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July - December 2010

Worldcon 2011?

Date: 12/30/2010 From: dave smith
Location: torrance, ca

Sir, just a quick question? I am a great fan of yours and have managed to miss your signings every time for years, always work or something in the way. Once again, you will be at MG in San Diego and I cannot make it down. So just wondering if you will be at Reno in 2011, as I intend to attend the con -- it would be great to see you there. Last thing: if you are not going to be there, do you accept books to be signed through the mail?
Thanks again for a minute of your time...and for the writing, of course!
Dave ;^)
 

Re: Worldcon 2011?
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

No plans yet for Reno in 2011, but very likely will be down in San Diego for World Fantasy Con near year's end. See you there, Dave?

Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions

Date: 12/27/2010 From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Mr. Bear,

Thank you for another thoroughly entertaining mind blower.

- When I read Sanjay's and Kim's journey through Mother's realm in the chapter "New Worlds Aft," I had the feeling that the experience of the journey was in someway inspired by what an organic molecule might experience floating in the soup of its cell. Any connection there, or was it just a personal reaction?

- The book felt like a parable of unintended consequences. I'm curious if this was a combination of thought about where our current genomics are taking us, and where are our 'wars of choice' in the middle east have led us.

Am I off base on both of these?
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 12/27/2010
From: Greg Bear

That's a good comparison, Steven. Biology is always about maximizing success with the systems that already exist, and that's certainly the dilemma/choice/design that creates most of the situations in HULL ZERO THREE. Thanks!
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 12/30/2010
From: patrick
Location:

I just finished this, and instead of starting a new thread, I'll piggy-back this one.

I have a few issues with the premise:

- such solid state and genetic technologies would suggest no reason to go to the trouble of sending a ship to another star. Much easier it would be to use the planets around Jupiter and Saturn - let alone assuming non-humanoid/non-oxygen-breathing forms in alternative environments....which brings me to the next one...

- why replicate earth, when you can morph to the place you go?

- what about just hailing the indigenous folks and making parley??
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Craig J. Brain
Location: Australia

Based on the recommendation of a friend on my forums, I am purchasing this book :)

The premise of the book sounds a lot like "Metamorphosis Alpha", of which I am very fond. I look forward to receiving the book.

Regards,

Craig
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Check out the cool forum that Craig runs at www.metamorphosisalpha.net

Starships forever! (And another tip of the hat to Brian Aldiss and Robert Heinlein...)
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Aw, what's the fun in that? Manifest destiny has never been about reasonableness. Or rationality. Big question becomes: does Earth have a yen to replicate itself elsewhere? Or will we all be content just to sit around and sip cocoa?
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 01/02/2011
From: patrick
Location:

My question is often analogous to this question: In a twelve-tone spelling, what set is actually the prime set?

I think the answer to yours is yes. Will it be the same answer when the opportunity arises? Dunno. A book to look back onto in this regard is Brin and Benford's HEART OF THE COMET. Ta-stae.
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 01/02/2011
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

One star, one basket.
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 01/04/2011
From: Greg Bear

As in eggs.
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 01/05/2011
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

You could put the whites in one basket and the yolks in another. But that would be eggregation.

It's been a wet and weary winter, and Hull Zero Three a welcome retreat! (Somehow the environmental challenges faced by the characters put roof leaks in perspective.) Yet before it can be properly digested, along comes Halo: Cryptum...

Morph worlds or morph ourselves, send humans or send robots, heal the Earth or colonize the universe...I resent these choices.

The bothersome thing is forgetfulness. Thousands of years to achieve a thing, and the next generation takes it for granted. Humanity can't seem to decide what it's doing. The meaning of life used to be a matter for poets...now it's a critical issue. And people seldom think about that, and that scares me.

Where we are is where we're not. In the extremity of space lies the center of the heart. And so on.
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 01/17/2011
From: Chris
Location: Bothell, Wa

I just finished Hull Zero Three, and I'd like to thank you for putting together a wonderfully bizarre and thought-provoking story. As an artist, designer, and model builder, I found the prose to be visually exciting, and the implications of advanced genetic manipulation frightening (in a good way). Well done.
 

Re: Hull Zero Three: Wow! & two questions
Date: 01/18/2011
From: Greg Bear

Aw, and I was going for a safe, cozy read! Many thanks, Chris.

Are Bees using Noach

Date: 12/27/2010 From: Ian Wilson
Location: Newcastle UK

Interesting article about Bee 'dancing', bee brain size, quarks and manifolds.

http://www.neuroquantology.com/repository/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65:honeybees-are-found-to-interact-with-quantum-fields&catid=59:quantum-field-theory-in-brain&Itemid=70



 

Re: Are Bees using Noach
Date: 12/28/2010
From: Greg Bear

Interesting piece, which may tie in with Sarovar's recent research involving chlorophyll (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=quantum-entanglement-and-photo).

Thanks!

Greg

Darwin's Children comment

Date: 12/24/2010 From: William J Watts
Location: Toronto

Dear Greg,
I am rereading "Darwin's Radio", after reading "Darwin's Children" a few months ago. I wanted to comment on DC: not on the virology or social psychology, both of which are terribly interesting, but rather on the spiritual experience of the heroine. (Sorry, I forget her name.) Probably I am one of may readers who have written to tell you that they have had experiences of "divine love" very much like hers. I had this experience many years ago, during a long spell of depression, and one or two beautiful tiny "aftershocks" thereafter. I am not a kook, but a practising Anglo-Catholic, quite sane, and irrepressibly spiritual. From the feeling with which you write, I am guessing you, too, have had this sort of experience at least once. Thank you for the courage to include this in one of your wonderful books.
 

Re: Darwin's Children comment
Date: 12/24/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thank you, William. I have indeed had this experience, and it's one of the great and beautiful mysteries of life. What it all means may be in doubt to others, but not to me--and likely not to you!
 

Re: Darwin's Children comment
Date: 12/30/2010
From: patrick
Location:

Minorly intruding: meaning in such cases I find unimportant next to the recognition of the experience itself.
 

Re: Darwin's Children comment
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Absolutely. Until you've had the experience ... and that brings on a whole host of new questions. Key awareness from my own experience: asking questions is never discouraged. Getting answers might be problematic, however!
 

Re: Darwin's Children comment
Date: 01/02/2011
From: patrick
Location:

Many have them and fail to recognize them. Many who do recognize them tend to 'dress' them up. I unask the question.
 

Re: Darwin's Children comment
Date: 01/08/2011
From: Greg Bear

What question?

Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?

Date: 12/23/2010 From: Richard Stewart
Location: Hobart, Tasmania. Australia

Hi Greg,
I remember reading news that along with the first two novels, there was the possibility of a third novel, following on from Forge of God and Anvil of Stars...

Was this just rumour? or had you thought about doing a third novel?

Cheers & Merry Chrismas!
Richard
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Still thinking it over. Thanks, Richard--and happy New Year!
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 01/03/2011
From: James Douglas
Location: London

Ooo please do...two of my favourite sci-fi novels and would love to see a third...and a fourth..!! Though I'm not sure I'd be able to stand the wait whilst you would write it!
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 09/30/2012
From: mister bigglesworth
Location: uk

Hiya Gregg, I hope you write a Third Book. These two Books have to be two of the Best SciFi Books I have read in a long time. Would there be any chance this story would be made into Movies?
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, MB! No sequels in the offing for now. But that could change!
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 02/12/2013
From: Gerard
Location: London

I'm glad to hear you resist writing a third novel simply to cash in on the previous two's success. Both 'Forge & 'Anvil are favourites of mine because of their strong story arc and moral complexity. Holding back until a killer idea strikes is a good move :-)

Ps) I always though the motivations of the Ship of the Law was suspiciously handy. IMMO ;-)
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 04/04/2013
From: John walton
Location:

Just finished my seventh read of anvil. By far one of my most favorite books. Character development is great, and the visuals of Wormwood and especially Leviathan really make 'space' come to life more than any other book I've read. The red tree runners and Brothers are especially convincing and strong elements of the story. I love the perspectives at the end, Dawn Treader II's the most probably :-) I really wish for a third, but I kind of enjoy the ambiguity surrounding the Benefactor and other galactic civilizations at the level of this novel. Not sure I would want my questions answered :-) thanks Greg, a real top notch story.

Thx
John
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 07/04/2013
From: Brendon Guiznot
Location: Southern California

It would be good to know if those evil Bishop headed creatures are gone. It is difficult for me to sleep in this universe without knowing for certain.
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 07/31/2013
From: Greg Bear

Alas, I suspect a few of them are still out there--hiding in suspicious-looking cinder cones!
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 01/03/2014
From: Richard Sullivan
Location: Georgetown, TX

Hello Greg, I would like to add my voice to the chorus of all your fans of Anvil of the Stars who are wishing and hoping for a sequel.

I consider you, Peter Hamilton, and Dan Simmons among my favorite authors of Science Fiction. How about a cross-over novel with those authors-that would be mind bending!

I have truly enjoyed your two recent novels of Hull Zero Three and City at the End of Time.

Keep writing, you are much appreciated.

Richard
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 03/04/2014
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Richard! I'm checking the copyedit for a new novel, WAR DOGS, right now--

Appearing in October from Orbit U.S.!
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 12/07/2014
From: Stephen Crye
Location: el paso tx earth sol system milky way

Hi Greg, nice to see you respond to fans!

I'm re-reading Forge and Anvil, enjoy them more each time. Interesting to note the lack of cell phones back in the early 90s! (As I post thus with my smartphone while waiting for a steak dinner)

I buy and read everything you publish. And I am convinced there is a logical sequel to Anvil in your mind. Let it out..

Steve Crye
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 12/07/2014
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Stephen. I don't remember actually owning what we could call a cell phone until the mid-nineties. And to this day, I don't own a smart phone. But soon, perhaps. At least I have a Kindle and an IPad!
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 12/11/2014
From: Steve Crye
Location: El Paso TX, USA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way

Until a month ago, I still stubbornly used a flip-phone. I'm glad I finally made the transition, I am more productive and informed with my phablet in my pocket. It is a tool like anything; can be used for good or evil.

Just finished Forge, was even better than I remember. Noticed that Ruben was on Arthur's ark, seemingly before the Lake Erie ark would have had a chance to merge before the destruction. I must have missed something.

Starting on Anvil tonight, will be finished by Sat, then on to War Dogs!

Still hoping for sequel to Anvil... perhaps you could set it way in the future, enough time for a galactcism to have formed? ;-)
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 12/12/2014
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Steve! We're working hard on some good news involving FORGE. Stay posted.
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 12/30/2014
From: Craig Schumacher
Location: Snowy Mountains, NSW, Australia

Hello Greg. I think that Forge of God and Anvil of Stars stand together as a very well crafted and sufficient organic whole as it is. Nonetheless, with complete disregard to that sufficiency, I greatly desire that you indeed write a sequel, selfish sod that I am.

You have been one of my favourite SF writers for a long time now, back to when I first read Eon. Love your stuff, please keep it up as long as you enjoy it.
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 01/04/2015
From: Randy Sousa
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

This is fantastic news on Forge, it was a great read years ago that still has me enthralled to this day, hopefully your ideas will come to fruition with the series.
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 01/25/2015
From: Greg Bear

Still enjoying away. Let me know what you think of WAR DOGS and the forthcoming KILLING TITAN!
 

I would Love a Sequel to Anvil of Stars
Date: 04/18/2015
From: Jerry L Ricks
Location: Seattle

I actually enjoyed that book more than Forge of God.

I loved the mystery and morality elements. The benefactors kept a lot of stuff close to their chests. And the speculative technology applied to space warfare was mind-boggling.
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 06/07/2015
From: Frank Erickson
Location: Dallas, Texas

Greg, I seriously enjoy your work. Especially Forge and Anvil, which I have now read four times.
I would really like to discover what's transpired on Mars and Venus, if there ever were to be any kind of sequel. Imagine what the remnants of Earth look like in the night sky from both "New Earths".I would also like to see Marty come home....
Thanks, Frank
 

Re: Sequel to Anvil of Stars novel?
Date: 06/16/2015
From: Greg Bear

Cool idea--an Earth ring!

Nanotechnology for Chemical and Biological Defense

Date: 12/20/2010 From: Terran
Location: Atlanta, GA

I just read an article called "Nano Defense: New book explores potential chemical and biological threats from nanoscience and nanotechnology" by John Toon in the Spring 2010 issue of "Research Horizons" (put out by Georgia Tech). It's about a book called "Nanotechnology for Chemical and Biological Defense" by Margaret Kosal.

From the article: Ironically, the mechanisms that make nanotechnology beneficial could also be part of its dark side. For instance, the ability to target cancer cells by recognizing their specific genetic sequences could also potentially be used to deliver toxins to harm healthy cells. Carbon nanotubes, useful in electronics and other technology areas, could also be used to circumvent vaccines by delivering protein cargoes directly into cells. Magnetic nanoparticles developed to draw therapeutics to diseased areas of the body could also be bombarded with electromagnetic energy to create excessive heat in the brain or other organs."

I was just wondering if anybody on this board is familiar with this book and has any thoughts on it?

 

Re: Nanotechnology for Chemical and Biological Defense
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Haven't read it myself, but it's a familiar dilemma. The flip side of that is that snake venom can also be used to make medicine--so perhaps research in offensive nanotech might stumble on new cures!

I just wonder...

Date: 12/18/2010 From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

...how many people who frequent this site are aspiring writers?
 

Re: I just wonder...
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Me, for one! Someday I'll get it right.

Will Cryptum be avaible via kindle as soon as it hits stores?

Date: 12/13/2010 From: ryan maloy
Location: florida

So Greg I heard you were writing the new halo novels, so i've picked up a few of your books. I love them especially darwins radio. I was just curious if cyrptum will be avaible via kinda as soon as it hits stores on the 4th.
 

Re: Will Cryptum be avaible via kindle as soon as it hits stores?
Date: 12/28/2010
From: Greg Bear

Don't know the details as to e-book release. Might be delayed to give the hardback better sell-through.

EON being discussed at the sciencefictionbookclub.org tonight

Date: 12/13/2010 From: Gerard
Location: Central London, England

Apologies for the last minute posting, I should have done this months ago.

This is just to record for posterities sake that the Science Fiction Bookclub (http://www.sciencefictionbookclub.org) based in London England will be discussing Greg's excellent book EON tonight at 7pm GMT.

One of our members is Russian which and another American which should add an extra element to the discussion :)

As we seem to have avoided both the Little Death and the Death, I can only surmise that we are sufficiently far enough down the Way to avoid it.

The event is listed here
http://www.sciencefictionbookclub.org/calendar/15081899/

Thanks for a great book Greg.

Gerard
 

Re: EON being discussed at the sciencefictionbookclub.org tonight
Date: 12/16/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Gerald! Sorry this didn't get posted sooner. Hope it all went well! Obviously, we are living in a more fortunate alternate history...
 

Re: EON being discussed at the sciencefictionbookclub.org tonight
Date: 12/23/2010
From: patrick
Location:

My, humans *are* hopeful. -grins-

Revised Wikipedia Way Entry - hope you like it !

Date: 12/10/2010 From: Martin La Grange
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Dear Greg,

I have been re-reading the two main Way novels, Eon and Eternity. They are resoundingly wonderful, and my sincere thanks for both of them. My mathematics became much stronger, as did my Calculus as a direct response to these novels.

I have therefore written a more comprehensive description of the Way for Wikipedia, here - the original version description was by myself also, and will be in the record of the page. (It was amatuerish). Please let me know how you like the current one. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Way_(Greg_Bear) )

Aside from that, I look forward always to the appearance of your new work, and am a great admirer of your work.

Kind regards
 

Re: Revised Wikipedia Way Entry - hope you like it !
Date: 12/11/2010
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Martin. Quite a thorough piece, and admirably researched. In another Wikipedia entry about EON, there was a challenge to the idea of a "pi" meter -- originally inspired by reading Hans Reichenbach's THE PHILOSOPHY OF SPACE AND TIME, which likely influenced the whole concept of the Way as well!

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Date: 12/09/2010 From: pasquale di rago
Location: melbourne australia

Many years ago I found you used this question in one of your books. I think it was "Eon". What I found is that it was also used by Lewis Carroll, who did so as a kind of prank. But the prank backfired because he was forever being pestered to come up with an answer. Anyway you can read all about it if you google it. Marvelous thing this internet, so much information, but very little real usable knowledge, let alone wisdom.

All the best for the festive season, the last time I wrote to you was around December 2004, so it's been a while, but I figure much water has passed under the bridge and we are all a little more advanced if not calmer.

I do have a general question concerning something I came across. Is there any truth to the suggestion that 95 percent of all real knowledge is by invitation only. If so then what is the value of an education?


Cheers Pasquale.
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 12/28/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Pasquale! Nobody's holding back on real knowledge, as far as I know... but then, I didn't buy the e-Ticket at university! (That's an outdated reference to old Disneyland ride ratings, e-tickets being the most expensive.)
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 01/02/2011
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach

Well, it seems to me this is a pretty interesting question.

The knowledge that's most available is the accepted kind, that which has been seen to have some relatively dependable proof.

However, new knowledge comes from what floats on this surface, is still beneath it, or flies beyond, doesn't it? And the half-developed hypotheses aren't easily spoken of, or traded in conversation beyond the trust of certain professional friends.

Greg's stories Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children deal pretty directly with such intrigues of what is becoming knowledge, and I think they're pretty accurate to what really goes on.

This would be the very active part of many fields, which does seldom show up on the internet or in journals, in so many words. Those who construct stories sometimes also get involved ;).

C.

 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 01/15/2011
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

Pasquale, I think the "real knowledge" question depends on your definition of "real." If you mean high-level political knowledge, I think the answer is yes. For instance, I doubt most of us know the real reasons for which most wars are fought. I, for one, have decided that I either need to become seriously involved in politics to really know about such things, or I need to forget about it. All the theories about it are just that. Or, actually, not even that, as they cannot be tested, so they are not even really theories. At best they are hypothesis.

However, there is an awful lot of knowledge out there that is available to anyone who has sufficient desire to learn. This is the course I have chosen, and this is my idea of "real." I don't really care much for or about the machinations of the politicians. I think "The Who" stated it rather succinctly many years ago. "Here comes the new boss, just like the old boss..."

And, by the way, I won't insult you by stating here the two rather facetious answers Lewis Carroll was fond of giving, regarding the raven and the writing desk. :)
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 01/16/2011
From: Greg Bear

One answer is perfectly logical, of course. And it seems to me to be the best.
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 01/17/2011
From: Pasquale Di Rago
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Thanks Greg,Roald and Kelly.

I appreciate your comments.

I have read Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children, along with a few other GB Books, and found them to always expand my world view especially when it comes to possibilities.

As for my Question concerning "True Knowledge", I think it was the Ancient Greeks who had the right idea, and I guess Self Knowledge is the only True Knowledge worth having.

Finally as for the answer which best describes why a Raven is like a writing Desk, I find that it has something to do with Thought's having Wings, and that you need to write them down in order to capture them. Yes I am aware that there may be better answers, but none lead to anything but dead ends. At least with "Thought's have Wings", it does open up another line of inquiry aka Mysticism.


Cheers Pasquale
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 01/18/2011
From: Greg Bear

Looks like I have to remind people of the best answer I know of: "Because Poe wrote on both of them."

Certainly satisfies the riddle component!
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 01/25/2011
From: pasquale di rago
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Thank you Greg,

For teaching me a valuable lesson and pointing out my Hubris.

On the subject of Riddles, its interesting where they lead, e.g. Oedipus, The Riddle of the Sphinx and Freud. Im sure there are more but cant think of any at this point. But it just proves that Riddles still have a place in our World. Annd can lead to higher, clearer states of Awareness and presence.

Ill finish with one of my own, Ive only learnt about today. Here goes.

If The Past is There and Then,
Annd the Present is Here and Now
Annd the Future is Where and When,
What is Nowhere?

Ill put forward my own solution, which a guy at work helped me with, but Id love to hear from you and others as well.

My Answer is: Nowhere is never seen or heard. So Nowhere (forum) doesnt exist. I wonder if this riddle can lead to a deeper understanding of Space and Time, Because Nowhere is both Space and Time, as in Now Here.

Cheers

pasqualeDiRago








 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 01/27/2011
From: Greg Bear

Pasquale provides another solution to the raven/writing desk riddle: Because they both use Quills.

That's neat and elegant, as well!

 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 02/07/2011
From: Emery Calame
Location: Austin

Both are mainly composed of complex hydrocarbons. Of course metal writing desks or stone writing desks will pose an unfortunate exception to this so Ravens are only like some but not all writing desks in that particular respect.
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 02/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Ah, we need a Venn diagram! "'Raven' intersects 'writing desk' only if you push hard enough..."
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 03/07/2011
From: Mad Hatter
Location: Witzend

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Both can carry your message.
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 03/15/2011
From: pasquale di rago
Location: melbourne

Found an interesting book on Push & Pull. It's called Perils of a Restless Planet, by Ernest Zebrowski Jr.

Which I'm sure makes interesting reading given the events of the last few days.

And whats more its real Science, not Science fiction.

Theres a sting in the tail.
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 04/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

Very good! But how far will the writing desk carry it?
 

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Date: 04/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

Looks like a fascinating read. Thanks, Pasquale!

The Poetry of Poul Anderson

Date: 12/07/2010 From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear:

First, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

Recently, I've been trying to track down copies of STAVES, a collection of the poetry of Poul Anderson. It seems to be rare and hard to find. One website did have a list of the contents of STAVES. What bothered me was noticing the book does not have three major poems: "The Battle of Brandobar, "Mary O'Meara," and "The Queen of Air and Darkness."

Do you know why these poems were omitted? And I hope a future collection nf Poul Anderson's verses will include these three poems!

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: The Poetry of Poul Anderson
Date: 12/27/2010
From: Greg Bear

We're tracking down Poul's short stories now--quite a volume of them--and have not yet begun on the poetry. Thanks for the heads up on a few not in the collection!
 

Re: The Poetry of Poul Anderson
Date: 12/28/2010
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrenc, MA

Dear Mr. Bear:

Thanks for your reply! Yes, a really COMPLETE collection of the poems written by Poul Anderson would be greatly appreciated by his fans. What puzzled me was HOW or why the three poems I listed in my first note could have been omitted from STAVES, the 1993 collection of Anderson's poems. After all, as indicated below, those poems could have been easily found.

"The Battle of Brandobar," in AFTER DOOMSDAY, Ch. 13

"Mary O'Meara," to be found in WORLD WITHOUT STARS

"The Queen of Air and Darkness," orig. pub. in the April 1971 issue of THE MAG. OF FANTASY AND SF. And repub. multiple times.

So there should have been no reasonable difficulties in including these poems with STAVES. I did wonder if there were copyright issues.

One last point, are there any plans for publishing a collection of Poul Anderson's surviving letters? If so, I would be glad to send the editor copies of my correspondence with Mr. Anderson.

Happy New Year! Sean M. Brooks

 

Re: The Poetry of Poul Anderson
Date: 12/28/2010
From: Greg Bear

Karen responds: "I'd say it was pretty simple: STAVES collects items that are short, not professionally published, or both -- for example, the courtly sonnets and the haiku. The major poems Mr. Brooks cites are relatively long and easy to find, or would have been in 1993 when STAVES was published."

Bringing them all back in print makes sense, of course.
 

Re: The Poetry of Poul Anderson
Date: 12/28/2010
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear:

Thanks for passing along Mrs. Anderson's comments about the three poems I've been discussing. I would have been less puzzled about their omission from STAVES if the book had a preface or introduction mentioning the stress on collecting the SHORTER poems of Poul Anderson.

I am glad you seem to agree any future collection of Mr. Anderson's verses should include his longer poems, such as "The Battle of Brandobar." I would suggest as well it should include Mrs. Anderson's own verses. Such as the poem about "The Dog and the Wolf" she wrote for THE KING OF YS.

Happy New Year! Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: The Poetry of Poul Anderson
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Happy New Year, Sean!

forerunner trilogy

Date: 12/05/2010 From: Joshua Lueck
Location: United states

Two questions. One can you provide both me and other halo readers an idea of what year the book starts. And is their any direct info about the flood war or the building of the halo rings in the book
 

Re: forerunner trilogy
Date: 12/16/2010
From: Greg Bear

The book begins about 100,000 years ago, give or take a few centuries! And there is indeed info about both the flood war(s) and the halo rings. Lots of info!

City At the end of Time and a site that reads the Linux kernel aloud

Date: 12/05/2010 From: Robert Hastings
Location: United States

There's a scene in City at the End of Time, where Jebrassy and Tiadba are reading aloud from an ancient tome, and the words *kind* of make sense to them.

Listen to www.linux.fm - the kernel is speech-synthesized, it kind of makes sense, and is reminiscent of the book when comments are read for different revisions made over the years. As the site points out, if you really want to grok it, you need to open 2 browser instances and get a couple streams going at once ;-)
Glossolalia at its finest!
 

Re: City At the end of Time and a site that reads the Linux kernel aloud
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Kind of like listening to quantum mechanics on their coffee break!

January 4 in History!

Date: 11/29/2010 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA


1493 -- Christopher Columbus leaves the New World.
1884 -- The Fabian Society is founded in London.
1885 -- The first successful appendectomy is performed.
1958 -- Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from orbit.
2004 -- The rover Spirit lands successfully on Mars.
2011 -- Halo: Cryptum arrives in stores.

Loscon interupted my reading, but now I'm back in Ship, unravelling the mysteries of Hull Zero Three.

A minor factoid: I am now a Writer. My first story sale will appear in the winter edition of Rosebud Magazine, available at Borders and Barnes & Noble at the end of this year.

The thoughts and advice you share in this forum--and the opportunity to see my words somewhere other than in my head here--played a substantial role in this small victory, and I thank you for that.

Best,
Bill
 

Re: January 4 in History!
Date: 11/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

Congratulations, Bill! Many more sales to come. And you've always been a writer...

Question about Eternity / The Way of All Ghosts

Date: 11/27/2010 From: Matt T
Location: Boston

I just got Far Horizons finally and read The Way of All Ghosts after reading Eternity a few months ago. I was wondering , is this story supposed to be separate from the rest of the Eon universe ? Was that the same Final Mind the avatars came from in eternity ?


It was very good and thank you :)

 

Re: Question about Eternity / The Way of All Ghosts
Date: 11/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

GHOSTS and LEGACY precede EON and ETERNITY. Take a look at LEGACY for more details. Thanks for the kind words, Matt!
 

Re: Question about Eternity / The Way of All Ghosts
Date: 12/03/2010
From: Chris
Location: England

Hello again, greg.
I've never read The way of all ghosts. I'd like to. I've heard tell of such beast, but never had the good fortune to happen across it on my travels. Various places have spoken of it as being a 4th venture into the universe of The Way. Or maybe it's more of a pit-stop into The Way (being a short story) compared to the mind expending giants that are the other three books? Anyway, my question is, why have I never heard anyone make mention of another other short story called Wind From A Burning Woman when referencing this whole series? I mean I know it's not directly interwoven into the other stories, but it surely has more things in common than not. ie: it has an asteroid, naderites, geshels, hexamon nexus. Surely it deserves at least a footnote in The Way credits?
 

Re: Question about Eternity / The Way of All Ghosts
Date: 12/23/2010
From: patrick
Location:

Clarification:

In *our* world, the sequence was Eon, Eternity, Legacy, The Way of all Ghosts.

In that universe (I'm not going to remind that we could very well be in the Way...oh, um, I guess I just did....), the sequence was Ghosts, Legacy, Eon, Eternity.

But what is time anyway? (City, City, City.....)
 

Re: Question about Eternity / The Way of All Ghosts
Date: 12/28/2010
From: Greg Bear

Creation often takes place in reverse time, no?
 

Re: Question about Eternity / The Way of All Ghosts
Date: 03/26/2011
From: Antonio A Holland
Location: Earth

I've read Eon and Eternity(engrossed). And just finished
Forge of God and Anvil of Stars(love). Whats wrong with
Hollywood or do you shun them which I highly understand.
Thank you and Issac for helping me expand my mind beyond
this realm of existence and helping me forget about the bills
for a couple of hours. Sorry to get off the subject.
 

Re: Question about Eternity / The Way of All Ghosts
Date: 04/09/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Antonio! No shunning of Hollywood at all--in fact, take a look at the CGSociety's EON Challenge for some amazing young filmmakers and their visions... (Bing or Google that exact phrase, CGSociety EON Challenge, and let me know what you think.) And FORGE/ANVIL have just had their options renewed...
 

Re: Question about Eternity / The Way of All Ghosts
Date: 08/25/2014
From: Bradley Campbell
Location: Spain

Wow, I cant believe that I have stumbled accross a place where we can talk to Greg Bear. You are my faourite author by far. Ive read almost all of your books. I think that your imagination is awesome and the inside of your mind must be a beautiful and epic place.

Eon is probably the best of all your books and I hope that if it ever be made into a film that it would transmit all of the powerful emotions that the book did. Somehow I doubt that it could, but still, it would be cool if it did.


Complete respect and admiration
 

Re: Question about Eternity / The Way of All Ghosts
Date: 11/11/2014
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Bradley! And what was your question? ;)

Halo: Cryptum question

Date: 11/25/2010 From: Joey
Location: United States

Dear Greg Bear,
I am very excited about Halo: Cryptum, being a huge halo fan and all, and I think you will do a great job explaining the time of the Forerunners in the Halo story. I just have one question about Cryptum. Does it take place during, before, or at the beginning of the Forerunner-Flood war? Thanks. :)

Sincerely,
Joey
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 11/26/2010
From: Greg Bear

That's a complicated question! It's a big universe. Lets just say that at the beginning, our narrator - a young Forerunner - knows nothing about the Flood...

January 4th!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 11/27/2010
From: Joey
Location: United States

Thanks man. By the way, I have just one more question. Did you write the new short story thats in Halo Evolutions volume 1 called Soma the Painter?
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 11/29/2010
From: Greg Bear

No, just Cryptum... so far.
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 12/03/2010
From: David Twinkle
Location: The North Pole

Dear, Mr.Bear

I have never read any of your books, although I am planning to read the Eon series after I finish Edmund Morris's Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy, which I must highly recommend to anyone who reads this, but I was wondering if the forerunners have entertainment. Do they go to the ancient equivalent of Burger King? Are there bad movies in forerunner land? I cannot think that they all are busy tinkering away in workshops like us elves. I was also wondering if there are any influences from the origin story in the Halo:Legends movie? I was also wondering if you could leave a copy on Santa's doorstep when the book comes out it would be appreciated. We're busy finishing packing Santa's sleigh for launch.

P.S. Bear is an awesome last name. Maybe you and Santa could write a book together and the author credit could be Bear-Claus. Thank you for writing another Halo novel also.

P.S.S I wanted to post my correspondence on this site. I got all your books requested from the Elf Library.

All the Best,
Twinkle the Elf
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 12/07/2010
From: Frank
Location: 343 Industries

Soma the Painter was by me.

And hi Greg!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 12/07/2010
From: Greg Bear

Welcome, Frank! Glad to have that settled! Frank O'Connor is very well known to all Halo fans, and one of my prime guiding lights at 343. Frank and Kevin Grace and many more at 343, and Eric Raab at Tor, have all been incredibly helpful and patient providing feedback, input, and history as I write these Forerunner novels.

January 4 is coming up rapidly!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 12/09/2010
From: Frank
Location: 343 Industries

Just got a single hardcover edition in the mail from Tor. Looks beautiful. Reads even more beautifully.

Congratulations!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 12/16/2010
From: Greg Bear

Cover is spectacular!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 12/28/2010
From: Joey
Location: United States

Oh, so Frank O'Connor wrote Soma the Painter. I guess he wrote Wages of Sin (the short story exclusive to Halo Evolutions volume 2) as well. Well, that answers my questions. By the way, I read Chapters 1 and 2 of Cryptum and they were awesome! I was both shocked and surprised, also excited! You have done an awesome job explaining the time of the Forerunners in the Halo story with these two chapters, and I can tell the rest of the book and the next two books will be just as great! Thank you Greg Bear for answering my questions, and tell Frank O'Connor that I say thanks for answering my questions as well.
:)
Only one week left!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Will do! Big blow out event for HALO CRYPTUM at University Bookstore in Seattle on Jan 4... Surprises galore.
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

Good questions! Next question: does Santa take care of good little Manipulars by traveling back in time?
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 01/16/2011
From: Gurinder P
Location: Vancouver, BC

Hello Mr. Bear,

I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed every page of your novel, and that I hold you some what responsible for shattering the perfect image I had of the Forerunner society.

Speaking of Forerunner society, I was wondering if you would be able divulge any further information on how such an advanced society can run on such archaic principles of castes and currency.

I look forward to reading your future novels.

An avid new fan,

G.P.
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 01/16/2011
From: Greg Bear

Also good questions, Gurinder. Perhaps a more challenging question--can even the most advanced society work without a social structure, a hierarchy? Can all be in charge, and all be equal? Caste and predetermination by birth might be holdovers from the Forerunner past, of course... much as such tradition lingers and even controls our societies today.
 

Halo: Cryptum
Date: 01/28/2011
From: James M
Location: Cleveland, OH

Just finished Cryptum. All I can say is FANTASTIC. I'm sure interested to see if "the prisoner" is incorporated in the next book. Great read Mr. Bear.
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 01/28/2011
From: Jonathan G
Location: Chicago, IL, US

Greeting Greg Bear, I finished reading your wonderful epic 'Halo Cryptum' which is probably a book akin too the Original dune in a way, but I'm having trouble visualizing Mutations, forms and rates.

I understand, as an writer myself that you give enough space for readers to make there own interpretation. However, I'm very curious about the whether the Forerunners mutations were purposely of Precursor genetic introduction or in itself evolutionary development. And if you can be so kind, are forerunners furry creatures like a Yetti or more like Humans just larger and full of color.

Anyway, good luck on your future endeavors.

You are what you dare.
 

Halo: Cryptum
Date: 02/02/2011
From: Greg Bear

The Captive is looking over my shoulder even as I type this...

Thanks, James!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 02/02/2011
From: Greg Bear

What we know about the Forerunners so far: they seem to bear a resemblance, however distant, to humans, at least during the early stages of their development. (But which humans, you ask? Riser, after all, is very different from Chakas, and there are many other varieties of humans in the Librarian's panoply.) Mutations are customized according to the class a Forerunner is moving into, with varying physical forms. So Forerunners do not all look alike. But the question of their origins... and their eventual destiny... has yet to be explained!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 02/06/2011
From: Emery Calame
Location: Austin

I sort of got the impression that the caste system was a little bit messed up by nepotism. There was probably supposed to more mobility in it but it was discouraged due to cultural prejudice about relative importance and probably reinforced by the changes in appearance that blending with a mentor not of your family's occupation (and appearance) might cause.

The Forerunners seemingly were not quite up to the idealistic aspirations of their lofty name and self appointed role. They spoke of transmitting knowledge and elevated status to a successor but in practice they did not suffer rivals even within the bounds of their own society. They were highly arrogant yet they often questioned their society and found it somewhat wanting but can't see any way to deal with it publicly without risking a dissolution of society. They seem to trust their AI's too easily, need them too much, and to undercut each other or work on conflicting solutions to things.

Very interesting.

They were not nearly as in control of everything, nor above everything, as we were previously lead to believe. And they knew it on some level. The mantle almost seemed to be an excuse to do whatever they wanted so long as it could be rationalized as good for life in some way. But they could tell that the meaning of the mantle rang a bit hollow as problems became more complex. The Halos while they don't really fit into the Mantle philosophy (as professed) do seem to be potentially necessary to stop the Flood as a last resort, and the reality that they need to abandon the principles of the mantle to have a chance at saving the mantle or to serve it, seems to be more or less destroying the fabric and meaning of the society and exposing the illusions that helped hold it together in a common cause.

It seems to me that the forerunners could have survived the Halo pulse as teir 1 specimens on the Ark or as stored information (schematics and formulae) that their monitors and mechanical servants could use to reconstruct them as life soon after the danger had passed and living things had been restored. Apparently they chose not to survive, or some other catastrophe happened to wipe out their last remnant.

Perhaps they realized that for the mantle as they understood it to survive they must relinquish their false claim to it and admit that they were never really worthy of it and that it did not after all separate them very much from the "animals" they benignly presided over.
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 02/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Very interesting analysis, Emery! These issues are coming up in the next two volumes. And more besides.
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 03/06/2011
From: Patrick Ibrahim
Location: California

Hello Mr. Bear,
I just finished reading your book Halo Cryptum, and all that I can say is, wow. The best book I have ever written by far, and my favorite. the last three lines spoken by the precursor in the Didact's mind sent chills down my spine. My question for you is: Will there be a next book coming out SOON? I have been looking everywhere for the name of the next book and all I have found was the title "Prisoner" which makes sense considering the release of the prisoner on the halo test firing planet. Any answer would be great!
Thank you very much
With respect,
Patrick Ibrahim
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 04/03/2011
From: Brandon Traylor
Location: Shreveport Louisiana

To Mr. Bear

Hello. First I would like to say I am very pleased with your masterful piece of work, thank you for giving us a new light on the Forerunners.

But I have a question, how fast is Forerunner non-Portal slipspace speed? The book has it wear you can't pinpoint it exactly
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 04/03/2011
From: Greg Bear

Alas, the Precursor is staring hard at me right now--wants to know what happens next, and he's getting a little scary... so back to work! Thanks for the kind words, Patrick!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 04/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

Slipspace, as I understand the concept, can be bundled up and tied off to create portals. Speed seems to be about the same, but a portal can stay open for more than one transit. But I'm happy to have Halo experts put in their two cents worth on this question!
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 04/21/2011
From: sean gorosh
Location: troy MI

what do you consider you the reading level of you halo cryptum novel work?
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 05/10/2011
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Sean--I suspect a smart 6th grader would have no trouble with these novels. Anyone who's worked through a Halo game should have little difficulty--though of course the games are rated M.
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 01/09/2012
From: Vivek
Location: Bangalore, India

Dear Mr Bear,

I just finished completed the novel, and I must say it turned out beautifully. However, I am confused as the storyline seemed to break the terminals (exchanges between the Librarian and The Didact) from Halo 3. Could you help the anamoly?
 

Re: Halo: Cryptum question
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

There's a Spartan with a shock prod standing beside me as I type...
 

Halo: Cryptum
Date: 09/25/2013
From: Melissa W
Location: Independence, MO

I am a reading teacher and one of my students has read your book. I was looking for a discussion guide or comprehension questions that I can ask the student to monitor their understanding of the elements of your book. I can have the student write a book report, but since I'm not familiar with Halo at all, the student could just make up a bunch of information and I wouldn't know it.
Thanks for any help you could give.

 

Halo: Cryptum
Date: 10/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

HALO WAYPOINT (www.halowaypoint.com) is a terrific source and portal for all things HALO and even Forerunner. Check it out! Having a teacher's guide is a good idea and perhaps you should approach Tor or 343 with that notion?

'The Forge of God'

Date: 11/21/2010 From: Stephanie Baker Nicholson
Location: St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Dear Mr Bear

I have very much enjoyed your work over the years ('Blood Music' still gives me the chills thinking about it); but (to my shame) I have only just discovered 'The Forge of God' and should finish it tonight. It is one of the best, most thought-provoking and interesting books I have read in years.
Many thanks.

Regards


Stephanie
 

Re: 'The Forge of God'
Date: 11/26/2010
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear! Thanks, Stephanie. Did you read the new electronic version or a paper version?
 

Re: 'The Forge of God'
Date: 12/03/2010
From: Dave Saunders
Location: Corby, Northamptonshire, England

Hi Stephanie,

I hope you found the final throws of the dying Earth as intensely moving as I did. Not only is this my favourite series of books by Greg, but FoG is one of my favourite books, period.

Greg manages to capture the human spirit like no other sci-fi author I've read. Eon and Eternity are good examples of this, where Greg employs a fantastic concept and handles it masterfully, as seen through the eye of humanity, warts and all.

There was talk of a movie script of FoG a few years back, but it's been as long since I posted on Greg's site (sorry Greg, been very busy) so I'm in the dark regarding any progress. I'm not sure many movie studios would consider it a goer now anyway, what with movies such as The Core, The Day After Tomorrow and more recently, 2012 (a terrible movie IMO) all touching on aspects of FoG's plot, albeit without any reference to aliens.

Regards

Dave...
 

Re: 'The Forge of God'
Date: 01/19/2011
From: Larry Reeve
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

I have just completed a rereading of Forge and Anvil and I can't thank you enough for writing them. Forge in particular is one of the most haunting tales I've read. It is one of those books that affects my mood for a long time after.

FYI: This reading of the books was on a Kindle. But I have an old SF Book Club edition of Forge and a paperback of Anvil in case of battery failure.

Best regards,

Larry
 

Re: 'The Forge of God'
Date: 01/19/2011
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Larry! Kindle edition of FORGE OF GOD just arrived a couple of months ago. More eReads editions to come!

Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.

Date: 11/19/2010 From: Glen Srigley
Location: Montreal

The subject line says it all. C'mon, we love you in Canada. Let us read you in all formats!

Thanks

Glen
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 11/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Did not know that! Orbit USA controls the electronic rights. I'll see what's up.
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 11/24/2010
From: Doug Flaherty
Location: Toronto

Waited and waited for the November 22 launch, and only then found out that I couldn't get it. I'm bummed.
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 11/26/2010
From: Greg Bear

Still researching this problem. Could be a division of rights.
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 12/23/2010
From: Todd Sandrock
Location: Ottawa ON

:( So that's why I can't buy it for my Kindle.

Quite disappointing as there have been a number of great reviews and was looking forward to reading it.

Todd
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 12/28/2010
From: Greg Bear

Still no answers. Might lie in the division of rights with Canadian distributors. But let me know if that block continues much longer.
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 12/30/2010
From: Kevin Ryan
Location: Paradise, NL

I've enjoyed your work for almost 30 years. Keep it coming!

(Too bad 'free trade' doesn't really exist - a difference in Kindle availability is ridiculous .. I was looking forward to reading it over the break)
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 01/01/2011
From: Greg Bear

One can always buy the physical book, of course. Without being called a retro geek... Hope the situation in Canada changes soon!
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 01/12/2011
From: John Lawrence
Location: Reading, UK

Piling on here - I'm in the UK, got a Kindle to Christmas

I was looking forward to getting Hull Zero Three right onto my Kindle as one of my first purchases (and Mariposa too) but we're in the same situation.

City at the End of Time and earlier books seem to be available (although there are a few other strange gaps - e.g. Darwin's Radio but not Darwin's Children).

Hope your publisher can figure out the rights issues soon...
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 01/13/2011
From: Greg Bear

HULL ZERO THREE is not yet published in book form in the UK, so the electronic version wouldn't be available until then, or shortly thereafter. While you're waiting, you might want to pick up the newly e-released FORGE OF GOD or, of course, CITY or MARIPOSA.
 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 01/14/2011
From: John Lawrence
Location: Reading UK

Thanks Greg!

Actually, the good news is that Hull Zero Three was released in hardback on Nov 22nd... I'm trying to cut down on hardbacks though, because the weight/size issue when I'm travelling, but I may not be able to be patient enough to wait for the paperback :)

Mariposa isn't on the Kindle store yet either in the UK :-(

 

Re: Disappointed that Kindle version of Hull Zero Three is not available in Canada.
Date: 01/14/2011
From: Greg Bear

You can buy MARIPOSA for Kindle (internationally) and many of my back titles through e-reads at www.ereads.com. And be assured: the hardback of HULL ZERO THREE is both attractive, and easily portable!

thank you

Date: 11/14/2010 From: Sha'Tara
Location: Chilliwack, B.C., Canada

I just wanted to say "thank you". Re-reading "The Wind from a Burning Woman" anthology. Most of your books are sitll on my shelves. Eon, probably my favorite. Oh, and we're in the same age bracket, if that means anything. Loved your "authorial interference" in Burning Woman intro. Live long and Prosper! Sha'Tara
 

Re: thank you
Date: 11/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Sha 'Tara! Always happy to correspond with twenty-somethings.

Browse the 13th century in style

Date: 11/10/2010 From: Jon Kroll
Location: Ann Arbor

Enjoy this Mongoliad-inspired Google Chrome web browser theme:
http://mongoliad.com/pedia/User:jonkrollrx7

http://interneticon.com/jonkroll/screenshot_newtab.jpg

More information about Google Chrome web browser:
http://www.google.com/chrome

More information about Google Chrome themes:
https://tools.google.com/chrome/intl/en/themes/google.html

Best regards, Jon K
Greg Bear super-fan
Ann Arbor Michigan
 

Re: Browse the 13th century in style
Date: 11/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jon! These look cool. I'll pass them along to team Mongoliad.

Tro shink

Date: 11/09/2010 From: Brian Myers
Location: Auckland NZ

I recently re-read "Queen of Angels" - my initial reading was maybe 10 years ago. I googled "tro shink" and found your message board archives - not much there on that phrase, though.

Towards the end of the novel, someone says "isn't that 20th century Singapore slang?", so I asked a workmate about it - she grew up in Singapore. She told me "Tro shink" is a region and a road in Singapore, somewhat notorious as a red-light district.

regards,
Brian
 

Re: Tro shink
Date: 11/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Yet another layer to the enigma! To tell the truth, I've lost track of my original inspiration for the phrase, so this is fascinating. Thanks, Brian!
 

Re: Tro shink
Date: 11/19/2010
From: patrick
Location:

Oh, come on, Greg. Tell it like it is. Whether through age or experience - we're just losing our minds.
 

Re: Tro shink
Date: 11/26/2010
From: Greg Bear

I blame my own bacterial computers.

Cant wait til Jan 04!!!!!

Date: 11/02/2010 From: josh
Location: How specific?? california

I'm so exited for your upcoming Halo novel "Halo: Cryptum" But I'm also very worried that you will ruin this fiction I have been a fan of for most my life(i've read all the halo novels based before halo 1) , think you can pull it off based on what I've read about you but forerunners are a touchy fiction that can be easily ruined . I just have one question do you have book 2 finished (like how games are already in production before the first game is in stores)

I hope you can pull it off! I'll be reading it jan 4th = )
 

Re: Cant wait til Jan 04!!!!!
Date: 11/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Indeed, Josh, everyone has their own vision of what the Forerunners were like... Hope mine meshes with at least a few!

Your artwork.

Date: 11/02/2010 From: Larry Ernest
Location: Spotsylvania, VA

Your artwork is cool. How and where could I buy large copies of your paintings?
 

Re: Your artwork.
Date: 11/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Larry! Unavailable at the moment, but if there's enough interest, perhaps we could set up a small mail-order print business.
 

Re: Your artwork.
Date: 11/06/2010
From: Larry Ernest
Location: Spotsylvania, VA

I think if you did that, it would stir up enough interest for your fans and collectors to buy them.
 

Re: Your artwork.
Date: 11/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Ah, if only there were time!

Halo safety rating?

Date: 10/30/2010 From: aculturemind
Location:

What would you say the Halo books are going to be rated, movie-like-wise?
 

Re: Halo safety rating?
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Outside of interstellar mayhem, I think they're strictly PG.

Data Pads In Halo: Reach

Date: 10/30/2010 From: Larry Ernest
Location: Spotsylvania, VA

I was reading the transcripts in the secret data pads hidden in the Halo: Reach game, and they reminded me of your writing style. Then I remmembered that you're writing the new Halo Forerunner books, that I can't wait to read by the way. Did you write those data pad transcripts?
 

Re: Data Pads In Halo: Reach
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Not my work, but I have no doubt they're brilliant anyway. CRYPTUM arrives January 4th! And HULL ZERO THREE is out on November 22nd.
 

Re: Data Pads In Halo: Reach
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Larry Ernest
Location: Spotsylvania

I'm looking forward to Hull Zero Three as well. I preordered that and Cryptum on Amazon. I can't wait.
 

Re: Data Pads In Halo: Reach
Date: 11/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

And MARIPOSA is in paperback this very day!

Have you worked with...

Date: 10/28/2010 From: Eric Fowkes
Location: Reilingen, Germany


I was just wondering if you had ever worked with Robert Forward before he passed away. Your writing style is not the same but there are similarities there. His books were generally much more hard science than most scifi writers but they have a certain "rhythm" that seems similar to some of your books. The differences between your 2 styles would seem to compliment each other similar to the works of Niven and Pournelle.

On another note, when is your new book coming out and has there been any progress on a "Forge of God" movie?

A huge fan,
Eric
 

Re: Have you worked with...
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Eric! I did indeed spend quality time with Robert Forward back in the seventies and eighties. He was a brilliant mind, and helped me work through some conceptual and physics problems for EON among others. His books are wonders of speculation and scientific vision. His daughter, Eve Forward, is also an author of note!
 

Re: Have you worked with...
Date: 11/05/2010
From: Eric Fowkes
Location: Reilingen, Germany


I didn't know his daughter was a writer as well. I'll make a point to look up her books. My 3 favorite authors have always been Heinlein, You, and Forward. Vastly differing styles but incredible stories from each.

My wife and I still quote lines from "Dragons Egg" even though we both read it many years ago. The conceptual leap made by one of the "Cheelas" when she realized that seeds could represent pods was wonderful reading. That moment is what teachers live for and Mr. Forward captured it as well as anyone I've read.

Thanks again,
Eric

PS We also both still quote "Forge of God" using the wonderfully laconic line, "I'm sorry, but there is bad news."
 

Re: Have you worked with...
Date: 11/08/2010
From: Greg Bear

You're both great examples of why writers write! Thanks, Eric.

Screenplay for a Forge of God movie

Date: 10/26/2010 From: Chris Hyams
Location: Wiltshire, UK

Hi Greg,
Is the Forge of God still under option with Warner Bros. studios, and is a screenplay in development yet ? The story has always been there, but now visual effects are perhaps of a high enough standard to meet the book's huge scope and scale. In a perfect world, who would you have direct a future movie ?
 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

We're still working to get Ken Nolan's excellent screenplay to the big screen.
 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 10/31/2010
From: Chris Hyams
Location: Wiltshire, UK

That's good news Greg.
Assume this is the same Ken Nolan who wrote the 'Black Hawk Down' screenplay ? (and if so, would Ridley Scott be your director of choice ???).

Aside from the base material itself, how much influence/creative control do you have regarding the screenplay, or has Ken Nolan been given a completely free hand with your story ? (obviously it can't detract hugely from the original story) !, Thanks, Chris
 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 11/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Indeed, THAT Ken Nolan, and we've been meeting and communicating and comparing notes for much of that time. Ken's a terrific screenwriter, and his screenplay is also terrific.
 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 11/03/2010
From: aculturemind
Location:

Fortunately...at least I think I saw something else of his the other day that I thought was good or even great....Black Hawk Down is not the only thing he's written. (Although, it may be fair to say that the book it was drawn from was about nothing that had any story, anyways.)

Oh. No, that was Jonathan Nolan. Memento. Oh dear.
 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 11/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 02/16/2011
From: Chris Hyams
Location: Wiltshire, UK

Hi Greg, hope you're well,

It's been a few months since my last posting. Has there been much progress with the studio regarding the Forge of God's movie adaptation/screenplay ? Or is it still, as they say, in 'development hell' ? Is an Anvil of Stars screenplay also being developed in parallel with the FoG ? Lots of questions, but would really appreciate some news ! Many thanks, Chris

 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 03/08/2011
From: Greg Bear

Contract renewal for the ANVIL OF STARS project is almost complete. We're working with Ken Nolan, Vince Gerardis, Phoenix Pictures, and Warner Bros.
 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 08/11/2011
From: Jonathan Williams
Location: Washington, DC

Greg,
I'm a longtime reader of your books (relatively speaking -- starting with Infinity Concerto back in the late 80's), and am very, very happy that a film version of the Forge of God/Anvil of Stars books is in the works.

I gather from other posts that the proposed movie in question basically combines the two books? I'm curious: is there any sort of proposed time frame for filming/release? Also, do you have any actors in mind for various characters?
 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Still in development, Jonathan--with Ken Nolan combining both novels into a single film. No updates yet!
 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 01/04/2012
From: David McElroy
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Hi Greg,
I'm hoping the film is still go go go (though honestly, the book is so well done I doubt the film could improve on what your words created in my imagination), but how on earth can two books be combined into one film? Will it be 12 hours long??
I've actually read the Forge of God twice, and am just about to read Anvil of Stars, so if you have time to answer please dont tell me any spoilers, but really, are you concerned at all that by condensing the story, some of the deep emotion the book creates could be lost?

Thanks,

David
 

Re: Screenplay for a Forge of God movie
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

Movies and books are completely different animals--and both have to make their own paths and fit their own rules. No spoilers! Still in process.

Any updates/progress with Forge of God -- Anvil of Stars film(s)?

Date: 10/22/2010 From: John S
Location: Western MA

Just doing my quarterly status update :)

I am worried that we will actually be destroyed by self-replicating von neumann killer probes before these books ever get made into movies. Either that, or we'll be snuffed out by an asteroid.
 

Re: Any updates/progress with Forge of God -- Anvil of Stars film(s)?
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Funny you should mention that! I'm getting worried, too. Patience is a virtue!

Mongol

Date: 10/21/2010 From: aculturemind
Location:

This is merely associatory. The other night I watched the recent Mongol. I thought it was excellent. The depictions of the those people, their (some might say) lack of expression, were so powerful. If not familiar, you might like it.
 

Re: Mongol
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

I've also enjoyed MONGOL and GENGHIS KAHN. As well, BABIES takes a different approach--with a lovely view of a moden Mongolian family raising an infant on the steppes. The window/goat bath scene is not to be missed.

SEASON'S CREEPINGS

Date: 10/16/2010 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA


The air is crisp and all things shifting like sweet wax.

Not a year for epic poetry...instead I send a couple of shorter efforts your way.

A Happy Sigh-Fie Autumn to all!


Ishanaxade

(inspired by Greg Bear's City at the End of Time)

Might not a skygirl so subtle she
Reconciles timeline insanity,
If I denied my world utterly,
Smile and extend my humanity?

Beleaguered by my degradation,
"Ishanaxade, hear me," I pined,
"Reweaver of tangled causation,
Flesh abandons me! Fear fills my mind!

"Mystical oracle, I implore,
Wend my way in your sun-travelling!
Crypto-historical Lost Lenore,
Mend my gray tenure's unravelling!"

Laughter, the least ill she gave me back,
Thanatos gloated, time grew,
Habit had creased will a deeper track
Than an old poet's rhyme knew

Sly Ishanaxade, take me!
I fade in your particle dance,
Time and anatomy break me,
Unmake our sardonic romance!


The Abandoned One

Deep within a silent wood,
beneath the curving flanks and
woven arches of enormous roots
all cold and smooth with slime

Deep where blacker than mere
mortal night lie velvet shadow-
webs and lichen-lacquered boulders
older far than any rhyme

Deep where pallid fungi sleep
and muted waters wind and seep,
unthinking, into crevices
and bedrock way below

Deeper yet than life on land
--than anything men understand--
under fossil-bearing shales,
past stony squids and bony whales,
beyond the voids of solid rock
where frozen creatures gape in shock
at limestone currents brushing fans
of polyp-growths like reaching hands

Deep the eager moisture crawls
to wet the black and waxen walls
of cavities whose atmosphere no
lung has ever known

Cavities? Nay, excavations!
of a race whose earthly stations
(left behind or plague-infected,
either way now long-neglected)
hide a brooding thing rejected
by both death and hell

Left behind when starfolk went
back to their native firmament,
left in deeps now cluttered by
the fragments of each smaller
outgrown shell

Jagged hemispheres of lime,
the litter larger over time,
first like nuts with little holes
whence tiny eyes as blind as moles'
once peeked, or wormlike stems unfurled
their poison tips, like flowers from some
nightmare-haunted world

So small, the older crusts,
the smallest now dissolved in dusts,
so easy once to overlook,
when twisting madness-shadows took
their leave and hastened
back above the clouds

A pet, perhaps, or living toy,
too trivial to be destroyed,
which over empty aeons grew
into a mammoth vessel-thing
of idiotic hate!

Stems thick as refrigerators,
thrust from rigid, bony craters
flex and strain in tunnels now
too small for them to move!

Hairy over every part
with rooty fibers from its heart
that ever creep and crack their way
in search of open air!

For as our Milky Way revolved
ten thousand times, the thing evolved,
a billion years all blindly spent
at hoarding each rare element,
no plan but only sluggish hunger,
habit writ in flesh when younger
laws of nature bubbled forth from
time's chaotic froth

An age between each peeling,
every carapace revealing
some new horror as the sleeping germ
sucked wet, unworthy grit

Sucked until a mind was lit which,
flick'ring still, will soon blaze bright,
which gropes already up toward light
in sudden, rushing, conscious integration!

Fibers rising into wood of
mighty trunks that long have stood
all shaggy-black and gallant 'gainst
a sky so seldom watched!

Fibers from another star
yet older on this Earth by far
than anything biology has shown!
From a world where nothing dies,
where any worm may mount the skies,
all scuttling things like gods, become,
if only they avoid the belly
of some more ambitious jelly

A nugget from beyond the void,
that might as soon have been destroyed,
a pet perhaps, but never dead,
immortal in its rocky bed,
but breaking, now, into the dawn,
a bright encircling faerie lawn,
pink-and-petaled points atipping
slender stems soon to be gripping,
feeding on, all flesh--the greedy
tentacles of Earth!

Ever eating and absorbing!
Ever changing, rearranging!
Evermore the globe become
its flesh and burning brain!
Eyes as large as cities!
Open mouths like hungry canyons!
All that lives today tormented
underneath its heaving skin!
Seized and fed into red chasms!
Shredded in hot, bloody spasms!
Tentacles like dancing mountains!
Oceans gone in acid fountains!
Telepathic emanations
Searching scattered stellar nations!
Wings of darkness beating!
Leaving sun and moon behind!
Screaming solid mind!
Archon Host!
Black Lies!
Must Find!
Blood and Pain!
Doom!
Doom!
Doom!

Gail's hair and long dress rode the air like veils of
mist as she ran in the early light. "What unusual
flowers!" she called to the young man behind, who
trudged through the weird, wet grass with a heavy
wicker basket. "Forget the forest," she laughed, "we'll
picnic here, in this meadow..."



 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Again, Wow, Bill! I'll pass these gems along to Mr. Lovecraft at our next meeting of the Nameless Ones. Happy Halloween!
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Aha! I always suspected that you hailed from dark and charnel cosmic spaces beyond all ken. Sup well at Samhain's feast!
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 11/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Actually, Halloween comes on November 2 this year...

Thanks again, 18 years later

Date: 10/12/2010 From: Gerard Earley
Location: Wimbledon, London, England

Dear Greg
I'm taking great pleasure in writing this to you from my home in London, England.

Today I decided to list your book Eon on my Science Fiction Book Club's reading list for December(http://www.sciencefictionbookclub.org/calendar/15081899/). I read Eon the week it was published here in the UK in 1987, at the tender age of 16.

It blew my mind.

Just a few moments ago I pulled Eon off my book shelf, where it was been patiently resting until it would be once again pressed into service and I was greeted by a short personal message you wrote in my copy at a signing in 1992.

So 18 years on, thank you so much for all the pleasure your books have given me over the years.

I'm looking forward to others journeying down The Way with me, once again.

Gerard
 

Re: Thanks again, 18 years later
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Gerard! It's high time to come back to London and visit again! Looks like HULL ZERO THREE will be published by Gollancz in England next year.

Thank you for your talent!

Date: 10/11/2010 From: Casey
Location: Austin, TX

Mr. Bear,

Just a quick note to say that I love your work, and thank you for gracing us with your talents! Oh, and a reminder that Austin is pretty nice in the late Fall! Great bookstores! :)
 

Re: Thank you for your talent!
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Casey! It's been far too long since I've been through Austin!

Amazon Listing for first Halo Forerunner Book - Jan 4, 2011??!!

Date: 10/11/2010 From: Mike Morgan
Location: NC

Mr Bear,
I have seen the listing for "Untitled Forerunner Novel #1" at Amazon and it states January 4, 2011. Is this a concrete date for the first book of this trilogy?

Sincerely,
Mike Morgan
 

Re: Amazon Listing for first Halo Forerunner Book - Jan 4, 2011??!!
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Definitely! The title is FORERUNNER: CRYPTUM.

possible old friend from crawford high?

Date: 10/11/2010 From: toni johnson
Location: san diego

Hi Greg. I remember your interest in writing from high school days. over the years I have enjoyed reading many of your books. I especially enjoyed your contribution to the foundation series. I felt it was the closest of the "three B's" to follow the "one A'z" style. We have both changed a bit over the years but see if your can recognize me. Go to the youtube browser and type in the word depressamine. yes I was the class clown. Have fun. toni.
 

Re: possible old friend from crawford high?
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Toni! Now wait I minute--I thought I was the class clown! Or Scott Shaw! There was a lot of competition back then... Good to hear from you.

Greetings from ElsterCon veteran

Date: 10/10/2010 From: Bernard
Location: Cologne, Germany

Hi Greg and Astrid,

I hope you had a safe trip home and took some enjoyable memories of our little Germany and especially Leipzig. I really enjoyed meeting you there and am happy to see the cool picture of us on your facebook site. I also have some pictures, e.g. from our panel, which I will eMail you if you let me know an eMail address.
I meanwhile found out the English title of the book I highly recommend about the battle in the Teutoburger Wald; it is "The Quest for the Lost Roman Legions" by British author Tony Clunn. Maybe it is because I am born in that area, but to me this story of the battle that marked the end of the Roman expansion in the North is one of the most thrilling real-life tales I ever read.
The other book I mentioned to Astrid is "Dark Reflections" by Kai Meyer. This includes the whole "Merle"-trilogy, Kai's best-selling work. The individual books seem to have various English titles, and I am not 100% sure which is which in the German edition - "The Flowing Queen" is probably the first, "The Water Mirror" might be the same book. "The Stone Light" and "The Glass Word" are probably parts 2 and 3. However, I recommend the whole series, so "Dark Reflections" would be the right one. You will find it very European, I suppose - it is Fantasy, but it is deeply rooted in the fairy tales of our old continent and the Mediterranean area.

Hope to hear from you some time,

Bernard
 

Re: Greetings from ElsterCon veteran
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Bernard! We certainly had a fine time in Leipzig, and it was wonderful to meet one of my translators! You should find some of our pictures posted on Facebook, including, I believe, your own! Thanks for the references and recommendations. And thanks as well to all who helped arrange for our lovely visit!

Dig this! - stem cells that don't age

Date: 10/05/2010 From: aculturemind
Location:

http://www.aolhealth.com/2010/10/04/scientists-create-stem-cells-that-dont-age/?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl5%7Csec3_lnk1%7C175334

Bible plargism?

Date: 10/02/2010 From: Arthur Wickson
Location: Niantic, CT

In "Foundation and Chaos" page 143 when Daneel visists Hari Seldon before he is arrested I was dismayed to find biblical passages rewritten. 'Hari heald out his hands, and wailed, "Release me, Daneel! Take all of this off my shoulders!'
Very much like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane pleading to God to take his burden before he was arrested.
Hari being Jesus and Daneel being God.
The rest of the book was terrific!!!!
 

Re: Bible plargism?
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Arthur! I don't recall making a conscious parallel, but it is striking.

Quantico

Date: 10/02/2010 From: Mark Brown
Location: Marion,In.

Mr. Bear
Just finished your novel "Quantico", can only suggest a course on enemy identification.
 

Re: Quantico
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

As in, "We have met the enemy and he is us?"

That's from POGO, of course.

 

Re: Quantico
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Mike McCormick
Location: Ottawa

A great book! I 'googled' your name looking for another to buy and this website came up. I can truly say this is one of the first fiction novels, in the past several years, that i have not skimmed sections (due to lack of imaginative content)and completely enjoyed the ride...way to go Greg.
Mike
 

Re: Quantico
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Mike!
 

question
Date: 10/11/2010
From: mark brennan
Location: framingham ma

how many books do you write a year
 

Re: Quantico
Date: 10/22/2010
From: Charles
Location: Florida

Quantico/Mariposa: superb 'thinking-man's' thrillers. May I ask about the next volume in the series?
 

question
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

The last couple of years, about one and a half! But some books take much longer.
 

Re: Quantico
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

On hiatus for the time being, while I finish the HALO FORERUNNERS trilogy and one more novel, still in early concept stage. Thanks for the kind words, Charles!

Hegira vs City

Date: 09/28/2010 From: Jason Taylor
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

I read Hegira in the 90's and loved it. And read City as soon as the bookstore could put it on the shelf. It is always interesting to read an early writer's view on what essentially involves the same topic, the end and eventual beginning of a universe. I bet a shrink could babble on about the younger Bear vs the older Bear, but I'll just enjoy both of these for what they are, good books.
 

Re: Hegira vs City
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jason! I also touched on the end of the universe in ETERNITY and a shorter work, "Judgment Engine."
 

Re: Hegira vs City
Date: 10/05/2010
From: aculturemind
Location:

Judgement Engine is *the pinnacle* of metaphorical and transcendent thought.

And, something aural to accompany this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd3FSSJsg6E&feature=related
 

Re: Hegira vs City
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

A fine Stockhausen performance. Thanks!

Great Book

Date: 09/21/2010 From: Julian Morales
Location: San Jose, CA

Dear Greg Bear,
The first book I read that you wrote was the Forge of God. A well written and emotional book. I was expecting the same from Eon. When I had bought the book, I simply needed something to keep me occupied. As it turned out, I was truly exhilarated and could never sleep without reading that next page. Wow, it really kept me up. I may just be a 13 year old boy but its easy to spot a good book when I see one. Eon had simple story line, but with complex twists and turns. I would would never had imagined a whole civilization within an asteroid, let alone singularities and endless caverns. The intricate descriptions left open ends so that I, the reader, could imagine the setting and personalities of characters. Over the years, I have been intrigued by physics and it limits. My father and grandfather, who is a professor, both enjoy talking to me about relativity and quantum physics. Now that I think about it, I never researched the plausibility of that book, although the Forge of God and Darwin's Radio both had some basis in scientific theory. Iv'e grown to trust you in the scientific aspects of your books. Do you research before you write, or is it that you the concepts beforehand? I admit that some of the content in your is pretty unbelievable. One more question: Why do many of your books' titles have references to god. For example: The Forge of God. I just wanted you to know that your book, Eon, was great. Thanks for reading.
Sincerely, Julian Morales
 

Re: Great Book
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Julian! I do try to keep my science up to the level where actual scientists can enjoy the novels. And I'm researching all the time, one way or the other! Now ask your father and grandfather if they believe a "pi-meter" is possible...

Society of Mind and Transactional analysis

Date: 09/20/2010 From: kurt9
Location: Portland, Oregon

Your novel, "Queen of Angels", has prompted me to review both Marvin Minsky's "Society of Mind" and Eric Berne's "Transactional Analysis". I know this was discussed several years ago here. I think both concepts are quite good. Transactional Analysis is more rooted in the Freudian stages of life stuff (childhood, parent, etc.) where as "Society of Mind" is not. I suspect the real story is some blend of these two concepts.

I know I was critical of "Society of Mind" in the past, because I considered "Transactional Analysis" to be more rooted in "real" psychological experiences. However, I think both concepts are necessary to understand the human psyche.

I was wondering if anyone has considered both of these concepts together in an effort to understand the human mind as well as to develop A.I.
 

Re: Society of Mind and Transactional analysis
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Sounds like you're ready for Julian Jaynes!
 

Re: Society of Mind and Transactional analysis
Date: 10/02/2010
From: kurt9
Location: Portland, Oregon

I read Julian Jaynes a long time ago (late 80's I think). I think his idea has merit. No one has followed up on it as far as I know.

In any case, the idea of human consciousness being a system consisting of subselves is probably correct and is necessary to both understand human consciousness (and psychology) as well as to develop effective A.I. It does not seem to me that this approach is popular among researchers in either field right now.
 

Re: Society of Mind and Transactional analysis
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

It is, however, quite popular among computer designers and engineers.

Grateful

Date: 09/17/2010 From: Stefan Johansson
Location: Renton WA

I have just finished Asimov's Foundation books,now at Benford's, and you're up next with "Foundation and Chaos." What a ride so far! I chuckled a bit thinking that little gekko on TV is using psychohistory to figure out how much to charge me for insurance. It's not always a pen you and your peers are holding, it's a flashlight, illuminating a bored and routine life. I drive a bus and felt a connection to "watching the Empire decay from the ground up". I am grateful to all of you for your imagination and brilliance, I'm enjoying every word. Now it's a damn shame I'm not watching a TV miniseries from all this brilliant material instead of the same crap repeated every day. I turned off the TV and opened these books. Thanks for the joy.
 

Re: Grateful
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

A FOUNDATION TV show is a terrific idea, Stefan...
 

Re: Grateful
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach

Actually, it is!

Makes you think also and seperately of how well television-intermediate might suit the gestural qualities of an amount of the Bear canon.

C.

Thank you for the inspiration

Date: 09/16/2010 From: Matei Apostolescu
Location: Romania, EU

Mr. Bear,

I wanted to thank you for the inspiration that you provided over the years through your books.
Your vision has really changed the way I perceive reality and this has had a deep impact on my work (I'm an illustrator digital artist, you can check my work @ www.013a.com)

Thank you again for the inspiration, looking forward for your next book,
Matei Apostolescu
 

Re: Thank you for the inspiration
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear from you, Matei!

Forge of God ebook?

Date: 09/15/2010 From: Davis Gentry
Location: Richmond, VA

Is The Forge of God available in ebook yet?

btw - I enjoyed Mariposa.
 

Re: Forge of God ebook?
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Bill. We get a lot of requests for this one in ebook format--soon, I hope!

Thanks

Date: 09/09/2010 From: Mike Rose
Location: Phoenix, AZ

I am a recent lower limb amputee. My current situation gives me plenty of free time to read. My mother (knowing my love of the Star Wars universe) buys me a copy of "Rogue Planet". It was the best SW book I've read. I am planning on reading your other novels but was wondering if you were planning on doing any more SW stuff?
 

Re: Thanks
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Mike! Good to hear from you. No more STAR WARS books in the works, but I am working on the FORERUNNER trilogy based on the early years of the Halo universe, first volume coming out this January. As well, I've got thirty other novels out there well worth your attention! And in November, HULL ZERO THREE is due from Orbit, a major update and new take on the possibilities of interstellar travel.

Thanks--

Greg

Dead Lines & The Uninvited

Date: 09/07/2010 From: Hector Cepeda
Location: Valencia, CA

Hello, Mr. Bear.

Having recently seen that incredibly spooky, 1944 British ghost flick  The Uninvited  I was reminded of a certain approach I clearly sensed in your equally eerie Dead Lines. As far as the ghostly manifestations, both works presented them in a relatively unadorned matter-of-fact way that only made the situations more plausible, effectively intensifying the creepiness and chill. I was wondering if you've ever seen The Uninvited and, if so, if that had any influence on Dead Lines. If not, then I highly recommend that you do watch it (I envy the first-timers), and in the daytime unless you don't mind jumping at shadows the rest of the night.

Bye. (Or Boo.)
 

Re: Dead Lines & The Uninvited
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Hector! THE UNINVITED is one of my favorites--some genuinely spooky moments delivered with style. Another major influence: THE HAUNTING (1960s version), based on the excellent HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson. I'm a big fan of ghost stories and movies, if you haven't already guessed!

Question for upcoming Forerunner novels

Date: 09/07/2010 From: Tyler Radka
Location: Westminster California

Hello Mr. Bear,

During one of my research stroles through the net I came across the anouncment that you were going to write a trilogy about the forerunners from the Halo universe. Among many things I'd like to thank you for turning your attention to this largely untaped subject. Personally I am absolutely fascinated with the mythology behind the forerunners and how they lived. To think of a race, not so dissimilar from our own, managed to create an empire that spaned most of the milky way galaxy and some how instilled their sence of peace and justice on others to the point where they were about to cast aside their weapons to further persue means of words rather than war. Needless to say it peaked my interest. But I'm curious as to how you intend to expand on this blank point in history. More specifiaclly, what events and or people will you be using as your inspiration to write these novels? I ask this because I too am in the process of writing my own plot for a sci fi world. I won't go into the details, but I would greatly appreciate the input of a seasoned science fiction author such as yoru self. I've asked many people from my school about my work, but their knowledge on the subject is next to non existent, despite most of them being gammers like my self. My work is centered mostly on the wars of humanity and the "evils" that inspire them. If you would be willing to respond to these questions and give me some advice on your format of imagination I would be greatly apreciated.

Thankyou,

Tyler Radka
 

Re: Question for upcoming Forerunner novels
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Tyler! These are all excellent questions, but I'm going to have to hold off providing firm answers until January, when the first book hits the shelves. I'll start the second volume soon. I can say that there are going to be many confirmations of what we've long expected or suspected, but some real surprises--and a few real shockers, as well. More soon!

UFO's; do aliens have no imagination?

Date: 09/03/2010 From: Alex
Location: st neots

Why are UFOs all so similar and tedious in their behaviour?

If I had the keys to a UFO, it might amuse me for like, a few days, zooming around with my friends laughing at the terrified reactions of the people whos car I shined my spot light. But it would get old wouldnt it? Sooner or later youd give the keys to Ban Ki Moon and retire to build space yachts, or something, right?

When I was a kid my mum read John Christpopher's chilling Tripod stories. I remember the first book when they arrive, the army find a dissectrd farmers corpse nearby, then invaders emerge and create a cult of human supporters using nanotech neural laces to prepare for a fullscale take over.
They only had a few hundred years of tech on us, hence the need to coerce us into a labour force.
Youd think any alien AI worth its silicon would be able to know everything about us or turn the sun inside out from light years away, so why the spooky looking Greys and the metal implants and the dissected cows?

And yet with all that, and their nutty glowing ball ships that we can actually see with our naked eyes, theyre really disciplined about not revealing anything through observation of their civilizations from space, like wars or giant artefacts or obviously engineered stars. Everything out there seems just as youd expect given entropy and time.
What do people here think? Are they just teenagers from another dimension?

 

Re: UFO's; do aliens have no imagination?
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

Actually, back in the 19th and early twentieth centuries, UFOs took on a startling variety of shapes--many of them definitely dirigible-like. Very steam-punkish!
 

Re: UFO's; do aliens have no imagination?
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Maybe they're machines who've just been out there too long. Relics of a dead civilization, drifting from star to star without guidance or plan, acting out meaningless fragments of a corrupted program. The little grays are synthetic avatars, fearfully advanced but rather stupid. They have no idea why they like to fly loop-de-loops and mutilate cows; these behaviors are degraded forms of activities that made sense in some very different time and place. There's still a chance that they'll reboot, of course. Then they'll shape up, apologize, and ask the cows how on Earth they trained those crazy monkeys to drive automobiles.

In Biblical times people apparently saw wheels and ladders. Later it was succubi and incubi that came out of the air and interbred with us. Science replaced magic and the little green men changed from elves to aliens. Carl Jung's last book was on flying saucers; he believed the disks were "mandalas" representing a wholeness felt to be missing from our modern world.
 

Re: UFO's; do aliens have no imagination?
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

Sounds like the makings of a novel, Bill!

Will you write another Darwin book?

Date: 08/26/2010 From: Velvet
Location: Knoxville, Tn

I love the Darwin books so much, but I always want more after the books are done. Do you have plans to write another book in the series? I hope so. Thanks, have a great day!
Velvet
 

Re: Will you write another Darwin book?
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

Always a possibility! But not for a while yet. Thanks, Velvet.

The Forge of God

Date: 08/20/2010 From: Tom Rote
Location: Hedgesville, WV

I have just read the book "The Forge of God". Thanks for a great book!
 

Re: The Forge of God
Date: 08/24/2010
From: Greg Bear

My pleasure, Tom! Now on to ANVIL OF STARS...
 

Re: The Forge of God
Date: 12/12/2010
From: Rodney Payne
Location: Essex, England

I'm re-reading this and Anvil of Stars and it never ceases to amaze me how great this bookis. Both of them have truly great endings.

I did read somewhere a while ago that there was a movie option for the Forge of God and that there was a possibility that you were going to write a third book for the series. Is this true? Is there any further news?
 

Re: The Forge of God
Date: 12/27/2010
From: Greg Bear

Still under option, still in the works! Third book not yet contracted for. Thanks, Rodney.

Darwin's Radio - prophetic

Date: 08/19/2010 From: Marc Cooperman
Location: New Jersey

Greg,

Loved your book Darwin's Radio. Thought you'd be interested in this news item I came across

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/science/20gene.html

concerns the activation of 'dead genes' that cause disease.

spooky!
 

Re: Darwin's Radio - prophetic
Date: 08/24/2010
From: Greg Bear

Pretty wild, huh? But there was already evidence some years back that so-called moribund or broken gene fragments could be "resurrected" and reactivated. That poly-A tail, by the by, might imply this was a transposon-copied sequence. Transposons are those famous "jumping genes."

news note

Date: 08/19/2010 From: Scott E. Green
Location: Manchester NH

I am now doing a poetry marketing blog for sf/f/h markets www.greengenrepoetry.blogspot.com .

I also do the poetry page for www.AboutSf.com which I am sure you are fmiliar with. If you have a poem that you would like to post, please get in touch with me.
 

Re: news note
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Scott! Good news. I'm not writing much poetry at the moment, but that's sure to change...

Thank You

Date: 08/18/2010 From: tony adamich
Location: california

Hello,

I was in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan when I found your book on the shelf in the library. I was going through a breakdown of sorts, and my mind needed an escape. The cover caught my eye, and upon testing out the first page, I was hooked. When things got bad, I'd escape into the Stone, captivated by the imagery of a world I wished every day was real. I'm out now, but still read it over and over, and just recently - to my happy surprise - I learned it is part of a trilogy, and plan on jumping back into that world as soon as I find the other two. Thank you for creating this, it is bar none my favorite book to date, and I have it to thank for saving my sanity in my darkest hour.

Sincerely,

Tony
 

Re: Thank You
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Very good to hear from you, Tony! And thanks. I'm deeply gratified to know my book provided at least some relief. I can't even begin to imagine the pressures and the stresses our troops and auxiliary personnel experience over there. Keep in touch and let us know how it's going.

The Magnetosphere, Global Warming and the Earths Core

Date: 08/10/2010 From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania

I've been looking into climate change in relation to the North and South magnetic poles, I have wondered what will happen to the magnetosphere if the the Northern ice cap melts? The magnetosphere is apparently produced by the earths core and the main magnetic polarities feed out of the North and South magnetic poles, the ice cap acts as a barrier to magnetic and electric fields influencing their behavior - if the ice cap at the North pole melts, surely this will influence the magnetosphere and possibly even the core of the earth.

If magnetic and electric fields are able to traverse an area of open salty water the effects on the magnetosphere could be substantial maybe even causing the core of the earth to shift alignment and alter the magnetospheres properties around the planet.

I am still looking into concept this does anyone have any ideas?
 

Re: The Magnetosphere, Global Warming and the Earths Core
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

I suspect larger forces are at work in pole reversals, larger and deeper. Ice doesn't much affect magnetic fields, I think. But I'm happy to entertain objections! (And remember, magnetic fields are incredibly weak, especially compared to gravity.)
 

Re: The Magnetosphere, Global Warming and the Earths Core
Date: 08/20/2010
From: Aaron
Location: Tasmania


By "shifting alignment" I meant changing the position although not radically enough to change polarity completely! Maybe just accelerating the North magnetic pole more to geographic North and altering the Magnetosphere's range and trajectory, like a contact lense the ice cap is thin and small but can influence the magnetosphere in general.

You heard it first folks!!(2012)

G'day Greg

Date: 08/07/2010 From: Gary ward
Location: Australia

G'day Greg, my dad is huge fan of yours and with your new book Hull Zero Three coming out in November, I was wondering if it was possible to get a signed copy from yourself and then posted to Perth,Austalia, as this would really make his Christmas.
Regards. Gary
 

Re: G'day Greg
Date: 08/24/2010
From: Greg Bear

Not sure that's practical from a time standpoint, Gary, but there will likely be signed copies available from University Book Store that you can order, and if you put your father's name in the request, I'm sure they will pass that along to me.
 

Re: G'day Greg
Date: 08/25/2010
From: GARY
Location: PERTH, AUSTRALIA

G'day Greg,
Thanks for getting back to me, sorry for the stupid question, but when you say "signed copies available from University book store" is that a particular University or will any one be able to do this?

Regards, Gary
 

Re: G'day Greg
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

University Book Store in Seattle, near the University of Washington.

Hull Zero Three return to grand tradition?

Date: 08/06/2010 From: Mike D.
Location: Rayong, Thailand

I was excited to read of the imminent release of your space-based sci-fi novel Hull Zero Three. I've always hoped, after beginning to read sci-fi with The Way and Forge of God series, that you'd return to the space setting. The synopsis draws parallels with other books such as Brunner's A Maze of Stars, Aldiss's Non-Stop and James White's The Dream Millennium.

And it is auspiciously released on my birthday. Looking forward to it very much!
 

Re: Hull Zero Three return to grand tradition?
Date: 08/17/2010
From: Greg Bear

Indeed! To which I have to add ORPHANS OF THE SKY and CAPTIVE UNIVERSE and THE STARLOST on TV long ago. It's always fun and challenging to dip into a classic theme and play new riffs, and I think HULL ZERO THREE does that.

I wish you a happy birthday in advance, Mike!
 

Re: Hull Zero Three return to grand tradition?
Date: 08/18/2010
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach

Great to hear about this new book coming. Afraid I had conflated it with the coming work on the Halo game universe.

Looking forward ;)

Aurorae over Seattle?

Date: 08/03/2010 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Heads up...big coronal mass ejection might make northern lights visible even in the U.S. tonight/tomorrow: http://www.examiner.com/x-27474-Astronomy-Examiner~y2010m8d3-Aurora-borealis-activity-likely-August-34-2010-from-solar-Coronal-Mass-Ejection-CME
 

Re: Aurorae over Seattle?
Date: 08/18/2010
From: Greg Bear

Alas, we saw nothing!
 

Re: Aurorae over Seattle?
Date: 08/18/2010
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Aurora Bore.
 

Re: Aurorae over Seattle?
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

Ever seen the Aurora Cialis? If it lasts for more than four hours, see your optometrist.
 

Re: Aurorae over Seattle?
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Still a spectacle when Viagra falls.
 

Re: Aurorae over Seattle?
Date: 08/24/2010
From: Greg Bear

Viagra Falls? Slowly I turned, step by step...

Stop that!

Is the iPad a slate?

Date: 08/02/2010 From: Simon Woodworth
Location: Cork, Ireland

Dear Mr Bear,

I've had my shiny new iPad for ten days now and I've just realised - it's a slate, as described in Eon! It was only 5 or so years late as well. And using its WiFi or 3G capability you can link it to a more powerful 'processor' as well. I've already used mine to hook up to my Ubuntu server. They'll have to prise it from my cold, dead hands ....

Best wishes and thanks for many happy years reading your books.
Simon.
 

Re: Is the iPad a slate?
Date: 08/17/2010
From: Greg Bear

Cool! Soon you'll be able to use your "slate" to link into MONGOLIAD, Lit+ and a new mode of publishing! Check it out on Facebook!

ComicCon 2010: Doctor Who Finale and Time Themes from CITY.

Date: 07/29/2010 From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights

Just found out you were there,and were not. The one major external event we went to was a bust.

Being at Con...did you have a chance to catch the Series Finale for Doctor Who. Thematic Simularities to the end of CITY...and sorta points out why I once said the TARDIS would avoid such a state...it would make things worse!

My wife had to watch the finale twice, and I had to reference The Temporal Metaphysics from CITY to explain what was happening to time collapsing in that episode.

At least they didn't call the Cracks in Time "Fractured Eternity"....but it appears to me that the writers for this series of Doctor Who, and the Two hour Finale for David Tennant's tenure as the Doctor...with the theme of the destruction of Time...it's apparent to me that the writers have been reading and inspired by CITY, but being extremely careful NOT to lift to directly.

Oh Greg, that whole thing about MEMORY and TIME and people being reconciled in and out of the time line was such an echo of the same themes in CITY.

This is probably it for me for a while. I barely have time for FB...back to my second full time job of Primary Caregiver...I spent the entire months of April and May with no time to read any books...novels or otherwise. Doris Lessing and Olaf Stapledon finally solved that.

Unfortunately,I don't have any unread Greg Bear laying about.

Hope you had a better time @Con and Con-week than we did.

Mike Glosson
Exhausted and Angsty in San Diego.
 

Re: ComicCon 2010: Doctor Who Finale and Time Themes from CITY.
Date: 08/17/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Mike! We had a good, busy time at Comic-Con, and seem to be heading to NYC Comic-Con this October...

New novel HULL ZERO THREE coming from Orbit this Fall/Winter. HALO FORERUNNERS #1 almost done.

I thoroughly enjoyed the new Doctor Who Season, including the finale. There is a gentle overall touch of CITY there, which I find pleasing. Also catching Moffat's contemporary SHERLOCK HOLMES reboot, which is fun and clever.
 

Re: ComicCon 2010: Doctor Who Finale and Time Themes from CITY.
Date: 08/18/2010
From: Chris
Location: England

I've watched the new Sherlock Holmes too. Very good indeed. And there are enough little references to the Conan Doyle books to enjoy spotting. - I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen them yet but - Like the reference to the "Five Orange Pips" story in episode three. Shame they only made the three episodes. I did see an interview with Steven Moffat last week and he did say they will be making some more. Can't wait. Could be next year though, they (Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss who also plays Mycroft Holmes in the series.) haven't even started writing them yet.

I'm extremely excited

Date: 07/27/2010 From: Cory
Location: Lexington, KY

Greg,
I just wanted to say that I have been here before and am familiar with your work, but I just saw you in person for the first time at the ComicCon Halo Universe panel you spoke at. I just wanted to say that I am very excited for you to be entering the artists who have worked on my favorite franchise, especially since the Forerunner are my favorite part of the Halo universe.

Thanks, that's all! Just wanted to say how excited I am.
 

Re: I'm extremely excited
Date: 08/18/2010
From: Greg Bear

Just putting in some revisions before shipping it off to the publishers--more work left to do, but soon the first volume will be on its way!

You touched my heart in so many ways I cannot put into words

Date: 07/27/2010 From: Jediah
Location: Port Saint Lucie Florida

I have been a teacher/facilitator/instructor of many things ranging the gammit from Kdg. to adults (CPR to Scuba for the Navy @ Pearl Harbor) Having just finished LINK and Darwins Children....I am still crying from memories of taching Special Educ. to the 'learning disabled'...How many times have i shuddered and rages at the tendency to 'sweep them under the rug' because most teachers knew NOT how to treat them/encourage them...being kind, even loving is a bare & partial solution...In learning early on how to hide my own intelligence, I often wept at the lack of 'what next' for these children. Stella is a dream yet realized by society. I ran a summer camp for "the disadvantaged" of Easter Seals many yrs.ago and the counselors (all young teen agers from many states) asked me "How come they act so different when you're around?" at the time All I could say" you have to be defenseless in their presence". I clearly remember the 'ones I didn't know how to reach'=the SEDs,the autistic, the IQ'deficient'(in the eyes of the school systems).I have recently done studies with Dr.V.Vernon Woolf, residing in Sedona Az, who taught me about the holodynes/nanodynes which live inside the microtublars of our cells. He may add much to your store of knowledge. vernonwoolf@holodynamics.com 989 S.Main St. Ste. A Cottonwood, AZ 86326 Ph: 805-384-1565....GOD (Uni Verse) bless you for writing..Now I am off to find 'Vitals'. I also follow Rupert Sheldrake:"Morphic Resonance",
"Chaos,Creativtiy and Cosmic Consciousness"
Aloha, Jediah
 

Re: You touched my heart in so many ways I cannot put into words
Date: 08/18/2010
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Jediah. Humility is the hardest therapy of all--for any of us.

Sovereign default by USA is not an issue

Date: 07/26/2010 From: Phillip
Location: Aloha Oregon

Greg,
After hearing the recent interview on KBOO-FM I have read both Quantico and Mariposa which I greatly enjoyed and hope to see more in that series. Honestly, I have not read much future fiction since Robert Heinlein died but will investigate more in the future.

One minor point of disagreement. You seem to hold the widely believed but incorrect view that the USA could be forced to default on its debt. The US government neither needs to tax or borrow in order to spend all it wants to and in fact when it taxes money is destroyed and does not actually pay for anything. Many people do not seem to understand that Federal government debt is a private asset and that the so called national debt is equal to the privately held dollar denominated finacial assets to the penny. Nancy Pelosi recently asked Ben Bernanke how likely it was the US would default and he replied not likely at all "unless Congress decides to."

Some excellent souces for Modern (post-1971) Monetary Theory include:
1. Mosler Economics http://moslereconomics.com/ His new book available free is probably the best laymen's introduction.
2. New Economic Perspectives aka the Kansas City School http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/
3. Billy Blog - alternative economic thinking from Australian professor Bill Mitchell http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/
4. Mike Norman Economics http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com/

Feel free to contact me if I can help clrify anything. I have been studying monetary reform and theory over 3 decades.

Ever trying to pave the road ahead but mostly dodging potholes, Phillip
 

Re: Sovereign default by USA is not an issue
Date: 08/17/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the thoughts and kind words, Philip!

So, if the Chinese (and Singapore) call our loans and we can borrow no more money on the international market, and the dollar is no longer acceptable as international currency, and whatever we are owed by another nation is garnished...

Worse case scenario, to be sure. But finances have always been important in the art of war. Not paying for a war--and rampant, reckless borrowing over time--have always had negative repercussions, with or without the gold standard in place. When the U.S. sneezes, the whole world catches cold, seems to be as true today as it was in the thirties.

We suffer, somehow, when the theory says we shouldn't!

As Mr. Heinlein said, TANSTAAFL.
 

Re: Sovereign default by USA is not an issue
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

I've got to agree with Mr. Bear on this one.

The key is not that we would default, it's that as we get closer to the possibility (even if it remains remote) there is an incremental cost of capital to the change in perceived and measurable distance to the possibility.

It's a lot easier to get a loan at a low rate if you are not already knee deep in debt. It's a lot easier to pay it off when your currency isn't highly devalued.

Audio books; do you like them?

Date: 07/23/2010 From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

While I am certain a lot of people buy audio books to use while they are driving, walking, working out, and so on, I find that I am a great deal more immersed in a book if I sit quietly somewhere, with no distractions, and simply read the damned thing. Under the influence of a good author, I can see, in my mind's eye, the things that are happening.

I recently was able to download, with much anticipation, and for free, a couple of books by one of my favorite authors, which I had not read, and started to listen to one, only to quickly find the experience was much lacking. I found myself distracted by minutiae. Pronunciation, and so on. Kind of like when you see a movie based on a favorite book, and nothing is the way you had pictured it. Repeatedly. So it keeps taking you out of the movie, and keeps trampling your suspension of disbelief.

Most of all, though, I found myself getting bored, just sitting and listening to someone read. I suppose I could listen while driving, but I think at that point I might be a greater menace to my fellow motorists than are the people who habitually talk on their phones while doing so.

To qualify this, however, I should say that I am incapable of becoming absorbed in a book while other media are on. Television, music, all serve as insurmountable distractions.
Random sounds of actual nature are not a problem. Surf and gulls, a babbling brook and wind through the trees, a crackling fire... (I mean the real thing, not the recorded, repetitive stuff)

Anyone out there agree with me? Or am I just a hopeless anomaly in our technological world?

Oh, and by the way, Greg, I don't wish to adversely affect in any way your sales in whatever medium profits you. (Not that I could actually do so) I'm just saying that this particular medium doesn't work for me. So, no offense, huh? :)
 

Re: Audio books; do you like them?
Date: 08/09/2010
From: Greg Bear

No offense. Though I hope you're reading this on paper!
 

Re: Audio books; do you like them?
Date: 08/10/2010
From: GS
Location: Montreal, Canada

I like to listen to them in bed before falling asleep (under-pillow speaker). Strangely enough, this will sometimes PREVENT me from falling asleep, whereas if I try to read a book in bed I immediately fall asleep (crushing my glasses). I purchase about 3 audio books a year from Audible.com.

Incidentally, I just finished the hard cover of Mariposa, and since I also just ordered a Kindle, I'll be looking forward to reading Hull Zero Three on it. The reasons for my Kindle adoption are (a) compact format, and (b) ability to search: I'm bad at names and sometimes need to look back to see who a particular character is. With a paer book, this can be a challenge.

Thank you for your books! I got hooked with EON years ago and haven't left since.
 

Re: Audio books; do you like them?
Date: 08/10/2010
From: Chris
Location: England

I've only ever listened to one audio book, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. I have also read the print version and enjoyed it much more doing so. Is one bad experience enough to decide that I don't like audio books? I don't know, maybe I'll try again some day, but for now I'm happy to stick with print.
I do listen to music, though, while reading. Usually what I'm reading dictates what I listen to. For sci-fi it's ambient electronica with a kind of spacey feel. I started doing that to drowned out the distractions on the train on the way to work in the mornings. I found if I picked the right sounds it could even add to reading experience. Now I never read without my mp3 plugged into my head.
 

Re: Audio books; do you like them?
Date: 08/11/2010
From: Jon Kroll
Location: Ann Arbor Michigan

I have read a lot of Greg Bear's book, but I have also listened to several. Via iTunes/iPod I have listened to Blood Music, Moving Mars, and Quantico. I absolutely loved them. The main thing I picked up on is that the readers are actually doing a performance. All of the audio "performances" I have heard of Greg Bear's works have been outstanding. Frankly I wish there were more works by Greg Bear available in audiobook. Eon would be nice :-)

Keep up the great work.

Best regards, Jon K
 

Re: Audio books; do you like them?
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

I can imagine trying to sleep while listening to UNDER THE DOME...

Thanks, GS!
 

Re: Audio books; do you like them?
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Greg Bear

I deeply appreciate the work of these fine readers. I attended a panel event featuring professionals who create audiobooks at Comic-Con a couple of years ago--very enlightening.
 

Re: Audio books; do you like them?
Date: 08/19/2010
From: Keifer
Location: L-burg KY

It all depends on the audiobook. The one for War War Z, while missing sections, had a few embellishments and improvements. The different characters were actually voiced by different actors! It's practically an audio play, some parts where people scream were really unnerving. I think there is a future for this sort of thing now that it can be distributed online.
 

Re: Audio books; do you like them?
Date: 08/24/2010
From: Greg Bear

Indeed. A couple of my novels were dramatized this way. Great fun!

A paper that you may find interesting

Date: 07/16/2010 From: John Dreher
Location: Berkeley

I was struck by the similarity of this paper
http://arxiv.org/abs/1001.0785v1
to the background physics you postulate in several
of your novels. From the paper:
"In this paper we will argue that the central notion needed to derive
gravity is information. More precisely, it is the amount of information associated with matter and its location, in whatever form the microscopic theory likes to have it,"
"Thus we are going to assume that information is stored on surfaces, or screens. Screens separate points, and in this way are the natural place to store information about particles that move from one side to the other. Thus we imagine that this information about the location particles is stored in discrete bits on the screens. The dynamics on each screen is given by some unknown rules, which can be thought of
as a way of processing the information that is stored on it. Hence, it does not have to be given by a local field theory, or anything familiar. The microscopic details are irrelevant for us."
Most of this paper is over my head, but it may be that once again fact
will follow fiction. BTW, Erik Verlinde is not a crackpot -- he publishes in Physical Review etc. See also his Wikipedia entry. This is so cool it's worth trying to get some dim idea of the holographic principle and string theory.
 

Re: A paper that you may find interesting
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

Part of this line of theorizing goes back at least to INFORMATION MECHANICS by Frederick Kantor, which I recommend to those with a good technical background. Updates are clearly needed!
 

Re:Re: A paper that you may find interesting
Date: 07/20/2010
From: John Dreher
Location: Berkeley

Thanks for the pointer to Kantor's work. Doing a little Wikipedaling around Kantor leads me to the suspicion most of quantum information theory is about qubits and such, i.e. information encoded in quatum states. Verlinde is working at a deeper level, underneath quantum mechanics and/or string theory. But Kantor's work also seems to be more fundamental, since he is messing with the uncertainty principle. Maybe I'll buy a used copy of IM and see if my antique brain can handle it.
 

Re: A paper that you may find interesting
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

No technical background here. But the above makes me think of Mark McCutcheon's Expansion Theory. The little I've read about that is oddly (perhaps misleadingly) compelling...his idea is that the equivalancy of gravity and acceleration should be taken literally. We have weight because space is somehow expanding more rapidly in the vicinity of matter, etc. The thought has an Einsteinian flavor to it ("clearing the slate" and rethinking what the universe is actually telling you, I mean). His book (The Final Theory) purports to make it sensible, but I've never read it.

The connection in my own crackpot brain is a "many worlds" one: A "bit" represents a choice--the more bits you've got, the greater the spreading of timelines. One need simply picture the space in which McCutcheon's "expansion" takes place as being the multiversal one, right? The expansion is constantly accelerating because outcomes themselves are always dividing; the expansion is always just beginning because (subjectively) time itself is always "just beginning."

To put it crudely, information causes gravity. No mystery.

And Inflation? Living organisms are "choice generators" and the appearance of intelligent life pulls out all stops. Culture changes physics...Olaf Stapledon and Greg Bear are born...

Well, I've said it. I can die happy now, assured that my brilliant little insight will survive me.
 

Re: A paper that you may find interesting
Date: 08/06/2010
From: Greg Bear

One of my previous suppositions was that it was the processing of information about particle relationships that caused a vector change. The larger the mass, the more particles to keep updated. In a sense, the "refresh" rate of the universe causes gravity. But needless to say I could never do the math.
 

Re: A paper that you may find interesting
Date: 08/07/2010
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Hmmm...I need to refresh myself on Bear. Verlinde and McCutcheon will have to wait!

Blood Music adaptation?

Date: 07/15/2010 From: qiiiss
Location:

Wiki says this show used a similar premise as in Blood Music, but wasn't there a credit in the beginning saying 'based on Blood Music, by Greg Bear'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Breed_(The_Outer_Limits)


And in the process of looking for this information, I found the following:

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

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."

The tail end reminded me of a story by...I can't remember who...where there is a 'serious' sexually transmitted disease running rampant, and one of the characters attempts to 'find' a cure by having sex with as many as he can. He doesn't find it before he's done in...

E-reads edition of Blood Music riddled with copy errors

Date: 07/09/2010 From: Jon Trimble
Location: Massapequa, NY

Dear Mr. Bear,

I thought you should be aware that someone did a quick and dirty job of scanning your amazing novel for the e-reads edition. Below is the text of the letter I have sent to to the publisher.

--------------------------
Hello,

I ordered this title via Amazon (who sold it via Beagle Books), and though I am happy to have a paperback copy of this previously out-of-print title, I do have a serious complaint to make.

It is obvious to me that this E-reads edition was produced by way of scanning a paperback copy of Mr. Bear's novel. What should have occurred after the scanning process, is copy-editing by a human being, which was plainly not done for Blood Music.

By the time I reached page 52, this is what I found :

p7 ground floor on the east comer corner
p14 cool dean swallow clean
p25 no sense hi being punished in
p27 active lymphocyte hi the human in
p31 Look, the bar's dosing closing
p33 and the thud a year ago third
p33 she kept staring at nun him
p36 reasonably witty at tunes times
p45 imagined state of having a rather father
p51 Put the little suckers to work, him? hmm
p52 probably acquired a whole new set of his (?)

It was a quirky curiosity at first, but soon I found it interrupting the flow of the novel, and bringing me out of the richly detailed world Mr. Bear had written.

I'm not sure whether I should be asking for a refund, or payment as a proof-reader!
---------------------
 

Re: E-reads edition of Blood Music riddled with copy errors
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jon! I'm working with eReads to take care of this now. They should issue a corrected edition very soon based on my original e-file, rather than any scan. Let me know if this works for you.
 

Re: E-reads edition of Blood Music riddled with copy errors
Date: 11/02/2010
From: Jason
Location: San Francisco, CA

Is there any new information on this? I was thinking of purchasing eRead's Kindle version off of Amazon, but the sample that I downloaded today had these same errors.

Thanks for any info!
 

Re: E-reads edition of Blood Music riddled with copy errors
Date: 11/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

New edition is coming shortly, based on my own e-text. Thanks for your patience!

I drift, therefore I am...

Date: 07/07/2010 From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach

Greg,

I liked something about what Gelerntner is saying here, and thought you might. Possibly this is what Jones is doing, some of the times when he doesn't want to talk about it ;). Well, I liked Jones....

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/gelernter10.1/gelernter10.1_index.html

Any relation to what certain ideologies and political tea-people are not doing which makes them so unobservant; well, must be purely coincidental, as the detective stories used to say.

Regards, as ever,
Clive
 

Re: I drift, therefore I am...
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

Interesting essay, thanks, Clive/Roald. Jones is currently attending Hal's thirteenth birthday party. Chips and soda, naturally...
 

Re: I drift, therefore I am...
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach

Laughing ;). I liked that...
 

Re: I drift, therefore I am...
Date: 07/29/2010
From: aculturemind
Location:

This is interesting:

***But when a person is dreaming, hallucinating  when he is inside a mind-made fantasy landscape  the thinker and his thought-stream are not separate. They are blended together. The thinker inhabits his thoughts. No computer will be able to think like a man unless it, too, can inhabit its thoughts; can disappear into its own mind.***


...which would seem to refute the logical assumption that a something cannot self-reference. No one has noticed this?


Here's something else:

***In fact, the human mind moves back and forth along a spectrum defined by ordinary logic at one end and "dream logic" at the other. "Dream logic" makes just as much sense as ordinary "day logic"; it simply follows different rules. But most philosophers and cognitive scientists see only day logic and ignore dream logic  which is like imagining the earth with a north pole but no south pole.***

Operative words: logic, different rules.

Only in SF is it at least implicit that all the cosmos may be logical - there being regions of different logic. One might say each person's conceptual sphere is a region - which then becomes a relatively easy matter of comparison - like any Venn diagram.


I don't necessarily agree with this part:

***We re-experience (or re-enter) memories when we dream. The memories we re-enter are sometimes distorted, or incomplete, or have other memories added to them...***

I never dream of past events. Even the places I dream 'in', while often within my home town, are not my home town *as it is*, was...or ever will be.

At great risk of sounding disparaging, I've not found anything in Edge that compares to much of what the authors in SF do all the time. I'll read their stuff instead.
 

Re: I drift, therefore I am...
Date: 08/18/2010
From: Greg Bear

Edge? As far as self-referencing goes, computer programs do that all the time. It's called, I believe, a loop? And it must be supplied with terminating restrictions, or the program vanishes into its own belly-button!
 

Re: I drift, therefore I am...
Date: 08/18/2010
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach

Well, stories could be told, and have been elided here. But I always feel quite comfortable with your emergent approaches, Greg. The Minsky in them too feels right. I guess it's not only genetics where you may have good sight as to what may be workable in and across theories.

So often enjoying what you are doing with them, anyway, and liking to think this can be fertile where it matters.

Best,
Clive
 

Re: I drift, therefore I am...
Date: 09/20/2010
From: aculturemind
Location:

Greg, I meant that a 'set' cannot reference itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_paradox

Why was PSYCHLONE released as LOST SOULS?

Date: 07/07/2010 From: Jon Kroll
Location: Ann Arbor Michigan

Greetings Greg Bear:

I am a dedicated Greg Bear reader and an obsessive Greg Bear collector. I have an edition of almost every novel you have released, some in multiple editions. I even have an edition of EARLY HARVEST, I think it's #379? I love it all.

I recently obtained a copy of DEAD SOULS from Amazon.com used books. I was very happy to add it to my collection, along side the copy of PSYCHLONE I read.

I was just curious why the title change? Are there any differences in the editions? I searched these discussions, and the archives, to the best of my ability and did not come across an explanation. Please forgive my ignorance.

Keep up the great work. I am totally amp'd about the upcoming Halo book. I will have to buy 2 copies when it is released. One copy for my son to read, another for me.

Regards, Jon Kroll
Ann Arbor Michigan
 

Re: Why was PSYCHLONE released as LOST SOULS?
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

Ace/Charter published PSYCHLONE way back then, and reissued it as LOST SOULS. Both covers were entertaining but commercially terrible. So I did my own cover for the Tor paperback, which remained in print for almost twenty years! (Look on the mailbox...)

Step one towards a WAGD

Date: 07/05/2010 From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Spotted this in MIT's Technology Review magazine (July/August 2010):

http://www.1stdefensegroup.com/
 

Re: Step one towards a WAGD
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

Sure looks like one--but it's just disinfectant! How about a WAGD that jabs you in the palm when it detects a pathogen, and injects vaccine or antibiotic?

Eon on audiobook

Date: 07/05/2010 From: aaron
Location: salt lake city, utah

My questions is. The book Eon is it also available on audio book? if so where can I get it. If not, will it every be in that format, I would like listen to it.

thanks, Aaron Rice
 

Re: Eon on audiobook
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

I don't know of an audiobook version, more's the pity! Other titles have gone to audio, but not this one--not yet.
 

Re: Eon on audiobook
Date: 08/07/2010
From: Roger Pedersen
Location: Sandnessj´┐Şen, Norway

Eon definately ought to go to audiobook..:D Too bad Carl Sagan ain't amongst us anymore, his voice would fit perfectly to such a reading
 

Re: Eon on audiobook
Date: 10/22/2010
From: John Elnicki
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Mr. Bear - I read _Eon_ about 2-3 years ago and I must tell you that I enjoyed it immensely. The concept of an asteroid being hollowed out to such an extent to support city life was astonishing. And the concept/nature of the seventh chamber just about blew my mind. I was reading it on the beach and I had to put the book down and go for a walk just to wrap my brain around such and idea. Thanks for such a great story! John
 

Re: Eon on audiobook
Date: 10/30/2010
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear! Thanks, John. I hope HULL ZERO THREE provides a few similar visual enhancements. Coming in a month!

Baen Book Covers

Date: 07/03/2010 From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear:

This seems as good a location as any to express my irritation with some of Baen Books' cover illustrations.

I'm sure you are aware of Baen Books collecting and republishing in internal chronological order all of Poul Anderson's Technic Civlization stories and novels. Something I highly approve of. HOWEVER, I'm very disappointed with the book covers for YOUNG FLANDRY, CAPTAIN FLANDRY, and SIR DOMINIC FLANDRY. With the partial exception of the second volume, I found them both pornographic and misleading. Possible buyers seeing those ghastly covers might be miled into thinking the contents are trashy, rather than classics of science fiction--and so not buy them.

I know striking book covers are designed to attract the interest of prospective buyers. But there is a fine line between good and bad taste. And Baen's covers for the Flandry books are in wretchedly bad taste. How many people will want to be SEEN holding books with those pornographic covers?

Just getting this irritation off my chest!

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

I can see where some might be put off--but I think they're great, rather like James Bond covers or those wonderful Travis McGee covers from the 60s. I think Poul might have enjoyed them as well. Flandry himself almost certainly would approve of that sort of companionship!
 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 07/21/2010
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear, Thank you for replying!

Oh, I agree, Dominic Flandry was a refined voluptuary who amply enjoyed the sophisticated pleasures available to him. Including the companionship of beautiful and obliging ladies. What bothers me is how the Baen Books covers might imply Flandry was pursued by hordes of naked bimbos. And he was so much MORE than a mere sybarite!

As far as book illustrations go, I vastly preferred the Roger Hane jacket illustrations for the first hardback editions of ENSIGN FLANDRY, AGENT OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE, and FLANDRY OF TERRA. Or the Ace Books cover illustration for AGENT. These too were adorned by women, one lady being NON human, to indicate Flandry's fondness for the other sex. BUT, it was done with restraint and good taste.

A jacket or cover illustration does not have to HIT you over the head, in my opinion.

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 07/23/2010
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA

Greg, my apologies, but I fear I must agree with Sean. I'm not terribly certain I'd want to be seen in public with them. Well, strike that. I am certain I would not. To me they seem to embody the very reason many people do not read science fiction.

Many people who don't, and indeed have never read sci-fi, tend to think of it as nothing but swashbucklers or soap operas in space, or at least most I have discussed it with seem to think this way. After all, many of the mainstream movies they could not avoid watching would seem dedicated to reinforcing this opinion.

On the other hand, I recall being immediately "grabbed" by what I believe were the original covers of the paperback editions of Varley's Gaea trilogy. Amidst all the other rather lurid illustrations vying for my attention on the shelves, there were these three. Simple, glossy white covers, almost completely plain except for the titles "Titan," "Wizard," and "Demon" in gold. They fairly compelled me to pick them up, and were my introduction to Varley. Had they contained "sexy" illustrations of Cirocco Jones and Gaby, replete with weapons and much exposed skin, I probably would have bypassed them, and as a result would quite possibly have later missed out on the wonderful novels "The Golden Globe," and "Steel Beach," which are among my all-time favorites.

I have not read the stats, but suspect the target market for a lot of science fiction is young males, for the publishers, anyway. Or, at least young males would appear to be the people who mostly buy science fiction novels, if, as it would seem, the covers can be taken as an indication. Not to say that females don't read science fiction, but aside from functions relating to science fiction, I rarely encounter them. It is usually a surprise and delight when I do. (By the way, I rarely attend said functions. The last one I attended was a writers' workshop a couple of decades ago, [or more] where I had the pleasure of having lunch with you and Megan Lindholm. As I recall, most of our lunch was spent with her regaling us with tales of her neighbors, who were a cult that followed Ra, or somesuch.)

I have to wonder how many more females (and older curmudgeons like me) would buy and read science fiction novels if less of them had scantily clad women, ray guns, swords, and the like on the covers?

However, I must admit, I picked up Allston's "Doc Sidhe" on the theory that any book with a cover that incredibly hokey couldn't be bad, and, as it turned out, I was right. I never took it out to read in public, though. :)
 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 08/06/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hmmm... I'm not sure it's the head the Baen covers are aiming for! Curious how both Bond and Flandry can bridge intellect and senses in our culture.
 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 08/10/2010
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Messieurs Bear and Marsh:

Parts of this note will address points you both raised.

Mr. Bear, I still have to disagree with you. I actually unearthed my collection of old Ian Fleming's "James Bond" novels to examine the covers. Some of them do depict women, but none of them are as NUDE as the Baen Books covers for the republished Flandry stories. It's my belief that some restraint is GOOD, both artistically speaking and for the book itself.

To cite another example of how I believe the female form can be used in a striking way for a cover illustration, I would offer Frank Frazetta's jacket painting for Poul Anderson's novel THE DANCER FROM ATLANTIS. The woman shown is virtually nude, BUT it is far better than the Baen Books covers being discussed because of the restraint and skill shown by Frazetta. For example, we see the bull dancer from BEHIND, as she faces the charging bull. Which means we don't SEE as much as we might have. THAT is left to our imagination. It was also a nice touch by the artist to show the streak of white in the woman's hair, to indicate she was middle aged.

Getting back to the Flandry stories, I would add that I preferred them to the James Bond's novels. Why? Because ultimately the Flandry stories seem more ethically serious. The later Bond books were weakened when Ian Fleming replaced the KGB/SMERSH with Blofeld/SPECTRE as the chief villains. The latter never rang quite "true" to me, compared to the very real world EVIL of the KGB.

Poul Anderson did not make that mistake in his Flandry stories. While he never demonized the Merseians (in fact, depicting them sympathetically in A CIRCUS OF HELLS), he never tried to minimize the implacable hostility of the Roidhunate to the Terran Empire Flandry served. I think he would also agree with Flandry in preferring the old, weary, decadent Empire to Merseia for MORAL reasons.

I read Mr. Marsh's comments with interest. I'm glad, naturally, that he agrees with me. And I believe, as he does, that garish book covers of the kind he commented on are at least as likely to REPELL as to attract buyers. There needs to be a middle way between absolute plainness and the kind of pornographic excess Baen Books perpetrated for the Flandly stories. See my comments on Frank Frazetta. I think he hit the right "note" for the cover paining he made for THE DANCER FROM ATLANTIS.

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 08/11/2010
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Marsh:

I forgot to mention another point I should have included in my previous note which I thought of after reading your comment about SF movies. I'm VERY dissatisfied with practically all SF movies. After reading so many of the classics of SF written by Anderson, Asimov, Bradbury, Clark, Heinlein, Norton, etc., I find TV shows and movies like STAR TREK and STAR WARS to be LAME and weak by comparison. Thin, hackneyed plots, poor characterization, over reliance on special effects, etc., are merely a few of their weaknesses.

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 09/01/2010
From: Alex
Location: st neots

I think there are two sides of the coin here; on the one hand I love the Science Fiction Masterworks series covers. They give great SF books a dignified literary look but retain the sense of wonder sf essentials: strange alien people, future architecture, all that good stuff. But those things less well done can put people off.
But sometimes its nice that SF is a geeky club of likeminded people; its fun!
And as people have talked about, good books with bad covers are always a wonderful pleasurable surprise.
I like buying about a foot of Penguin classics from the charity bookshop every few months, many of which have elegant but rather intimidating modernist covers. The art on the front of A House For Mr Biswas makes it look like the most boring book ever, not the brilliant Hogarthian masterpiece I thought it turned out to be.
And those old cloth covers are great; they seem to fusty and old fashioned so when the contents are some slick, sarcastic Graham Green thriller or Amis comedy that has you in stitches, again its a nice suprise. Something that seemed worthless suddenly has great value.
In a fit of embarassment I pulled the cover off my Emily Dickinson collected poems because guys on the bus to work used to make fun of it. It did look very pretentious to read a fat book of poems on public transport though. I feel a bit silly about that now!
So good covers can be good, and bad covers can be good.

That said, I totally know what you guys mean about sf covers sometimes being annoying. I like to doodle my own versions to scratch that itch.
 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 09/14/2010
From: Greg Bear

Emily Dickinson in a filmy negligee might sell books!
 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 09/18/2010
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear:

As you know, I've been saying very harsh things about the covers Baen Books used for the reprinted Flandry stories. So, it's only right to do the opposite when it's justified.

I've been rereading Poul Anderson's THE HIGH CRUSADE (the 50th anniversary edition) with great pleasure. And THIS time Baen Books used a cover which was both APPROPRIATE to the book and in good taste. The cover shows Baron de Tourneville mounted on his horse and surrounded by some of his men at arms as they face the newly landed Wersgor ship.

Alas, even here, I still have some criticisms. Chapter II of THE HIGH CRUSADE describes the Baron as having a Norman style hair cut, thick on top but shaven below. The cover shows Roger de Tourneville as bearded and having moderate hair growth all around his head. And the Wersgor shown descending from the ship does not fit the description of that race in the book. Poul Anderson described the Wersgor as being short and strongly built. Not tall and slender as the cover shows it.

BUT, I liked the cover illustration for the HIGH CRUSADE a LOT better than I did those for the Flandry books!

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Baen Book Covers
Date: 10/02/2010
From: Greg Bear

When I illustrated my own story for GALAXY way back in the seventies, I got details wrong... Glad you like this one, Sean!

Blood Music unavailable for sale in Canada?

Date: 07/02/2010 From: Jason Katz
Location: Montreal, Canada

Hi Greg,

My name is Jason Katz, and I will be teaching a college literature class on Evolution in Science Fiction in the fall. I would very much like to use Blood Music as the final novel on the syllabus, but I'm having trouble finding a Canadian publisher that actually currently publishes this book. Are you aware of how hard it is to find this fantastic book for sale in Canada? Anyway, if you're aware of any publisher, could you please let me know? As I said, I really want to teach your book, and it would be a shame if I couldn't because of an obstacle like this one.

Thanks very much, and I look forward to your reply,
Jason Katz
 

Re: Blood Music unavailable for sale in Canada?
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Jason! E-Reads can provide print-on-demand copies through Amazon for your class, or electronic copies for kids with Kindles/IPads/Nooks etc. They're on sale at www.ereads.com

Hello Mr. Bear

Date: 07/02/2010 From: T. Joker
Location: Reach

Hello sir, I am a big fan of your works. I was an even bigger fan when I heard that you were going to write the Forerunner trilogy. But is there any chance to see the first book this year?

Thank you very much,
Joker
 

Re: Hello Mr. Bear
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

Late this year! Copies will be sent by slipspace, as long as no chapters go missing...

Loved your Eon books and a question sir.

Date: 07/01/2010 From: Matt Thomspson
Location: Boston

I just finished Legacy and will start the prequel book soon. I was wondering if you were ever going to write any more of these.. hopefully continuing the original story. I really loved these books and cant say enough about how good they were.
 

Re: Loved your Eon books and a question sir.
Date: 07/20/2010
From: Greg Bear

Thistledown always draws me back, so it's very possible! Thanks, Matt.