get lost in the book, and (horrors!) lay it aside? I stuck with it because I like the way you write. True Science Fiction, yes with capital letters rather than space opera (Elizabeth Moon) which I'm now reading to "recover" from the trauma of seeing beautiful Seattle disappear from the cosmos. (I grew up in Bremerton.)
I did find the cover picture helpful and looked back at it more than once, in order to grasp what you were describing. But I kept wishing for some kind of drawing of the end game. I became confused in my imagining of who was where, even though they were all within the final circle.

 

Re: I'm exhausted.
Date: 10/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

I think we'd put the extra stuff in the back, not to distract. Hm! An illustrated edition... lovely idea, but not likely any time soon. (And I do enjoy Elizabeth's space opera--she's one of the contemporary masters of that venerated and highly influential genre.)

About 15 seconds of Uncredited Greg Bear?

Date: 10/12/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Hi Greg!

Was watching The Sci-Fi Boys (2006) which we had captured off Sundance last Monday or Tuesday. As it went along heard a very familiar voice and had to roll it back...and there you were, slightly off camera, talking to Rick Baker and saying "No..No..All the Sons of Harryhausen are here..."

Reminding me that I need to go back and finish Dinosaur Summer...

Mike
 

Re: About 15 seconds of Uncredited Greg Bear?
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

That was a fine day--so many of my favorite special effects artists gathered to celebrate Ray H's investitute. Stan Winston was there as well... unfortunately, no longer with us.

Bacterium with horizontal gene transfer - and it gets better

Date: 10/10/2008 From: patrick
Location:

http://blog.wired.com/sterling/2008/10/the-deep-hot-bi.html

Suppressed issue of "Legacy."

Date: 10/06/2008 From: Patrick Kearney
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Dear Mr. Bear: Many thanks for your kind reply. If only other requests of mine on these matters were answered so well.

It seems that the missing page is almost certainly the reason for suppression. What happens I think is that publishers run off a few advance copies of their books for distribution to critics and for the purposes of copyright registration. If a blunder is found it is obviously corrected before the book is actually released to the retailers, but instructions are sent to the copyright libraries to dump their defective copies or,
as appears to be the case with the British Library, to withdraw them from the general catalogue. I've discovered a number of other instances of this sort of thing.

Thank you again. -- Patrick Kearney
 

Re: Suppressed issue of
Date: 10/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

I suspect there were a few thousand copies pulled by the publisher, but don't know the actual number.

How do you feel about politicized science? (Global Warming)

Date: 10/06/2008 From: Kristin A Ruhle
Location:

Hi! I do want to read the new book, but I'm putting off buying it or maybe putting it on my Xmas list....any chance you will be in CA anytime soon? Darn, i missed that seattle signing...i could and have, ordered signed books from out of the area stores - and autographs are what sell me hardcovers. Never mind, B-day and Xmas coming up!

but i'm getting to something that really has nothing to deo with it...what i wonder is: science fiction writers take different approaches to the global warming issue. do YOU think warming is a hoax? You see, the so called "consensus" (or perhaps "liberal" would be better word?) is that the earth is getting warmer due to human activity. The "conservative" skeptic view is that global warming is real but part of a natural cycle and not caused by humans. (this is the one promoted by the oil industry - i do not trust anyone in the pay of ExxonMobil, so there.) They backed off from saying "not happening" to saying "Not human caused." BUT, there is a third view, the Solar Science-Based skeptic. in this view the natural trend is actually global cooling, part of a sun spot/slowing of solar activity cycle and if anything human activity is heading it off. Some *very* respectable scientists are gathering evidence there, eg JPL which brings them into conflict with their nasa bosses sometimes. I'll call this the Libertarian view.
The Conservative view does get attention (Dubya having been in love with it, and govt people had been shamefully censoring science they didn't like!) if only because the Liberal view is dominant. But the third approach you only hear about from Libertarians...and sf writers.

You can tell a writer's political slant by which science he/she prefers to base books on. (eg Kim Stanley Robinson is liberal, and I think John Ringo is Libertarian. (well what can you say about folks who write mostly/all for Baen...) what prompted me to write was learning that Ringo's newest apocalyptic novel involves global cooling. OK any science can be used for sf if it is well extrapolated. But can the real world afford to have this argument?

I sometimes despair of science ever being objective. Academics are woefully underpaid, and many scientists are effectively forced to prostitute themselves to earn a living. I want to know which arguments you find most pervasuasive since you are intelligent and read an awful lot.

Kristin
btw I don't think we'll even shake our addiction to fossil fuel as long as there is fossil fuel in the ground. People are still too afraid of nuclear and using solar/wind to run a whole power grid is a fantasy.
 

Re: How do you feel about politicized science? (Global Warming)
Date: 10/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Kristin! Global warming is real--it's happening. The causes are many--no doubt humans contribute, perhaps substantially. The political climate is also hot for global warming--in part I suspect because W was against it, and he's been wrong on almost everything. Along the way, we can fund a lot of great science and move away from fossil fuels. In a couple of hundred years, we'll know more about the long-term weather of the planet--but on this issue, we do need to make advances now. (I remember the TWILIGHT ZONE episode where we had it both ways--first it got cold, then it got hot...)
 

Re: How do you feel about politicized science? (Global Warming)
Date: 10/10/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Kristin, it's really simpler. It doesn't matter at all whether global warming is truth. What matters is industrial processes are inefficient and pollutive, and the reason for them being so pervasive is humans in developed nations are seduced by (material) luxury. Animals are very efficient and 'careful' with resources (and generally live well). A model for us to embody.
 

Re: How do you feel about politicized science? (Global Warming)
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

Actually, animals can be incredibly wasteful. Even bacteria can produce industrial-style catastrophes. Forensic pathologists are well aware of a condition in corpses called adipocera--conversion of fats into a smelly, soapy substance which bacteria find completely unpalatable. There's even a "soap lady" at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia--self-preserved for over a hundred and seventy years. And sometimes predators go on senseless killing sprees... Humans are part of nature, no better, not much worse, though (thank goodness) perhaps more self-critical.
 

Re: How do you feel about politicized science? (Global Warming)
Date: 10/16/2008
From: patrick
Location:

I'll specifiy. In certain conditions common to natural processes, some animals behave in very economical ways. Even if only a few weren't 'wasteful', they would still stand out as models. Regardless of the naturally occuring possibility of bacterial blooms, etc, the periods of sustenance that have occured before humans were a factor were far longer than recorded history. Nature in itself, however imperfect, has much to learn from.
 

Re: How do you feel about politicized science? (Global Warming)
Date: 11/10/2008
From: Richard Blaber.
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.

Global warming is real, and increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may lead to a positive feedback effect, causing yet more CO2 and CH4 to enter the atmosphere from clathrates, etc., and an exponential rise in temperature, as well as melting of the polar ice-caps and subsequent rise in global sea-levels.
This, in fact, may be the least of our worries: by 2045, according to the US Census Bureau, the planet's human population will have reached 9.1 billion. There will not be enough drinking water, food or energy to supply their needs, and global warming, with its effects on climate (flooding, droughts, etc.) will only exacerbate the problems.
Conflict, and large-scale death, are, I'm afraid, unavoidable. My great worry is that the mid-21st century could mark the H. sapiens extinction event!
 

Re: How do you feel about politicized science? (Global Warming)
Date: 11/11/2008
From: Greg Bear

And yet somehow--despite predictions of imminent disaster in the sixties and seventies--remember Rachel Carson and the Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich, etc.?--we manage to survive. Crises are what life is all about. Stability is an illusion. We'll solve these problems--we'll adapt and change. And if disaster is truly down the road, then having survived the human-caused paroxysms and cruelties of the twentieth century, we're certainly better prepared.

At least we have an administration in charge now that's willing to examine the problems and look for solutions.

Genetic Tech made cheap and easy

Date: 10/06/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

Just saw this over on Nature:

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081006/full/news.2008.1151.html

I'm guessing you might already be hip to this, or might not. But thought I needed to pass this on in regards to what you said you might be working on back at your San Diego Talk.
 

Re: Genetic Tech made cheap and easy
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

Progress! Very cool technology. I believe the next step in sequencing personal genomes will tell us the on/off or modified expression status of various genes--the epigenetic information, which is affected by environment and passed along to later generations. Could be crucial to undestanding whether or not genetic defects and diseases are relevant to the individual.
 

Re: Genetic Tech made cheap and easy
Date: 10/07/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

And this just in on bacteria, viruses and nanotech:

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081007/full/news.2008.1157.html
 

Re: Genetic Tech made cheap and easy
Date: 10/10/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Yes, we will all eventually be assimilated. I'm curious.
 

Re: Genetic Tech made cheap and easy
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

*Will* be?
 

Re: Genetic Tech made cheap and easy
Date: 10/16/2008
From: patrick
Location:

You saying we already have been? If so, I could see that, in that we always have been part of a biological phenomenon or what-have-you.

Or do you you mean is it certain?...in which case, I'm indicating I think it's highly likely there will be some kind of new entity at a mid level that we'll be components of.
 

Re: Genetic Tech made cheap and easy
Date: 10/16/2008
From: Greg Bear

Humans are social animals. We rarely get insight into the larger-scale vagaries of the larger social mind, but it surely affects us... And directs us. Why else do we have consciences and guilt?
 

Re: Genetic Tech made cheap and easy
Date: 10/24/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Dude. I don't. I think there are different levels of function and the one you mention is a lower level. Spiral Dynamics/Holonic theory, in it's basis, is a good description of this. (Although, I've found inconsistencies with Ken Wilber himself, and hence have appropriated useful devices from his output, leaving the rest.)

"Legacy"

Date: 10/05/2008 From: Patrick Kearney
Location:

Dear Mr. Bear: I am researching a collection of books in the British Library that have, for a variety of reasons been suppressed and withheld from the public. The Library also tends to discourage inquiries on the collection. One of the suppressed books in the collection is your novel "Legacy", which is stated to have been published in 1995 by a company in the UK called Legend. Would it be possible to for you to let me know, briefly and as your time permits, why the book
was sealed up and concealed from the public? Two other copies, dated 1995 and 1996, also published by Legend, are catalogued by the British Library in the normal way and are freely available. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Patrick Kearney.
 

Re:
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

I think I know the answer, and it has nothing to do with strangely mutating texts... or does it? The first pressing of the Legend edition of LEGACY is distinguished by lacking the last page of the novel. It was reviewed rather well despite the abrupt, avant garde conclusion! I'm impressed that the British Library has kept the incomplete volume in its collection, but under limited circulation. Later editions are complete.

City on the Edge of Forever

Date: 10/03/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach - staying for a while

Greg, I thought you might be amused by this, and maybe know about it. One of the first season Star Trek episodes, which I found looking for another a little bit later which I have a good deal of appreciation for, Darmok.

The synopsis is not exactly like another book we know of, but then there is 'The Guardian'. Interesting, don't you think?

I still often think of Mirsky. You created someone very real, there -- and then.... Quite one of those experiences, and thank you.

Best,
Roald

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/The_City_on_the_Edge_of_Forever_(episode)

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Darmok_(episode)
 

Re: City on the Edge of Forever
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

That's one of my favorite episodes of classic STAR TREK. Scripted of course by Harlan Ellison, who got a Hugo for this episode--but whose original screenplay was a bit heavier on drug use than the networks and producers wanted. Harlan just this week very kindly phoned to tell me how much he enjoyed my own CITY. His Guardian does indeed seem to have access to a very large library! I wonder if it's acquainted with Polybiblios?
 

Re: City on the Edge of Forever
Date: 10/07/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Harlan Ellison liked?!?!?!!!!!!!
Wow!
That's a major feather in CITY's cap!
I hadn't thought of CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER regarding your book...but I had recently viewed the remastered episode of ALL OUR YESTERDAYS, the penultimate episode of the Original series...with a world facing it's own end and escaping into the past.

And written by a Librarian

While doing research on that episode found that there had been TOS fiction with cross overs on Harlan's episode.

Wow...sorry...I'm still super jazzed for you that Harlan Ellison liked CITY AT THE END OF TIME.

Best news I've had all day.

Mike
 

Re: City on the Edge of Forever
Date: 10/09/2008
From: Greg Bear

Made my week, as well!
 

Re: City on the Edge of Forever
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles

The librarian in "All Our Yesterdays" is named "Mr. Atoz." A to Z...cute.

Time's up

Date: 09/30/2008 From: Stuart McMath
Location: Alet-Les-Bains, Aude, France

Enjoyed "City" very much, fantastic ideas and execution. I did notice the way your numerous chapters got shorter and shorter - Great fun! How did you resist, in the end, writing "The End" at the end?
 

Re: Time's up
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

Good question. I could have used the old reporter's termination for a story: 30!

Eon, Eternity, Legacy

Date: 09/25/2008 From: Michael
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Dear Mr. Bear,

First off I wish to thank you. I've very, very much enjoyed your work. I've read many of your books. Today I have a question about Eternity. I've so very much wanted to purchase this particular title in E-Book format, but have not found it available anywhere. Why has the publisher released Eon & Legacy, but not the end of this wonderful story, Eternity? I very much appreciate your time.

Thank you sir,

Michael
 

Re: Eon, Eternity, Legacy
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Greg Bear

I believe it's coming soon from e-reads, along with ANVIL OF STARS. Both are now available in mass market (Eternity) and trade paper from Tor books as well.

Enjoyed my first Greg Bear book!

Date: 09/25/2008 From: Mona Motz
Location: Cocoa, FL

Hi,

I just finished "Songs of Earth & Power". What a riveting book! Now I'm swapping this one, & ordering more on the paperbackswap.com site.

Just wanted you to know - you have a new fan!

Mona
 

Re: Enjoyed my first Greg Bear book!
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Greg Bear

Glad to hear it, Mona! Let us know what you think as you read along.

Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.

Date: 09/22/2008 From: Ian Smith
Location: 32n 64w - Apex of the Bermuda triangle

Mr. Bear,

I'm doing a little WWW research and your name popped up on a Google search.

In the early or mid '70s or so, I read a short story or novel in a pulp SF magazine (now long irretrievable) describing an event called "mortdieu".

It was a chaotic story, I was young at the time and quite frankly I remember only the concept and not the details or author.

In that spirit and as a departure, philosophically, I have always taken the position that time travel is impossible.

Our experience shows that the possible is not only probable, but given an infinity of forward time every possibility is a certainty. If time travel is possible, it will certainly happen, and so must certainly have happened. Or more simply, if you can go back, you will go back, and have gone back.

If that has happened, then all of time past and forward is meaningless. Just try to figure out the plot to the next "Back to the Future" sequel and you'll understand this argument. Every "leap" requires more "leaps" to correct the chaos a "leap" causes.

Time travel means entropy rules and all order must have already collapsed. The order or forces that make the universe as it is with continuity of time going forward and onwards for all of recorded and observable history simply could not be, if time travel is possible. All events proceeding in sequence and the existence that depends on them would have already collapsed to chaos. Existence dictates order, despite the state of my desk and office.

Not withstanding the temptation to make the humourous and emotive argument to the contrary, order does exist. There is causative action and resultant effect, proceeding in time sequence. Observation dictates this so, ergo, time travel is not possible.

Having said that, it creates a great side argument. With deference to Aristotle, everything has a cause, so there must be an ultimate cause. Causation is Godhood. This is good for one's self image. At times, I create order and so must be Godlike. At other times, I create chaos, so what does that mean? Am I anti-God like?

I concede that all of that a bit of a circular argument, but there's some meaning in there somewhere, isn't there?

Of course, the triumph of chaos may be a reality and our ability to notice may be one of the effects. Who really knows? ;7)

ALL SAID AND DONE - the point of my mail is the term, "mortdieu".

The connection of the idea of the death of God with the collapse of all order is a certainty philosophically. And of course, a leap of faith.

This discussion is a great fundamentalization of all distant forward prophecy, Nostradamus and Saint the John the Divine being examples. Their visions into the distant future turn chaotic and predict the end of time and the end of the world as we know it. Rhetorically, does that mean all prophets ultimately predict time travel, the collapse of order and the death of God? Somehow, I think so. If prophets are time travelers, they must always predict the end of time.

From that, I think that if there is a God he must be distant. If we could know His mind and predict what He has and will cause it can only be the His own death. If there is no order, He can not both "BE" and "NOT BE". Hence, we can not know the mind of God, or the future, but there must be a God because we have order and existence. The great "I AM". Does this sound familiar?

Was there any eloquence and elegance in that rambling at all?

MY REAL QUESTION -

Was it you who wrote this story in the '70s? Yours is the only name that I can find who has any reference on google to the term of "mortdieu".

Ian Smith
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Ian! I did indeed write that story. It's called "Petra" and it's available in a number of collections. As for time travel... my concern is that systems that acquire knowledge are like cooked eggs, chemically different, perhaps irreversibly so. Time travelers going back into the past may have to shed some of this change... How does that play into our energy concerns, or entropy? Now, might I introduce you to Michael Glosson...?
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Gentlemen:

A day or so after I wrote my long piece on CITY AT THE END OF TIME (posted here) I also flashed back to this story, which I first read in Omni in I think 1980 or 1981, which manifests one of the Themes of Observation in CITY, and wondered if this might be a "Gape" or "Terminus" event that hits Paris, or a version of Paris.

When God (or a sufficiently advanced observer filling in for God) stops looking, the "World" acts up. Then it's up to little watchers like you and me and that tree in the yard to take up the slack.

Thanks for thinking about it more deeply, as at this moment I see "Petra" now as one of the seed-myths for the current novel.

Mike Glosson
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 09/25/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Ian, two things:

- on a less significant note, check out Bernard Haisch's THE GOD THEORY. He's a current scientist and approaches things from that perspective....except, well, his main premise, which goes back to St. Anselm, etc. That for Man to have purpose, there must be some thing. This is clearly an issue of human insecurity. (I'm implying something here, personally. Heh.)

- more significantly, there is the question of: what defines order?
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Greg Bear

Some thing? Like, a higher being--or just an existing order?
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 09/26/2008
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose, CA

Great discussion.

Mr. Bear discusses systems that acquire knowledge. Perhaps 'god' or similarly powerful ... serves to make the multiverse a reversible system by storing the intermediate states in a highly hashed archive (a concept from computer science)[Jarts on speed?].

The loss of that 'god' could result in something like City's Chaos.

Okay, it's Friday, and I've headed off on a non-useful tangent.

My apologies.
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 09/28/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Sorry. Yeah, a being of some sort, an infinite consciousness. I mean, it ain't new. Fred Alan Wolf has him beat, though obviously the idea in it's essence is very old, but Haisch seems to argue from a standpoint of physics. The book is called The God Theory: universes, zero point fields, and what's behind it all. (I haven't beeen able to read much of it, or anything lately, fiction or no, cos I haven't been moved by anything I've picked up enough to continue it.)

However, I did mean needing anything conceivable that would equate to a purpose. Hell, just needing to have a purpose.
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

Indeed, could it be that the entire universe is the memory store for God?
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 10/06/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Well, as Wolf puts it, we are god, and rather than something modular or 'physical', he says that the universe is the conscious expression of us/it (invoking a certain 'circular' symmetry). (If I recall, this is concurrent with the Hindu tradition.)

Incidentally, rather than thinking of reality as a set of things, I think it's more appropriate to think of it as a set of conditions, 'things' being the embodiment of them. Hence, the following:

1. a 'neutral', non-anthropomorphic sense is enabled

2. further, different 'realities' (what seems 'real'; electronic 'virtual' worlds; imagination - actually, the oldest and so far best 'virtual reality') are equally 'real', yet differentiate in complexity.

3. all realities are simulations (Sorry Nick Bostrom)
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 10/10/2008
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Going from the universe as a data store for God idea:

First, I'll switch from God (capital "G") to creator (lowe-case "c") to take some of the baggage out.

Then I'll pre-suppose that I'm utterly incapable of conceiving the kinds of goals that a creator of multiple universes would have.

That leaves me with trying to guess what a creator of this scope would want to store in his data stores (the multiple universes).

Falling into the trap of using human limitations and analogies:
- It would seem that even a multiverse-creator wouldn't want to try to understand cause and effect via tracking the location and energy state of every particle in a universe.
- Just as we use visualization tools (like charts in a spreadsheet) to summarize and understand large data stores...
- Perhaps a creator would spin-off huge numbers of universes (each with slightly different physical laws or see configurations) to summarize cause/effect combinations in order to more perfectly attain it's end goals.
- To get a bit closer to the quantum mechanical view, would could imagine, naively, that a creator's goals are highly dynamic, and the multiple universes have to be continuously regenerated in vast numbers all the time.

As a side note, this would take the creator about as far away from the Judeo/Christian view of a personal God as I can imagine. We (humanity) would be just the most meaningless side effects of the smallest part of a single, immensely complex data model among an infinitely expanding set of data models.
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

Interesting variations here--but I see no reason to remove any conception of God from the mix. We are, after all, dealing with an entity we cannot begin to understand--either in motivation or capacity or capability! And I can vouch for a personal connection--not always obvious, but sometimes very obvious.
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Fair enough. Sounds like you may have experienced something like what you described in Darwin's children.
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 10/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

Yes--see elsewhere in this blog for discussions on that topic!
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 10/16/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Connection (or connexion) and interpretation of it aren't inherently commutative. Though the conception presented in DR was a vague sort, it was still anthropomorphically based.
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 05/18/2014
From: Ian Smith
Location: Bermuda

I had an email this evening, 2014-04-18, thanking me for my participation in this discussion. How or why I do not know. However, it DID happen after my posting, so must have been consequential from that post.

Apparently, some forms of time travel are possible! But only in a forward direction.

All said, I stand by my assertion that the invention of time travel signals the end of order, and the beginning of ultimate chaos. The end of cause and effect. Mortdeiu. The death of God.

We do not have chaos, despite certain localized evidence to the contrary. We have prevalent order. One thing DOES happen after the other. We do have continuity of timeline. Time travel (backwards) does not exist. If it did, time and cause and effect would all collapse. Chaos, as vividly described in Greg's story, would reign.

I credit Greg Bear with the BRILLIANT observation that if God dies, time and cause and effect end. The instant time travel is invented, all time and cause and effect become random. Time ends. Order ends.

Also, I credit Greg with the corollary that as long as cause and effect do exist, there is a God.

This is Aristotle grade brilliance, even if a little circular and perhaps derivative in argument.

Years after having raised the point, again, thanks Greg.

Time DOES go forward, in order, so God must still exixt. The death of all causation (God) would be the result if it did not. Coining the term "Mortdeiu" for the invention of time travel is a huge thing.

Run with that, Greg Bear.

:7)
 

Re: Mortdieu - collapse of order - death of god - end of the world as we know it.
Date: 05/23/2014
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Ian--will do. Meanwhile, please take a look at CITY AT THE END OF TIME, to carry on these explorations.

A Question about Darwin's Children.

Date: 09/18/2008 From: Lyra Loring
Location: Bradenton FL

Dear Greg Bear,

The first book I've read written by you is "Moving Mars." I picked it up because if we ever started a colonize effort on the planet I would volunteer. Although I realize now I'll be far too old by the time we are ready to do this. So I read what others think it will be like. I so love the characters in your book. Charles Franklin is my favorite. I've read it too many times to count. It is my favorite novel about Mars.

The next book I seen of yours was Darwin's Radio. Your premise is very interesting and I loved it immensely. Especially Kaye and how she chooses to become her own experiment. Unlike the Mars thing this is something I would not want to do myself.

When I was in the bookstore and saw Darwin's Children in hardcover no less I bought it right away. Poor Will, he so wanted to belong and he finally found his own kind and he couldn't fit in. It made me cry. Oh yes, my question about Darwin's Children is this, What happened with Christopher Dicken and the girl who was impregnated by her step-father? I know they were just allowed to leave the experimental labs and they walked off into the sunset but what happened to them after that? Is there a third book in the series and I just haven't seen it yet?

I just writing to let you know I really love your work and will look for more of it at the bookstore next time I go. It is such an inspiration for my own writing.

Your fan,
Lyra Loring
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words, Lyra! The possible follow-on novel is unlikely for the time being. The first two novels had a difficult publishing history here in the United States, and their publication was separated by a number of unnecessary years. During that time period, political crap here in the U.S. helped start a right-wing campaign against DARWIN'S CHILDREN on Amazon.com and elsewhere, which reduced sales. (Interestingly, by the time QUANTICO came out, two years later, that storm had passed--and QUANTICO received some quite good reviews from the right wing!) The third book may have to wait a while, and whether it's time will ever come remains to be seen.
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 09/26/2008
From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, La

Greg,
How does it work when your doing Follow ups(sequels)do you own the rights?

Also the right wing attempt of banning of books reminds me of Gov. Sarah Palin and here relations with so-called christian groups wanting to ban books in Alaskan library's. We had the same issues in the 90's in Ohio with Christian Political groups wanting protect their children by banning books like "A Wrinkle In Time" or Mark Twain's books. What is ironic is these are the same people who hate Muslim run states for the same attitudes and control over freedom of Speech.

I hope you able to write more of these books for no other reason than we need more independent voices/thought and less mind speak (Dragons and Vampires).

 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 09/29/2008
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose, CA

I'm really horrified to hear that getting your material published is influenced by this kind of inappropriately politicized garbage. I believe you are an artist of the highest order, and your works should be free of this sort of thing. And, oh yeah, I'm clearly a naive moron.

Best regards
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 09/29/2008
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose, CA

I'm really horrified to hear that getting your material published is influenced by this kind of inappropriately politicized garbage. I believe you are an artist of the highest order, and your works should be free of this sort of thing. And, oh yeah, I'm clearly a naive moron.

Best regards

P.S. Not sure what blog system you are using, but it appears to have a compatibility problem with Safari. It appears to accept Safari postings, but they do not show up on the site after.
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 10/01/2008
From: ryan
Location: cleveland, ohio

I didn't realize there was a right wing campaign against the two Darwin books. Too bad that doesn't help sell more copies. Like with music CDs.
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

The rights are mine for all sequels. As a kid, I attended some Pentecostal church services in Kodiak, Alaska... before Mrs. Palin was born! Nice people, great family, but far out of the mainstream with regard to first amendment rights and libraries.
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

All this was back when a lot of science fiction readers (and friends and relatives) went over to the Dark Side and Bush/Cheney. It's hard to believe, but bullying comments and anti-liberal hate mail filled my inbox and the web back then... Not so much now! I blame Grover Norquist for reaching out to so many libertarians. The culmination of this crap was when the National Review read my very conservative friend Jerry Pournelle out of the Republican party because of his opposition to both Gulf Wars. Jerry's rationale--the money spent on going to war would have been far better spent in research to make us energy independent... Sounds pretty savvy to me.

 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

Well, nobody actually tried to ban my books. By and large, those so inclined rarely read science fiction! Though they've gone after Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury and Madeline L'Engle often enough.
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Terran
Location: Winter Park, FL

Steven - The messages you posted are getting through just fine. There is a delay before they are posted because Greg reads and approves them first.

Best,
Terran (webmaster@gregbear.com)
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 10/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

And sometimes none too quickly! In the middle of committing novel...
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 11/17/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Hey! How about having Darwin's Children live through the events in Blood Music. Same world. Call it "DARWIN'S LASER."
 

Re: A Question about Darwin's Children.
Date: 11/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

Poor Mr. Darwin! He has so many interesting contraptions in his attic--and no idea what they are, except perhaps the bicycle...

A Fractured Eternity: Part III

Date: 09/15/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Warning and Disclaimer: The following may contain spoilers for the New Greg Bear Novel.

A Fractured Eternity: Meditations on Greg Bears Novel: CITY AT THE END OF TIME
Part III

Kalpa from the view of the Slums: The Bions of the Ancient Breeds. While waiting for CITY to hit Print and reading teasers about it had originally thought that the Ancient Breeds were full citizens and fully aware of their role in the conflict with the Typhon and the preservation of parts of History. Instead they were more like, and less, than the Ur-humans in BEYOND THE FALL OF NIGHT: they were not an extinct human species called back into life, but an inaccurate recreation of what Eidolons thought the original humans might be like, getting some of the details wrong. And they are not born, but are created/put together by a shaper, who individually crafts each and every one of them. The Child/Parent relationship in the Bions is somewhat like that of the Prior-Incarnation memory suppressed Instant Children in the CITY AND THE STARS version of Diaspar. After a million years Sexual Reproduction is just being introduced into the line, but for what reason? Nobody gets sick, and when they wear out the Bleak Warden robot comes and takes them away, painlessly shutting them down first. Their lives are narrow. They only exist to get to Nataraja, and be a gauge and bait for the Typhon/Chaos, as observers with the potential for multiple fates are something it cannot stand at all. For over half a million year of this artificially recreated lives of a basic humanity they have not known what their true reason for being was, and while Cherished by at least one Eidolon still pretty much relegated to the level of concern one might give to a smoke alarm in a modern home. One doesnt tell the smoke detector in the hallway the intricacies of Plotinus tri-level hypostatis, and thus the Ancient Breeds are equally in the dark about what they are for, why they exist at the feet of god-like beings.


Cats: Sminthians: Cats may be the only true naturally occurring Fate Shifters in the Cosmology of CITY. They have short life spans, fate lines that lay within the range of the probable and artificed fate lines of the Fate Shifters. As individuals they do not create great webs of cause and effect in events. As a species they create a buffering affect for humanity AGAINST any totally bad fates, as such a situation which would impinge on the way the like to live in the world, playing and hunting, and their hunting focused on the small things that tend to disrupt the large scale fates of humanity: things that eat the human food supply and things that eat at books, where humans store records of their actual time and their probably/possible time (fictions)


Collectors: Cancers...no&.Chancers&..an interesting Freudian slip on my part, as they are agents several degrees removed of the Typhon, such as this progression: Typhon: Chalk Princess: The Moth: Whitlow: Max Glaucus. The Un-natural predators of Fate Shifters. Chancers appear to be naturally occurring. Good at games of chance. Sought as subcontractors/hunters by the Chalk Princess and her minions. While Fate Shifters can hop from probability to probability often jumping or jaunting across world lines, and seem somewhat aimless in their abilities, Chancers force probabilities down fixed paths, narrowing choices for whatever optimum they seek. There are never any old Fate Shifters, they are always young, Chancers end up being singled out by the Power that Want To Be and having their lives, their fate lines, artificially extended, as if the entire process of forcing luck, which narrows down and eliminates possibilities, makes them a potential aspect of the Chalk Princesss function for the Typhon: Narrowing down fate, erasing other stories, getting the universe down to one track, which the Typhon can then more easily dispose of and do whatever it wants to do

The Shen, the Neckless Worlds, the Sixty Green Suns. An homage to the Green Suns in the Skylark Novels? In a way Polybiblios is a descendant of the Super Scientist Dick Seaton from the Skylark Novels, who travelled back to the cluster of Green Suns from the first Skylark novel to find a higher civilization to teach him how to use higher order forces in regards to a)his endless quest for knowledge about the physical universe and b) in dealing with threats to all civilized life from his personal foe and the Fenachrone, and finally studying with the Forlamin: who like the Shen are willing to teach, but dont want to get directly involved in the conflict. Not sure if this is a conscious homage, but in a personal conversation in 1980 Greg Bear and I discussed some of the aspects of the Skylark Books, specifically the computing power necessary for Dick Seaton to make a map of all the galaxies in the Universe. So at some point it is highly probable that he read the Skylark novels, enough to be conversant on them.


The Librarian/ Polybiblios. Left to study with the Shen. A Ptah like being in some ways, an artificer. Some legends of Ptah portray him as the maker of the universe, instead of the Birth of the Sun out of the primal waters. Went to study with the Shen and learn their techniques and took the tech with him, also made/found Ishanaxade, recognizing her as one of the original/primal witnesses of the Universe, a reconstructed muse taking human form. He comes up with the Scheme of the Sum-Runners, which contain Babels, though they are partial. Three of the partial Babels would make a complete, four would seal the deal. They had been traveling forward in time summing up history, various histories, as they went along. Their partial Babels may also be replicated in Kalpa and the Broken Tower. So the books/call numbers for the Fate Shifters may actually be inside the sum-runners as well. Fate-shifters have library call numbers, catalog numbers. The Babels are happier versions of Borges Library of Babel, where valid books are constantly found and celebrated. Fit in minicosms the size of a grain of sand. Fit in the red stone of the Sum-Runners? While the number of volumes is vast in a Babel, it is not infinite. Nothing Infinite can be in the Babel, such as pi: anything that is infinite has to be represented by an equation or formula, which are factories of the Infinite.
How many hundreds were sent back? How many called their avatars into existence from either unfulfilled possibilities or their own imposed story of a fate shifter? How many were drained and frozen in the fate mire in Nataraja? A question that came to mind a little bit on my first read, and more on my second, was IS Bidewell an aspect of the Librarian? Some kind of Avatar like his Angelins? But based on a Fate-Book and called into existence. His perpetual use of one of the prime catch phrases of The Librarian Not to be known is highly suggestive of a relationship between the two, even though Bidewell worked, for a time, for the Chalk Princess, who comes to collect him after Terminus.



Incursions by the Chaos/Typhon into Kalpa & the Slow weirding-out and eventual total reality break down of Present Day: Seattle. Are these two Cities tied together via the 3(4) Sum-Runners, or is there a deeper connection: That Seattle is the ancestral seed-city of Kalpa? When the Typhon via Kali/The Chalk Princess Gapes Seattle away from its past, and it comes crashing into the End of Time, the final assault on Kalpa succeeds. Before this event the Reality Generators, especially the ones in the Defenders around Kalpa, have been beginning to fail: Chaos/Typhon generates incursions into Kalpa, specifically aiming at the Ancient Breeds in the Bions. Since the Typhon also travels backwards in time these incursions are what is being felt in Seattle and its world as the appearance of Cryptids and Lazarids, and unlikely books. Bidewell bunkered down in his Green Warehouse full of books both valid and invalid echoes that of The Librarian in the Broken tower with his incomplete Babels. It is only AFTER Seattle is torn loose from time that Kalpas reality generators begin to finally fail, and the CITY falls before the Typhon, with the root of its past now coeval with itself in the present: If Seattle had landed side by side with Kalpa the entire identical particle information exchange seen with the three fate shifters and those trapped in the Fate Mire would occur.

A word or two regarding the prose found in the novel: Eventually I will have to buy a second copy to mark up, as my first Edition First Printing Personalized Signed copy is far too valuable as it is to do the massive underlining of the forest of gem-prose that composes this novel; passages, sentence I want to commit to memory as I have A.E. Housman poems. There are descriptions of the resurrection of the universe by intelligent life after the Heat-Death of The Bright Era that I want to memorize for their beauty of word play alone, poetic in intensity. The authors projection into the head space of the Fate Shifters and descriptions of what it is like to see and shift thru possible outcomes takes the old Science Fiction concept-prop of Alternate/Parallel words and breathes life and intimacy into them, giving time and possibility the raw rub of the real. An entire paper regarding the prose could easily be written, as it goes from these poetic heights to fast paced action/horror prose smoothly and continuously. Unlike a Durrell novel where a reader can become drowned in beautiful prose Bear pulls us back time and time again with more advances in the action. That has been one of his strongest skills as a writer, going back to his first novels: gripping the readers attention and keeping it, with challenging ideas, engaging action and drama, and over the decades a steadily maturing and flowering (but not flowery!) prose that appears to hit its stride, only to be overshadowed by another novel years down the road.
And like any great work of fiction or Science Fiction, the mysteries are revealed one by one, the anticipation of discovery a constant thru-out the book.
Structurally there are ample entry-ways into the novel for readers from various age groups. The 20 Something Fate Shifters and their dreaming counter parts in the Ancient Breeds allow instant identification for readers under thirty, while the philosophical depth of the novel drags in the mature intellect and traps it within the pages, like flies in amber of deep thought, and at the other end positive and active characters of late middle age, to senior, to timeless/immortal give a linking point for readers working into the second half of their first century of life.
This may be Greg Bears Dune, but instead of putting him on the Map, it may secure his importance down the decades, if not centuries. But unlike Dune, there doesnt appear to be the possibility of a sequel?

Or is there? Many events happen off camera in CITY: Ellen and Bidewell being collected by the Chalk Princess&we see them come together, but we cut away before they are whisked away to the fate mires or other prison states in Nataraja. The disposition of the four sum-runners: again we cut away at the penultimate moment and do not see jack actually put the final third and/or forth Sum Runner in the mount, asking Ginny to make the decision. Was just the proximity of the four Sum-Runners at the CRUX all that was needed to keep the universe from completely collapsing? Did Jack follow Ginnys unheard advice? Since the universe DOES NOT collapse to complete nothing, is the Typhon truly dead at the paws of the Cats/Sminthians, or can it come back? Is the death of The Typhon remembered? Sangmer/Daniels quest regarding Ishanaxade and Mnemosyne: does he actually give her the glass fragment of the Muse? How many times how many great loops have Sangmer/Daniel and Ishanaxade/Mnemosyne done this? And that one fragment of Mnemosyne that Daniel had carried from the middle room of the three rooms: it appears in the bookstore in Ginnys Conjured up Thule, then disappears&and why was there an interim subcreation of the fictive island of Thule for the Fate Shifters, while Brahma awakes?
There also is a feel that there could be enough historical/prequel material for a book regarding Fate Shifters and Collectors set in the modern era and preceding centuries, something of a hidden and secret history of the world. The Story of Bidewells discovery of the nature of fate, of persistence and forgetfulness, of his rebellion against the Chalk Princess and his resolve to fulfill the plan of the Librarian, deserves a novel of its own, a great and gripping story of temptation, damnation, resoluteness, redemption and rebirth.

Items not addressed here: The Menders and Shapers of Kalpa and their long vigil and caretaking of the Ancient Breeds. The Witches of East Lake recruited by Bidewell and their life books. The number 1298, and perhaps many more items. Someday&

Notes toward the 25th Anniversary Collectors Edition: Time Scales and Magnitudes at the back of the book, like those found in the back of Stapledons Last and First Men and Star Maker A possible glossary of terms: or is it a glossary of the terms of the possible? More Maps: Early 21st Century Seattle; the upper towers of Kalpa; the various realms in the Chaos in the original positions. A Diagram of the layout of a Babel.

And who or what was/is/will be The Witness? When first encountered in the Prelude, the great head with the eye that turns round and round, its dreadful light sweeping the lands around Kalpa and the Window of the Broken tower. Instead of thinking of Saurons Flaming eye and search light beam from Peter Jacksons Film of Lord of the Rings it flashed me back to a nightmarish vision I had in December of 1981, having fallen asleep on the living room couch sick one evening&finding myself in a state of expectant non-existence on a chaotic plane: at the center of which was a tower with a search light&the only things that were real were where the search light touched for a time&in that brief time I had a chance to either fight chaotic beings or make head way toward the tower, or both. Inside the tower reality was perpetual, outside it was temporary&but in those unlighted times of non existence there was still existence&and it always seemed an eternity before the beam came around again. Is the Witness Sangmer? A muse? The head of Mnemosyne? How the Typhon Experiences the Universe of Observers?
 

Re: A Fractured Eternity: Part III
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for your excellent in-depth ruminations, Michael. Looks like you "got" the book at near the 100% level! On rare occasions, writers encounter their "perfect" readers, and you may well be one of mine. (And I am indeed a fan of Smith and his Skylark novels. First read "Skylark of Space" when I was twelve years old!)
 

Re: A Fractured Eternity: Part III
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Hi Greg!

Glad you liked it! It also helps that you were writing about a "Shared Core Myth". In Essense, you were writing CITY for anyone else who is haunted by the last human habitat on Earth, and dreams of Stapledonian histories of Billions of Billions of Years.

And it's still bouncing around in my head. Two days ago I finally finished reading THE NIGHT LAND, which I will now bring back with me on my third read of CITY next year. Not an easy book, and about the same length as CITY...those last fifty pages were worth all the work.

Four hours later I wrote 2200 more words about Fate Shifters...

"See you" around the Concourses of Diaspar and the Babels of Kalpa.

Mike
 

Re: A Fractured Eternity: Part III
Date: 07/20/2014
From: Ken
Location:

I recently reread C/ET and, despite taking it slower this time, and reading this blog, am still not sure on some items. Kindly excuse my ignorance.

The Chalk Princess had both Jack and Ginny in her grasp, but let them both go. How come? I missed the part about Bidewell working for the CP, BTW. And then, poor, dumb, waspy Penelope is snatched for some unknown transgression.

So the breeds were bait for the Typhon, sent out despite the City Princes knowing that Nataraja had already fallen. Why was Tiadba spared when the other marchers weren't? (nightmares of giant centipedes with flaming mandibles!)

It seemed that the Typhon was just some blind force, infinite, and then just before it got shredded, it became sentient and (extremely) finite.

I missed where Daniel acquired the 4th sum-runner.

Loved the Witness, but not sure at all what it represented, or whether it was sentient (suggested that it was.)

That ought to do for Pass 1.
 

Re: A Fractured Eternity: Part III
Date: 08/10/2014
From: Greg Bear

Excellent questions, Ken! Let me know how you fare in pass 2 (and thanks for your courage and persistence!)

A Fractured Eternity: Part II

Date: 09/15/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Warning and Disclaimer: The following may contain spoilers for the New Greg Bear Novel.

A Fractured Eternity: Meditations on Greg Bears Novel: CITY AT THE END OF TIME
Part II



The Nature of Time: Time as a tactile dimension&the feel, smells, and taste of time, probable states and possible worlds. Severing world lines. The Temporal Horror of Terminus, when world lines are severed from both past and future. The ultimate reality breakdown at the human and street level&Is the present day truly the past of the far future or just a segment of a probable past being sampled and preserved for the future against the depredations of The Typhon. The profound insight that Dark Matter is just stuff waiting to happen: congealed probabilities of possible worlds, alternate realities, generating their own gravity with their phantom mass of unexpressed events.
Time as experienced by the fate shifters: they can only go laterally cross world lines, not physically up or down&but they can feel there way a few moments ahead into the future, pick the best or desired possible path, or with Ginny, the wrong paths&and was that her, or her sum-runner nudging that choice? None of the fate shifters seemed to be able to look back into the past of event, or probable pasts: is this due to the fact that their pasts are fabrications, and in a world without Mnemosyne to balance the books of fate people often forget them as well?
This one aspect of the fate shifters and their relation to time and possibility is the other major difference between their view of time and fate, and my own attempts at modal thinking. In my line of work I often have to reconstruct events that lead to the current situation, and in reconstructing them, I project several possible past path-ways to the current nexus; in looking back and eliminating improbable pasts I find a way to the optimal solution for the present problem and toward an optimal future outcome. Fate Shifters appear to be past-blind other than their own spurious personal memories.


Beyond the Stapledonian Cosmic Vista: The Trillennium and resurrection of the spent universe of the Bright Era as the 500 Living Galaxies. But what about the original dying universe, the smoldering suns, run down white dwarfs, black dwarfs, neutron stars, quark stars, black holes in various sizes, the expanding voids and the clumping clusters. The last free hydrogen in the universe. This far future history begins were Stapledons universe pretty much ends&a resurrection of artificial stars, living galaxies, new sources of energy, in a universe where the effects of proton decay have already started to take effect.
Just how long is the Trillennium? An era not quite as long as a Quadrillion Years? (1000 Trillion) this could even be pushed out to 900 Trillion years, even 999 Trillion and still stay in the fourteen zeroes range. Olaf Stapledon might have been intrigued with the possibilities of the universe being brought back into fruition, with an Era of History that surfaced anything that occurred during the Ages of Nebula, Stars and Galaxies and Planets. A hole future history of getting more bang for your buck out of an otherwise dead cosmos. A rebirth. A Resurrection, and again, a period significantly longer than the nature life of the Universe.
The entire episode of the Mass Wars even as the depredations of the Typhon are consuming the universe&showing that matter is unstable or rare and forced conversions to Nootic matter, with primordial matter being cherished, often in a ritual context. The ancient breeds being constructed out of a horde of traded primordial matter, as matter has multiple fate possibilities in contrast to nootic forms being optimized for the best possibilities.

.


Sangmer and Ishanaxade: an inversion of the myth of Osiris and Isis. The Shen gathered her from across the remains of the living galaxies, and Polybiblios/The Librarian gave her form&and incarnation&but she was not quite complete. And Like Osiris she wanders out into the realm controlled by Apophis/Typhon and becomes trapped, with Sangmer having to travel thru back to the origin and then forward looking for the missing piece of Ishanaxade, like Isis searching to this day for the Phallus of Osiris. Ishanaxade, who was collected fragment by fragment by the Shen over trillions of years of time across the 500 living galaxies and then given shape by Polybiblios in his matter based immortal form. While she is composed of the fragments of Mnemosyne that had gotten bored and distracted in a universe where creation had stopped but observers still existed, her recreation is also somewhat artificial.
Her name sounds to me like a combination of Ishtar and Vanamonde: while Vanamonde was the second and successful attempt at creating a pure mentality in Clarkes Diaspar/Lys mythos, his secondary reason for being created was as a corrective to the Mad Mind, as expanded upon by Benford from Clarkes hint; the Ishtar aspect for me comes from the myth of her descent into the Underworld, giving up her powers bit by bit at each gate, finally finding herself naked and chained to a wall, at which all sexual activity (procreation-creation) on earth ceases, and Asu-shu-namir is created to go and rescue her and re-store her to her powers, he has no balls. Yet in corrupted Nataraja she is kept alive to remember and ask if any have seen Sangmer. As the avatar of Mnemosyne she is still incomplete, and part of her may be split off as the Chalk Princess/Our Livid Mistress/Kali:
A part of Ishanaxade/Mnemosyne that has been corrupted and perverted by the Typhon. In light of this the function of Vanamonde in Clarkes myth would be much like Mnemosyne, since Vanamonde remembers everything that has really happened&but in remembering, since he is pure mentality, is he also ensuring the time line against alteration? If Vanamondes memory were changed, would history also change? With Mnemosyne sick, senile, schizophrenic, or scattered she is not remembering the universe properly.

Books in real time: Books mutating slightly or grandly. Books coming into existence that shouldnt be, such as 12 volume sets of the works of fictional characters. Bookstores and Libraries. The dissolving of the ink in the books of the Library after Seattle slams into Terminus. The Life Books of the Witches of Eastlake provided by Bidewell, and told that they should never be opened, all with 1298 on the spines. Life Books that survive the scrambling of books with Seattle slams into Terminus and is bereft of both future and past, all becomes a horrible Now

Books in the Bions and on the March: A secret need to know and go in all the Ancient Breeds, the books found after searching the fake volumes along the shelves above the fiftieth floor of the Bions give them a sense that they finally have an idea of what they are and whats going on, but are used to actually program them to the true nature of the March out into the Chaos to Nataraja, the return of Sangmer to find lost Ishanaxade, the bringing of the two together to restart the Witnessing and Correcting aspect of creation: something that goes totally counter to the nature of The Typhon. For the read of CITY this gives us a bridge back into the History of the Trillennium and more specifically the history of Ishanaxade, her role as a recovered and reconstructed muse, and Sangmers various quests to find her: the first unconscious as an aspect of his quest to bring back Polybiblios to save earth, then following her out into the Chaos to find her in Nataraja, then going back to the beginning of things and hijacking at least one, if not two sum-runners and the Fate-Shifters that shepherded them.

More on the background Myths: 100 Billion Years of Brahmas creative activities:

The traditional Big Bang theory predicts a "lepton desert" at the end of time, whilst the Oscillating Universe predicts a far more exciting compression. Now imagine what will be left of our world (a cold dwarf of a sun with the dead planets around - unless the Solar System gets engulfed by then in a nearby galactic chasm, of course) compress into a semblance of a black hole!

And so goes modern Scientific Dogma regarding the end of days. Brahmas creative activities throw that off more than a little: A combination of the Big Bang with a short term (100 Billion years) steady state creation process as well. This will raise the specter of Intelligent Design with some more scientifically conservative readers, such as that one attendee at Greg Bears San Diego talk on August 20th, 2008 who asked him directly if he believed in intelligent design.
The problem of implied creative/intelligent design in regards to the Universe: While most proponents of this pseudo science have an emotional need that they themselves (humans) were directly created by someone/thing/god, etc, it has been my experience that they cannot reconcile that emotional and philosophical need with the Stapledonian Myth of The Creator and His Works, generating Universe after Universe out of his being until he makes the best one&a transfinite series of creations. And within that Myth, it is has proven impossible for people like that to wrap their minds around the possibility that the Star Maker, in setting up the laws and conditions of this universe, built in the whole process of evolution to result in a wide variety of self-aware beings like ourselves: that humans (and other forms) are a built in pattern of the universe itself. My favorite finger print of the Star Maker is the Carbon Atom, and how easily it links up with other atoms into long chain molecules. As if it were designed at the quark level to be the building block for self replicating and evolving patterns in an energy rich universe.

But only in moments when I think about the possibility reality of Stapledons Star Maker.

The 100 Billion Creative Years of Brahma and the Muses and their observational tasks is a more modern casting of Stapledons Star Maker, with the Muses being a built aspect of the Universe, a transintelligent reconciling aspect that needs to be before actual observers arise/evolve out of the conditions of the Universe. The Sleep of Brahma: Brahma stops creating, the Muses catch up on their work, then end up unemployed, as there are Quadrillions of naturally arisen observes in the universe, and like many of the unemployed, go to seed as it were.
Kali ruling from the frozen lake at the center of Nataraja, the lake being also Mnemosyne? Kali as the Chalk Princes/Our Livid Mistress: Kalis name meaning time. Kali as a broken aspect of Mnemosyne? This may be another aspect of Stapledons myth of the Star Maker: The Creator and His Works. While there may have been a Big Bang/Inflation event that started the universe, there was also a period of 100 Billion years while Brahma was creating things in toto: Fully developed Galaxies Popping into Existence with Stars at various stages of development, but lacking their pasts. The Muse, especially Mnemosyne, would then have to reconcile the universe so that such Instant Complete Galaxies with Developed Civilizations would be consistent with the rest of the universe, in essence weaving up a past for them. In the Kali aspect, items that just did not fit or be persistent would have their pasts removed and they would fade away.
This sometimes happened on the Human level, which first brought Bidewell into the entire game of Chancers, Fate-Shifters and the Chalk Princess. When Brahma ceased creating after 100 Billion Years&as detailed above.
According to Hindu Mythology The lifespan of Brahm is 100 Brahm years or 311 trillion,40 billion human years. At the end of his lifespan, there is a gap of 100 Brahm years after which another Brahm or creator begins anew and the process is repeated forever. In the Universe of City Brahma went to Sleep after 100 Billion years of creative activity. The Final Conquest of the Typhon over the universe, the final push, happens 100 Trillion (approximately) after the heat death of the universe, i.e the Stelliferous Era during the resurrection of spent universe into the Trillennium&so the events of city may be somewhere about 611,080,000,000,000 after the big bang&more half way to the Quadrillionth Birthday of the Universe, in what would otherwise be the overlap of the Black Hole and Degenerate Eras.
With the activation of the Three (or Four) sum-runners together does this awaken Brahma to creation, or create a whole new Brahma? And this time, right from the beginning, a reconstructed and reconstituted Mnemosyne/Ishanaxade is there to keep the new universe, creation consistent.

A Fractured Eternity: Part I

Date: 09/15/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

A Fractured Eternity: Meditations on CITY AT THE END OF TIME: part I.
Warning and Disclaimer: The following may contain spoilers for the New Greg Bear Novel.
A Note on this stochastic analysis: It was original written over a period of several days after my second reading of CITY, the first time I have ever re-read a new novel so close after the first reading. The only experience that comes close was reading Arthur C. Clarkes rewrite of AGAINST THE FALL OF NIGHT as THE CITY AND THE STARS two weeks after reading the first version. Apropos, as both those novels fall into the Dying Earth/End of Time/Stapledonian Vista that CITY AT THE END OF TIME may in-fact crown. I just started reading THE NIGHT LANDS, by William Hope Hodgson a few days ago: this novel which was slowly slipping into an out-of-print state strongly influence Greg Bears vision of what lays around Earths Final City, and in a few of the post publication talks he has stated that parts of CITY are a homage to Hodgsons work.

I will wait a year before a third reading of CITY AT THE END OF TIME, and read more Hodgson, who is still new to me&though his writing career was cut short 90 years ago by WWI: in battle.
A Fractured Eternity:
Meditations on Greg Bears Novel: CITY AT THE END OF TIME

Mike Glosson
September 8, 2008
Present time.

100,000,000,000,000
10,000,000,000

The Genre of the End of Time: The future determines the past, drowning in the past: where does this subgenre go from here, as this may be the capstone. I had originally hoped that CITY AT THE END OF TIME would completely Say it all about this subgenre; instead it has taken that interest in stories about the Dying Earth, about what happens at the end of the Universe, complete with a Stapledonian Meta-Span of Far Future History, and inflamed it to Hyper-Nova or Quasar brightness. Other stories may still be written about events in this distant Epoch, but Greg Bear has, as he often does, set the Bar transfinitely high with this novel. It will be decades before another word-triathlete comes close to approaching grand effort&no&this Great Work!
CITY AT THE END OF TIME fulfills the function of any work of Great Literature, be it Science Fiction or Main Stream: it makes the reader see the world in a whole new light, from looking closer at the day to day and seeing it deeper or the big-picture of the totality of things, brining it all down to a human an intimate level. Not only having the power to stay with the reader as a new and persistent myth, while being entertained and challenged along the way, but to also induce changes in the reader in his or her attitude toward the world and what is or is not important.
Following are some of my thoughts regarding aspects of THE CITY AT THE END OF TIME. They are nowhere near exhaustive; as it is my opinion that this novel could easily become the subject matter of a PhD Thesis, either on its own, or how it relates to the various Subgenres it arises out of. Subjects are presented in a stochastic manner, somewhat analogous to the structure of the novel. At times, after two readings, I often feel like one of the blind men and that pesky elephant&


Fate Shifters: Are they just a function of the Sum-Runners? Are there natural unconnected Fate Shifters, not involved in the sum-runners quest to sample the various time lines that lead to Kalpa? Other than Cats (See below). Current Humanitys shedding unused fates in dreams. In dreams we examine the paths we did not take, catalog them, then push them aside.
What about Fate Surfers? The incredibly lucky, who generally find the optimum wave of probabilities, but do on occasion a) sit on a glassy stretch or b) go thru a wipe out. Ultimate free will or ultimate determinism? Would a Fate Surfer be more like a Chancer? (See below)
Reading these sections, especially the passages where the fate-shifters were thinking or experience possibilities were incredibly spooky: as someone else had also given thought as to what being consciously aware of the transinfinite possibilities of life. But my own thoughts and sensation about modal experience and possibilities a small and impoverished version of what the Fate Shifters experience. While on occasion I have moved thru life contemplating the various outcomes of events as I have experienced them, working toward the most optimum outcome for the events, yet those efforts were nothing like the feeling ahead of world lines consciously experienced by the fate shifters
Are all fate shifters just avatars/agents of the sum-runners? Could other people consciously shift fates? We only experience the fate shifting abilities of the three in the Novel, all of which have Sum-Runners, and all of whom discovered their abilities once the Sum-Runners became their property. Perhaps, a few centuries down the road, modern humanity may on its own become consciously aware of the infinite possibilities of events, and learn to fate shift.
Chancers appear to be natural manipulators to probability, making events fall one way or the other. Fate shifters can actually perceive possibilities, can feel out possible worlds. Time has texture. Time-Fate is almost a character all its own&a character that is dying. Fate shifters, as we are only presented with three active, and history of others that have been caught and stored else-when.
Are Jack and Ginny typical? Both appear aimless, and did not have the ability to fate-shift until the sum-runners came into their possession. It is assumed that their parents could also fate shift, if the past that contains their parents is actually real, or if they were sifted out of the probabilities by the sum-runners themselves they are nearly new born, though appearing to be young adults. No real goals in life or life goals.
Ginny always (almost) makes the wrong choices, shifts to the wrong set of possibilities and major junctures, her constant turning left& though she can feel ahead for lethal possibilities. Jack just appears to be marking time, juggling both objects and fates, round and round and round, but never really getting anywhere.
Daniel/(Sangmer) is much more conscious about what he is doing, and appears to have a goal&to keep ahead and get away from progressively degenerate fates, but each time he jumps his memory of the last major strand start to fade. Originally jumping between different versions of Daniel, he goes way out into Charles Granger&and while in that same line hops into his sisters husbands body while in the same strand. And he has two sum-runners, his and Grangers&and somehow dragged the second with him on his biggest jaunt. Of the three Fate Shifters hes given it the most thought, and understands the physics/philosophy of it all&had toyed with goals of love and fortune, but couldnt live such fates, so just kept trying to jump ahead. Also known as the black shepherd, he has no call number, no book in the Babel. Daniel has the most angst about what he is and what he does.
While the fate shifters are modern times characters, they may be the most alien people in the book, in some ways not really human. Fate shifters can never be too old or mature, as such states of being imply History, roots, connectivity with many other lives and fates, a grid work of history that clogs up possibilities down certain paths that can happen and cannot happen. To be young, but not too young, is to have the freedom of multiple fates, not weighed down by the entanglements of personal and interpersonal history&in the larger web of entanglement of a cultural epoch.
Cities and People at the End of Time: Kalpa, Eidolons, Ancient Breeds, Nataraja, Menders and Shapers. The Quest across the Chaos.
Kalpa is the Sanskrit word for AEON, eon, long period of time. A slight nod to the title of the first novel about THE WAY and Thistledown? In Hinduism a Kalpa is equivalent to 4.32 Billion Years, or a Day (and only the day part of it) of Brahma. See below for the myth of the creator.
Nataraja is the name of the dancing posture of the Hindu God Shiva, the destroyer, and the last city on Earth that tried to take on the Typhon without the protection of Reality Generators. It is where Ishanaxade went to upon her exile from Kalpa. Before its corruption by the Typhon, Nataraja may have been more Diaspar-Lys than Kalpa ever was, with Kalpa being Diaspar-Borges Country: an inward turned city of godlike beings lost in the labyrinths of their own distracting pleasures.
When Nataraja is corrupted by the Typhon it becomes more like DIS, the City inside of Hell. Nataraja and its surrounds, especially the Vale of Dead Gods, resembles a cross between the Tartarus of Greek Mythology with the Titans chained up/frozen as statues, and Dantes Inferno&especially with the lake of ice at the centre. While thousands, if not millions of Ancient Breeds have set off for Nataraja, maybe only 100 ever got actually into the city, and were immediately imprisoned in corruption, while those who never got that far are stuck in an endless loop of trying to get there.
Kalpa: In many ways a lesser Diaspar. Hundreds of miles high, it has turned nearly completely inward, with only one window in the broken tower of the Librarian that looks out, and sees and feels the stark searchlight of the Witness. An Echo of the Tower of Lorraine in Diaspar where Alvin looked out upon the Desert and the Universe? The City has inbound reality generators, and an outer ring of Defenders that hold back the Chaos caused by the incursions and attacks of the Typhon. All but perhaps two of the Eidolon level citizens studiously ignore the Chaos, the Typhon, and the outside world, lost in their endless dreams made real and infinite pleasures, and various levels of being as well, mostly nootic in nature, or similar/different non baryonic forms of substance while primordial matter with its abilities to have multiple and chaotic fates as rare amoeba teeth, often used in ritual exchanges: the main store of it used to incarnate the Menders, Shapers, Ancient Breeds and their Environs.
The Ancient Breeds are not true citizens of Kalpa, not in any-way godlike or super-futuristic; instead they are an attempted recreation of earlier forms of humankind, with the ability to shed fates in their sleep via dreams, and being made of matter they have the potential to have non-optimized fates and are better suited to deal with the Chaos/Typhon head on. The fate of the Universe, and the rebirth of the universe, is caught up in basic human interpersonal drama between the Prince of the City, who represents the majority of the will of the Citizens of Kalpa who want to go about their infinite pleasures and dramas and IGNORE the end of the universe (much like Moorcocks Dancers at the End of Time, but with an Advocate more basically drama-stupid than Lord Canaria) and the Librarian/Polybiblios, who wants to activate completed Babels and restart the Universe, wiping out the Typhon and what little bit is left at the same time.

The Typhon: failed and failing god? In classic Greek Mythology Typhon was the last child of Gaia via Tartarus&before that all generative creation was between her and Uranus. Typhon sought to displace Zeus, but was defeated. Typhon was also the most monstrous monster who ever monstered: over a hundred heads, hideous, big big big. In the CITY Mythos he may be the universes last attempt at a God, but the universe too worn out to produce any more properly, so The Typhon ends up being Against the Universe. Or is it just a Metaphysical cancer of space time, when the Vacuum goes false and sinks to a lower state? Or the Typhon as an Avatar of the Big Rip? With 14 Zeroes&this could be anywhere from 200 Trillion to 900 trillion years from now. With Space/Time itself stretched thin. The Typhon appeared late in the Trillennium.
Was it an intrusion from another universe? A baby universe being born into the old abortively, or like a wasp larva injected into the universe to feed? The Typhon can also move backward in time as well as outward in space. Did it actually come from a later era in the universe? After the Black Hole Era? Or from the Degenerative Era? Being Born at the true end of the universe, the Dark Era, when only lonely electrons and positrons exist, encounter each other maybe once in a trillion year, briefly form an atom of positronium, then annihilate into gamma rays&photons with wave lengths the size of galaxies move across what is left of the universe? Or was the Typhon a response of the Universe to the resurrection that intelligent life conducted after the heat-death known as the end of The Bright?
Its front wave when it encounters the universe warps things instead of totally annihilating things. But beyond the leading front all becomes nothingness.
A broken and failed god. Hostile not just to matter, but to being observed, to other minds. To the Universe. To Time itself.
Beyond Clarkes original concept of the Mad Mind, the pure intelligence hostile to matter, and Benfords re-imaging it first as a Magnetic Mentality driven insane by the manipulations of incarnate intelligence, then again as the Malign. On the Typhon: Reprogramming Virus vs. Lysis-Destructor Virus, The Typhon like a Space/Time Cancer, eating away at the universe in 5+ Dimensions. Killer Flu or AIDS vs. Ebola on a cosmic level, corrupting and rupturing. Final Sin, traveling back from the total end and wiping out the beginning.

The Word

Date: 09/09/2008 From: Jimmy Kinchloe
Location: Houston

Hello Greg.

I expect that you are quite busy right now and perhaps a little tired but I just had to type a line or two.

I finished CITY AT THE END OF TIME last night and was stunned as I returned it to it's place on my bookshelf. I still am.

I judge that you have shown us much of your heart and soul in crafting such an elegant work of art. If this were your very last book I would not be surprised. (But I hope not!)


Thank you for writing it.

Jimmy
 

Re: The Word
Date: 09/09/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jimmy. I believe there is a collector outside my door right now... someone is dangling a first edition of THE NIGHT LAND in front of my window... Be right back...

Story in you-form?

Date: 09/09/2008 From: Vorkbaard
Location: Netherlands

Hi Greg, another question. (I'm not going to bother you with all of my questions because I'd rather have you writing new books than writing answers on this blog ;))

You wrote some stories in 'he' form, some in 'she' (you're good at that, I think) and some from different characters' viewpoints. Most books are in past tense, but Legacy (or was it Eternity?) is in present tense ("he climbs" in stead of "he climbed").

It's very refreshing to see you change viewpoints and tenses every now and then. Will you ever write a story in second person singular form, making the reader the main character? (I don't mean a letter exchange, in which two people talk to each other.)
 

Re: Story in you-form?
Date: 09/09/2008
From: Greg Bear

Possibly--but for now, I'll leave that to Charlie Stross, who does this quite well in HALTING STATE.
 

Re: Story in you-form?
Date: 09/15/2008
From: patrick
Location:

This came up recently, and was fairly discussed, at Dan Simmons' Writing Well forum.

Why must we not define the bookkeeping system?

Date: 09/09/2008 From: Vorkbaard
Location: Netherlands

Reading Moving Mars for the second time, after Anvil of Stars and Dead Lines, and a recurring theme seems to be hidden channels/forbidden channels/the Bell continuum. Often when you describe a technology to change a particle's properties remotely, you say that we must not define the system that describes these properties (the bookkeeping system, God's computer, etc.).

Why must we not define it?
 

Re: Why must we not define the bookkeeping system?
Date: 09/09/2008
From: Greg Bear

According to the physicists I quote in my stories, it simply makes it easier to assume the matrix as axiomatic. Trying to figure out which chip and which operating system underlies reality could lead to madness! And in ETERNITY, I think, there is the theoretical question of whether or not one can feel or know what sort of operating system or computer one is living in, if one lives in a virtual universe. I recall there was once actually a Wikipedia article on this problem, but can't locate it in a quick search...
 

Re: Why must we not define the bookkeeping system?
Date: 09/09/2008
From: Vorkbaard
Location: Netherlands

That makes sense, but only if the channels are made of the absolute lowest level. As long as we're not positive that that is the lowest level, we can't be sure there is not another one below it. That however would pose the same question...

Anyway they provide fantastic speculation :) Thanks!
 

Re: Why must we not define the bookkeeping system?
Date: 09/15/2008
From: patrick
Location:

And here's an answer: in music based on the 12-tone chromatic scale, whether it be tertian tonal or no, there is no axiomatic start point. If tertian tonal, the key is wherever one decides to start on, as it can be transposed to any other key. Similarly in 12-tone music, the prime form row is arbitrary. What constrain these are generally aural context - instrumentation - and composer predilection.

In the case of physics, it may (and I suspect it is) as easy as doing similar to what Greg says, except it, although rather than 'axiomatic' perhaps just 'functional'. (Or, of course, funxional.)

All biology

Date: 09/08/2008 From: patrick
Location:

I'm listening to a talk Bruce Sterling gave at a recent Long-Life seminar in SF and around thirty-four minutes, he sums some things up by quoting Vernor Vinge, "...for me, the super-humanity is the essence of the singularity....without that, we get a glut of technical riches never properly absorbed", and Bruce says he thinks this is what things are like, actually. A "gut-level situation".

Which nods to what you said, 'all these human behaviors are biology', and also what I said before this, "We are emotional creatures, largely swayed and directed by biological drives. (Those who claim 'free will' are simply exemplifying this.) We have degrees of opportunity to interact with these biological drives. There is wisdom in this."

And I just got off the phone with a friend of mine in which we got into some related discussion, and I summed my conception of how to go about things with the above in mind in the following: one is casually mentating on myriads of things as they come to mind; like a mnemonic, this obviates the ego (and morality) in that there is no expectation (in the form of a goal or what-have-you) in the things or made or even set but merely inform-ation of one's layers of mind such that they (the combined state that is entity and these layers) increase in open-ness to information, as well as increase in efficiency, due to the constant and dynamic nature of this mentation.

In simpler words: you allow it to come and you play with it, with emotional vitality yet without any attachment, and you progress.

Not promoting your Google talk?

Date: 09/06/2008 From: patrick
Location:

I only know of this video via two posts on the blog. For shame, Greg. I'm watching it in spurts. I have a lot of thoughts but will wait until the end and see if anything I for sure want to express. One thing I'll say is the kiddies seem very much like when I was in college, but perhaps more so - squeamish until someone starts talking some and then only gradually do they get involved. (I never was like this, though particularly not after military service, as I had no 'intimidation' factor.)

As well, though it was very difficult to hear the student commentary (note to have mics for them in future recordings), it seemed they weren't up in the rafters with you looking down on things. Of course, there seems to be a general lack of comprehension, if not unfamiliarity, with form.
 

Re: Not promoting your Google talk?...& String Theory
Date: 09/10/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Finally got a chance to block some time and watch this...a bit more techy than the San Diego Talk. Was mentioning this and the event that the Large Hadron Collider did its first full runs today to my wife, and she said Why? Mentioned that the LHC is aiming to "prove" supersymetry, the extension of the Standard Model that doesn't need String Theory. Her response was that if it nullified string theory she was all for it, but thought you might be pro string, so I mentioned that one of the subthemes of CITY is that you can't really have a "theory of everything" to totally maps the universe. She lit up on that, and her estimation of you increase by several powers of ten.

Just because something is mathematically elegant doesn't necissarily make it "real"

So I wonder if String Theory will go the way of the Steady State Hypothesis some time after October of this year.

Mike Glosson

Ranting over "City!"

Date: 09/06/2008 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles

Hugely enjoyed City At The End Of Time! Stapledonian as expected, but also strangely reminiscent of Moorcock (The Quest For Tanelorn), and Le Guin during the final parts of A Wizard Of Earthsea. Fantasies--but Clarke's law lets you keep it on the sf side of the line, which you do with sureness and grace. Often felt I was being led through a Richard Powers painting (The Witness a big Zardoz head). Must add, I recently made the aquaintance of a happy but maimed cat, ghastly with one eye and no jaw...now I know what we owe him. Dark Matter as stuff yet to happen--yes! Reconciliation--yes! Always seemed relativity was acausal, despite all that spooky-action talk. How can strict causality be preserved when time rates keep changing? All those lines being skewed, blurred, regathered. Let Ishanaxade be, and all is light! Question is, is she us? Ask not at what frequency the bell tolls. Alternate selves...morphic resonance...scribble scribble...
 

Re: Ranting over
Date: 09/06/2008
From: Greg Bear

"Boys! Messing with physics in your cellar can be fun and profitable..."

Thanks for the very kind words, Bill.

My guess is, Ishanaxade is both very exasperated with us, and deeply in love with us, but NOT one of us.
 

Re: Ranting over
Date: 09/07/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

While working on my bullet points for that piece I'm writing on regarding CITY, I googled Ishanaxade and this post from today came right to the top!

The thing I am "exploring" at this moment "is" the inversion of the Isis & Osiris Myth in this new myth of Sangmer and Ishanaxade, and the deeper relationship between her and/as Mnemomysne and her flip side of Kali.

Rich is myths old and richer in myths new. :)

Before that tonite some thinking about the Typhon and it's true origin, given it's abilities to travel in space as well as time in doing what it does to the Universe.

A couple of nights ago I had a dream about Collectors and Fate Shifters, but set in the "world" of your Novel DEAD LINES, with some time-frozen Hollywood Starlette trapping young fate shifters in her Malibu Mansion.

And I just realized this afternoon that "Time" could actually be seen as a character in CITY.

Mike Glosson

returning to the universe of greg bear

Date: 09/05/2008 From: chris pickens
Location: san francisco, ca


Hello Mr. Bear,

I starting reading your work when I started college in 1991, along with the late A.C.Clarke's and I just wanted to thank you for a great reads.
After hearing about City, I decided to return to your books (especially Eon and Eternity...) The second reading gives me so much more...

I look forward to reading City.

Cheers
Chris





 

Re: returning to the universe of greg bear
Date: 09/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Chris! Let me know what you think.

Thank you

Date: 09/05/2008 From: Nicholas
Location: Greensboro NC

I rarely (actually never) write authors of books I enjoy, but after reading the latest City at the End Of Time, I'm prompted for the first time to do so.

While I'm a thorough hard-sci-fi reader, and you've certainly given me enough entertainment in that area over the years, never have I read a book as good. The mix of science (which was kept low-key) and philosophy (which wasn't) was damn near perfect. I haven't been wowed by a book like this since ... well, Eon :)

So, thank you. Thank you for providing yet another great book that provided entertainment and food for thought.
 

Re: Thank you
Date: 09/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

Glad you liked the novel, Nicholas! We're still working to spread the word. My Google talk here in Kirkland has been posted on YouTube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqCH4Fv4iSg&feature=user

And has gotten over a thousand views so far. There's also a Suvudu interview at Comic-Con and eight minutes from my talk at the University Book Store, also sourced from Suvudu.

In search of Pi meters

Date: 09/03/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach - moving around

I was looking for that discussion, after your interesting interchange with Robert Danforth, but came across your Google lunch discussion.

Somehow, this was very appreciated, Greg, and I listened even though in theory time is very tight right now, for the inspiration, and for the ordering that improves listening to others talk a little on their own orders.

I have the background but tend away from what you call the 'nerdy' side by nature I think, even though having been somewhat good at it. And here you are drawing out the problematical side that many of us discovered in mathematical modeling a time ago, and ever so gently hinting into a contextual, therefore communities and languages view of worlds.

Well, this is where I see things related to your 'flow' exchanges outlines, and call them economic culture and its growing sometimes, for lack of non-neologistic words; and without trying to say it's anything different except in degrees and...contextually located directions...from a long, long history of developing. And where the whole key is that the contexts are constantly in their linked development changing themselves, just a little faster now in some ways.

Well, you invited musing. That was some, and I don't have time to muse more ;). Until next time.

Best regards,
Roald


 

Re: In search of Pi meters
Date: 09/03/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach - moving around

Well, a postscript, and put here as I see you've already posted.

Greg, I wonder if you've ever had a chance to read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's 'The First Circle'?

This is a pretty interesting travel in a place that is aptly named, and that's all I should say here, but I wonder what kinds of ideas it might give you.

I read it first as part of a large part of his books at that point, in tandem with John Steinbeck similarly, back in a winter the 70's while so excited of life teaching design in a Korean graduate school that sleep was late-coming -- hence my reading, one set of fingers at a time outside the quilt to hold the book in the Siberian air.

Well, stories to tell ones grandchildren, or nieces and nephews as it is at this time.

Thanks, Greg.

Clive
 

Re: In search of Pi meters
Date: 09/03/2008
From: Greg Bear

Haven't got around to THE FIRST CIRCLE, but it's on my shelves... Along with the GULAG books! For one of those dark, snowy winters...
 

Re: In search of Pi meters
Date: 09/04/2008
From: patrick
Location:

In Seattle?
 

Re: In search of Pi meters
Date: 09/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

In the Convergence Zone of Lynnwood, where anything can happen--and does! Rod Serling is our weatherman.

Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem

Date: 09/02/2008 From: Robert Danforth
Location: Orlando Florida

As I bumped into your Google talk you were discussing the inaccessibility of Pi except by a description of how to get there. I found myself wanting to crawl through the screen and ask about a minor obsession of mine that no real number is accessible except as a manipulation of integers, that could only be discovered in the direct reversal of that manipulation.

This means that 1. all mathematics is just a tide pools next to a vast ocean of numbers that cannot be accessed 2 was the insight Fermat had when he wrote his famous theorem.

So while your library would not contain Pi it would also not be able to contain any number beyond integers and the manipulation of integers, just as it would to describe Pi.

There is a problem here in that actual reality DOES contain all real numbers (and more?) and therefore no measurement can acquire more than an approximation of that reality which of necessity leads to "error" and the butterfly effect (an issue similar looking but quite different than the quantum issues)

I think this also shines a light on the disconnect between reality and any description of reality that must always be an approximation. This is what I think of as the non boring part of fractals, particularly as random and scalar issues are thrown in.
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/02/2008
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear from you, Robert! Very interesting questions here. Sufficiently large numbers--and infinitely long numbers--might be compared to infinitely large continuous texts, which are also not contained in the Universal Library, but might be reconstructed by rearranging strings or "volumes" of text. The point well taken here is that any sufficiently complicated reality cannot be encompassed by (or reconstructed from) any description or theorem--or, as Wittgenstein said, (and I quote in the novel) "The map is not the territory." So--was Polybiblios ultimately deluded in his quest...?
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/02/2008
From: Robert Danforth
Location: Orlando Florida

My deeper point was that no finite arithmetic can handle more than a scattering of infinite real numbers. You solve an equation and discover a real number that has the first five digits equal to a multiple of Pi (or the root of 2,3, etc) and you know immediately that it will continue to match at the 8th digit and thousandth digit and ten thousandth.

Why not a match at all but one in five hundred digits? or even one in 20? The reason can only be that those other numbers are inaccessible to arithmetic, except by adding another real number. Once that is done the number is again insoluble except by direct back pedal.

Since that is what happens in quadratic equations above the level of the square you have arrived directly at Fermat's theorem.

So without the arithmetic (much less the computer) capable of accurately manipulating any set of real numbers there can only be rough approximations and no matter how many decimals the number, the butterfly effect will await in the next.
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/04/2008
From: patrick
Location:

I dunnooo. Simultaneously trying to discourage any idea of anthropic principle, I'm wondering if there is some anthropo-centric bias in the conceptualism(s) above.
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

That's a very big question. Are numbers human? Is there another way to quantify, find relations, and simulate precise actions based on formally abstracted data?


Is counting metaphysically fundamental, and universal to all problem-solving systems?

In ANVIL OF STARS, the Brothers' idea of mathematics involved "smears" and not individual numbers. Calculus without the inhibition of integers. More of an analog system, less digital.
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/05/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Well, that is one way to think of it. There is the phenomenon of analog - yet our modern technology is largely, if not entirely, digital in function. The particle level is quantized, so one might assume that operating at such a level would ultimately mean digital operation....but would it?

There is a wave nature to energy. Something comes to mind - that of the contrast between Hertzian and transverse (scalar) waves. Hmmmm.

In any case, perhaps at least a synthesis of analytic and metaphorical?

And, lastly, to your first paragraph:

- numbers are a convention. It's not (at last, yet) relevant to wonder if they're uniquely human in conception.

- quantification is abstracted. In a context, however, it connotes qualification -- as the identity of a thing is its function/operation - vs what we might call it/it's social function.

- simulation isn't always necessary. There are programs that create output at runtime, given certain parametres and values. A recent one I came across is a digital animation program. I'm thinking this idea will proliferate.
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/06/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles

Is this a good time to mention Reuben Hirsch and his humanist perspective on mathematics?

Taking my own crackpot off the back burner:

You can't get away from the anthropic element. Place mathematics in the Platonic realm where it exists independently of "us" and you come up against dualism in another of its guises, which (in my opinion) is worse. How are number (generality) and matter (specificity) related? The only answer seems to be to locate consciousness (yours, mine) at The End Of Time, where these ostensibly separate systems converge. Matter is directed forwards (hence our divergent selves), mind rearwards (hence the "backpedaling," hence we are able to comprehend each other) and the only duality is an epistemological one.

All very mystical but there it is. Intelligence digital, consciousness analog (concerned with meaning, which always slips through terms). I actually find myself alarmed at the runaway digitalization of our culture. Are kids as conscious as we are (were)? The hobby shops are closing. Action figures have become avatars. Is there a historicity to consciousness? Did it mean the same thing to a medieval monk to be conscious as it does to me or will to my neurally augmented descendant? Did the (pick one) republican/democratic convention sound like a beehive to you? Will we even know it when the eidolons nooify?

Synthesis of analytical and metaphorical--yes! 20th-century philosophy was a (perhaps necessary) wasteland. Wittgenstein et al. overreacting to mechanical marvels. Time to go back to Goethe and his subjectivism. End of sermon.
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/09/2008
From: Greg Bear

Leibnitz was quite charmed by his binary number system, and believed that it accurately described God's method in creating the universe: 1's (God) and 0's (nothing) coming together to make number, which underlies the universe. Pretty idea... Who'd have thought that God and nothing would team up to make the computer work?

And who supplied the venture capital for that project?
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/10/2008
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles

Sounds similar to Goethe's theory that colors are created by the tension when darkness and white light meet.

And conversely, if God is NOTHING, then nothing is SOMETHING. And so secular science must yield up the quantum vacuum. What fun! Supress the demiurge on one side, it pops up on the other.

Leibniz was also interested in the I Ching, which posits a dynamic balance of opposites. His Characteristica Universalis (a sort of 17th-century XML) was concieved as inseperable from a universal compendium of all knowledge-- much like Polybiblios' Babel in City at the End of Time. You've got artificial languages in Moving Mars, I recall--a thread here?

Hey! Nothingness is the perfect mirror. God teamed up with himself to make the universe work.

As for the venture capital...Cthulu? (Last words before the Big Bang: "Wait, don't touch that--")

Speaking of which, they're reving up the Large Hadron Collider for the first time tonight.

I hope you get this...
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

Chthulhu lies waiting! The devil is in the details, you know...
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/15/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Okay, boys. No, Bill. Anthropism is a by-product of an identity based in culture and, more fundamentally, gender. There's your answer. Most of Western (and particualarly modern and contemporary) philosophy, though entertaining, is essentially the indignant cry of biological self-importance.

As for 0s and 1s, well: 1) 'nothing' is determined by context, hence it's merely a convention; and, 2) zero is the same entity, albeit in the digital realm (one might say it isn't even an integer), and it has a twin - infinity.
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Greg Bear

Might be worthwhile to explore the idea of non-biological "observers," or systems which can track and respond to minute physical processes, and thus lock them into reality. I believe Heinz Pagels explored one possible mechanism for reality to continue to exist without human or sentient observers. Hmm... is zero infinity turned inside out? I have NO idea what that means.
 

Re: Universal Library & Fermat's last theorem
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Robert Danforth
Location: florida

I seem to recall a story, not sure all the details are correct. Zeno was sailing to Alexandria, and proposed that motion was impossible because to reach any point the halfway point would have to be reached first, and of course there was an infinite regression of halfway points. Supposedly they threw him overboard.(I may be mixing stories, not sure)

However while passing all those halfway points is trivial, measuring to an infinite level of precision and calculating a change based on each one is not. That is the nature of the butterfly effect, and why such a perfect prediction system is as impossible as perpetual motion etc.

I believe that was also what Fermat was thinking about.

just finished my second read of CITY AT THE END OF TIME

Date: 08/31/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

Not as much note taking this time, until the last fifty pages or so, which on the first read were so gripping that I could not take notes.

This may in fact be your best writing to date. The beauty of the prose blows me away at time, similar but different to what Durrell does to me.

Now to let it all percolate thru my gray matter for a few more days, and "REALLY" write about what you have done here.

As I was half way thru it this time, the realization hit me "Damn...this is the book I wish I had written, or could write."

Mike
 

Re: just finished my second read of CITY AT THE END OF TIME
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

Not too late, Mike. Apply pen to paper... and start sweating blood like the rest of us scribblers!
 

Re: just finished my second read of CITY AT THE END OF TIME
Date: 09/04/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Mmmm, I sometimes come across something similar with music. 'This is the kind of music I would like to hear, and hence create, but now I don't have to cos someone else did.' Heh. So a little different.

You May Have Called Another One

Date: 08/26/2008 From: Dan Defenbaugh
Location: San Diego

Hi Greg,

Enjoyed meeting you in San Diego last week. If no one has passed this on to you already, it looks as if they will be building Omphalos in Dubai:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/08/25/carbon-neutral-ziggurat-pyramid-could-house-1-1-million-in-dubai/

Should be an easy upgrade in a few years from real people to popsicles.

DanD
 

Re: You May Have Called Another One
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

Ah, I'll worry when they start freezing them! This is a beautiful-looking piece of architecture. The pioneer of this concept is Paolo Soleri, of course, with his Arcosanti. And it certainly seems suited to a fuel-conscious world, where distance is money.
 

Re: You May Have Called Another One
Date: 09/04/2008
From: patrick
Location:

This seems somewhat reminiscent of Peter F. Hamilton's arcologies in his Confederation universe. Of course people will go with this. Or something like it. They already live in such density and like it - contrary to this silly 'Wall-E' notion - this they'll like better.
 

Re: You May Have Called Another One
Date: 09/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

I think most SF writers in the 80s and before used Soleri city ideas in their novels. One of my treasured books is a copy of the massive ARCOLOGY: The City in the Image of Man, signed by Soleri. And of course we can see visual examples in BLADE RUNNER, though these might just be very large skyscrapers.
 

Re: You May Have Called Another One
Date: 09/05/2008
From: patrick
Location:

I wondered the same long ago about those buildings in BR. Especially as Tyrell lived in one, the Tyrell Corporation building.

Anyways, of course, they'll dig this. People generally like community, and if it's (not necessarily obviously) efficient and (quite obviously) luxuriant, they go ape-shit.

linguistic islands

Date: 08/25/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location: San Diego

Greg, this somehow goes with the Journey of Mankind material -- particularly fits with some of the discussion as that gets towards more modern times, and there are islands which become cultures caused by weather patterns isolating outposts of humans.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/25/news/24barry.php

A good chance also to put down one 'little' circumstance along the way to who we are now, by that website's story. At one time the number of humans left living after global catastrophe was down to _10,000_ persons. Or souls, as perhaps another age's way of saying it might be fitting.

This is a Greg Bear scenario -- and yet, we made it through, and became ourselves. Who will create what stages of ourselves next, and already are??

Best again,
Rouald, who had better get busy on something.

This is remarkable

Date: 08/25/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location: San Diego

I think it will really connect with anyone who enjoyed the archaeological/ethnological aspects of Darwin's Radio and particularly Darwin's Children.

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/journey/

It's a little subtle on the surface, and you can 'play the movie' of the multimedia just by pushing a button. The trick of it is to go step by step, and click the book (also climate) icon each time.

Then you get a fascinating and deep story of the migration of human beings from their origins to present times, as read by two types of non-interchanging and thus mostly stable DNA. That's explained, also. Another aspect constructing the story, and used very carefully in at least one circumstance, is the climate patterns.

So it brings physical and biological archaeology together, and as a very rich story, which is -- fascinating.

There's more on the site which I could only for time reasons begin to explore.

Regards in the community,
Roald

 

Re: This is remarkable
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

A fascinating site. The timelines and migrations make sense in a general way--but I'm very concerned with how long, in human terms, 160,000 years actually is. My guess (and it's only that) is that migrations of different peoples through all of these routes, and others, might have occured many, many times, with many variations and differing levels of success. The human fossil record is notoriously spotty and incomplete, and we're still at the early stages of genetic population analysis. But that is certainly not a majority point of view now.
 

Re: This is remarkable
Date: 09/04/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Really? Given how cantankerous creatures (and particularly humans) are, I'm inclined to agree with your idea.
 

Re: This is remarkable
Date: 09/04/2008
From: Greg Bear

Ah, I fondly remember Clovis... We're both surprising and cantankerous, and it's interesting how people dead for tens of thousands of years can see into the future, and rearrange their behaviors to frustrate scientists! I'm sure there's a cartoon panel in that idea somewhere.

dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?

Date: 08/22/2008 From: David Martin
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Mr. Bear,

A thousand thanks for your wonderful novel Eon. I'm a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and am familiar with General Relativity: your writing has an astounding authenticity for curved spacetime concepts.

As part of a planned animation, I'm trying to create a 3D model of Axis City, but I can't seem to find the diameter of the cylindrical Precincts. I've done a first draft at:

http://www.djfilms.ca/QTstills/axisCity.html

Any guidance on dimensions and textures gratefully received. (The textures, singularity and tube glow just in draft as well.)

best regards, David
 

Re: dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, David! At Denvention I did a reasonable defense of the Pi-meter... The dimensions of each chamber in the Stone are about ten kilometers by fifty, as I recall, with fifty being the diameter and ten the length. Each chamber is a kind of thick disk. Haven't visited them in a while... nice to see them visualized!
 

Re: dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?
Date: 09/04/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Hasn't someone already 'drawn' this?
 

Re: dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?
Date: 09/04/2008
From: Greg Bear

The web has had a number of good depictions and diagrams in the past ten years. Don't know how many are still up and viewable... but there's always the CGSociety EON Challenge entries and winners.
 

Re: dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?
Date: 09/05/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Mm. You know, I hadn't realised the dimensions. I thought it was the reverse - each chamber longer than wide. Ten kilometers isn't that far. A few miles. Easy to see across. Fifty kilometers, however, that's far to see very much detail.

But wait. He's interested in the City.
 

Re: dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?
Date: 09/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

Axis City is in the Way itself, which is fifty kilometers wide, but not limited in length. However, seeing through two layers of atmosphere, across fifty kilometers, would be pretty easy. On a clear day... Jim Burns's depiction of the Way is still my favorite.
 

Re: dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?
Date: 09/05/2008
From: David Martin
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Thanks for your responses. Actually, I was only interested in the relative dimensions of the Axis City components.: what are the radii of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau, relative to the dimensions of Central city? CC fits into a cube to 10km diameter, and the entire complex is 40km long The image draft I posted was a guess at the other dimensions..

FYI, I'm creating an animation of a journey from entry into the Stone right through to the 7th chamber and Axis City in the Way. While there are some sizes mentioned in Eon,not all are. I'd like to be as faithful to Mr. Bear's vision as possible, hence my squawk for help. Rendering an atmosphere in a cylindrical geometry is proving difficult (I'm using Vue6 and C4d).

I've looked at the CGTalk competition, but I feel most entries did not capture the awe-inspiring cylindrical word (except Stonemason's entry).

Also, I can't find Jim Burns' depiction on the web. Any URL you can give me?

regards, David
 

Re: dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?
Date: 09/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

I don't know of any URLs for Jim's painting, but the UK cover for the hardback of EON uses it, as well as the U.S. edition of my collection TANGENTS.
 

Re: dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?
Date: 06/16/2010
From: Alex Brady
Location: st neots

Hi David, if youre read this Id love to help with your project. Ive occaisionally tried to quickly sketch up the interior of Thistledown/The Way too, with limited success, but one day Ill spend some real time on it and Id love to use your interpretation of the Axis cities if you make one.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j208/rodmcban/thistledown2copychalky.jpg?t=1276714620
 

Re: dimensions of Axis Nader, Euclid and Thoreau?
Date: 06/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Terrific! And once again I refer folks to the CGSociety EON Challenge page.

Happy Birthday

Date: 08/21/2008 From: Christopher Hassel
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Mr. Bear,

I (an American) and my wife (a Briton) wish you a very happy--if slightly-belated--birthday. We look forward to reading "City At The End Of Time" soon, which probably means within the week.

Sincerely,

Chris and Natalie Hassel
 

Re: Happy Birthday
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

Alas, another year! Look forward to your reaction to CITY...

CITY transferred to Film?

Date: 08/21/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

Thanks for your talk her tonite in San Diego. You gave me a bit more to go on for the piece I am writing about CITY.

Regarding turning CITY into a Film: You pointed out one of the major points I had glossed over in thinking about CITY as a movie: The "metaphysics" of how reading and books ties into the plot. That would be nearly impossible to transfer to film...and would probably come off as badly as the film that was done of the Alexandria Quartet...which has a point of contact with CITY, as Quartet is driven by how the characters see the events, and also how some of the characters describe those events.

But the fantastical events that occur in the book, I saw nothing in there that Weta couldn't handle...which was the source of my thinking of getting our friend Star to drop off a Copy with him on her next trip to Antartica...as New Zealand is her jumping off point.

There would have to be a "Peter Jackson" who was totally ENTHUSED about CITY to do the entire metaphysics of books, reading, observing to the screen...and it would have to be an Uber-Peter-Jackson at that...completely intoxicated with the novel.

But a lot more filmable than a Borges story.

It will really all depend on whether or not you have tapped a cultural nerve with this novel...we won't really know about that for at least a decade: whether CITY is a Nova, a Hyper-Nova or a Quasar across our culture(s).

Mike
 

Re: CITY transferred to Film?
Date: 08/26/2008
From: Greg Bear

I believe Peter Jackson is still signed up produce Naomi Novik's Temeraire, following THE LOVELY BONES perhaps. Cultural nerves... hm, what if it's more like a root canal? CITY is selling quite well in the UK, but it's still too early to tell in the U.S.
 

Re: CITY transferred to Film?
Date: 08/26/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Ooops...don't think I made myself quite clear. Not exactly 'Peter Jackson'...but some one, some when down the line, who had Peter Jackson's love and enthusiasm for LORD OF THE RINGS.

I'm invisioning some up-and-coming director, a decade or two from now, who is smitten with CITY.

And that's assuming CITY ends up having as big a following as the first DUNE novel.

As you know, you were "preaching to the choir" with me with this Novel, but I think it is constructed with as broad a scope that it should light a fire in the minds of all sorts of readers.

I will be starting my second read of CITY AT THE END OF TIME in a few days. It took me almost a week to "get" the inscription you made in my copy...was still some what pre-occupied with Hans Jonas' work on the Gnostics.

Mike
 

Re: CITY transferred to Film?
Date: 08/29/2008
From: patrick
Location:

Hmmm.....over at Dan Simmons' forum, in talk about adapting some of his stuff to screen, a couple/few have mentioned Jackson with some fervor. I haven't seen anything of his that would even remotely make me think something of his or yours, Greg. Dan didn't express any enthusiasm over such, either.
 

Re: CITY transferred to Film?
Date: 08/30/2008
From: Bob
Location: Big Bear Lake, CA

Once again, I think any book can be made into a great
movie, including City. I've read The Lovely Bones and
can't wait to see what Peter Jackson has done with it.
I'm still waiting to see a Greg Bear feature.

Bob
 

Re: CITY transferred to Film?
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

As am I, on both counts. There are good screenplays in hand for two of my novels, and an excellent scripment of a third... Work ongoing!

Moving Mars on DailyLit

Date: 08/20/2008 From: Maggie Hilliard
Location: Mamaroneck, New York

Dear Greg,

Hello from DailyLit! I'm not sure if you've heard of us, but I'd like to introduce you to our business. We are a digital publisher that allows entire books to be read in short, daily installments via email or RSS. We offer both free and paid books and have titles available in genres as diverse as science fiction, classics, and memoir. In fact, we recently celebrated the launch of our 1000th title.

I'm not sure if you knew we have been working with E-reads, but I'm delighted to let you know that we are featuring your book Moving Mars on DailyLit (you can see it here: http://dailylit.com/books/moving-mars).

We're excited about including your work on DailyLit. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have, so please feel free to get in touch if you'd like to learn more.

All the best,
Maggie Hilliard

--
Maggie Hilliard
DailyLit
mhilliard@dailylit.com
914-777-8109
 

Re: Moving Mars on DailyLit
Date: 08/26/2008
From: Greg Bear

Another future wave! Glad to be aboard, Maggie.

Happy Birthday

Date: 08/20/2008 From: Greg Berghorn
Location: Framingham, MA USA

Dear GB2,
Warm birthday wishes and all the best for another great year. Just started my eBook copy of The City At The End OF Time. Looks great. Do you ever do appearances on the East Coast? In the Boston area?
Best regards,
GB(4or5?)
 

Re: Happy Birthday
Date: 08/26/2008
From: Greg Bear

Got back late last week from a short west-coast tour. No east coast signings planned, alas! Not writing about vampires or dragons is taking a toll on my tour stops.
 

Re: Happy Birthday
Date: 08/27/2008
From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, LA

Greg,
Vampires are all the Rage and Ann Rice is nowhere to be found.

Maybe you should try getting one of your books made into a video game or graphic comic book that would give you pop culture advertising. Some sort of FBI/CIA shoot-em up. Patrick Stewart said he does Sci-Fi so he can do the Independent stuff and not worry about cash.

I heard that Ursala Le Guin was doing teenage novels (Voices,etc.). What ever she writes is good usually.

Jim
 

Re: Happy Birthday
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

Good writers can make masterpieces out of the most hackneyed pop-culture material. But even though I'm a fan of a lot of works vampirish, I'm concerned we're going to reach a saturation point-- Hmmm... maybe blood-sucking dragons will be next? (Old vampire-dragon adage: "First exsanguinate, then burn.")

thoughts on Slant

Date: 08/16/2008 From: Jerry Kincaid
Location: Japan

hey Greg,

I wanted to compliment you on this work. I've read it twice so far. on coming and now going to the physical place where I am now. I've changed a lot in that time period, almost 5 years. it was good both times, but I see it better now

from a couple photos I've seen of you you have the eyes of someone who can see shit. you don't look very different from someone who I envisioned who could write "Slant". that's cool. so I want to say I commend that, first of all

anyway, my point was I really liked your characters in Slant. I'm sorry to say I've only read this one book out of many that you've written, and I am pretty sure it's the 2nd in a trilogy, or pseudo-trilogy of yours. rest assured I'll read that set of books some day if I'm not mistaken. I'll read other books you've written out of the set as well

so, I don't have full perspective on your universe or your thought in general, but my favorite characters in Slant are: Giffey (pre- and post-mental-death), Mary, and Jill. I dunno if that's in order or not. I see myself in these characters, and see others around me in these characters as well. I highly suspect you do, too. I loved your obsession with Jenner's caterpillar forehead and often found it amusing. I honestly don't know what it means to you, though

if you find it worthy, I want you to answer me just one question though: have you ever met a chick like Mary? cuz I saw some similarities in this one girl I know, particularly when I read Mary's breakup dialog with her short-term boyfriend (starting on page 52 of your Tor book, ISBN 0-812-52482-9). someone really cool. judgmental, scary, wise, ignorant, and loving. from reading 2 posts on your blog you seem to reply to blog posts so I hope you'll reply to this

take it easy,
Jerry
 

Re: thoughts on Slant
Date: 08/17/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for your thoughts and kind words, Jerry! I've long had love and respect for strong women, beginning with my mother and my grandmothers... all capable of coming through great adversity, through great chunks of history. Models for my own characters, no doubt.

Little Death

Date: 08/15/2008 From: Bruce Ramos
Location: Stockton, Ca.

Hello Mr. Bear,

I loved reading Psychlone and Eon, both of which I have read several times. In Eon, you mention there were two "deaths" that Earth suffered. The "Little Death" was the first. Given the current state of world affairs, do you think we may be headed for the "Little Death" as we speak? With the added tensions over the Georgian/Russian conflict, plus Russia's threat this very morning to use nuclear weapons against Poland for asking our assistanct to install an anti missle defense system in their country, I personally believe we are looking at the begining of the "Little Death" as you mention in Eon. What are your thoughts Mr. Bear? Bruce
 

Re: Little Death
Date: 08/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

What's happening now is more like the bad old days of the Soviet Union after World War 2, though less likely, I think, to end in nuclear confrontation. Back then, we let go of Czechoslovakia and Hungary--because we could not deny they were in the USSR's strongest sphere of military influence. The problem with the current situation in Georgia is that Saakashvili fired the first shot--and we now have no moral standing whatosever to request that Russia not engage in regime change any time it suits them. The calculations of realpolitik are not very subtle, but by putting all our strategic eggs in the Middle East, we are now powerless before old adversaries feeling renewed pangs for empire. There's one word for this squandering of our international standing, but it must be said three times: stupid, stupid, stupid.
 

Re: Little Death
Date: 08/15/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: La Jolla

Bruce, that answer from Greg is very eloquent and informed, must feel here.

As someone who stood once on land's end of an Arctic island's interminable summer evening looking out into mild storms once long ago, while an alert level across the world decided whether it would retreat from the stage before the curtains fell in a way you worry, I would like say it seems very much less likely there will be now such a conflagration.

We were doing things to influence against it then, which a young man might have a very tiny role indeed in, that led to the SALT and other agreements - making information so both sides knew what each had, was the very human way of doing this. This information let generals know enough so they didn't allow their protectiveness get unduly worried about what the other might be able to do and react premptively, all as Greg has outlined so well in Moving Mars.

What I think changes the balance more than anything since that advance is the later knowledge that there would be a nuclear winter. That let everyone know there was no way to win such a conflict in the large.

Can other things happen? Of course. It does seem they would be likely to be much more focused -- much smaller. Greg reminds that there are always the deep aspects of our potential that make this possibility-- a kind of thing you see in understanding nature so that it's not just pretty trees and so forth. Though nature has its unbelievably generative and also stabilizing sides just as well: the two combined if the work of Walter Fontana is as true as it has been honored.

We people get our choices. My own feeling of how to work on this is to improve the possibilities for accomplishment so that very many more, and in many more places, can feel proper respect, in and for their own lives. That takes so many pressures off, wherever it happens.

Well, such topics. I'm somehow thinking of a joke a Cuban told me once, to answer a question I asked him about machismo in Cuba and other Latin cultures. I hope it doesn't sound a rude throwaway on this conversation, because it shows actually a very civilized side, especially with the gleeful smile that accompanied the telling.

Two men approach on a narrow sidewalk, beside an alley full of what you don't want to step in. They stop, and the first says, slowly, "I don't get out of the way for bastards." The second nods, steps off the curb, gives a sweeping bow to motion the other past, and says, "Oh, but I do...!"

Greg's been willing to entertain the worst, and give it all the reasoning to be believable. In doing that, he's taking fiction's job, one of them, and giving us a chance to experience what a bad choice would be like, and very importantly, how we might make one.

Then as your note expresses well, we become much more aware how we don't want that -- feel how we don't want it. That opens our doorways, to better use what we know, and what we might come to know, I think.

Best regards,
Roald
 

Re: Little Death
Date: 08/15/2008
From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville La

Greg, I agree about eggs being in the Middle East Basket. I think this administration is very single minded and lacks the ability to focus on multiple or non-predictable threats.

Russia/China had to be tickled Red when the USA started the Middle East Campaign. Most of the Middle East Countries will hang themselves given enough rope but Russia and China are real threats with real Nuclear Weapons. Russia is thriving in commodities and may be looking for new resources. Now we will see what the EU is or isn't capable of doing as far as economic pressure. Right now we are a Paper Tiger to Russia/China with the Iraqi/Iranian burden and dependency on China's trade/National dept. Sad, Sad, Sad!

You asked for Science...

Date: 08/13/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location: La Jolla

Nature, actually ;) As in journals, for either.

But this is a good one, especially for Cassiea's friends.

I don't know if this is accessible outside universities, i.e. without a subscription, and don't believe it has an abstract, so will summarize here.

popular article:
http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080813/full/news.2008.1038.html
journal paper:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v454/n7206/pdf/nature07121.pdf

In what is actually a very beautifully composed and beautifully described experiment, experimentalists at University of Geneva have sent entangled photons pairs down fiber optics lines to two villages 17km apart, and measured the correlation between their detection as the detection interaction is varied continuously for only one of the paths.

This seems to show very strongly that the photons are communicating, at something like 100,000 times the speed of light, although they are 17km apart at the time.

In particular, the experiment has been designed to compare quantum mechanical theory with 'spooky action at a distance' which Einstein described (hadn't known that had a formalism, but apparently). QM gets the right answer.

Bell equalities mentioned. Nobody can explain it either ;).

Greg, another place one of your wonderful, intricate yarns touches base with science developing further down a track, even if what you do in the art and science of individual experience and human-world deflections is the area that fascinates me -- and theory on its own. The setup from the science is the world-changing, and great; all our field of understanding comes in the relationships, don't you think?

The experimentalists want a theory to explain what they show. That's the old way, and interesting what will turn up in answer. Certainly many have tried before.

Best,
Roald



There's a lot in the exprime
 

Re: You asked for Science...
Date: 08/13/2008
From: Greg Bear

There's a growing body of physics pointing to nearly instantaneous coordination (if not communication) between particles. This is an amazing paper. (Accessing the full .pdf file will require a subscription to NATURE, but the first precis is fine for most readers.) Thanks, Roald!
 

Re: You asked for Science...
Date: 08/13/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: La Jolla

Yes, there's an important distinction, isn't there, in the motion-or-not-motion word. Coordination, Communication, Correlation. Correlation is the word they actually used, and I would like to think it doesn't necessarily imply motion (of anything), though it could.

I had the figure that leads to motion-thinking wrong by a factor of ten, having been in a great hurry to write first note before an appointment - it's the lower bound of speed for any distance transfer of information, and 10,000 times light speed, reading from the main paper now, and still not with free time this evening to digest it.

The thing I'm getting at here is about whether there's distance in a space-time fashion in quantum correlations. I think I'm on ground you were probing a little in Moving Mars again, just to say so for recognition's sake.

I wonder if it will turn out important that we know? Or more than some other things? I guess large sources of pollution-free power would be nice. But for me, the engine that drives the person towards power-seeking because there isn't enough meaningful, interesting that they feel worth for their life to do -- that we have a great motivation in becoming better able to answer. For us all, yes?

Best again,
Roald



 

Re: You asked for Science...
Date: 08/14/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

The item in the precis about frame of reference sharing makes me wonder if a planet might be too small a zone to get an accurate reading on this: as even Earth's small gravity well does induce some frame-dragging in the local space/time. But then we get stuck in a situaiton of finding a larger and flatter bit of space time, which may really only exist some where mid-off center between here and M31.

Which leads me to wonder how much gravity/curved space/time is influencing or localized view of the greater universe...the asymetry of the CMB being nearly parallel to the north/south aspects of the ecliptic comes to mind.

I wonder if as a species we are still missing something basic...as many of the major mysteries and fudge factors of modern theory reminds me far too much of the 19th Century quest for the "Aethyr"
 

Re: You asked for Science...
Date: 08/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

Not sure how this translates into power, but no doubt someone will come up with a clever workaround--where's Robert Forward now that we need him?
 

Re: You asked for Science...
Date: 08/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

The difficulty making these judgments is that we don't yet know how to correlate QM with gravitation or general relativity.
 

Re: You asked for Science...
Date: 08/15/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: La Jolla

My goodness, Greg. Let's hope that somehow Robert Forward is out there with Mirsky. He deserved it.

I am up in Geisel again, actually today for a little while to read some Solzhenitsyn. So I looked up Robert Forward, and found his autobiographical essay on-line easily. What a remarkable story; and that he could tell it this way while under treatment and clearing up his affairs. I must suspect it gave him great pleasure to do so, and so it feels as he goes farther and farther into what he had imagined over a life.

As far as Mirsky, I 'stole' an hour or two to read over much as remembered from your Eternity. What fine book that is, and the eternal wait for e-book rendering will be well worth it. I really appreciated and enjoyed the rendezvous.

On the power question itself, that was just a lazy moment of imagination, where I conflated several things a certain speculative fiction author had put into a story: if we did indeed find a timeless, distanceless accounting to underlie quantum entanglement; if there were variables in it that could affect energy-matter states; if by one of the means such as controlled antimatter conversion a lot of joules could be liberated from qualities of space...!

I think I read that in a book somewhere ;). While still being that much more interested where the speculation was so finely and transparently done, about what it could be like to be a person in experience of a world and worlds with such things becoming in them.

Thanks, Greg. Now the gum trees are wavig their slow, patient dance before what we may know is the sea beyond; and before that time of day when the fog appears as stealthy mists to weave another softness. The air is crisp for now, and had better make some further use of that.

Regards as you know,
Roald

Vote for CITY on Suvudu

Date: 08/06/2008 From: Terran
Location: Winter Park, FL

Shawn from The Signed Page (http://www.signedpage.com) has a great blog science fiction and fantasy blog (http://www.suvudu.com) and has started a thread where readers can vote on which book he should read next off of his reading pile - CITY is one of his current selections to choose from, and you can vote here: http://www.suvudu.com/2008/08/my-reading-pile-week-1.html

Terran
webmaster@gregbear.com

CITY on BoingBoing!

Date: 08/06/2008 From: Terran
Location: Winter Park, FL

The CITY AT THE END OF TIME slideshow ( http://cityattheendoftime.com/ ) has been featured on BoingBoing! ( http://www.boingboing.net/2008/08/05/greg-bears-amazing-s.html )

What do the rest of you think? I didn't think it was half bad for a writer, a yarn artist, and a librarian to put together without the aid of a professional graphics artist with high tech tools, how about you? ;)


Terran (webmaster@gregbear.com, proud librarian)

City at the End of Time spotted in La Jolla

Date: 08/04/2008 From: Roald Laurenson
Location: San Diego

...at the UCSD Bookstore.

Very nicely presented - face towards the reader on the shelf.

I was not tempted to read a word ;). When there is time, then a copy and the enjoyment.

All times filled to max, for moment here, but I felt is was a very attractive book, several sense.

Best, Greg. I really look forward. And thanks for explaining about the website. I found from the yarn lady's who Terran is. A good friend I think.

Best, from the Geisel Library, where they have lots of your books, and the name is not about a victim, but Dr. Seuss,
Roald
 

Re: City at the End of Time spotted in La Jolla
Date: 08/04/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Roald. I fondly remember the UCSD library--like a spaceship sitting over a eucalyptus forest!
 

Re: City at the End of Time spotted in La Jolla
Date: 08/04/2008
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: San Diego

Absolutely. Although the best parts of the library now are the extensive areas out into the underground, somewhat reminiscent of Cassia's home, and where natural and otherwise ravines come through and have windows along their sides to feel the life in them. The spaceship hovering very near...

Let's do the Time Warp Again

Date: 08/04/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

My copy of CITY AT THE END OF TIME, pre-ordered over six months ago, Arrived today! One day ahead of the official publication date.

Wooot!

The Long wait is over!

Just flipping thru it had a couple of WOW moments.

Back to you in a few days with my reaction.

Mike
 

Re: Let's do the Time Warp Again
Date: 08/04/2008
From: Simeon Harris
Location: Wales, UK

i've had mine for a week and a half... about half way through now... the momentum is gradually building and i can feel that Big Bear ending approaching.... exciting and intriguing!

can't wait to finish it and then read it all over again!

Sim

Greg, I have a concern

Date: 08/03/2008 From: Grant Hyde
Location: Fresno, California

My brother is an FBI guy and says your book , Quantico, was pretty cool.

I thought so too, But. . .. The closing chapters were compressed and not as exciting as the dazzling first half. Butᅠit was still good.

Oh, well. Look: As a community college teacher I have to tell my students: "You are not safe" They think I am silly. They have a weird combo of historical ignorance, arrogance, and masochism- (The US is responsible for all atrocities) When it gets up and running in a vacuum, it's like a perpetual motion machine.

What do I do? I am serious.
 

Re: Greg, I have a concern
Date: 08/04/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Grant, for the kind words--and thanks to your brother, as well. The best you can do for your students is provide food for thought--which you're doing right now. We're still a pretty insulated nation--always have been, really--and our awareness of the world outside tends to be short-sighted at best. Young men and women who enter military service--or law enforcement--can face immediate and rude awakening. So keep informing and stimulating. Many of them will come around as they mature.

Rapid Evolution

Date: 08/03/2008 From: Michael Ronayne
Location: Nutley, New Jersey

Greg,

You need to start thinking about a new book in the Darwin series. Science is catch-up with your Science Fiction or you have a time machine which you are not sharing with your readers.

On December 10, 2006 I sent you an Email on the topic Quantum Biology on rapid evolutionary changes in the morphology on the Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis). A similar phenomenon, on a 36 year time scale, has now been observed in the Italian wall lizard (Podarcis sicula) as reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (March 25, 2008, vol. 105 no. 12 4792-4795).

After I Emailed you, I speculated on a fish hobbyist forum, that the Devils Hole pupfish and Amargosa River pupfish were genetically the same species and several Environmentalists started denouncing such a suggestion. The discussions grew so heated that the moderator had to intervene. The Supreme Court decision upholding the Endangered Species Act depended on Cyprinodon diabolis being a unique species; if the Devils Hole pupfish is not a unique species, an appeal could be filed. The entire issue begs the question as to exactly what is a species. If the findings the PNAS paper apply to other species, one of the proposed strategies to save endangered species, know as Assisted Migration, may be doomed from the start for some species. The relocated species, if it survives in its new home, will rapidly evolve into a new species.

If additional examples of rapid evolution are identified, Creationists, Intelligent Designers and Environmentalists may find themselves strange bed fellows; all three groups suffer from the delusion that they can maintain the statuesque. I will have to go back and reread Origin of Species again to see what Charles Darwin had to say of evolutionary time scales. Doing a quick text search (via Microsoft Reader), Darwin appears to have again anticipated current research reports, even though the primary theory in the Origin of Species was the evolution was a slow process through natural selection.

With hermaphrodite organisms which cross only occasionally, and likewise with animals which unite for each birth, but which wander little and can increase at a rapid rate, a new and improved variety might be quickly formed on any one spot, and might there maintain itself in a body and afterwards spread, so that the individuals of the new variety would chiefly cross together.

Islands and water-holes are the true wellsprings of creation. If you want to give evolution a kick start, isolate the population. Darwin was and still is truly amazing!

Mike

Hyper-Speed Evolution Discovered
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/04/scientists-disc.html

Rapid large-scale evolutionary divergence in morphology and performance associated with exploitation of a different dietary resource
http://www.pnas.org/content/105/12/4792.abstract?sid=371b13de-e520-4beb-95c6-dda72c5738ae

Differences in morphology, performance and behaviour between recently diverged populations of Podarcis sicula mirror differences in predation pressure.
http://pt.wkhealth.com/pt/re/oiko/abstract.00010351-200708000-00009.htm

 

Re: Rapid Evolution
Date: 08/03/2008
From: Greg Bear

Fascinating! We already know examples of severe morphological evolution in arthropods and plants over short time scales: cladocerans (water fleas), wings on stick insects (come and go in relatively short time scales). All of these seem to be quick (in some cases, in one generation) adaptive responses to environmental change. In fish, similar morphological differences in individuals of the same species (salmon with white or pale/marbled flesh, another example) puts even more pressure on biologists to justify species diffrentiation. (Or is flesh color like hair color or pelt texture in mammals?) A species differentiation in Darwin's day chiefly referred to the inability to interbreed, but now has undergone a number of definitional changes. Tough to keep up! Darwin and his followers were indeed thinking on very large time scales, and early evolutionists were greatly relieved when astronomers showed the universe was more than a few million years old. My conclusion was, and remains, that evolutionary change is far more complex and rich than was once thought. Even variation can vary!

Sci-fi writers assoc

Date: 07/30/2008 From: Henry Otis Clarke
Location: Kinston

Hello Mr. Bear,

My name is Henry Otis Clarke. I'm interested in joining a writers's association. Can you point me in the right direction?
 

Re: Sci-fi writers assoc
Date: 07/31/2008
From: Greg Bear

Published writers and others can join the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. (www.sfwa.org) The Authors Guild is also a fine organization. And for screenwriters, the Writers Guild of America and its various branches are very important. Also, joining a local writer's support group can also be a lively experience!

Darwin's Radio in this day and time

Date: 07/29/2008 From: Robin
Location: Lakewood Washington

I just wanted to say I am a big fan! I saw you respond in a comment about how Darwin's Radio wasn't dated and I completely agree! I just re-read the book and was thinking myself how it could fit right into the times today. It also makes me feel special when you describe some places in Seattle and I can see them in my head. Good job!
Thanks for all you do!
 

Re: Darwin's Radio in this day and time
Date: 07/31/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Robin! CITY AT THE END OF TIME is also set in part in Seattle, as you'll see on the website slideshow. A few familiar places, somewhat altered...
 

Re: Darwin's Radio in this day and time
Date: 07/31/2008
From: Robin
Location: Lakewood Washington

Way to "Pimp" the new book! I will definitely check that out!
 

Re: Darwin's Radio in this day and time
Date: 08/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

Hmmm... I'll have to get into some rapper rhymes to pump the book, prime the pump, bump the pimp, pinup the art we know and love... stick it to the future, stick it to the power, badness in the hood, chaos on the brain, have to be insane...

Better stick to my day job, no?
 

Re: Darwin's Radio in this day and time
Date: 08/04/2008
From: patrick
Location:

That thang just ain' in ya blood, yo.
 

Re: Darwin's Radio in this day and time
Date: 08/04/2008
From: Greg Bear

Awww... I'll just have to keep writing books now.
 

Re: Darwin's Radio in this day and time
Date: 09/07/2008
From: looking for some academic papers on "sudden evolution"
Location: hamilton square nj

Hi - was thinking about your fantastic book today and began to search the net for some academic or summary papers on the concept of suddent evolution. I found some material about how environmental stress can cause massize speciation, but nothing really definitive about how that stress information gets parsed and stored and acted upon. Meaning, say that there is over crowding in our society, how does the genetic system determine a remedy for that?

How does it actually know what to do about it? I was thinking the remedy could be to grow a horn in the middle of the forhead, for all we know. That was the one thing I was not able to pick up from your book. Maybe I should read it again.

PS - maybe you should start with the Beastie Boys if you wants to get into the Hip-Hop. I always thought of them as what would happed if Jerry Lewis started rapping.
 

Re: Darwin's Radio in this day and time
Date: 09/08/2008
From: Greg Bear

These's a still fairly current bibliography in the back of DARWIN'S CHILDREN which can get you started. Microbial response to stress is fairly well understood, but the long-term response of large social animals to environmental stress, and the effect on their reproduction and genetics, is still only in the early stages of study.

Beastie Boys evolved from Jerry Lewis? Hm...

Come to Lansing!

Date: 07/29/2008 From: Amber Jensen
Location: Lansing, MI

Greg, you should come to Lansing for a book signing! It'll be great!
 

Re: Come to Lansing!
Date: 07/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

Sounds like a fine idea! I'll let you know about signings and tour possibilities if that happens... but not likely this year. In the meantime, please drop by the CITY website and order your personalized, signed copy from whichever fine vendor strikes your fancy--there are several!
 

Re: Come to Lansing!
Date: 07/31/2008
From: Warren
Location: Lansing, MI

I endorse Amber's message!

City at the End of Time - great Science Fantasy

Date: 07/29/2008 From: Tony Hanmer
Location: mostly Ushguli, Republic of Georgia

I found a copy, somewhat unexpectedly, in an SF-themed bookshop in Liverpool, UK, about 2 weeks ago. (Given release dates of August 5, is my copy from the near future, or merely the UK edition, released early?) Thoroughly enjoyed it. Greg, you're in top form here. Some of your books are mostly *science* fiction, others mostly fantasy, others what I would call "science fantasy", somehow bridging the gap. These latter are the best, I think, certainly my favourites: the Eon set, Blood Music, Queen of Angels. "City" also reminds me of your short story about Olmy in the Way - "The Way of all Ghosts", wasn't it? - with its Night Land homage, also referred to in this new book. And, of course, that strange FAR-future piece of yours which was first published in Japanese - I don't have your collected stories on hand to confirm its title.
Beautiful writing, passion, fascinating characters and settings in this new book, long awaited. Thank you very much.

Tony Hanmer
www.geosynchronicity.blogspot.com
 

Re: City at the End of Time - great Science Fantasy
Date: 07/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words, Tony! CATEOT's UK edition has been out for a couple of weeks now and is already in its second pressing. Both the UK and US editions have great covers. Take a look at our website, www.cityattheendoftime.com, for more revelations!
 

Re: City at the End of Time - great Science Fantasy
Date: 07/30/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Well $@%&!!, the Brits already have it in their hot little hands? Dang.
*sigh*.
Be thankful I am a man of "honor" and did not boost that display copy you had at ComicCon; like you kidded me about.
And, actually, I would have felt "inauthentic" doing that.
But I can wait...a few more daze.
Still getting postive bounce backs from those in my contact list who have shown an aptitude for "Stapledonian Vistas" that watched the link to the "Seattle at the End of Time" slide show; and am encouraging those local to me to go to your San Diego signing later in August.

Isn't that on your Birthday, too? The Signing that is...

Cheers

Mike
 

Re: City at the End of Time - great Science Fantasy
Date: 07/31/2008
From: Greg Bear

Boxes just arrived. The book is in warehouses. In less than a week, it will probably be on display! And within a week after that, signings begin.
 

Re: City at the End of Time - great Science Fantasy
Date: 08/04/2008
From: Richard King
Location: San Jose, CA

Greg,

I've not had the opportunity to see, much less read your new work. But... the title reminded me of one of my favorite poems written by Archibald Lampkin (a Canadian poet from the late 19th century) "The City at the End of Things". Here's a link to an online version of it if you're interested.

http://www.bartleby.com/246/1241.html

Sincerely,

Richard King
 

Re: City at the End of Time - great Science Fantasy
Date: 08/04/2008
From: Greg Bear

This is a fantastic find, Richard! I feel I know the poem already--perhaps Hodgson read it before writing THE NIGHT LAND. Lampman is spinning his vision straight out of a steel mill, or one of Blake's Dark Satanic Mills, perhaps, with touches of Dis. (Though I see on the web that Blake was likely referring to the universities of England, rather than factories...) Some of Lampden's verses seem to point directly to descriptions in my own CITY, particularly,

And at the city gate a fourth,
Gigantic and with dreadful eyes,
Sits looking toward the lightless north,
Beyond the reach of memories:
Fast-rooted to the lurid floor,
A bulk that never moves a jot,
In his pale body dwells no more
Or mind or soul,an idiot!
.

Many thanks!
 

Re: City at the End of Time - great Science Fantasy
Date: 08/19/2008
From: Sue
Location: Wisconsin USA

Hi Greg,
I love all your books that I have read, especially Blood Music and the Darwin series. I was unable to follow this book at all, it was too fractured and the various plots went unconnected for so long. The Kalpa references just didn't give me enough to understand what the heck you were getting at. I read the first 150 pages and gave up. Not a complaint; just wanted you to know I still love your writing but this one was not for me.
Sue in Wisconsin
 

Re: City at the End of Time - great Science Fantasy
Date: 08/26/2008
From: Greg Bear

Glad to have a dissenting vote! All those good reviews were starting to look a bit eerie. One of these days I'll write a book that EVERYONE likes... And vanish in a puff of smoke!
 

Re: City at the End of Time - Book Tour ??
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Patrick
Location: Chesapeake, VA

I have been a fan of yours for many years and would like to know if you are planning on a book tour. If you do plan on a book tour for your new book The City at the End of Time or any future books, can you add a link on your home page labeled APPEARENCES?
 

Re: City at the End of Time - Book Tour ??
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear from you, Patrick! One more signing coming up here in Seattle... at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Sunday the 7th of September at 5:30 pm. The signings list is on the opening page of our web site, and we try to keep it timely--so we'll be posting that one on UPCOMING APPEARANCES AND SIGNINGS shortly.

Hard Sci Fi Comics

Date: 07/28/2008 From: Trey Howell
Location: Lexington, VA

Hi Greg,

I'm the co-editor, along with three other guys, of a small--very small--free magazine here in the Shenandoah Valley, called Gone Magazine.

In addition to writing and editing and supplying artwork here and there, I'm also trying to develop a little one-page comic strip. I've been a fan of hard sci-fi all my life (and therefore a fan of yours for equally as long), but never a reader of comic books.

The first thing I discovered is that trying to stick to some sort of verisimilitude is incredibly tough! It's so easy and tempting to simply cut corners and go for what looks cool without worrying whether or not it looks right. I guess that's why Hollywood forever disappoints me.

Rather than tell you what I'm working on, I thought it would be fun to ask you what you would want to see in one full-page science fiction strip, probably laid out like comic book art, probably black and white unless money for color printing falls out of the sky. What does that one page have to have? What can't it have?

(I'd be happy to tell you all about my little opus, but I'll bet you're bored with people pitching at you.)

You're quite welcome to post this question. Perhaps your other readers have interesting ideas, too. Thank you in advance for your comments.

Trey
 

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics
Date: 07/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

I think comics have their own boundaries and requirements, so a truly hard-sf strip might be a real challenge! But I'd focus on really memorable (and unexpected) characters, and meaty plots with lots of action to keep the ideas moving. Since it's all about pictures, tech talk would have to be kept to a minimum, and pithy. There have been excellent sf comic strips in the past, so good luck with your venture!
 

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics
Date: 08/05/2008
From: Vangelis Kritikos
Location: Athens, Greece

Hard SF strip, uh? I don't know... any hard sf story I think of as an example could not be adapted for comics without much, very much, explanation "clouds" (is this the correct term?, anyway).

I am reading Greg Egan's incadescence now and for sure it would be much boring as a comics (although it could work as a movie). Darwins series, would need much, much, talking... I also think of the rather failed Jack Kirby's 2001 comics adaptation...

A space adventure like EON though might be more suitable...

Ok, I hope I confused you enough, I go back to work!

(I would be interested though to read this when its done!)

Vangelis
 

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics
Date: 08/05/2008
From: Greg Bear

Certainly the Heinlein juveniles could be adapted well as comics, and THE FOREVER WAR begs for comic adaptation--if it hasn't been done already! The level of action is key. Think of CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED.
 

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics
Date: 08/06/2008
From: patrick
Location:

I disagree. I always hated the short, four-pane strips in the paper when I was a kid, cos nothing HAPPENED, but a page is enough to do something. Action will kill it being substantive, but there are examples of hard SF with action that are. Look into people such as Robert Silverberg and Hal Clement, and pic simple themes that mimic those in their stories.
 

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics
Date: 08/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

SF demands a Sunday color treatment, no? Or maybe a full page, like Little Nemo...
 

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics
Date: 08/21/2008
From: Stuart
Location: Lakewood, WA

Check out online comics - several complete stories

http://www.bigheadpress.com/
 

Re: Hard Sci Fi Comics
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Stuart! Here's a portal to both Denvention photos and a wealth of entertainment.

4E & RB at ComicCon

Date: 07/28/2008 From: John Sasser
Location: Horrywood, Karloffornia

Mr Bear!

Pleasure to meet you at RB's table.

Enjoy:

http://picasaweb.google.com/johnwaynesasser/4EAndRBAtComicCon080726

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoF-4pd7ru8

Best,

John Sasser
 

Re: 4E & RB at ComicCon
Date: 07/28/2008
From: Greg Bear

What a great set of photos, John! It's a marvel watching 4E work a crowd--and I've been coming to Ray B's talks for over forty-two years now. I hope I have that much charm and energy in another forty years!
 

Re: 4E & RB at ComicCon
Date: 08/04/2008
From: Greg Bear

You obviously need to come to Comic-Con! Lots of shapely creatures wandering around. Some of them more creature than shapely... Klingons, Jokers, Giant Rats, Pokemon figures, etc.

Darwin's Radio and Kennewick Man

Date: 07/28/2008 From: David Acton
Location: Richland WA

Nice note about Kennewick Man in the Seattle Times. We get to have a constant laugh from our local paper The Tri-City Herald. Kennewick Man robs bank; Kennewick Man arrested in hit and run; Kennewick Man sot in string of car prowlings. He stays pretty active for a dead man.
 

Re: Darwin's Radio and Kennewick Man
Date: 07/28/2008
From: Greg Bear

Absolutely! There's a TV movie in this somewhere...

Darwin's Radio

Date: 07/24/2008 From: Kamren
Location: NY, NY

Not quite sure what the term Darwin's Radio is but I just finished your book and, frankly, it was pretty disappointing. After reading practically the whole book to finally reach the point in the storyline where the new stage of human "evolution" was created or born, it was very disappointing to have the book end abruptly at that very point. Not just end slowly and gradually, but rather with full stop and a screeching halt. The whole book was a tease and a build up for these new humans about to be born. To give us 99% tease and 1% of the story of the evolved beings, was very frustrating and upsetting. It felt cheated like watching a movie with an incomplete ending where you do not know or understand what happened and then you resent having paid $12.00 to have sat through it. A book should have a beginning, middle and an understandable end. It should not leave you guessing and wondering as to what happened. I did not enjoy the book at all.
 

Re: Darwin's Radio
Date: 07/28/2008
From: Greg Bear

Point taken. If you look around this forum, you'll notice there's a second book called DARWIN'S CHILDREN.
 

Re: Darwin's Radio
Date: 08/19/2008
From: Forkbeard
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

I think it depends on the story you are reading: I read the story of the discovery of a new subspecies, not the story of that subspecies itself. A story of a birth must and in a birth, of course.

The birth in the end was very symbolic for the birth of the subspecies: difficult and natural. I found the whole story fascinating and it took me two days and nights to read it, I couldn't put it away.

Looking forward to Darwin's Children (ordered it but not yet received it), I hope it's not just a story in that setting but a deeper investigation of the science, in balance with the story, unlike Eon's sequals - I liked Legacy and Eternity but in my opinion it lacked the scientific speculation of Eon.
 

Re: Darwin's Radio
Date: 09/21/2008
From: Gareth
Location: Wales, UK

Lame tripe from the first poster on the thread in my view, but opinions are opinions and everyone's got one... Personally, I absolutely loved Darwin's Radio and am including it in my listmania list on Amazon as one of my favourite ever sci-fi books. While making my list, I realised two of the biggest jolt-down-the-spine hair-standing-on-end adrenaline rushes I've ever got from reading books (a rarity compared to the faster-paced film medium) come from your books. You'll have to excuse me as my memory's crap and I've not read either in a long time (blame real life, boooo!), but the moment the newborn speaks in Darwin's Radio, and the finale to Forge of God will stay with me forever.

Wasn't quite so keen on Darwin's Children (but what a difficult act to follow); Anvil of Stars was a stunning concept but when I first read it as a 15 year old it was so far removed from Forge of God, and so complex, that I struggled (liked the sex scenes back then though, hubba hubba!!). Gave it another go when I was a bit older and loved it!

Love your work, Mr. Bear, your books from Queen of Angels to Eon to Forge of God to Darwin's Radio had a great impact on my imagination and enjoyment of sci-fi as a teenager. Thanks!
 

Re: Darwin's Radio
Date: 09/25/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Gareth!

Darwin's children

Date: 07/23/2008 From: Terri
Location: Austin Texas

Hello Mr. Bear,

My neighbor and I enjoyed both Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children. We had a question about Darwin's Children. We were wondering if there will be another book to follow. There were a few things left such as the girl who was pregnant by a "regular" human whom Christopher released and the placenta that was taken by the doctor. It seemed to both of us to be left as if there may be another book. We would love to have another one to read as we read both of these very quickly. There was also no real detail as to what was found if anything when they found the laboratory filled with "virus children" who were killed or died.

Thank you for your time. We really did enjoy your novels.

Terri and Val
 

Re: Darwin's children
Date: 07/28/2008
From: Greg Bear

For the time being, I don't have plans for a third book. But some of these things spin out over decades, so who can say for sure?
 

Re: Darwin's children
Date: 07/28/2008
From: Jim
Location: Prairieville

Greg,
Just curious why you have not wrote a third book or have no plans to do so? Is it at a point that you are pleased with this series? Are their too many other books/ideas in the works?

The reason I ask is it seems to be your most popular and most requested series. I'm guessing you already know it would make a good amount of money. Could you let us in on your mind set?

I had a hard time understanding Rowling's mindset to let Harry Potter go, Writers dream of having that one book or series that crosses barriers and people seem to get something different out of it from reader to reader.

Then again I still listen to the same 70's music I did when I was in my youth so what do I know.

Jim
 

Re: Darwin's children
Date: 07/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

70s music is great! Publishing--especially sf publishing--is going through a very difficult time now, and after that shakes out, it's possible a third book will be welcomed.
 

Re: Darwin's children
Date: 08/21/2008
From: Stuart
Location: Lakewood, WA

Just finished reading Darwin's Children - read Darwins Radio five years ago. My favorite book of yours is still EON.
I'm at an age where I sometimes buy a Sci-fi book only to find I have read it!..........
Was a Buddhist monk for a decade and love how you merge hard science and spirituality. However, consider spiritual experience are egoless and a merging with non difference(the one/ whole)- lose yourself.
I enjoy Chuang Tsu. A taste- http://www.edepot.com/taochuang2.html
 

Re: Darwin's children
Date: 09/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

That's certainly the tradition within Buddhism, to extinguish self and desire and merge with an egoless eternity. The traditional epiphany is more of a top-down feeling than bottom-up, and outside of one's control. Interesting to know how they might complement each other!

I think you are a great writer

Date: 07/23/2008 From: Peter Moore
Location: cardiff, uk

Hi,
I read a post by your son on the SA forums and he gave a link to here. I just wanted to say i think you are a great writer. I have recently writen my first book, though it hasnt been published yet. It was books like yours that got me into reading when i was a teenager. I hope the book is a success.
 

Re: I think you are a great writer
Date: 07/28/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Peter! Good luck with the book--and keep on writing. One book isn't nearly enough!

Thanks for writing

Date: 07/18/2008 From: Steve Richardson
Location: St Louis MO

I thought that the kind of science fiction writing I enjoy had disappeared, the kind where there are no wizards or enchanted jewelry to bail out the protagonists. But I've recently discovered your "Darwin's Radio" books and I just finished "Eon" so now it's off to the bookstore to see which of your other titles they stock. Thanks for preserving the kind of storytelling that's grounded in real honest-to-goodness science; I've been an engineer for more years than I like to count, and your books really hit the spot.
 

Re: Thanks for writing
Date: 07/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Steve! I have nothing against elves and wizards, but that's a different kind of game. It's just too much fun to play with the net up and stretched tight! But we don't know everything. Sometimes it's necessary to engage in some extreme speculation, just to loosen the old backhand and lob a few balls completely out of the court. Looking forward to your reaction to CITY AT THE END OF TIME.
 

Re: Thanks for writing
Date: 07/20/2008
From: patrick
Location:

And Steve (as I've mentioned these to others here before), you might enjoy Robert L. Forward, Stephen Baxter, and Gregory Benford - all bonified science blokes.
 

Re: Thanks for writing: regarding CITY
Date: 07/22/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg: The following was written, one line every 8 minutes or so, in an unreleated novel work-book tonite. So, on the Eve of your promo tour for CITY AT THE END OF TIME, I wrote you this little bit of "verse:

THE FINAL FALL


Absolutely Nothing.
Null.
Still.
Too Heavy.
The City Falls Thru Time.
Putting in a little.
The Wrong Way Bite.
Empty Roads Glitter.

******
Mike Glosson 07/21/8

CITY Promo

Date: 07/18/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

It just struck me tonite, after I watched the Seattle Flash-Slide show again for the sixth time.

That would make a KEEN Screen Saver!

Unfortunately outside my skill set....

Mike
 

Re: CITY Promo
Date: 07/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

Hmmm... good idea!

Dinosaur Summer

Date: 07/18/2008 From: alison Bradney
Location: Canberra, Australia

Hi Greg,

I have enjoyed reading many of your books, especially the Eon series.

I've just read Dinosaur Summer and thought it would make a great movie. Any chance of that happening?

Best wishes, Alison B.
 

Re: Dinosaur Summer
Date: 07/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

Well, Ray Harryhausen thinks that Brad Pitt should portray him. Have yet to see the new JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, but maybe dinos are making a screen comeback!
 

Re: Dinosaur Summer
Date: 07/20/2008
From: patrick
Location:

I don't see Pitt at all in that role. He's too pretty.
 

Re: Dinosaur Summer
Date: 07/28/2008
From: Greg Bear

Ray's cracking a joke, patrick! (Though Pitt might consent to thin his hair a little...)
 

Re: Dinosaur Summer
Date: 07/29/2008
From: Alison B
Location:

Hi Greg and Patrick,

I think Brad Pitt is a great choice! Ray Harryhausen would have had a full head of hair in 1947 and you need some big stars to ensure box office success...

I think you should seriously pursue this line of thought, Greg.

Best wishes, Alison

 

Re: Dinosaur Summer
Date: 07/29/2008
From: Greg Bear

Actually, Ray was fairly high-domed even in 1947. Tom Hanks is a big Harryhausen fan. Maybe he'd be willing to lift his forehead a bit?
 

Re: Dinosaur Summer
Date: 06/09/2009
From: Helen Jackson
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

I've just blogged about how over-excited I am to have got hold of a copy of Dinosaur Summer. Now I've seen these posts I'm even more excited. Harryhausen is a character?! He's one of my heroes! (I'm an animator, and Harryhausen is pretty much the animators' god.)

http://thelostbook.net/2009/06/09/dinosaur-summer/

Can't wait to read this book...
 

Re: Dinosaur Summer
Date: 06/09/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Helen! There are actually a few copies kicking around that were autographed by Ray H. on his visits to Seattle. Great man!
 

Re: Dinosaur Summer
Date: 06/14/2009
From: Helen Jackson
Location: Edinburgh

@Greg - Unfortunately, I didn't get an autographed copy - but I did get the edition with Tony DiTerlizzi's gorgeous illustrations.

I loved this book! Thanks for taking me on such an entertaining adventure. The book's now going to travel on an adventure of its own - we're going to send it on a "BookCrossing bookray". Basically, we'll gather a list of people all around the world who'd like to read Dinosaur Summer. Each of them will read the book and send it on to the next person in the list, adding their comments and reviews online as they go.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/7273261

Hope you don't mind us sharing your book - bookrays are often a great way of introducing people to authors they haven't yet discovered, and I know people will enjoy this discovery!

Test Needed For Darwin's Radio

Date: 07/17/2008 From: Clinton Burston
Location: Jones County Ninth Grade Academy

Dear Sir-
I am searching for a test for Darwin's Radio to give to my students. The students were assigned this book at the beginning of the summer and will need to be tested over it on July 22. Was there one developed that you are aware of?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Clint
(Principal)
 

Re: Test Needed For Darwin's Radio
Date: 07/22/2008
From: Jim
Location: Prairieville, La

Wow!, I applaud them doing something on Darwin's Radio.
Public Schools in the South and Midwest are so scared of upsetting religious groups they have a whole list of books and areas off limits or just plain taboo. I just moved from Ohio and there are groups watching everything every year demanding books be removed from required reading. Sometimes I wonder if we are moving towards a Christian version of the Taliban (SP?).

Keep up the good work Clint.

Jim
 

Re: Test Needed For Darwin's Radio
Date: 07/28/2008
From: Greg Bear

Actually,the Creationists have been taking some pretty big hits in the courts recently. See "Darwin on Trial," an excellent documentary on the Dover Schools decision.

Irish fan

Date: 07/17/2008 From: Richard Canavan
Location: Dublin/Ireland

Failte Greg,

I first came across your work when i was the grand old age of fourteen.The book was anvil of stars and i found it immensely enjoyable.In the fourteen years that have passed since then i sought out most of your other work and have never been dissappointed.

Recently i was involved in a motor accident which left me with a fractured spine.I had to ly on my back for a couple of months to recover,it was'nt all bad however as your books were never far from reach and helped keep me sane!thank you

Richard Canavan.
 

Re: Irish fan
Date: 07/17/2008
From: Greg Bear

Very sorry to hear about the accident, Richard. I hope all is going well and you're up and about. Glad to be of some help, providing diversion in a tough time!

The Future of Reading. Endangered!

Date: 07/16/2008 From: Christopher Cherry
Location: Durban, South Africa

I have for myself, turning the computer off for a few days helps me to breeze through books. However, when it's on, hardly a chapter or two ever get read.

This article is interesting as I have felt the same. I need to turn the computer off if I want to do some serious reading.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google

How has the internet effected your reading time/habits?
 

Re: The Future of Reading. Endangered!
Date: 07/18/2008
From: Greg Bear

Somehow I always find time to read. I was part of the first TV generation, so managing my media time has never been an issue... I only watch the good stuff! But I confess I don't spend as much time on the Web as my son and daughter do...

As for the Atlantic article, Google is definitely not making ME stupid. I can still read big thick books--and I spend a lot of research time checking on Google. If you know how to use the Internet, it's a major plus for writers. (Compare with the illuminated manuscript version of Atlantic, which published an article in 1592 entitled, "Is the printed book making us stupid?")

Pasco Man?

Date: 07/13/2008 From: David Acton
Location: Richland WA

I just finished Darwin's Radio and will soon start Darwin's Children. I have been a life long resident of the Tri-Cities and help run the local Sci-Fi convention (RadCon) as well as manage a local brewpub with a very literary clientele at the bar (Atomic Ale Brewpub). Your name and books come up often. Anyways, some of the customers and I were wondering if Pasco Man was an accidental overlook of Kennewick Man. Same area just opposite sides of the river, different counties as well.

Peace, Love and Happy Thought,
Dave

P.S. Stop in for a pint if you are in the area. The gang at the pub would love to say hi.
 

Re: Pasco Man?
Date: 07/14/2008
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear from Richland, Dave! Pasco Man is homage to Kennewick Man. During and after the writing of DARWIN'S RADIO, I was in steady contact with Friends of America's Past, a group defending the scientific study of ancient remains. (Wry note here: a recent headline in the Seattle Times proclaimed, "Kennewick man found dead." Bit late for CSI...)
 

Darwin's _______________
Date: 07/15/2008
From: Brian Sherwood
Location: Houston, Tx

I loved the Darwin's Radio/Darwin's Children, er, short series. Do you plan any other books along the same lines, with those or similar characters? It would be interesting to see further along the timeline as the new children age, have children, and start to out-compete home sapiens; would love to read your take on it!

 

Darwin's _______________
Date: 07/15/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words, Brian! At this point, I have no plans to write a third novel in the series.

Um, what? (2nd attempt - heh)

Date: 07/09/2008 From: patrick
Location:

(How's this?)

"She pushed the argument aside, though she was glad that it never stopped nagging at her. When the means existed to transform yourself, instantly and effortlessly, into anything at all, the only way to maintain an identity was draw your own boundaries. But once you'd lost the urge to keep on asking whether or not you'd drawn them in the right place, you might as well have been born Homo Sapiens, with no real choices at all."

This is a passage from Greg Egan's SCHILD'S LADDER. I intended to contact him directly but there appears no such method through is website - so I'm posting it here - open for discussion of course.

The first part isn't true. One way to maintain (or invoke) identity is to do 'draw your own boundaries'. In fact, to 'draw one's own boundaries' is an exercise in subjectivity, arbitrariness, solipsism. People do this already. (I'm skipping the more fundamental determinism argument, here.)

For identity is ultimately in function. Not one's place in something, but how they operate. Actually, there is a rendering beyond a synthesis that is one's context in space-time. That is, identity is not 'your place in society', but your how you move through it, how you move through the cosmos really, which is also inclusive of 'where'. Of course humans are inherently endowed with gross or crude metaphorical tools, so 'place' is the general concern - vs 'state' (which is not a static quality). This all suggests discovering boundary conditions through some (at least somewhat) rigorous methodolgy. Works in science.

Then there's the second part of the quoted paragraph above, ending in the contrast to Homo sapiens. I'm curious what this means, as I didn't find it preluded to or elaborated on later in the chapter. However, some things to note:

- the tone of the paragraph

- the tone of the character's temperament with regard to the passage


What urge? Why? Why not just casually curious? People are generally concerned with (read: insecure about) their place, whether they're in the right place, are they doing the right things.....bleh.

Further, onward in the chapter, there is a meeting with the character and her potential benefactors in an experiment the character is intent on conducting. During this meeting, a final assessment to determine whether the experiment will be condoned, etc, she experiences quite human-like emotional reactions: incredulity, hubris, ambition, and most of all, novelty - novelty for the Earth she left some centuries prior, for the social environment she experienced there, etc. 'Evolved' creature, indeed.

Well, I just couldn't read any more of it. {In contrast to the human attributes described above} I have casual interest in everything. I'm quite capable of running with them provided the field...and if not, then I do something else...or I sit and watch the sky. This seems much more evolved to me.

Lest someone think this expression is based in frustration or what-have-you over the quoted text; rather it is merely a casual expression on an experience of discontinuity of function in the character portrayed in the text. I mean, if we're gonna set the SF stage, why not go all the way?
 

Re: Um, what? (2nd attempt - heh)
Date: 07/11/2008
From: Greg Bear

Interesting passage! Full of philosophical questions. My guess is it's also filled with what R.G. Collingwood called absolute presuppositions--axioms, as it were, related to culture and language. A full analysis would no doubt fill volumes. And so I intend to remain on the sidelines while you write!
 

Re: Um, what? (2nd attempt - heh)
Date: 07/12/2008
From: patrick
Location:

(Hm. There isn't a lot in the Wiki on Collingwood. Briefly, I agree art is essentially emotional expression....but so are lots of things. What distinguishes art? I assume this question would define art, as well. However, such an answer isn't necessary. Neither necessary is the question preceeding that. That below at least hints at why.)


Well, that's just it. An analysis is rather abstract, as well as abstracted from the context. And while in some cases this remove can bring a sort of perspective to things, I prefer a more integrated and dynamic approach. Hence, for me (in my process), the implied question is : is fiction useful in defining ourselves? If the answer is yes - which I think it very evidently is - then it defaults to a practice of (at least somewhat) rigorous methodology informed by vision. Or, expressed thusly: conservative in method, visionary* in outlook. Particularly here, the question then comes: where is the telling of stories in light of this?


*Visionary defined not by biological, egocentric, cultural, genderal, or any other anthropomorphic frames - but defined by the degree of emotional expansion an entity is capable. That is, the breadth of their emotional context: their degree of open-ness to experience, while being unattached to any portion of it. Of course, one could be concerned with the potential 'meta-layers' of attachment, and the answer there is to not ask the question, for it invokes what it seeks to rectify or prevent.

Wonderful Web Site

Date: 07/07/2008 From: Rouald Laurenson
Location: La Jolla

Greg, that is a great site for City at the End of Time.

I liked reading the critics on it: gave me that little chill and reminder of why we like to read the imagination, besides any usefulness else I might have mentioned. Life is not near full enough without this.

Really looking forward.

I kind of thought you might have taken those images - and that yarn lady too. Well, it is a very evocative use of Flash with them. Remind me to introduce you to the lady I met at the RCA.

After heat death, eh. I am waiting to see how you handle that, but I guess with the entwinings of the Way, this will not be out of bounds.

I am feeling a little that way myself, sitting here in one of the student center atria at UCSD. It was a shadow of its present self, when I almost went for a PhD here lo the many ago. But I like what is seems to have become: somehow in pursuing the machine dream, and perhaps as it turned to intricate evo-devo, it's become more human. That way too, and haven't we met this before in your work??

All best, and respect in congratulations.

Rouald

 

Re: Wonderful Web Site
Date: 07/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Rouald! Astrid and I did indeed take those pictures. I Photoshopped them, and Terran animated them to music. A lot of fun--and more to come. Spread the word!

The New CITY Teasers Look Great

Date: 07/06/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg!

Wow! The Seatle Teaser sent shivers down my back. CITY "is" a collision of THE CITY AND THE STARS, THE NIGHT LANDS, THE END OF ETERNITY, LEGENDS FROM THE END OF TIME, various "Last Men" books, and etc.

Definite hints of Existential Temporal Horror too!

But something beyond all the precursors in the Entropy Days literary tradition of Science Fiction.

That certain blog is somewhat "cute" for those hip to the whole cycle of end of days.

Pity we can't adjust the time line so ComicCon occurs after the Release Date. :)
 

Re: The New CITY Teasers Look Great
Date: 07/07/2008
From: Greg Bear

I'll also be at Worldcon, early August--books should be available by then! We'll be handing out a lot of promotional material at Comic-Con--buttons and cards and such. Look for us at the Del Rey booth. Should be a blast!

possible appearance at WV Book Faire April 18 2009

Date: 07/03/2008 From: Pamela K. Coyle
Location: Martinsburg WV

The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Libraries are coordinating the 2009 WV Book Faire to be held in Martinsburg, WV on April 17 and 18th.

If you are available for either of those dates--for a book signing and short speech, please send information on honorarium and other expenses.

Thanks so much for considering participation in this event.

Pamela K. Coyle
Martinsburg Public Library Director
304 267 8933.

City at the End of Time, Question?

Date: 07/03/2008 From: Christopher Cherry
Location: Durban, South Africa

Is this the third book in what could be possibly called a trilogy? Of The Way, EON, Eternity and possibly City at the End of Time.

Thanks Greg,

Chris.
 

Re: City at the End of Time, Question?
Date: 07/04/2008
From: Greg Bear

No strong connection with EON. There's already three books and a novella in that sequence, LEGACY, EON, and ETERNITY. "The Way of All Ghosts" also pays homage to Hodgson, but it's not otherwise related to CITY.

Somewhat Sad News: Star Trek the Experience to close after August

Date: 07/01/2008 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Dear Greg:

I know you were a Star Trek Fan back during the original series, even write an Original Series Trek Novel. And Many of your readers here probably are as well.

We've been following the potentially sad news as soon as we got back from Vegas and had our wedding on the Bridge of the Enterprise:

Star Trek: The Experience is Closing on September 1, 2008, after an 11 year run.

The News item here:

http://www.trektoday.com/news/010708_05.shtml

We were hoping for an 11th Hour reprieve at ComicCon in July, or worse, an 11:55 PM miracle announced at the big Trek Convention in Vegas in August.

So much for Hope.

So, if you or any of your readers are in Vegas this summer, and haven't hit the Experience before, or want to do it again, this is your last change.

 

Re: Somewhat Sad News: Star Trek the Experience to close after August
Date: 07/01/2008
From: Greg Bear

Eleven years and how many visitors? Wow! Probably everyone in the western world has seen it! But it may be resurrected if the new incarnation of TREK takes off in the cinema. I remember TREK when it died back in 1967... and came back in 1977-1980, then almost faded away again... then came back as more movies, and a new television show... Harder to kill than a vampire!
 

Re: Somewhat Sad News: Star Trek the Experience to close after August
Date: 07/04/2008
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Storm woke me up from a sound sleep when this broke a few nights ago:

http://trekmovie.com/2008/07/01/star-trek-the-experience-closure-follow-up-cbs-hints-at-a-future/

In short: CBS won't auction off the Props and Gear, and are exploring possibilities for a) a new location and b) a new company to run it.

On other news: It was just announced yesterday that there will be no official TREK presence at ComicCon this year, i.e. Monstro-Panels, revelations, etc. Just the Paramount booth.

Very Odd. As Everybody was expecting SOMETHING there.

Mike