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July - December 2011

Can't wait for Primordium!

Date: 12/22/2011 From: David Angwin
Location: Killeen, TX

I just wanted to say cryptum was amazing. I am now a huge fan. Also I am going to check out all of your other books as well. I haven't read a truly good fiction novel in a long time. Thank you Mr. Bear. You are a great writer and I can't wait for Primordium.
 

Re: Can't wait for Primordium!
Date: 01/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

My pleasure, David! PRIMORDIUM is now out--let me know what you think.

Visualizations.

Date: 12/22/2011 From: KL
Location:

Mr. Bear,

I am an avid fan of your work, especially the Forerunner saga. Halo Has always been one of my favorite franchises, I've been playing and reading since I was 8 years old when Combat Evolved and the novel The Fall of Reach came out, and I love your additions to the Halo Universe.

There are some things that I, however, have trouble visualizing. The Precursor's description confuses me. From what I read in the book, it has a distorted human-shaped body with seeming vestigial legs and four arms, while also having a head like a spider or sea-scorpion, and a tail starting at the base of the head. Is this correct?

Also, so you picture forerunner armor and architecture as it is illustrated in Halo: Legends and the Combat Evolved Anniversary terminal features? Or do your designs deviate?

Merely curious, KL
 

Re: Visualizations.
Date: 01/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, KL! You do indeed have a reasonably accurate picture of what a certain kind of Precursor looks like. More to come! As for Forerunner armor, I leave it to the great folks at 343 to come up with the final concepts...

my sincere respect and compliments

Date: 12/20/2011 From: Robert van der Noordaa
Location: Netherlands, city of Delft

Dear Mr Bear, dear Greg,

Just some words of appreciation:

I have a large collection of SF. My favorite book of all time is Blood Music. If I will ever be a millionaire I will contact you and offer to make a really good movie of it.

You are and always will be my favorite writer, keep up the good work.

Robert van der Noordaa
 

Re: my sincere respect and compliments
Date: 01/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Robert! And good luck with becoming fabulously wealthy!

Poul Anderson and "Transhumanism"

Date: 12/19/2011 From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear:

I hope you and your family are well and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I don't know if you have ever met John C. Wright or read any of his books, but I've been participating frequently on his blog. And sometimes Mr. Wright or I discuss some of your father in law's books. Recently, Mr. Wright wrote an essay called "Transhumanism and Subhumanism," part of which focuses on Poul Anderson's HARVEST OF STARS series.

Mr. Wright has only the utmost possible admiration and respect for Poul Anderson and thinks VERY highly of HARVEST OF STARS. He gave me permission to bring this essay of his to your attention, in case you find it an interesting read.
Largely because I think some of Mr. Wright's comments on the HARVEST OF STARS books very pertinent to the ideas and themes Mr. Anderson used.

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Poul Anderson and
Date: 01/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear Poul's great novel is under discussion! There are certainly hundreds of ideas in Poul's works that could merit similar study.
 

Re: Poul Anderson and
Date: 01/18/2012
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear:

Many thanks! And you would not mind if I sent you Mr. Wright's "Transhumanism" essay?

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Poul Anderson and
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

Post us a link, if there is one? Thanks, Sean.

Thank you

Date: 12/17/2011 From: D McHugh
Location: Ontario, Canada

Greg,
Just wanted to sound in with the rest of your Fans.
I've been reading ever since I can remember but it's your writing I always turn to these days.
Busy as my long days are I have little time to spare. I spend all too many hours staring at a computer screen that tires both my mind (I' m a multimedia programmer) and my eyes. Four chilldren and a happy marriage of 22 years. With all this I know when ever I pick up one of your books I'll always be challenged to put it down.

Thank you for the many years of reading you have given me and will give me to come.
 

Re: Thank you
Date: 01/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, D.! Paper is restful, is it not?

"Contact"

Date: 12/12/2011 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

"47-year-old Television signals bouncing back to Earth"

http://www.rimmell.com/bbc/news.htm

Have you been following this? The parallel with Carl Sagan's novel and subsequent film needs no elaboration. Almost certainly a natural phenomenon...but the fact that television programs can be resolved by an Arecibo-sized device after nearly 50 years of dispersion is surely noteworthy!

I find myself experiencing a wild, irrational desire to view the "returned" versions of these programs. Like tasting champagne that sank with the Titanic...wow.
 

Re:
Date: 01/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Interesting, but likely a fraud. I can't find any other notice about Dr. Venn and Arecibo. The original BBC news post has no other stubs and there is no other confirmation. Sigh! If more pops up, let me know!
 

Re:
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

Of course!
 

Re:
Date: 01/22/2012
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Egg on my face. An old April Fool's joke recirculating on Facebook. I didn't even think to check.

Gee. There are things on the internet that aren't true?
 

Re: "47-year-old Television signals bouncing back to Earth"
Date: 01/24/2012
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Camano Island

I too am skeptical regarding this. Not because I think it is impossible that such signals might bounce off things 25 light years distant and be returned, but rather that with the dispersion over 50 light years any such signal would be so diffuse as to be indistinguishable from normal background radiation, and indeed would be buried beneath it. Even a laser bounced off something as near as the moon (about 750,000 miles away)suffers considerable diffusion by the time it returns to its point of origin, and they don't say "broadcast" for nothing. Television and radio broadcasts are not even near being cohesive, quite the opposite, in fact.

Also, 47 year old signals would probably be bouncing back from something 23.5 light years distant, not 25. While you may accuse me of quibbling, the difference in distance is significant. The difference for the round trip would be a little better than 35 trillion miles, in fact, and I don't think many scientists would generalize quite that egregiously. :)

But, of course, I must bow to Greg here; his knowledge of science is rather better than mine. Greg, feel free to poke holes in any of my statements. :)
 

Re:
Date: 01/30/2012
From: Greg Bear

Nothing that I've found...

What's weird about this is I came to my conclusions not by looking at the date, but by doing the science in my head. Pitiful, or profound?
 

Re:
Date: 01/30/2012
From: Greg Bear

Ah, Kelly, we both think things through!

pedantic comments to "Quantico"

Date: 11/30/2011 From: David Gress
Location: Denmark

Greg,

Another fantastic book from the Bear. Allow me three points from the pedantry department:

You say the "Tombers" use the Julian calendar, and that it is eleven days ahead of the Gregorian, so that their Good Friday occurs before ours.

Not correct. The Julian calendar is now thirteen days behind the Gregorian. I write this on November 30, which is November 17 in the Julian calendar, so their Easter and Christmas will always be later than in the Gregorian, not earlier.

Second. Fouad al-Hussam carries an Arabic name, but is an Iranian. Fouad is a classic Arabic first name. Al-Hussam sounds Arabic, if only because of the article al-. As you know, Farsi is an Indo-European language of very different structure from Arabic, which is Semitic. If you choose to give an Iranian an Arabic, and not an Iranian, name, you owe some explanation.

Third, Mohammad Mossadegh fell to a CIA-orchestrated coup in 1953. Therefore, if Fouad the Iranian's grandfather escaped Iran in 1949 after the coup, he must have been a time traveler.

I also find the "Jannies'" Muslim orthodoxy puzzling, in two ways. Why would an American authority employ faithful Muslims, whose loyalty to the umma must precede any loyalty to an infidel regime such as the U.S.? And why would they "quietly" put aside pork ribs in their rations, when we all know how loudly Muslims complain if they are within three feet of a pig? These Muslims are decidedly un-Muslim. They act, well, tolerant, submissive, and Christian.

That being said, Greg, you write the best science and political fiction since the good old guys. You know who I mean.
 

Re: pedantic comments to
Date: 12/14/2011
From: Greg Bear

Agreed on almost all points, David--terrific copyediting! I wish you'd been able to weigh in before the book was published. As for Fouad's name, however, his father is an Egyptian Arab, his mother of Iranian descent. For some reason, he sides with his mother, who was something of a visionary. Her father was forced to flee Iran in the 1950s, not 1949. Thanks!

Just thanks

Date: 11/29/2011 From: Vitaly Sorokin
Location: Russia

Dear Mr. Bear
Apart from this universe, I wan able to live in Isaac Asimov's and yours only. Hexamon Nexus and all... You gave me escape, hope and food for thought in some nasty time of my life. Thank you so much for that. May your talent never fade away.
VS
 

Re: Just thanks
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks back at you for your support, Vitaly! You put me in excellent company indeed.

A great site regarding the English language

Date: 11/26/2011 From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Camano Island, WA

I recently stumbled across a great site for anyone who is interested in proper usage of the English language. It belongs to Paul Brians, Emeritus Professor of English, Washington State University, and I find it quite informative and interesting. I think everyone who doesn't have an absolutely perfect grasp of the language (and who does?) should have it in their favorites for handy reference.

http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html#errors
 

Re: A great site regarding the English language
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Kelly!

Another rant about the misuse of terms by authors

Date: 11/15/2011 From: Kelly Marsh
Location: United States

If I have posted this before, I apologize. However, even if so, I think it bears repeating. I KNOW I have posted regarding popular authors not researching their terms.

This time my subject is the visible components of the human eye. There is the pupil, the iris, and the sclera. The pupil is the black part in the center, the iris is the colored part around it, and the sclera is the white part around the iris. However, almost no one knows what sclera means, so "the white of the eye" or something similar is acceptable in literature.

Where I take exception is when an author says something like "His pupils were entirely black." This is just silly; EVERYONE'S pupils are black. It's a lot like saying "He handed me a glass of water, and its contents were entirely wet." They really mean "his irises..."

And then there are the people who say "His eyes were golden." (0r whatever color) Which part of his eyes? The whole eye? The pupil? The iris? The sclera? Each would make a different impression on the viewer. I recently read a book in which this occurred, and later found it only referred to the irises, rather than the whole eye.

You may think me overly-picky, but trust me, it matters.It really does.

 

Re: Another rant about the misuse of terms by authors
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

I agree, Kelly--and I've made this mistake myself. But didn't we go over this already? somebody has previously tugged my beard on this one!
 

Re: Another rant about the misuse of terms by authors
Date: 01/24/2012
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Camano Island

Well, Greg, as I said, I may have posted regarding this before. If I did, I again apologize. It is, however, a pet peeve, and I think quite important as well. However, I suppose if I did not, it would not be a pet peeve. :)

I did not, however, intend to tempt fate by bearding the lion in his own den twice. Thank you for allowing me to escape unscathed yet again. :)
 

Re: Another rant about the misuse of terms by authors
Date: 01/30/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thirty pupils look at the blackboard in a classroom. How many students are in the classroom, and how many are named Iris?
 

Re: Another rant about the misuse of terms by authors
Date: 02/16/2012
From: snakeoiltanker
Location: ohio

The answer is 15 Greg LOL ;) however, unless i had a rollcall sheet, it is unknows how many are named Iris?

haha thanks for the comic releif towards an overly picky if not absurd observation.

I enjoy your work, and i admit that i would never know who you were if it was not for you writing the forerunner trilogy. but i plan to pick up hull zero. so look at it this way, by writeing a Halo book you have successfully reached out to an large crowd of people who would have otherwise not read your books, and actually a large crowd of people who usually dont read, such as me. i have read all the halo books, as well as the Doom books (dont waste your time there people), but the only book i have read that either is not about a video game, or assigned to me as a project in high school was "starship Troopers", just to have it ruined by a movie.

anyways, thanks for such a great read and sheding light on the mysteries of the forerunners, as well as turning me into a "reader". there is something i assume is satisfaction in reading, I can not stand to watch TV, so finally i have something else to spend my time doing other than playing videogames
 

Re: Another rant about the misuse of terms by authors
Date: 02/18/2012
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear from you, uh, snakoiltanker! Happy to supply your non-vidgame needs near-term. There are lots of really good space sf series out there--other than me, of course, with Eon, Forge of God and Anvil of Stars. You might try S.M. Stirling, Niven and Pournelle, Peter Hamilton, Vernor Vinge, Elizabeth Moon, David Brin, and Gregory Benford's Galactic Center series. Lots more as well! Happy reading.

VLA Renaming

Date: 11/12/2011 From: Michael Egan
Location: West Yorkshire, England

Hi Greg
I'm interested to know if you have, or will be, submitting any suggestions for the renaming of the VLA in New Mexico. My own, free-form suggestion has already been entered: I thought it should be called the Wide Eye Facility
Regards: Michael Egan.
 

Re: VLA Renaming
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Cool name. Wakeful and alert!

Brain Parasite Directly Alters Brain Chemistry

Date: 11/11/2011 From: mogesh
Location: naidoo

Hi,
Here's something I thought might interest you.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111104102125.htm
 

Re: Brain Parasite Directly Alters Brain Chemistry
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Indeed! Parasites drive much of evolution--and some of this remains eternally creepy!

Book length

Date: 11/05/2011 From: Roger Foss
Location: In front of my computer

A friend who has literary aspirations asked me (who's literary aspirations have turned themselves into five unpublished books) how long I knew a story had to be. I answered that a story is as long as it needs to be, that you can tell if you have story if you can get a sense of how long it might take to tell that story, and if from that sense of the story you know if you have something that is book-length.

The answer met with about the same receptivity as '2+3=pi'. I explained further that I knew I had a story if I knew that I could go on for a certain number of chapters (incorporating the necessary elements of the story), but that ultimately 'it's as long as it needs to be'.

Said friend seemed/seems to think that a book must go on for a certain number of pages, but that to my thinking is contrary to telling a story.

Perhaps my assumptions are not valid, though; so I turn it over to you and the people who peruse this forum. Is there a standardized methodology for determining how long your story should be?


 

Re: Book length
Date: 11/06/2011
From: Greg Bear

A story should run until it's finished. But whether it's a novel or a book or not depends on definitions less and less relevant in an age of electronic publishing! Still, a novel usually begins above 40,000 words.

After Moving Mars

Date: 11/04/2011 From: Michael
Location:

Hullo Greg; I'm a great fan of your work, but of them my favorite is Moving Mars. I was wondering if you ever had any intention of returning to that setting after the events of the book, in either novel or short story form. I've always found myself curious as to what happened afterwards, imagining what the next day would have been like or how society would have changed afterwards.
 

Re: After Moving Mars
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for your kind words, Michael. No plans to return to that timestream soon. But one never knows!

Let's vote: Shen == Jarts?

Date: 10/29/2011 From: tungsten carbide
Location: san francisco, california

I propose a vote on whether the Shen and the Jarts are the same guys. Since Greg wrote the books he gets to vote twice.

I'll start off by voting yes.
 

Re: Let's vote: Shen == Jarts?
Date: 11/06/2011
From: Greg Bear

Happy to post the contest. Shen = race in CITY AT THE END OF TIME. Jarts = race in EON/ETERNITY. I will abstain from voting!

first band forerunners saga

Date: 10/29/2011 From: Jens Brger
Location: Dresden,Germany

Dear Mr.Bear,

when come the next book of this saga?
Im sorry fo my bad english.

your sincerely

Jens Brger
 

Re: first band forerunners saga
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Jens! Now available in the U.S.: PRIMORDIUM. And I'm working on volume three right now.

SEASON'S CREEPINGS

Date: 10/29/2011 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, California

I finished reading "Death is a Lonely Business" aloud to its author this evening. Our mutual friend is comfy and surrounded by Halloween treasures, and he's got that creekwater gleam in his eye.

October regards to you--and a shameless poem! Can't wait for Primordial secrets to be revealed...

The Halloween Wood
(with apology to Ray Bradbury)

Whenever weary autumn winds
Go whirling over Hallowtown
To send the scent of squash beyond
Its weathered street-name signs

A shaggy shadow past the mill
Wears midnight like an ebon crown
--A billion branches blacker than
These measured little lines

Black as nails, the trackless trails
Of Halloween Wood!
Dressed in soot from crest to root
The Halloween Wood!

But be you brave enough to breach
The border of that ghastly hall
Upon the eve when spirits grieve
October thirty-first

Then steal yourself for such a sight
As certainly surpasses all
For on that night are shadows shattered
By a blazing burst!

Hot as hob, the bons abob
In Halloween Wood!
Pie nor porch were never scorched
Like Halloween Wood!

Rare as love, a seed above
The moonlit meadows may be blown
To send a single tree out of
Some woodlot's leafy piles

Here, however, glows a grove
Whose hanging harvests, overgrown
Are Jack-O-Lantern legions like
A galaxy of smiles!

Veritable hosts of vegetable ghosts
The Halloween Wood!
Fiery wicks and fairy tricks
In Halloween Wood!

Picture all the twigs atossing
Each with golden globe adorned
Arcs of smokey, artichokey
Treats too fine to eat!

Glad and figgy, fat and glossy,
Fruitfly haloed, firefly horned,
Armies on the limb, a wall
Of pre-All-Hallows heat!

Delerious pleasure, the mysterious treasure
Of Halloween Wood!
You'll jump in wonder at the pumpkin plunder
Of Halloween Wood!

Once a man called Moundshroud came
And picked an ember from its leaves
And not a Hallowtowner knows
Where sprouted what he took

Another fellow--Ray--he spent
A night in dream beneath its eaves
And what he painted when he woke
He made a favorite book!

Restless, the souls who rest on boles
In Halloween Wood!
Caught, those whose thought meets the muse
Called Halloween Wood!

So if the wind at 2 A.M.
Comes back to find you still awake
Because your need for pumpkin seed
And sugar-skull still growls

Go rove into the dreaming fogs
Or blow above the steaming bogs
Of apple-cider-spider-blood and
Hills of hellish howls!

You'll draw towards a mob of gourds
All grinning--as they should!
Burning bright on Halloween Night
The folk of Halloween Wood!

Branch-cathedrals of the Earth
Weird and gold and warm and good!
Laughing forest, candle-crackling
Mocking all that's understood!
Thrice-sublime with spice and time
MERRY, SCARY HALLOWEEN WOOD!
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 11/06/2011
From: Greg Bear

Lovely to carry on the Halloween tradition! Give our October/November love to Ray, and keep writing your wonderful poems. (I just brushed a handful of yellow leaves off my keyboard, showering down from the monitor as I read!)
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 11/10/2011
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Must be one of those Willy Wonka monitors! You're too kind.

I couldn't help noticing a copy of Darwin's Children by Ray's bedside this week, autographed by you to "Papa Ray." The room got a little blurry. I must've had something in my eye.

Onward!
 

Re: SEASON'S CREEPINGS
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Cool! Hoping to make it down to the LA Book Festival this Spring--hope you can both make it there!

Question About Halo

Date: 10/17/2011 From: Owen Greeson
Location: Marietta Georgia

I am sure this has been asked 1,000s of times but I have not seen this question asked nor any reponse. Will there be follow up books in addition to the Halo Cryptum as a continuation of the Forerunner Saga and if yes approximately when.

I am 72 years old so I remember the "Golden Age" of Science Fiction when mostly the pulps distributed the stories. My favorite scenarios are new foreign worlds where the author's imagination is allowed to run wild.

If you don't continue the Forerunner Saga it is OK I will understand but I will be disappointed. I do want the thank you for all the pleasure that you have given me with your stories and your imagination. And thanks for allowing me to exercise my imagination.
 

Re: Question About Halo
Date: 11/06/2011
From: Greg Bear

HALO PRIMORDIUM is coming this January! And the third volume will follow sometime thereafter, title yet to be determined.
 

Re: Question About Halo
Date: 01/03/2012
From: Bill Andreozzi
Location: Seattle, WA

This is great news!
Please feel free to add me to any potential mailing lists for this or any upcoming books.

thanks - bill

A hope of Marsian gravity.

Date: 10/12/2011 From: Amy Jording
Location: Trout Lake, WA

Hi Greg,

My boyfriend and I are fans of your books. At this moment, he is reading Anvil of Stars and just finished Forge of God, he's hooked and loving how ahead of times you were with the Forge of God. It's like you predicted all that has come to be.

I read your book, Halo Cryptum, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I am working on my own story and wanted to ask for some advice about a specific obstacle that was thrown at me.

In my story, I want to terraform Mars and have cities and modern (4000 ad) society thriving on the planet. The problem I am having right now is that I am trying to make the story quasi-believable. What I mean by that is, the universe I'm writing in is similar to Cowboy Bebop, and it sits within the confines of the Solar System.

In this story, the focus is on this stage of mankind, branching out to the various planets of the solar system. Some of the adaptation is voluntary evolution of man, and yet, on Venus and Mars, I wish to keep humans looking as "normal" to Earth humans as possible.

The issue I'm having right now with Mars is that I've been reading a lot on Terraforming the planet and there are a lot of grim outlooks on the issue of a Magnetosphere, keeping an Atmosphere and most importantly, creating enough gravity.

I know you're no stranger to writing about Mars, so I wonder, with your excellent foresight, if you can think of a plausible, and convincing way that Mars is able to have perhaps a "synthetic" gravity, enough for the common man to find believable?

I've read about a black hole in the middle of Mars or having to make Mars bigger in mass by throwing a bunch of asteroids into it, but I'd rather do something more graceful than that. I would imagine that you've thought about these things in context of a good sci-fi story.

Thank you for your wonderful stories.

Sincerely,
Amy

 

Re: A hope of Marsian gravity.
Date: 11/09/2011
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Amy! The problem of not enough gravity to hold an atmosphere is real--but may not be important except over thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, if some method of creating an atmosphere works on Mars. The magnetosphere issue likely has to do with a cooling interior. Slipping a black hole into the mix is interesting--but one sufficiently large to add to the gravity would easily swallow the rest of the planet! How do you keep it from gobbling up everything?

I'd say that terraforming is great fun, but unlikely to affect Mars short term, or last long term. Which is why in MOVING MARS I put colonists underground. Upsetting the planet's stable interior eventually recreates an atmosphere of sorts, and rain, but that's not something our level of engineering is likely to accomplish in the foreseeable future. (And where would you procure that black hole? Costco has them, for sure, but in bundles of six--and the packaging is extreme!)

Let me know how you work this out! It's an intriguing idea, would take some super physics to solve, and could be great fun to write about. (In essence, you'd be transforming Mars into a gigantic artificial station in space!)
 

Re: A hope of Marsian gravity.
Date: 11/26/2011
From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Camano Island, WA

Greg,

I must say I have been quite disappointed in Costco of late. On each of my last three visits, their black hole shelves have been completely empty, and on my last visit even the endcap display was gone. When I finally asked one of the employees why this was so, he looked at me rather oddly, (I didn't like him, he had shifty eyes) then said something about how they were trying to find a new supplier due to problems with packaging. According to him, the last shipment had what he called "bad shielding," and swallowed an entire forklift along with the driver, then a few other items of their stock, and part of the building before they were able to get it under control. I told him (quite rightly, I thought) I had little sympathy for this; either they were in the business of selling black holes or they were not. I must admit I was quite unprepared for the rudeness of his reply. No retail employee should ever speak to a customer in such a fashion, and really, how was I to know the forklift operator was his brother, anyway?

Seriously, though, regarding "...one sufficiently large to add to the gravity would easily swallow the rest of the planet," isn't it a question of degree? Couldn't a tiny black hole merely augment planetary gravitation sufficiently to hold an atmosphere without sucking in the planet in the bargain? Admittedly I am no physics genius, but it seems to me that if we were able to create black holes to order, we might be able to also control the degree of gravitational force they, er, emit? Or am I missing something basic, here?
 

Re: A hope of Marsian gravity.
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Indeed. Black holes are rarely the solution. In packs of six, they are definitely an accounting problem.

Hi, Greg

Date: 10/06/2011 From: gil artman
Location: bayside, ny

I wrote you a few yrs ago simply to express the great pleasure your novels have given me; particularly, EON. Greg, please believe me when I tell you that I tried hard to figure this out, but I can't get anywhere on my own, so please tell me: if Lanier or Karen or the Russians (Soviets) had entered the Stone through the other cap, where in the Way would they find themselves? Best wishes and many, many thanks, Gil
 

Re: Hi, Greg
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Excellent question, Gil! My first presumption is that the Stone has a broom closet, and that's where they'd end up if they did something so foolish--but I'm sure the truth is otherwise. Any ideas?
 

Re: Hi, Greg
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Gil Artman
Location: Bayside, NY

It just occurred to me that I've made this more of a problem, perhaps, than necessary and that the answer might be comparatively simple to resolve...maybe there's no reason to assume, as I have, that entry by Lanier et al into the Stone through the opposite cap should necessarily involve hyperspatial distortion; that is, since the other cap is about 180 miles from the cap through which they DID enter, they would, upon entry, simply find themselves 180 miles further into the interior of the Stone (in the third chamber, I guess). But I'm still perplexed as to how such entry would appear to an observer already in the third chamber-would the entrants appear to materialze out of thin air? Or would they be observed breaking through the uppermost (or bottom-most) boundary of the chamber? Still confused, I'm afraid...
 

Re: Hi, Greg
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

But you are proving my previous point! High-level thinking about an inherently difficult problem with an incomplete understanding of the underlying principles--same problems I had when writing about the Way in the first place. Keep going!

Convention invitation

Date: 10/05/2011 From: David Imgrund
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

My name is David and I am representative and co-Chair for MarsCon 2013, a fan bases, fan run, science fiction / fantasy geek convention. 2013 will be our 15th convention and we hope to make it a spectacular one. Greg is a request from more than one of our workers and attendees. While I have worked with many celebrities, I am new to the being in charge side, so I apologize if this is not as professional as you might expect. Last year we had Alexis Cruz from Stargate and Shark fame. For a writer we had Lois McMaster Bjold. This year we have Babylon 5's Claudia Christian and Catherine Asaro. As a personal fan I can say it would be a great honor to host Greg for our 15th annual convention.



Our website is www.marscon.org and we hold our conventions the first weekend in March. So, assuming we survive the 2012 apocalypse, MarsCon 2013 will be March 1-3.



This is my MarsCon specific email so all responses will be addressed immediately.



Thank you for your time and consideration.

Mount Improbable vs. Epigenetics

Date: 10/02/2011 From: Mat Taylor
Location: Wolverhampton, England

Hi Greg,
I'm pleased to say that there's a few of your books I haven't read yet; very much looking forward to them!

I've read Dawkins, Wilson, Gould, and a few others, and I'm particularly baffled by Dawkins' attitude towards epigenetic theory and understanding. Does he believe that he already has the answers, and that Mount Improbable, given enough time, can contain all the vital juice of evolutionary theory? Epigenetics teaches so much about the interaction between phenotypic legacy and the environment, why does Dawkins ignore this? Is it based upon an empirical perspective, or hubris perhaps?

Many thanks,

Mat
 

Re: Mount Improbable vs. Epigenetics
Date: 10/04/2011
From: Greg Bear

The ramifications of epigenetics are simply jaw-dropping. If we regard the genome as a series of piano keys, when and how you play the keys--that is, express genes and their ancillary components--determines the tune, the phenotype, and not just the keys themselves.

Tickling the ivories, so to speak, is what epigenetics is all about. And that tune-smithing allows an organism, or a species, to be much more responsive to changes in the environment than varying sequence alone, though both obvious play huge roles.

In fact, even in DARWIN'S RADIO, though I discuss a "genetic tool kit" that can shuffle, create, and/or recreate various traits, I never mention epigenetics per se. So we're all playing a lot of catch-up here!
 

Re: Mount Improbable vs. Epigenetics
Date: 10/06/2011
From: Mat Taylor
Location: Wolverhampton, England

The music of life, perhaps?
Sorry if my question was out of the blue, I've just read Darwin's Children, which toys with Goulds notion of Punctuated Equilibrium - correct me if Im wrong - and Im intrigued about the possible mechanisms of the central idea. I could have sworn that you mentioned epigenetics directly - it seems an obvious compliment to the concept. Thats great sci-fi for you: gets your own imagination going!

Many thanks Greg!
 

Re: Mount Improbable vs. Epigenetics
Date: 10/13/2011
From: Jonathan Williams
Location: Montgomery Village, MD

Indeed, Greg, you have quite a few books to write :)
 

Re: Mount Improbable vs. Epigenetics
Date: 11/09/2011
From: Greg Bear

Indirectly, no doubt--but the major epigenetics push came just after I published DARWIN'S RADIO. I was focused on viruses and transposons.

The Ship Of Law Creators

Date: 09/27/2011 From: Matthew Vomacka
Location: Montclair, NJ

Greg,
Just curious, did it ever occur to you when writing the book that the creators of the ship of law might be the same as the creators of the von neumann probes which destroyed earth in the first place? That the latter was their act of atonement for the former? That they left the weapons they designed in place at the end of the book in order to destroy any guilt felt by their eventual destroyers? That they hoped to negotiate a cease fire but that in the event they were destroyed, they wished to give their destroyers a lasting sense of peace with what they had done? That a god was, essentially, testing humanity and giving humanity the chance to kill it?

Additionally, since the ship of law was able to interfere with the human's minds in order to accomplish the mission (something about opening up new avenues of momerath I remember), is it possible that the guy who hanged himself, whose name I forgot but was an alternate personality, actually existed at some point prior to the book's opening?

Finally, can you remind me why the Ship of Law volunteers were not allowed to return to the Sol System and live with the human colony there?
 

Re: The Ship Of Law Creators
Date: 09/27/2011
From: Greg Bear

Interesting ideas, Matthew, but my intent was to have opposing forces shaping the galaxy. As for not returning to Sol's neighborhood, the Benefactors seemed to think that our victors might carry too many secrets to allow them to go home again--and possibly empower humanity.
 

Re: The Ship Of Law Creators
Date: 09/28/2011
From: Jonathan Williams
Location: Maryland

One thing of several left unanswered at the end of Anvil of Stars was what the human and brother crews did with their reality-warping knowledge.

The Ship of the Law obviously intended to destroy itself, in accordance with the Law. But you'd think it would also have an imperative to transmit the details of any newfound weapons technology to its original creators. Otherwise, if the human or brother crew decided to violate the law in the future, they'd have a terrific leg up, thanks to their advanced knowledge...

Slant

Date: 09/23/2011 From: Roger Foss
Location: Sitting Down

Just finished reading Slant.

Enjoyable, fun read. The business with Jack Giffey led to a payoff that completely blind-sided jaded-reader me. Kudos.

Thanks also for doing something both realistic and entertaining with the 'Utopians remaking the world' trope.

Coupla questions. I've apparently landed myself smack in the middle of a trilogy. While I hunt down the first and last books, would you be good enough to tell me what an INDA is, and what Yox does as entertainment that the other forms do not (and for that matter, the provenance of either/both terms)?

I'm kinda ahint the door when it comes to this sort of thing.

Roger D. Foss
 

Re: Slant
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Roger... INDA as I recall stands for Intelligent Neural Digital Assistant. Yox is colloquial for the high-tech movies of the day, a form of LitVid no doubt adapted for the masses...
 

Re: Slant
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Lisa
Location: Los Angeles

Greg, any chance of writing a follow-up to Queen of Angels and Slant? QoA is still among my favorite books of all time.
 

Re: Slant
Date: 09/26/2011
From: Greg Bear

No follow-ups as yet, but two prequels! QUANTICO and MARIPOSA lead into both the tech and the politics of QUEEN OF ANGELS and SLANT, and in MARIPOSA, we meet early incarnations of the first Thinker, and hints of what will later become Therapy. (And of course MOVING MARS and HEADS are in the same timestream, but later.)
 

Re: Slant
Date: 09/27/2011
From: Lisa
Location: Los Angeles

Thanks. That's great news. Looking forward to them!
 

Re: Slant
Date: 09/28/2011
From: Greg Bear

And better yet, they're already available!

Thistledown Architecture

Date: 09/15/2011 From: Jason Taylor
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

I wanted to get a scale of how big the interior of the Thistledown was at ground level so I drew up a simple scale circle with a 1000 meter tall building in it(Autocad). Then I realised the buildings along the arc would be smiling subtlely at the inhabitants when looking down the axis at ground level. Each floor would have to follow the gravitational(centrifugal or is it centripital?) force arcs and the higher the floor would make it slowly get narrower by about 2% for the first 1000 meters. This is hardly noticeable in the drawing.
Each building, if following the force lines, would point toward the plasma tube and look like small hairs growing toward the ever present light. Or, I guess, if they were megas, be mushrooms growing toward the light.
Ground level walking would be interesting as well. Your destination would be continually over your eye level when walking spinward or anti spinward, making the people have a habit of looking up.
Thanks for the premiss for a thought experiment.
 

Re: Thistledown Architecture
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Terrific perspective, Jason!

Multiple realities and India

Date: 09/12/2011 From: chris p
Location: sedona AZ

Dear Mr Bear,
Just finished City at the End of Time. Some of the words and names remind me of my twenty trips to India and the things various gurus had to say about the nature of reality. Do you have any knowledge of the writings of Shankara or the teaching of Ramana Maharshi? Also, I've been to Lynnwood and passed it many times on my way to and from Vancouver (I was born in Vanc. WA, lived mostly in Vanc BC.
Thanks,
Chris

 

Re: Multiple realities and India
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Chris! I'm not familiar with these folks--but am passing familiar with Indian philosophy/religion. Any recommendations for titles?
 

Re: Multiple realities and India
Date: 09/27/2011
From: chris p
Location: sedona

Thank you for the reply.
About 1200 years ago Shankara lived in India, he was brilliant. His point of view summed up the best of the Hindu scriptures, the upanishads. In modern times there have been those of the buddha's calibre, but they are not as well known. A modern book I would recommend is : Be As You Are
The teachings of Ramana Maharshi by David Godman. Ramana had a number of enlightened students, although he would say that ultimately there are no students and no teachers, that the dream state and waking state are both something like a mirage on the screen of consciousness. It is very difficult in a few words to describe what Ramana Maharshi said. However, my experience of being around some of his students was mindblowing and intoxicating.
I am That by Nisargadatta is a classic, but shorter books edited by Jean Dunn about Nisargadatta Maharaj I prefur.
 

Re: Multiple realities and India
Date: 09/28/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, chris.

Interstellar Fiction

Date: 09/10/2011 From: Michael Egan
Location: West Yrokshire, England

Hi Greg.

I've been a fan of yours since The Forge of God, and have just finished, and enjoyed, Hull Zero Three. Why do you think there is such a paucity of realistic novels based on an interstellar theme? Science fiction to me now seems to be either very provincial (ie, set within our own solar system) or is of the 'operatic' variety. Surely there must be thousands of stories which could be told revolving around, say, the first expedition to Alpha Centauri or Barnard's Star? Instead of Red Mars, how about Red Stars? If I could write, I'd tackle this myself!
Regards: Michael Egan
 

Re: Interstellar Fiction
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

I like it! But interstellar fiction abounds, if you don't opt for the "realism" part. Realistic interstellar fiction is just darned hard to write, especially when the physics seems so very much against us!
 

Re: Interstellar Fiction
Date: 10/20/2011
From: tungsten carbide
Location: San Francisco, CA

That's very much a feature I like about Anvil, Hull03 and their relatively few literary peers: the idea that we can have fantastic technologies, for example making fake matter and / or infinite varieties of genetically tailored organisms, but still be constrained by the fundamental limits such as lightspeed and fuel. This concept that there are some physical realities that can't be overcome even in the face of tremendous advances lends a hefty sense of authenticity that makes the other elements of the stories' universes plausible.

I just finished Hull, and it's great to see another masterwork added to that all-too-small genre. And, AHEM, Greg, while we're on the subject of that genre being all too small, you know, coughing up that rumored Anvil sequel and maybe throwing in a successor to Hull Zero Three (a prequel?) would be a great way to expand that pile. I'm just sayin'.

W74
 

Re: Interstellar Fiction
Date: 11/01/2011
From: isaeah
Location:

There might be more than you think. Look round some more. As well, there is a lot of stuff from '90 onward that isn't well known to youngsters - some authors being Benford, and Baxter.

But, it seems, Scifi has become mainstream. SF is harder to find.
 

Re: Interstellar Fiction
Date: 11/06/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks! Should be adding to that pile on the next contract. More to come!

Seeking Advice

Date: 09/06/2011 From: Aaron Mick
Location: Los Angeles

Hi Greg,

I am a full-time college student at the University of Southern California. I have recently finished a manuscript for a 400 page science fiction adventure novel that I have been working on the last couple years.

Anyways, I've edited a first draft and wanted to begin trying to get it published. I heard that a popular route these days is to self-publish online, and your name was mentioned in a recent article about self-publishing online. After seeing how many great works you have accomplished, I figured you would know a thing or two about this.

I was wondering if you had any advice about perusing this route, or if you could suggest any possible companies/sites I should look into for publishing a science fiction novel.

Thanks in advance,
Aaron Mick
 

Re: Seeking Advice
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Still best to try selling to mainstream publishing, at this point. They have the marketing expertise to really launch books well. But if they don't nibble, by all means--explore the new channels of communication!

Forerunner Trilogy

Date: 09/01/2011 From: Cindy Donais
Location: Michigan, USA

Hi Mr Bear,

I love your work. Will you be writing the next book in the Forerunner Saga Trilogy. I hope so.

Thanks for your time,
Cindy Donais
 

Re: Forerunner Trilogy
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Absolutely! PRIMORDIUM is coming in January 2012.

9/11

Date: 08/29/2011 From: Bill Russell
Location: Vancouver Island Canada

Just read Quantico.
When I saw the jets hit the towers I called an assoiciate
in Texas that I had worked with in construction.
I asked if it looked like the towers were imploded
with explosives. He said yes. I agreed.
A lot of information has come out since that day.

Do you believe they fell from just the jet impact and fire?
 

Re: 9/11
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Yes.
 

Re: 9/11
Date: 09/26/2011
From: John S
Location: Western MA

Greg,

You don't know what a relief it is to hear that you are NOT one of those "truthers". Of course, as you are a man of science and critical thinking, I am not surprised...but nevertheless, I am still relieved.
 

Re: 9/11
Date: 09/26/2011
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Physics are sufficient to bring down buildings. To reduce principles to rubble requires hysteria.
 

Re: 9/11
Date: 09/28/2011
From: Greg Bear

Even so, the way those buildings collapsed was competely unexpected to my untrained eye. Makes me realize how much stress loading plays a part in such massive undertakings! Were I describing that scene in a novel, I'd no doubt have had the buildings topple over... which the hijackers also apparently hoped for.

The surreality of the imploding collapse adds to the horror, I think. And perhaps to the disbelief some people feel about the whole situation.
 

Re: 9/11
Date: 11/01/2011
From: isaeah
Location:

I'll tell ya this: when I heard about it, I immediately thought, 'Oh, now they can write their own checks.' You know whom I mean. And they did.
 

Re: 9/11
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Alas, we're the ones writing the checks... or will be for some time to come.

waiting is like

Date: 08/24/2011 From: Grant Barrett
Location: New Zealand

... doing a billion functions in the time it takes to say my name ..... Hell.
please all i need to know is When is the second part coming out of HALO Cryptum ??? !!!
 

Re: waiting is like
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

January 2012! Primordium!

frustrated

Date: 08/24/2011 From: CollinP
Location: Gordo Alabama

I have never destroyed a book before.
Many years ago, before I can really remember, I was shopping in Booksamillion and came upon a book in the fantasy section called Songs of Earth and Power. I saw your name, and I remember you did a Star Wars book, the one right after episode one, and I really liked it, so I picked it up, bought it, took it home, and fell in love. I was young, mostly in to Susan Cooper and a series called Animorphs, and it was right in my comfortable niche of imagination. I have read many of your books, but none have affected me in the same way. It was the book that made me want to be a writer, the book that changed me. It gave me faith in my own internal strangeness. Years have passed. My dream is fading in a haze of life and rebellious choices. I am trying, thinking about sending in to magazines, doing it the old way, the way writers always did it before college became such a social fascination. I am anything but practical and that led me to a hard life. I can not detail to you the circumstances that led up to my ultimate breakdown of sanity, the situations that led me to the frustration of violence, but I found myself in my utility room surrounded by the shredded echoes of your novel, which had been worn with multiple readings and that I had tenderly taped and kept for so long. Books are my blood. They were my center and my sanity, and to destroy one, especially one so beloved, has changed me. My fear and uncertainty has been replaced with a solidity of judgement upon myself, and though I regret I destroyed one of my most beloved things, I still remember your words, and hold them as my power. I guess I just want to apologize.
Ever a fan
Cerp
 

Re: frustrated
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Not a problem, Collin! The book is still out there...

SF and scientific realism

Date: 08/23/2011 From: Bob Porter
Location: USA

Does science fiction tend to be inspired by science, or a reaction to it -- like intelligent design? I wonder if the genre isn't defined by tropes incompatible with scientific realism.
 

Re: SF and scientific realism
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Science itself on occasion strays beyond past generations' concepts of "scientific realism," witness the current brouhaha about FTL neutrinos... Real, or not? We'll see!

The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.

Date: 08/22/2011 From: Chronarch
Location: England

Greg Bear,

I don't think I can thank you enough for the wonderful work you've done on Halo Cryptum. It was so refreshing to read a Halo novel through the eyes of a character, it made the story feel much more personal. The development was brilliant and the story was top-notch.

But most of all, I was intrigued by the Timeless One and the grand mystery that surrounds him. I think there is a very close connection between the Timeless One and the Gravemind.

Gravemind states in Human Weakeness that he has consumed many AIs but spared one who joined him long ago, obviously referring to Mendicant Bias. Mendicant Bias is the one who frees the Timeless One and later attacks the Capital saying he serves a new master.

Primordium's description states that humans call the Prisoner "The Primordial", this is the same name Major John Smith uses to describe the Flood in The Mona Lisa.

The Prisoner is known as "the Timeless One", Gravemind describes himself as a "timeless chorus".

Gravemind states he has "listened - through rock and metal and time", the Prisoner listened to the humans and San'Shyuum at Charum Hakkor in his prison for a very long time.

The last words of the Gravemind are: "Resignation is my virtue; like water I ebb, and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved... but you imposed." The latter part is referring to imprisonment, a sentence he never deserved. The Prisoner of Charum Hakkor was locked away (currently) for unknown reasons.

"Child of my enemy," is seemingly a reference to Ancient Humanity - the first foe the Flood fought and lost against. The Gravemind speaks as if he is an anceint entity, so it's not possible he was "conceived" on Installation 05 when the Flood broke out 200 years prior to Halo 2.

In the Bestiarum, they have the Spartans labled as "Unclassified. You can tell they mean Spartans because they list them as "homo sapiens augeous". You can tell from the "augeous" they mean augmentations. Another curious thing to note is that they label them as Reclaimers. Anyways, even though they're labeled as a separate people it still says "Ties with group - Human".

However if you check out the Gravemind which is separate from the Flood like the Spartans, it doesn't say "Ties with group - Flood". He remains his own separate species.

In fact, in a physical sense, I don't think the Prisoner was ever physically present, but rather using the Gravemind as a conduit for his mouth (akin to the Mouth of Sauron from LOTR). The giant venus fly trap we see in Halo 2 got completely obliterated twice, once in the Forerunner era and once in the contemporary era, yet the Gravemind still survived.

Three things: Firstly, the Proto-Graveminds are a physical entity that requires much more substantial amounts of biomass to be created then what was present at 05. Second, when the Proto-GM dies, everything in the local Flood hive else dies, and it can be killed by conventional means, which the real GM cannot. Third, he speaks as if he's extremely old and has experienced all things the Flood did 100,000 years ago and even before then.

The venus flytrap is a mouth organ, for him to speak verbally to the Chief and Arbiter. That was "destroyed" in Halo 3 during the High Charity explosion, yet GM survived again and begun rebuilding itself on the Ring.

All of this indicates the Prisoner/Gravemind might not truly have ever been present, and that he was somewhere else, a long way from possibly even the galaxy, projecting his mind into the Flood.

Its this case with the Bestiarum that originally lead me to believe that the Gravemind was not actually present at Installation 05, High Charity or 04B, but rather the Prisoner was somehow psychically projecting his consciousness, or a part of it as the GM can apparently do so with individual Flood, to converse with Cortana.

This would also explain why he seems to exist as a non-corporeal entity.

But listen to me telling you the details of your own story like a fool. Just some observations I've made and I wonder if you could shed any light on the validity of what I've said.

Keep up the fantastic work, I can't wait for Primordium.
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Terrific analysis and synopsis, Chronarch! Have you inside information? Are you in fact... a Gravemind?

Best wishes!

Greg
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 12/29/2011
From: Johnathan bullis
Location: america

Hey I love the book. I heard somewhere that chief was chakas ancestor? IDK if it was fake or not probably was. But if not, maybe gravemind/precursor literally means: child of my enemy
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

No knowledge of that...
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Chronarch
Location: England

Oooooh, looks like I was right [to a degree] after all. :P
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 01/20/2012
From: Greg Bear

To the best of my knowledge, Chakas admits to no offspring. And no offspring are in evidence in either novel. I suspect Riser was more profligate, however.
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 02/22/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks! All good thoughts and questions. For the time being, not posting this because there might be three or four readers out there who don't want some surprises spoiled!
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 05/08/2012
From: Ben
Location: America

Greg,
To start, its people like yourself that propel the Halo series beyond just a video game and make it the immersing universe that it is, for that i thank you. I also have a question about the flood according to your book, which is accepted cannon and very enjoyable. Was the powder that eventually mutated the pherue a biological weapon left over by the precursors as revenge? I also am curious when your next book is scheduled to release? Thank you,
Ben
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 05/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

All (or most) will be answered in SILENTIUM, so far scheduled for January 2013! Thanks, Ben.
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 05/21/2012
From: Rob
Location: America

I have one quick question, at the height of the forerunner empire what were there numbers as far as ships go? I read through the books but never found a direct answer, could you... shed some light?
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 05/22/2012
From: Greg Bear

If I understand your question, Rob, those details are currently in the charge of 343. They will advise me.
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 05/23/2012
From: Rob
Location: America

Thanks, I was curious... the industrial power of the forerunner empire seems so advanced.. more advanced in fact than even their weapons. Reading some of the speculations of there industrial power made my mind boggle( the calcs were on factpile under the forerunners vs Galactic Empire thread) which as a note, cryptum dramatically changed the direction of. From an author standpoint.. since you've pretty much created this empires massive abilities, the rings were impressive but the empire you've created makes the halos look like nothing, would you consider the forerunner empire one of the most powerful sci-fi races? Its a bit of a personal question but i became curious as to your impression of the race you developed more than anyone else.. for that matter combined.
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 05/23/2012
From: Ben
Location: Usa

Mr. Bear, I love that you have this feature on this website. Its interesting to see how you as the author meant things compared to how we interpret them. As a side note i was wandering how much creative space you have and how bound you are by 343i. I am also curious as to how powerful the primary weapons on the fortress class cruisers are? I read some rough calculations on factpile based on cannon. But lets simplify it for someone who isn't exactly a math guy.. how powerful are they compared to well lets say little boy.
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 05/28/2012
From: Greg Bear

Powerful, yes--but we have to look back to Edward E. ("Doc") Smith and his godlike Arisians and Eddorians, which he describes in his Lensmen novels, and who seem to be even more powerful than the Forerunners. Larry Niven's Ringworld Engineers come to mind, as well. And take a look at the intelligences written of by Arthur C. Clarke in CHILDHOOD'S END and CITY AND THE STARS, as well as the beings who mess with our evolution in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. I'm sure there are a great many SF alien races, vanished or otherwise, who might be contenders in this arena!
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 05/28/2012
From: Greg Bear

Technical details and numbers I leave to the experts. I've had a great time working with 343. They've given me an astonishing amount of freedom, but our jam sessions have been so fruitful that it could be I am being manipulated by their own insidious Gravemind...!
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 01/15/2013
From: David
Location:

Dear Greg Bear the forerunner triliogy is awesome so far wish they'd made a spin off game keep up the good work. I was wondering Bungie's original idea for forerunners we're to be human counterpart if i remember correctly ehat made you guys decide to change your mind? And also just curious did you had to take out some stuff to make it cannon or were there ideas that didn't make the cut
 

Re: The wonderful mysteries of the Forerunner Trilogy.
Date: 02/03/2013
From: Greg Bear

Lots of back and forth between 343's crack team and me during all of these books, and most especially, SILENTIUM. Forerunners and humans do have a lot in common! And not just issues with their parental species...

Previous contact between us?

Date: 08/19/2011 From: Ralph W Perrello
Location: Emery, SD

Hi Greg,
I just read EON and enjoyed it very much. I am originally from Middletown, NY. Are you the same Greg Bear writer that did an article about servicing oil burners for The Mother Earth News many years ago? You lived on the southern tier of NY state just above the PA border in a house with no electricity. Your wife was working at a day care place. I am the heating guy from Middletown you came to see for the information for the article which turned out great. It is nice to see that you have had success at your chosen profession. I am now retired and am a full time RV'er. I live in a 30' fifth wheel trailer as my only home and bum around the country. My mail forwarding service and address is in Emery, SD.

Ralph W Perrello
tararwp1940@yahoo.com




 

Re: Previous contact between us?
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Not the same fellow, to the best of my knowledge!

Did you get it?

Date: 08/18/2011 From: Max Coplan
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Greetings, Mister Bear.

I recently asked a question on here (maybe three or four weeks ago) and I was just wondering if you've read it (you might remember it as the one that had like, 15 links in total)? I just wanted a couple answers to the questions I asked, thank you very much, and I wondered if there is a way for some conformation of you reading it. Even if you did not post it to the website, I'd still like to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks!
 

Re: Did you get it?
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Max--

I had some severe difficulty accessing the links and website--don't know what the problems were.

Wish I had time to answer all the questions in detail--but have to finish these books! PRIMORDIUM is completed and in the pipeline!

Best--

Greg

Non-coding DNA and Cancer

Date: 08/18/2011 From: Jeff Harmon
Location: San Francisco

This article made me reminisce about DARWIN'S RADIO so I thought I'd share:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/health/16cancer.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
 

Re: Non-coding DNA and Cancer
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Jeff--yet one more nail in the idea of "junk DNA," which struck me as silly even thirty years ago...!
 

Re: Non-coding DNA and Cancer
Date: 11/01/2011
From: isaeah
Location:

Knowing almost nothing about science when I was in high school, I immediately dismissed the idea of 'junk dna'. It didn't make sense.

Orthogonally, while I think the pursuit of knowledge is healthy, knowing how the body works at microscopic levels doesn't aid us in improving upon nature: nature grows food and we eat it, and we are healthy (more or less).

halo book

Date: 08/16/2011 From: john sansone
Location: wv

first off i apologise for my horrable spelling and puncuitation and i go allover the place if you wis you can correct my questions etc if you want to post it ok now. i love halo and all the books especialy yours i looked up other books and loved hull 03 (you should wright an sequal) i havent listend to anny other ones. are you going to wright any more halo books and if so when will it be out and what will it be called and what part of the universe will it be about? the precursers? and are there any other books of yours you would recomend me or other aurthers? thank you for your time
 

Re: halo book
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Hello, John! HALO: PRIMORDIUM is in the pipeline and should be published in January. After that, I'm putting together a new contract with my publisher, and when that's finalized, we can announce some titles.

Writing(s)

Date: 08/13/2011 From: Robert J. Drake
Location: Rome, NY

Greg Bear,

I greatly admire your book "Songs of Earth and Power". I am a big fan of the fantasy genre period, actually. I am also an aspiring writer. (I know that in this day and age, what with all books going the way of the dinosaurs, and these e- readers taking the mantle of carrying the written word to new people, places, and a new era entirely, it is probably not one of the most sound decisions.) But,as I am a man of many talents, and the learniing capacity to match, I find myself confident, and flexible enough, to be able to afford my needs, day to day living, and my creative aspirations and goals. I have two questions. The first is this: "Why did you never write another sequel to the "Songs of Earth and Power" series? I thought that the whole worlds coming together was a stroke of genius. I found that the characters were at play in one of the most horrifically beautiful places I have ever seen in a work of fiction. I found the characters engaging and and easy to identify with. I enjoyed every word of your two volume foray into the journey of Micheal and his discoveries of self and the joining of the two worlds that he had to feel for his connection to. At the conclusion of "The Serpent Mage", I wanted nothing but more of the Geen Crona and Micheal. I was infinitely curious about how the joining was accomplished and integrated into the lives of both worlds inhabitatnts, and maybe some adventures of some other people that were experienced during their travels in the newly joined world. Maybe a new mage trainee? :-) The second question is probably not as easy as the first. " What advice, if any, do you have for an aspiring author?" I would be very interested to hear your thoughts. Especially with the changing climate of literature these days. I will eagerly await your response. But, as you are undoubtedly a busy man, as are most this day and age, I will therefore patiently await your eventual correspondence. Thank you for your time and consideration! :-)

Sincerely,


Robert
 

Re: Writing(s)
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Robert! All good questions--but for the time being, the two books will have to tell the tale. No plans for a third.

Virtual Space - the movies of the future

Date: 08/10/2011 From: Bob Yarwood
Location: UK

Dear Greg,

Thanks for your reply to me on this subject, although as I said in the essay, I think 3D is a separate issue altogether. I have just sent a letter to James Cameron about the possibility of doing Eon as an ordinary film, but I don't know if the letter will even get to him!. This is a copy of the letter:

"James Cameron
c/o Directors Guild of America
7920 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046
U.S.A.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I wonder if you have ever thought about making a film of Greg Bears novel Eon? It is my favourite SF novel  and I have been a SF fan since 1955.

You have probably read Eon, or know about it, but if not, I think it would be visually awesome. It is classed as hard SF  that is, presented as strictly scientific with no element of fantasy. There is a lot of reference to the Cold War, which is now out of date and I think could be cut out for the film. Some of the concepts might be difficult for the audience to understand, but I remember the same was said about 2001 A Space Odyssey and yet it became a classic. As the author is still active you would be able to discuss it with him and perhaps produce an updated version, like Stanley Kubrick did with Arthur C. Clarke. After all, I remember that "2001" was just a short story at first!"

I don't know if it will ever happen, but here's hoping!

Yours sincerely,
Bob Yarwood

 

Re: Virtual Space - the movies of the future
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Had a good conversation with Mr. Cameron at the opening of his AVATAR exhibit here at Experience Music Project in Seattle. Lightstorm, his company, has done excellent "coverage" on a wide variety of sf novels, and he is very well read--but I'm glad you're doing the recommending!

Thanks!

Date: 08/08/2011 From: Tatsuya
Location: Japan

Thank you for your advise.
I have to admit that Japanese publishing companies only translate the first novel of trilogy and saga and new comeres Mr. Robert Sawer also said that his newest trilogy was not sold to Hayakawa. But I am sure your novel would be published if your novel will be awarded Hugo and you have a talent to write the novel which is not just a mere entertament but make readers think after they would finish reading your book.
I apologize if some mistakes would be included.
I wish your health.
Good bye.
 

Re: Thanks!
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, and health to you as well, Tatsuya!

noach :)

Date: 08/07/2011 From: Ted Bannon
Location: Atlanta, GA

Hi Greg,

I just finished re-reading both _Forge of God_ and _Anvil of Stars_ this weekend. My memory is a tad fuzzy, but I think I read them for the first time in 1999 or 2000. Generally speaking, I'm not much for re-reading anything, but these books made quite an impression and I needed to do some escaping from life's little misadventures this weekend.

Incidentally, I bought digital versions this time: Forge from Google Books, and Anvil from Barnes & Noble (for my Nook). There were certainly some OCR issues with both, but the Google version was especially bad. As an example, words like "live" were transmuted to "Uve" repeatedly -- I'll bet I actually noticed 20 obvious mistakes and given how quickly (which is to say, I don't read everything closely) I read I probably missed a bunch more. Just thought I'd pass that along so you can complain to your publisher or whomever. Your work deserves better treatment! ;)

My real reason for writing: I've only just finished Anvil tonight, and have been pondering the ending wherein a huge cache of neutronium & anti-neutronium needles had been discovered at the core of what had been Sleep. As a literary device, I see the point. But from a purely technical perspective, why would the Killers need to cache needles? If they have this powerful noach ability to transform matter in other forms of matter, or anti-matter (up to 50 billion klicks, I think), couldn't they just spontaneously convert matter floating around their solar system on an as-needed basis? The makers were building heavy matter bombs at the outer edge of the system and presumably this matter could be used by the Killers for similar purposes. Also the stockpiling of recently manufactured needles suggests a production or assembly line perhaps, which seems curious given the Killers obvious technical abilities and a desire to avoid detection/discovery and punishment.

Thanks,

-Ted

P.S. The needles were fantastic and scary in Forge though and certainly my favorite apocalyptic/world ending concept yet! ;)

P.P.S. Didn't Wolfram prove in ANKoS that the universe really is just a giant information matrix? Just kidding. I'm ashamed to say that I own that book and only read the first couple of chapters before concluding that he didn't seem headed to a non-obvious conclusion. It's like reading any of the (fairly) recent "There is no God" efforts -- there's nothing new. People have short memories evidently.


 

Re: noach :)
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

I've sent your technical questions off to the Planet Killers and you should expect a response any day now...

As for Wolfram and information mechanics, the ideas go quite a ways back, with many branches, including Wolfram and some of the brightest folks in computer theory, Ed Fredkin and Frederick Kantor among them.

DEAD BATTERIES FOR DARWIN'S RADIO

Date: 08/01/2011 From: Vilma Scott
Location: London, UK

Have just read "Darwin's Radio". Fascinating stuff, but can we really believe that a scientist of Kaye's caliber would not have anticipated the persecution she and her husband and child would suffer, having been so determined to become pregnant? And her outcry, "I felt like a leper. Worse, like a nigger."

Where's the scientific background to excuse that regrettable cry of self-pity and bigotry?
 

Re: DEAD BATTERIES FOR DARWIN'S RADIO
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Kaye is human and discouraged and tired. As for anticipating problems--since when did that stop scientists, or any parents for that matter, from experimenting with life by having children?

Cryptum

Date: 07/31/2011 From: JuanCarlos Bravo
Location: Anywhere, nowhere. NY.

Hello there. I'm an avid Halo fan and I was excited when you wrote Cryptum not because I know of your work (I'm going be honest and say it was the first I read that you wrote,) but because you were exploring the background of the Forerunners. I love the Forerunners because they're the mysterious 'heroes' in the Halo background who committed suicide to save the galaxy.

That being said, I have a few questions.

(Sorry.)


Since Crpytum you've made the Forerunners into one of the low/high-tier science fiction races. Like the Ancients from Stargate but with competence, lack of stagnation and alien culture.

But on certain forums, like the Spacebattles Forum, people argue about calcs and yields, an example being Daleks/Time Lords vs Forerunners or WH 40k. A lot of people there argued on whether the Forerunners are actually high-tier or you made it vague enough so that it looks like their a advanced race.

1. The way you write it, Forerunner battle suits like the Sphinx or their successors can wipe out an entire city single-handily or fire shots from their armor that can be seen from orbit. Is that an exaggeration or do Forerunner weapons really fire shots as powerful as a small nuclear bomb?

2. How powerful are Forerunner weapons on their ships? Right now it seems like Teratons...

3. Are Onyx drones are anything similar going to make an appearance? In the next book, are we going to get glimpses of a Forerunner war? In too many books about galactic wars, people don't grasp just how big a war fought across the galaxy can be. Are you going to give hints or anything like that?

4. The Forerunner Flood War... is a bit confusing. With the level of tech the Forerunners have (and that you gave them), they shouldn't have had an issue with the Flood. Swamp them with Sentinels and the Flood are done with no, no infected. In the novel, you mention that since the flood's return the Forerunner's have lost less than a dozen worlds. What changed?

5. You imply that the Flood are the creation of the Precursors - but previous canon says the Flood came from another galaxy (having infected said previous galaxy.) Are you still using that background?
 

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

All terrific questions, JuanCarlos! I'll answer a couple. In my estimation, Forerunner weapons are plenty powerful, but not quite up to erasing entire planets or solar systems. Precursors are just mysterious enough that their origins are still unresolved!
 

Re: Cryptum
Date: 08/16/2011
From: JuanCarlos Bravo
Location: White Plains

Sorry again... the stuff that the Forerunners use and the things seen in the games seem drastically different. Forerunner combat suits seem to be able to create massive explosions that could be seen from low-Earth orbit and Forerunner cruisers carry smaller cruisers with millions of drones in them. But in the games, the Sentinels and their weapons can barely deal with the Flood. Covenant gear, which is based off Forerunner tech, don't seem to be related to Forerunner tech.

Why the drastic difference?
 

Re: Cryptum
Date: 08/30/2011
From: Kronos
Location: Moscow, Russia

Hello I (and others) want to ask you something.
Sorry, tell us when you wrote Cryptum, you know enough ancient history and the history of Halo? Sorry.
1. 100,000 years ago, the galaxy was populated by a great variety of beings. 100 000. People then were Neanderthals. How could they fight the Forerunners? And to live on other planets? They had their own spacecraft and launch sites?
2. Steam boat on Earth? At that time? Why? At this time there were only stone axes.
3. People have become toxic to the Flood. Why they are infected - in the games?
4. So where has appeared Flood? He did from another galaxy came to us? Or not?
5. There were two wars with the Flood? One in your book, and the other - before that? If so, why not lived previously Forerunners warned posterity?
We would be very grateful if you could answer us.
Thank you.
 

Re: Cryptum
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

What a difference a thousand centuries makes! Maybe they're all past their warrantee expiration dates?
 

Re: Cryptum
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

All good questions, Kronos! Perhaps I can answer a few of them in the third Forerunner novel. Meanwhile, PRIMORDIUM introduces us to a wide range of human types and settings.
 

Re: Cryptum
Date: 10/11/2011
From: JuanCarlos Bravo
Location: White Plains

Maybe in your next book, can you go a little more detail in Forerunner technology? The society you made is fantastic... but really, its their technology that move the Halo series - everything the Forerunner leave behind revolves around their technology and structures.

Have you seen Halo Origins?

:p
 

Re: Cryptum
Date: 11/20/2011
From: Sean
Location: Texas

I'll handle a bit of these; I actually post on SB.com, so yeah.
-Forerunner tech permits destruction of biospheres. This was routine throughout the war. It came to the point of inducing suns to go nova at even the slightest hint of an infestation. However, I don't think Mr.Bear is quite interested in calculations. He seems to want to throw in the general idea of what's going on while spending more time building the story(which, btw, superb job).

As for the Flood-Forerunner war, read into a few things that Mr.Bear put into the book: Mendicant Bias devastated their government, their information network and probably their ability to transit across the galaxy. Throw in the fact that he also had a massive strategic advantage, given he was the top tier AI. I bet most of their strategic assets were completely down.

Then there's the fact that the Warrior Servants were at a low point what with the Master Builder's political maneuvers. It wasn't so easy to just spam them with trillions of sentinels. Then just look at the sheer capability of the Flood to spread.

Then there's the Timeless One, who I am very convinced will have something to do with the Gravemind(my guess is either becomes it, creates it or something similar). But I'm sure Mr.Bear will be able to confirm that in the next book.
 

Re: Cryptum
Date: 01/16/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, JuanCarlos!

We're getting there in PRIMORDIUM and in the third book, in progress now, but if I told you any more, the folks at 343 would send a Spartan or two after me!

How can I publish my best novel in America?

Date: 07/30/2011 From: Tatsuya Iseki, pen name Kenkyou Fukai
Location: Japan

I have just translate my finest novel from Japanese to English. I wish to publish my novel in America because America is a nation of freedom of speach. In my novel two fictious emperor appear and even it is fiction Japanese publisher did not accept it even though some company said your novell was fine but if we publish our employees would be a taget of tero. So I send emails of inquiry to the several agents which specialize in SF. But I was neglected.
Do you think my dream is mere daydream? Also when I visited their homepage I often read the word query and submission.
Of course I know the meaning because I have a dictionary, but it seems to me that there is a special meaning in the context of agent's society. Could you explain this is a jagon or just simple word?
Also please tell me the newest your novel which is translated to Japanese. I swear to buy that book. Truth to tell I want to purchase your newest imported novel but they are expensive for me because I am a jobless handicapped.
Anyway thank you for reading.I wish your health.
 

Re: How can I publish my best novel in America?
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Tatsuya! Thanks for your letter. I, too, have had difficulties getting my novels published in Japan recently. As for publishing in English, your best bet may be to set up an electronic edition and market that through one of the better electronic publishers, or through Amazon/Kindle.
 

Re: How can I publish my best novel in America?
Date: 08/07/2011
From: JuanCarlos Bravo
Location:

Tatsuya, I might be able to help you. A member from Spacebattles published his novel on Amazon. Do you want me to contact him and see if he can help?

Cryptum: Missing Halo

Date: 07/27/2011 From: Sean
Location: USA

Was the Halo from Charum Hakkor also used to sterilize the San'Shyuum homeworld? Its hinted a few times within the book, but never verified. I believe Bornstellar assumes so, but the "prodigal" halo , as it arrives at the Capital, is later described as having been missing since Charum Hakkor. Hoping you can clarify, as it makes Mendicant's arrival and interaction with Fabr much more significant.

Thank you
 

Re: Cryptum: Missing Halo
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Good record-keeping, Sean! There are a number of Halos out there, but I'll look up the license plate on this one and see where it's been...

Loved Hull Zero Three

Date: 07/21/2011 From: Mike D.
Location: The Big Mango, Thailand

Since last year, I was sad to see the lackluster reviews of Hull Zero Three on Amazon. Being a dedicated fan I am, I ignored the uninformed reviewers and finally bought the novel when I was back state-side a few months ago. I had a chance to crack it open over a long weekend and I'm happy to say I loved it! Such a relief. It's great to see you're back exploring the cosmos and the human condition.

One question: Were there any other titles you were working with when you wanted to name the novel? "Hull Zero Three" is a great ambiguous title.

I left a lengthy review of the novel on Amazon, as I tend to do with every book I read. I look forward to another epic space novel in the future, Mr. Bear.

Regards,
Mike D.
 

Re: Loved Hull Zero Three
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Mike! I don't often read the Amazon reviews. Too many trolls hard at work. Earlier title was WOMB OF STARS but the good folks at Orbit got their heads together and worked up this one, which is indeed perfect.
 

Re: Loved Hull Zero Three
Date: 08/22/2011
From: plain-speak
Location:

Yeah, besides being rather vague, WOMB OF STARS makes me think of the titles of Benford's Galactic Center series - IN THE OCEAN OF NIGHT, ACROSS THE SEA OF SUNS, etc - that truly applied.

Forerunner Saga

Date: 07/21/2011 From: Jeff
Location: WI

Just finished Cryptum and loved it. Great way to introduce the main character as well as the species. I am anticipating Book 2 soon?
 

Re: Forerunner Saga
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Last chapters underway! January 2012 is the pub date.

Thank you

Date: 07/09/2011 From: Uros C
Location: Bosnia

Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful worlds you introduced us to.
 

Re: Thank you
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

My pleasure to act as guide, Uros!

Audio books

Date: 07/05/2011 From: Adam Conner
Location: San Antonio, TX

I am a huge fan of your work, but find that I wish more had audio versions ,like Eon, my first book of yours. I really enjoyed Halo : Cryptum in audio format. Is there any hope of older books like Eon being re-released into audio?
 

Re: Audio books
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

That is something we should definitely look into, Adam! A lot of my earlier novels are available on audio.

Virtual Space - the movies of the future

Date: 07/05/2011 From: Bob Yarwood
Location: Mirfield, West Yorkshire, England

For the last two years I have been trying to interest people in an idea I have had for a new way of making and showing movies and video games. It seems quite simple and obvious to me, but for some reason no-one else has thought of it, or thinks anything of it. Briefly,it uses a
head-mounted display helmet with head-tracking and computer control of the image so that the viewer seems to be inside the scene with the action going on all round. I have written an essay about it and posted it as a website at this address:

Virtual Space - the movies of the future
http://www.virtual-space.org.uk

The only mention I have found of this idea was in Eon (which incidentally is my favourite SF novel). I have put the relevant passage, slightly altered, in the essay with an acknowledgement. No doubt you will remember it!

I have said "yes" to your question about posting this letter on your site, but I leave it up to you if you want to do so.

I won't take up your time with any more explanations - if you would like to read the essay, which should only take about 5 minutes, we can discuss it later if you feel inclined.

 

Re: Virtual Space - the movies of the future
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Bob! It's a cool idea, and very likely possible with just a good pair of 3D projection glasses. I also touched on these displays in QUANTICO and MARIPOSA, and they would indeed revolutionize cinema! As well as interior decorating...
 

Re: Virtual Space - the movies of the future
Date: 08/22/2011
From: side-about candor
Location:

Um, what has happened to the 'projecting lasers into the eyes of the audience' noted in Howard Reingold's VIRTUAL REALITY ('90) ?
 

Re: Virtual Space - the movies of the future
Date: 09/25/2011
From: Greg Bear

Laser-retina scanning is still a real option. And of course the joke is, you can get your eyes corrected and watch a 3D movie at the same time!

Forerunner Trilogy

Date: 07/04/2011 From: Orion
Location: England

Greg...

Where can I possibly start here? I got Cryptum back in January and was completely blown away by it.

The first person narrative was extremely refreshing, I thought that seeing the Halo universe develop through the eyes of a character was brilliant. It added a perspective I felt was truly unique to the series.

I've been a fan of Halo for a long time, the Forerunners have always been one of my favourite parts of the universe and hearing that Mendicant Bias will be playing a larger role in the next book was a dream come true.

Keep up the great work!
 

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

Thanks for the kind words, Orion!

Forerunner Trilogy Questions and Thanks

Date: 07/03/2011 From: Ryan
Location: Australia

Hi Greg first off Id like to say thankyou for the work your doing for the halo universe, I havent read any of your previous titles before but Im now quite curious of your work after reading cryptum and saving enough money to add your books to my collection.

I've grown up with the halo series since it began so it holds a very close place in my life and the Forerunners have been my main focus all the way through it. I admit that when I first read the preview pages of Cryptum I was skeptical at first due to a few issues but after reading the complete book i got hooked! my only regret was that it was so quick to read through.

Seeing how you've visualised the forerunner's culture and standing in the universe as well as showing their darker sides with the human war and the prophet rebellion my worries have settled, the team at 343 did well to choose you to write the forerunner trilogy, I dont know how well another author would have handled it but you've built another part of the universe which has the potential for growth.

I do have a few questions too, well quite a few in fact some on halo and a few others on other subjects, I understand if you dont have time to answer them all I just hope that I dont sound too pesky haha.

When you started thinking about how to create their culture, technology and their names what stood out the most to you with what was already known about them and visualised?

Also how does the halo universe compare to other sci fi universes you've taken an interest in or created?

what interests you the most about the halo universe?

As an author what is the most important thing to you of a universe you create and the characters that fill them?

Do you believe that faster than light travel and extrasolar expansion like the halo universe depicts would ever truly be obtainable or would generation ships be the only viable option for expanding into the galaxy?

Well there they are but before I finish I was just wondering if it would be possible for a small request?

I'm actually an art student at the moment finishing off my semester here in australia and for a project of mine I was hoping to do an illustration of the forerunner capitol and while you do describe it in the book im having a tough time trying to visualise it in my head properly, i was wondering if it would be at all possible if you send me a basic representation of what you visualised the capitol to be like?

I understand your a busy man and if you can't do it thats fine I hope that Im not intruding or being impolite :)

Thankyou for taking the time to read this exhaustingly long message and thankyou once again for the work your doing it is truly inspiring!
I hope that things continue going well for you
 

Re: Forerunner Trilogy Questions and Thanks
Date: 08/07/2011
From: Greg Bear

These are all excellent questions, Ryan, but best answered at a panel or perhaps the upcoming HALO event here in Seattle, late August. Answering these now would delay finishing HALO PRIMORDIUM!