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July - December 2009

Mariposa/ QoA / Slant connections

Date: 12/30/2009 From: David Wright
Location: Texas

I'm just 70 pages in, and already seeing references to QoA/Slant. For instance, my guess is the tech that is "improving" the nine guys is likely nano-tech. There's mention of Colonel Sir Yeardly. I have some guesses about other characters.

Is this going to try to "exactly" fit into the other books, or be like a 2001/2010/2061/3001, where it's sort of a continuum but not an exact date-for-date, character-for-character fit (Clarke indicated the books weren't exactly sequels)?

I ask because it seems Mariposa occurs around 2015-2020 or so. It's after 2010, in any case. As per QoA, Yeardly starts his rule of Hispanola around 2018 and he apparently hasn't done that yet. Mary Choy was born in either 2017 or 2019 (unclear from dates/ages in QoA and Slant, so lets say 2017). There is a mention of a Mary (Rebecca is trying to adopt her?), so maybe Mariposa is around 2017 or so?

You probably don't want to be precisely tied down, especially since QoA was written close to 20 years ago, and the 2040's seemed like a long time away, but I'm anal this way :) Of course, if you're just wanting to tell a good story, that's fine with me too.
 

Re: Mariposa/ QoA / Slant connections
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Very good detective work, Mr. Holmes! But you have yet to catch all the clues...
 

Re: Mariposa/ QoA / Slant connections
Date: 01/18/2010
From: David Wright
Location: Texas (not Lion City)

WARNING: Spoilers ahead:

Okay, should have finished reading before typing. No nano-tech, in the brain stuff anyway.

My best guess is that the year in Mariposa is 2019. Looks like it is spring or summer, according to the weather.

According to Mariposa, Idaho hasn't ceded yet, although William Griffen indicates they are rumblings in direction. In Slant, there was a secession standoff that killed Giffey's parents in July, 2020. So Mariposa is before that, but probably not too long before. Also, according to Slant, Mary Choy was born in 2017 (she's 35), and she's a 2-year-old in Mariposa. Those things narrow it pretty well.

Slant gives Mary's age as 35, making her born around 2017, which fits here. QoA has a typo on her birth year as 2019, but perhaps the confusion was her adoption date verses birth date?

According to QoA, Colonel Sir Yardley started his rule of Hispanola in 2018 (it's implied, perhaps "rule" is a strong word?) so he's there already to allow Price to end up there with him.

We also know that it has to be between 2011 and 2028, due to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to White House, "for almost 140 years" (chapter 29), which was built between 1871-1888.

Note: In Mariposa, Nathaniel Trace is listed as being 36 (chap 14) and 37 (chap 24). Might have been a birthday between the two chapters that I missed, since they are a few days apart.

By the way, this means that Quantico occurred in 2017, since it's about "2 years after Mecca" according to chapter 18.

How's that?
 

Re: Mariposa/ QoA / Slant connections
Date: 01/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

Pretty amazing, David! I didn't actually go back myself and do the math. Good to know it's well within the ballpark. Now about that space program detail...
 

Re: Mariposa/ QoA / Slant connections
Date: 01/29/2010
From: David Wright
Location: Texas (not Lion City yet)

I wasn't going to mention that in Heads there are already 15 Families on the Moon by 2019. :)

Obama cutting funding for NASA's next Moon mission doesn't help that any. :(
 

Re: Mariposa/ QoA / Slant connections
Date: 02/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

In the late nineteen sixties, I thought we might send out star probes by now...
 

Re: Mariposa/ QoA / Slant connections
Date: 05/08/2011
From: william roberts
Location: nashville,tn

wait wait wait so QoA has to do with this series? i'm confused
 

Re: Mariposa/ QoA / Slant connections
Date: 05/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

MARIPOSA ties in QUANTICO with QoA and subsequent novels, through the introduction of Thinkers, Green Idaho, etc. I found the politics and technology in all these novels were excellent matches.

Halo and The Forerunners

Date: 12/30/2009 From: Shawn Kandelac
Location: Muskegon, MI

Mr Bear,

My name is Shawn Kandelac, and I understand you'll be the author of the next trilogy of Halo novels. Ive known about this for months (though it feels like forever), and I was just wondering if you had an estimate at a release date for the first.

I truly, madly hope that you'll be able to get it out on the market before the end of the first quarter this next year. You see, I love Halo. The games, the books, comics, etc. I eat it all up. I want a movie, but Neill Blomkamp got screwed out of it.

I hope I don't sound bitchy and annoying, I just want some more new Halo data. I crave it like a junky. :)

Thanks Mr. Bear,

ShawN
Shawn Kandelac
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, ShawN! I'm about to launch the first book in the next couple of weeks. This is going to be one fascinating journey. Already working with the fine folks at HALO, coming up with fresh ideas and continuity. There will be some updates as work goes on, but no reveals...
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 01/08/2010
From: Keifer
Location: L-Burg, KY

Due to Frankie's statement that said the new Halo novel would be wrote by Greg Bear and to "think Eon" I went and read Eon.

I've gotta say it was the best book I've read in a while. I can think of no better author to clear up the mysteries of the forerunners. (Sorry Nylund, it just doesn't seem your style.)

I too am a huge Halo fan, have religiousy played all the games and read ALL the books many times. My tastes of Sci-Fi have been focused on newer IP, but this has gotten me into reading the old school novels such as Asimov, Bear, Heinlen. It has opened up a whole new world for me.

I look forward to the first installment of the forerunner series!
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 01/08/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Keifer. You might take a look at Eric Nylund's MORTAL COILS--which I very much enjoyed. And if you haven't already, also search out the works of Olaf Stapledon, E. E. Smith, and of course Sir Arthur Clarke for galaxy-spanning vistas which helped shape my own imagination!
 

halo novel release date
Date: 01/23/2010
From: earl
Location: earl

mr. Bear,

I know that you can not inform us of the relese date of your halo novel but can I at least be informed of what month I should be expect this novel?

I am a HUGE halo fan and love these novels.

Thanks,
Earl
 

halo novel release date
Date: 01/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

Have to write them first, but likely 2011 for the first volume.
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 07/01/2010
From: Ted
Location: Ontario

Hi mr bear, I know it's been a while since ppl have postedon this thread but I have heard different things about your new halo series. One of which being that the first one is going to be released withing a matter of days. Is this true or are you still writing?
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

Still writing! The Covenant is spreading nasty rumors. Likely pub date: late this year. Look for our 343 panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where more will be revealed!
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 07/21/2010
From: Major Williams
Location:

Thanks for the date! I've been waiting to hear some news since it was announced last April! Do you have any recommendations for me of your novels that would get me prepped for the release in the fall?
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 07/28/2010
From: Cory Hanks
Location: Lexington, KY

Excuse me but I just saw a post from "Keifer" here from L-Burg, KY. I am from there and currently reside in Lexington. I'd love to meet up with a fellow Halo fan!
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 08/06/2010
From: Greg Bear

I'd suggest EON and THE FORGE OF GOD/ANVIL OF STARS. As well, CITY AT THE END OF TIME has popped up in two major gaming studios here in Seattle as entertainment reading...

On our Halo panel at Comic-Con, I gave a shout-out for some exciting news about EON. More soon...
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 10/11/2010
From: mark brennan
Location: framingham ma

do you think in JAN the new book will come out.
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

January 4th, barring an early appearance of the Flood...
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 02/25/2011
From: erik
Location: Seattle

Bravo! on the first entry in your Halo trilogy, Mr. Bear. Compelling plotline that sets the stage for quite the trilogy. I can't wait for number 2. Thanks to contributions by authors such as you, the Halo universe is becoming the preeminent science-fiction creation with origins outside of literature. I hope 343 studios keeps the ball rolling in the right direction....
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 04/03/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, erik! I think 343 is doing a terrific job. They're great fun to work with. And of course all due credit to all the original creators!
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 04/04/2011
From: Damian
Location: Townsville, Australia

So I realise I'm being greedy here, but when do you estimate the next book will be ready for my consumption. I feel like the AI you described in Cryptum, so hungry for information...
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 04/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

No change from all the above answers yet. But glad you're staying interested, Damian!
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 05/26/2011
From: Dalton Pain
Location: Melbourne, Australia

I've read the frist Halo Forerunner book and was impressed. I just want to know when the second book will release because i can't wait for it
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 06/02/2011
From: Scott
Location: Holtsville, NY

Hi Mr. Bear -

I loved Halo:Cryptum... I couldn't put it down! I recommended it to my local library and they purchased it for their collection. Do you have any update regarding book 2 in the series?
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 07/30/2011
From: Greg Bear

Looks like January 2012! Thanks, Dalton.
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 07/30/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Scott--January 2012! Last chapters being spun out even now.
 

Novels and Questions For the Future
Date: 08/06/2011
From: Mitsuki Nakamura
Location: St. Albans, West Virginia

Mr. Bear,

I have not yet read Halo: Cryptum, but before I start a trilogy of books that is incomplete I like to know what kind of wait I am looking at enduring. I know you can't say anything specific, but can I assume that since the second book should be released roughly 1 year after the first, then the third book should arrive sometime early 2013? Barring, as always, some unforeseen complications.

I look foward to reading Halo: Cryptum and the subsequent titles greatly, and I am about to buy and read Cryptum today at some point, regardless of wait time, but its easier to wait patiently when I know how long I will be waiting.

Also, another question I have to ask: what is the title of the upcoming release? On that note, is the title set on the third book yet? I think you said at SDCC, but I can't recall for certain. If not I will try to ask again closer to the release date of both books.

Lastly, I apologize for any errors/inconsistencies in my above message, I do not currently have access to a computer, so this was written using my cell phone.

Sincerely,
Mitsuki Nakamura
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 08/25/2011
From: Ghaz
Location: Ontario

Hi Greg!

Cryptum started very slow but got very mysterious and amazing! I just wanted to know what medicant bias is for I still don't understand and also wanted to know the names of your up coming books! Thank you.
 

Novels and Questions For the Future
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Mitsuki! PRIMORDIUM, the second Forerunner novel, will be pubished in January 2012. No date set for the third book--still needs to be written! And no title yet.
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

HALO PRIMORDIUM is due in January 2012. HULL ZERO THREE (not a Halo novel) is now in trade paper and well worth a read! And for more extensive far-future speculation, take a look at CITY AT THE END OF TIME, also in trade paper.
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 01/05/2012
From: Peter Wone
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Tell me something, was the notion of the Flood as a biological boobytrap left by spiteful Precursors your own invention or part of original Halo canon?

Biological weapons are a fascination for me, ever since I realised that my own nation has conducted three full-scale field deployments of engineered diseases. WHAT!? Well, kind of. Read on...

Once upon a time some Americans were smugly telling me on usenet about how everyone owes the USA for being sheltered under their nuclear umbrella, and I decided to wind them up by telling them that Australia has biological weapons. As I'm quite sure you know, a good yarn is composed largely of statements that are true, and the story I spun for them was composed of verifiable facts, with only the conclusions being my own.

The story I told is very Michael Crichton, but he's dead, and you did such a wonderful job on Cryptum that I can only hope you'll do something with it.

CSIRO (a sort of govt sponsored research lab, see wikipedia for more on that) engineered a biological control factor called Myxomatosis and deployed it to eradicate rabbit populations in Australia.

They then spent the next three decades studying disease propagation, reservoirs, vectors and the development of resistance, ways to precisely target the control factor and all the other aspects of a good biological weapon.

The reason CSIRO never seems to run out of money on a paltry govt stipend is that it gets a lot of donations from organisations interested in the fruit of the research. The part where I wandered from recorded history into speculation was asserting that the Australia military was open handed whenever research "for farmers" had direct military application. Like targeted diseases.

So there it is. While other nations have certainly engineered diseases, only one has conducted large scale trials and three full scale deployments and spent forty years studying the effects.

Our respective histories are peppered with this stuff: America builds a huge telescope, so Australians with telescope envy and small budgets invent the array telescope. America builds a satellite network, Australia gets satellite envy and invents over the horizon radar that uses the ionosphere to see past planetary curvature (incidentally enraging USAF when it transpires that their expensive stealth planes are only invisible from below and show up clearly on a technology that any tin-pot nation can build).

I hope you find something useful above. I loved what you did with the Halo universe and I would dearly love to see a writer of talent do something with the bioweapon stuff.
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Peter! Working so closely with 343 it's hard to tell who comes up with what any more! The blighted UK island and bio-warfare comes up in my novel QUANTICO, as well...
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 02/23/2012
From: Nero
Location: new york

i started out reading cryptum, im on primordium(while i wait for the third forerunner book I've picked up eon and hull three zero.) when can i expect the third book? before or after the release of halo 4? I'm ready.
 

Re: Halo and The Forerunners
Date: 04/07/2012
From: Greg Bear

Book Three will likely be out in January, after the release of HALO 4.

Blood Music, Chapter One

Date: 12/25/2009 From: Jim White
Location: South Carolina (at present, Prachatica, Czech Republic)

According to KurzweilAI.Net on December 24 2009,
"The Unither Nanomedical & Telemedical Technology Conference (Quebec, February 23-26, 2010) will focus on development of medical nanobots and nanomedical therapies, nanomedical pharmaceuticals, nano-bio interfaces and hybrids, systems biology to accelerate nanomedical therapies, and telemanagement of miniature in-vivo medical devices, with a keynote by Ray Kurzweil.

Conference co-chairs are Martine Rothblatt, Pr←sidente directrice g←n←rale, Unither Biotech, Inc., and
Baruch S. Blumberg, Senior Advisor to the President, Fox Chase Cancer Center"
 

Re: Blood Music, Chapter One
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Wonder if Vergil I. Ulam is looking for work?

Caught David Brin on "Life After People"

Date: 12/24/2009 From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, Wa

Good old Dave was going on about how chimps, living in abandoned skyscrapers, might learn to only harvest the eggs they needed to live, and leave some eggs behind, in order that their food source might be sustainable. And, they might therefore evolve to be the next sentient, intelligent race on Earth.

I liked "Kiln People," and I will leave my comments at that. Anyone else?

Kelly
 

Re: Caught David Brin on
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Intelligent species, arising from the apes? Humbug!
 

Re: Caught David Brin on
Date: 01/02/2010
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Ever

Har, har. The point being, though, is that they are doing this in abandoned skyscrapers, which pretty severely limits the time they have to make this leap. Centuries, not millennia.
 

Re: Caught David Brin on
Date: 01/06/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hey, if they could do it in the PLANET OF THE APES movies... but of course, in that case, there was a genetics time loop involved. At least for the chimpanzees. (And never call them "chimps." They'll rip your face off.)

First Book - LCSC

Date: 12/22/2009 From: Breanne Durham
Location: Lewiston, ID

Dear Mr. Bear,

My name is Breanne Durham and I am the Coordinator of First Book, a childhood literacy program at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. I would like to invite you to participate in our program by donating autographed books for our online auction fundraiser.
One in every five children in our area lives in poverty. In the state of Idaho, one in every six children goes to bed hungry. Nationally, 61% of children living in low-income households have no age-appropriate books at home. These are the children that First Book was designed to reach.
First Book is a national non-profit organization with a single mission: to give children in low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Our grants will benefit libraries, homeless and crisis shelters, schools and Head Start programs throughout North Central Idaho and a portion of Eastern Washington. In just two years we have distributed almost 26,000 books to more than 2,600 children. More information can be found at www.firstbook.org.
The First Book-LCSC advisory board is soliciting autographed books to be auctioned online. We hope you will sign one or more of your books and donate them today. One-hundred percent of the funds raised will be used to purchase books for children. All donations are tax deductible and may be sent to:
First Book-LCSC
Lewis Clark Service Corps
Lewis-Clark State College
500 8th Avenue
Lewiston, ID 83501
Thank you in advance for your support of First Book and your part in giving the gift of reading to needy children. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Sincerely,

Breanne Durham
Coordinator, First Book - LCSC
208.792.2194
bjdurham@lcsc.edu
Breanne Durham | Service-Learning, Volunteer Center and First Book-LCSC Coordinator
Lewis-Clark State College | 500 8th Ave | Lewiston, ID 83501 | 208.792.2194
 

Re: First Book - LCSC
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the notification, Breanne! Sounds like a very worthy cause. I'll send a book shortly.

Any ideas from the master of sci fi ?

Date: 12/21/2009 From: Sean Van Duser
Location: San Fernando Valley CA

Hi Mr. Bear,
Big fan of your work. I wanted to tap into your intellect. If you were designing a website that would revolutionize the way businesses communicate, using ai scheduling software, what would you call the website? If you have any ideas I would greatly appreciate it.

Keep up the great work


Loyal Fan

Sean
 

Re: Any ideas from the master of sci fi ?
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hm... How about Penelope? Penelopesaves.com

Design a stern but sexy secretarial type as your interface. Miss Moneypenny with genius tech skills. Have her keep your life in order, and send you little notes and such as reminders. Good luck!
 

Re: Any ideas from the master of sci fi ?
Date: 03/14/2010
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Vergina?
 

Re: Any ideas from the master of sci fi ?
Date: 06/21/2010
From: Al Brady
Location: st neots

@ Andrew Carpenter

Im not sure thats a new concept. Ive got loads of sites like that favourited.

Scince Fiction Museum

Date: 12/21/2009 From: Don Maitz
Location: Florida

Hi Greg,

Been a while - Happy Holidays!

I have been in contact with Mike Resnick who suggested I contact you because of your affiliation with the Museum of Science Fiction. I recently painted Mike's portrait on a cover to one of his books as it seemed a fitting image to portray the content of the short story anthology. I am not the only artist who has incorporated authors and other important contributors to Science Fiction as subjects for published art, as we have seen several renditions of such important personalities painted by well established artists over the years. It occurred to me that these renditions contain an interesting nexus for display in a venue like the SF Museum. Original artworks created within the genere might have an opportunity to be preserved and seen by the public. Since likenesses of these subjects are portrayed within the context of their creations by artists with an agenda to present science fiction for the public's consumption, they present more authenticity to the field than a photographic head shot. Also, these paintings relate to specific publications of the author's work which ads an accessible public link to the art, the artist, the author and the published item. Many institutions commission portraits of their founding fathers. In this case, the portraits are already commissioned by publishers and have a public history that relates to the basis of the museum. I am not entirely familiar with the Science Fiction Museum, so please forgive me if this suggestion is out of line. But would the museum have an interest in these kind of works which might make for a unique and appealing public collection?

If you wish to see the image I did for Mike's anthology, Blasphemy, let me know how to forward you a jpeg. Thanks for your consideration, and I hope you are doing well - Janny says hello.

Don

metabolomics

Date: 12/21/2009 From: Jerry Ryan
Location: Boston

I am reading Mariposa (enjoying it a lot - thanks!)
Yesterday, I received the following email from a friend - it seems eerily like a plot for a new conspiracy. I though you might find it interesting.
Merry Christmas!

"Guys --

Only a handful of companies very important to the future of healthcare in the US and abroad specialize in the research and development of technologies and products for the field of personalized medicine (medicine that is specific to a particular patient, rather than traditional, one-size-fits-all, medicine).

The market for personalized medicine in the United States is already $232 billion, and it is projected to grow 11 percent annually, reaching $452 billion by 2015.

This growth is predicated upon (1) advances in genomics (the branch of genetics that studies organisms in terms of their genomes (their full DNA sequences)), proteomics (the branch of molecular biology that studies the set of proteins expressed by the genome of an organism), and metabolomics (the study of the range of metabolites present in a person's body at normal times, and when suffering from specific diseases), (2) completion of the human genome map, and (3) development of "targeted" diagnostics, companion diagnostics, and therapeutics.

Real and long-term meaningful healthcare reform will be based upon a switch to personalized medicine, away from sickness care, and toward wellness care: care that is (1) personalized, (2) participatory, (3) preventive, and (4) predictive. Personalized medicine will improve (1) access, (2) quality, (3) cost, and (4) safety of care.

Available personalized medicine tests, for example, enable caregivers to (1) identify an individual's susceptibility to, or current presence of, disease, (2) predict how that individual will respond to a particular drug, (3) eliminate unnecessary tests or therapies, (4) reduce the incidence of adverse reactions to drugs or tests, (5) increase the efficacy of treatments, and, ultimately, of course, (6) improve healthcare outcomes, while producing lower: pain, suffering, loss of comfort, freedom, and/or mobility, loss of work-based and home-based productivity, and financial costs.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Industries Group has just written a 52-page thoughtful report on the potential of, and barriers to, personalized medicine that I believe is very much worth at least scanning. It is entitled The Science of Personalized Medicine: Translating the Promise into Practice, and it can be downloaded at http://www.pwc.com/personalizedmedicine.

The report predicts that molecular diagnostics will be one of the big winners, more than doubling from $3 billion to $7 billion, with a substantial market share. Who would have thought just a decade or two ago that such would be the case.

I close with a key paragraph from the report:

The 20th century was marked by extraordinary advances in technology that would have seemed beyond the imagination at the start of the century. When the Wright Brothers took flight off the sands of Kitty Hawk in 1903, few could imagine that in the space of less than 70 years a man would set foot on the moon. Similarly, we believe the 21st century will give rise to advances in genomic and proteomic science that cannot yet be envisioned, and will yield results on a similarly grand scale.

Best,

John

__________________________________
John A. Norris, JD, MBA
Chairman and CEO
Norris Capital, Inc.
531 West Washington Street
Hanson, MA 02341
O: 781-447-3732; C: 617-680-3127
John_Norris_Sr@NorrisCapital.com

Almost from the openning pages of MARIPOSA

Date: 12/19/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Our friend STAR just returned from a 5 continent world trip and this is one of the things she shot in Dubai:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJM7G3ehYHM

My comment to this was something like "The Height of Arab Decadence"

If your readers want to poke around a bit on her channel, there's also shots of her "Dune Basing" side trip in Dubai:

Sand, Snow, and Global Impacting Bankruptcy. You might have been to conservative in your projection of when Dubai was gonna crash and burn...

MG
 

Re: Almost from the openning pages of MARIPOSA
Date: 12/21/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hm! We've seen similar installations in Japan...

The upcoming Halo Trilogy

Date: 12/19/2009 From: Cory hanks
Location: Lexington, KY

Greg,
As a longtime fan of your work and science fiction in general, and as a HUGE fan of the Halo games, I am extremely excited for your upcoming trilogy of Halo novels detailing the forerunner civilizations and conflicts. I can't think of a better author to spill the details on an ancient race of interstellar geniuses, who ended their own existence for the lives of others.

Is there any information at all that you can give us on these books other than the "2010" release date? Any particular month or season that you are shooting for? I'm sure it will detail The Mantle, but will the books include known characters like Didact, The Librarian, Mendicant Bias, or even the more recognized Gravemind that gamers have come to know through the video games?

Good luck on this endeavor and I can say that I will be preordering and picking up this book the day it comes out.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

My lips are sealed! I'm finishing a novel now, and will embark on the first book in the trilogy within the next couple of weeks. 2010 might be a bit optimistic for the appearance of the first volume...
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/07/2010
From: Mike
Location: St Louis MO

Greg,
As a long time fan and father of two video game loving teens who do not like SF PLEASE work your magic with the Halo series and capture the imagination of the video game loving non reading youth. No pressure but you could actually turn millions of teens and young adults into SF reading fiends.

I got hooked as a 6th grader after reading Wells' The Time Machine. I was in college when I began devouring your work while in college. My oldest son read OSC's Enders Game after he lost a bet-it was kind of like punishment. Even though I was sure it would spark interest it did not.

The power is in your hands. Help us Greg Bear, you are our only hope.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

Working with the Halo team is a pleasure. I'm plunging in this week!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 08/17/2010
From: Michael Spangler
Location: Texas

please get this out as quickly as possible, i cant play the games because im not a xbox dude but the books are the bomb!! i cant wait for them to come out... so if you need and 'help' with the "editing" or anything just get in touch and ill "help"
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Working away, Michael! (and HALO REACH looks fabulous, just in case you're teetering on the edge of becoming an XBox dude...)
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 09/06/2010
From: Nolan Carrillo
Location: Muncie, IN

Greg,

I sincerely hope you read "The Fall of Reach" and "Ghosts or Onyx" from the Halo series. They are, by far, THE best books in the Halo series AND the best to showcase the Halo Universe. I'm told your books will be about the Forerunners and the 2 above books both reference Forerunner technology, especially "Ghosts of Onyx". I'm sure you are sick of hearing about them but as a fan of the Halo Universe I can't NOT tell you about them and how great they are.

If they aren't already, they really SHOULD be required reading...

Thanks.

Good luck Mr. Bear, and Godspeed.

 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

Absolutely! I follow in the path of an excellent group of writers and developers and designers. And I'm listening to all of them!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 09/30/2010
From: Daniel Smith
Location: Florida

Can you update us to a possible realease date?
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

January 4, I hear! Editorial corrections are complete. On to copyedit and galleys.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 10/07/2010
From: B. Johnson
Location: Oregon

Mr. Bear,


I just finished reading the last book in the Halo series "Ghost of Onyx" and man all I can say is "don't leave us hanging" I pick up all of the books over a month ago and finished them in no time. Huge, fan of Eric Nylund and felt he has done the best so far out of all the authors in the Halo series. You are no doubt praised highly and several awards and accolades to support this so I wait in eager anticipation of your first release. If there is any way you have any influence with those involved with moving up the release date on this, it'd be great to get it out before if not around Christmas.

Eagerly awaiting...

Bill
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Release is definitely January, and remember, I'm stretching back to the beginnings of the story... 100,000 and more years ago! Hope you enjoy the books.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 11/14/2010
From: Tim Tucker
Location: Southern California

Having Greg Bear write a trilogy for Halo is a Halo player/hard science fiction fan's dream come true. The Halo story has been promoted to the "big leagues"!!!

Thanks, Greg.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 11/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

It's definitely big-scale, classic sf! And check out HULL ZERO THREE on your way to pick up CRYPTUM...
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 12/07/2010
From: Fin Aeros
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Greg,

I got Hull Zero Three a little while ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't wait to read your treatment of the Forerunner and experience your part of the Halo universe.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 12/16/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Fin--I just got my first copy of HALO CRYPTUM and it looks great. HULL ZERO THREE, meanwhile, is in its second big printing and hitting a lot of the Best of the Year lists. More to come!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/14/2011
From: Dan Reierson
Location: Seattle Washington

Loved Halo Cryptum...Just wondering what the proposed release dates were for the other two books.

http://www.dcr3773.deviantart.com/#/d36uag7

Just a piece of fan art.

Sincerely,


Dan
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/16/2011
From: Greg Bear

TBD-- to be determined! First they have to be written, of course, and that requires due thought and care...
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/26/2011
From: Christopher Garcia
Location: Dallas, TX

Hey Greg,

I am a huge fan and have read all of the halo novels. I just finished reading Halo: Cryptum and I have to say that this is one of the finest pieces of writing I have ever had the privilege of reading. You have set the bar for all future halo novel writers. I am eagerly awaiting the next two volumes. In the mean time I plan on picking up some of your other titles. Please don't make me wait too long for the next book. I was patient for an entire year for this one!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/27/2011
From: Greg Bear

Volume 2 moving right along, Christopher. Thanks!
 

Re:great book greg,
Date: 01/30/2011
From: Anthony Wilson
Location: SUNNY ENGLAND -NOT

howdy Mr Greg.I brought and read your Halo Cryptum book. Very nice,I liked what you did with Didact,imprinting on the young Manipular, and in turn the boy becomes him at the end. The Didact/Bornstellar meeting with the Librarian was very sad! The humans being smashed into different species then devolved, cool idea! Also the Precursors are freaky sounding things arnt they!? Cant wait for you to finish the next two, take ur time bud ha ha, ill read Cryptum a couple of times! ps if ya get stuck send a mail, my heads bursting with awesome ideas, all the best. A.Wilson
 

Re:great book greg,
Date: 02/02/2011
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Anthony! All those questions are echoing in my head right now. A crowded place, the plot-room for HALO FORERUNNER 2...
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 02/08/2011
From: Jonathan Patterson
Location: Texas

Just finished reading the book only moments ago.
Mr. Bear you have my eternal gratitude for not only protecting the universe of my late childhood, of which a considerable part of my life has been spent, but for advancing the story i love and have consumed entirely.
I thank you from the bottom of my bio-augmented, flood infested, covenant controlled, lifeworker shaped heart.
I look forward to your next one!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 02/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks right back at you, Jonathan!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 03/05/2011
From: John Bird
Location: Skagit co, WA

Greg,

I have just finished Cryptum like most of the responses here, and found it just absolutely amazing. You have done quite an amazing job. And now I must say I eagerly await your next story like a child impatiently awaits Christmas morning.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 03/08/2011
From: Ricardo Galaz
Location: Hermosillo, Son. Mexico

Oh dear lord Mr. Bear, I've no idea how you do it, I've just finished the first one, took a whole week to arrive here (longest week ever I must say) but oh, was it worth it.
I ditched work today, I was reading chapter 32 and I just couldn't stop.
I love your work, thank you so much for advancing the plot of this incredible universe and not getting in the way of anything but developing and unveiling those little details that were missing.
Thank you so much, you have my eteernal gratitude and of course this sci-fi fan will follow your work, thank you so much.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 03/28/2011
From: Justin M
Location: Vermont

The old man still buys books even though we both have a Kindle DX. He hands me this Cryptum book because it's by the guy I was always talking about. So I read Bear's new Microsoft book. It's good, it's Greg Bear. Full of molecular engineered biotechnological goodness. I like the Didact being reincarnated as someone else, but still himself. Good way to avoid prosecution... You and Benford are so much alike. When I read through the SciFi section I really enjoyed the B's... Thanks.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 04/03/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, John! I wish I could write these books faster... but they keep surprising me, and that slows things down a little.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 04/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Ricardo--and definitely more to come.
 

The awesome Halo Trilogy
Date: 04/23/2011
From: Dave
Location: Florida

Hello, I have just bought a nook just to read you books, I have found a russian website that, if you complete a couple offers, they give you like 50 ebooks free, and yours was included! I must say that the First book of the forerunner saga was pretty epic, but as expected left me hanging, cant wait for the other books!

P.S. Hull number three your other book, is really awful, im sorry to say, it is basically about this one colonist who loses his memory and awakes before the rest of the ship, and the whole book is written in this hard to understand stream of thought kind of way, like "i was prayed into existence" I mean really? and the ship is, illogical at best, it's as if the ship was made by the covenant from halo, and not humans! Everything is trying to scare, frighten or cause harm to the protagonist, but im no novelist, just a 14yr old who likes SF books, so what do I know right?
So on a lighter note; throughly enjoyed your first saga book, and wish for more to come soon, also really like your other books, OTHER THAN hull 03
 

Re: The second book.
Date: 05/06/2011
From: spencer
Location: mobile al.

when will the socond book in the trilogy come out, and what will it be called? will we be getting into the precusors more? there are so many questions i want to ask but most importantly i know its cheesy, but i was really sad when i read about when all thoes species died on the other halo`s. can we see a way for them to live? cloning or somthing please. it would open up chances for more halo books.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 05/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear, Justin! That means you're ranging through Brin and Baxter and Banks and Brunner and... all the other B's as well, I hope!
 

The awesome Halo Trilogy
Date: 05/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Dave. I'd consider your message worthy of a response, but since you bought all these book illegally, I have nothing to say. And doubtless you now have a tracking virus and lots of other goodies on your computer.
 

Re: The second book.
Date: 05/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

No final title yet, Spencer! I'm heading toward the finish line on the second novel now.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 05/31/2011
From: Kevin
Location: Wyoming

Mr. Bear,
I have read Forge, Anvil, and Cryptum. I thoroughly enjoyed all three. You have one of the most imaginative science fiction minds I've ever had the opportunity to pick. The way you played with antimatter and the Roach blew me away. The fortress ship challenged the way I envision space travel in the near future in ways I can't explain. As a young engineer I regularly look to books like these to push my boundries on what is possible. Thank you for everything. Keep up the excellent work.
-Kevin

P.S. Your books are on my shelves between Azimov and Niven.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 06/07/2011
From: CPO Ven A013
Location: Unknown

I have to say, the first book of the trilogy was amazing. A little slow at first.. But never the less, I loved it. I am a faithful Halo fan, (Who is a bit disappointed by Bungies choice to hand Halo over to Microsoft and 343) who is eager to read your other books.. And yes I know, others have said this.. But Ghost of Onyx was one of the best books, you'll have a lot to compete with.. But I feel you can do it.. You're doing something no one else has done. Showing us more about the Forerunners! I wish you much luck, and I hope your good fortune is everlasting!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 06/14/2011
From: Jared
Location: Winnipeg,Canada

Hello Mr. Bear, just wanted to drop by and say I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, so much so I am eagerly awating the 2nd novel. Would it be safe to assume the novel will come out in 2011? If not that is not a problem at all, I realize the pressure and time it must take to write a chapter of a story within the Halo Universe. Anyways many thanks for the great work done with the series so far and all the best!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 06/18/2011
From: John
Location: Toronto

Just wondering, what is the release date of the second book in the Halo Foreunner trilogy? Thanks, and Cryptum was great! Just anticipating the next book!
 

Forerunner Trilogy
Date: 06/23/2011
From: Justin
Location: Fishers, Indiana

Congratulations on your first book in the Halo Universe Mr. Bear! The first book was a great way to start off the trilogy. I can't wait until the final battle with Bias, and I can't wait to find out where the Precursor ran off to (probably the one thing that surprised me the most in this book). I can't wait for the next book, and I will be looking out for it. Have a great time finishing up the trilogy! Next thing you know there will be a precursor trilogy ;).
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 06/24/2011
From: Travis
Location: Toronto, Canada

Dear Mr. Bear,

I have never read any of your previous works, although I have heard of you and your many accomplishments. Being the avid Halo fan that I am, I always get my hands on the newest Halo books as soon as I can.

I wanted to say thank you for making such an excellent start into the Forerunner saga, and was just wondering if you could possibly, maybe just give me a little hint as to when I can expect the next one. It's driving me crazy

Travis

P.S.

Best last page of a book I have ever read
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 07/11/2011
From: Blayne
Location: Fairbanks AK

Hey Mr.Bear I finished your book twice now and can't wait to see what happens to everyone in the next two books. I also love the whole twist with the precursor at the end of the book.
 

Re: Trilogy
Date: 07/16/2011
From: Mike
Location: Michigan

Mr. Bear,

I am a huge fan of all parts of the story of Halo and I just wanted to chime in and let you know that I thought Cryptum was excellent. Thank you for your contribution to the body of work of something that has come to consume a very considerable portion of my leisure time. Like everyone else who would take the time to post on this forum,I am eagerly awaiting your next book in the trilogy. You set the bar high with Cryptum. Here's hoping the next book clears it with room to spare!

Mike
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 07/30/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Kevin! Niven and Asimov are among my favorites.
 

Re: The Halo Trilogy
Date: 08/06/2011
From: Michael
Location: Perth

I just finished ur first in the triolgy of halo books and all i can say is WOW it was amazing it had me captavated from the first chapter i cant wait to read the others any idea when the next book will b released
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks! Just working up the final chapters now on PRIMORDIUM.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Early 2012! January is the month.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

My pleasiure, John! January 2012.
 

Forerunner Trilogy
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Hmmm... wonder what came before the Precursors? Thanks, Justin!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Appreciate the kind words, Travis! January 2012!
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Blayne. Dealing with the Precursor right now in HALO PRIMORDIUM... Jan 2012!
 

Re: Trilogy
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Mike!
 

Re: The Halo Trilogy
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Michael! Lots of revelations to come in PRIMORDIUM.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/08/2012
From: Aaron
Location: El Paso

Just finished the 2nd book and it left me very confused.
Please tell me the next one answers the questions you know you created. maybe not from the perspective of a rampant AI! The book wasn't exactly specific as to where the humans got the new AI and it didn't offer any real explanations and now I have NO idea whats going on...
Otherwise great book.
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/12/2012
From: Tony
Location: Iowa

I have been following this web page since before Cryptum was released, please keep us up to date on the third novel! I have bought the first two and they were both great!! it would be great if you could do some more novels in the halo series, and if not, make this one at least 700 pages!! :)
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

Lots of questions left unanswered, to be sure! I suspect ONI Team Leader is likewise confused.

And more to come...
 

Re: The upcoming Halo Trilogy
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

Hmmm... That will take me twice as long! Thanks, Tony.

A little less compelling, please!

Date: 12/17/2009 From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Dear Mr. Bear,

My wife is a long-distance endurance cyclist, and for the last three days, Mariposa has been upsetting her training schedule.

All kidding aside, this is not a book easily set aside. Thanks for another great read.

Best regards,
Steven Becker
 

Re: A little less compelling, please!
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear! Thanks, Steven--and I hope she's back riding by now.
 

Re: A little less compelling, please!
Date: 12/19/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Steve:

Greg first perfected that "Page Turner" engrossing prose in his first horror novel: PYSCHLONE. While I am a fast reader...one raining Saturday night when that novel first came out I ended up staying up to 3 AM reading it to the finish...starting around 9 PM.

Then I was so freaked I couldn't sleep...only the second time in my life back then when I had been up and greeted the next morning's sun...
 

Re: A little less compelling, please!
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Ghost stories can have that effect!

city at the end time cover art

Date: 12/16/2009 From: Cameron Conrad
Location:

I just read an article that a team from Rice Univ. just finially proved in a lab the former theory of borromean rings. Here is a quote:

"Efimov had predicted a quantum-mechanical version of Borromean rings, a symbol that first showed up in Afghan Buddhist art from around the second century. The symbol depicts three rings linked together; if any ring were removed, they would all come apart.

Efimov had calculated that the triplet of bound particles was possible, and that it was repeating: New bound states could be achieved at higher and higher energy levels in an infinite progression. "

Does this have anything to do with the cover art of City at the End of Time depicting (presumably) 3 entangled rings woven together?
 

Re: city at the end time cover art
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Now that's intriguing! The symbol/art for CATEOT seems to show two impossibly interlinked rings in an impossible cage. If the cage is considered another one or possibly two external rings, maybe there's a corollary!

Is there a word for...

Date: 12/13/2009 From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, Wa

Okay, to anthropomorphise means to ascribe human form or traits to animals or objects.

Is there a similar term that means to ascribe modern values to an historic culture, or to judge them by modern mores?

Perhaps more in keeping with the literary thrust of this site, an example might be the sword-wielding Viking hero in an historic (sort of) novel, who essentially hacks people to bits for a living, but for all of that is apparently also a sensitive, modern man who is good to his mum, respectful to women in general, and who manages to prevail despite decidedly un-Viking-like sentiments, like when he decides pit three people against an army to rescue good old Olaf.

In other words, we paint the guy not as he would be, but as, with our modern sensibilities, the way we think he SHOULD be. If he wasn't sensitive, and altruistic to the point of stupidity, he wouldn't be a hero, then, would he? I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing in fiction, but I am looking for a word that describes it.

If there isn't a word, I certainly think there should be, but I haven't been able to find it. :)

 

Re: Is there a word for...
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hm... good challenge! Reverse atavism, maybe? The best historical novels give us characters in their milieu who at least bear a semblance of timely realism. One of the traits/problems attributed to my own fantasies has been the "alien" nature of my elves and such, an approach I learned from Poul Anderson, who tended to keep both his science fiction and fantasy beings and creatures honest to their own lights.
 

Re: Is there a word for...
Date: 12/19/2009
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, Wa

Okay, Greg, you've told me why yours, and Poul's characters don't fit my premise, but I already knew they did not.

"Reverse atavism" may be good, but I am looking for one word, and while it may not be currently fashionable, I'm pretty sure it must exist.

The English language, after all, is a giant melting pot. Certainly someone, somewhere or somewhen must have come up with a word to describe this?

Kelly
 

Re: Is there a word for...
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

How about countercleistic? Antichronic? Hypoanachronistic might work.
 

Movie Indians from the 30's to present
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Patrick O'Loughlin
Location: Santa Barbara

My roommate got a fancy gold box of cookies from his girlfriend for Christmas. In it, amongst all the packaging, were 8 cookies. At first I thought this represented the horrible truth about women: that they are more concerned with the package than with it's contents, but then I realized that it was really about the consumer industry trying to get women to THINK they should be more concerned about the package so they would buy THEIR fancy package! There are many instances where we see something because that's what we believe it is, and if enough people believe the same thing then it becomes reality.
 

Movie Indians from the 30's to present
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Or... men shouldn't be encouraged to binge on cookies! (But they love us anyway.)
 

Fancy words. :)
Date: 01/02/2010
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, Wa

Greg,

Hmmm. You wanted me to spend my morning researching these, didn't you?
Well, it didn't take all morning, but it did take me several minutes.

I first, of course,looked these up on the internet, with no luck, even after I resorted to a general Google search.

I finally dragged out my 1952 Webster's Unabridged, which is quite literally a five inch thick tome filled with fine print, and managed to find "antichronism" which is defined as "deviation from the true course of time." I suppose this would work to answer my original question as well as any, but I must confess I can't, aside from time travel novels or quantum physics, think of any situation in which this word would fit exactly, at least as defined.

As to the other two, I can only speculate:

Countercleistic: As cleist, or cleisto seems to relate to things that are closed, as in flower petals, and cleistophobia is the intense fear of enclosed spaces, and so on, would this mean "Against closing; open?" Apparently not, as you listed it here, but that was what I was able to turn up.

Hypoanachronistic: Hypo means below, so literally "Below anachronism." Not quite anachronistic?

I would really appreciate a breakdown of the latter two, as you are using them, if you have time.
 

Fancy words. :)
Date: 01/06/2010
From: Greg Bear

Cleo is the muse of history. I didn't know about cleisto! Very cool. How about cleonasm?

Antiananchronism seems to pile it on...

 

Re: Is there a word for...
Date: 09/01/2010
From: Alex
Location: st neots

"Is there a similar term that means to ascribe modern values to an historic culture, or to judge them by modern mores?"

Just by thinking about a historic context youre automatically looking at it from a modern perspective. So its a given I guess. Historians and archeologists specialise in trying to avoid this, in the same way anthropologists do it with modern cultures that are different or more technologically primitive.

I guess the ultimate insertion of modern ideas into a historic culture could be called Flinstonation.
 

Re: Is there a word for...
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

Definitely Looking Backwards!

Trek Anniversary

Date: 12/07/2009 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

December 7th--thirty years today since the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (and, of course, some REAL crews proved their heroism 38 years earlier).
 

Re: Trek Anniversary
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Ah, memories! I was there for the premiere and ran into Doug Trumbull. Unfortunately, never did get to express my appreciation for his movies to Robert Wise, one of my favorite directors. Rick Sternbach worked on the film in the late seventies, and got me a tour of the bridge set under construction... The late lamented Michael Minor did design work for the movie as well.
 

Re: Trek Anniversary
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

*Envy* What a thrill to see it all coming back to life, firsthand. Construction started when the intention was still to launch a new tv series, if memory serves. Then CE3K proved that Star Wars wasn't just a fluke...

"I know engineers, they love to change things."
 

Re: Trek Anniversary
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Absolutely! Alan Brennert accompanied me to my first pitch meeting (not including visits to Lionsgate in 1977) for a new STAR TREK series. Alan and I came very close to selling a script, but the TV series was converted into the Motion Picture, with a screenplay by Alan Dean Foster. All this began for me after I published a piece on sf and STAR WARS in the LA TIMES in 1977. Gene Roddenberry invited me out for a lovely lunchtime discussion, and then vetted us for the pitch meeting. Doing a STAR TREK novel years later only seemed natural.
 

Re: Trek Anniversary
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: LA, California

So I ought to send in my Op Ed pieces, rather than just writing them?

Sounds like a heady time--it would be a trip to see your treatment! Premise, in a nutshell? Not to disparage the film series but, ah, what might have been.

Happy New Year! It's the Teenies, now. I'm off to Ray's, to build bookshelves!
 

Re: Trek Anniversary
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

Give Ray my love. Reading BULLET TRICK now.
 

Re: Trek Anniversary
Date: 01/02/2010
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

"Teenies" if ten is zero-teen (I can't believe I spent the whole month explaining to people that the decade doesn't end for another year, and still slipped up like that).

And Ray returns love, with smiles and a hearty "God Bless!"

Speaking of starship scripts, did you know he turned down Forbidden Planet? And wishes he hadn't. Wow...that would've been interesting...maybe fantastic...wow.

Back now to feverish page-turning of MARIPOSA! Holiday and home-repair chaos interupted my read, and I've been going nuts!

Any new short stories planned or published?

Date: 12/04/2009 From: Rob Steen
Location: Ireland

Hello,

I was just wondering if there were any new short stories planned or published in any magazines or books?

I've always thought elements of Schrodinger's Plague would be an interesting idea to send out as an e-mail updated a little.

Thanks,
Rob.

 

Re: Any new short stories planned or published?
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Not at the moment--still working through novels!

Advice for younger SF writers

Date: 11/30/2009 From: Nic D.
Location: UK

Dear Mr Bear,

I am 16 years old and from the UK and currently enjoying the fourth novel that I have read of yours; The Forge of God. I have also read Eon, Blood Music (both the short story and novel) and Eternity - and have enjoyed them thouroughly (particularly Eon.)

Firstly I would like to thank you for these fantastic novels, but also, I am aspiring to one day publish a Science Fiction short story of my own. Have you any advice?

Regards and thanks,

Nic Durand

 

Re: Advice for younger SF writers
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Nic! Best advice of all--keep writing. Don't get discouraged. Keep curious and don't pay too much attention to outside criticism for the time being--unless a worthy and supportive editor suggests a few changes, of course! And let us know how it goes.
 

Re: Advice for younger SF writers
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Nic D.
Location: UK

Thanks for the advice!

Getting therapied is coming sooner than we think ( QoA)

Date: 11/27/2009 From: Allen
Location: Az

http://www.thoughtware.tv/videos/watch/4612-Genetically-Enhance-Humanity-Or-Face-Extinction-Part-2

Both videos are pretty good.
 

Re: Getting therapied is coming sooner than we think ( QoA)
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

For your consideration...
 

Re: Getting therapied is coming sooner than we think ( QoA)
Date: 12/19/2009
From: ryan costa
Location: cleveland

we'll never go extinct. unless we screw up the planet enough for most mammals to go extinct very fast.

We are very altruistic, and very intelligent. This is tempered with varying distributions of rapaciousness, obsessive ambition, and basic survival instincts.

from an economic perspective, the problem isn't supplying unlimited wants. it is coming up with enough work to keep people busy. to this end, enormous thought and energy is put into encouraging people to want more. This occasionally leads to intense spot shortages of resources.

Glossary for City at the End of Time?

Date: 11/23/2009 From: Walt Gay
Location: Petersburg, VA

I am reading the book City at the End of Time and am having trouble with words like Diurns, Eidolons, umbers, wardens, creche, tiers, etc. Is there a glossary somewhere?
 

Re: Glossary for City at the End of Time?
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

In the German edition, Walt! But that may not be very much help. Most of the words have inspirations in other real words, so a dictionary or word search might help. Diurnal, for example, refers to something that occurs every day--like a stopped clock being correct!
 

Re: Glossary for City at the End of Time?
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Whoas...for me those were the easy words,but then again I have a more "Philosophical" vocab than most SF Readers.

There are other specific terms I would have loved to see fleshed out in an Appendix, just for a more intense feeling of veritas.

Or some faux etymology of the Flora and Fauna of the Chaos, with origins and inspiration in THE NIGHT LAND.

Collectors had to file reports from time to time, no doubt...I could see one of them from the novel having written a short report regarding those "Dreaming of a City at the End of Time" and writing about it...and the difficulty in collecting such individuals..

Upon reflection CITY wasn't as "word challenging" along thos lines as another "Dying Earth" novel or set of Novels, THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN. Now that one required a serious dictionary.
 

Re: Glossary for City at the End of Time?
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Ricardo
Location: Encinitas, CA

This is actually something that I look forward to when picking up a new Greg Bear book for the first time - I know that I am going to learn some new words! Without fail, there will be 3 or 4 that I have to get out the dictionary for. That's one of the things that makes reading such an enriching experience, no?
 

Re: Glossary for City at the End of Time?
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Ricardo.
 

Re: Glossary for City at the End of Time?
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, JOn! (or Jon...) I'm not much for postmodernism per se, but the tangle provided by multiple universes can make historical truth difficult. And I suppose if you can bend the rules of reality, all bets are off... Hm, perhaps this would make the postmodernists crave solid, objective philosophical and scientific ground to stand on!
 

Re: Glossary for City at the End of Time?
Date: 01/26/2010
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Greg:

Completed my 4th read ov CITY over the weekend. I stand by my 1st review statement: This is indeed your best prose...indeed marathon sport writing.

And I saw a couple things on 4th read that had been missed in reads 1-3.

Almost tempted to re-read THE NIGHT LAND now...

MG
 

Re: Glossary for City at the End of Time?
Date: 01/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

Looking forward to your further thoughts, Mike! Why not take a break and dip into Borges and George MacDonald for a bit?

Mysterious Galaxy appearance

Date: 11/19/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

That was an interesting evening last night at the Myseterious Galaxy Bookstore...with three Mystery/Triller writers talking about their current books, and you stepping in as MC to keep the talk rolling.

If I hadn't been so dead tired I would have asked you about film blurb on the back jacket inside of Mariposa regarding the planet killer books.

Thanks for more details on the Halo project. Didn't initially know how or why that was playing out...but when you stated "They" are giving you free reign to create the entire backstory of the Forerunners and why the Halos are out there...the closest thing to that creatively was when DC gave Larry Niven carte blanch to totally re-do Green Lantern.

I hadn't run into David Brin in 25 years, and that was a graduate seminar at UCSD with Kim Stanley Robinson...Brin's ripenned into a totally differnt and yet the same person in that quarter century...but I think that can be said for most people.

Good luck on the rest of the Book Tour.

Mike
 

Re: Mysterious Galaxy appearance
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Sorry you didn't speak up, Mike! Good to see you there. I was getting over a cold, and could hardly put one thought in front of another--so I thought I'd ask questions and make the other authors work. But the crowd was a good one, and I hope everyone got their novels across. We're reading Alan and Martin's books now. And David is closing in on the end of a new novel--hurray!
 

Re: Mysterious Galaxy appearance
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Mike Glosson Cover Letter
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

There's been a lot of "that" going on, around the world...luckily no saw bones decided you had the Swine Flu being over cautious.

:)

mg

Just watched 2012...

Date: 11/14/2009 From: David Ononye
Location: Cincinnati

When can we expect the forthcoming law suit? They picked up too many ideas from 'The Forge of God' to let it pass as simply coincidence. No it's definitely more than that. Maybe not direct theft, but certainly uncomfortably close.

But on a more serious note, I wonder what Greg Bear thought of the movie?

 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Haven't seen it yet. I've enjoyed other films by Emmerich. They're never boring!
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Haven't seen it either, but I thought the same thing watching the trailer! In that case it was mostly my own emotions that were reminiscent. I recall what one witness of the WTC towers collapsing said: "It was like watching the moon fall." There's a certain flavor of shock attending the destruction of "permanent" things.

Emmerich's drawn freely and broadly on good material in the past, no question about that.
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 11/24/2009
From: Patrick Berry
Location: Vancouver, WA

My only hope with "2012" is that it makes the whole so ridiculous and over the top that the actual 2012 Mayan conspiracy is made to look equally ridiculous. Maybe then it will fade quietly into the background of our collective paranoia where it belongs.

I don't think Greg has a lawsuit in this case since no miniature black holes were involved in the destruction of the planet. Maybe he can sue the LHC instead. :-)
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 11/24/2009
From: Kurt9
Location: Vancouver, WA

My thoughts exactly.

I have not seen this movie, but the first time I saw the trailer for it, I thought of the "Forge of God" novel. The reviews and synopsis of the movie made it sound even more like "Forge of God". Even John Cusack's character trying to get him and his family aboard these space arks is very "Forge of God" like. I read sometime ago on this site that "Forge of God" was supposed to be made into a movie.

I do think that credit should given where it is due, even if the movie is based more on the Mayan prophesy rather than alien machines.
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 11/24/2009
From: Simon
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand

@David - I saw this last night, but I didn't feel Greg's work was being plagiarised. Having said that, when the Cusack and co were in the plane watching LA sliding into the Pacific, I couldn't help thinking of Fog and wished I was instead watching Peter Jackson's treatment of one of my favourite SF books...

If you ignore the laughable science and dialogue, there's some draw-dropping effects. I noticed several people around me squirming as Roland had the Curtis family constantly cheating death by the slimmest of margins. Well worth a viewing on the big screen, IMHO.

The biggest difference I saw was 2012 used those constant skin-of-your-teeth situations to ratchet up the tension, whereas FoG has a terrible sense of inevitability and growing momentum driving it.
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 11/25/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, David. I hope to see the film soon.
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 11/30/2009
From: Jon K
Location: Ann Arbor Michigan

I saw "2012" on Friday and I just popped over to the discussion forum to see if anybody else drew parallels between "2012" and "The Forge of God". The biggest similarity I found was Woody Harrelson's character riding out the super volcano in Yellowstone...?

But honestly, the story line doesn't hold a candle to Greg Bear's work, but it was still HUGELY entertaining. It's worth the price of admission just for the special effects of California going in the Pacific :-)

Very best, Jon K
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 12/04/2009
From: Rene Simons
Location: Hansville Washington

I would have to say plagiarism. Lots of eye candy, no real substance. How did they get away with this and give no credit where credit is due? Certainly The Forge of God is a much better story, but there are so many things about this movie that seem lifted right out of your book. Shame on them. Personally I would love to see a movie adaptation of Eon. Easily my favorite sci-fi book I have ever read. Well that and Dune. Love your work Greg. Curious what you will have to say after you see this movie. All the best.-Rene
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 12/09/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Rene.
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 12/16/2009
From: ryan costa
Location: cleveland

any good writer can make an entertaining story on the premise geologic catastrophe. usually less depressing than nuclear annihilation.
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Recently watched PARIS AFTER DARK, 1930, a thoroughly confused and lamentably mismanaged version of Camille Flammarion's 1890's novel FIN DU MONDE. Around 1930, Balmer and Wylie were publishing WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, the best work on the topic since Wells and Verne. Many since, of course!
 

Re: Just watched 2012...
Date: 12/18/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I recently read Flammarion's LUMEN, and am anxious to read FIN DU MONDE! Olaf Stapledon clearly read the former...as perhaps Flammarion read Poe's comet-kills-Earth piece, THE CONVERSATION OF EIROS AND CHARMION.

SONGS of earth and POWER

Date: 11/13/2009 From: Dave North
Location: Australia

I have your book published Feb 92, by legend.
I have read up to page 598, then page 55 appears through to page 86. It then starts on page 631 through to 693.

Where can I retrieve the missing sections.
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 11/13/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hmm... that is a problem! Haven't heard about this before. There are plenty of other copies and editions around, and perhaps you can find one on the Internet? I'd send you to the publisher, but they actually have changed hands so many times...
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 11/13/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Is this for reals? Sounds like a self flawed copy of the book that would show up in the Green Warehouse in CITY.

Then ofcourse those misaligned pages could been bleeding into the Faerie Darke...
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER anomaly (?)
Date: 11/14/2009
From: Ian Dalziel
Location: Christchurch, New ZEaland

Dave

looks like you may have one of the Books that Bidewell is looking for in "The City at The End of Time" :- )
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

It's happened before. One UK edition of Legacy lacked the final page. Some reviewers found the ending mysteriously abrupt...
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER anomaly (?)
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Strange messages buried in the text are more to Bidewell's liking. And if any of you find my books mutating that way, please don't tell me!
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 12/16/2009
From: Ry Cos
Location: cleveland

were there significant changes between the first two books and the combined Songs of Earth and Power? The first time I read the combined edition it seemed different than I remembered Serpent Mage.
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

The UK edition actually maintained the previous text, in error. The U.S. edition is lightly revised throughout. No major plot or character changes.
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 01/04/2010
From: John Berkowitz
Location: California

Is the eReader version of SoEaP still available anywhere? I have been trying in vain for some time to locate it. My digital library is incomplete without this masterpiece. I had given up hope, however I just purchased the eReader version of Eon, and the flyleaf states that it is available.
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 01/06/2010
From: Greg Bear

I believe this one is coming out soon. Check in a couple of months!
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 06/07/2010
From: ABrady
Location: st neots

I thought machines as religious radicals was a clever and frightening idea.
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 06/08/2010
From: Greg Bear

Actually, that's probably a more apt description of STRENGTH OF STONES, also available from e-reads.
 

Re: SONGS of earth and POWER
Date: 06/08/2010
From: Alex Brady
Location: st neots

I beg your pardon that was the one I meant. I thought machine religious zealots was a very good joke, and a scary one too.
And a killer opening line!

Time to resurrect the "Capsule Keepers"

Date: 11/11/2009 From: Knute Berger
Location: Seattle

Greg: Only five years to go until the Washington Centennial Time Capsule is to be opened and filled with the next batch of future artifacts. We're starting the process of reviving the Capsule Keepers organization and trying to get in touch with the living Keepers, who should be about 30 years old around now. I wrote a piece about it in Crosscut (see link). Don't know if you can help get the word out that we're looking for Keepers and others who'd like to help with our future experiment. Hope all is well with you. Best, Knute Berger

http://crosscut.com/2009/11/11/mossback/19367/
 

Re: Time to resurrect the
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

Absolutely! Check out this living time capsule legacy. Knute strawbossed this operation, a fascinating experiment in social engineering, and I was honored to contribute.
 

Re: Time to resurrect the
Date: 11/13/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

It needs to be filled with the next round of "future artifacts"?!?!?!?...oooh!oooouh! One of the Keepers HAS to put a repo Sonic Screw Driver in it! Specifically the "Future Doctor's" Sonic Screw Driver. Those items have become quite popular in the last three years...

Human Interbreeding and Neanderthals

Date: 11/10/2009 From: Greg Bear
Location: WA

Interesting piece documenting Svente Paabos ideas on human interbreeding vis a vis Neanderthals...


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33721697/ns/technology_and_science-science/
 

Re: Human Interbreeding and Neanderthals
Date: 11/11/2009
From: patrick
Location:

The 'advantage' in breeding humans may've had may've been a lack of sensibility *in* breeding. Or perhaps neanderthals weren't good workers for the Atlantean rulers....
 

Re: Human Interbreeding and Neanderthals
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

Perhaps they were boycotted by the Fur Industry Lobby! (Although actually, we don't know how hairy Neanderthals were...)
 

Re: Human Interbreeding and Neanderthals
Date: 12/16/2009
From: Ry Cos
Location: cleveland

to the untrained eye a Neanderthal skeleton and "human" skeleton seem like different phenotypes of the same species.

Sapiens may look like competitive distance runners to us today. but the advantage of distance running in the past was in carrying tools, food, and loot further than tigers, wolves, bears, hyenas, lions, gorillas, and baboons could chase us. Not winning gold medals.

As for interbreeding, human history indicates a significant portion of Men will copulate with the most convenient warm body available. Fertility artifacts are usually of robust voluptuous women.

Genetically, there is a reasonably wide margin of error for how intact or legible fossil neanderthal DNA is.
 

Re: Human Interbreeding and Neanderthals
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

All true. One major distinction between sapiens sapiens and other sapiens or homo groups is the chin. Kirk Douglas is highly unlikely to be a Neanderthal... And the little guys from the Flores Islands have no chins, so are very unlikely to be homo sapiens sapiens, even with genetic defects.
 

Re: Human Interbreeding and Neanderthals
Date: 02/18/2010
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Paleantology is increasingly showing time after time, that Darwin got it wrong! The missing link is still missing and noone to this day can explain the jump between Homo Erectus..(if it ever existed) to Homo Sapiens. How we suddenly jumped from being mere brutes to artistic Human Beings will surely be an everlasting mystery.

Graham Hancock suggests a kind of Spiritual incarnation due to the use of psychotropic drugs was the catylist between our animal past and our more enlightened present. These drugs directly work on our pinneal gland..our "third eye" in shamanic law.

These drugs are widely available but I'm too frightened to have a go at them, despite the fact that I want to pass through..I guess I'll do it when I snuff it..or not. I do however reccomend Graham Hancock in the meantime.
 

Re: Human Interbreeding and Neanderthals
Date: 02/18/2010
From: Greg Bear

Not one missing link, but several hundred thousand, I suspect... The fossil record is very, very sparse, which is one reason the search for a missing link is so specious. Anything will do!

Greg Bear Book Signings & Appearances!

Date: 11/09/2009 From: Terran McCanna
Location: Atlanta, GA

Attention everyone that reads this board that may not have checked the gregbear.com home page yet - a list of upcoming book signings and readings has just been posted!
 

Re: Greg Bear Book Signings & Appearances!
Date: 11/10/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

I just cruised by the site today to see if there was anything special for the first official publication day of MARIPOSA...only to find that Greg's got a whirl wind tour starting any second.

And coming to San Diego a Week from Tomorrow! Trying to arrange my schedule so that me and my copy of the current novel can be there!

Mike
 

Re: Greg Bear Book Signings & Appearances!
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

Cool! See you down south.
 

Re: Greg Bear Book Signings & Appearances!
Date: 11/19/2009
From: Patrick Berry
Location: Vancouver, WA

I had the opportunity to attend Greg's appearance at Powell's Books in Beaverton on Monday and recommend that everyone else catch him if you can.

It was a great talk and I really enjoyed the Q&A. The news about the development of FOG/AOS movie is very encouraging. Even though the entire concept of "2012" just irritates the snot out of me I may have to see it just to convince the studios that "end of the world" films are in. :-)

To Greg: Thanks for being a gracious presenter and taking the time to chat a bit. You are someone who seems to truly love his profession and the world that surrounds it.
 

Re: Greg Bear Book Signings & Appearances!
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the good questions, Patrick!

Will you sign my book?

Date: 11/09/2009 From: Cliff Bernard
Location: Little Rock, AR... USA

Hi, Mr. Bear, my name is Cliff Bernard. I'm sure that you are a busy person, but I just wanted to let you know that I am a big fan. I was also wondering if you could send me a couple of signed book plates and if you would sign a book for me if I send it to you.
Thanks Greg!!

Cliff Bernard IV
308 E. Parker St.
Hamburg, AR 71646

10 pages into Mariposa

Date: 11/06/2009 From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Just ten pages into it, and loving it. Embarrassingly excited.

Can't wait for the weekend so I'll have a bit of time to dig in.
 

Re: 10 pages into Mariposa
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

But wait--that's the DULL part! Thanks, Steven.

Congratz

Date: 11/06/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Saw on FaceBook today that MARIPOSA has already gone into a second hard back printing...and it's not even officially out yet!!!

It's all a matter of timing...not sure if it would have the same PUNCH if the novel came out a year from now, instead of right now...as our world slowly drifts away from the former dire situation...but still walking on thin ice even so.

I just heard about D←tente be worked toward with "Terrorist Nations"...but then again we've got our own Fox News driven proto-Green Idaho still going on here...who needs Oil $$$ paid terrorists when we've got our own home grown red neck flavor?

Stargate

Date: 11/06/2009 From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

Hey, Greg, just curious as to whether you ever watched any of the Stargate shows, and if you liked them. Admittedly, not science at its finest, but I still found them to be entertaining.

 

Re: Stargate
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

I've dipped into a few since the original film. They keep the stories moving!
 

Re: Stargate
Date: 11/29/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: Frsance

There's supposed to be one in Washington isn't there?...Only half joking here!

Andrew
 

Re: Stargate
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Right down in the Pentagon basement. They shovel money into it to appease the Pharaoh.
 

Re: Stargate
Date: 01/29/2010
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: Frsance

Also supposed to be one in the Gulf of Aden... I wonder if Arthur Rimbaud ever found it..If he did he'd have sold shares!!

Square eyes

Date: 11/06/2009 From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

Hey Greg,

Again, I don't mean to nit-pick, but I have to wonder about your description of eyes being "square." I think I know what you mean, from the context, but am not really sure.

I'm reminded of the old, bad joke, in which the punchline is something like "No, pie are round; cornbread are square."

I can almost assume that when you refer to eyes as being "square," you are talking about a frank, direct gaze. But, it seems that sometimes when you describe eyes this way, they are not even looking at anyone.

So, by this, do you mean a steady, unflinching stare, or something else entirely? I have never before encountered this term in conversation or literature, at least in the way you use it.
 

Re: Square eyes
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

Ah, English! No eyes are actually round, either. Only eyeballs, and not mine... nearsighted, you know.
 

Re: Square eyes
Date: 11/16/2009
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: E

Ah, neatly dodged. It was, however, a serious question, and I am genuinely curious, so I would really appreciate it if you would find the time to give a serious answer?
 

Re: Square eyes
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Lids and facial muscles shape the way eyes appear, and few are just oval or almond. Some are nearly round, with pupils almost revealed--others are draped with epicanthic and other folds, sometimes from an excess of upper eyelid, which gives them a more square appearance. Take a look at Lauren Bacall--especially when she smiles--if you want something approximating the shrewd, appraising look I call "square eyes." Cats manage it, too.
 

Re: Square eyes
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

My 1st cousin Nancy Kwan looks way more eurasian now than she did during her "Suzie Wong" period..This is at a time when she is holding on to her chinese roots,despite looking more European in every photo. Ray Stark highlighted her eyes for that movie, and my Dad was the HK Policeman directing William Holden away from the squatter huts. Her Mother Marie had an Argentinian ethnic Father, but the eyefolds are still there..Having said that, I have them too , but I don't have a single oriental gene in my body.

Cheers

Andrew

It arrived yesterday

Date: 11/03/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Started reading MARIPOSA before dinner last night, and then before our weekly HEROES gathering,and after I drove one of the guests home. Got 60-80 pages in before having to go to sleep.
CITY definitely amped your writing style,as this novel doesn't read with the same thriller style as it's prequel, yet remains a page turner.

So far, the style feels like a fusion of that from QUEEN OF ANGELS, CITY, and QUANTICO.

And you are doing a very good job of making that Bridge between Quantico and Queen of Angels with this one...glad I went back re-read that one, and the other novels in the sequence.

Though I do not think a Plain Vanilla first time reader really needs to be conversant with any of those novels to enjoy this one, as there are enough "if things continue" hooks so far in the text to grab.

I had stayed away from ANY spoilers about Mariposa on your site or on the NET, though I should have guessed from title how Mariposa would be used within this novel.

I'd say more, but I have a broken piece of software to go fix.

MG

A Way MMO

Date: 10/29/2009 From: Jason Taylor
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

I have just read on your site that you are going to be writing the HALO prequel. In a turn about has anyone ever approached you to do an online multiplayer game of the Jarts vs Human's in a Way universe? I've played several myself and would love to see that universe(yes i've seen the cg challenge) and walk virtually in that world.
 

Re: A Way MMO
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

We've certainly thought about it. But no action at the moment.
 

Re: A Way MMO
Date: 11/09/2009
From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania

Jason,
I would love to play a Jart Vs Human campaign its so fully overdue - or is it ripe? Needs canvassing in the gaming industry to try and gain interest - Greg have you ever considered multiple advertisments for an expression of interest to the game developers or sending multiple proposals widespread into the gaming industry including the gaming colleges like the ones in Australia, 2K Australia made Bioshock and thats an epic game, there are game developers everywhere. The Crysis game engine is being offered free to student game developers so there is plenty more opportunity for game development these days with awesome game engines like Crysis or Unreal Tournament engines. Bioshock used an Unreal engine. A Jart Vs Human campaign can be a Mod add on to an existent game even, massively reducing cost and development time to get a foot in the door, heaps of people make Mods for fun.
 

Re: A Way MMO
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

I'm sure there are lots of ways to promote the Way, but we're working the old-fashioned Way at the moment...

Sabotage from the Future

Date: 10/29/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

While last year's Large Hadron Collider "Break" reminded me of a Greg Benford Novel...

This item:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biology_evolution/article6879293.ece

About the generation of the Higgs Boson causing such horrible problems in the metric that the universe causes a time fix to prevent it reminds me of the climax of HEADS, which I had just re-read recently.

MG

Excerpt for Project

Date: 10/27/2009 From: Kim Nohr
Location: Vernon, BC, Canada

Hello Great Bear!

My name is Kim Nohr and I am working on a project for my typography and design class. I was hoping to have permission to copy an excerpt from /Slant/ for my project and wanted to contact you for permission.

I finished reading /Slant/ this summer and the thinking/aware computers were astounding. I have been going back to the story over and over in my head. It would be ideal for my design which I wanted to be about computers and humans. My type face is Minion and its purpose is to serve humanity. The thinkers and the way they communicated with each other and the fear created when one had no parameters about hurting humans... I have been thinking about it over and over for the past few months.

I hoped to be able to print a small excerpt. Particularly about the two super-computers. It's for my final assignment in class. I will not be selling these works. I will create a copy for the type designer and for you. It's a first-year student effort but I would be really honoured if you would let me use an excerpt.

Thank you so much for your time! I loved /Slant/. It's one of the best science fiction novels I have ever read. Thank you so much! ~ Kim Nohr

 

Re: Excerpt for Project
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Kim! Please feel free to use the short text for your project. I'd love to see an image when it's finished.

Palancar Momerath re-release

Date: 10/27/2009 From: Darrell Burgan
Location: http://palancar.net

Hi Greg, it's Darrell Burgan, the artist behind the Palancar music project, who released the album "Momerath", the tribute 'soundtrack' to your book "Anvil of Stars". Hope all is well with you.

I'm writing to let you know I have taken "Momerath" out of commercial print and have re-released it as a Creative Commons release on my Earth Mantra virtual label. This means that people now are able to download it and listen to it and share it with folks as desired, at no cost and completely legally. So hopefully more people will be able to enjoy the album now.

Your links page currently points people to my web site at www.palancar.net, but I thought you might want to instead point people directly to the release's page on Earth Mantra, from where they can download it directly:

http://earthmantra.com/momerath

Anyway just letting you know it is now more easily available to folks.

By the way, I read your recent book "City at the End of Time". Wow ... it was a serious mind bender for me. Such a unique concept, unlike anything else I've read. Almost fantasy but clearly grounded in hard sci-fi, quite an amazing fusion. It's been awhile since I read a book that had such a scope as this one. Truly excellent. I am planning to re-read it again in the next month or so, as there is so much detail that I feel like I missed some of it! Anyway, thanks so much for another masterful novel. You remain my favorite author, bar none.

Cheers,
Darrell
http://palancar.net
 

Re: Palancar Momerath re-release
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the update, Darrell! Momerath still sits on top of my stack of CDs. And thanks for the very kind words about CITY.
 

Re: Palancar Momerath re-release
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Al Brady
Location: Sydney

Its really good; I often reread parts of Anvil Of Stars and the music is stark and spare as a gas giant ring system.
Epic.
 

Re: Palancar Momerath re-release
Date: 11/09/2009
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach

Darrell, that's really nice music, and I think it's going to be interesting, too, on first quick listen to your expression on several images from the book that I remember.

Looking forward to enjoying the length of it. And thinking it's very generous of you to make Momerath available to us.

Best regards.

Halo and Greg Bear Games

Date: 10/21/2009 From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania

Fantastic to hear about your books on the Halo world, I was wondering considering the interest gaming is developing is it time again to make an aggressive sales pitch for the reverse - that is GB novels converted to games and virtual worlds?.

I loved the Dune novels and movies and then the game came out, awesome stuff at the time. JRR Tolkein world in WOW and other things, I don't read much these days even science magazines have moved aside more and more for quick searches on wikipedia - I shifted to computers five years ago now finally I spend most of my leisure time gaming or trawling the net. I have a "Gamecase" and a bookcase now - Where many titles of the games sit proudly where formally it was books.

Currently I have been eyeing off Virtual Reality headsets looking for a purchase, waiting for the quality and price for gaming/Second Life in V.R. I haven't bought a book for quite some time now where formally a week had not gone by without me purchasing a new book or rereading an old one. The novel is not quite the way of the dinosaur yet but the winds of change are blowing and evolution is calling a warning - innovate, evolve, change.

I have a Silent Hill game which started as a game first and is now a movie, formerly books came first, then the movie and then the game, now the pattern is changing - movies to games then books, games to books then movies etc. I have played heaps of games where bits and pieces of your novels are present terms like Waygates in Warcraft III as your aware and other things scattered like artifacts across movies and games of your work (inertial dampening anyone?). When will it pass through the looking glass into the virtual world? A full fledged Greg Bear world as epic and awe inspiring like "God Does Battle" in Strength of Stones. Sci Fi is making a shift heavily into gaming especially Hard SF where fully immersive environments flesh out the novels into vibrant colour and 5.1 surround sound and the characters can be seen and heard in all their glory and Ye Gods! under my control in that environment! - a dream come true for anyone that has played the numerous Star Wars games and flown the legendary X-Wing fighter with the armada of the Rebel Alliance to come out of the cockpit lightsaber flashing through droids. Mr Bear I am impatient for a slice of the action in your realms and a conversion is long overdue, your books are so good its a shame not to be able to play the games as well or watch the movie - not to mention unprofitable not to!

Is it possible to whisper in your ear to encourage this pursuit more effectively and make the possibility an actual event sooner rather than later?

May the Force Be With You...
 

Re: Halo and Greg Bear Games
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

No whispering necessary--I've been pursuing game options since the late 80s!
 

Re: Halo and Greg Bear Games
Date: 11/09/2009
From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania

Hey, I was playing "Fallout 3" recently and there is a character guy a "Brotherhood of Steel" knight in it - at the Citadel called Greg Bear! Knight Kodiac I think his title is, there are your hard SF fans in the game programming world!

 

Re: Halo and Greg Bear Games
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

Indeed! And they're smart and fun to work with, too.

Comings and goings

Date: 10/20/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Greg:

So I was wondering when the Mariposa promo would start here....looks slick.

Halloween is the last day of Business for Burgettes' Books. Huge sale going on right now. Paperbacks fifty cents each...everything else in the shop 75% off the marked prices.

He's had a store front for, what, at least 3 decades, and now no more...the last good browsing site in San Diego.

The place looks like ants have been at it (like ants at a picknik, or a drumstick left out by an anthill)

There were only two Greg Bear books left in the whole store: A british printing of THE WIND FROM A BURNING WOMAN and a first edition, maybe first printing, of BEYOND HEAVEN'S RIVER.

Not sure how many locals other than Bill Goodwin read your board, but anyone else within driving distance in SoCal should come down and be part of this end of an era of So Cal used Book Store experiences.

And it wasn't the internet that killed Bill's Store. It's a freaking CULT that has been buying up property in the neighborhood for years, and are kicking Bill and the Burgette Books' Experience out of time.

And they have a Studio RIGHT ACROSS THE STREE for Yoga.

They've also kicked out all the other tenants upstairs in the residental area...as they use the building as a dormatory for their female members.

I used to like those folks, and look the other way, now I don't...Trust Fund kids whose parents buy them buildings.

Argh...

So I wait for Mariposa, while flipping thru my replacement copy of BEFORE THE GOLDEN AGE, in paper back.
 

Re: Comings and goings
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

We're losing good storefront bookstores all over. I've watched Bill go through quite a few locations over the years--he's one of the most resilient bookmen I know.

letter from Scott E. Green

Date: 10/19/2009 From: Scott E. Green
Location: Manchester, NH

Dear Fellow SFWA member,

Recently a new ebook imprint, www.abbottepub.com, published a pdf ebook sf/f/h poetry collection by me, PRIVATE WORLDS A REVISED ATLAS. If you plan to vote for next year's Hugo (non-fiction), Stroker (poetry) and World Fantasy (special professional) Awards then please consider nominating my collection for one or more awards.

Sincerely,

Scott E. Green
www.scottegreen.com

The Physics of Forge of God/Anvil of Stars

Date: 10/18/2009 From: Mike Clark
Location: Olympia, WA

A long time ago after I first read Forge of God and Anvil of Stars, I wondered about the physics involved in the story (the "privileged band" being an operative term). I wrote asking about where this had come from, and whether it was something invented by you or someone else, and you responded that an actual physicist, though an obscure one, had come up with something that inspired you on the subject.

I have long since lost that correspondance (hard disk crash!), and have reason to try to dig up the name of the physicist. Do you still have the information so that you could re-enlighten me?

Thanks!
 

Re: The Physics of Forge of God/Anvil of Stars
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

Actually, a number of physicists and other thinkers have tinkered with similar theories. The most famous is likely John A. Wheeler, with his "its from bits" approach. David Deutsch has worked with computational physics, and Ed Fredkin is a pioneer in this area. There may be others!
 

Re: The Physics of Forge of God/Anvil of Stars
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Al Brady
Location: Sydney

Instead of flying from A to B about Id use noach to edit things so Id been where I wanted go the whole time. That would save a lot of walks to get smokes.
 

Re: The Physics of Forge of God/Anvil of Stars
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

Yes, but would other folks use noach to edit us?
 

Re: The Physics of Forge of God/Anvil of Stars
Date: 01/05/2010
From: Al Brady
Location: Cambridge

Hmm, so you'd end up with a constantly rewritten moment of time perhaps? I need to think that through.
 

Re: The Physics of Forge of God/Anvil of Stars
Date: 01/06/2010
From: Greg Bear

Whirlpool space, maybe.

Greg Iles' "The Footprints of God"

Date: 10/18/2009 From: Jake Jakoubek
Location: Huntsville, AL, USA

Sir,

I just finished reading the subject book and suggest adding it to your reading. It explores consciousness in a manner I haven't seen in my reading experience, and brought to mind some possibilities in the evolution you begin to explore in Darwin's Radio. Footprints offers, as have you, a successor species to Homo Sapiens.

I must say that the current conclusion of Darwin's Radio leaves me hanging. What happens to the society with the new species? Where does the new species take human consciousness once they've integrated the changes? Do leaders emerge or does the new species not need leaders? I for one would welcome one if not two more books in the series.

Very best regards,
 Jake
 

Re: Greg Iles'
Date: 10/20/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jake! I'll add FOOTPRINTS to my reading list. By current conclusion, I assume you mean DARWIN'S CHILDREN--which does address some of those questions, at least as a beginning. There's certainly room for more developments and elaborations.

Exopolitics

Date: 10/16/2009 From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Dear Greg,

Do you have a view on the above subject?..I'm really tempted to get quite involved. In fact I nearly flew to Brussels for their last meeting with guests such as Edgar Mitchell..Steve Bassett et al.

Disclosure seems to be the main deal, but I have serious issues with some of their stuff. For instance I am a Master Mason at a fairly high level for my age. I personally can't equate what is said of us to our reality. For instance I've heard such horrible stuff being written about Rose Croix..well here we go..I belong to Rose Croix also.

Dan Brown has caused us so many problems when our sole desire is for the relief of our common man. I would never have entered Fremasonry for any other purpose. What is most repugnant to me is that I am regarded as one of the Illuminati..I can't speak for those higher in the pecking order than me..but it seems to me that I'm neither fish nor fowl..I'm a Freemason..castigated by the exopolitical folk that I want to embrace.

The other option is that it's all false. Greg..your views would be of interest to me; as I've always loved your stories. If you don't have an opinion then thats no problem either.

Andrew

 

Re: Exopolitics
Date: 10/20/2009
From: Greg Bear

I have to confess I'm not much for secret societies or hidden conspiracies--having disposed of my thoughts on such things in VITALS. But the possibility seems comforting, compared to the chaos of actuality. Maybe SOMEBODY actually knows what's going on! (By the by, the annual Illuminati Retreat, in the Subterrene Hilton beneath Vatican City, has been canceled due to Swine Flu fears. The Illuminati refuse to get vaccinated.)
 

Re: Exopolitics
Date: 11/29/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Thanks for your reply..I'm sure that SOMEONE does know what's going on..not me though..or my not so secret Brothers in Lodge 1724 kaiser-I-Hind. As for swine flu..been there seen it and done it! Amusingly enough the French have finally embraced the concept of Swine Influenza..a couple of years late as usual, and are all walking around with thin cotton masks and hand gel.

I'm not surprised as they're all such hypos!..any excuse for an anal prophylactic! France was built on the assertion that medicine is best up the bum! As for your Vatican remark.. well Secret Societies can learn alot from them, and as for anal medicine..I won't even go there.!

Thanks Greg
 

Re: Exopolitics
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Gut instinct, eh? Or... Gut-en tag!

SEASON'S CREEPINGS

Date: 10/16/2009 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Another year gone by, time for another Halloween poem! I'm sure the cats from City At The End Of Time are in here somewhere (they're never far away, are they?)

Careful; if you post this one, it becomes a tradition!

--Bill


Algol

I

Those of a romantic cast
Will understand that when at last
One's eyes too long have had to labour
Over lantern-litten paper
Comes an impulse so sublime
It's surely borne from beyond time
To get outside all walls that bind
The body or, indeed, the mind
And wander after-midnight heath
Perhaps with pipe alight beneath
Blue stars unknown to sleeping people

Like a church without a steeple
Is the grass and summer night
So sacred that you feel no fright
As feet away from doorway bear
You through a still eternal air
So quiet you might e'en declare
You hear the heavens hiss
Even thus, perhaps amiss,
But earnestly, that night, did I
Away from desk and inkwell fly
My project hidden in my coat
(I'd cause for guarding what I wrote)
Keen to baptize mind and soul
A rare-fine blend inside my bowl
Pipe-sparks like a firefly-swarm
Aswirling now and then in warm
Surrender to the evening cool
Like goldfish in a starry pool

My nerves were raw from city life
I had no friends, no pets, no wife
But merely was a civil servant
Neither somnolent nor fervent
Till at last I found a cause
Concerning things with little paws
My plan was bold in many ways
But fools kebt nibbling at my days
I needed time away from town
To write my manifesto down
Just when I thought I would crack
I learned I owned a little shack
A country cousin with no will
Had hanged himself out on some hill
My mother's-father's-sister's son
Who went by Gid--for Gideon--
And I, who'd never known his name
Was next of kindred all the same

The letter from his county seat
Contained a photo, small and neat
A rustic clothed in what must pass
For Sunday-best at backwoods mass
And in the background, hung on nails
Some fuzzy things that looked like tails
The sultry eyes were widely set
And on him hung an amulet
That looked too fancy for his kind
A gemstone pendant, strange-designed
It seemed familiar but was blurred
I frowned awhile and then demurred
Tomorrow's puzzle! But by dawn
The photo and the note were gone

Summer nights are kind to such
As maybe watch the sky too much
The hermit's is a desert heart
Which, loving order, lives apart
Algebra--an Arab name--
And in the sky one finds the same
While just a lad, with brush equipped
I'd learned to write that flowing script
The bedouin of old I think
Were much like me who paused to drink
From this their best and deepest well
El Nath, Dhanab, Ar Rijel...

Autumn Square was high and bright
Alpheratz and Algenib white
While in the east, and on the rise
That pair so much like feline eyes
Marfak on the left, aglow, and Algol on the right
Sultry Algol, demon-star, awinking in the night

Those last made me feel somehow robbed
Marfak was filmed, and Algol throbbed
Deceptive eyes just like those beasts'
Who torment rats before their feasts
I lowered mine in resignation
And went on with my exploration

Soon it seemed I'd gotten turned
Around, and pipe no longer burned
Yet somehow I perceived a trail
That led me forward without fail
Through what was now alarming quiet
I'd have rather braved a riot
Than that silent winding way
Beyond all memory of day
And yet, as if by Mesmer tranced
I held, and without wit advanced
Advanced, and toward the forest turned
And if the turf smelled slightly burned
Still who was I to doubt or dare
Mistrust the whim that took me there?

II

"Hiram's Wood" the locals named it
For a man whose fate defamed it
Born in eighteen sixty-four
And dead a hundred years or more
This "Hiram" hunted all alone
Along trails that remain unknown
Dark and strong but dim and daft
He kicked a cat one day, whereaft
The beast removed into a birch
And when old Hiram went to search
It out (because no game was found
The night before, the tale goes 'round)
He somehow wandered much too deep
Perhaps in a moon-shiny sleep
And when at last the cat came out
It was (some say) alarming stout

Silly, but of course such flings
Must serve in lieu of civil things
Where days are long and nights are wild
And grown adults think like a child
Myself, I'd never kicked a cat
I'd never gone so close as that

Small before great strength, I stood
Beneath the eaves of that dark wood
That is how it felt, at least
Each tree a black and massive beast
And ranks of them, ascending high
Eclipsing star-encrusted sky
Darker than its darkest region
Was that leaning, leafy legion
Foolishly I struck a light
As if one match could banish night
It vanished in a heartbeat and
Its final flutter burned my hand
I fancied wood had thus repaid
My insult, for the airs betrayed
Blew steady as the breath of sleep
From out its dank and fungal deep

Still enchantment must have been
Upon me, for I stepped within
The border of that hoary hall
Its odor like a sudden wall
Of mildewed velvet on my skin
It smelled like rot and ancient sin
My legs, they swung like metronomes
My feet avoiding mushroom domes
Made visible by some weird glow
A drapery of age and woe
Bluish-white and ghostly pale
And haunting every twig and vale
My eyes, adjusting, saw the light
Came from a sort of silky blight
Filaments that dimly shone
Were webbing every branch and stone
Even from the trampled peat
They lifted, clinging to my feet

Trampled, yes, the path now clear
To eyes as well as formless fear
A heavy tread had gone these ways
Not just for one, but many days
Or nights, I thought, and felt quite sick
For I'd not even walking stick
And black and crusted was that road
Black as if a gory load
Had often smeared those paw-prints burned
Dragged by something unconcerned
Careless of revealing traces
Ruler of these dreadful places

I wish that I'd remained entranced
And not, just for a moment, glanced
Along the way that I had come
I would have yelled, but was struck dumb
The forest hall surrounding me
Went back as far as I could see
As if I'd walked that phosphorescing
Road for hours beyond guessing

III

Then at last, and over-late
My reason started to debate
"A local trapper's made these tracks
I followed suit, for pipe relaxed
It's known that the subconscious eye
Is sharper, in some ways, and I
Saw subtle hints, or heard some sound
That weary thought would not have found
Well walk is fine, and air is good
But now the matter's understood
I must return to fruitful work
Who knows what beasts may nearby lurk
A bear might make this sort of trail
But roads run two ways, THAT won't fail!"

With effort, then, I turned about
Turned, and then, THE LIGHT WENT OUT

I wonder if I can convey
The shock, to citizens of day
When utter night strikes in a place
So far from normal time and space
My heart near-stopped, my blood turned cold
The stench increased a thousandfold
More perilous than any beast
The silence readied for its feast
My legs were numb as if now dead
I fancied I could feel the thread
Of pale, unearthly fungus-hair
Swarm up them in a fiendish layer
Of needle-ice soon to invade
My flesh till I was but some shade
Adrift in endless horror-dreams
Of strangling roots and drowning streams
In mind, a million spiders dropped
From canopies all skyfire-topped
And in deep clefts of rock and slime
Menageries were marking time

Wrenched by spasm more than will
I spun, and saw the wood refill
With that same sickly-pale illu-
mination, and that's when I knew
If ever there were hope to find
The way must ever-forward wind

IV

Through a mossy catacomb
Did I, like a sleepwalker, roam
Massive roots with curving flanks
Confining trek like riverbanks
That reared and twisted, high and low
And filmy with that fiendish glow
Here and there I caught a peek
Of an elusive forest creek
That flirted from the shadows, fickle
Just a slow and murky trickle
Still it lent me hope to see
Another moving thing than me

Finally when the sense of dream
Conspired to silence even stream
So any moment I might doze
In everlasting dark repose
I came around a massive stone
And suddenly was not alone
Horrid on its heavy rope
A mauled cadaver beyond hope
Was gaping as if for its breath
In awful effigy of death
Although mummified up top
Its feet were dripping like a mop
Bloated like balloons, and black
Their oozes puddling on the track

The broken neck and bulging eyes
Shew clear the cause of this demise
Yet wounds like furrows from a plow
Ran up and down the body now
Not gory quite so much as CHARRED
I prayed the man'd been thusly scarred
Well after he was good and dead
Then memory stirred in my head
Even blank I found that gaze
Familiar in the strangest ways
So wide apart, those orbs of mould
--A bit like mine if truth be told--
The final shock hung on a chain
So obvious it took my brain
Some time to see, beneath the stricture
The fetish from the little picture

This then was Gid, whose splintered hut
I owned, and no one come to cut
Him down...I understood their fears
But felt I ought to muster tears
Instead my hand shot forth to wrest
The charm loose from the leathern chest
A gem it was, of deepest red
In likeness of a feline head
And etched on the reverse, five runes
In script as liquid as the dunes
Thus did chaos claim its toll
Two syllables I read: ALGOL
Two syllables of dread: ALGOL
A warning from the dead: ALGOL

V

Walking now become a hobble
Heavily I bore the bauble
Smouldering with desert heats
Inside my coat with smoking sheets
Of paper scribbled in black ink
It now seems strange I didn't think
It ominous the thing should brand
Like red-hot iron, my written hand
I wondered though how Gid had come
To own a treasure whereupon
A heathen from a land afar
Had named that variable star

The trail I tread now swirled and hissed
With cobalt curls of shining mist
And worse, a soft and sandy sound
That seemed to fill the woods around
Sly like sliding sheets of fur
And modulated like a purr
The whisper of inhuman shades
Aflow like rivers through the glades
And swelling with a wicked pride
As bristling whiskers, side by side
Caressed against their kindred kind
Above, below, before, behind

Choking on a sob of fright
I broke and ran in heedless flight
An awful pounding in my head
And looming nigh, a worser dread
As blowing boughs betrayed black skies
Of stars that peered like wicked eyes
Into the core of this mad sleep:
A POOL OF WATER, DANK AND DEEP
That thrust from out its lily-layers
Such shape as nightmare never dares!
A man-shaped shadow big as trees
Arearing in the searing breeze
A mighty basilisk of rage
Abhorrent in its dripping age
And smoking like an ebon oven
At the center of its coven
With eyes like coals within in a face
From some forgotten feline race

Oh the jumping, oh the jig!
From rugged root and tender twig
They came to caper, leap, and glide
Spit and hiss and slink and slide
Ten thousand shrieking, spectral cats
All soaring like blue burning bats
Into the blazing, whirling ring
Whose center was that smoking king
His ears, his eyes, his fearsome cheeks
Just like the jewel whose charnel reeks
Had burned my coat as black as jet

I offered up the amulet
Unto that muscled mountain, cruel
It laughed, a spray of molten drool
And turned to show what lay beyond
--Hid in the middle of the pond--
A slab of slate where, laid in state
On polished rock as black as fate
Shew clear a shape of chilly mould
My own dead body, pale and cold

The star called Algol, fierce and red
Flared like a furnace overhead
And cast a stream of crimson light
Into the howling horror-night
A column of unearthly heat
Cascading from the void to meet
My waxen twin, and raise it high
Until it vanished in the sky
To tune of wind and frightful wails
From things whose wildly whipping tails
Were just like those still hanging, dead
Inside my country cousin's shed

I searched in sudden panic, or
In understanding, maybe, for
The ruler of the blue-lit bowers
I found him peering from the flowers
Pirouetting 'round my waist
And knew old Hiram'd been replaced
His debt to ancient Aegypt done
My own accounting just begun

For mirrored in those waters, murked
My PANTHER SHOULDERS darkly lurked
And scattered through the fragrant steams
Like butterflies aloft in dreams
Were pages writ from my black head
Even to the first, which read:
FELICIDE: A FINAL PLAN
FOR CAT-CONTROL BY MODERN MAN

In my claws, an ember smoked
A trinket from a corpse all-choked
I gave it to a slender cat
Who sallied forth as quick as that
To do the work of her sly clan
The final cat-control OF man!

Then into water black as tar
I sank, beneath a winking star
One of a pair like feline eyes
Beneath whose stare t'was no surprise
That I, whose fur was black and coarse
--The New Lord Algol--must enforce
The highest edict, which is that
NO ONE SHALL HARM THE TRIBE OF CAT!

End


 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 10/20/2009
From: Greg Bear

Tradition it is! Excellent work, Bill--Lovecraft would love it.
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 10/20/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

You're a gracious host. It's got some rough edges needing sanding...the first draft was actually written at one sitting, between midnight and dawn of a 90+ degree heatwave night, with a bottle of wine and a large black cat on my lap. A literal feline fever dream; thanks for endulging it!

Yokels at court

Date: 10/13/2009 From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

Hey, Greg,

Just re-read "Eon," and moved on to "Eternity." I'm currently at the part where Rhita is getting pissed because she's been shunted off into the school instead of getting the official audience she apparently expected.

It struck me that when she decided not to play music using Patricia's stuff, because of possible repercussions, that we usually get two types of protagonists in most books, regarding court intrigue, and please don't take this personally; this is intended as an observation of the habits of MOST authors, and is certainly not a critique of YOUR writing. In fact, it really has little to do with Rhita's situation, but Rhita's situation made me think about it, and therefore I am presenting my question here out of a genuine desire to hear your thoughts regarding this.

The first type of protagonist is the one who, despite the fact that they grew up in a tiny village, somehow find themselves at court, and nonetheless are perceptive and sophisticated enough to realize that the bad guy, despite the fact that he doesn't SEEM like a bad guy, is lying through his teeth. And, of course, everything else this entails, yadda, yadda. (Enter Tim Curry)

The second is the big, often good-natured-but-rustic type, who Gumps his way through court intrigue because people either find his simple honesty refreshing, or are afraid of getting their chins smashed through their sternums.

Of course there are countless variations, but these are the two basic types. Substitute the street urchin,the blacksmith, the village beauty, whatever...

Although I am not a dumb guy, I must admit that in a situation requiring awareness of the machinations of court intrigue, I would fail horribly. Therefore, either of these character types inevitably make me feel a bit inferior.

Okay, VERY occasionally there is a storyline where someone like me ends up at court, and escapes by the skin of his teeth, but usually only because some experienced person who for some reason likes him comes up and says "Okay, now you've REALLY screwed up, and the time has well and truly come for you to get the hell out of Dodge."

As an aspiring writer, I can see how the two former storylines are easier to write, and how the latter is potentially very messy. But, the latter, in my experience, is far more likely.

So, do people usually write the former scenarios because it is so much easier? Or am I way off-base, here?

 

Re: Yokels at court
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Then there's the type who gets caught up in the quest for The Brew that is True! I think you'll enjoy Danny Kaye in "The Court Jester."
 

Re: Yokels at court
Date: 10/15/2009
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

Oh, I'm a great Danny Kaye fan. That man was truly talented. "The Inspector General" comes to mind, as well.
 

Re: Yokels at court
Date: 11/29/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: Frsance

Danny Kaye was no hero...my Father booted him out of HonKong in the 50's for indecency with little boys...sorry to burst your bubble.
 

Re: Yokels at court
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Ah, corroboration is in order here, of course. It used to be (and still is, unfortunately) pretty common for homosexuals and bisexuals to be accused of pederasty, particularly in the 1950s. Remember the steps taken against Alan Turing. Tough times.
 

Re: Yokels at court
Date: 12/24/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: UK (at the moment)

Hard to corroborate stuff that was hushed up at the time..especially when the person in question was a UNESCO Ambassador; doesn't make it less true though. Personally I can't see much difference between this and the recent Roman Priest revellations in Ireland. I wish I'd never mentioned him..I did so because my Father always had very strong feelings towards him, as he was his arresting British Officer in the Crown Colony of HongKong and packed him on his plane out of there.

I don't mean to denigrate one of your heroes..Homosexuality has nothing to do with my opinion at all.However I hate ..with a vitriollic hatered, seeing someone who abused children (even though he paid willing kids), being treated as a hero.

Sorry to be so blunt..I should restrict my comments in praise of your books in future as most of your fans do...at worst I should just shut up.

Andrew
 

Re: Yokels at court
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

It's a fascinating story, Andrew. I can't say Mr. Kaye is one of my heroes, but I'd be very interested in learning of official records of this case. If it wasn't officially recorded, then obviously the UK government was happy to cover up such scandals... for the right people. Either way, nobody comes off looking very good. If it was officially recorded, then by now, the records should be made available. Of course, with the transition from Crown Colony to Chinese port city, who knows what happened to all those legal or extra-legal proceedings? With some corroboration, there might be the germ of a rather sad biopic in all this.
 

Burst bubbles
Date: 01/02/2010
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

You didn't burst my bubble, Andrew. I'm a fan of his work; I know virtually nothing of his personal life.

However, I must ask, did your father deport him because he, himself, witnessed Mr. Kaye's indecency, or because of accusations made by a third party?

City at the End of Time

Date: 10/11/2009 From: Andy Roland
Location: UK/France

Greg,

Hate to complain. BUT, just bought your book City at the End of Time. It is almost incomprehensible! Terribly difficult to follow, connect etc. I am writing as an SF afficionado of many years standing - not as the man in the street. Have also enjoyed many of your previous books - especially Eon.

Problem might be you understand the book because you wrote it! Similar to the classic problem with many fledging authors - who introduce too many characters into their books. They don't see the problem because they know why all these characters are there. And are living them.

Anyway I am lost and about to give up on the book which I only do once in a blue moon. Perhaps I am not helping because I am a fast reader. Even so.

Maybe the book just doesn't flow. I mentioned the word connect earlier. That is important I think. The book is all too bitty and the flow is only semi connected. One is being thrown a melee of almost unrelated chapters. One lives in hope they might all tie up at the end. But it's not exciting in between!

Anyway, I should look on the good points - you have written some great books previously. Thank you.


Regards

Andy Roland
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Some have reacted this way, and others have loved it from start to finish. Don't know what to make of that split! Maybe it's just a new kind of book and takes getting used to. Thanks for your thoughts, Andy.
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 10/15/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

So what I want to know is if any Appendixes showed up in the paperback version of CITY. I intend on buy a copy for my current Protege, who is some what like Ginny...
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 10/15/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Some readers (and writers) think in a primarily linear fashion, and enjoy plots that progress in a straightforward, no-nonsense way, building tension and significance through a series of events that sharpen the point of the story and result in a final, "Aristotlean" climax. They're challenging to write and fun to read and we're hardwired to enjoy them. Then there are those (far be it from me to qualify them) who, on occasion, enjoy reading (or writing) stories that require a number of details to be held in mind simultaneously and correlated in a less linear, "holographic" sort of way. Given its themes, CITY could hardly have been the first sort of book. Viva la difference!
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 10/19/2009
From: Stephen Kagan
Location: Victoria, BC

Didn't one of the characters say that Breed stories start in the middle and are like puzzles? Very different from your other recent novels Greg. It helped me to think of this novel as more like a brush painting. Strong lines in some places surrounded by emptiness. Maybe this was metaphorical of the state of the Universe(s) at the end of time?
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 10/20/2009
From: Greg Bear

The German edition has appendices--but not the U.S. or UK editions. Maybe the scholarly edition? I still have an article to post which is part of the German appendices...
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

Any far-future epic is likely to draw broad strokes and leave much to the reader's imagination.
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 11/06/2009
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

You know, I have to jump in here. In modern parlance, it may TOTALLY just be me, but when I first started reading Greg's books, I also found a lot of them difficult to identify with. Slow, difficult plots, and so on.

However, as I got older, and more experienced in my reading, I began to realize that my difficulties were actually as a result of Greg being a lot smarter than I was. Or, at least, a good deal more educated than I was when I first started reading his books.

And, lest you think I am making a case for "egghead" books most "normal" people would never appreciate, what I am saying is that most of the books I was reading when I first discovered Greg's books consisted largely of flash, and little substance. Lots of action, magic, sword fights, space battles, explosions, and the like. Most of Greg's books don't depend on stuff like that. In fact, though he is not shy regarding "Special FX," none of his stories really depend upon these effects to drive them. Edit them out, and all you would get is less flash, color, and kabooms. The story remains.

It took me a while to really appreciate the subtleties of Greg's storytelling. A long while, in fact. But, once I took the time to look, and was in a place where I could appreciate it, I discovered there were actual stories there. Sure, the plots are more complex than the average twelve-year-old can understand, but that is why we read books, instead of watching television, right? And, please don't misunderstand me; I am not accusing you of the mental level of a twelve-year-old, it is just that this is the level most TV is aimed at these days, my love for the Stargate stuff notwithstanding.

But, if you still want the thud and blunder of TV fantasy and Sci-fi in a book, Greg's books are not (yet) for you. Keep reading, however, and one day, you may learn to appreciate them fully. I am still waiting to appreciate them fully, and perhaps I will when I am truly old. Greg is not that much older than I am, but he seems to be one of those people who was born old and wise.

Now that I am of middle age, I like his stories. A lot. Greg is now firmly in the list of my top ten favorite authors, and though he doesn't know it, out of the thousands of books, and hundreds of authors I have read, it was quite a struggle to get there.
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Kelly.
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 11/14/2009
From: Ian Dalziel
Location: Christchurch, New ZEaland

Andy
I recommend perseverance
(or if you do put it aside
try again later)
you will be rewarded :- )

this book unfolded in a most
visual way, as I read it...
(is there a movie planned?)

it may help you to get into the
scope of Greg Bear's vision
when you absorb the ancient meaning
of the word Sanskrit Kalpa
(and also the name of the City at the End of Time):

1. Imagine a huge empty cube at the beginning of a kalpa, approximately 16 miles in each side. Once every 100 years, you insert a tiny mustard seed into the cube. According to the Buddha, the huge cube will be filled even before the kalpa ends.

2. Imagine a gigantic rocky mountain at the beginning of kalpa, approximately 16 x 16 x 16 miles (dwarfing Mt. Everest). You take a small piece of silk and wipe the mountain once every 100 years. According to the Buddha, the mountain will be completely depleted even before the kalpa ends.
(from Wikipedia)

I haven't felt time rendered as such a tangible
and immense thing since reading Olaf Stapledon's
"Last and First Men" & "Star Maker"
and maybe William Hope Hodgson's
"House on the Borderland" - all humbling stuff...

Time, observation and information
that is our lot - enjoy

peace
Ian Dalziel
designersaur


 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 11/19/2009
From: Ricardo
Location: Encintas

I think the difficulty some readers may have might be due mostly to expectations - if you sit down to read City hoping its going to be like Eon/Eternity or Forge/Anvil, you're just setting yourself up for disappointment.

I really liked an earlier far-future short story of Greg's, Judgment Engine, and hoped City might be similar, but of course it was not! And like the original poster here, I found it to be a bit of a difficult read at first too. But as I got into the book and accustomed to the style (interesting that Greg calls this perhaps "a new kind of book!)I found it ultimately to be very enjoyable and rewarding.

I, for one, am glad Greg isn't writing the same stories over and over again, and is willing to go out on a limb and write new kinds of books.



 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Ian!
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Guarantees I'll never reach the top of the NYT list. Sigh!Thanks for the kind words, Ricardo.
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 11/06/2014
From: Michael Lee
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

I thoroughly enjoyed CITY.

The visuals GB created were fantastic. Theyre both extremely detailed and thoroughly abstract. I know thats contradictory but the notion is true. Many times I paused my reading to consider certain ideas and plot twists. GB is excellent at planting a thought seed in your mind. This allows the reader to continue to develop introduced notions in his/her own mind. Its wonderful. Its exactly why I love Greg Bear books. If you treat his stories as more than entertainment, youre never disappointed.

The fragmented style and chaotic plot seemed to match perfectly with the mood and theme of the story  the breakdown of time and the (characters')feelings of an inability to fully understand concepts. Furthermore, after reading CITY a second time, the fragmented style did not seem as fragmented. It was actually perfect. Upon realizing this, the story can be classified as genius. Rarely does an author layer a story with such foresight. Three days after youve completed this story, when youre performing your regular life duties, youre going to have mini-epiphanies about CITY. Only then will the full vision of this story make sense. Love it love it love it. Makes you think. Makes you question what you really enjoy in a novel. This aspect alone sets GB apart from others.

Please keep them coming GB&
-Michael Lee
 

Re: City at the End of Time
Date: 11/11/2014
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Michael--

I'm working at it! And having readers like you makes it all worthwhile.

The other end of the spectrum...

Date: 10/10/2009 From: Jess Howe
Location: Worcester MA

Hi!

I haven't written you in a while but I saw the info about Halo on your site and found it ironic; DNDOG (Dungeons & Dragons Online) contacted me a couple months ago to do almost the exact opposite thing -- they wanted to see if I'd think of writing one of my worlds (a fantasy one called Kritter) into a format they could use for a gaming campaign module!

*G*And anyway I've been thinking of you as I slog through working on my own "bac book", as I call it affectionaly. Hah, I've been talking about it on my Livejournal with another fan of yours, who speaks highly of you! (Well obviously I was talking about it in relation to you because you're the one sf author I know who does that kind of spec writing... so you're my biggest inspiration there). Amusingly enough, it isn't to be my first published book; I actually have an ebook coming out in a few months or so! (which is sf itself, and surprised me because it was a shot in the dark... but that's another story. Anyway, that one's more nanotech than biotech:))

Ok, the Crazed Fan will go away now! But I just thought it was an ironic coincidence about the gaming thing.
 

Re: The other end of the spectrum...
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jess! Good luck to both of us!

Only one currently published Greg Bear novel remains to be read

Date: 10/10/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Before Mariposa.

Finished VITALS last night. And like DEADLINES and some of the 21st century elements of CITY AT THE END OF TIME, the "Secret History of Modern Times" was very "Tim Powers"...but Tim Powers without the mystical elements...instead of spooks, speakers and gods, it's some very weird and very probably science.

Half way thru Vitals I realized it wasn't sold or marketted as Science Fiction.

If I hadn't been fighitng an upper respiratory invader this week would have finished the book by Wednesday.

And while coming to the conclusion of the novel I could see it almost being a prequel to QUANTICO and almost easily fitting into the Time line leading to QUEEN OF ANGELS.

Mike
 

Re: Only one currently published Greg Bear novel remains to be read
Date: 10/15/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Finished Rogue Planet during my Lunch break...first Star Wars Novel (non Adaptation) I have read in 31 years.

Very young adult, almost Juv fiction...quite a different change of pace from VITALS.

I'm stun'd by your range of "voice".

So, I have finally finished doing what I originally intended to do before CITY hit print: ready all of your works that I had missed.

Now it's the waiting game until Mariposa.

Oh...I found the Jedi attitude toward possibility to be somewhat a precursor of the Fate Shifter mind state.

Some point soon I need to graph the arc of your work...was RP written before or after your offering in the Foundation Series Prequel Trilogy?

I am really not UP for Durrell yet...I think I will go read some of your Father in Law's work...which sadly, I haven't read any of Poul's fiction in 35 years...read a chunk at a very early age...

MG
 

Re: Only one currently published Greg Bear novel remains to be read
Date: 10/20/2009
From: Greg Bear

Try OPERATION CHAOS and THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS--both bracing, excellent reads.
 

Re: Only one currently published Greg Bear novel remains to be read
Date: 10/20/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Actually working on THE CORRIDORS OF TIME. Replaced my copy of THREE WORLDS TO CONQUER and got a copy of THE QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS (collection)from Bill's end sale.

I originally bought 3 worlds new. Really need to get a copy of THE CHANGELING, which you mentioned in '84 was a strong influence of your depiction of the SIDHE in THE INFINITY CONCERTO...last time I saw a copy of THAT Poul Anderson Book was in '86.

Will FINALLY pre-order Mariposa on the first...as all current $$$ that isn't spoken for is going toward an All Hallow's Eve Extravaganza.

It's weird, that after a year and a half, nearly two years, there are no published Greg Bear novels unread...and it's like anticipating your next Book, way back in the late 70s...

...and thinking here and now how you might be pulling off the trick to fold the Quantico books into the time line of Queen of Angels.

Mike

happy to find your book

Date: 10/08/2009 From: kira gutierrez
Location: New Orleans , LA

i read the infinity concerto in 8 or 9th grade....loved it took my to another world....waited for part 2 then lost my copy of Inf. Con and could never relocate it....for over 20 years this book has stuck with me....4 kids 1 marrige cancer, divorce hurricane Andrew, and Katrina and thank you i found it again and part 2 exists....by the way i am 40 now

your very loyal fan....kira
 

Re: happy to find your book
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, kira! Various editions are scattered all over the country. If not Amazon, is there a good used book store in New Orleans near you?

Enjoyed The Forge of God on my cruise. Thanks! Got a place 4u to check out!

Date: 10/07/2009 From: Jerry Garcia
Location: Long Beach Ca.

I really enjoyed the story. I like how the tale takes place in the High Sierra and the ocean. Places I Love! Yosemite is wonderful. Have you been to Onion Valley trail head off the 395? Not a whole lot of people. You'd love it! I'm not kidding. Theres places to camp at the head or backpack up and over Kearsarge pass into King canyon leading to the Pacific Crest Trail! Several lakes on the way up!
 

Re: Enjoyed The Forge of God on my cruise. Thanks! Got a place 4u to check out!
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

It's been quite a while since I visited Yosemite--while writing FORGE, actually. Have to go back before some movie or another destroys it!

Finishing CITY.....

Date: 10/05/2009 From: patrick
Location:

Incident:

I borrowed my copy of CITY from the library. Half-way through reading it, I got....disinterested in reading, in general....and after a spell, when I didn't get any notice from the library, I checked my account online, and it didn't show up. I had nothing checked out. I looked at my receipt, and the bottom half of the receipt was blank. No return date. I had auto-checked the book out, and I obviously wasn't paying close attention to the....deficit. Finally, after a month or two, I checked my account again, and I couldn't log in. When I went to the library recently, they said my account didn't exist - like, it got wiped or something.

Finally, I got back to CITY and have just finished it. Of course I'll return it when next I go.



Thoughts and commentations:

Mike G: Mnemosyne would be Vishnu.


"Amazingly capable cats...."

"Excellent and powerful Shifters, and some are chancers. Gods and masters of those who diminish and gnaw."

I've always dug cats. And quite identify with them in ways, I think.


Ginny: "She had always turned left."

My aunt would say to always turn left.....


"From: Greg Bear
Date: 09/26/2009

With a name like Ishanaxade, she has to be in the story from the very start, no? The core of the story had to be a metaphysical romance."

Hmm. Perhaps at the core, but not to me in the forefront of the narrative. Maybe because I am more a polybiblios than a Sangmer.

And on Poly, he seemed to know what *would* work. The issue was making sure the parts were there for it *to* work. ....although he seemed to be aware they would be....
 

Re: Finishing CITY.....
Date: 10/20/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Checked out from the Library, but not checked out from the Library.

There weren't a lot of stairs in that Library, with Hexagonal Library Rooms?

Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?

Date: 10/03/2009 From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania

The sci fi dream of replacement organs and tissues appears to have become science fact yet again like Jules Verne and submarines, the vision has become a reality - at least at its early stages.

Apparently the Californian Regenerative Medicine Institute, and other similiar research facilities have sprung up all over the world especially around Universities including here in Australia at Monash University and others.

The goal is to create tissues and organs to replace damaged or aged body parts - making a human being much like a car -able to be repaired or upgraded at will, maybe indefinitly.

Its all at the alchemical stage of R & D but the chance for a sci fi transformation in human biotech seems to be coming true. Ahh at last, hang in there you baby boomers and maybe we generation X's and you will have cocktails whilst looking at a Mars sunset - be there in a New York minute
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Looks quite promising, actually.
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 10/15/2009
From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania

The Nobel prize was presented recently for research into telomeres and possible uses for cancer (to cause cancer cells to die) and also for life extension. Apparently telomerase and other products increase the duration of telomeres through more than the usual numbers of divisions. Children at growth points and in adults certain organs/tissues produce telomerase. The idea behind telomeres is to cause pre programmed cell death after so many divisions to stop errors in DNA replication. A combination of DNA repairing compounds such as selenomethione and protein powders for rna ribosome protein synthesis with telomerase is reputed to prolong life safely - ideas for life extension - even multi vitamin mineral tablets seem to work
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 10/15/2009
From: Greg Bear

This notion has been around since telomeres were discovered, and their basic principles outlined. There are tremendous problems, however--telemore regeneration is also important to "immortal" cell lines such as malignant tumors. Many more steps and processes need to be worked out and understood.
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/07/2010
From: Al Brady
Location: st neots

I remember reading Engines of Creation and getting the strong vibe that cancer and all other disease represented structural deviations from certain norms at the mollecular level. Molecules in the wrong place, be they viruses or lead compounds or an untwisting telomere. Ie creating perfect medicine 'simply' meant fixing very large numbers of fairly simple mechanical problems at a small scale. I suspect this kind of control is possible, based on what life can do already. It is presumed in all the Hexamon stories, and taken for granted. so I guess all the problems might seem intractibly complex now, but the information we gather about things like telomeres, while not suggesting some simple drug-based elixir of health, will add to the methodology of the future AI-managed makers and doers that heal us.
personally I feel we live in a very low-tech time, which can be frustrating, but I have immense respect for scientists out there pushing things forward, and hope we make it.
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/08/2010
From: Greg Bear

We are indeed learning a great deal more about the nature of various cancers, but more about quirky individuality than just commonalities. Cancer is remarkably varied, with one common characteristic--the most virulent cancerous tissues and cells ignore or circumvent immune response and other commands from the body as a whole, and become rugged individuals intent on their own dominant paradigm of travel and uncontrolled reproduction. Most often, the resulting tumors aren't even capable of feeding all their offspring--but they can kill their hosts.
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/08/2010
From: Al Brady
Location: st neots

Its interesting to think of tumour tissue as effectively individual organism. It is shocking to see images of diverted blood vessels and things like teeth being built in the wrong place.
Drexler cleverly suggested improving life systems by replacing 1 DNA strand with 3, so that potentially dangerous mutations would be error checked.
It certainly seems to make sense to think of humans and other complex life as colonies or ecosystems in their own right, a point you made forcefully in Blood Music.
Id be surprised if cancerous mutations havent resulted in new evolutionary avenues and been propagated somewhere actually, given their ubiquity and rampant 'creativity.'.
Talking about immune manipulation, I wonder why AIDS is such a recent development. Youd expected sexually transmitted autoimmune deficiency infections to have appeared a long time ago. It seems like a natural niche in the topographic landscape of possible organisms. Did dinosaurs get AIDS?
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

All good questions. With regard to error correction, DNA already does that in many different ways--and adding one more strand might be an option, but how much more complex does the system then become? Viruses and other abnormalities thrive in increased complexity. There's an argument that a perfect immune system--no disease, no viruses, no cancers--would also stop evolution in its tracks!
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/15/2010
From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania

I really wish we (the world) had a few more clones of you Greg!! It would really help. Do you keep your DNA sequence handy or stored somewhere? Maybe even a frozen cellular sample in a safe facility or something. You know so much good science that is beneficial in biotech etc.
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/15/2010
From: Greg Bear

Alas, DNA is not fate... rememeber, we're all custom-made by semi-expert systems based on ever-changing blueprints! (And the lowest bidders...)
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/16/2010
From: Alex Brady
Location: st neots

"There's an argument that a perfect immune system--no disease, no viruses, no cancers--would also stop evolution in its tracks!"

I feel really lucky to have been born at the handover from mindless statistical evolution to (the first steps to) life shaped by mind, even factoring in the inevitable accidents and horrors this will produce. It seems an improbably tiny and important slice of time to exist in, but I suppose they all do.
As paradigm shifts go its pretty amazing I think though; from a totally non-science background I wouldnt like to put a pricetag on it but but it seems to me to be of the same significance to universal evolution as the other great phase changes that have occurred. And for it to happen now??
OK I admit maybe it all tying in with the sort of awesome Abrahamic eschatology scenarios that have always seemed so alluring to young men everywhere for some reason might be factor in my being so impressed!
Still its like the Fermi thing all over again. Why now and not then? On that topic I thought the Carter Catastrope stuff was a great idea, drunk people get their heads blown off by that one even when the fors and againsts are explained half-wrongly with peanuts and beer mats.
I guess I dont buy the idea that evolution ends here though.
The elimination of disease might reduce the number of people selected against because of their susceptibility, but evolution by natural selection must go on Im sure.
Like these hokey "What man will be like in 100,000 years" articles you see in Metro where they show some Morlock guy.. Humans will surely be like thousands of different things a lot sooner than that, although some of them might well be Morlocks I guess..poor blighters. Its a boundless environment for the imagination though. I was deeply impressed by Cordwainer Smith's stories and his feelings about our future matter-of-fact manipulation of our form was one reason.
Im sure the post data-flow galaxy, the reef, would be a place of dazzling variety and ultrarapid evolution.
Wikiing a little about DNA it does seem pretty jawdropping. The compression! I figure 2million bases in a persons genome is less data than a normal-sized photo them. Its bananas!








 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/16/2010
From: Alex Brady
Location: st neots

PS Definitely clone Greg and make them teach in all schools whether they like it or not!
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

I wasn't referring to human-induced end to natural evolution, but to the apparent phenomenon that ancient and long-stable organisms tend to have very effective immune systems. Sharks, limulus (horseshoe crab) etc. I do not know that this is a demonstrated scientific fact, however. Perhaps I could put the hypothesis this way: If you want to evolve rapidly, be prepared to get sick regularly.
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

But then I'd have to teach them! I think a matter transmitter/copier would be more effective. They're cheap-but the ink cartridges are where the profit is made...
 

Re: Regenerative Medicine = Life Extension?
Date: 06/21/2010
From: Alex Brady
Location: St Neots

Interesting point about the sharks and horseshoe crabs. I always thought of them as an 'old' design but I guess that the fact that theyre alive and disease-free means theyre actually bang up to date, the latest versions of a successful formula.
Hehe I meant "they" as in your clones, but thinking back to school that would be a pretty mean place to make anyone work.

New copy of Songs of Earth And Power?

Date: 10/03/2009 From: Dan
Location: Florida

Mr. Bear,

I'm trying to find a new copy of "Songs of Earth And Power". I can only find used copies. Where can I find a new copy? Is it out of print?

Thanks,
Dan
 

Re: New copy of Songs of Earth And Power?
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

I presume it's still in print, but perhaps out of stock most places--in which case, Tor will either reprint, probably as a trade pb, or release it back to me.

Songs of Earth and Power in Russian.

Date: 09/27/2009 From: Vitaly
Location: Sorokin

Dear Mr. Bear,
I would love for my daughter to read "Songs of Earth and Power". So much more interesting than Harry Potter. She is Russian, hence the question: is there a translation or I have to do it myself?
By any chance, has anybody bought the rights? Is there any hope to see it on screen sometime in the future?
Best regards and thank you for your work. It's a great and intelligent escape.
Vitaly Sorokin
Russia.
 

Re: Songs of Earth and Power in Russian.
Date: 09/27/2009
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Vitaly! To the best of my knowledge, there's never been a Russian-language edition of SONGS. There's an edition of CITY AT THE END OF TIME in the works, so perhaps we can interest the publisher in another, if a few letters are written?
 

Re: Songs of Earth and Power in Russian.
Date: 09/29/2009
From: patrick
Location:

....I guess the 'fantasy' bug has passed some. At least I don't recall seeing anything recently. But this book I think is ripe for it, and would top them all, as Vitaly mentions "an intelligent read". The first quarter or so (Michael's life stuff) would probly have to be hurried along or something, though.

Mary Choy,meet Martin Burke

Date: 09/26/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Finally, after nearly two novels, those two characters actually work together on the same issue.

Page 390, SLANT.

(and that was the one plot non-point during my second read of QUEEN OF ANGELS that did bug me a little...)
 

Re: Mary Choy,meet Martin Burke
Date: 09/27/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Wouldn't comment on my own thread, but as I was finishing SLANT yesterday (and I really wish I had read this shortly after publication...would have sought you out on-line seven years before I did)...but the coda about Alice and Mary had me do a "What da..." as Alice was slated to star in a straight Vid version of THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET, the one film of that was a complete disaster,while those four books still haunt my imagination.

Moved on to DINOSAUR SUMMER last night...and over a hundred pages past the point where I had my weird Father/Son Irrational response and actually enjoying it.

Though I have to wonder if the Series of Mesas where the lost world resides actually existed, what effect it would have had on primate evolution...

But it's basic fiction, TransGenerational SF, set in some one else's fiction...not the rigor in your other works.

And a nice read, pleasant prose...and good cool down from SLANT.

MG

The First of Ishanaxade

Date: 09/25/2009 From: Stephen Kagan
Location: Victoria, BC

Thank you for writing The First of Ishanaxade. It was beautiful and poetic. Maybe the most vivid and dramatic part of the novel so far. I will have to reread this part again since it paints such a nice scene in my mind. It will haunt me for a wile yet. Ishtar, Izanami?

When you conceived the story of The City or when it was conceived in your imagination where was this scene in the process?

This story of The City as a whole reminds me of a simmering mixture of Stapledon's Star Maker and Zelazny's Amber with a nice dash of Borges. A tasty and rich soup or gumbo to beat eaten slowly in the beginning. Thanks. I'll keep reading hoping for more of Ishanaxade. Almost peaked to the end just to see if she was there. I'll wait.

Shalom,
Stephen
 

Re: The First of Ishanaxade
Date: 09/26/2009
From: Greg Bear

With a name like Ishanaxade, she has to be in the story from the very start, no? The core of the story had to be a metaphysical romance.
 

Re: The First of Ishanaxade
Date: 09/27/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Have I missed something (again)?
 

Re: The First of Ishanaxade
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Sheharazade, Mike.
 

Re: The First of Ishanaxade
Date: 10/19/2009
From: Stephen Kagan
Location: Victoria, BC

Ok. I can see shades of Scheherazade but also Penel￳p and Odysseus. Maybe even more so. What do you think?
 

Re: The First of Ishanaxade
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

Only if there are suitors in the wings! Which might be scary.

Creationism.

Date: 09/23/2009 From: Richard Blaber
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England

Last Saturday evening (19th September), a friend dragged me along to a Creationist Meeting in Northampton. I went along, extremely reluctantly, just to please him.
The speaker at the meeting was a Dr Farid Abou-Rahme, a civil engineer. He spoke about how the appendix, the tonsils, the coccyx (which he pronounced 'cockicks'), etc., were not vestigial organs, but all had some sort of function, and were proof that Darwin had got it all wrong, and we weren't descended from apes. Ernst Haeckel's theory that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny was based on fraudulent science.
At the question and answer session, he got on to the age of the Earth. 'God's word' in Genesis 1 insisted that the Universe and the Earth were created in six days (six periods of 24 hours - I checked that that was he meant) 6,000 years ago. The geologists had got it all wrong. Radiocarbon dating was wrong; so was uranium-lead dating, and rubidium-strontium, and all other radiometric dating methods. I told the man he was talking nonsense; he told me that, because I disbelieved what the Bible said, I was destined for the eternal flames of Hell-fire.
I said I was in good company, and that I would prefer to go to hell with Stephen Hawking than to paradise with him; I'm afraid I also told him where he could put his Bible, which was rather rude of me (not to say blasphemous, probably). I then left the meeting, before I lost my temper completely and thumped the man (or before he thumped me!).
I'm afraid the friend is now an ex-friend, but it's no great loss. I shouldn't have gone to the meeting in the first place, but I was willing to listen to the arguments of the creationists.
I now realise that they don't actually have any - all they have are irrational, closed-minded beliefs, which are deaf and blind to reason and evidence. They are enemies of science, and enemies of reason, and they need to be opposed root and branch, particularly in the US, where - unfortunately - they are so powerful, as witnessed by the fact that a new film about Charles Darwin, starring Paul Bettany as Darwin, shown at the Toronto Film Festival recently, may not even find a distributor there. Their influence on school boards, in particular, has to be defeated.
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

I suspect the DARWIN film will get released here and do well enough. Charles was a charming fellow, after all--much more charming than any Creationist I know of, and a far better writer, as well. And Paul Bettany is a terrific actor. And if there are picket lines and people shouting YOU LIE on camera, how can that hurt ticket sales?
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 09/24/2009
From: Richard Blaber
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England

Let's hope so. The London 'Daily Telegraph' film critic was told by the film's makers that they were having problems finding a US distributor, precisely because of the subject-matter being allegedly too 'controversial' for the market.
I just love the idea of people yelling 'YOU LIE' at picket lines outside cinemas showing it, though. Charles Darwin and Barack Obama - what a combination!
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 09/25/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I'd pay to see a biography of Bishop Ussher if Jennifer Connelly was in it (her design may not have been intelligent, but it sure makes one feel...creative).
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 09/26/2009
From: patrick
Location:

I can't see religion...or at least judeo-christian religion of any sort or stripe making a come-back - and it would be a come-back!

Now, having said that, there are more and more people with tattoos, who are poly-amorous, etc, etc....who are christian!

What the fuck (just needed the emphasis) does that say? I could give much wild speculation, as I'm sure ya all could...but, that would go counter to the spirit of the theme in this topic, eh?
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 09/26/2009
From: Greg Bear

"Mrs Darwin, we are needed..."
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 10/03/2009
From: Richard Blaber
Location: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England

It's nice to know you're a fellow 'Avengers' fan, Greg! (Diana Rigg used to look amazing in those cat-suits!) Of course, Mrs Darwin had a hard time accepting what Charles was saying - she was a very religious woman. (Charles had originally intended to become an Anglican priest after completing his Cambridge degree, ironically enough.)
I was wondering if you had any comments to make about the recent _Ardipithecus ramidus_ find. I'd say that it was yet another nail in the creationist coffin, if creationists could ever be persuaded by facts and reasoned argument, that is.
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 10/13/2009
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

In the sixties, when I was a child, I was taught many things by Creationists. Lemmings commit mass-suicide by jumping off cliffs, and ostriches hide their heads in the sand when danger threatens, to name a couple. I was taught a LOT of things by Creationists, but the one thing I was NEVER taught by them was logic.

And of course, simple logic refutes the examples I mentioned above, but when you are a child and it is presented as fact, it takes some time before you begin to question such things, if ever. It took me many years to dig myself out of the morass of misinformation I was taught by Creationists.

These days, I have to wonder how ANYONE can believe what they say, but then temper that by remembering how thoroughly I was sucked in. Logic seems to be the enemy of religion. Go ahead and be spiritual, but the moment you start thinking "My religion is right, and his is wrong," YOU are the one who is wrong, and you need to take a step back, and say instead "To each his own, live and let live." Religious beliefs are not something people should die over.
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Ardi is certainly cute. Lucy is getting jealous.
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Apparently, Walt Disney's nature films unit helped contribute to the lemmings legend, and how many cartoons showed ostriches sticking their heads in the sand? Cartoon science is a little explored discipline! Not just the physics, but the biology...
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 11/02/2009
From: Jeff Easterling
Location: Florida

Maybe I'm in an extreme minority here, but I always wonder why there is a need for such division in regards to this subject. I myself am a Christian, and am also a science teacher (and huge sci-fi enthusiast). For me, the joy in exploring creation is in the evidence left behind, and that evidence is very often not "popular" with most of the religious community. My students need to be given all the information, and make the decision for themselves. Force-feeding any one viewpoint down their throats not only isn't fair to them, but also potentially robs the scientific community of future researchers and thinkers who might have been inspired to explore if it weren't for the brow beatings.

My guess is that most Christians are so worried that science might uncover something that will prove that "God doesn't exist", or will shatter their faith in God for reason. In all honesty, if your faith can't withstand questioning and evidence, you might want to start believing in someone else!

I DO believe that God created everything. Just exactly HOW He did is what science is for! Who's to say He didn't set things in motion with the Big Bang umpteen billion years ago? Who's to say He didn't do it last week and our "history" and "memories" are all just given to us for convenience? (I don't really think that one is true, for the record!) The point is that for me personally, I simply love looking for the evidence that is around to find the answers. Sometimes I don't quite understand, or have to rethink my original ideas, but that's LIFE! We have gotten plenty of things "wrong" throughout the millennia in science; it's a constant adjustment of what we understand shaped by the way the evidence changes (or more often the way we decode it) around us.

The "evidence" might have shown us that a magical bunny left neon eggs filled with candy in secret places around our yard as children, but as adults, we begin to look at the "evidence" with new eyes, and new info. So it is with science. I for one am simply happy with the journey. I am content to believe that there is a God, and if he wants things to evolve, then dang it, Darwin was a smart cookie. I think if more Christians would just relax and enjoy the exploration of science, things would be so much easier...

So sorry for the wall of text; it's been on my mind, lol. Thanks so much for your work, Greg. I love it. I can't friggin' wait to see what you do with the Halo Forerunner Trilogy.

Best regards to you and all your readers,
Jeff
 

Re: Creationism.
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

I once expressed the idea that we can imagine the "fingers" of God working in the laws of science. The problem with creationism is that it lowers the status of God to a scientific observable, which I think is wrong-headed and demeaning. Christians should not be worried about any scientific threat to their beliefs--Dawkins and others to the contrary. On the other hand, scientific "proof" of God will be equally elusive! On November 18, I'll be talking about this and other issues in a speech called "What Would Darwin Do?" at San Diego State University, around 2 pm.

E-Read's 2008 Ed. of Blood Music - Great Writing,Terrible Publishing

Date: 09/23/2009 From: Frederick Nelson
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Apologies for cutting, pasting & editing this email to E-Reads. Just thought you should know about the edition, if you don't already.

To:
Subject: Blood Music by Greg Bear, E-Reads 2008 edition - A Plethora of Printing Pratfalls
Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:30 PM

Dear E-Reads:

First of all, thank you for providing this book. I love Greg Bear's writing and am not sure how hard I would have had to work to find an out-of-print edition of this one.

Having said that, I have to ask: have you actually looked at this edition? Do you have any live persons doing proofreading, or is it somehow all done with scanners and software? If live humans on salary, it would appear that, however slight their compensation, it is too much. And if done digitally, perhaps several upgrades or a complete program change might get this one into the Acceptable range. Even Word spellchecker would have caught a lot of it. I've never seen a commercial printed edition of anything with such an impressive collection of both mundane and unique printing errors, eg. c's and l's shoved together to create d's; letters or whole words reversed, replaced or missing entirely; missing punctuation; and more. I proceeded from surprised to disgusted as the errata count mounted. I would have catalogued them, but I didn't want to morph my novel reading into, well, a proofreading assignment. In some cases, I was able mentally to correct the mistakes and move on with little or no interruption in the flow of the story; but too often the confusion created was too great to continue reading without coming to a full stop to search for the hidden meaning. Greg Bear's fine writing is ill served by E-Reads.

Please, do your authors and their readers a large favor and find a way to prevent or correct your printing mistakes before they're distributed on paper.

Sincerely, Frederick Nelson
 

Re: E-Read's 2008 Ed. of Blood Music - Great Writing,Terrible Publishing
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

This has been brought up before--apologies to all who got caught up in a publishing error. E-reads will replace your copy with a corrected copy for free. Just go to the web site. Thanks! (And let me know if you find any other errors...)

Another Possible SciFact

Date: 09/22/2009 From: John Bergstrom
Location:

Hello Greg,

I finished reading Forge of God just yesterday. Then, in today's news I saw an article titled - Radical New Theory: Black Holes Attack and Devour Stars from the Inside. Since this was a news article, I don't know whether scientists really consider this to be a radical new theory. I do know that you destoyed the Earth through a similar process 22 years ago. Clever idea.

Regards,

John

Here's a link
http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20090922/sc_space/radicalnewtheoryblackholesattackanddevourstarsfromtheinside
 

Re: Another Possible SciFact
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

As did David Brin, almost! And now ST's lovely "red matter," which as far as I can tell, turns into a singularity unless encased in a transparent plot device...

Hey, Greg - I moved.

Date: 09/20/2009 From: patrick
Location:

Despite liking the basic format, I had some troubles with that forum I mentioned earlier, so moved to: http://leisurestate.forumotion.net . Hopefully this is longer-lived.
 

Re: Hey, Greg - I moved.
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Virtual forums pop up everywhere!

It took me nearly a week to re-read HEADS

Date: 09/20/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

and it's barely 150 pages tops!

As I had MOVING MARS fresh in my head, and I sat there thinking about Lunar and Martian Binding Multiples on this reread.

And started reading SLANT yesterday, which as I get into it appears to be a semi-sequel to QUEEN OF ANGELS, or at least further adventurs of the same characters....and I am wondering if Mary and Martin will actually link up in this novel, or be involved in the same larger story, but never actually meet, even though they have info the other could desperately use.

Read your intro to the "future history" of these books in my copy of Heads. Queen of Angels Series doesn't do it for me, and I've been trying to come up with a good name for this future history, which is now linking up with Quantico and its sequel.

Your other future histories are easier to name: EON, Eternity, etc: Either Thistledown or THE WAY.

FORGE and ANVIL: either Planet Killers or Implications of the Fermi Paradox.

The Michael Perrin Books, Sidhe Cycle or something similar.

The Darwin books: no brainer on that one.

But these four or six novels: What would be a good name for them?

Do you have a name for the cycle?

I've been thinking of something along the lines of:

MASTERING MATTERS(s)

In Chronological Order

As with the first two books (one unpublished) deal with Genetic Engineering/BioTerrorism: control of DNA.

QUEEN OF ANGELS and SLANT:

Fruition of NanoTech, AI, and PsychoTherapies.

HEADS and MOVING MARS:

Accidental Accessing, then Conscious Control of the Fundamental Forces of Nature.

If Baxter hadn't already coined the term, Baryonic Lords would have covered the final two novels in the History.

Back to SLANT:

Now that I've actually enjoyed QUEEN OF ANGELS on a second read, running into Martin Burke and Mary Choy had a very Dickensian feel to it...seeing what happened to certain characters a decade or more later.

Just 50 pages into it, I'm almost as curious as how this came to be written as I am about CITY.

And yeah, I've decided to get over my "father" hang up that kept me from reading DINOSAUR SUMMER all the way thru and finally read it all the way thru...which means starting over...probably in October.

 

Re: It took me nearly a week to re-read HEADS
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Now, along with MARIPOSA, perhaps a good name for the group would be the Thinker Chronicles? (though in MARIPOSA, Jones is actually more of a Competor than a Thinker...)
 

Re: It took me nearly a week to re-read HEADS
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Thinkers...I haven't fully assimilated their role in the time line yet.

They are a unifying theme thru the books chronologically starting with QUEEN of ANGELS, like R2 and CP30 were supposed to be thru the original 9 Episode Plan of Star Wars.

But in a very different way.

SLANT is much grittier than QUEEN OF ANGELS, and if the Critics didn't call it Nano-Punk, or Pysche-Punk, they should have.

Reading it much faster than the second read of HEADS. Half way thru at this time in my busy week...

MG
 

Re: It took me nearly a week to re-read HEADS
Date: 09/26/2009
From: patrick
Location:

It's really strange reading a current time/very near future fiction that has sequels in the far future. Same with Baxter's COALESCENT....then the final chapter, and on to EXULTANT.
 

Re: It took me nearly a week to re-read HEADS
Date: 12/24/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France/UK

Took me about two hours to read it..having said that, I read different pages with each eye and comprehend things differently to most folk. Am I strange? I think so, although I hide it well though!

check this (physics article) out, Greg

Date: 09/19/2009 From: patrick
Location:

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/40402

I laughed out loud at this part:

" "We only embarked on this line of experiments because of an accident," says Ristenpart.

I accidentally applied too high an electric field strength, and the water cone extended all the way through the oil and touched the other electrode. Several kilovolts then passed through the water, shorting out the circuit and causing an explosion in the water." "


And scan this response. You can respond now at PhysicsWorld; this dude (?) Ragtime often has some very unorthodox, and fascinating, response - but this one is beyond...like, whack - but not necessarily wacko... :

Ragtime

Sep 18, 2009 1:56 AM

Prague, Czech Republic
Boson Particles Or Creatures?
A simmilar effect can be observed in electroscope during repetetive discharge of pair conductive balls betwen planar electrodes.

www.nature.com&nature08294-s5.mpg

This interesting behavior can be interpreted as an emergent effect of surface tension inside of gradient of potential energy: particles are behaving like rather complex communicating organisms (force mediating bosons) in repeated cycles. Pair of such particles is behaving like virtual boson, transferring charge from one electrode to another in "quanta".

If we would increase potential scale accross space-time brane gradient and number of nested level of particle hierarchy, we could achieve a sort of intelligent life conceptually. We are moving from one person to another, exchanging and dissipating energy density gradient of Solar energy like ants.

These bouncing droplets are behaving like intelligent stock-market brokers: buy-sell.. buy-sell-sell... They' appear to solve 1D traveling salesman problem, which closest broker should visit first under given distance and charge density. These dropplets are clever!
 

Re: check this (physics article) out, Greg
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Once again, I have to ask, when is Bob Forward going to return to help us with all this?
 

Re: check this (physics article) out, Greg
Date: 09/24/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Hahn hahn hahn hahn hahn hahn, no shit!

Eon ---- again?

Date: 09/19/2009 From: Chris Pickens
Location: Newport News, Virginia

Hi Greg,
Thanks for telling me to read Stand on Zanzibar. I was a great (and hard!) read --- though I still prefer the flow and originality of Queen of Angels.
I was watching on of your interviews on youtube and a comment you said about EON struck me. The fact that, because the Cold War is over, that the premise of Eon gives the story an almost dated feel to it --- as if it exists in its own parallel universe. Then I thought --- Mr. Bear such hit a good idea! Just a thought- perhaps its time for the Stone appeared at end of THIS CENTURY to prevent some 21st century disaster. In a way, the creative choice to REDO EON, a new EON (heck.... called it EON!!!!) resonants with th basic structural premise of the Eon universe!

Sorry for forcing you to read this: I am just a big fan that's all.

As for City --- the best dream I've read since the Martian Chronicles. Thank you!

Cheers
Chris
P.S. Any advice for a new sci fi writer, in terms of the craft of writing itself --- not the business part?

 

Re: Eon ---- again?
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Chris! I'm noodling away at a 21st century revision for EON. The politics isn't too difficult... Now, how to incorporate cell phones and Twitter?
 

Re: Eon ---- again?
Date: 09/26/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Re-inventing Eon, eh Greg? Hmmm. You know, it comes to mind that not only could SF be stimulating....or feeding....the future....but also steering it *from* certain things. Developments, even. No Stone will appear.....
 

Re: Eon ---- again?
Date: 09/26/2009
From: Greg Bear

What Stone?
 

Re: Eon ---- again?
Date: 09/28/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

A re-write, or an Alternate Re-Invention?

Linking Jarts and Typhon?

I see Chris has hit on that whole "alternate reality" aspect of EON/ETERNITy as it sits now. And wonder if Chris figured out what tragic event seperates our time-line from the original EON time line.

Curiously enough, about a year ago, there were some fans of SPACE:1999 (a show back in '78 you mentioned had all sorts of "problems" but a lot of people like to watch) were re-imaging it as SPACE:2099, setting it at the end of the 21st Century, and replacing the hokey Nuclear Blast Rocket Motor premise with the Explosion ripping a tear in Space Time, which the moon appeared to have "lingering around" thru it's travels...getting it from one start to another lickety split.

The copyright owners weren't interested. Not sure how the fan base in general would react...I thought it was a keen idea, getting around all too many problems (including our stalled space programs)and the new effects were nice.

mg
 

Re: Eon ---- again?
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Richard
Location: Boston,Ma

Yes,EON was a great read.But, it continude on with Legacy and Eternity.There is room for a next adventure in the series.Give it a thought.
 

Re: Jarts and Typhon
Date: 10/19/2009
From: Stephen Kagan
Location: Victoria, BC

Jarts and Typhon? No, I can more easily imagine the Jarts mellowing with time and becoming the Shen after absorbing a few too many Buddhist civilizations.
 

Re: Jarts and Typhon
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

Cool idea!
 

Graphical Eon
Date: 01/21/2010
From: Sherryll Mleynek
Location: Portland, Oregon

Hi--Ph.D. in English, so no visual capacity. If the hole in the baked potato is the bore, where is the plasma tube?

Sherryll
 

Graphical Eon
Date: 01/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

Wrapped around the central axis passing through the chambers. The singularity appears in the seventh chamber, just beyond the bore hole, and aligned along the central axis.

NASA Life and Work on the Moon Art and Design Contest

Date: 09/14/2009 From: Terran McCanna
Location: Winter Park, FL

Hi Greg - I thought your readers might be interested in this!

2009-2010 NASA University Design Contest in Exploration Systems

NASA invites college students to get involved with NASA's return to the moon by helping to design the tools and instruments needed for the next-generation manned moon rover. Student projects will tackle real problems to be solved for a successful manned lunar mission.
Examples of problems include:

--Navigation in the darkness around the moon's south pole.
--Sample retrieval and on-site analysis.
--Radiation detection and avoidance.
--Communication with lunar outpost, with orbiters and with Earth.
--Video capture of sorties for transmission back to Earth.
--Astronaut rescue and recovery.
--Lunar regolith mitigation strategies for rover and space suits.

The contest is open to U.S. citizens enrolled full-time in an accredited post-secondary institution in the U.S., including universities, colleges, trade schools, community colleges and professional schools. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged, across departments and institutions.
An e-mail notice of intent is due by Dec. 15, 2009. Final entries are due on or before May 15, 2010.

For more information about the contest and to register online, visit http://moontasks.larc.nasa.gov . Questions about the contest should be directed to Dr. Elizabeth Ward at Elizabeth.B.Ward@nasa.gov.

2009-2010 Life and Work on the Moon Art and Design Contest
NASA invites high school and college students from all areas of study, including the arts, industrial design, architecture and computer design, to submit their work on the theme "Life and Work on the Moon." Artists are encouraged to collaborate with science and engineering students. Such collaboration is not required but would help to ensure that the works subject is valid for the moons harsh environment.

Entries will be accepted in three categories: two-dimensional, three-dimensional and digital, including video. For the first time, entries in literature (poetry and short stories) will also be accepted. Judges will evaluate entries not only on their artistic qualities, but also on whether they depict a valid scenario.
Prizes include awards and exhibit opportunities. International students are encouraged to participate, but they are not eligible for cash prizes or student internships.

Entries are due no later than April 15, 2010.
For more information about the contest and to register online, visit http://artcontest.larc.nasa.gov/. Questions about the contest should be directed to Dr. Elizabeth Ward at Elizabeth.B.Ward@nasa.gov.
 

Re: NASA Life and Work on the Moon Art and Design Contest
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Sounds like a terrific program. Thanks, Terran!
 

Re: NASA Life and Work on the Moon Art and Design Contest
Date: 09/26/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Hey, the just found fairly good evidence of substantial water on the moon:


http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/40471
 

Re: NASA Life and Work on the Moon Art and Design Contest
Date: 09/26/2009
From: Greg Bear

A dropperful per every two liters of dirt... wow! The stuff that dreams are made off.

Great to meet you at PNBA

Date: 09/12/2009 From: Anina Bennett
Location: Portland, OR

Mr. Bear: I'm one of the authors of Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel (the one with curly red hair). It was a pleasure to meet you at the PNBA Nightcapper event, and I regret that we didn't get a chance to talk to you for very long.

My husband and I are very honored that you took an interest in our book. If you get a chance to read more of it, I'd love to know what you think. I hope our paths cross again soon.

Regards,
Anina Bennett
www.BoilerplateRobot.com

Does time travel exist 'fer real?

Date: 09/12/2009 From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania

Greg,

I've noticed some quirky things as time goes along (no pun intended)little changes, coincidences, weird timing of events for the negative or the positive. Like many others I am interested in time travel and the nature of time itself - does it only go from now into the future with the past inaccessable to repair or overhaul even with the best of intentions.

I researched further into science and found general/special relativity hinted at it - then into the occult and religion - and more little hints and echoes of something going on. Finally my own eyes and ears tended to decieve me or so it seems, strange things happened/happening I have not read your book (yet) The City at the End of Time but I get the drift of subtle changes to events in time right down to the written word. I know your a scientific kinda guy - besides theories or imagination, have you ever seen things happen to suggest that time is traversable. I mean surely with some of the books you've written you have changed the minds of others in that direction so that they might well have explored these concepts and sciences further, sort of you yourself being a causal event in the exploration of time and space for others. Have you ever witnessed things that make you wonder if time travel is a fact and not a fiction? Or is it dead in the water for you and only purely fictional and wishful thinking.

Aaron
 

Re: Does time travel exist 'fer real?
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

CITY does indeed mess around with time. Let me know if it spurs any further ideas!
 

Re: Does time travel exist 'fer real?
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania

Yeah! I got an idea! Completely besides the initial point but since some of your books are becoming movies (hopefully) when in God's name can I play the computer games? To be able to ride an attack flawship down the Way into a Waygate and join the Neo Geshels in a sortie warring with the Jarts in an alternative reality over our homeworld is my cup of tea. I really dig computer games and since so many sci fi books and comics etc have become movies and then computer games I am drooling at the prospect of engaging in an immersive environment in your worlds on my PC - drool drool.
 

Re: Does time travel exist 'fer real?
Date: 09/26/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Goddamn, Greg. Is that an answer? Like, maybe CITY is hinting, pointing at something? I tell ya, I've either been making a lot of typos lately...or.....doesn't just affect books, mm?
 

Re: Does time travel exist 'fer real?
Date: 09/26/2009
From: Greg Bear

I first pitched EON as a game/virtual world way back in the 1990s. No takers--but a lot of games have been influenced by it.
 

Re: Does time travel exist 'fer real?
Date: 09/26/2009
From: Greg Bear

Gather all your typos in order and see what they spell. (Throughout your life, I mean.)
 

Re: Does time travel exist 'fer real?
Date: 09/29/2009
From: patrick
Location:

"Gather all your typos in order and see what they spell. (Throughout your life, I mean.)"

Ah-hahhhn. Sly bast.


Aaron: talk to someone who knows OpenGL. As long as it's non-commercial (and perhaps open-source), they can do it.
 

Re: Does time travel exist 'fer real?
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Alex Brady
Location: Sydney

Again Im linking to something from outside Greg Bear's stories but I hope it will be of interest to readers who havent heard of it.

Primer:
This movie was made for about $7000 by Shane Carruth the guy who stars in it (and does the music) but it is anything but a cheap film. This is the cleverest time travel movie Ive ever seen. Its also like a scary version of Office Space. You can watch it free here. It won Sundance I think. Really really excellent.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3909854615539675694#
 

Re: Does time travel exist 'fer real?
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

I like PRIMER. Recommended.
 

Re: Does time travel exist 'fer real?
Date: 12/24/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France/UK

Awesome flick!!..well done guys!

Moving Mars: Reader's Notes

Date: 09/12/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Other than Sands of Mars, I am also reminded on this second read, some 15 years later, of Clarke's IMPERIAL EARTH, especially the "flavor" but not the details of the trip to Earth,and then arriving in DC.

It stuns me that the Poltical Aspects of the book were far in the background on my first read, focusing on Mars itself, the "Physics" and the Nanotech.

It many ways I might as well be reading a new Book, instead of re-reading an olde favorite

Last night I definitely "FELL" into the mileau of the book,and of the "Series" (if you can call it that) this is a member of...that I definitely have to go back and re-read HEADS, even though I just read it last year.

While I have SLANT in my current pile, not sure when I will have time on it...major work series of work projects starting Wednesday which will put me back on the 100 hour week schedule, intead of just 65 hr/wk

Any publication schedule for Maraposa yet? Or the Paperback version of CITY?

m
 

Re: Moving Mars: Reader's Notes
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Trade paper edition of CITY is out now. MARIPOSA is coming in November!

Couple of interesting movies

Date: 09/11/2009 From: Simeon
Location: UK

hi greg...don't know if you have time to check out the latest movie trailers, but there are a couple of interesting sci-fi movies on the horizon that seem to touch on ieas expressed in your books - Surrogates (with Bruce Willis) which deals with "a high-tech surrogate phenomenon that allows people to purchase unflawed robotic versions of themselves - fit, good looking remotely controlled machines that ultimately assume their life roles - enabling people to experience life vicariously from the comfort and safety of their own homes." - and Inception (directed by Christopher Nolan) which is "A contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind."
No idea whether Hollywood with give these ideas the treatment they may deserve....but one can hope...!
 

Re: Couple of interesting movies
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

They do sound intriguing!

Eon

Date: 09/11/2009 From: Nigel
Location: Open

Greg,

It is many years since I read Eon, newly issued in paperback as I recall. Eternity, of course, was close behind. Never have I wanted an author to revisit a story as much as I have done for this alternate universe you so spectacularly created. Have you ever considered another visit? - even if only to create a more stories based around The way, which as a concept I was so taken with.

Nigel
 

Re: Eon
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Well, there is LEGACY and the novella THE WAY OF ALL GHOSTS, if you haven't read those already...
 

Re: Eon/Jart Wars
Date: 12/24/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Dear Greg,

What about Olmys' journey after "Legacy"?, presumably when he was in the "Way" defence in his 2nd incarnation?..How did he suddenly have no nostrils? and why? was it because of some kind of transparrent nasal virus? or a natural Human adaption enabling the Hume to settle into an Alien climate.
 

Re: Eon/Jart Wars
Date: 01/01/2010
From: Greg Bear

That's THE WAY OF ALL GHOSTS. I'm not sure how he lost his nostrils... But not a disease, I'm guessing!
 

Re: Eon
Date: 01/06/2010
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Thanks Greg,

That'll be next on my Amazon list. I was in WH Smiths in Gatwick Airport last week, looking for your books and there wasn't a single one!..loads of Ian Banks and some Brook..but no Bear! What's going on?..a literary agent failing you? PR..suppliers hoarding first editions?..anyway, Amazon fills the gap.

Cheers Greg,

Andrew
 

Re: Eon
Date: 01/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

No explanation here. There will not be a UK edition of MARIPOSA, apparently.

Slang Terms in Queen time line: ELOI

Date: 09/10/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

I'd totally forgotten by 2005 that use revitalized the term "Eloi" in the Queen of Angels time line.

And used it to describe the ultimate leasure class in that era, and beyond...finding it in MOVING MARS, and think I saw it as I flipped thru my Brand New Copy of SLANT.

I started using the term ELOI in '05 to describe a Majority of Neo-Burners (Trending folks who had fallen into the Burning Man Life style) Neo-Hippies, the vast Pachouli washed mass of New Agers, Half of the SubGeniuses, that majority of Sri Chinmoy followers (a major chunk extremely local to me at the time) and now the Monetary Prosperity-Spirituality Movement...what old Dead Heads would have generally called "Bliss Ninnies"...i.e. people focused on "Pleasure" to the exclusion of all else with no empathy for their fellow humans, and no real work toward keeping the world together, or moving it forward.

I've only crossed paths with a handful of Extremely Wealthy folks who fall into your definition of Eloi...some Trust Fund Babies ground up, So Cal Elite who show up for Openning Day at the Track (I used to do IT support for the Del Mar Race Track)...most of the Mega Rich (Hundred Millionares to Billionares) I have crossed paths with (often in relation to companies I worked out of) have been totally focused on their whole Money Making or Investing Life Style to really enjoy the fruits of their $$$$$.

Not sure when Douglas St. Claire Smith (Author) co-opted the term MORLOCKS for IT and other similar folks who do the "real work" of this modern society...I just started using it myself in June/July of this year.

Halfway thru MOVING MARS...had forgotten so much since the first read, especially a) the Political Intrigue details and b) that this was your third novel with not only a female lead...but written in the first person from her view point...also a "coming of age" getting out of "college" novel.

Looking forward to SLANT, now that I own a copy!!!

MG
 

Re: Slang Terms in Queen time line: ELOI
Date: 01/05/2010
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Dear Mike Glosson,

I'm sure that you understand the root of Eloi? It basically means "Lord". It doesn't mean God at all. Go down the route of Ankhenaten if you want to find some truth. The Solar Disc..the "Aten". He was the first Monoatheastic ruler before the Hebrews as far as I can see.

Thanks

Andrew
 

Re: Slang Terms in Queen time line: ELOI
Date: 01/06/2010
From: Greg Bear

So Wells's Eloi could have been the lords of the sun-drenched surface...but not the lords of the underworld! Morlock does sound a bit like Moloch, the all-consuming.
 

Re: Slang Terms in Queen time line: ELOI
Date: 01/06/2010
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Yes you're right Greg in that respect..I've been looking into the root of "Eloi" recently and have come to the conclusion That the "Elohim" merely means "Lord" as a term of respect or submission. Just to put the cat amongst the birds, I further posit that the ancient Hebrew race are decended from the Semetic desert dwelling nomads commonly now known as "Hyskos".

I've been to Cairo and Luxor many times and have a tiny knowledge of stellae and glyphs. I know that accepted facts are mixed up with religion and mis-interpretations..rumour and fables; and the desire by all conquors to white wash their history.

As for Wells, he was a classical scholar (which I am not)..My Grandparents were however and I'm sure that when Wells made those comments; they'd probably have recognised the Biblical symetry.

(as usual..please forgive my aweful spelling)

Andrew

Google (Digital Gutenberg)?

Date: 09/07/2009 From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, La

Google is close ending a long battle over Digital rights including out of print books. Do you have any books out of print and are you/Publisher part of the class action?

"Today, millions of books are accessible only to the privileged few who are accepted to universities and can actually afford to attend," said association president Gregory Cendana.

"With Google books, any student anywhere in the US will have the books in the greatest libraries of the world at their fingertips."

Not sure this is a true statement but it does create thought.

"Just as Gutenberg's invention of the printing press more than 700 years ago ushered in a new era of knowledge sharing, the mass digitisation of books promises to revolutionise how we read and discover books," said Peter Brantley of the alliance.

"But a digital library controlled by a single company and small group of publishers would inevitably lead to higher prices and subpar services for consumers, libraries, scholars and students."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8237271.stm

 

Re: Google (Digital Gutenberg)?
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Fortunately, all my books are in copyright and in "print" if you include POD and digital editions. Watching this program with real interest, of course. Glad they're working out the kinks, however slowly.

Moving Bill's Bookstore II: Going Virtual

Date: 09/05/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Walked down to the Avenue a little while ago and had a talk with Bill (during which he sold me a replacement copy of MOVING MARS, only paperback...hard back copies appear hard to find).

The Store, due to the largess(sp?)of the Sri Chinmoy people, is going into the garages in the back of the property, and otherwise going totally virutal. Internet Book Store. No walk ins.

When Asked about a new space,Bill said he didn't have the minimum of $30K it would take to do such a move.

I think he burned thru such a nest egg buying THE BOOK BROKER from Robin and Wendy back during the first Bush Economic Downturn, buying their store, lease, and 98% of their stock in the process.

He asked me if I had the $30-$35K for such a move.

No, not any more.

He's not a happy camper, and I am very sad.

All that will be left of Book Row is ADAMS AVENUE BOOKS,which has been where it is my entire life, I even bought rare and not so rare used paperback SF there when I was in 7th grade...but AAB has become, well, kinda "soul-less" in the last year or so...I dread going in there.

On a more cheery note, I just bought at 4 AM today a copy of SLANT, FREAKING BRAND NEW, waiting for it to be delivered.

Which, other than your Star Wars Universe novel, the Halo work in progress, and Maraposa....is the only book of yours I've never purchased and read...

Still haven't completed Dinosaur Summer, as I made the mistake of trying to read that Father and Son adventure on the one year anniversary of my own Father's death.

I haven't read MOVING MARS since I originally bought it in paperback shortly after first publication. The images from that which have stuck with me for over 15 years are the Rain Storm on Mars, and ofcourse the Title Event...if memory serves a lot of the "physics" from ANVIL seep into MOVING MARS.

And reading MM the first time got me to finally read Clarke's THE SANDS OF MARS which some one used as a comparison with your book, before reading MM, I could never get more than ten pages into SANDS...

I've given up on Durrell for the duration, having fallen completely into your prose style...kinda like the cyclic reading "KICK" I would get about Frank Herbert,you know...the one where ya decided to re-read all the original Dune Books and then have to burn thru the entire Oeuvre and end up doing THE HEAVEN MAKERS and the GREEN BRAIN as well.

-:)

Mike
 

Re: Moving Bill's Bookstore II: Going Virtual
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Ah, the perfect reader... driven mad by a quest for completion! I've been caught in such cycles myself. Sorry to hear about the further downturn in San Diego used bookstores. My favorite haunts, as well. I suspect Bill will be back up to speed within the year, however. He's a powerhouse.
 

Re: Moving Bill's Bookstore II: Going Virtual
Date: 09/26/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Mike - physics in Anvil seep into MM: dude, more like an evolution of them. As I told Greg more than ten years on the old site, I was already thinking moving matter instantaneously by the end of Anvil.

Anvil of Stars: Leviathan System: Busy Utopias

Date: 09/04/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Cause of a hectic week in CyberCountry Safari I've been going slow thru Anvil, and eagerly awaiting the approach to the true system of the Planet Killers.

I wasn't as thuroughly en-meshed in the Stapledonian Mythos then as I am now, having read Star Maker only once the last time I read Anvil....

But sheesh,the final system and what is going on there resembles on of Stapledon's Advanced Planetary/Interplanetary Societies.

Pity it's all a sham, a front.

And in that light it reminds me a little bit of the section in Star Maker called "The Tragedy of the Perverts" where certain advanced societies travel to anoften kill off other advanced societies that won't "live their way"

I plan to buy a new copy of / in the next few days
 

Re: Anvil of Stars: Leviathan System: Busy Utopias
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Going through Stapledon's books and novels prepping them for my Kindle, and rediscovering a lot of primary and core ideas!
 

Re: Anvil of Stars: Leviathan System: Busy Utopias
Date: 09/15/2011
From: al brady
Location: cambridge uk

I like to read the Leviathan system not (exactly) as a sham, cos what lends the book so much emotional punch is the tragedy of exterminating trillions of people in order for the Law to be carried out. Only Martin as the moral centre of the book is even willing to consider the monsterous mind-jamming immensity of what they have done. I almost wish [spoiler] they hadnt found evidence of the Killers.

Status of film versions of "Forge of God" and "Anvil of Stars"

Date: 09/01/2009 From: John S
Location: Western MA

Hello Mr. Bear,

Darn that Roland Emmerich, he sure seems to like making films which bear an eerie resemblance to scenes/plots/themes that you created with "Forge" and "Anvil". I am thinking of the physical meeting/interrogation scene between the US President (played by Bill Pullman) and the alien in "Independence Day"...and how that recapitulates the great interview with the Visitor in your "Forge of God" novel.

Now, Emmerich is coming out with his latest film, "2012", and the trailers for this show scenes of global destruction which could be ripped right from the pages of "Forge of God". There even seems to be a subplot involving a fleet of "Ark" ships to save a small population with enough genetic diversity to reconstitute the Species.

I wonder if you could give us fans an update on the Development Hell your two novels are going through. Are you at all confident that these will be given a green light and finally go into production? Does Warner Bros. still own the Rights? What is going on?

We all want to see Martin and the Children take the fight to Earth's Killers !

Cheers,
John S
 

Re: Status of film versions of
Date: 09/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

There's real forward motion on ANVIL OF STARS, more news to come soon, I hope!
 

Re: Status of film versions of ...
Date: 11/13/2009
From: Andrew C
Location: San Diego,CA

Based on what I have seen from trailers of "2012" I think the FOG and AOS are far more satisfying at an intellectual "could it happen" level than a bunch of rubbish about Mayan calendars! Of all the sci-fi books I would like to see on the screen I think FOG and AOS are probably the ones that would translate the best. I would like to see Peter Hamilton's Pandora's Star series on the big screen , but that would be just too difficult to get into a feature film....
 

Re: Status of film versions of ...
Date: 11/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Stay tuned!
 

Re: Status of film versions of
Date: 03/28/2010
From: Al Brady
Location: St Neots

I would sell my parents to work on the concept design side of Anvil of Stars.

I find the malthusian logic of the Killers, the analogy to the death of Easter Island due to resource depletion, the interstellar fear hate and revenge far more chilling than some silly nonsense about the Mayan calandar.
I prefer the Pirelli version.

 

Re: Status of film versions of
Date: 04/10/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Al!
 

Re: Status of film versions of
Date: 03/29/2014
From: darren
Location: england

Ok Its 2014. where is the movie of FoG and anvil of stars.
 

Re: Status of film versions of
Date: 04/07/2014
From: Greg Bear

You must have missed it, Darren! It was released last year, made $2 billion dollars worldwide, earned seventeen Oscars and four Golden Globes! Mostly in the technical categories, however.

NOT. Not yet, that is.

FORGE OF GOD is still in play! Remember that it took over 2600 years to turn THE ILIAD into a movie.
 

Re: Status of film versions of
Date: 05/30/2014
From: Munish
Location: Toronto

Dear Mr. Bear,

Can't you get in touch with Tom Cruise who seems to have an affinity to making sci-fi movies lately - Oblivion last year and Edge of Tomorrow in 2014. As good as these movies are, I can visualize how mind blowing the Forge of God/ Anvil of Stars series would be - with not just digital sci-fi action but a gripping plot! (J.J. Abrams and Ridley Scott should be mailed copies of these novels - maybe they missed them)

Hope I don't have to wait 2600 years to watch them!

Cheers
Munish
 

Re: Status of film versions of
Date: 11/25/2014
From: Greg Bear

Me, too, Munish! Thanks for the kind thoughts.

2012:The Forge of God

Date: 08/30/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Greg:

Decided I wasn't quite ready to drown in Durrell's prose again, so dived into FORGE OF GOD early last week, first read in nearly two decades.

Reading this again after such a long time, I keep seeing this as the Penultimate Diaster Movie...a Genre that has almost died out for Film, other than those Asteroid Impact films of what...a decade ago.

Couple with the Sociology of "End Times" reactions actually encountering real end times...something that didn't strike me on the first read back after initial publication.

So I am going to share with you what I've shared with a few other Writers I correspond with out there, who have End Times/End of the World fictions out there that have become a little dated:

With a slight retooling, and it's yet another election year, The Forge of God could tap into the 2012 minor culture fugue going on.

2012: THE FORGE OF GOD.

But would you have to fictionalize the President, as I don't think Obama would react the way your President did in late '96...though Biden might.

And the only way he would become President would be....

The only thing I'm finding dated on this read is the Existentce of the Soviet Union in '96...but back in '86/'87 who would have believed that in a few short years "The Evil Empire" as Ronnie used to call it would start to rip itself apart?

Back on the first read Hick's accessing various paid services and "Elite" BBSes in '96 was pretty keen, and seemed to be the way things were going...the internet for everyone was just about to happen in '97.

And reading this novel, 13-12 years after the events in it were set to happpen, I'm naturally thinking about what I was doing on the days of major events in that book.

The one thing that spooked me, on this read, was the introduction of Reuben on November 20th, in a house where his Mom had died 3 weeks before. In my personal time line, November 20th '96 was the day after my Mom died.

Harry's futile fight with cancer starts about the same time my Mom's cancer returned for it's final and fatal run.

When I was living 1996, I'd completely forgotten about the time line/table of this book, it being 8 years from the only read at that point.

I'd forgotten the Silver Spiders and the Guest, but had remembered the "Bullets" and the Von Neuman's on the Ocean Trenches, buidling H-Bombs and releasing vast amounts of Oxygen into the ocean, frothing the surface.

All I had remembered of the Yosemite sections was it's "Launch" into space, lot the long lead up of those who went there to wait for "It" to happen.

But, with some slight updates, this would make a good "End of the World" flick for 2012...


m
 

Re: 2012:The Forge of God
Date: 09/19/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

The world DID end twelve-plus years ago. The silver spiders supressed the memory in a few of us and patched us into a simulation to give us time to adjust. The collapse of the virtual USSR, and 9/11, were tests to establish our current adaptation-profiles. Conclusion? More time needed, before our latent knowledge of evil empires and intrusive calamities is allowed to surface. Start softening up our concept of Yosemite by putting it under the direction of a Japanese corporation...

Mayans and Gregorians should've hammered this thing out better. 2112 is the obvious year, not 2012. Then the solstice catastrophe could fall on 12-21-2112 (my 152nd birthday, as it happens). I'm just Asperger's-ish enough for this to bother me.
 

Re: 2012:The Forge of God
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Rats! Now the spider is out of the bag. Don't start counting its legs, however...

conceptual | physical | conceptual

Date: 08/28/2009 From: patrick
Location:

People tend to be fixated on the 'concrete'. The physical, meaning, the range of things they want to be able to do in the world. 'They want'.

What they don't grasp is that their conceptual frameworks underlie them even having an opportunity to do anything physically. Any taboo or sacriledge immediately puts a block to anything they might be able to do.

And there's a range across people of what is taboo....but ultimately in everyone there is a limit to what's okay. It's completely arbitrary relative to their comfort level - which we know is largely determined by a mix of genetic predisposition, cultural mandate, and environmental conditioning.

It doesn't seem that people are inherently interested in conceptual 'freedom' - not freedom to do whatever you (may) want, but the largest space to move around in - and this is a neutral condition, as it allows one the opportunity to consider, to imagine, anything.

I am interested in this, and allow my sense of what enables connection at a deep, yet casual, level to guide me in what is worth imagining and then doing.


*and that is why I read/have read what I read, your fiction included.
 

Re: conceptual | physical | conceptual
Date: 09/18/2009
From: patrick
Location:

In line with the above, I've started a forum of my own. Visit if you like.


http://leisurestate.lefora.com
 

Re: conceptual | physical | conceptual
Date: 09/19/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

And not just a matter of taboos...there are things that would seem to be actually, physically impossible until the conceptual framework that allows them is--discovered? Evolved? Invented?

From Teilhard de Chardin's Foreword to The Phenomenon of Man:

"They [physicists] are now beginning to realise that even the most objective of their observations are steeped in the conventions they adopted at the outset and by forms or habits of thought developed in the course of the growth of research; so that, when they reach the end of their analyses they cannot tell with any certainty whether the structure they have reached is the essence of the matter they are studying, or the reflection of their own thought."

In "The Silver Key" Lovecraft waxes more poetic, describing materialists casting off myths and dreams while "never stopping to think that that lore and those ways were the sole makers of their present thoughts and judgments..."

And a big ten-four on Greg's fiction!

Cut-and-pasting in LA,
Bill

 

Re: conceptual | physical | conceptual
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Bill. Any philosophical treatise must be based on prior word-usages, and that quickly bogs us down in trying to figure out what the hell we meant in the first place!
 

Re: conceptual | physical | conceptual
Date: 09/24/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Bill: certainly. The best that can be done is to not worry about it, and continue forward. The bulk of philosophy, based in an axiety over this essence, has been overly concerned with revealing it, compounding the anxiety.


Greg: I get in A LOT of trouble online because I create new grammars. It's really funny: when I first started studying music, I was in my early 20s, and though I implicity understood tertian tonality, there were depths I had to learn. When I studied music beyond that harmonic region, the depth I learned was more extreme.

I was 'open' to all of it. And I've found most people aren't after a certain age at least. Spoken language is far closer to their 'heart' because of its familarity and use, and so of course they don't want to learn a more 'chromatic' language - cos, goddamit, what they know works!

I was talking with my mom about this the other night, and before I finished, she said, "they're stultified" (I think that was it)...and I just stopped and said, "yeah!".
 

Re: conceptual | physical | conceptual
Date: 09/25/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Yeah...which is why philosophy is an art, no matter how much it wishes it were a science. The job of poets and philosophers is the same: to suggest what can't be said.

Trapped like rats between that tumbling thighbone and the Starchild, frantically arranging old atoms and old thoughts into new patterns. Bacteria in a ripening fruit...how seldom we wonder what we're really up to!

Amazon/Kindle E-Book Removal of 1984

Date: 08/26/2009 From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, La

Greg,
Read that Amazon removed Animal Farm and 1984 from all Kindles after they were purchased as though they never were sold. Seems even if you buy a e-book it is just a rental if the publisher changes it's mind.

The writer went on to ask what if a book is banned like Satanic Verses and there are no longer hard copies do we lose a piece of literature or just a chunk of our freedom.

Do you understand the E-Book Rules?

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135678/Opinion_Amazon_Removes_E_Books_From_Kindle_Store?source=toc

 

Re: Amazon/Kindle E-Book Removal of 1984
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

All interesting questions. There are a number of "publishers" who download public domain books from sites like Project Gutenberg (also Gutenberg Australia and Canada and others) and then gussy them up a bit and sell them for a low fee on the Kindle store. Some of these are worthwhile--complete collections of author such as Dickens for a couple of dollars, for example.

Interestingly, 1984 is in the public domain in Australia, but not in the U.S. That may have been the start of this interesting dilemma. I'm sure Amazon has reworked its policies, and is going through its catalogs more diligently. Kindle only works in the U.S., and therefore must respect U.S. copyrights.

Sony Ebook Finder for Librarys

Date: 08/26/2009 From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, La

Greg, I have seen a new E-Book Tool by Sony targeted at Library's.
The Sony Library Finder finds E-Books at Library's then you download them to your desktop then to a Sony reader (Kindle or the new Sony Reader Daily Edition).

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9137170/Librarians_delight_A_device_that_helps_readers_borrow_e_books

Is this a potential hit to your Pocket beyond the normal Library loans? Do you foresee any issues? I like the Idea of getting books that my local library does not have but don't want to put you or anyone else out of business.

Getting my wife a Kindle for her birthday since they came down in price.
 

Re: Sony Ebook Finder for Librarys
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

The Sony reader may have serious piracy concerns. Does anybody know how the library loan system works? Do the books disappear off the reader after a couple of weeks? How is this different from purchasing an e-Book, practically speaking?

Kindle keeps control on all file conversions--piracy is a possibility, but wholesale piracy is unlikely. Only registered Kindle owners can send titles for conversion. Still researching this now. I do not believe there is a library capacility--but there are thousands of free books out there, in the public domain. Downloading and reading them is a breeze. I already have over 1000 books on mine. (And yes, I have bought a few!)
 

Re: Sony Ebook Finder for Librarys
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, La

Seems that they can usually lend them out 7-21 days and then recheck them out again.

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/26619/how-to-loan-an-ebook

You can check via Sony's website sonysearch.overdrive.com for American libraries offering the scheme.

There are around 9000 libraries that offer e-books.

As a computer geek the real issue is that they go to your PC first and that is where they can manipulate the format and then you have piracy. The books are available in both EPUB and PDF.

The E-books have DRM (Digital Rights Management)but as any computer geek knows that is only semi protection. Example you can get free software to remove any DRM on DVD. Anyone who can point, click and read is a potential pirate.

Here is FAQ with some of your questions.
http://library.mcmaster.ca/php/faq.php?catid=24&f=searchcat

Jim Duron
 

Re: Sony Ebook Finder for Librarys
Date: 09/01/2009
From: Terran
Location: Winter Park, FL

I doubt it will be a huge piracy issue. The library ebook systems that I've had exposure to often require you to be logged in to your library account while you are reading the book, sometimes require proprietary viewing software, and usually only allow you to save or print a few pages at a time. If someone really wanted to pirate a book, there would be easier ways! There are a lot of different ebook vendors out there that work with librarys, and they each have different methods of protecting their data.

I have not heard of the Kindle being able to download ebooks through a library yet, but of course the Kindle does have wireless web access so presumably you could log in to your library's site and read ebooks online if you really wanted to. One thing that some libraries are beginning to experiment with is loaning out Kindles themselves that are preloaded with popular books. Amazon can't seem to decide how they feel about this, because each time a library contacts them to find out the rules, their reps give a different answer and contradict each other. At the moment, I think it makes good marketing sense on their part because it's getting more people familiar with using a Kindle, and that will eventually lead to more sales.
 

Re: Sony Ebook Finder for Librarys
Date: 09/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jim!
 

Re: Sony Ebook Finder for Librarys
Date: 09/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

So far, Amazon itself does not ship out library books through its mail-order service. I'd wonder why they'd want to do this for their Kindle...

Forge of God Anvil of Stars....Another Bear Alternate Time Line

Date: 08/23/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Just about done with this third, close reading of ETERNITY...and have to actually loop back on an earlier opinion that this was the better book of the Set....EON now appears the better novel, with Eternity a Close second.

Like Planck lengths apart. :)

Anyway...breaking out from Bear Futures to finish Durrell's PROSPERO'S CELL, which I set aside during a series of 25 year migraines last October/November.

So, trying to think about which way to go thru your work next, had thought about re-reading Heads and then Quantico...decided I needed something MEATIER than either, having burned thru EON and ETERNITY quickly

And So Pulled THE FORGE OF GOD and ANVIL OF STARS which I have only both read once before, soon after initial publication.

I'm looking at the Blurb in the front, and the openning events are set in 1996...which at that time were years in the future, nearly a decade...and now over 13 years in the past!

ALTERNITY!

I actually remember MORE of the second book than the first, especially the second system of "Planet Killers" the Kids and the Snakes visit...though the Death of Yosemite is burned forever in my imagination from the first book.

If the Earth is destroyed on July 5th, 1998 I may have to tattle on you!

MG

Happy Birthday

Date: 08/20/2009 From: Greg Berghorn
Location: Framingham, MA

Dear GB2, Warm birthday wishes and all the best for another great year. Regards, GB4
 

Re: Happy Birthday
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Greg! My b'day celebrations have kept me away from answering for a bit--when the numbers in your age total to 13, you start to move a bit slower!
 

Re: Happy Birthday
Date: 08/29/2009
From: mko
Location: kl ont

Jeez, Greg. You're only thirty-ten?
 

Re: Happy Birthday
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Eleventy-two, actually!

Happy Birthday!

Date: 08/20/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: Poway, CA

Hopefully there's Dairy Free Chocolate Cake in your immediate future!
 

Re: Happy Birthday!
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Save one for me when I make a run through San Diego in November! (Mysterious Galaxy did a lovely dairy-free cake for me when I signed at their store on my birthday last year...)

Darrwin's (next novel)

Date: 08/19/2009 From: Dan Owen
Location: Carbondale, Illinois (ensightful.com)

I had the great good fortune to read your Darwin novels recently and am hoping that a third book in the series may be kicking around in your head.

The science, characters, plots, politics and cultural aspects all combine into two very powerful, engaging and thought-provoking works that I am recommending.

Thank you.

Also, have either been picked up for movie production?

Dan Owen
 

Re: Darrwin's (next novel)
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Dan! We had considerable interest for years, but the options have lapsed recently. They'll be going around again in the near future, I suspect.

....new book store...perhaps near you.....

Date: 08/19/2009 From: patrick
Location:

Oh jesus....


"Bookstores seem so 1978 -- or 1955 -- or maybe 1999. But in an age when customers are downloading books on the popular Amazon.com-created device, the Kindle, opening a bookstore may not seem like a wise business decision.
But don't tell that to Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, 30 (on the right in photo), or Rebecca Fitting, 35 (on the left in photo), who have apparently been spending a lot of time perusing the titles in the business section of their future bookstore. They don't appear to be afraid of any ol' recession and believe they can compete just fine with the likes of YouTube, Facebook and other Internet sites competing for their customers' time."

http://smallbusiness.aol.com/startup/article/meet-jessica-bagnulo/590467?icid=main|htmlws-main|dl3|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fsmallbusiness.aol.com%2Fstartup%2Farticle%2Fmeet-jessica-bagnulo%2F590467
 

Re: ....new book store...perhaps near you.....
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Just got a Kindle myself--pretty wonderful little device. And I have to say that as the years go by, and e-readers become more widespread, it will deeply impact used bookstores. The impact on new stores and libraries will also be substantial. I'm cogitating on these issues and hope to produce a piece for the blog soon.

The Time Lines of EON

Date: 08/16/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Greg:

Re-reading EON as promised, for the first time in a nearly a quarter century (though I've read ETERNITY twice, but not in the last 12 years...)

Various images have stuck in my head from that first reading: Olmy speaking to the memory pattern of the designer of the Way in his family's appartment in Thistledown City, Pattricia's response of seeing too many pyramids in Egypt.

But over that quarter century, various details had faded, such as this occuring in 2005, now four years in our past! The Cold War turned hot Western Block vs. Soviet tension, with China being a bit more friendly.

And an Advanced to Lunar Colonization ability US and Soviet space flight ability, not just stuck with the shuttles.

When I first read EON, the Challenger disaster was still months away...an event that cost many brave lives and horrified the nation and the world...putting the Shuttle program on a 2-3 year stall, and effectively stalling manned space flight objectives by two decades.

History is stuffed with "Accidents" that become lurch points from one collected shared path to another.

America really lost it's Will toward space flight with that heart breaking event, meanwhile Soviet Space flight continued to plod on, but never really got its will up to try for the moon.

And then in '89 the Berlin Wall Fell, taking the Eastern Block with it, and History as we thought we knew it would unfold totally changed.

So instead of re-Reading Eon as historically dated, it's turned into an "Alternate Reality" novel for me, especially with the WAY tunnelling down the center of it, giving the characters not just access to worlds distant in Space AND time, but worlds in completely different time lines.

If 1989 hadn't happened the way it did happen for us, I was pretty much convinced we wouldn't make it very far into the 1990s.

I post this after reading some of the first parts of Patricia's reading the book about "The Death"



 

Re: The Time Lines of EON: End of Time for Universe in Eternity
Date: 08/22/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Avoiding after hour work and making headway thru EXTERNITY, and just hit a brick wall in my time-line speculations:

On page 151 of my paperback edition Mirsky states that our Universe ends "In about 75 Billion Years"

A few sweeps of the second hand in the time line of CITY.

Though the WAY itself, and it's end, has to extend Quadrillions if not Quintillions of years beyond that "Death" of the Universe.

Did you, or anyone, ever sit down and calculate just how "long" the WAY could possibly be?

From the texts we know it has to be hundreds, if not thousands of light year equivalents long...but could it extend millions of Light Years toward that other fizziling end cap?

I know the Jart Invasion of Gaia and Conquest is just a few pages away...and I've become more enamoured of a "Surviving Classical World" alternate time-line than when I last read this volume.

And the Impending Jart invasion brings to mind more Trek Rip offs: I'd always thought THE BORG were something of a Rip on Giger's Biomechanical Humanoids...something he almost abandoned when the ALIEN motify got so popular.

So in form THE BORG look like those, but not as weird-kinky...while in action they are WAY too much like the JART,and with a similar species imperative: The BORG consume and integrate other species as a goal toward perfection; the Jart collect and preserve other species/cultures into their data-banks, and then use that tech and biology to expand their own on going mission: making it a "present" for their ultimate descendants(what I remember from my last two readings...)
 

Re: The Time Lines of EON: End of Time for Universe in Eternity
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Somewhere in the novels, I believe the Way is described as being coiled up within the multiverse like a tapeworm... and tapeworms can be much longer than their hosts!
 

Re: The Time Lines of EON
Date: 08/28/2009
From: patrick
Location:

All these analogies of space-time are just conventions, and beside the point on that deal. As well, the Borg are similar to the Jarts in only that surfacial aspect mentioned. The latter are certainly more complex, not to mention passionate.
 

Re: The Time Lines of EON
Date: 09/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hm... I thought Alice Krige as the Borg queen was fairly passionate...
 

Re: The Time Lines of EON
Date: 11/29/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Bah!...weaklings! I read Eon and Eternity once a year and have done so for many many years. I hate to call you a "comfort" author Greg, but to me, those two books are in the collection of what I hope to read when I'm dying in my bed of old age. I've had them since my mid twenties..now I'm nearly fifty (hope that this doesn't make you feel old!)...You're up there with my other well thumbed books that I'll die with, including "The Noel Coward Diaries" and Arthur Rimbauds collected verse...not sure where you fit in there..but you do..That was a compliment by the way!

Greetings from the snowy Pyrennees!

Andrew
 

Re: The Time Lines of EON
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Andrew! I'm right up there with "The Drunkboat!" Cool!

I Coulda had a Corona (Grumpy Trek Thoughts)

Date: 08/15/2009 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I posted the following on facebook this past June, and got a variety of interesting responses, thoughtful and otherwise. As you've written a Trek novel (and are, I grok, a Trekker of original stripe, yourself) I thought this might amuse. Peace and Long Life!

THE OPINIONS BELOW ARE THE AUTHOR'S AND DO NOT NECCESARILY REFLECT THOSE OF GREG BEAR

That's Right I Didn't Like "Star Trek 2009"

A spontaneous afterthought-rant by Bill Goodwin


*Sigh* I guess it falls to me this time to be the old curmugeon...to rain on the parade, and say that not all is well with The Franchise and its popular "reboot."

Problems with Star Trek 2009, in no particular order or category-of-objection.

I could start with that word, reboot, and its cousin, "reimagining." I hate them. Isn't re-imagining sort of a contradiction in terms? If you're gonna go to all that trouble, why not create something new? (answer in two words: Brand Recognition).

"We're just de-nerding it, so that cool people can enjoy it too."

"But if liking it is nerdy, why would cool people be interested? Wouldn't they rather see something else?"

"Lighten up! You're being a nerd!"

"Oh, right. Mustn't be a nerd."

THEY BUILT THE ENTERPRISE ON THE GROUND.

Why is George Kirk's pregnant wife with him on a battleship?

Kirk's swollen Mickey Mouse hands are really dumb, a new low for Trek, worse than Scotty hitting his head on the beam in The Final Frontier and such. Just DUMB.

HEADLINE: SUPERNOVA SENDS WALL OF FLAME ACROSS GALAXY. No time to evacuate! We had decades to see it coming but we weren't looking in that direction...

This is worse than that Praxis nonsense in Star Trek VI, where a power station blows up a Klingon moon, sending out a presumably faster-than-light shockwave strong enough to shake up Sulu's Excelsior lightyears away, but leaves survivors on the moon itself to broadcast a warning. Never mind that long before Star Trek 2009's supernova-fireball expands beyond its own little corner of creation it will be harldy denser than the surrounding vacuum. (Was it radiation that was the hazzard? I saw a wall of flame, I saw a planet shattering. Or was it the Romulan sun itself that blew up? I didn't hear anybody say that.)

Pity no one mourned or even mentioned Romulus' poor brother world Remus, where Ron Pearlman dwells with big pointy bat-ears.

I'm not gonna touch the "red matter" issue. It's some yet-undiscovered thing and I can deal with that. BUT WHAT'S UP WITH THE DRILL? It dangles for hundreds of miles out of Nero's Ginsu-Knife-Set ship and then fires some super-phaser-beam, anyway.

If the beam can penetrate four-thousand miles of rock, it can penetrate an atmosphere, so don't even start. It's there as an excuse for the space-diving scene, and a couple Romulans with polearms have to stand around at the bottom of it in case any bronze-age culture tries such a trick. Any hole it bores into a planet's core collapses the instant the beam's turned off, so it's not going to be much use for dropping tubes of that rosy goo from ALIAS into a world's heart, but worrying about science is nerdy.

Kirk, Sulu and a Red-Shirt dive onto the slippery platform from orbit (straight down, no coriolis effect), without grapling hooks, or magnets or glue--real men, after all, don't use safeguards. But only the Red-Shirt has explosive charges and, being on crack, he decides not to pull his ripcord till the last moment, because hitting a chunk of metal at mach-twelve will make him even more manly, perhaps, than Kirk. Why didn't they give everybody explosive charges? OH, I DON'T KNOW...

Let's skip ahead.

So here we are, back on Delta Vega where it all began...where Kirk himself will one day (maybe) attempt to maroon his buddy-turned-demigod Gary Mitchell. It seems a lot colder now, but I guess we're near one of the poles. This time it's Kirk who's being marooned.

And that's absurd.

Logical, upright, Top-Of-His-Class Spock orders a man shot into space in a metal tube? The offender couldn't be taken to the BRIG? The Vulcan has already lost his mind, relieve him now!

Did the Enterprise even actually GO to Delta Vega (meaning that Spock took a Constitution-Class Cruiser engaged in Crisis Operations lightyears out of its way just so he could have the satisfaction of seeing pretty-boy Kirk dropped into Carnivourus-Monster Snow-Hell without weapons or provisions) or did Delta Vega just happen to be passing by the window at that moment? Madness! The Vulcan Science Academy was right, this guy is deranged--and the writers, too!

Luckily Kirk's luck is running at least as well as Luke Skywalker's (who with a whole planet to choose from managed to crash just a brief swamp-stroll from Yoda's house). In Luke's case we can figure it was The Force guiding him; I guess it's just Destiny that lands Kirk right by Spock's cave, which he stumbles into all on his own.

Spock was marooned, too (does Delta Vega ADVERTISE itself for this?). Nero put him here so he can look up and see his homeworld (oh, Delta Vega is a Vulcan MOON) collapse into a blackhole caused by the red stuff which, come to think of it, IS starting to annoy me.

Things aren't so bad though. Spock knows where there's an outpost; much less impressive than the Lithium Cracking Station we saw here forty years ago, but cozy for Scottsmen and their horny-toad companions.

He walks Kirk over. Spock himself has been staying in the cave so as not to interfere with the past, but seeing Kirk look cute again has put him in mind of old times, so he says what the hell, I'll teach these guys the militarily-invaluable trick of transwarp beaming and trust them to use it discretely.

Scotty ends up in the Enterprise's coolant-plumbing, an embarassingly dumb steal from Charlie and the Chocolate factory that they didn't even build (pardon me, render) a set for, but shot in some damn brewery somewhere. This is how Scotty--who I used to think must be pretty hot stuff to be Chief Engineer of the Federation's flagship--actually winds up aboard her. He's so unimpressive as to be assigned to a snowed-in shack in the ass-end of nowhere, but now makes an impression with an equation Future-Spock has slipped him on the sly.

Then the movie is good for about ten minutes, before falling back into a bunch of dangling-drill-and-blackhole madness that I lack the ambition to sort out. But hey, it would be taking things too seriously to require that it make sense, and that would be nerdy.

The upshot is that Nero, who's nuts (we don't have to explain his thinking--he's NUTS) gets his ship sucked into a blackhole which, we must assume, remains as Earth's new moon. We get to see the Enterprise hide in Titan's cloudtops, too, because the Cassini photos are all over the net and it'd be a shame not to work Saturn's rings in somehow--magnetic interference, that sounds good--WTF?

So the original Spock, the Spock we know and love, spent 80+ years trying to reunify Vulcan and Romulus for nothing? His life, and everything we've seen of him before, ends with him stranded in a timeline where both worlds have been annihilated because of his own screw-up?

This makes me very sad...although Spock himself seems fairly sanguine about the whole thing. I guess he rents a room across town from Quinto-Spock (to give the younger Vulcan his space), and eventually winds up selling pencils on a street corner somewhere. He could support himself selling bits of future knowledge, of course, or by playing the stock market, but he won't because he wouldn't sacrifice principle for profit, even if Nimoy would and does.

Pike ends up in a chair again, but at least he can do more in it than blink his little light. Too bad really, I think he kind of dug Vina and might not have been so bad off spending eternity on Talos IV (wait a minute, did this Pike and Spock even go to Talos IV? I don't think they had enough time. Certainly Kirk never served under Garrovik).

And forget Chekov's hair--what's up with his even being out of kindergarten? Classic Chekov didn't join the crew till the second season, when Kirk was 36, and I had the impression he was fresh out of officer's school.

I know. Nerd Nerd Nerd Nerd. He hadda be there 'cause everybody hadda be there--it's not meant to be taken too seriously! (Grrrrrrrrrrrr...)

And so on.

So now we've got our old crew magically pre-united, years before they were serendipitously assigned to the old NCC-1701 in the first place, meaning that now they can be a lot hipper and sexier in the films that follow, which--since this one's going to bank huge--will be no more constrained by reason than it is.

Science and tradition be damned, we don't need that stuff anymore. The Space Shuttles are being retired soon, after which American astronauts (for the next few years at least) will be hitching rides into orbit exclusively in Soyuz capsules, courtesy of our old rivals. Hey, we proved WE can explore the universe, now let Moscow do the work (and China) while we sit in theaters and relax, free from all that thinking at last and able to focus on more important things like Being Entertained.

Physics and Astronomy don't matter? Fine. Sell that to the kids, and see where we stand by the time Star Trek is "rebooted" yet again.

"But it's a RESPECTFUL reboot...just a facelift, so that we can still enjoy it!"

No, I'm sorry, it's NOT. If you believe that, you're lost. You're licking the boots of the very people laughing up their Armani sleeves at you, even laughing PUBLICLY at you on Saturday Night Live.

Star Trek was good because it was smart. Star Trek was SEXY because it was smart. Oh, it had loads of junk science and cornball characterization. But that was when it failed--now the stuff is INTENTIONAL.

Yes, Classic Trek often fell short of its ostensible creed of plausible, well-crafted stories grounded in science (what the term science-fiction meant before it became a sub-category of Action/Horror). But today there is no such creed. Not just science but plot itself is no longer required to make sense to audiences dazzled by eye-candy CGI and eye-candy stars. Chris Pine is one good-lookin' boy, and his Kirk takes all this Starfleet business none-too-seriously. Oh, he gets a twinge of religion--enough to convince him to go brawling and debauching in Space instead of Iowa--but it's still Kirk And Spock's Excellent Adventure.

I'm not blaming the actors. It was WRITTEN that way. It was DIRECTED that way. Zoe Saldana's verrry-foyne Uhura is well-realized and effective, and Quinto choked me up with his sorrow-turned-anger breakdown on the bridge. But these were moments when the actors' talent broke through that coating the filmmakers paradoxically sought to give the movie: a teflon coating of of happy, don't-take-it-too-seriously, just-have-fun hipness.

And that's what's put SF in jeapordy in cinema. The idea that it's just a leave-your-brain-at-home roller-coaster ride.

It's nothing new. Studio execs have always been baffled and a little afraid of SF. They solve the problem by deciding SF means ANYTHING GOES, when of course it's just the opposite: science and rationality are all the more important in SF because, when you're presenting such unusual situations, it's that much more crucial to hew to facts wherever you can.

Star Trek 2009 is a DATE FLICK (no pun intended). Well I've got nothing against dating OR roller-coaster rides, but a film can achieve all that and be smart, too. And the prevailing wisdom is that it CAN'T.

Be advised, you ARE being insulted.

Yes, I really think they talk about this behind closed doors. I'm that paranoid. I think it's really possible that absurdities are DELIBERATELY INTRODUCED into films like Star Trek 2009 as subliminal cues to "non-nerd" audiences that they're safe--that there's no IQ test after the show and won't be any need to remember things that happened more than 3 minutes earlier.

Because, after all, that would be nerdy. Taking a "sci-fi" movie seriously enough to care that it makes sense would be nerdy.

Then you'd be like THEM. The awkward, overweight Trekkies who don't bathe or lose their virginity, yet whose prefered entertainment we kind of envy nonetheless, if only you didn't have to know the difference between a star and a galaxy to follow it.

Pfah.

Star Trek episodes used to be ABOUT things. But now an awful trend that started long ago has reached its ultimate conclusion. Star Trek--however pretty the stars and effects, however funny the gags--doesn't look outward anymore. Star Trek is merely about...Star Trek.

BAD ROBOT!
 

Re: I Coulda had a Corona (Grumpy Trek Thoughts)
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

Actually, I quite enjoyed the film. Though both Bjo and I think that future films should get back to the "boldly go" scenarios and start exploring. (And this from a guy who's blown up a few planets in his time!)
 

Re: I Coulda had a Corona (Grumpy Trek Thoughts)
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Bjo! Good times in the '80s, finding a spot between houseguests and chicken-wire dragons to plop down and drink tea in the Trimble home! Her daughter Lora read the above on facebook and broke things down for me: "IT'S ONLY A MOVIE, BILL!"

I just hate to think of all the fanged Teddy bears dying.

And yes, I'm still afraid of Yosemite, after reading The Forge of God...

Typhon Query

Date: 08/13/2009 From: Simon
Location: New Zealand

Hi Greg

Am I right in thinking that Typhon in City is what the Jart race ultimately becomes? I seem to recall Typhon was the name Rhita's Jart chose in Eternity.

I really need to re-read City, I tend to rush a book the first time, just to find out what happens, then re-read at a leisurely pace and really enjoy the writing. I'm not afraid to admit I found City challenging, yet still immensely enjoyable.

Regards,

Simon
 

Re: Typhon Query
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

Simon gets the prize! You're the first to pick up on that. But in fact the two are not related... at this point.
 

Re: Typhon Query
Date: 08/22/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

Whoa...I hadn't put that together at all...more thinking along the lines of the Mad Mind/Malign VS. Vanamonde(or similar entities).

A WAY/CITY cross over possibility...Greg stop the room spinning!

Actually, when I first got wind of "The Collectors" my first thought was "Jarts"
 

Re: Typhon Query
Date: 08/24/2009
From: patrick
Location:

I don't recall whether I mentioned this, but you seem to be doing what Baxter did within his Xeelee Sequence. Which is cool. (Of course, Asimov did this way back, but not in as interesting a fashion, both within the story, and in writing/publicatin chronology.)
 

Re: Typhon Query
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Actually, no intention of conflating the two. Just that the name was so totally appropriate in both instances...

Writing in another author's universe

Date: 08/10/2009 From: Brian Conway
Location: Alpharetta, GA

I am working on an article about the writer / publisher / reseller relationship.

At the center of this piece is what seems to be a deepening schism between fans of Frank Herberts Dune series and fans of the new Dune novels being published by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

I have been watching this develop for some time, and it appears that it has reached a new level with the release of Winds of Dune this past week. Part of the controversy stems from some claims of impropriety by KJA / HPL / TOR in regards to manipulating reviews.

Another sticking point is Kevin J. Andersons decision to have a members only message board, which his detractors see as being a vehicle to pay fans to submit reviews by offering giveaway items.

What I would like to ask you is:

What is your opinion on whether authors should encourage, discourage, or in any way advocate fans posting reviews?

Do you think that authors having fan clubs, and providing member benefits such as giveaways, contests, offering ARCs and exclusive previews of works in progress is inappropriate, or could be considered shilling?

Is there any truth to the claim that publishing entities attempt to influence Amazons rating system? How?

Is it just with Dune books? (A member of one of the anti new Dune websites has made the claimed that they work for a publishing company, and has direct knowledge how the publisher can influence Amazon into the removal of the less than favorable reviews.)

Is this kind of controversy something that you and the other two of the Three Bs experienced while writing in the Foundation Universe?

Have you read any of the new Dune books? What did you think of them?

If asked, would you write in the Dune Universe? Why /Why not?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to look at and to (hopefully) respond to my questions&
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

A whole lot of topics here! Publishing is suffering so badly now that anything that helps sales and promotions seems fair. That said, I don't (often) push people to pump up my reviews on Amazon, and in my experience, only clearly corrupt, slanderous, or inappropriate reviews get pulled there. What Brian and Kevin have done with the new DUNE series is successfuly extend the franchise for a new generation, and keeping (and feeding) a loyal fan base seems a smart move on their part. The controversy is probably similar in many respects to the old/new STAR WARS debates.
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Brian Conway
Location: United States

Thank you for taking some time to weigh in on this issue. As a lifelong fan of the Sci Fi genre I have always tried to shamefully promote the books and authors that I find of interest, and will continue to do so.

I can truly understand the passion which is associated universes such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Foundation and Dune (and the many more I have not mentioned).

It must be an incredibly hard job to try and stand in someone elses shoes and try and capture the essence of the original authors views, no matter how many notes may be left behind.

I think it is equally important that even the most ardent fans of the original works approach disagreements about quality, quantity and content of new additions to any of these franchises in a mature and respectful manor.
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

Absolutely! But too often, passion trumps sense--or courtesy.
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Brian Conway
Location: United States

Well said!

I can only hope that both sides can step back from the rhetoric, and find what common ground is available, even if it is only the mutual respect for Frank Herbert and his original works. No one is being served by the language of hate that is being bandied about now.

The reality check is that by turning Amazons review system into the battleground, people are probably less inclined to try any of the Dune books, new or old.

I personally think that Amazon, a stakeholder in the success of any book it sells, needs to take a hard look at how they have set up their review system to better represent both sides without allowing the useless rhetoric that has seeped into the process.
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/20/2009
From: Kristian Lund
Location: Denmark

I have a follow-up question.

If an author has a site, where he promises rewards (such as merchandise, mention in a book and similar) for writing reviews, would you consider that "shilling"?

Personally, I do not have a problem with authors having closed websites. Nor with asking people to review their books in a public forum - although doing so in a closed group is a bit problematic.
I see no problem with competitions about "best blog post" about a work or similar.
What I am asking here is about making an invitation, pre-approved fans-only site. And on that site institute a system of rewards for such things as writing reviews on external sites such as Amazon.
Furthermore, whether such action by an author is ok or nok, would you say it is ok to write such reviews and gain points? Without disclosing that the review makes one eligable for rewards in a note?


PS: I would like to hear your views, too, Conway. For the fifth time: do you claim that this is not an accurate description of what KJA is doing? Are you saying that such a system is not an indirect way of "getting paid for reviews (which we know will be positive because that was criterion for inclusion on the site)?
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/20/2009
From: Peter Hunt
Location: United States

Mr. Bear,

I agree that passion often trumps sense or courtesy, and has been evident on both sides of the BH/KJA DUNE controversy. I'll be interested to read Brian's article on the subject.

May I ask, did you get much flak from die-hard Asimov or Star Wars "purists" for your contributions to those universes?

Peter

(Long time reader, by the way. I've enjoyed your work greatly over the years)
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/20/2009
From: C. Holland
Location: Texas, USA

Capitalism is fine when it comes to book sales, my dispute is not with the HLP making money off of the Dune Franchise, but rather the quality of product that they want to claim as "Dune". I don't doubt that Amazon, as a for-profit business, wants to maximize its sales. If its Amazon's policy do delete unfavorable reviews, or to allow publishers to "purchase" a certain guaranteed star level, then I believe that should be disclosed. If a reviewer receives kick-backs, financial or otherwise for favorable reviews, shouldn't that be disclosed as well?

Disclosure on my part, I'm a member of a fan-run website that is very unhappy with the new books (to put it nicely). There is a certain level of nit-pickyness that goes with being a fan of an original series, no doubt there. But as Mr. Bear can no doubt allude to, there is a responsibility for an Author asked to write in another author's universe to respect the original author's work. If they need or want to break from the established canon it is their responsibility to explain why and how they reason it to be a continuation of the original. Having not read any of Mr Bear's works (yet! give me time I'm still working through Banks!) I cannot comment on his own personal achievements. Through his work on the Foundation series, and his open to the public fan-site, I no doubt expect he has first hand knowledge of this type of debate.

 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

I do not believe in or support stacking the deck at AMAZON or other review sites in any way. Never have, never will. I do notice top bestsellers almost always have 5 star reviews at Amazon. And of course there's push-polling for different sides of political screed bestsellers. Interesting.
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Nothing but positive experiences working in the STAR WARS and FOUNDATION universes.
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Actually, I've not experienced much in the way of flame wars. Not sure what triggers them, other than passionate disagreement! I do not believe AMAZON allows purchase of star ratings, nor do they pull negative reviews unless they're libelous or otherwise inappropriate. They don't have time to police all the reviews, I suspect--and review stacking is just part of the hurly-burly. If it's discovered, or promoted, that sort of chicanery should definitely be revealed. (And no, I don't ask my relatives to write great reviews, either! But that's just me. I don't want to find out my relatives hate my books...)
 

Re: Writing in another author's universe
Date: 08/28/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Nothing but positive experiences working in the STAR WARS and FOUNDATION universes."

Well, sort of. I had no issue with you working in the Foundation universe, I just had problems with how FOUNDATION'S FEAR (which was phenomenal) set the stage, and then how the story ended up being laid out because of it, which for one resulted in tremendous flashback in both CHAOS and FOUNDATION'S TRIUMPH, but also neither of these companions to FEAR really continued with anything of import, either in the story or in just an SF manner.

Mm-mmm. Maybe the culprits were the lame covers of the hard cover additions to those two, whereas I read the paperback of FEAR, which seemed modern and cool. Maybe I should read 'em again.

Moving Bill's Bookstore

Date: 08/09/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Greg:

Went down to Bill's Store to a) get a replacement copy for my long lost EON, and find out what was up with his Store.

He told me he was temporarily moving everything into the back. When asked what was going into the Store he said a Yoga Studio...and I pointed with my thumb back over my right shoulder: The Sri Chinmoy People?

Bill: Yeah, they bought the Building.

Me: Ah...they're back into a property buying mode. There were presistent rumors six years ago they were gonna buy El Paraiso...a bunch of the tenants even considered joining the group...not knowing that El Paraiso is locked int the Edwin Hom trust, and his Kids (older than you!) cannot sell it in their life times...though many people have made offers against that property.

So what it means is Sujantra, the "Kid" in charge of the San Diego Sri Chinmoy Group, has convinced his Mom to buy him another building to donate to the group. A good number of the women members have been moving into the Apartments upstairs of Bill's Store, pretty much making it a female dorm for the group.

Which makes me wonder if Sujantra is gonna kick the Amazon Couple OUT.

There's LOTS of empty store fronts along Adams Avenue that may or may not be within Bill's Rent Range...but right now it's a renters market in San Diego...

Though this move by the Sri Chinmoy people's going to cause a bit of bad feelings along that block.

Eventually it will just be THEM verse Lestat's for owning property on the 33rd Hundred Block of Adams...at least on the south Side.

Back to Queen of Angels now...

MG
 

Re: Moving Bill's Bookstore
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

Reminds me of the days when Chuck Valverde would fill us in on the politics of downtown San Diego!

The Bear-Ish Futures

Date: 08/08/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

Re-reading QUEEN OF ANGELS, the one and only one novel I DID NOT LIKE on the first read (but two decades later may actually be mature enough to grok it) has gotten me into thinking again about your work as a larger whole...something I was trying to do right before CITY came out last year (which may get read #4 later this year) and while QUEEN stuck in my craw for a time, I find that I bought ANVIL OF STARS when it came out in Paperback in the post '92 years...though I didn't read LEGACY until last year (or was it '07?!?) and I bought a hard back edition of MOVING MARS shortly after it came out...but missed the whole Darwin's books until a year or two ago, and still have not read

But I think it was your statement at the Book Signing on your Birthday last year that QUEEN is the world that QUANTICO and yet to be published MARAPOSA are leading up to...with MOVING MARS being further on in that time line.

Over the years with running a self funded Lending (but never getting back) Library and THE BIG MOVE major sections of my Library have suffered...Hardback editions of several of your books have disappeared in the duration.

I have ETERNITY, but no EON. I now have Queen again, but my Hardback copy of Moving Mars.....?

Full copies of your Earlier works, though some are replacement copies.

So many that I bought new, and first editions, so many sprouted legs over the years...but that was the El Paraiso Era...not as easy for such things to happen here at The Hidden House of $1@(J.

I get on this Lit/Crit/History kicks when major projects stall...our discussions about Stapledon last summer before CITY hit print came out of a similar situation in '96 when I re-read Dr. Benford's entire Galactic Series, which had just finished up a few years before (I still have the second set of 3 books in Hardback First Editions!) with Last & First Men/Star Maker, Clarke's Diaspar iterations, Brian Aldis's "Long View" stories and novels (Galaxies like Grains of Sand, Hot House, Starswarm, etc.)

Yeah, the Gnostics Project C&B'd at about the same time last year as did my own "Final City" novel and the Economy...and more parts of the GP have unravelled in the last few months, as certain sources and collaborators on that had their own divergent agenda and some supurious root assumptions...and may have to wait six months to a year before I can get back to it.

So, Bear Futures: I think many others have already pointed out that most of your projected future histories are limited to two Novels: Though "The Way" ends up with Three when we throw in LEGACY.

I just zipped over to your Wiki: No one there yet has caught on to your statment that Quantico/Maraposa leads into Queen of Angels...and also answer the question I was going to pose to you whether or not Heads fit into that time line.

So that time line/series which some one has tagged as "Queen of Angels" would be your most ambitious continued strand of events:

Quantico
Maraposa
Queen of Angels
Heads
/
Moving Mars

Though I am not certain of the positions of / and Moving Mars.

So that would be Six Novels set in the same shared History, with major gaps between some of the sets in the time line.

Just a little something to throw the creative/arts part of my brain into while I wait for my MOJO to come back.

While my future posts for the next few weeks here will be about my more mature reactions to QUEEN OF ANGELS, expect from time to time some commentary as I return to the various future histories you've mapped out, from the vantage point of now seeing a larger body of your work grow over the last four decades, three of which I have observed as it happened (had to back track in the late 70s on your earlier Galaxy appearances)

Mike
Eater of Books (what the wife calls me)
 

Re: The Bear-Ish Futures
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

SLANT follows QOA and comes before HEADS and MOVING MARS.
 

Re: The Bear-Ish Futures
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: Poway, CA

Thanks for the correction!

As a Wiki editor (on occasion) I have been contemplating having the maintainers make changes to your page(s).

The one for CITY is sparse at best.

Breaking out from the QOA time line and working thru THE WAY, then on to Planet Killers duet...maybe break out for Some Durrell which I am way behind on.

Currently your works under re-read, and the Durrell I have failed to read, are sitting on the same "In Progress" shelf.

Which reminds me...is there a reason the First City in Thistledown was called Alexandria? Have I missed the passage that does the history? Or a sly like to where Patricia ends up on Gaia?
 

Re: The Bear-Ish Futures
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

City Memory, perhaps? A great library of souls?
 

Re: The Bear-Ish Futures
Date: 08/19/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

I have often wondered if Alexandria is the "Root" or "Seed" City for Diaspar (conversely, from it's design with the Central Park: NYC)which lead me to the speculation that Seattle is the "Seed-City" for Distant Kalpa.

Actually caught up on Work for the first time in 3 months and finished the rest of EON last night. Not sure why I didn't like it 100% (maybe 85%?) on the first read, as it addresses themes and concepts that have been an interest of mine since the '70s. So now I have to wonder how I am going to feel about ETERNITY, which I have read twice before, but the last time had to be 12-15 years ago. As I like that one 110% and 120% on those two reads.

I have two special shelves in my Library, one dedicated to the Stapledonian Vista, the other to Well Thought Out Alternate Reality Novels/Concepts. Wanting to Place EON on one of these shelves, not sure which one it does best...currently set on the Alternate Realities Shelf...which perhaps I should label "Neo-Platonic-Time Tales"

And this dove tails back to some initial questions about CITY and the realtionship to EON we tossed back and forth here...I think in November 2007...where I'd asked if CITY was an extenion of EON and you had hinted that EON could fit into a small corner of CITY.

I had almost forgotten last night about where the finally offcially openned gate in the Way lead to, 100 LY down the way itself, to a position where the relativistic passage of the Geshel half of Axis CITY had passed and passed into, and a place far beyond the end of universe.

Even beyond the 100 Trillion year mark? I could probably sit down and try and do the math converting 1 year per thousand KM of WAY moving forward in time.

Ah, google knows all, praise all knowing google:

1 light year = 9.4605284 ᅲ 10 to the 12th kilometers

So 100 Light years would be

9.4605284 X 10 to the 14th Kilometers

So something like 946 Trillion years past the present.

Which puts that location for Axis City to pass thru pretty close to the extreme point I speculated that the events in CITY could occur (which could with 10 the 14th years be up to 999 Trillion at the extreme, but not in to a Quadrillion Years)

And from what I remember of ETERNITY, that's not even a fraction of the way Axis City will travel before it comes to the "Final Terminus" of the Way...which was something like the Final Creation revealed at the end of STAR MAKER, if memory serves correct.

Pit I can't have an in-between shelf for these two books, as they span both subgenres/concepts....

Mike

PS: regarding a potential collection of your earlier works in alternate form: The Alternate Bears does not work quite, as there was quick and catchy alliteration with THE ALTERNATE ASIMOVS.

About the best I could think up was THE BIFURCATED BEARS, which would imply a "Branching Off", perhaps from the final work.

But then we get the possibility of a collection called:

BEAR BRANCHES for a collection of Alternate Original versions of pieces.

mg
 

Re: The Bear-Ish Futures
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Bifurcating bears... sounds like the beginning of a grisly recipe!

Slant

Date: 08/04/2009 From: Michael Tinsley
Location: Birmingham, AL

I'm reading through all your books Greg, and want to say how much I enjoyed Michael Perrin's adventures considering I prefer science fiction to fantasy.
I am _struggling through 'Slant' because of all the sex/sexlove/sexinnuendo/pyschosex/and what's the other part.....oh yeah, a plot.
I sincerely hope you're gotten over your sex fetishes in 'Slant' and I can look forward to science fiction instead of head game sex prose.
 

Re: Slant
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hm... biology without sex? Politics without greed? Reminds me of Mark Twain's criticism of heaven...
 

Re: Slant
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

We all have different tolerances for different subjects, but I found Slant to be incredibly involving and thought provoking along all of it's incredibly varied topics. I'd vote (not that art and creativity are democracies!!!) for many more books like Slant!
 

Re: Slant
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

Well, okay, but they're not easy to write! Of course, what is?
 

Re: Slant
Date: 08/19/2009
From: patrick
Location:

"Well, okay, but they're not easy to write! Of course, what is?"

This immediately reminds me of Gaff's statement at the end of Blade Runner: She won't live....but then again, who does!

Heh. Anyways, I love all that sex shit, man. Gritty, grunty....um, I guess I'll stop there.
 

Re: Slant
Date: 08/22/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego

What?!?!? / (SLANT) is oversexed?!?!? This is a bad thing?

No criticism, but most of the sex in Greg's book is incredibly "Vanilla"...though I found the take on Sex, Reproduction, and "Intelligent" Mutation Jumps in the Dwarin books "Beyond Thought Provoking" especially when one of the male characters was "shedding" genefragments which was something of a "turn on" to his "mate"

Other than time...not sure why I have avoided SLANT...other than time...
 

Re: Slant
Date: 08/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

"They kissed. It was pleasant. Then... he shed a virus. 'Whoa,' she said. 'Do that again!'"

Eat your heart out, vampires.
 

Re: Slant
Date: 08/29/2009
From: gavin cook
Location: devon UK

I've just finished reading slant after re-reading queen of angels, i thought i was a great read, although it takes a while to get used to the vocab, which i think is even more complex than queen.
The way the story builds and the little twists and turns in the story are wonderful and the notion of a biological supercomputer that almost destroys the gorgeous mary choy makes for a great read and yet another GB book that i could not put down.
No one creates female characters quite like GB so please please please can we have more of mary choy and pretty please...a sequel to anvil of stars....is that enough pleases??..
 

Re: Slant
Date: 09/14/2009
From: Chris Pickens
Location: Newport News, Virginia USA

Hey,

The Vox rocks! Not to mention that we will be there in the next 10-20 years. Which is entirely appropiate for the themes of the QOA / Slant universe.

Cheers
Chris Pickens
 

Re: Slant
Date: 09/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Mary Choy debuts at age three in MARIPOSA, the follow-on to QUANTICO. This book also introduces the first version of a thinker and the earliest form of Therapy. MARIPOSA is coming in November!

The Queen of Air and Darkness

Date: 08/03/2009 From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear: I hope you don't mind me commenting yet again about your late father in law, Poul Anderson.

I was very pleased to get my copy of NESFA Press' THE QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS: THE COLLECTED SHORT WORKS OF POUL ANDERSON, vol. 2, last week. I'm looking forward to reading it once I get some other reading finished.

Alas, however, I've already noticed an error. The publication credits for the novelette "The Queen of Air and Darkness" says that story was published in 1958. Actually, "The Queen of Air and Darkness" was first published in 1971. I even have a copy of the April 1971 issue of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION containing the first printing of that story.

While musing about your father in law's works, I realized that he was one of the few SF authors I know of to seriously use poetry in his writing. In fact, PA incoporated three entire ballads as integral parts in three of his works: "The Battle of Brandobar" in AFTER DOOMSDAY; "Mary O'Meara" in WORLD WITHOUT STARS; and "The Queen of Air and Darkness" in the novelette of the same name. To say nothing of other verses long and short in others of PA's books.

One of the more annoying reviews I read of one of PA's books was the article I saw about HROLF KRAKI'S SAGA. The reviewer was irritated by how PA quoted or composed original verses for that book. I disagreed because I believe poetry can have a legitimate place even in mostly prose works. That review of HROLF KRAKI'S SAGA reminded me of the hostile comments I've seen by some critics of JRR Tolkien's use of poetry for his THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: The Queen of Air and Darkness
Date: 08/03/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thank, Sean! Pass along your comments to NESFA. They do corrections in subsequent editions. Poul was definitely a skald in the old tradition--and "skald" meants poet!
 

Re: The Queen of Air and Darkness
Date: 08/04/2009
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear: Thanks for your remarks.

As per your suggestion, I sent the link of this thread to Mr. Katze, of NESFA Press. And he has already replied in a very friendly way.

One bit of Mike Resnick's Preface for THE QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS which amused me was his discussion of your mother in law's explanation of how PA came to write "The Critique of Impure Reason." That will make me reread the story with SPECIAL interest when I start reading the collection.

One special peeve I have is irritation at carping critics who gripe at how writers like PA and Tolkien did not always use demotic, standard American or British English for their works. They objected to how these writers sometimes used archaic words and styles of writing. And they seem to have special hostility to PA and Tolkien using poetry. But, you already knew that! (Smiles)

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: The Queen of Air and Darkness
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hm! They should try E.R. Eddison...

Blood Music - many thanks for a great read

Date: 07/29/2009 From: Robin Hogg
Location: Lichfield, UK


May I just say how great a read Blood Music is. The short story got me into your books generally and then I read the full novel and I was blown away. North America turning into nano organic goo. Incredible! Some of the visuals in the book would make for awesome movie scenes, although I don't know how on earth the ending could be made to work.

Many thanks again for all your work and all you do and here's to the future!


 

Re: Blood Music - many thanks for a great read
Date: 08/03/2009
From: Greg Bear

Industrial Light and Magic, back in early to pre-CGI days, estimated the special effects cost of BLOOD MUSIC at seven million dollars. Not cheap, but not a real problem in today's film world!
 

Re: Blood Music - many thanks for a great read
Date: 08/05/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Only seven mil back then? Considering there weren't a lot of characters an all, that would've made the movie, what, thirty million, tops?

In any case, while I'm open to a movie of this, more than story quality comes to mind: that people have no concept of historical precedence, not to mention their comparison/distortion boxes they might think of as brains, causing them to not understand the significance of the whole thing.
 

Re: Blood Music - many thanks for a great read
Date: 08/13/2009
From: Rainbow Starchild
Location: London, England

I'm glad you didn't give away any details about the ending Robin, I have yet to read this story. I'm about to start re-reading Eon after a couple of years, so maybe I'll hunt down a copy of Blood music, either first if I can find it, or after Eon if it takes longer. Sounds like I'm in for a good read.
 

Re: Blood Music - many thanks for a great read
Date: 09/10/2009
From: Dale Houstman
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Hi Mr Bear. I read "Blood Music" several years ago now, so my memory of it is not precise perhaps. I found the images to be a resonant mix of horror, disgust, and (most strangely perhaps) a dawning resignation which turns to an total engulfment (with diversionary benefits) that struck me as the most compelling emotional aspect of the novel. I have heard it described elsewhere as a "cautionary tale" and while I can appreciate the sentiment, I think the reader is seduced into seeing the final result from the POV of the universal entity, and - in its way - human ethics and expectations are not so much destroyed as evolved: one can - of course - argue the pros and cons of this, but (to me at least) I was swept up in a certain sense of acceptance and difference as opposed to revulsion. Is this an eccentric reading?
 

Re: Blood Music - many thanks for a great read
Date: 09/23/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Dale. Forced enlightment! Somewhat better than being drafted, but still...
 

Re: Blood Music - many thanks for a great read
Date: 10/08/2009
From: Dale Houstman
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Oh come now - is anything really better than being drafted? That overwhelming sense of crushed freedom, and the heady brew of strict routine and deadly force.

But it strikes me (at a buffered tangent) that a lot of enlightenment is forced, if one considers that often it is victorious power that gets to define "enlightenment" to its benefit. I know that many missionaries and educators and other "benevolent" souls felt they were illuminating many dark and primeval corners when they took the "Indian problem" under hand. Strange so many of the enlightened fail to appreciate the favor, but that is probably best explained by the natural resistance to goodness of the less-civilized. Ingrates! And enlightenment need not be spiritual of course. Gandhi thanked the British empire for their technological and bureaucratic "embellishments". And so on through the dim back offices of history. And surely the Bible and its "thick" adherents don't exactly blanch at the thought of "bringing Jesus" to the less fortunate at the point of a weapon, or at least a pointed threat. If only the original communists could have absorbed and mutated the anarchists rather than "enlightening them to death". And perhaps the entire pathway toward what we see as "human consciousness" is partly a matter of viral strictures?

But - what the hey nonnie nonnie - I loved the book. Thanks...
 

Re: Blood Music - many thanks for a great read
Date: 10/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

See how easy it is to be absorbed? Thanks for the kind words, Dale.

Fantasy books

Date: 07/29/2009 From: Ken Montgomery
Location: Cheltenham, England, UK

I like to read both Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. I enjoy both genre but I generally favour Fantasy. I am currently re-reading Songs of Earth and Power. I first read it more than ten years ago. I am looking for the sequel to this book, or more correctly a sequel to The Serpent Mage. It would be great to have a separate list on your website for Fantasy books.
 

Re: Fantasy books
Date: 08/03/2009
From: Greg Bear

Other than SLEEPSIDE AND OTHER FANTASIES, a story collection, there are no other overt fantasy novels, through DEAD LINES is a ghost story, and CITY AT THE END OF TIME works with some of the themes in SONGS OF EARTH AND POWER.

As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited

Date: 07/28/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Greg:

As I stated in a private post Bill Burgette sold me a paperback copy of QUEEN OF ANGELS late on Sunday, my Hard Back First Edition long gone (more on that in my longer revisit write up).


So, as promised, I'm going to give this Book a second chance. Granted when I read it in 1990 I was pretty much on the outs with most Science Fiction except for two very different authors...but that's another tale.

ANd when I came back to your work with MOVING MARS it was the Greg I remembered from earlier works, and as the FBI books are in the time line that results in Queen of Angels, I need to loop back and have a look, and try and figure out why I didn't like it on the first read.

With my Over the Top works schedule not exactly sure when I'll get to this, but you are almost always a fast and gripping read (to the exclusion of all else!) so it could conceivably occur on a day when I turn my back on the Computer Nets twined around the Earth and look at other things.

Back soon enough with my Report, nearly twenty years after the first read...

Mike
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 08/03/2009
From: Greg Bear

I hear Bill's store is having to move, and with the shuttering of Wahrenbrock's, I'm losing more and more of my history in San Diego! Wahrenbrock's is where I shopped as a teenager, and Chuck Valverde hosted my first book signing in 1979, for HEGIRA. All will be missed. (I'm hoping Bill Burgette will find another location...)
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 08/03/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: Poway, CA

What?!?! Bill's having to Move? Let me guess, the misguided land lord on Adams is demanding MORE MONEY than the place is worth.

We've been seeing a lot of that lately, Business Landlords not realizing that the rental market has crashed and thinking the Gentrification of Adams is still going on.

It's stalled and I fear Normal Heights might slip back into the decrepitude it experienced in the late 70s thru late 80s. Before the Book Store Revival.

That will just leave me with Adams Avenue Books, Book Tree, and Tibet Gift House along the Avenue.

Only three book stores on Adams Avenue, formerly Book Row.

Argh...Bill always had the best selections from his Estate Spelunking. I'm gonna have to zip down there and raid the paperback area.

I'd actually picked up the replacement copy of QUEEN OF ANGELS going down there to find a run of the Lensmen series.

But my book History of SD is more gone than yours: Book Stop 3: Gone in the 1980s. Amber Unicorn, gone before the early 80s. The Warenbrocks in College Grove, and Read-A-Rama...gone before the 1990s started. Just Paperbacks...gone...the Book store on the Corner of El Cajon and 70th with a wide selection of vintage PDK....long gone.

Will we be the only ones to remember them? Is this a sign that San Diego is a City stepping out of Time into a Digital Eternity?
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 08/06/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

OK...nearly two decades later I think, about 50 pages in (I really have no free time these days) I know where my original disappointment with this work was centered.

1. The original Crime was as you pitched at the '87 SDSU writer's workshop was that the Perp, a mass murderer, killed his victims as they were being loaded into Main City Memory. The Actual Crime in the Novel was physical murder...I think at the time of your presentation you were still quite Heady with Axis City and Thistledown, and also ramping up your "Planet Killer" Duet of novels.

2. The Indictment of the "Poetic Community" as untreated Neurotics...as I had been associating with San Diego's version of that in the '80s up thru '89...that and the Literati I took as something of a "personal" slap at the time. Looking back two decades later I think you might have been to lenient in your analysis. Little was I to know at the time that I was about enter a social mileau that would make the Literati seem like Vulcans...but that's another story.

3. The Voodon imagery in the Prep's "Country of the Mind"...reminded me too much of the appropriation of the Mythos of Voodon by the AIs in COUNT ZERO by Gibson giving me the impression of "This is Greg Bear 'doing' Cyberpunk".

4. The projection of "Temporary" or "Contract" services in the future for the "Unskilled" as you originally projected it in the '87 talk. As I was working thru a Temp Agency at the time, before it became trendy for starving "Artistes" to do that in the '90s I also took that a little on the personal side. Though my working thru those would end in the "Turn" of 89/90 until the Tech/Internet Revolution of the Mid 90s. I should have run the "Cops as Temps" past my brother at some point, since he's a State Cop having worked for two different CA agencies...and unlike me in my Tech career hasn't done a lot of Company Hopping, having an almost "traditional" life long job...not sure how that's going with the State of California being broke. I've not even been able to get him to read Quantico (at one point he wanted to work for the DEA, or be a G-Man)even giving him a copy...

You might have actually almost hit a social projection mark with that estimation of Temporary services in the future...as an Employeer I have utilized several big name services to fill either short term IT needs, or Temp to Hire situations. And I've known collegues who have ended up becoming full time "Employees" of such agencies, jumping from project to project. And in 2000 and and 2005 I jumped to the other side of that, being between full time jobs, doing Contract work on the IT side for months at a time at Big Corporations.

******

After two decades I had completely forgotten the substory of the AXIS probe.

And on the first read it looks like I had COMPLETELY missed the point about Ms Choy's "Transform" status, and the whole compare/contrast between her chosen skin colour, and that of the Perp she was persuing.

Just 50 pages in, looking at it with two decades of time and your later works, I think this might have been the first novel where your writing style started to get "tight"

And not that you were a slackard in any of your earlier works...but this one may be the one where you jumped to a different state of stylistic consistency.

Hopefully I'll have some time on Sunday to burn my way thru more of QUEEN, but as it is I already have four major projects lined up for the weekend, three upgrades and yet another deeper level system audit.

Mike
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

I don't remember doing a workshop in 1987--perhaps it was early in the year? We moved to the Northwest that summer. And FORGE OF GOD was already finished and was published in 1987.
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: Poway, CA

I think it was late January or Early February, so it was early early in the year.

It was early in the afternoon of a Saturday as well, east facing classroom, I think in one of the "original" SDSU buildins.

From what I remember of that day you must have JUST finished FORGE, as that was the main subject matter of your talk, and then the segue into proto Queen of Angels...but as I read the Axis City parts of EON again (burned thru 400 pages on Sunday!) the crime that is central to Queen may have been set in the Way instead.

Dare we contemplate "The Alternate Bears?" (the Asimov collection of a similar name has the original version of End of Eternity"

But all that is 22 years "downwhen" of us now.

Hope to finish EON in the next few days, if life and work will let me...enjoying it more the second time around...now with the perspective of time will I enjoy ETERNITY more or less on this third read coming up? Imagery from that one stuck with me a long time.

And the Jarts have always creeped me out. The BORG on Trek seem to have bitten off parts of the Jarts game.

And before CITY hit the stores I was wondering how much of the behavior of those at the end of time was goin to be ransacking history ans storing it like ants in amber.
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 10/29/2009
From: Vincent L. Diaz
Location: San Diego, California

I came to this board just today after a search for any use of Arbeiter in other venues. I am assuming from the discussion on this page that Greg Bear, Himself as the Irish say, is personally monitoring and responding to this discussion ;>)

I have been a life long Science Fiction fan and was immediately attracted to your novel, Queen of the Angels. In fact, I bring up your novel, narrating the plot, every chance I get to interested students of mine. Being a native of San Diego I appreciated the locales updated in the far future, (also just finding out you're a native of San Diego, yourself). I have two questions for you.

I was puzzled about the use of your term YOX in the first novel. Of course I knew what future technology you were talking about from the context, but not the meaning of the term. I deduced that YOX might have been short for Your Own Experience. Am I wrong?

Also your use of the term Arbeiter. Clearly a name of robots of all sizes and purposes. I came to the meaning from a rather unusual circumstance. I have been a Tenor for the San Diego Master Chorale for many years. Recently, we performed again Brahms' choral masterpiece, Ein Deutsches Requiem.

As we were rehearsing the work, I had an English Translation of the German beside my music. I suddenly noticed that the German word Arbeit meant Labor or work and Arbeiter meant worker or Laborer. Was this an inspired guess on my part or merely a coincidence?

Finally, after three novels based on the original Universe you created in Queen of the Angels, might we dare hope for more in the series? I am anxious to know where Mary ever reconciled with her family in West LA !

Thank you for your response.

Vincent L. Diaz
(An "Arbeiter" of San Diego)
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Vincent! Yox was meant as a brand name that went viral, rather like Google or Xerox. But Your Own Experience certainly works. Arbeit seems to be similar to the root word that Capek used for his term robots in R.U.R. back in the twenties, so you got that right, as well! And MARIPOSA will shortly be connecting the QOA universe with QUANTICO's timeline, in a rather nifty way, I think.
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 12/25/2011
From: Chris p
Location: San francisco

I think another book in this universe us in order.....!!!! As the years go by, I become more and more impressed with Queen of Angels and Slant..... A human expedition to rendevous with AXIS would be epic!!!!!
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 01/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Chris. Maybe AXIS will team up with Voyager...? A deep space date!
 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 01/19/2015
From: Vincent L Diaz
Location: San Diego, California


Greg: It's been over four years since I wrote to you puzzled by your use of YOX and Arbeiter in Queen of the Angels. I must confess that I am much behind with your output of novels, but will try to remedy that soon.

The reason for this post is that today I saw an article in the Drudge Report entitle: "Liberace Is Going Back On Tour...As A Hologram". As I read it I quickly realized that a prediction you made in your novel, SLANT, has just come true!

As I recall there was a scene where a character was attending a party in a private home. You proceeded to describe some unique entertainment that the owner of the house was providing for the amusement of his guests.

Specifically, under the supervision of the house's "Thinker", there were rented Holographic images from the "Estates"of long dead Hollywood stardom, holding forth live and update conversations with anyone who addressed them.

I remember the scene when the "social worker" went to the rest room and encountered an live image of Marilyn Monroe emerging from a virtual toilet stall saying "Its' your turn, Dearie!"

Congratulations! Your fiction has just become real! Below is a link to the article.
http://tiny.iavian.net/3x3l

Sincerely,

Vincent L. Diaz
San Diego, California
entrevld@gmail.com

 

Re: As long as I am here: QUEEN OF ANGELS revisited
Date: 01/23/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Vincent! Not at all sure this idea is original with SLANT (Connie Willis wrote a novel about this, REMAKE) but celebrities do make a party...

It was nice meeting at Comic-Con!

Date: 07/28/2009 From: Robert Gervais
Location: San Diego

Hi Greg,

It was nice meeting you at Comic-Con here in San Diego. I thoroughly enjoyed your science fiction panel!

I don't know if you remember me, but I was the comic book writer who told you a little bit about my comics. Unfortunately, I didn't have any comic on hand because I had handed them out to the portfolio reviewers (which is always a good thing).

I gave you my business card so that you knew that I wasn't sending you any spam. Since I don't have your e-mail address, I can't attach issue 1 of my comic book that I promised to send for your perusal.

If you send me an e-mail, I'll be happy to send you issue 1 of "Pirate Eye".

If you'd like a taste of what to expect, you can check out a brief sample of my comic at http://www.zudacomics.com/node/1164

Well, it was nice chatting with you and I hope to hear from you soon!

Cheers from San Diego,

Rob Gervais
 

Re: It was nice meeting at Comic-Con!
Date: 07/29/2009
From: Greg Bear

Good to see you at Comic-Con, Robert! I'll look into the link. Thanks!

Discover story on you Comic-Con panel

Date: 07/28/2009 From: Sue Karlin
Location: Los Angeles

Comic-Con 2009: How to Create Tomorrow Based on the Tech of Today:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/sciencenotfiction/2009/07/27/comic-con-2009-building-tomorrows-technology/

Thanks for your participation and keep me posted on future news!

Sue Karlin
 

Re: Discover story on you Comic-Con panel
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Sue! Good piece. There's a bit of conflation between what I was saying about the importance of biotech, and the influence of the Internet--it's the Internet that removes the middleman from between the creator and the audience. However, biotech also removes a kind of middleman from between the Creator and us... evolution! So it's an interesting conflation at that.
 

Re: Discover story on you Comic-Con panel
Date: 07/30/2009
From: patrick
Location:

As posted on the article's page:


"If all the rules could be ignored, there would be no conflict, and whats the story in that?"

Not at all true. You have all kinds of conflict in ridiculous fantasy stories, and often few really significant boundary conditions in many of them. Conversely, let's say a story had no conflict. Would it be boring? Most people want to tell (and hear) stories about 'good' things. At least, that's what people want to remember. And we know that it's a human habit to forget 'bad' times in favor of 'good'.

No, people want conflict because they're genetically disposed to need to achieve things. (And because they're saps.) Conversely, attainment is something one simply becomes, embodies, through some revelation. Nothing gained, yet one is 'more'. Greater. And I think there are very interesting stories in transcendence.

Submarine type...

Date: 07/28/2009 From: Michael Dillard
Location: Pearl Harbor Hawaii

Mr. Bear,
Thanks for responding to my e-mail. It was the first e-mail that I opened when I got to work this morning. All of my boats have been 688 Los Angeles Class Fast-Attack submarines. BTW,a great submarine non-fiction book to read is "Blind Man's Bluff" by Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew, & Annette Drew. It's the real deal about subs. After reading it during a six-month deployment, I walked away with a much greater appreciation & fascination for submarines and the work that I do. Have a great day!
 

Re: Submarine type...
Date: 07/29/2009
From: Greg Bear

I've visited Trident-class big boomers in Bremerton, but never had the privilege of going aboard Los Angeles class vessels. They all seem incredibly huge compared to pre-nuke boats!
 

Re: Submarine type...
Date: 07/29/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: France

Interestingly enough..the Spanish lay claim to the first serviceable submarine which is on stocks by the port in Cartegena in southern Spain.

I stood and scoffed at my Spanish partner who took huge offence and rattled off that not only did the Spanish invent the first submarine, but also tv, radio,heart transplants, automatic rifles and so on and so forth!..I learned at a very young age to keep quiet with Spaniards and just agree that they invented EVERYTHING.

Well Chris Columbus was Spanish wasn't he? round Earth and all..or was he Welsh and followed in the footsteps of Maddock the Welshman who discovered America (apparently)

Going back to submarines..my faves were the French "Monitor" subs that when surfaced deployed two twenty two inch cannons on a turret concealed within the nascele..almost as cool as EBoats.

Cheers Tout le monde

Andrew

Blood Music - question about the cell cycle/book editions

Date: 07/28/2009 From: Aleksandra S
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Dear Greg,
I'm trying to figure out what's with the chapters in the edition of the book that I have, the cell cycle titles do not match the information I found about mitosis.
My edition of the book is "Arrow books limited" 1988 and it has: interphase prophase metaphase methapase(doubled) anaphase interphase . I don't have any other copies of the book, apart from google books comparison, but I don't know, was that on purpose? or the publisher was poor.
Should it be the traditional way? metaphase, anaphase, telophase and interphase?

Confused,
Aleksandra
 

Re: Blood Music - question about the cell cycle/book editions
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

The sequence is wonky in these editions. You've got it right.
 

Re: Blood Music - question about the cell cycle/book editions
Date: 07/28/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Wonky. Isn't that a neat word some of us seem to have appropriated from the Britons?
 

Re: Blood Music - question about the cell cycle/book editions
Date: 08/03/2009
From: Greg Bear

Likely.

anachronism

Date: 07/27/2009 From: Dr William Harwood
Location: Canada

In Darwin's Children, page 377, in a scene set 20,000 years in the past, you refer to a tribal chief who had "the most sons and daughters in this band." Since there is no clarifying passage, the impression is created that the chief was aware of his status as a biological father almost 15,000 years before any human learned of the connection between recreation and procreation. (The pseudoscience of sociobiology pretends that non-human species have such knowledge.)
But don't take my word on the matter. Check with any paleoanthropologist.
 

Re: anachronism
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

He could smell his children and know they were his. Lions do this as well, and baboons--and kill offspring not related to them.
 

Re: anachronism
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Dr William Harwood
Location: Canada

I have written elsewhere that a new alpha male that takes over a pride/herd/pack etc kills existing cubs for the purpose of obtaining the mother's prompt submission, not because they have any concept of fatherhood, a concept even humans did not have before 3500 BCE. Clearly we must agree to disagree.
 

Re: anachronism
Date: 07/28/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Yeah, what he said. That's a biological trait, to know one's own - by sight, smell, touch...taste. 'Mentating' on it is perhaps a different thing. But knowledge is often sub-conscious.
 

Re: anachronism
Date: 07/29/2009
From: Greg Bear

A decent explanation, as well.
 

Re: anachronism
Date: 08/11/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Actually, to me, a new alpha male killing existing cubs is ensuring they're not his. That is, clean house, and make your own. I can see that other factor being satisfied, too. And likely others are. Such things are often a complexity.
 

Diplomacy ?
Date: 08/13/2009
From: Rainbow Starchild
Location: London, England

The fact is just that, a fact. If he had fathered the most offspring, then the statement is true. Whether or not he knew this is a different case. Also for ease of finding the passage (I had to search) it's on p294 of my hardback copy ISBN 0-00-225732-7. But I'm sure if anyone looks at any edition they can find it at the beginning of Part 2, Chapter 32. Why don't we just enjoy the story and leave our nitpicking for episodes of Star Trek or something ? :-)
 

Diplomacy ?
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

I nitpick, therefore I am? (To paraphrase Descartes!)

Map of Lamarckia

Date: 07/25/2009 From: Scott Schommer
Location: Dearborn, MI.

Hi, I was wondering if you have a map of the planet Lamarckia from the book Legacy that you could email me. I just read Eon again and loved it and then I picked up Legacy and Eternity. After I finish those I'm going to check out some of your other books as well.

Thanks and take care,

Scott@!
 

Re: Map of Lamarckia
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

I have a crude map somewhere in the manuscripts... I'll try to find it, but no promises!
 

Re: Map of Lamarckia
Date: 01/13/2015
From: Michael Cohen
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

Came here looking for the same thing - a map of Lamarckia. I'm kinda surprised I can't find any via Google. Reading Legacy now, the part 1/3rd of the way through about Alphonse Jiddermeyer's sailings. I'm a visual learner, so a map would certainly help! :)

Love your work, Mr. Bear! I typically don't remember much of what I read after 6-12 months (unless it's a second reading), but that depiction of (trying to avoid spoilers here) the very momentous final scene of Forge of God has suck with me since I first read it 15-20 years ago. I even had it in mind when watching the movie "2012". ;)
 

Re: Map of Lamarckia
Date: 01/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Michael! I may have a map of Lamarckia lying around somewhere. If I find it, I'll post it!

Singularity Summit

Date: 07/23/2009 From: patrick
Location:

Below are comments from such notable people as Hans Moravec, Kurzweil, etc in regards to the Singularity Summit conference in '07.

http://www.singinst.org/summit2007/index.html


Nick Bostrom: One consideration that should be taken into account when deciding whether to promote the development of superintelligence is that if superintelligence is feasible, it will likely be developed sooner or later. Therefore, we will probably one day have to take the gamble of superintelligence no matter what. But once in existence, a superintelligence could help us reduce or eliminate other existential risks, such as the risk that advanced nanotechnology will be used by humans in warfare or terrorism, a serious threat to the long-term survival of intelligent life on earth. If we get to superintelligence first, we may avoid this risk from nanotechnology and many others. If, on the other hand, we get nanotechnology first, we will have to face both the risks from nanotechnology and, if these risks are survived, also the risks from superintelligence. The overall risk seems to be minimized by implementing superintelligence, with great care, as soon as possible.


Sir Martin Rees: I certainly think that humans are not the limit of evolutionary complexity. There may indeed be posthuman entities, either organic or siliconbased, which can in some respects surpass what a human can do. I think it would be rather surprising if our mental capacities were matched to understanding all the keys levels of reality. The chimpanzees certainly aren't, so why should ours be either? So there may be levels that will have to await some post-human emergence.


Ramaz Naam: In the end, this search for ways to enhance ourselves is a natural part of being human. The urge to transform ourselves has been a force in history as far back as we can see. It's been selected for by millions of years of evolution. It's wired deep in our genes  a natural outgrowth of our human intelligence, curiosity, and drive. To turn our backs on this power would be to turn our backs on our true nature. Embracing our quest to understand and improve on ourselves doesn't call into question our humanity  it reaffirms it.
 

Re: Singularity Summit
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Al Brady
Location: Sydney

I hope Mr Bear wont mind me mentioning this on his web forum but there is a awesome (very) short story on the development of superintellect by Ted Chiang called Understand.
The preamble is a drug that helps people recover from brain damage and then boosts them to superhigh IQ, but the way the author explores qualitatively new forms of thinking is really, well, mind blowing.

 

Re: Singularity Summit
Date: 11/12/2009
From: Greg Bear

Ted's one of our best. I'll go back and find that story!

CATEOT, other

Date: 07/22/2009 From: mko
Location: kl ont

Ursa Major! Just did the archives; very enlightening. Recommended reading for new-tons (like me). Lots of Q's already A'd. Over and overandover...
I don't know where you find the time for all this chatter (no offense), plus the RDA, on top of the research and gestation and mental labor I know you must go thru to give birth to these novels, these children.
More power to you. I imagine when Jill's studying whether humans can be trained to do five or six things simultaneously, she'll be consulting with you by then. :^)~ (BTW, what does INDA stand for?) (and YOX?)

Still digesting the Cats who Ate The Evil Omega Typhon (sorry).
You've taken us to some dark dark places lately but this Terminus is
truly horrifying, the most vivid depiction of death I've ever read.
The death of birth indeed. I'm not sure whether it's the effect of
Typhon eating history, or the universe's "immune" response to that creative madness, but it almost defies contemplation.
And what's with Ginny and her little "scissor" gesture? Is she a little Terminator herself? The archetype, cutting world-lines ahead to escape
the Gape? This is one crazy playground you've built.

Speaking of Terminator, I'm reading Wired for War, and guess who pops
up on pg. 160 (and later, apparently)? Our intrepid Navy brat himself!
Not enough kudos in this world for you. Another scary book too, BTW.
Gives a whole new meaning to Magnus, Robot Fighter.

BIIIIIIIIIII
III
III
III
III
III
IIIIIIIIIIII for now.

 

Re: CATEOT, other
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

P.W. Singer interviewed me about sf writers and their contributions to government agencies and think-tanks. Wired for War makes enlightening reading!

Blood Music

Date: 07/21/2009 From: Aleksandra Swatek
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Dear Mr. Bear,
Just one quick question:

Why did you decide to rewrite Blood Music as a novel, after you published it as a novelette?

I am almost a graduate of American Studies and I am writing a MA thesis about Blood Music. I couldn't find the answer to this question.

Best regards,
Ola Swatek.

 

Re: Blood Music
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Two friends who had read the short version suggested a novel-length treatment while we were all traveling to the Nebula awards. The friends? David Brin and John Carr. After "Blood Music" won a Nebula and a Hugo, it was picked up by Ace Books as a novel. Putnam publisher Phyllis Grann categorically rejected Ace's suggestion that the novel be published in hardcover by Putnam, and so it was backsold to Arbor House, which printed and sold about 6000 copies. The Ace edition had a terrible cover for years, until they reprinted it in trade paper. The UK cover treatments were lovely, but after that aggravating, indeed infuriating publisher screw-up in the U.S., BLOOD MUSIC has never sold as well as EON or other novels. It's widely regarded as one of my most accomplished novels, however. And let's remember that back in those heady days, NEUROMANCER and quite a few other classics came out as paperback originals from Ace.
 

Re: Blood Music
Date: 07/28/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Mm, yeah, I didn't catch it till the late 90s in the trade version. It is THE book I suggest to anyone wanting to walk the bridge.

Time travel, anthropomorphism, and happiness

Date: 07/20/2009 From: patrick
Location:

I don't recall what concept or train of thought led me to this, but this morning in bed I somehow got into thinking about the scene in the most recent movie version of The Time Machine where the time traveller cannnot change his fiance's fate of death.

Well, why not? Why is any 'time' more important than any other? For that matter, is there any way to truly delineate between events?

Perhaps certain parts of events have some kind of energic density that is greater than others? If that were the case, then it comes to mind a GUT would address this. Which also leads to the idea that time could be manipulated simply by energic transference.

Or, is anthropomorphism - our conception and perception of 'time' - the determiner of events?...because if so then simply by changing out emotional conditions, events would truly be different. Time could be re-woven simply by our feeling differently!


I think ultimately the answer is something like the zen 'mu'. But in that, there is at least an implication to emotionally reconcile one's self.

ComicCon 2009?

Date: 07/18/2009 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Other than that Founders Panel/Presentation, what else are you doing at Con this year?

That's the ONE thing the Wife is making certain she's attending....she's a long time friend with Richard Alf.

Correction: she's not sure she's going to last that long on Saturday....if she endures and endures the line for the room, she will be the LOUD red head dreased either Steam Punk or Diesel Punk.

Unless some one abducts me from my Job and shoves a pass in my hand I won't be making it to ComicCon...and of those two possible events, the successful Abduction from my job is the least probable.

As a side note, the "Hidden Earth" in a final edit may actually get some air play...if that "Editor" ever surfaces from her back log at the small press she kicks books into publication...probably about the time Earth is safely hidden inside the swollen sun.
 

Re: ComicCon 2009?
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Back from HUGE Comic-Con this Sunday. Lots of fun, and the founders panels went well. More movie stars than you could shake a stick at--in the elevators, on the convention floor, buying comics or promoting ideas. And lots and lots of authors, as well. For everyone who complains that Comic-Con is no longer about comics, I saw dozens of booths big and small selling comics... and hundreds of artists and publishers promiting comics and graphic novels, as well. 40 years of history! Comic-Con today, in its proportion and emphasis, is pretty much the way I remember it in the 1970s... But writ very very large.

A sort of terminus

Date: 07/17/2009 From: patrick
Location:

Though I'm reading CITY right now, that below wasn't directly influenced by, isn't directly related to, it. I thought you might be interested, though. Post it as you will, open for discussion if you wish.



synopsis: rather than complex, humans are complicated.


Order: there is always order. (An even distribution may be the most ordered something can be.) For example in painting, without the boundary conditions that are color, hue, shading, etc, there is no way - one might say no opportunity - to express one's self, and those like Jackson Pollock (and in music Schoenberg, and particularly Stockhausen) understood and explored this to be able to express themselves in the ways they needed.

utility/balance: emotional capacity is useful. It's largely how we experience the world. It's inherently problematic, though, because humans naturally assume some sort of moral connotation (often simply, 'I like this so it must be good') is related to the their feeling. The experience isn't neutral. It isn't clean. It would follow that dispelling this tendency to 'self-associate' is a desirable thing.

ego: to me, it is the lack of: a fundamental curiosity that guides one's identity, independent of culture, and even gender.

authority: Humans inherently look to culture as an authority on what is proper, desirable, adequate. Even more so in the last century with pop culture. When I was a kid I too assumed pop culture was an authority, though moral elements generally discouraged me. When I was in college, I realised it is very subjective and contrained. As I got older, I realised that, while it is useful and fun, all of human culture is subjective and constrained. The logical step would be - not erase or obviate it, but - to transcend it.

People in general appear incapable of comprehending, or even being aware of, these things. If there is any free will (and I'm not a proponent of it, mind), then people are generally stupid, or they're insecure and are purposefully refusing them (except that either condition would be a determining factor - hmhmhm).
 

Re: A sort of terminus
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Interesting. What's the baseline of desirable action, however? Humans behave like biological systems in general. How could we improve upon this by purely analytical, intellectual effort?
 

Re: A sort of terminus
Date: 07/28/2009
From: patrick
Location:

MM. Desirable action is 'lack of ego'. 'Improvement' is in an analog of biological systems: I realise (not just conceive and comprehend, but embody) something, I express/signify it, it is received/infused and continually transmitted.


By the way, here is a mature version of the above. (I posted a little pre-emptively that day.) Not remarkably different, but some additions, subtractions, and cleaner in approach.


offering : to aspire to and discover the least restricted mode of function and interaction.


Order: there is always order. (An even distribution may be the most ordered something can be.) For example in painting, without the boundary conditions that are color, hue, shading, etc, there is no way - one might say no opportunity - to express one's self, and those like Jackson Pollock (and in music Schoenberg, and particularly Stockhausen) understood and explored this to be able to express themselves in the ways they needed.

utility/balance: emotional capacity is useful. It's largely how we experience the world. It's inherently problematic, though, because humans naturally assume some sort of moral connotation (often simply, 'I like this so it must be good') in relation their feeling and their experience. The experience isn't neutral. It isn't clean. It would follow that dispelling this tendency to 'self-associate' is a desirable thing.

ego: to me, it is the lack of: a fundamental curiosity that guides one's identity, independent of culture, and even gender.

authority: Humans inherently look to culture as an authority on what is proper, desirable, adequate. Even more so in the last century with pop culture. Despite popular opinion, pop culture, in it's sway to fancy and fashion, is very subjective and contrained. In fact, in its inherent moral imperative, all of human culture is subjective and constrained. The logical step would be - not erase or obviate it, but - to transcend it. That is, to simply no longer have the need for it.

People in general appear incapable of comprehending, or even being aware of, these things. If there is any free will, then people are generally stupid, or they're insecure and are purposefully refusing them (except that either condition would be a determining factor - hmhmhm).

Of course, all the above can be expressed in the phrase: emotionally vibrant yet unattached

An interesting sci-fi idea?

Date: 07/15/2009 From: Harald
Location: Norway

What about using a whole universe as a computer? In theory, it could maybe be possible. But unfortunately, I can't take credit for the idea. It is a Danish computer scientist named Simon Laub who came up with it.

Found in a post on http://www.angelfire.com/oh3/vrag/silas/omega260402.txt :

"According to Hans Moravec life there could exist as a pattern of bounded neutrons. With a breakneck speed of metabolism. Where organisms live and die within 10e-15 seconds. Entire civilisations might be formed within a fraction of a second."

And now the fascinating tought:

"Advanced civilisations might create such neutron stars in order to use them as computers. Some 10e30 more powerful than the human brain.
My own addendum to this is that it would be neat to press things even further and install computers in the fabric of spacetime itself. Smash the neutron star a bit further and create a black hole, which explodes into a new universe (big bang) with the new order (computer) installed in its
very fabric of space and time."


Now and then one can read cosmic recipes like "How to make a Universe". If one could "program" a neutron star, and lay the foundation for the laws of nature after turning the star into a new universe (and of course, be connected to it through worm holes or something), the computer power would be limitless.
By feeding a simulation with all the required data about molecules, biochemistry, DNA and phenotype that belonged to a spesific species, one could run a program who was designed to let only those individuals with certain properties be allowed to repdoduce, no matter if these would be able to survive in the real world or not.
The speed of evolution would be counted in seconds instead of millions of years.
One has to wonder how the world could change if the quantum computer became just as common as a PC is today. A "universal computer", in the true sense of the meaning, would have an even bigger impact, even if it is less likely, to say the least.

Anyway, I just thought it was such an interesting plot that it deserved to become a little more known.

 

Re: An interesting sci-fi idea?
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hm... some folks claim the universe could be a simulation. What if the simulation was its own computer? (I think this is called *reality*...) I've happily played with both ideas. So here's a more theological approach: what if the universe represents God's mind... or at the very least, God's memory? Are any of these theories mutually exclusive?
 

Re: An interesting sci-fi idea?
Date: 07/28/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Mmm, we've covered some of this before. I think, very first in things, is to not think of such clandestine 'devices' in the strict and modular sense of those we have 'created'. Second, assuming a biology is required for *any* kind of life might be a stretch.

Also note that the human conception of 'life' is generally underlined by the idea of discrete entities. It's interesting to note that still in the medical and science fields, an holistic conception of identity relative to the various constituent levels of the body is largely ignored. Cos that would smack of PSUEDOSCIENCE.

But if it's fiction, thas okay, aye.
 

Re: An interesting sci-fi idea?
Date: 07/29/2009
From: Harald
Location:

Well, I was already aware that there were similar specualtions out there, that maybe the universe was a computer. It was the approach which was new (at least for me), about how one could create such a computer using a neutron star or black hole.
Just as we live in a universe that is so-called fine tuned for life, we could have another one who is fine tuned for computing.
If everybody got access to such a computer/universe, it would mean limitless computer power to everybody. And with intelligent programs/virtual creatures, it would be like Theodore Sturgeon's Microcosmic God, only millions of times faster. Do you have a problem about how to travel faster than light? Ask the creatures in the computer universe, and if there is a solution, the answer will pop up immediately.
(A similar idea is used in Grant Morrisons run in New X-Men, in the Weapon Plus program where there is a place called The World, a limited area where the time itself can be controlled, and used to evolve new races within a few months instead of thousands of generations.)

If humans could create a universe, it wouldn't make humans gods. So what if someone have created out own universe? Would that make them gods just because the are the creators?

And, if our own universe is a simulation, it means we live inside the software. How does the hardware looks like?
The last time I hears, scientists had still not agreed if the universe if digital or analoge. Is it a simulation, it's safe to say it's digital. But would it differ if it was analog?


The universe a representation of God's mind? That would be a very peculiar mind. It depends on how you see it. If it existed inside it in the same way as other worlds could exist inside atoms in the old pulp sci-fi, we could ilve inside not just a mind, but also an eye or a liver.
Either way, I wouldn't call it God, since that makes one think about the biblical god, a being who started it existince as a tribal god in a middle eastern desert a few thousand years ago.
Are we talking about a god, it's not about any god that is described in human's religions, but is a cosmic being of its own. So instead of calling it God's mind, I would just call it a Mind. A mind that is following its own laws of nature.
And just as the human mind exist in out own cosmos, such a cosmic mind would probably have to live in its own world. So what world would this be?

Memory is as you know a way to store information, or meaningful information. A universe as a memory bank could be interesting. The question then would be if we are the memories, or if we just lives in unused space and will eventually be driven away by the growing memory bank as it grow and spread like ice in undercooled water or something. it could also be the other way around, intelligent life is virus or a cancer, eating away the memories as we change the universe itself (then in what form would we see the immune system?). Or we could just be a bi-product, with the stored information existing in a deeper and subatomic layer of existince, a structure that for some reason has the potential to support higher life forms. Perhaps it could also support intelligent lifeforms on a subatomic level. Or humans could stumble over all the stored information in the universe, and use it for their own good.
I suppose there are many possibilities.
 

Re: An interesting sci-fi idea?
Date: 08/03/2009
From: Greg Bear

I've written about a lot of ideas I'd be reluctant to promote to the realm of gospel... But the notion that the entire body contributes to our selfhood and even conscious awareness seems pretty solid to me.
 

Re: An interesting sci-fi idea?
Date: 03/28/2010
From: Al Brady
Location: St Neots

I like the idea that the universe is a God egg. Maybe God does exist, but only in the future, or he was lonely so wanted to create some pals, whoe we are the ancestors of. that type of thing. Like the Eschaton (Charles Stross), The Preservers (Paul McAuley) the Xeelee (Stepehen Baxter) and that thing in Hyperion... The Machine God? Something like that.
 

Re: An interesting sci-fi idea?
Date: 04/10/2010
From: Greg Bear

Let's not forget the Gnostics! God fragmented to become us (putting it simply) and will someday reassemble.
 

Re: An interesting sci-fi idea?
Date: 06/21/2010
From: Al Brady
Location: st neots

Thats rather sweet.
 

Re: An interesting sci-fi idea?
Date: 03/22/2011
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Were what's wanted worldly, why divergence?
Adaptive radiation should seem odd,
But diversity is inwardly convergence,
It's at extremes we're gathered into God

--B.G.
 

Re: An interesting sci-fi idea?
Date: 05/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

Bill, you're channeling Keats here--and Darwin!

You are my favorite Sci-Fi Author

Date: 07/14/2009 From: Michael Dillard
Location: Pearl Harbor Hawaii

Mr. Bear,
I am stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI. Several years ago, I happened upon a copy of "Eon" and spent the weekend glued to its pages. I had never read a science fiction book like that before, with all of the theories and mathematical language. All throughout the years, when I would think sci-fi, I would think about your book. It dawned on me last year that you had probably written more books and that I should look into reading them. Two months ago, I read "Moving Mars", and I absolutely loved it. Mentally, I was on the edge of my seat when Earth was attacking Mars, and the Olympians were preparing to move the planet. I just finished Vitals today and again I loved it. I love how you take realistic, scientific theories and spin them into your novels. I always walk away from your books with a big shiteating grin, trying to figure out how the heck you came up with such a mindbendingly fantastic storyline. You're awesome. Thanks for pursuing your craft, and sharing your stories with the rest of us.

Machinist Mate Chief Submarines
Michael M. Dillard
 

Re: You are my favorite Sci-Fi Author
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Michael! I've always been fond of submarine action stories, myself--and you're living one! What kind of sub, if I may ask?

Bradbury in Pasadena

Date: 07/14/2009 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles

Hello from L.A., where Ray Bradbury is looking good again at Pasadena's Fremont Center Theater. Here's a review:

http://www.examiner.com/x-5326-LA-Theater-Examiner~y2009m7d13-Yestermorrows-at-the-Fremont-continues-love-affair-with-Bradbury

Dumb question about City

Date: 07/14/2009 From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Dear Mr. Bear,
Loved "City," but for the life of me, I can't get the spiders between the lines reference. What was this about?

Thank you
 

Re: Dumb question about City
Date: 07/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

In the Universal Library, you'll never find a spider climbing over the "page" of the variant text you're reading. Only when the universe comes alive again does the spider exist--and it doesn't really care what's on the page. It is its own text. Just so long as you don't close the book on it! (Which doesn't even work for the monks, actually...)

Spiders and cats love old bookstores, by the way.
 

Re: Dumb question about City
Date: 07/14/2009
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Thanks for the response. Now I've got a great excuse to re-read "City" to look for this.

Best regards
 

Re: Dumb question about City
Date: 07/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Trade paperback coming in August!
 

Re: Dumb question about City
Date: 07/18/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Anything additional in the Trade PB version? Appendix? Free Sum Runner with Every Purchase?

Curiously enough I just now, before come on your site for the first time in several weeks, pulled all my "End of Time" novels and put them in one place: CITY being amongst them, naturally. Still haven't gotten around to re-reading BOOK OF THE NEW SUN as planned end of last year.

Note: the only ComicCon thing I'm scheduled to hit is the X-Sanguin party, this year it's a Zombie theme...not sure if I am even going to the pre-party at the Air Port Lounge on India Street, even though the them is "Come as your favorite super villian"...my work days are currently 4-10...that's AM to PM...though I am almost not working today...just monitoring traffic from a Hawaii roll out disaster, and babysitting a server in La Mesa.

Now if I could just stumble into a strand of probabilities where the whole work not work balance is, well, balanced.

MG
 

Spiders
Date: 07/23/2009
From: Andrew Scott Carpenter
Location: Cauterets, France

I'm not keen on spiders in any shape or form..even reading about them gives me the creeps!

Last year I bashed the hell out of a creature with my flipflop that to all intents and purposes looked like a big blue and white striped spider. After I killed it, I discovered that it was an extremely rare form of coleyoptarum (I cant spell that so figure beetle instead)

I felt aweful for killing any life form that is close to extinction, but bloody hell it scared the crap out of me! Yesterday there was another one..this time yellow and black..I think I want to live in an insect free bubble! So why did I move to rural France? Go figure!

Andrew.

Ps I wonder what your take on the "Project Camelot" is...should I bring my Parents here into my mountains to escape the virus? Do you believe that the Governments of this planet are planning a hollocaust like Bill and Kerry imply? I cant believe it personally..I think that they're going a bit "nuts" assuming that you've looked at their site.
 

Re: Dumb question about City
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Nothing new in the trade version, though I'll be posting an essay published in the German edition either as a blog or on the CITY website, or both...
 

Spiders
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

There's nothing unnatural about swine flu. Conspiracy theories are entertaining, but not when they kill you.

Graphic Novel Forum

Date: 07/08/2009 From: Richard Dent
Location: Los Angeles

Dear Greg,

My name is Richie Dent. Im a fiction writer and SFWA member who has recently sold a comic book series and graphic novel to Dabel Brothers publishing. Im planning on hosting a series of discussion on my blog (my first blog host) exclusively with SFWA members about the comic book and graphic novel medium. If youre interested in taking part, please visit my website and either sign up for my blog, and/or to follow me on Twitter and I will update you when these discussion forum will be taking place.

Dabel Brothers Publishing is an independent comic book publishing house that works closely with Del Rey, Tor and Ace Books adapting science fiction novels into comic books and graphic novels. They have translated novels by Robert Jordan, Dean Koontz, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Laurell K. Hamilton, and George A.A. Martin, to name a few.


May the Force be with you.

http://www.richiedent.com/main/Blog/Blog.html

Warmly,


Richie Dent
 

Re: Graphic Novel Forum
Date: 07/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, and good luck, Richie!
 

Re: Graphic Novel Forum
Date: 02/11/2013
From: Michael Gearon
Location: French island Australia

Dead Air was by Iain Banks. Should have looked it up first.

The Hydrogen Sonata was a big problem. As I indicated the problem could be partly with me because I cant read popular writers like Neal Stephenson.

However, you remain one of my favourite authors.

If you're ever in Melbourne and touring French Island ask the tour guide to drop in on 'The Orchard Property' Be an absolute pleasure to show you around and sorry for being negative but feedback must be valuable and not just feel good pats on the back.
 

Re: Graphic Novel Forum
Date: 02/11/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Michael! Absolutely, speaking your mind is essential. And here's your chance to pillory me--take a look at CITY AT THE END OF TIME, which is pretty damned complicated... Maybe even moreso than one of Neal's books. And let me know what you think!

New theory of probability

Date: 07/06/2009 From: Dean Brooks
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Hi Greg,

I'm a longtime fan, particularly of Eon and Anvil of Stars. I've got a book draft I'd like to talk you into reading. It's a very ambitious project in applied probability, very relevant to many of your interests.

The basic thesis of the book is that ever since Newton and Pascal laid down the classic theorems of probability theory, we've been on a subtly but critically wrong path. If we had to reduce my theory to a single topic sentence, it would be: Rare events become rarer in logarithmic proportion with increasing set size, because entropy increases.

Over the course of my research, I've had close to a decade of experience in suggesting to people that classical probability is wrong, and talking about my work. I can class the reactions I get into four groups:

1. "No way. The binomial theorem, the central limit theorem, the principle of independent events, cannot be wrong. It is a metaphysical impossibility. They are central to scientific reasoning. Half of everything we know would come crashing down if they were wrong. So you must be a tinfoil-hat-wearing crackpot."

2. "I can see the possibility of it, sort of like the way that Newtonian physics was replaced by special relativity. We obviously aren't grossly wrong, but we could be subtly wrong, and even a subtle difference would be conceptually very important. It might not change how I do sampling, or give me a surefire way to beat the house in Vegas, but it would be very enlightening on a broader, conceptual level to have a new theory of probability."

3. "I can't speak for people in other fields, but in my field, we've had to give up using classical probability almost entirely. For every serious problem we try to attack, we find ourselves dealing with highly skewed data sets, non-stationary distributions, "fat tails," and other biases that classical probability simply can't cope with. I hesitate to claim that classical probability is completely broken, because it seems like every other major field still swears by it. Even in my field, we still tend to cite measures of significance and include pro forma references to classical statistics, as if they really mean something. But among my colleagues, in private, there's a growing conviction that we need something better. I'd take a close look at what you've got."

4. "Right on, man! I've known ever since I first encountered quantum mechanics that there was something screwy about classical probability. They couldn't both be right, not at the same time. But good luck getting the scientific establishment to listen to you ..."

These are basically the four canonical positions. The response I get when I talk about my research sorts out into a few 1's and a few 4's, more 2's, and a shocking number of 3's. It turns out that in field after field, there are major anomalies going back decades that seem to contradict classical probability -- clear evidence of spooky interaction at a distance, for lack of a better term, among the elements of a large and widely distributed system. I have collected several hundred such anomalies into a 650-page book, and laid out a method for explaining and dealing with them.

For the classical games of chance (dice, cards, random number generation algorithms) my method predicts *almost* the same answer, but not quite, and this is confirmed by experiment. The bias is like the difference between a circular orbit and a slightly elliptical one. One of the very neat side benefits of the new method is that I can now explain a century of failed ESP experiments as being due to systematic and incurable bias in the random-number-generating apparatus and test method. Many people suspected this already, but the form of the bias is highly intriguing in its own right.

For real-world problems, particularly the behavior of large social groups, the differences are often very large, and shocking, and powerful. There is a connectedness at work in large sets of random events. Set size matters, in the same novel fashion, in dozens of different fields from criminology and macroeconomics to military history and pop culture.

My work is based on a seminal paper written by Edwin Jaynes back in 1957, on the principle of maximum entropy. There are a number of other people doing work on maximum entropy, but their approaches are all confined to particular subject areas. They're very conservative, only producing papers about macroeconomics or hurricane prediction or some other specialized topic. My aim is to show that probability theory is wrong across the board and that it has to be replaced wholesale with Jaynes' Bayesian maximum entropy rules.

Of particular interest to you, I think, is my very new and radical take on how epidemics spread, as well as what causes punctuated equilibrium. It is central to the sort of large-scale system changes that most of your books are about -- I can give you a totally fresh take on the problems you tackled in Blood Music, in Darwin's Radio, and so on.

This includes rare events like mutation, infection, or mortality from infection. Set size matters. In fact, set size appears to be the only thing that matters, which is very, very spooky. If the system is complex enough, the decline tends to take one of a handful of specific forms -- usually a power law curve based on total numbers in the system.

Thus for a whole range of infectious diseases, mortality drops by the same percentage as the size of the epidemic grows. Increase epidemic size by a factor of 10, mortality falls by approximately half. This is true of Ebola, AIDS, avian flu, H1N1, plague, smallpox, you name it. I have official WHO data to back this up, but you don't need me to supply it, it's all online. The increase in latent period for AIDS, which reciprocally decreases mortality, is closely correlated in power-law fashion with the size of the epidemic. So is the transmission rate.

You might think this is the sort of thing people would already have noticed. They have. Most of these anomalies have been known for decades. Back in the 19th century. William Farr produced a lot of graphs with relationships of this kind. But when he died, no one took up the idea again. Analysis focused on specific risk groups, not risk in relation to a changing total epidemic size. From what I can tell, Farr's kind of analysis hasn't been done in over a century.

I don't have any academic or governmental affiliation. The research is strictly a private venture at this point. Although I do plan to submit to peer-reviewed journals at some point, my hopes for the book's success rest mainly on word of mouth among scientific opinion leaders. I'm submitting this as a public post rather than a private one in the hopes I can intrigue onlookers who will then help persuade you.

Many thanks for your time and attention.

Dean Brooks
President, Ekaros Analytical Inc.
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Dean! Thanks for the beginning of a fascinating discussion. I've long wondered about the longterm prospects of our current take on probability theory. I'll post this and see what the response is from others. Your take sounds promising--and the key word, Bayesian, is certainly current these days. (Vernor Vinge knows more about it than I do--he first introduced me to it!)

Comments? Let the debate begin!
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/15/2009
From: Jim Hess
Location: Irvine, CA


Intriguing: Big claims but thin evidence.

His website has a link for his Statistical Publications which may provide enough information to begin an evaluation:

http://www.ekaros.ca/

 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/15/2009
From: Scott Maasen
Location: Springfield, MO

Okay I'll bite. Can you be more specific on what causes the shift in probabilities? I could be convinced there is a flaw in standard theory, but there would have to be some reason for it. Standard probability rules make logical sense to me in at least when applied to simple systems. I could believe the reality is different, but not without there being a reason for it.

Flip a coin nine times and each time it comes up heads. On the tenth flip most people would have a strong belief that the odds of it being heads again were below 50 percent. I would still go with the 50 percent odds if I was betting, even though my gut instinct would try to tell me otherwise.
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/16/2009
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I'm a layman and don't even belong in this discussion--if my comments make sense at all they are very likely old and tedious.

But the subject of probability interests me because of the way it seems (to me) to simultaneously avoid, and touch upon, the role of consciousness in unfolding a personal universe from the one we "know." Am I right in thinking entropy has no place in the "block time" in which classical physics takes place? One doesn't hear it put that way, but you see what I mean. A sugar-cube (for example) is more "orderly" than a dissolved solution really only in its appeal to the rational mind--the "pointyness" of Time's Arrow still begs a subjective experience that is not much addressed. The idea of information implies someone who is informed, or at least I've always thought so. Probability-theory seems a sort of lip-service to the presence of a time-bound observer (who cannot forsee outcomes), while postponing the problem of whether we live in a deterministic, or stochastic, universe by treating an epistomological conundrum as a merely mathematical one. Mr. Brook's ideas, to my untrained ear, hint at an erosion, or outright assault, on this taboo...I'm wondering if that is part of his thinking or only my reaction to it.

My grandfather, Francis Wadley, was an entomologist and statistician who designed experiments for the Department of Agriculture. His field was probit (probability unit) analysis; "Wadley's Problem," regarding dose-response experiments where the distribution is poisson rather than binomial, was named for him. As a young man he delivered milk by horse-drawn wagon; he died shortly after Apollo 11. Maybe the intrigue I feel here is genetic. I remember him teaching me the parts of the insect body...I wish I had his mind and training. In any case, a fascinating thread.
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/16/2009
From: patrick
Location:

Sounds hip. I lack any 'professional' scientific/mathematical expertise, but I've long felt there to be a lack of large-scale grasp of things very simply because of the still-animal brains that even many in scientific fields appear to be. To be human is already to be limited. Hah. But things progress.
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/16/2009
From: Dean Brooks
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Hi again Greg,

Many thanks for agreeing to have a listen. Let me start where the book starts, with my favorite anomaly. It has to do with the structure of history.

There are about 600 historical hereditary dynasties, going back to 3,500 BCE, for which we have (a) reasonable confidence about dating, and (b) at least eight rulers in succession.

Now suppose we were to do an experiment, to see if there was any kind of trend in reign lengths. We would take each dynasty, with N rulers, and compute average reign length for the first N/2 rulers compared with the last N/2. Pretty simple, and if we exclude really early dynasties, our confidence in the data would be very, very high. If we know anything about history, we know the dates when kings took power. And of course reign stability is a matter of the utmost seriousness for any government, so this is not just an idle exercise in numerology.

So what would you expect?

1) No trend -- as many dynasties show shorter reigns in the second half as longer.
2) Upward trend in stability -- most dynasties show longer reigns in the second half
3) Downward trend in stability -- most dynasties show shorter reigns in the second half

I am sure you realize that the expected answer, under classical statistics, is (1). But the actual answer is weirder than most people can imagine. Possibly even yourself, which, considering what youve written over the years, is saying something.

They decline in the second half, very consistently. But here's where it starts to get weird. It's a scale-invariant function, a power-law curve. If there are just 10 rulers in the series, then by ruler #10 the cumulative average has fallen by half. If there are 100 rulers in the series, then by #100 the average has fallen by half again. Thus scale invariance: If I was counting rulers in groups of 10, then by the 10th group of 10 we'd be at half of the value of the first group of 10. The first ruler will last 40 years, the 10th will last fewer than 20, the 100th will last somewhat fewer than 10, and so on down. It works for several hundred popes, several hundred Japanese emperors, all the Roman emperors, and many, many shorter dynasties. It works across nearly three orders of magnitude, which is pretty good for a rule of this kind.

Individual dynasties vary, obviously, so in a given case the drop at #10 might not be 50 percent, it might only be 30 percent, or it might be 80. But the tendency is very clearly this scale invariant curve.

Now, moving up the scale a little, there are lots of places -- Egypt, China, Imperial Rome -- where there were numerous successive dynasties. As many as 30 dynasties in Egypt, for example. So we can do the same trick with them, a sort of "set of sets" analysis. And when we do, we get the same scale-invariant curve, same slope. By the 10th dynasty we're at half the longevity of the first dynasty.

This is not a property predictable from the behavior of the individual rulers. In fact, it's rather counter-intuitive. We could justify individual dynasties declining, the later rulers being weaker, because metaphorically that's the "life cycle" of a dynasty. But then how does the set-of-sets constitute a life? Why is it weaker later on as well? It's a whole series of lives, using the metaphor, and the consistency of the curve implies that these later "lives" are impaired from their start. It's not just that Ruler X of Dynasty Y is in a bad position relative to Ruler 1 of Dynasty Y. It's also that Ruler 1 of Dynasty Y is in a bad position relative to Ruler 1 of Dynasty 1. The whole "genus" of dynasties is weakening, with each individual "species" weakening as well, consistently producing shorter-lived individuals later in the series.

It's a cycle, a kind of sawtooth leading downward, with successively weaker "new starts" for the first ruler of each dynasty. This is a mathematically verifiable cycle of history, a very well-defined one. It's hardly even worth the bother of applying goodness-of-fit tests, you can see just by looking at the graphs that it's a real pattern. A significance test would go off the scale at the high end, odds of trillions to one against chance.

Okay, weird enough for you? Not done yet. I plotted the entire set of dynasties in chronological order, all the dynasties known to history going back to 3,500 BCE. This is "set of sets of sets" analysis. Same scale-invariant curve AGAIN. It's fractal, it just keeps working no matter what scale you try. The lengths of hereditary dynasties started out at a phenomenally stable average of around 600 years, way back in the mists of time. They fell along this steady curve for roughly 4,900 years, until by the 19th century a hereditary dynasty could expect to last a mere 52 years. That is, a "hereditary" dynasty no longer lasted as long as a human lifetime. At that point, the institution of hereditary rule collapsed altogether.

What this means is that all of recorded history is -- in some very tangible, testable, literal, mathematically objective sense -- a unity. It is *one thing*, one process, one unfolding rule for a complex set of sets. The entire process could have been predicted by a competent mathematician starting about 2,000 years ago. Because the curve is scale-invariant, he would only have needed to see the first 50 to 100 dynasties or so, and the rest would logically follow.

Forget Hegel and Marx. Here we have a genuine historical dialectic, an inexorable working-out of an tremendous underlying principle that somehow reaches out across all of space and time. Think of all the social norms, all the institutions, that revolve around regime stability. Think what it means to a society when control changes hands. Think how many factors regime stability is supposed to depend on -- wars, riots, aristocratic plotting, famines, religious conflicts, technology changes, language, culture. It's endless. And yet it's all predictable? It's a mathematical law?

Yes. In fact, it is a maximum entropy curve, or more precisely a family of them, consistent with Jaynes Bayesian approach. And this very same curve shows up in hundreds of other places.

I'll pause here to let you and any onlookers ponder.

Cheers, Dean
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/18/2009
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA

Well...hmmmm...some things of interest, but you almost derailed the whole thing as Rationalization for New Agey ESP with the paragraph with the line of "Spooky action at a distance" and the following paragraph a near apology for failed ESP experiments.

As some one who has lead of life of at times Improbable outcomes and Minimum Probabilities tending to dominate the outcomes then then flip flopping with Maximum Probabilities new models are always welcome...but it's more of an pre-conscious procesing event these days leading to a very Taoist like approach to the whole thing as probility being rulled by "Whim" "Kicks" "Slack" and "Stupid Human Tricks"

650 Pages of Anomalies? Welcome to my world.
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Flipping coins gives just two outcomes--plus the rare edge shot, of course. What about complex systems where the outcomes are nearly infinitely varied? That's where probability either delivers gas-law certainties or might be open to more sophistication.
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Only humans do statistics, of course. (Computers do statistics for humans.) I think all of math, as a condensed subset of natural languages, is ultimately concerned with the needs of biological beings... namely, us.
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Limited compared to what? Human 2.0...
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Very cool. It seems probable to me that what we're seeing here is human culture as a whole adjusting its own learning curve to maximizing individual benefit, rather than just letting rulers rule indefinitely. More of a stretch: the longer civilization endures, the more democracies become probable, even likely?
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Dean Brooks
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Wow, a lot of responses. I'm very pleased.

Scott wrote: "I could be convinced there is a flaw in standard theory, but there would have to be some reason for it. Standard probability rules make logical sense to me in at least when applied to simple systems. I could believe the reality is different, but not without there being a reason for it.

Flip a coin nine times and each time it comes up heads. On the tenth flip most people would have a strong belief that the odds of it being heads again were below 50 percent. I would still go with the 50 percent odds if I was betting, even though my gut instinct would try to tell me otherwise."

Greg said something similar. This is indeed the critical point. If you can "see" where classical theory fails for binary outcomes, the rest becomes much easier.

Edwin Jaynes posed the problem this way. When you look at a system, what are you measuring? As the system grows more complex, your frame of reference changes. For example, if I look at single gas molecules, I am measuring two values -- velocity and direction. If I look at them in aggregate, I am measuring pressure and temperature -- a very different measure.

This turns out to be relevant for all kinds of probabilistic systems. Our way of thinking about probability obscures what ought to be a general rule.

If I am flipping one coin in isolation, then much as I would for a single gas molecule, I enumerate all the possible states. The gas molecule can move in three dimensions, with a range of values. That is the set of possible states. The coin has two possible states (ignoring the edge for now).

If I am flipping many coins, then I am dealing with a different system, and a different measure. The coins could all come up heads at once, or tails. There are millions or trillions of permutations even for a relatively small system.

The classical argument is that each flip is effectively isolated from the others. There is no rule connecting one to the next in a series, or that coin flipping over there to this one here. But there is a hidden assumption here, an assertion that we carry over from the single-coin case that is not actually true.

In the single-coin case we assert that the odds are about 50-50 *over a long series of throws*. We are in effect making a prediction about the system *at equilibrium*. Right?

In the multi-coin case, say 20 coins, there are more than one million permutations. If I flip the 20 coins 100 times, how much of the total range of possible outcomes will I have explorted at that point? 1/10,000th. The multi-coin system is NOT at equilibrium. It is nowhere near equilibrium.

We have all kinds of examples from nature that serve as a cautionary in this regard. Thermodynamics is riddled with very hard problems that we still cannot solve, because there is no equilibrium state to simplify the calculation.

The obvious rejoinder is that 100 flips is enough for any one coin to come to equilibrium. Yes. But now we come to the critical point, the insight where the light bulb goes on. I hope.

You could test the balance of heads to tails for each individual coin and find nothing interesting. They ARE at equilibrium, by that particular measure of the system. The ratio of heads to tails results is conserved.

Yet at the same time, if you test the distribution of higher-order patterns, you will find a very striking non-classical trend. The 20 coins viewed as a system exhibit a separate, independent kind of behavior that is not predictable based on extrapolations from the behavior of one coin.

This is no different, no more paradoxical, than the assertion that, if you follow individual gas molecules around, their behavior maintains conservation of momentum -- yet if you view the behavior of a volume of gas that is not at equilibrium, there are pressure waves and dispersal effects going on at every scale.

What is particularly interesting is that binary random number generators exhibit these types of large-scale or long-run anomalies, and have done so since the first "chance machines" were developed. They have been observed, and filed away, by a long succession of investigators. They were present in the first million-digit random number project undertaken by the RAND corporation. They are present in modern Keno games, in the MS Excel spreadsheet logic, and in many other places.

The reason they are not a matter of intense controversy already is because the industry standard for random number generation (that is, the test of whether the sequence is random) is based on small slices of data. The DieHard test, which was the standard for many years, and the new NIST test, are both based on discrete chunks of about 1,000 bits of data at a time. Long-run trends are simply invisible to this kind of test. (Say I was looking for a surplus of cases where 1 appeared 15 times, and 0 only 5 times, in 20 bits. This is already so unlikely that it will only happen a few times in 1,000 bits. To detect any sort of trend would require much larger sample sizes. So it passes totally unnoticed by industry-standard monitoring.)

The insight of Jaynes is that a system can exhibit weird collective behavior that is not merely a simple linear sum or permutation of the behavior of individual components. Specifically, it exhibits increasing entropy, with rare configurations starting out more common than expected, and becoming rarer as the set of observations grows.

I hope that makes sense. More in my next post.
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 07/29/2009
From: Dean Brooks
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Mike wrote: "Well...hmmmm...some things of interest, but you almost derailed the whole thing as Rationalization for New Agey ESP with the paragraph with the line of 'Spooky action at a distance' and the following paragraph a near apology for failed ESP experiments."

Yes. I was aware I was taking a risk by saying it that way. Here is a fully exposition of those points, which should satisfy readers that I am not New Agey. I am Old Jaynesy.

My reference to 'spooky action at a distance' should be understood as referring to the eerie coordination of dynastic lengths. In that context, I contend that it is mathematically very similar to the sort of spookiness observed in quantum mechanics. Specifically, we can predict the behavior of dynasty N simply on the basis that it is dynasty N. Our prediction is robust, and the difference between dynasty N and a later dynasty 2N or 10N is large.

The difference in behavior between the two dynasties is actually larger than, say, the difference observed between the first and second photons in the classic QM polarization filter experiment. It follows from a similarly simple rule of "entanglement," which explicitly states that the fates of the later dynasties are conditional on the earlier ones.

I am being provocative here, using language that will turn hairs, because there is no other way to approach the problem than to turn assumptions upside down. In QM, the second photon is believed to behave differently than the first BECAUSE it comes second, and not for any other reason that we can observe. This then leads to all sorts of weird mystical formulations regarding whether the photon really exists in a definite state before being observed, and so on. Jaynes argued that this same kind of very economical rule could be found elsewhere, and wherever it might be found, it should be classed as a rule of inference, not as a model of actual behavior.

In other words, unlike the photons, we KNOW that the dynasties are real and exist at all times. So if it is possible to make far-reaching inferences about future events on the basis of very little information, it is not because dynasties exist as probability clouds. This should then cast doubt on whether the probability-cloud analogy has any value in QM.

In effect, Jaynes argued for a return to the hidden variables theory of QM, not because he had any special insight into QM as such, but because when you use maximum entropy curves to forecast behavior, there are ALWAYS myriad hidden variables. The QM paradoxes turn out to be not at all special; the way we reason about everyday problems, even coin flips, becomes very much like the way we reason about QM. There is a consolidation of the logic, so that instead of two separate realms, QM and classical, there is one realm consistently governed by one method.

Now as for ESP. There was an Oxford mathematician, George Spencer-Brown, who later became famous for his work on the Laws of Form. In 1957, he published a little book entitled Probability and Scientific Inference. It was about the inherent limitations of "chance machines" as they were known back then. Spencer-Brown observed that ESP experiments invariably produced a short burst of rare matchups, in which the subject guessed the right number far above chance, and then a long decline, which if prolonged sufficiently would take the guesses well below chance. (This is what ESP enthusiasts call "psi-missing".)

Spencer-Brown asked a very simple question: What happens if we substitute another chance machine for the human subject? It turns out that the same thing happens, that is, a brief interval of unlikely coordination followed by a long decline. Spencer-Brown gave a number of examples from the literature, ran some new experiments of his own, and concluded that there was something wrong with probability theory as such. He regarded early ESP investigators as having found nothing whatever in terms of sensory perception -- no ESP -- but having built up a great deal of evidence for a problem with probability theory.

His arguments produced a brief furor, with letters in Nature and several other journals. (In the 1950's, you could still get ESP papers into Nature.) Unfortunately, Spencer-Brown could not offer a replacement theory that would predict the long, slow decline that he observed. The debate died out. Although Spencer-Brown had a long career and was justly famous for Laws of Form, his attack on probability has basically sat on a shelf for the past 40-50 years.

What I have done is to repeat Spencer-Brown's experiments, getting the same result but on a much larger scale -- and then to use Edwin Jaynes and Bayesian logic to explain them.

So no, I am not an ESP nut. I don't think consciousness shapes reality, or can see around corners. I think random number generators produce a distinct kind of high-level ordered behavior that evolves with the number of trials generated, because it is in the nature of all complex systems to do that. I think putting a human in the loop to replace a random number generator produces the same result. So the human can, for a short time, produce unexpectedly high correlation between his guesses and the results produced by the machine he is playing against. If he persists against a given machine, in a given session, he will lapse into "psi-missing" much as described in the literature. In effect, we only think this is interesting because we don't understand something basic about probability. Once we approach probability from a Bayesian, maximum entropy standpoint, the whole subject of ESP ceases to have separate existence. It becomes a trivial footnote to the basic rules of probability.

One last point -- my website is several years out of date and not really intended to explain all this. There are some good resources there regarding size laws and distribution theory, but most of what I am arguing just isn't on the Net anywhere.

I'll pause now and see what these two posts bring in the way of responses. Many thanks to all, I'm enjoying this.
 

Re: New theory of probability (democracy vs autocracy)
Date: 08/01/2009
From: Andrew Carpenter
Location: Cauterets, France

Dear Greg,

I wonder if all that we hear of the benefits of democracy work in all cases. Sure there is democracy in England; one of the homes of that school of thought, yet we have seen Police abuse of Citizens on a scale that has never been seen before. These folk who cover their faces and deliberately hide their credentials as officers of the law, openly murdered a member of the public.

I'm sure that the policeman involved didnt expect to kill someone that day, but I doubt that he lost much sleep over it until he was caught on camera.

Democracy? the World is in a horrible media infused nosedive! and as far as I can see there is no exit from this mess. In the UK alone my childrens grand children will still be paying for our National Debt.

Christ, I would never have believed that this kind of strife would be here in this day and age..I was nine years old when N.A first touched his toe on alien soil..do you know ..it was a magic moment..Greg we need another magic moment.

Bon Dormir from France

Andrew
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 12/05/2009
From: Steven Miller
Location: Williams College

To: Dean Brooks
Re: Benford's law

Greetings. I'm a professor in the math/stats department at Williams College. I'm currently teaching probability, and someone was kind enough to pass along your article on Naked-Eye Quantum Mechanics. I've done a lot of work in Benford's law (my homepage is http://www.williams.edu/go/math/sjmiller/public_html/index.htm); if you could drop me an email at sjm1 AT williams.edu, I'd love to chat with you. //s
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

Dean, meet Steven Miller!
 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Dean Brooks
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Many thanks Greg, I am writing to Steven.

The discussion kind of petered out, sadly, but in the meantime I have shown my book to O'Reilly (the software manual people) and they are very interested. My offer to have you read the book still stands, if you have time.

 

Re: New theory of probability
Date: 12/17/2009
From: Greg Bear

I'd enjoy seeing a copy when you get it finalized. I don't claim expertise here, but my instincts tell me you have some interesting ideas worth getting acquainted with. I've met Mr. O'Reilly and his people... they could do good work with your book.

historical inaccuracy

Date: 07/06/2009 From: Dr William Harwood (author of Mythology's Last Gods)
Location: Canada

"Jesus had died horribly, persecuted by a blind state and an ignorant, bloodthirsty rabble."
INACCURATE. Jesus was executed by the Romans (not the Jews, which you seem to imply) for the same reason Robert Emmet was executed by the English: for publicly fighting for independence from an oppressive tyranny.
 

Re: historical inaccuracy
Date: 07/06/2009
From: Greg Bear

I don't see any substantial disagreement between the quoted sentence and the history. Jesus was tried before the Sanhedrin (membership approved by the Romans), then bound over to Pilate, who acquitted him. Jesus was tried again and returned to Pilate. Pilate sentenced him to death, as a potential rebel against Rome. The Romans in some readings were the only authorized executioners; they represented what today we would call the state. The mob (a bloodthirsty rabble) chose one of their own, Barabbas, over Jesus. Jesus was crucified by Roman soldiers.

The Sanhedrin wanted Jesus out of the way because of blasphemy; Pilate wanted the Jews to acknowledge Roman authority. It's a complicated tale, but your retelling is a little too simple. The Sanhedrin wanted Jesus dead. The Romans did the deed. Jews were later persecuted for allegedly killing Christ; Romans and their heirs and ancestors, including the Catholic church, were not.

I'm happy to be corrected if any of these statements are inaccurate. I highly recommend the two-volume Anchor/Doubleday THE EXECUTION OF JESUS as a reference.
 

Re: historical inaccuracy
Date: 07/06/2009
From: Dr William Harwood
Location: Canada

Mr Bear. I appreciate your courtesy in responding. However, your response is almost totally inaccurate, since it is based on the assumption that the Christian gospels are reasonably accurate. You surely do not believe THAT?
Jesus was never tried by the Sanhedrin for any Jewish offence (which admittedly he did commit). That was the gospel author's invention to convince Vespasian that Jesus was not an enemy of Rome -- and therefore neither were the Christians. He was assuredly not acquitted by Pilatus. The passage in Mark is comparable to Simon Legree asking,"Are you the niggers' king?" Uncle Tom answering, "Did you figure that out all by yourself or did someone have to tell you?" and Legree concluding "I find no fault with this man."
The only listing I could find for THE EXECUTION OF JESUS was a 1970 book published by Scribner. No competent (i.e., not theological) book about Jesus that I consulted lists any such book in its bibligraphy. The most accurate reconstruction of what really happened is MYTHOLOGY'S LAST GODS. The in-press updated version, retitled GOD, JESUS AND THE BIBLE, (World Audience) contains added material, but after 17 years no statements in the 1992 book have had to be corrected on the basis of new information. I would be happy to send it to you as a PDF file if you email a mailing or email address to the address given with this message. I can only assure you that such information will not be abused or passed on.
My local library carries about a dozen of your books, of which I have read a handful and intend to read the rest.
 

Re: historical inaccuracy
Date: 07/06/2009
From: Greg Bear

Apologies: the Anchor volume is called "The Death of the Messiah." Of course the narrative we're both working from is suspect in many ways, but the four gospels are about the only reference material we have, and they seem to fit many of the historical details of the times. I don't find it particularly unconvincing that the conservative and Roman-dominated Sanhedrin of the day would not like Jesus or his message. After all, he kicked some ass with the moneychangers.

Reconstructions and revisions are often fascinating; I'm particularly fond of Robert Graves's KING JESUS--cranky but very enjoyable.

Good luck with your books!
 

Re: historical inaccuracy
Date: 07/06/2009
From: Dr William Harwood
Location: Canada

We agree that any reconstruction of the life of Jesus must be based primarily on the Christian gospels. Moderate believers (and I suspect that you are one, but respect your right to deem it none of my business) start from the assumption that the gospel authors were fallible but basically honest reporters who wrote what they believed had actually happened or must have happened. A large minority of competent scholars, a term that does not include theologians,think there was never a Jesus of history onto whose biography the Christian fairy tales were posthumously grafted. The majority see the gospels as propaganda that utilized factual information where it supported their thesis but invented freely when the facts were inconvenient. Obvious examples are Jesus' (nonexistent) trial before the Sanhedrin, and the libel of Judas's betrayal, invented to dissociate Jesus from the Zealots known to have been his lieutenants, by showing that Judas the Sicarius was "really" Jesus' enemy. The Sanhedrin indeed wanted Jesus out of the way, and tried to scare him into leaving Jerusalem before he started a war of independence that they knew the Jews could not win.
Martin Larson saw Jesus' assault on the moneychangers as a declaration of independence by disrupting the scheduled sacrifice on behalf of the Emperor Tiberias. Robert Eisler hypothesized that Barabbas was arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and was actually trying to stop Jesus from declaring independence. Few scholars see Barabbas as a real person. Absolutely no biblical scholar takes Robert Graves' fantasy, King Jesus, seriously. The novel about Jesus that probably comes closest to reality is UNCLE YESHU, MESSIAH.
 

Re: historical inaccuracy
Date: 07/12/2009
From: ryan
Location: cleveland

It would be interesting to know how frequently folks were executed in that region in that time, for what range of transgressions or vendettas.

I guess the clarity of this history was already hazy well before Christianity revved up its Trinity kick. But once the trinity kicks in, when Jesus is not only the son of God but also God, or something, there's no point in worrying about who to blame for Jesus' execution: it was all something he manipulated them into doing. whoever "they" are. because he is already going to revive, go fishing, then fly up into heaven. heaven is most frequently depicted as real estate that some people deserve, and the people they don't like do not deserve.
 

Re: historical inaccuracy
Date: 07/14/2009
From: Greg Bear

Jesus has some second thoughts in the Garden of Gethsemane, which make for fascinating speculation. Even he was not completely informed of the outcome.
 

gethsemane
Date: 07/14/2009
From: ryan
Location: cleveland

that part doesn't play into the whole trinity idea jesus' memory got trumped up into later. I suspect if Jesus really was some kind of prophet or messiah, he was one of many, and most of the stuff he did was already forgotten by the time folks made him into a celebrity.

It doesn't really matter which political or ethnic group is to blame for his execution, because those groups no longer exist in any real way. We aren't guilty for what our ancestors did 150 years ago, let alone 2000 years ago.
 

Re: historical inaccuracy
Date: 09/18/2009
From: Alicia
Location: mn

Jesus did several times, according to the gospels, make claims to the idea of the trinity. "If you see me, you see the Father." "I and the Father are one" and John 14:16-17, John 16: 5-15. Also the Pharisees hated Jesus as well and were the ones that delivered him to the Sanhedrin

Tv series? Who would play Kaye?

Date: 07/03/2009 From: Nj£ll Andersen
Location: Grindav■k, Iceland

Dear Mr. Bear

My name is Nj£ll Andersen and I live in Iceland. I have written to you once before some years ago after I read rogue planet, the first star wars book I had ever read. I have to say I have not yet found your vivid discriptions of places and events in some of the other star wars books I have read since.

A book I recently finished reading is Darwins Radio....a possible t.v. series came to mind after I read it such was the need to continue following Kaye and Stella on their journy.

I'm not really much of a reading kind of person. I'm a mechanical engineer and most of the stuff I read has equations in it and can be quite boring. When I do read I have come to realize that a Bear book can't go wrong.

Best regards, Nj£ll
 

Re: Tv series? Who would play Kaye?
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks! Thank goodness somebody's willing to work with equations... My head is better suited to biology and theoretical physics without the math, I'm afraid.

You're on TV

Date: 07/02/2009 From: Janis Ian
Location: Nashville

Omigosh, Greg, Pat and I are sitting here watching a show about the "fathers of science fiction" and there you are!
Not only that, you don't look a day older than when we met. (Extremely irritating of you.)
Glad to see a friend's face up there!!!
Best as always,
Janis
 

Re: You're on TV
Date: 07/03/2009
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Janis! Thanks--but what you're not saying is the first time you saw me I looked very old indeed... This interview was done a couple of years ago at the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle.

By the by, about the same time you were singing so beautifully at the Nebula Awards, J.A. Jance was doing a cover of one of your songs (a favorite of hers) at a University of Washington library dinner here in Seattle!

Forge of God

Date: 07/01/2009 From: Scott McAfee
Location: Washington State

Hello, I was wondering if there was anything in the works with Audible or another entity to release The Forge of God in Audio format. I would download a copy as soon as it is released even though I have the paperback version.
I have not yet read An Anvil of Stars though I will be doing so within the month.
 

Re: Forge of God
Date: 07/28/2009
From: Greg Bear

Still in process. We've been straightening out all the rights situations on these novels. Soon, I hope!
 

Re: Forge of God - 2012 Movie
Date: 08/15/2009
From: Phillip Hamlyn
Location: Peterborough, England

Greg,

Nice to see you get credited for the complete plot of the new film 2012 . After I first watched the trailer I thought it actually was a screenplay of Forge of God. Of course I've only seen the trailer so perhaps the plot will be significantly different when it gets to the theatre release, but "global catastrophe", "continental shelf earthquake", "sudden appearance of aliens", "earth exploding" - I wonder if the mechanism will end up being the same or they've invented an entirely different way of blowing up a planet.

Keep up the good work, but get your agent onto the film guys !
 

Re: Forge of God - 2012 Movie
Date: 08/18/2009
From: Greg Bear

Haven't seen the film yet. Where did I get credited for the plot, Phillip? (Just curious.)
 

Re: Forge of God
Date: 10/31/2009
From: Gee Vermaes
Location: Gosnells WA

I guess I wasn't the only person who, after viewing the trailer of 2012, thought this must be from Greg Bear's unforgettable book "Forge of God".
By the way, when did the film script get written?

Apologies for my assumptions, if the story arose simply from the Mayan prediction, but it just seemed to me a chance to see "Forge of God" on the big screen. Of course, the whole movie could take a totally different direction.
 

Re: Forge of God
Date: 11/05/2009
From: Greg Bear

Ken Nolan's screenplay was written in 2002-2003, with a number of revisions since. A team of writers helped me pitch the novel back in the late 1990s to many different studios. The novel has been very widely read.
 

Re: Forge of God
Date: 01/10/2010
From: Russell Garvey
Location: Preston England

Is there still a chance of seeing Forge of God on the big screen?

I have seen 2012 and was left disappointed at another visually spectacular event that has a poor plot and no real emotion. All the big disaster movies of late have been the same.IE Day after Tomorrow/ 2012 If the intention of these films are to get our attention and show us how fragile this planet is...then ther have failed.
The feeling of dispair at the thought of the complete distuction of our home, as in Forge of God.
Then the comfort that an alien race can have compassion and to help us survive has more effect.
 

Re: Forge of God
Date: 01/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

It's not just about blowing stuff up, absolutely.