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July - December 2012

The fate of Splendid Dust, Glory, and the Librarian's Ancilla?

Date: 12/28/2012 From: Joey
Location: United States

Hello once more, Greg Bear, it's Joey. I just wanted to say that I look very forward to Halo: Silentium. I think it will be just as spectacular as the first two Forerunner books and connect nicely with Halo 4, which was also spectacular as well. I just have one question, though. Will we ever see Splendid Dust of Ancient Suns, Glory of a Far Dawn, and the Librarian's Ancilla ever again, primarily in Silentium? Thanks. :)

Re: The fate of Splendid Dust, Glory, and the Librarian's Ancilla?
Date: 02/03/2013
From: Greg Bear

A new cast of characters to deal with! Including Chant to Green, who will play a pretty major role at the end of SILENTIUM...

Questions about the Forerunner Saga.
Date: 03/08/2013
From: Gerasimos Tzivras
Location: Greece

Hello Mr. Bear!
I am a hardcore halo fan and I have read all Halo books. I love the The Foreruner Saga but I am a bit confused by a few things. Can you please explain to me what the phrase "The peaceful one is at war without and within" means? In addition did the Master Builder (my favourite character) serve the flood in the end, did he die, or will these be answered in Silentium? I hope you can clarify this to me before Silentium arrives. Thank you for your help.
With deep respect,

Re: The fate of Splendid Dust, Glory, and the Librarian's Ancilla?
Date: 03/17/2013
From: Joey
Location: United States

Thank you, Greg Bear! This new character sounds very interesting!

I also want to say that I think the Forerunner books are some of the best installments in the Halo story, and I think that Silentium will be just as awesome! I do hope that you will return to the Halo universe some day and once again work with 343 Industries on the future of Halo, for you have done an amazing job showing the Forerunners to us, especially the Librarian and the Didact!

In conclusion, The Forerunner Saga was a great trilogy of Halo books, and judging by the preview of Silentium, I can tell that Book 3 will end the trilgoy prefectlly!

Thank you, Greg Bear for showing us who the Forerunners really were! Its been truly amazing and spectacular!
Only one day left!

Questions about the Forerunner Saga.
Date: 04/03/2013
From: Greg Bear

The phrase you quote refers to the Warrior-servant's dilemma, which is that one must be centered to be at war, but to fight is to lose one's center. As for Faber, he does indeed have a larger role in SILENTIUM!

Re: The fate of Splendid Dust, Glory, and the Librarian's Ancilla?
Date: 04/03/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Joey-- Let me know what you think of SILENTIUM, now that the opus is complete.

Re: The fate of Splendid Dust, Glory, and the Librarian's Ancilla?
Date: 06/14/2013
From: Joey
Location: United States

Well, Greg Bear, Silentium was spectacular! It was just as awesome as the first two books, and ends the trilogy very nicely! It also leads into the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 4 so well that it felt nostalgic, and it made me want to play Halo: CE and Halo 4 again.

All in all, like I said before, The Forerunner Saga was most definitely a great trilogy of Halo books! Again, you have done an amazing job with the time of the Forerunners! It's been fun and amazing! With that being said, I do have just four questions.

1. What happened to Offensive Bias after his victory over Mendicant Bias? Did he leave the galaxy with the rest of the remaining Forerunners after the Halo Array fired?

2. What really did happen to Endurance of Will? Did she use the Composer on herself?

3. Was the Composer the Ur-Didact used the last of the Composers, since it was said that there were multiple Composers?

4. How did the Composer get on Halo Installation 03? Did the Librarian take it after Endurance composed herself (if she composed herself), and then gave it to Chant to Green, who then placed it on Installation 03 after the Halo Array fired?

Once again, thank you Greg Bear for the great journey you took us on in The Forerunner Saga! :)

P.S. Sorry it took me so long to respond back. I've been a bit busy and didn't get a chance to until now.

Re: The fate of Splendid Dust, Glory, and the Librarian's Ancilla?
Date: 06/17/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Joey! many of these questions are taken up by the Halo games themselves--and will possibly be answered, in time, in the next installments of HALO!

Happy Holidays!

Date: 12/26/2012 From: Eric Fowkes
Location: Reilingen, Germany

Dear Greg and family,

I just wanted to wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and thank you for all of the wonderful entertainment you've provided over the years. Three of your books are in my top ten favorites of all time and you're ideas and stories have inspired me to learn more about science and the world that surrounds me.

I wish you good health and continued happiness and success in the New Year.

Best wishes,

Re: Happy Holidays!
Date: 02/03/2013
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Eric! And happy new year to you as well.

Halo Cryptum Question

Date: 12/23/2012 From: Daniel Faulconbridge


My name is Daniel and I have currently been reading both books currently available in the forerunner trilogy and have a question to ask regarding Halo: Cryptum. My question is, when the halo ring was fired to kill the san 'shyuum why wasn't all sentient life on the ring killed also like Gamelpar?


Daniel Faulconbridge

Re: Halo Cryptum Question
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

A very important point, Daniel, which is addressed in SILENTIUM! Thanks!

Silentium Narration

Date: 12/19/2012 From: James Genzale
Location: Dublin, CA

Hello, Greg. :)

First of all, I wanted to congratulate you on your incredible work writing the Forerunner Saga. As a long-time fan of Halo fiction, your novels have quickly become my favorite books in the series, and have even led me to read some of your other works. I'm happy 343 Industries trusted you to expand the Halo universe, and I thank you for doing such a tremendous job with it.

Now, my question is: Which character, new or old, will be narrating Silentium? I've been wondering this ever since I finished the last book, but I figured I might as well try and ask you directly, if you're comfortable answering. :)

A thousand thank yous,
- James Genzale

Re: Silentium Narration
Date: 12/19/2012
From: Greg Bear

Hello, James! There will be a lot of voices coming together in SILENTIUM. Hope you enjoy the mix!

Re: Silentium Narration
Date: 12/21/2012
From: felipe
Location: Colombia

the forerunner saga is my favorite part of all the halo story. The human-covenant war is kind of.... dont know, just too much time invested in that stupid war.

The story of halo 4 was quite interesting... with the composer and the didact
The forerunner saga is rather deeper and more complex. i hope the the world doesn't end today, so i will have a chance to read the novel.

Re: Silentium Narration
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Publication is still on! Let me know what you think, felipe!

Bear's Audio books

Date: 12/19/2012 From: Chris
Location: Birmingham, AL

* First, we appreciate your one-on-one touch with the discussion board.
* I picked up Hull Zero Three on audio at my local library. I own and have read the book already, but wanted to listen to it on my commute to work and such. Do you know what other books from your catalog are available?
* Finally and most importantly (you've been asked this several times...) - what is the status of the 3rd book in the Forge of the Gods / Anvil of the Stars? :)

Keep up the good work sir!

Re: Bear's Audio books
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Many of my books are on audio, Chris, including CITY AT THE END OF TIME. Great readers at work! Third book in FORGE/ANVIL still in early concept after all these decades, alas!

Serpent Mage

Date: 12/14/2012 From: Antoine
Location: New Zealand


Just rereading The Serpent Mage after what must be 15-20 years, and wanted to tell you what a great book it is and how much I enjoy it.

I am listening to Mahler's 8th at the same time, the combined experience is very powerful.


Re: Serpent Mage
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Antoine! I'd be cautious about listening to Mahler's unfinished Tenth while reading SERPENT MAGE. Don't step into any portals if you do!

Dear your involvement with HALO novelizations preventing a return to the FOG/AOS universe?

Date: 12/14/2012 From: John S
Location: Western MA

I imagine the HALO novel contracts are quite lucrative, and you certainly deserve to be reap the rewards. However, I would like you to be honest, and advise if these "obligations" have indefinitely put on hold any follow-up to Anvil of Stars. Also, I imagine this HALO business is quite a distraction from keeping up pressure and advocacy for the film adaptation of these novels.

...just wondering.

Hope everything is finding you and yours well.

Cheers then,
John S

Re: Dear your involvement with HALO novelizations preventing a return to the FOG/AOS unive
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

No interference with ANVIL OF STARS and its sequels. But I am beginning work on a new trilogy, not Halo-related, and not connected with ANVIL OF STARS... Hope it keeps you at least a little patient!

Re: Dear your involvement with HALO novelizations preventing a return to the FOG/AOS unive
Date: 02/01/2013
From: John S
Location: Western, MA

Thanks for the feedback, Greg. I very much look forward to your new series / trilogy.

Re: Dear your involvement with HALO novelizations preventing a return to the FOG/AOS unive
Date: 03/30/2013
From: Pear_Lover

Ah, and I just hassled ya in a later-posted thread. Well, coolio....though, maybe some folks haven't seen you comment on an interest in other things than those worlds mentioned, so something 'new' is not a surprise.

Blood Music for Nook

Date: 12/06/2012 From: Andrew Elfenbein
Location: United States

Mr. Bear,

I have read some of your work in the past and have looked forward to reading Blood Music on my new Nook. Unfortunately it became apparent from reviews that your publisher has been very sloppy in translating the book and I will therefore take a pass. It's money out of your pocket, Mr. Bear. And it's inexcusable. Please demand better from those who are representing your work.

Andrew E.

Re: Blood Music for Nook
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

I believe those problems have been repaired, Andrew. Let me know if there are still difficulties! E-reads will always update your file with an improved file if you're not happy.

Just re-read Hardfought after almost 3 decades...

Date: 12/04/2012 From: Edward Hill
Location: Arlington Texas

- and damn if it didn't hit me right between the eyes once again like when I was 13 and blundered into that copy of The Wind From A Burning Woman in the 'adult' section of the library. I still think it is one of the best short stories ever.
No point in rambling on too much longer, as the work is what it is- however, I did want to ask a couple of minor things:

-I take it that the Senexi 'Cuckoos' are specifically intended to parasitize already inhabited worlds in the way that the bird of the same name drops its eggs into the nests of other birds and forces them to raise the offspring? Would a cuckoo be kind of like a horrible spider egg sac loaded down with Senexi buds? And is a Snake vastly bigger than the Glovers who fight it? I imagine Prufax darting in-between massive coils tens of meters long...

-I'm not off the rails when I figure that the action goes for hundreds of millions, if not a couple of billion years, right? Stars take time to make.

-Have you ever tried sketching out/visualizing what a Senexi ship looks like? The idea of such a monstrous thing is hard to conceptualize, which of course is part of the fun. But still...

I ask not to try and pull away the veil of mystery from the setting- but these were things that always intrigued me and thought it worth a try.

Re: Just re-read Hardfought after almost 3 decades...
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Edward!

It's been thirty years since I wrote this story, and my visualizations of these things were none too precise even at the time. Words paint big pictures! Let your imagination run wild! And yes, the time scale is vast.

Re: Just re-read Hardfought after almost 3 decades...
Date: 03/30/2013
From: Angela Prettie
Location: Kelowna BC

Dear Mr. Bear,
Short of attending comic-con to beg in person , what can we do to get this incredible novella made into a movie ?

When I read this book as a teen , I was so angry and despondent about the futility of war that I threw the book against the wall.

We have the technology now with cgi and such. What can fans do to have your blessing on this?

You deserve to have your incredible stories immortalized !

From A fan in Canada who re-ordered Wind From a Burning Woman on eBay and has it on her nightstand !

Re: Just re-read Hardfought after almost 3 decades...
Date: 04/10/2013
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Angela! Maybe there will be a future decade in which film-makers do for space fiction what they're now doing for Philip K. Dick!

internet based political system

Date: 12/04/2012 From: Scott Reid
Location: Canada

Many years ago I read some books that I *thought you authored involving a representative political system where political council meetings were held online and voters could change their support from one politician to the other depending on which one represented their views for that particular issue. There were sentient apes in the population, but that's all I can remember. Did you author such a universe/world? If not, might you know who the author was?

Re: internet based political system
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Hmm! I don't believe I wrote that one. Might have been David Brin! Readers?

Re: internet based political system
Date: 03/30/2013
From: Pear_Lover

Yup, that was most likely Brin - Uplift Universe. How could someone confuse you with David?

Infinity Concerto/Serpent mage make e-books

Date: 11/28/2012 From: George Michaelson
Location: Australia

A big thank you to Greg, and his publisher for getting 'the Infinity Concerto' and 'the Serpent Mage' to ebooks.

Not only did you do it inside 2012, as promised, but the publisher contacted me by email to alert me, as asked.

So, well done, and thanks. I've just bought them both for kindle.

Re: Infinity Concerto/Serpent mage make e-books
Date: 11/29/2012
From: Greg Bear

Excellent! And since these are based on my files, any typos and other errors are entirely my own! Let me know how you find the e-book versions.

Re: Infinity Concerto/Serpent mage make e-books
Date: 11/30/2012
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: near Pacific islands

Very nice news that these are in e-print, Greg.

I was quite nicely surprised to find how much I enjoyed them, reading a couple of years ago, thinking I wasn't big on fantasy. Certain images and imaginations also really stick.

As told to Astrid a bit ago, I keep returning to your books, both as places I can learn from, and as friends of place, time, and speculative life. My quiet impression is that you're ever a more serious novelist than often is allowed to seem.

Thanks for these things, and I hope all goes well in the game-related and so forth, which I have only dipped into for passing moments so far, but will probably find to appreciate just as well. I certainly see that a lot of people do.

Best, as you know, from those desert-ocean climes.

Re: Infinity Concerto/Serpent mage make e-books
Date: 12/31/2012
From: George Michaelson
Location: Australia

'The Infinity Concerto' I read a bit more like proofing, and noticed a couple of places where it has 11 (one one) instead of ll (ell ell). That, and a minor typo. I found the one/ell thing interesting: you said its from your own files, but these kinds of things are usually from OCR transliterations. Did they actually OCR scan off page proofs rather than use e-markup?

Also, the conversion of both had some oddities in the font size selection, which may be about how kindle behaves more than your inputs. they tended to smaller font sizes as the default, and jumped to bigger with few in-betweens.

I didn't notice anything in 'The Serpent Mage'. And, to be absolutely clear, nothing detracted from the prose. They were a great (re)read.

Having placed Mahler and Mozart back in the clutches of west-coast grand dames, how can you leave us high and dry? Surely they re-enact cheech-and-chong in some route-66 saga with orchestration?

Re: Infinity Concerto/Serpent mage make e-books
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Roald! Even serious writers crack a smile now and then. Where in the desert ocean are you now?

Re: Infinity Concerto/Serpent mage make e-books
Date: 02/03/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, George! I've corrected the 11 oddity, which was indeed from my own OCR scan, which I did about twenty years ago... However, I found only one instance! So if you could send me the other instances and the typo, I can correct those as well!

Re: Infinity Concerto/Serpent mage make e-books
Date: 02/12/2013
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: that place with the ocean's voice in evenings

Hi Greg, and agree, smiles are worth a lot. If that's part of the attraction with your fresh areas, good on you ;). I've thought it also has to do in more than one way with your children, and to degree so, other smiles surely...!

Where am I? Where I have been for a few years, and getting in certain ways usefully used to the idea, if imagination is quite consistently on the far roam. As you were local, you'll know of IB, and I am in an area with many families and their varied decent lives, enjoyed, while the house actually is owned by a Russian and often enough has lodgers from Europas past, so conversation can be interesting.

Greetings up there in the land of slow grays...probably very useful for writing.

Questions about Librarian Character/Forerunner Series

Date: 11/27/2012 From: Joseph Sanchez
Location: United States

Hi Greg

I am an academic librarian/technologist, a gamer, and a reader who only picked up the Forerunner Saga because you are the author. Thank you for not disappointing me. The series has been thoroughly engaging and thought provoking. I was not sure how you could spin a good story out of material as linear as the halo game series, but you have done just that.

But enough fanboy stuff. As an academic, and well known speaker/writer on tech, I would like to write an article about your use of the archetype of "Librarian" for one of your major characters. I have been searching the web for most of the day looking for previous interviews or comments from you, and cannot find anything, hence this email.

I was wondering if you could point me to any commentary or interviews that address your reasoning and use of the librarian archetype for such a critical character? If not would you be willing to answer a few questions about her through email? I am fascinated by your development of the character as well as your reasoning for crafting her.

Thank you for your time
Joseph Sanchez
Auraria Library

Re: Questions about Librarian Character/Forerunner Series
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Joseph! Thanks for writing. The Librarian is an original character in the Halo universe, her presence and some of her story made known on the "terminal dialogs" in the various games. There is an interesting point of comparison, however, since in CITY AT THE END OF TIME, not related to the Halo universe, and written before I began the Forerunner Saga, I also have a character called the Librarian... Have you read that book? Very different approach!

Question about Quantico Ebook on fictionwise

Date: 11/27/2012 From: Krittika Goyal
Location: India

I run a catalog of DRM-free ebooks called Open Books (see It catalogs links to DRM-free ebooks on various sites including Baen and fictionwise. These include your ebooks (see Now most of your ebooks, except Quantico are available w/o DRM at Baen. However Quantico is only available at fictionwise. But fictionwise is going to shut shop on December 4th. can you let me know if the DRM-free ebook Quantico is going to be available elsewhere?


Re: Question about Quantico Ebook on fictionwise
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

I'll ask E-reads, Krittika! Thanks.


Multiverse release date?

Date: 11/26/2012 From: Peter Ikin
Location: Australia


According to Subterranean Press Multiverse: Exploring Poul Andersons Worlds by Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois (Editors) was supposed to be published in Fall 2012 but there's no sign of it on Amazon or Book Depository UK. I was wondering if there's been a delay?


Re: Multiverse release date?
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

A brief delay, we hope, while we await a Fabulous Story from one of our favorite writers.

Halo 4 Didact

Date: 11/24/2012 From: Thomas E.
Location: Michigan

I'm sure this would constitute a major spoiler and probably cannot be answered but is it possible we could get a hint or clue as to which Didact we faced in Halo 4? Is he the Bornstellar-Didact or the Ur-Didact?

Re: Halo 4 Didact
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

I think it's safe to say by now... it's the Ur-Didact. Severely distorted by his experiences in HALO SILENTIUM!

Re: Halo 4 Didact
Date: 02/05/2013
From: richard hopkins
Location: AL 201st ODST barracks

will we find out if 343 guitly spark is headed to requim? or is he off to some other unkown location?

Re: Halo 4 Didact
Date: 02/05/2013
From: Greg Bear

That and many other questions will be answered, Richard!


Halo Silentium (Release Date)
Date: 02/06/2013
From: John
Location: Austria, Vienna

Will Silentium definitely come out on March, 19th?, Will this be your final book in the Forerunner saga?

Halo Silentium (Release Date)
Date: 02/08/2013
From: Greg Bear

That's the date, John. And yes, this will be my last contribution to the Halo universe.

Re: Halo 4 Didact
Date: 02/21/2013
From: Zach
Location: Kaiserslautern, Germany

Wow. I'm sure going to miss your books. I was hoping you would continue writing them, as they're exceptionally exceptional. :(

Re: Halo 4 Didact
Date: 04/03/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Zach--but there are a lot of my other books for you to try! Let me know what you think of ANVIL OF STARS or EON, for example--or HULL ZERO THREE.

Re: Halo Bornstellar
Date: 11/30/2014
From: Austin
Location: Salem, Oregon

What if The brevet mutation never happened. Bornstellar said dreamed of mutating to a 2nd form in cryptum right

Re: Halo Bornstellar
Date: 11/30/2014
From: Greg Bear

Then there would be only one Didact! And what fun is that?

Halo: The Forerunner Sage

Date: 11/08/2012 From: Lucas
Location: Maryland

Dear Mr. Bear,

Halo's fiction has been one of my favorite of all time. One of the greatest thing about the series as a whole was the awe, wonder, and mystery that surrounded the Forerunners in and of themselves. I am in no way trying to disgrace your books, but expanding on them and retconning previous literature that Bungie had created seems to put those previous feelings aside and take away one of the best things about the fiction. If you really need to change a lot of the fiction throughout your story's, please instead make them coherent and precise with the literature you built off of, for example terminals found in HALO 3, and the plenty of other novels created. I also advise keeping the "awe, wonder, and mystery".

This is must of a question but rather a suggestion, I just hate to see one of the greatest things about the science fiction I love most disappear into the night.

Thank you,

Re: Halo: The Forerunner Sage
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

All good thoughts, Lucas. We did our best to mesh the universes and carry on faithfully. Have you read the books yet? If so, happy to listen to your further thoughts!

The Didact? The Precursors?

Date: 11/07/2012 From: Matt
Location: MA

I have to say, after playing Halo 4 and seeing the terminal videos, I am shocked at the 180 degree change to the Didact's character arc. I know the in game terminals describe his reasoning, but it just isn't sitting well with me. Why turn the Didact into a pseudo genocidal madman?

Secondly, not even one mention of the Precursors in game? At best we are given a vague allusion when the Librarian tells the Chief that everything she has done is to prepare them(humanity) for what is to come. He responds prepare us for what? That's it. No mention of the Precursors, their test, or anything. I seriously hope 343 doesn't flush the potential epicness the Precursors represent. Most disappointed in 343 for not even giving them a mention.

Greg you have done a great job with the forerunner saga, and hope 343 doesn't waste opportunities. I look forward to your work in Silentium, and can't wait till it comes out! Hopefully it can bridge some gaps, and explain some of 343's vagueness.

As always, Long live the Precursors.

Matt M

Re: The Didact? The Precursors?
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Matt--

A lot of the Didact's story is covered in the final book. Let me know what you think once you read SILENTIUM. We all worked very hard to get that to work.

Foundation and Chaos

Date: 11/02/2012 From: Ned Patton
Location: Torrance California

Thank you for being true to form and not only building a story based on our masterful genius but also hewing to the simple, colorful, and enigmatic style of one of the great masters - Isaac himself. Well done sir.

Re: Foundation and Chaos
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words, Ned! I was raised on Isaac Asimov. A pleasure to write in his universe.

reply to message about "Queen of Angels"

Date: 11/02/2012 From: Wendell Wilson
Location: 501 Jones Ferry Rd Carrboro NC

thanks for your reply. I appreciate the head's up on Niven and Benford, i believe that is a new collabriation and sounds exciting. Here's wishing you well

Halo Cryptum: The Forerunner Saga

Date: 11/02/2012 From: Austin Brown
Location: 350 N. Gov. Ave. Dover, DE 19904

I dont understand This story, Can you give me a brief explanation of Halo Cryptum: The Forerunner Saga Chapter 15?

Re: Halo Cryptum: The Forerunner Saga
Date: 11/02/2012
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Austin! Let me know what puzzles you about that chapter, and I'll try to help.

Hacking DNA

Date: 11/01/2012 From: michael robert mccaa
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Hi all, Greg assures me that many of you will find this article quite interesting. It was brought to my attention by a friend on Facebook-Originally appearing in the Oct '12 issue of The Atlantic.

Follow the link and happy reading. :)


I have a question about The Didact and the Shield Worlds.

Date: 10/29/2012 From: Jeffrey Mancuso
Location: United States

I was wondering what the exact purpose of the shield worlds were for. It seems they were used as protection from the Halo effect... But why would the Didact create something to go along with what he didn't believe in? (the Halos)

Thanks in advance!

Re: I have a question about The Didact and the Shield Worlds.
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

All excellent questions, Jeffrey. Answers forthcoming in HALO 4 and HALO SILENTIUM!


Date: 10/26/2012 From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Dropping in again to tip your outhouse. "October" has a hollow ring to it this year. But smiles are burning in the dark.

A Happy Autumn to all and--forgive me!--three poems:


Weird, whispering Willowvale,
wistfully winking its windows at wheat,
waiting with historied weariness,
telegraph-ticking with heat.

Mad, moonlitten Willowvale,
equinox twilights converting laments
into sibilant scufflings of sneakers on
velvety sidewalk cements.

Crepe-paper, ape-caper Willowvale,
carnival-candy delicious with dread,
celebrants hell-bending well until
darkness's tresses are shed!

Glad-happy, nut-cracky Willowvale,
October fire in its cold-sober head!
Why are its residents riotous?

Rotting bodies sipping toddies
brewed from old formaldehydes!
Dipping lips into the gooey
pudding spooned from cold insides!

What a madness! Not a sadness!
Everybody wears a grin!
Pure enjoyment! No employment!
Just look at the shape we're in!

At the square dance: Mister Crass,
who owned a chain of filling stations!
Filled with worms and--what a gas!--
he's changing chicks like tire rotations!

There goes Madge, who lately trimmed
the hats for Drexel's Discount Store!
Arm in arm with...someone's arm
(no rhyme 'cause I'm unsettled now).

Wendy served us shakes and coke
at Willowburger's graveyard hour!
Shakes she still can give a bloke,
but take a tip: the milk is sour!

Make no fuss, but look at Gus,
who ran the drive-in theater!
A reeling popcorn bag of pus,
good gravy, what a cree-a-tur!

Hoist the bile and gobble ooze!
A Munch-and-Juicy puppet show!
It's rare, so don your hobble-shoes
and chew your partner's cheeks like dough!

Ribs a'plently, basted thick
in slime mold from an empty crypt!
Brains in paper cones to lick,
and ladyfingers too (french dipped)!

See the beastly feast of eats
for bloated fresh and bony cold
who dance all yeasty through the streets
where Trick-or-Treaters ne'er grow old!

Good die young, but corpses clown
and gobble guts between black teeth,
rend'ring one another down,
how else to get back down beneath?

Before the sunlight melts the stars,
each ghost goes in another's craw,
to ooze out rotten ribs like tars,
the foulest sight you ever saw.

A stinking wet now glad to get
back into grass and hallowed ground,
a charnel clutter that might utter
(if damp dust could just make sound):

"Rusty, musty Willowvale,
nowhere for tourists to fill up their tanks,
diner and dimestore and drive-in all
empty and covered in planks.

"Patient, vacant Willowale,
populace under the petrified peat,


The Wild Black Landscape

Out from home and hearth I leap.
Out into the midnight deep.
Mossy loam and cricket call
till I must flee in fright from all
the crowded hours crushing me
and cast my limbs into a sea
of dark and leafy emanations
growing under constellations.
A shaggy forest works like wax
between our thoughts, behind our backs.
It laps our island all around,
and drowns our speech without a sound.
A wilderness of raw emotion.
A trackless prehistoric ocean.

Out into that place I go.
Out where starlight falls like snow.
Out where every seed and thistle
preaches some profound epistle.
Out where sunlight cracks like ice
and facts are shed like teeming lice.
Clean of thought I madly walk
where creek and crawdad softly talk.
I trouble roads or grassy fields
until at last my thinking yields
and over broken bricks of brain
run floods of inky cosmic rain.

My pride has kept me long away
with whispered lies, in blinding day,
but here in breezes full of bugs
I beat my brainy bookworm rugs
till all the dust that they've acquired
is gone, and pride at last expired.
My life's a bonfire on a hill,
but woods around it rustle still
with whispers, trickled waters, wings
--oh!--how loud the quiet rings
and pipes a music dread and sweet
from sand and soil beneath my feet.

Each twig and whisker in the dusk
is telling tales of murk and musk
that mock and murder every truth
till I regain eternal youth.
It's what is wet and wild, that thrives,
whilst we, in brick-and-mortar hives,
insist on dreaming rigid things
whose logic runs us 'round in rings.
But under every rule and rhyme,
the wild black landscape bides its time,
an unseen world where aeons pass
while starfire sprouts like meadow grass.

The heart, confined so very long,
must find a spring to keep it strong.
In poetry or stormy skies,
in empty space or lover's eyes,
we seek and find, return and run
the timeless trails where time was begun.


And lastly, on contemplating the first autumn in ninety-three years without Ray Bradbury in the world:


Bright linen duly folded and black loam tucked like a bed.
A silver-locust rover rolling over rusty red.
Summer days went quick this year, like June bugs killed in flight.
Each noon a painted curtain holding back an empty night.
Now autumn slips with rustle-toe to whisper nutcrack rumour.
Picnic plates are put away and pumpkins fill with humour.
1919 says, "You knew I'd come again as caller."
I answer, "Yes, but who could guess you'd find us so much taller?"

I'll taste the wind, dear midwest boy,
turn pages writ with wonder,
create new fire from fallen joy
and chew on chocolate plunder.
I'll excavate my spirit
and blow foghorns at the deep,
and though you may not hear it,
speak soft stories while you sleep.
If we were just more clever!
Could not beauty raise the beast?
Oh lake-child, live forever least.



Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

A lovely triad, Bill. This will indeed be a haunted evening!

Carve crooked grin on pumpkin's face!/ Let welkin wheel and seasons chase!/ As Autumn comes to lace-white end,/ Let's raise a brimming cup to Ray/ Samhain's great, most faithful friend!

Date: 10/31/2012
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Welkin is a good word! Haunting lines, and I've got a stone to visit before dawn. I'll bring your regards. ~B.

Wanted to let you know your breaking my heart

Date: 10/24/2012 From: Leslie K Griffin
Location: Vermont

I know that their are more things on heaven and earth you can talk about as far as the Halo books go but because of other leaked info I learned something I wish I hadn't. I have figured out with info from various sources the Waypoint book signing video and my sons definition of a Greek tragedy are a couple good sources I trust. I know what happens I just hope your third book explains why it happened. That character was a hero to me. I grew to admire them and I was very upset to hear rumors of their fate. Together with John they would have made a great team. I'm trying not to be too specific waiting until March will be hard unless it is explained in game. You are an incredible author I have read your Halo and Star Wars books and enjoyed them all.

Re: Wanted to let you know your breaking my heart
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Judge nothing, Leslie, until HALO 4 in November and SILENTIUM in March! Then get back to me and let us know what you think.

Halo: Silentium

Date: 10/23/2012 From: Benjamin Browning
Location: Desert Hot Springs, CA

I am curious on why Silentium was moved to a later date in 2013 than your usual January releases for the previous two? Is it because of TOR books? Also, you response to the message I sent you a few weeks ago. About the book signing.

Always a fan,

Re: Halo: Silentium
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

The game is coming, and SILENTIUM has to fit perfectly into what 343 has done in HALO 4... which took some time! But the result will be well worth the wait, both for game and novel.

Re: Halo: Silentium
Date: 12/16/2012
From: Bill Heato
Location: Central Kentucky

Okay, I was wondering the same. So Read the first and second books, play Halo 4, then read the last (?) book. Got it! Will there be other books to correspond to Halo 5?


Re: Halo: Silentium
Date: 01/30/2013
From: Mike Veitch
Location: Felixstowe, UK

In your response you indicate that this has to fit into what 343 has done with Halo 4.

As an avid Halo fan I have a couple of questions; why did the release of Silentium occur after Halo 4 and result in some spoilers? How difficult is to write a book when the story line is partially/compltley ditacted (343). Who ensure story line continutiy between the various authors involved with Forerunner trilogy, Prequel trilogy to Halo 4 (Karin Travis) and Halo 4?

Obviously I was introduced to your book via Halo Cryptum, I since that book I have read the majority of your works. I was wondering if you have anything planned that would be comparable to my favourite books namely EON, Eternity, The Forge of God or Moving Mars?

Best regards

Re: Halo: Silentium
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

I'm sure there will be, Bill!

Re: Halo: Silentium
Date: 02/03/2013
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Mike!

We worked intensively with the good folks at 343 to both allow real creativity, and to fit within what they needed to do for their game. The result in SILENTIUM is I think quite special. I'm a little slower at writing books than either my publisher or my pocketbook would like, but need to get them right... Which partly explains the scheduling of SILENTIUM after HALO 4.

You might very well like the books I'm working on now, for Orbit and Orion, a new and original trilogy. I hope to have the first book published by early next year.

Re: Halo: Silentium
Date: 03/09/2013
From: Anton Cross

Hello, Greg!

I was wondering if there are any plans to have you write another Halo book past The Forerunner Saga? I've loved your TF Saga and would really love to see what else you could bring to the Halo universe in the future.

343i really needs more of you!

Re: Halo: Silentium
Date: 04/03/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Anton! There's one last venture to decode and experience, if you solve the puzzle in SILENTIUM... Let me know what you think!

me again ;)

Date: 10/17/2012 From: stephen
Location: san jose

I offer no charge sir, only perspective. You have much work left and I look foward to it. If I could be frank without offense, you are my second most respected ancestor of europe, only because I have not found the first yet. Please don't think I didn't learn something, even about my own feelings. It's only, you understand, we have to say what has to be said for our ears. You sir, are an awesome ambassador. One day the time will come when two aryan looking peoples have a natural black african child, and two black africans have a natural "aryan" child, this is the only thing I look foward to more than our work.

Re: me again ;)
Date: 10/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Cool ideas, Stephen. Perhaps you should take a look at DARWIN'S RADIO and DARWIN'S CHILDREN for more of that sort of perspective! And in the meantime, take a look at Octavia Butler, Nisi Shawl, Andrea Hairston, and Steve Barnes, as well as Samuel R. Delany--if you aren't already very familiar with them. They've been very helpful to me over the years.

finished Queen of A. fan review

Date: 10/17/2012 From: stephen
Location: san jose

A valient effort but the same themes that pervade all white art regarding blacks. Major black character dies, White woman takes over as the "new black" assuming the benifits of the culture, the only other major "negro" character was goldsmiths brother who you tortered without explaining why. Basically all the blacks lost and nobody won. Is this what you meant to say or did you just miss the higher point? If you meant to say this I agree, if not then you really could check with at least more blacks than you did before you publish work on us. It was great, but the potential for a landmark through time was there. I'll pick up the slack for my pale brothers.

Re: finished Queen of A. fan review
Date: 10/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Stephen! Thanks for your analysis of QOA--guilty as charged, where paleness is concerned. I look forward to your own work! Definitely room here for balance, insight, and growth. Let me know how it goes.

Precursor Knowledge

Date: 10/14/2012 From: Harley
Location: Vancouver

Hey Greg!

Love, love the Forerunner Saga and your other books too! Just starting on City at the End of Time.

I am just curious if it will be revealed as to what the Primordial/Precursor said to the ancient humans to cause them to commit suicide? Or perhaps you will be so kind as to clue me in...?

Keep up the good work!

Re: Precursor Knowledge
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

No suicides, Harley--but it may have been something along the lines of "Galactic Revenue wants to conduct an audit"! Just kidding. SILENTIUM will reveal much more about these affairs.

Possible influence for the Precursors?

Date: 10/13/2012 From: DecepticonCobra
Location: California

Dear Greg Bear,

Hello, it's me DecepticonCobra again and I have another theory to run by you. Can you let me know what you think?

Since information on the Precursors is scare, I've decided to give it a shot to offer a few theories on their origins. Just like our ancient ancestors, I'm going to use myths to try and explain that which we do not understand. I will be using mostly Greco-Roman, Norse and Judeo-Christian. Please do not be offended by that statement.


So according to most creation myths, there was nothing in the beginning until supernatural forces began the creation. To the Greeks and Romans, there was Chaos and from Chaos came two children called Night and Erebus. To the Norse, there nothing but a void until the rivers of Niflheim flowed and froze to create the land. To Christians, Jews and Muslims, God created the world in 7 days. What is the relevance? The Precursor's concept of neural physics comes to mind here as it contends that the universe is a living being beyond comprehension. So much like the universes of mythology, could the universe be the supernatural force that formed itself? It may not be clear just HOW this came to be, but neither is the reasoning in the myths either. It just did. In this case, the universe brought itself into existence and then brought into existence the Precursors.

This is paralleled heavily with Greco-Roman myth and the first beings born from the universe were the 100 eyed, 50 headed monsters, Cyclopes and the Titans.

Creation of Other Life

The Titans in particular had in the creation of man as did their offspring the Olympians. Prometheus, a Titan, in some myths is said to have helped make man with his brother Epimetheus. Prometheus molded men from clay and tasked his brother to give them and animals their traits, yet Epimetheus stupidly gave animals the desirable traits for protection and strength, like fur and horns, so Prometheus game them fire and molded them in the image of the gods. God, in Judeo-Chirstian circles, created man out of the dust of the Earth and women from Adam's rib. To the Norse, Ymir created men and women from the ooze of his armpit, not very glamorous but so be it.

The point is, these first beings created other life. We know the Precursors created humanity and Forerunners and likely all life in the galaxy and universe. Yet why? The myths offer a variety of reasons each. God was lonely and wished for worshipers, the Olympians and Prometheus didn't seem to have a specific reason and Ymir made them completely bu accident. For the Precursors, I would wager that they tend to be closer to God in this regard although perhaps not for their own worship, but to populate the universe and fulfill their role of the Mantle.

Destruction of Their Created Life

Common among all of these myths is the gods seeking retribution against their creations for various reasons, mostly wickedness. The story of the Great Flood is one found in most myths and the most common form of widespread destruction. God sent a flood, Zeus sent a flood, etc. The Sumerian gods, for example, sent a flood to destroy humanity because they were too noisy. Plenty more can be found elsewhere. This obviously parallels with the actions of the Precursors, they would delete species they created when they failed a thus far unknown test. Their most well-known method of disposal is the Flood. The description of Silentium hints that the Flood's creation occurred over 10 million years ago and the Primordial implies they were made after the Forerunner-Flood War when the Precursors fled the Forerunners reach and creation continued. Still, this behavior is not original to the Precursors.

Threats to their Existence

With all this power under the grasp, how could anything threaten the Precursors and warrant the destruction of the threat? It's not so far fetched for the almighty to look out for their best interests. In Judeo-Christian faith, God gave man different languages to halt the construction of the Tower of Babel because to him if they could use it to reach Heaven then there is nothing their unified spirit could not do. The Greco-Roman gods and goddess would routinely punish individual humans who said blasphemies against them and sometimes after beating them in contests, like Athena did to Arachne when Athena turned her into a spider. The Precursors, wrong or no, obviously saw threats in the beings they created, be it to them or other life.


So what caused the fall of the Precursors at the hands of the Forerunners? We don't have much to go on, but I have doubts that the Forerunners did it by their own merit. Usually when the gods in myth are in trouble, an element within their own society causes it. With God, Satan rebelled against God and when he failed, he placed sin within the hearts of Man. Prometheus stealing fire from the Olympians was something they did not take kindly too. Loki, the trickster god, was a pain in the side to the Norse gods. With this common theme, is it unlikely that a Precursor or Precursors could've intervened in saving the Forerunners? Still, how could gods be killed? That is explored next.

Kinds of Precursor

Here is where a lot of speculation on my end comes in. Thus far I've discussed the Precursors as a singular presence, but are they? The words of the Primordial about him being the last of "this" kind of Precursor makes me think there are more than one kind. Sometimes the gods use intermediaries that are still considered holy to act on their behalf. God has his Angels, the Sumerians in the Epic of Gilgamesh created Enkidu as a way to stop Gilgamesh and sent the Bull of Heaven to wreak havoc later on in the same myth and the Olympians had the Oracles. Seeing as how the Primordial could be killed and remarked about being the last of his kind of Precursor, could its race have been the same way? After all the gods did not tend to build actual structures and live amongst their creations. Their were Precursor structures and mortal Precursors.

Real Precursors?

Still, the Primordial could technically be considered a Precursor due to its ancient being. Yet where would potentially "real" Precursors be? The gods lived in places man could never get to by themselves, Heaven, Olympus, Asgard, where would the Precursors live? We know Slipspace has several types of dimensions and it is generally inhospitable to any life. Could they reside there?


So there is my analysis on the Precursors and how they relate to mythology. Judging from the information presented, we may have a guide as to where the Precursors story may go and the influences that may be used or have been used. Do I have a point? Is there any relevancy?

You decide. Thank you.

Re: Possible influence for the Precursors?
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, DC! Let me know how all this connects with SILENTIUM, where much will be revealed in March.

Animals' Microbial Communities Linked to Their Behavior

Date: 10/12/2012 From: Mogesh
Location: SA

Hi Greg,

I posted something a while back on toxoplasma.

It seems they are beginning to seriously consider these things.


Re: Animals' Microbial Communities Linked to Their Behavior
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Could explain the current state of American politics! Thanks, Mogesh.


Date: 10/11/2012 From: stephen
Location: san jose

for clarification of perspective I am half black half mexican. Blood music was the first book I read of my own accord, I have read countless since, I pegged you for a humanist. I read Eon some time latter after reading Chaos wich I thought was an asimovian attempt, admiarably, and pegged you for a racist (no non-anglo systems participants, the line "I destroyed as much of the world as I could stand to part with" or something like that). I'm now reading Queen of angels with / on my shelf waiting its turn. I don't know what to think. Thank you for that.

Re: sir,
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Stephen! Not sure what to think of your criticism. There are plenty of non-Anglos in EON, including Patricia. And even a fair number of non-humans! But QUEEN OF ANGELS should cause even more confusion, with Mary Choy, who chooses to be black. Shiny, jet black. Looking forward to your thoughts!

Silentium Launch Date?

Date: 10/10/2012 From: Chris
Location: NJ, USA

Hi Greg,

Like all the cool kids, I cannot wait to get my hands on Silentium. However, the press release for The Thursday War indicated an April release. Amazon still shows January 8, and Barnes & Noble lists March 5. Can you offer some clarity into this?

Kind regards,

Re: Silentium Launch Date?
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

March, for now. Updates if this changes!

Relase date for Halo: Silentium

Date: 10/08/2012 From: ben stowell
Location: United Kingdom

Hello i was hoping you could confirm the release date for Halo: Silentium. Because ive heard January but amazon says march and from halo waypoint it says April link provided

if you could confirm the release date it would be appreciated


Re: Relase date for Halo: Silentium
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Last I heard, March, but that was before the awful events of recent days. I'll let everyone know if the release date changes!

Queen of Angels

Date: 10/04/2012 From: Wendell Wilson
Location: Carrboro NC

Mr Bear
I grew up reading science fiction (Bradbury, Heinlien, Clarke, Asimov,etc.Plenty of good new things have come along since then, but it's hard to to match that original sense of wonder.
I just re-read Queen of Angels for the nth time.
I think this might be the best science fiction novel ever written, no holds barred. Thank you, and God bless you-
Wendell Wilson

Re: Queen of Angels
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for your kind thoughts, Wendell! QUEEN OF ANGELS is one of my favorites as well. I was inspired by many books, including Brunner's STAND ON ZANZIBAR. And it's good to see that David Brin (EXISTENCE), Kim Stanley Robinson (2312), and Niven and Benford (BOWL OF HEAVEN) are continuing the tradition this year!

Re: Queen of Angels
Date: 11/17/2012
From: Pear Lover

Holy shit - Brin is back to writing? And Gregory, too. My occasional visits award me.

The Precursors, Halo

Date: 10/04/2012 From: Matthew
Location: Revere MA

Dear Mr. Bear,

I have loved Halo since the beginning, and your forerunner trilogy so far is outstanding! I find myself drawn to and deeply fascinated by the Precursors. I hope we will be seeing more of them in the future. I truly hope there are more than just a few out there, and that they come to play a major part in the fture of not only your novels but the Halo series as well.

I Guess my question would be will we see the Precursors return, and reclaim what is rightfully theirs?

Thank your for the utter epicness and new life you have injected into the Halo universe.

Long live the Precursors!

Matt M

Re: The Precursors, Halo
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

The Precursors have heard you, Matthew... And be careful what you wish for! Thanks for the kind words. SILENTIUM is coming in March!

"Blood Music" comes closer to reality

Date: 10/01/2012 From: Daniel Joyce
Location: Seattle, WA

I remember reading in blood music where the hyper smart cells used special viruses as message brokers to exchange complex, large amounts of data between them.

Well, scientists have just invented it.


Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Daniel! I've just become aware of "integrons," which perform many of the same functions within and even between cells. Fascinating material!

Your tribute to Harry Harrison

Date: 09/26/2012 From: Carl Rosenberg
Location: Vancouver, BC

I was saddened to learn of Harry Harrison's death, and was moved by your tribute to him (and also by your earlier tribute to Bradbury). I was introduced to Harrison by his novel Make Room! Make Room!, and also enjoyed many of his short stories ("Portrait of the Artist," "The Streets of Ashkelon," "Mute Milton"), and appreciated the role he played in the SF field, not only as an author, but also an anthologist with Brian Aldiss. Thanks again.

Re: Your tribute to Harry Harrison
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

It was my treat, over forty years ago, to watch Brian and Harry do a talk before Elizabeth Chater's class at San Diego State University. Great fun, and a fine evening for all! Since then, we've gotten together with the Aldisses in Oxford and the Harrisons in Dublin... Many fine memories.

Questions about Halo, Saga Forerunner

Date: 09/19/2012 From: Marie Laurans
Location: France


The story is wonderful. It pleases so much to those who don't know the Universe of Halo, and,to his fans. Within the framework of a research on the passage of the game in the novel, I would like to know how long you needed to create the Forerunner legend, and why you had choosen the Forerunner among the whole Halo Universe ?

Re: Questions about Halo, Saga Forerunner
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Marie. The Forerunners are key to Halo, of course, and their story seemed very compelling. As well, they give us entry to what comes long before... as well as what comes long after.

Thanks For Dinosaur Summer

Date: 09/17/2012 From: Matthew Wayne Selznick
Location: United States

Many years late (but better than never!) I've just read "Dinosaur Summer." What a fun ride that was -- an excellent job, sir. You made this 45 year old feel like I was thirteen again.

If you're able to , please pass on to Tony DiTerlizzi that his illustrations are a fine tribute to Louis Darling's art in that other great book about a boy and his ceratopsian dinosaur, "The Enormous Egg."

Thanks again!

Matthew Wayne Selznick

Re: Thanks For Dinosaur Summer
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Matthew! Tony's illustrations are indeed a treat. Take a look at his DRAGONWYCK CHRONCILES for more treats!

Darwin's Radio

Date: 09/17/2012 From: Mike
Location: Bradeton,Fl

Mr. Bear,
I enjoyed Darwin's Radio until the very end. I could empathize with the feeling of not belonging. Use of the word "nigger" to describe discrimination was NOT pleasant for me, being an black person.

Re: Darwin's Radio
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Agreed. That's why Kaye used the word. What was happening to her family was not at all pleasant for her, either. Words have great power, Mike, and this is exactly the word I meant and needed. The historical and cultural context is necessary. I hope white folks like me felt deeply offended as well.

A 'Glossary' in Silentium... please?

Date: 09/11/2012 From: crisbaj
Location: Chula Vista CA

Greg... may your Word Processor live forever!

Initial confession: I am not a 'gamer', and have spent minimal time with Halo in game format. Hence, I am a hard-core sci-fi guy stepping into unfamiliar territory most things 'Halo'... which is, obviously, a well-developed mythology and ethos to the gamers...

When reading Book 1 of your Forerunner series, I became a bit lost in the details... so I back=tracked, started at the beginning, and constructed a Glossary of terms, concepts and important characters (pencil-scribbles in every open space in the back of the book, with annotations of chapters). This helped me immensely in Book 2, and I continued to add to it along the way... bread-crumbs for Book 3... I'm ready, bring it on!

Greg, can't wait for Book 3... but for the non-gaming Halo people, the sci-fi readers who don't 'do' gaming... ? a Glossary in Silentium to help the un-initiated thru the Halo Universe??


Re: A 'Glossary' in Silentium... please?
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

A good idea, but I don't know if we'll have time to construct one. The Internet is full of excellent glossaries and definitions for HALO, so first try

and see what resources are available.

Questions about The Forerunner Saga (all three parts)

Date: 09/10/2012 From: Gerasimos Tzivras
Location: Greece

Dear Mr Bear,
Having read the first 2 books of your Forerunner Saga (which is amazing by the way), I came up a few questions.
First of all I would like to ask you if the Master Builder is still alive in Silentium, since he was presumed dead on Installation 04. I hope that he is alive, however, since he is my Favourite character.
My second question is related to the Didact. Having read Cryptum I was unable to understand the fifth permutation of the Mantle: "The peaceful one is at war without and within". Therefore I would be grateful if you could clarify me what this phrase means.
Finally, I would like to ask you if there is a specific reason as to why you are using so many Greek words for the titles and the rates as well as other terms of The Forerunner Empire.
Thank you for your time Mr Bear and keep up with the good work.
Yours sincerely,
Gerasimos Tzivras

Re: Questions about The Forerunner Saga (all three parts)
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Gerasimos! Greek is an ancient and cool language, and science fiction traditionally draws from it. I will say that the folks at 343 share your view on the Master Builder, and HALO SILENTIUM answers many of these questions in a way I hope you'll approve!

Reclaimer and Forerunner tech.

Date: 09/09/2012 From: Johannes H.
Location: Germany ( Stuttgart )

Dear Mr.Bear
I am a huge fan of the halo franchise and your book series.
But I have a few questions, because in the whole franchise the humans are the reclaimers of the forerunners. Only they can activate the halo array or could activate the forerunner fleet in Halo Wars. So why would the forerunners make the humans their descendants if they had war with them. Why would they allow them to use their technology. Your books are realy great but this relationship between the forerunners and the humans which was always so clear ( humans are the reclaimers, named by the forerunners ) seemes now much more difficult. Also in the terminals in Halo 3 the librarian says that she discovered a race named humanity on earth, how does this fit with the modern humans in your series and the war between them and the forerunners ? The didact also says that the humans are the best thing that could happen to the forerunner civilization.This is something that doest fit for me right now.
Sorry for my little english knowledge
Keep on the good work

Re: Reclaimer and Forerunner tech.
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Johannes! Your English is just fine! We hope to answer many of these questions in HALO SILENTIUM, which is now scheduled for March in the U.S.A.

Strength of Stones - contrast?

Date: 09/07/2012 From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose

Dear Mr. Bear,
I just re-read Strength of Stones with great pleasure, and heightened appreciation.

I suspect I'm over-interpreting, but given your previous comments about divine experience, I took the book's message to be about the contrast of:
- The personal, individual divine experience
- The follies that organized religions sometimes fall into
- The follies that important individuals within organized religions sometimes commit

Is this even remotely close to your intent, or have I badly missed what you were saying?

Thanks for another spectacular read!

Re: Strength of Stones - contrast?
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Very close indeed, Steven. There are great dangers when mortals claim to speak for God.

ebook for The Infinity Concerto and Serpent Mage

Date: 09/05/2012 From: Shams Tara Wesley
Location: Atlanta, GA

Hi Greg! I am a longtime fan of your novels, Eon and The Infinity Concerto being my favorites. I have read these books time and time again to the point where the covers are barely hanging on. Thank you so much for producing such interesting and inspiring work that has sparked my imagination in many way throughout the years.

A few years ago I got a kindle and eagerly looked on to see if my two faves and their sequels were available as ebooks. Alas, they were not. Recently, I looked again and was thrilled to find Eon and Eternity are now available, but still no Infinity Concerto.

I truly want to beg like a child, "Please? Pretty please? Oh please, please, please? Can you please make The Infinity Concerto (and The Serpent Mage, of course) available in ebook form? Even a .pdf would do."

I just re-read Eon and Eternity and now I am DYING to read Songs of Earth and Power on my kindle. I know that some may judge me for wanting a fantasy book from my adolescence in ebook form SO BADLY, but I really, really, really do. Please?

A loving fan,

Shams Wesley

Re: ebook for The Infinity Concerto and Serpent Mage
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Shams. E-Reads promises to have THE INFINITY CONCERTO and THE SERPENT MAGE out Very Soon Now! Let's keep bugging them, okay?

Re: ebook for The Infinity Concerto and Serpent Mage
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Shams Wesley
Location: Atlanta, GA

Done and done! Just sent E-Reads an email using the web form on their site. If you have an address I can email directly, please let me know.

Re: ebook for The Infinity Concerto and Serpent Mage
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

That will get through, Shams. And I'll be checking once all this storm mess passes, as well.

War Sphinx

Date: 09/04/2012 From: Abel Henson
Location: Carmel, CA

I'm not exactly sure if you're the guy to ask, but you're a great author and know a lot about Halo, so... is the giant forerunner android from the PAX interview viDOC a war sphinx? I mean, you don't have to answer or look for the picture, but I just wanted to know, after all it's giant and war sphinx looking.


Abel Henson

Re: War Sphinx
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Perhaps not, Abel. There are other cool machines in the offing! But my lips are sealed.

Kelekos and Requiem

Date: 09/03/2012 From: The Fated Fire
Location: United States

Amazon recently upgraded The Thursday War with a look inside feature which revealed a new Forerunner location - Kelekos. The Huragok has trouble describing what and where Kelekos is, stating it is a place "The Forerunners all knew. There was no need to explain it"..."If you can reach a place, we have no need to know its location". It is also stated that there were many Forerunners on Kelekos.

It is clear from the preview that while Kelekos can be reached, Requiem cannot. Requiem is hidden. Can you provide any further clarification on what Kelekos is, its relation to Requiem, and its significance to the Forerunners without spoiling too much of Silentium or Halo 4?

Re: Kelekos and Requiem
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Alas, no. Might have to wait a week or two for Halo 4! And until March for HALO SILENTIUM.

Re: Kelekos and Requiem
Date: 10/31/2012
From: The Fated Fire
Location: United States

Thank you for your response, Greg. DecepticonCobra (another user who has asked a few questions on this board) and I are members of a group called Halo Archive that is committed to solving every mystery and cataloging every event in the Halo universe, and we greatly appreciate being able to discuss the Forerunner Saga with you. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to our questions - even if your answers often times lead to even more questions! It has been a pleasure reading Cryptum and Primordium and I cannot wait to get my hands on Silentium next spring.


Re: Kelekos and Requiem
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Happy to provide more puzzles, FF! And most impressed by your dedication and enthusiasm. Makes all of our hard work worthwhile!

Cyrano de Bergerac lives

Date: 09/03/2012 From: Adam Browne
Location: Australia

Dear Greg - ages ago you wrote a favourable blurb for my novel then called Phantasmagoriana, now Pyrotechnicon: Being a True Account of the Further Adventures of Cyrano de Bergerac among the States and Empires of the Stars. The publishing deal that we had hopes for at the time fell through; but at last we found another publisher, and it's alive! The book looks beautiful, and I was even allowed to illustrate it - you can see some illustrations and some info about the book on my blog -

I just wanted to thank you once again, and also to ask if there's any way you could mention it on your blog or elsewhere, if you still have happy memories of it.

I hope this isn't too impudent to ask. Congratulations on your recent successes, especially the breathtaking Mongoliad.


Adam Browne

Re: Cyrano de Bergerac lives
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Very cool, Adam! Looking forward to seeing the book! And thanks from all our Mongoliad authors. Third volume out this March.

Mariposa - does it continue?

Date: 09/01/2012 From: Larry Gilpin
Location: huntington beach, ca

I read Mariposa years ago and just listen to on Audible. Wonderful. One is left wondering what Nathaniel, Rebecca and "Jones" may gone on to next.
Any plans to continue their tale?

I have read most of your novels with great enjoyment. Thanks for the good work.

Larry Gilpin

Re: Mariposa - does it continue?
Date: 10/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Larry! No plans at the moment to continue MARIPOSA, but books do have their own life over time...

Re: Mariposa - does it continue?
Date: 10/26/2012
From: Charles
Location: Florida

Re:Mariposa--the future is now, Greg!

Re: Mariposa - does it continue?
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Fascinating, Charles! Wonder how they're doing it? Wonder if I'd be allowed to live, knowing how they do it? And hope they don't test it on my computer until I've backed up my latest novel to a paper printout.

Best advice--live in a Faraday cage!

Re: Mariposa - does it continue?
Date: 11/17/2012
From: Pear Lover

Eh. I'm sure this wouldn'tve surprised Tesla.

Re: Mariposa - does it continue?
Date: 11/21/2012
From: Mike Glosson
Location: Straded in Poway, CA

The Scary thing is...I can barely remember anything from MARIPOSA. Just a bit about the AI...this realization hit me as I was reading HULL ZERO THREE after purchasing it at ComicFest 2012/01...and now I am not even sure where my signed copy fo MARIPOSA is...isn't that something more along the lines of what happened to people in it's prior novel? It was all that text about journals (again) in HULL that got me going about MARIPOSA and wonder...where'd that novel go in my head, while QUANTICO burns nova bright at's somewhere in with the hardbacks, hiding with some Herbert no doubt. Must reread MARIPOSA...only barebook I haven't read more than once. A reread of HULL can wait a bit...that one kinda a spooked me along the lines of good olde PYSCHLONE, but in a different way...that was an almost Stephen Baxter view of Humanity...which I think you also achieved in Hardfought.
I'm stranded here in an empty building in an empty Poway which so feels like a City at the end of Time, complete event collapse...nobody here but me and my space heater as I wait for the clock to county down to 5 PM....but my fancy smancy clock is stuck at 4:27 PM all the time, and has been that way for months on end, all summer, most of the autumn.

SIRIUSLY...on the subject of continuing things...weren't you contemplating tweaking EON/ETERNITY to fit more of our current timeline, and perhaps at the extreme itnersect with the world of CITY? My only point of contention on that is that we swerved out of the possible future of EON when Challenger Exploded after take off, derailing the US/USSR Space race...leaving the Russians kings of manned space...but not doing much with it.

Something's creeping around outside in this darkening Poway, time to secure this empty building and release the hounds...

Your Reader....Mike Glosson

Re: Mariposa - does it continue?
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Tesla who? (snicker)

Re: Mariposa - does it continue?
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Michael! Sorry to be late in getting to these messages--writing books and such gets in the way too often. I have given thought to updating EON, and have even started the process, but it may take a while to get around to it...

My writing

Date: 08/31/2012 From: Kimani Kairu
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Mr. Bear I am a big fan of your work and I'm particularly fond of the Halo Forerunner series. The plot twists and historical references are beyond what many had anticipated from the saga. My father who mostly reads scientific non-fiction has even taken a liking of your writing.
The main reason I wrote this is because, I too am a science fiction writer. I recently completed my first manuscript of 330 pages and I'm having a tough time getting an agent. The story is very intense sci-fi and many of the agents I have submitted my work to, have rejected me because they want juvenile or simple subjective stories.
I am at the point of giving up because I really do not want to belittle my work by turning it into another regular mainstream canard. Please Mr. Bear if you have any advice you could give me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Re: My writing
Date: 10/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Kimani! How nice to hear from you. I wrote many novels before I finally had one published--when I was approaching thirty years old! So the secret is to keep writing, keep expanding your range and ability, and keep trying--but always backing up your submissions with fresh, new material. In time, perhaps you can go back and rework your earlier stories! I've done that several times myself. Let me know how it goes!

On the Master Builder in Halo

Date: 08/28/2012 From: Steven
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Dear Greg,

I'd like to start off by saying that I am a huge fan of your Forerunner Saga books in the Halo universe. I greatly enjoyed Cryptum, absolutely loved Primordium, and am looking forward to Silentium with high hopes and expectations! :)

However, I have one question that I simply cannot wait until next year to know the answer to. The character of Master Builder Faber is obviously a pivotal figure in the events of Cryptum and Primordium, and as an extension, the Halo universe in general. As you know, as of Primordium he is assumed dead on Installation 07. With the majority of marketing for upcoming Halo material seeming to focus on the Didact(s), I was wondering:

Is the Master Builder really dead? Or if that is too much of a spoiler, will we at least see him again in Silentium or other future Halo material?

Re: On the Master Builder in Halo
Date: 10/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

No great character ever really dies, Steven! More is coming in SILENTIUM. Let me know what you think in March!

Infinity Concerto on Kindle?

Date: 08/28/2012 From: Jim Jacobson
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Mr. Bear - Songs of Earth and Power was the book that first introduced me to your work. Over the past few years my library has converted to my Kindle, and I was wondering if we'd be getting Infinity Concerto and Serpent Mage as eBooks?

Re: Infinity Concerto on Kindle?
Date: 10/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Still in the works, Jim! I hope very soon.

Toronto World Fantasy Convention 2012 Invitation

Date: 08/27/2012 From: Don Clary & James Cossaboon
Location: Rollinsville, Colorado

This invitation is from Don Clary & James Cossaboon,

The World Fantasy Convention is being held in Toronto, Canada this Year, November 1-4 2012 and we are hoping you will attend. Don Clary's e-mail address is and he will be attending this Toronto convention as well as the 2013 Fantasy Convention in Brighton, England with James Cossaboon. Currently we are registering as California Talent Agents and we would enjoy your business contact, if you wish.


Don & James

P.S. We love your Novels


Re: Toronto World Fantasy Convention 2012 Invitation
Date: 08/27/2012
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Don and James! I don't plan on attending Toronto WFC--missing out on a great time, I suspect. But get hold of me directly at



"You will not like what comes after America"

Date: 08/24/2012 From: Nathaniel Johnson
Location: Baldwin City, Kansas

In Mariposa on page 228 there is a line that reads "A poet once said, You will not like what comes after America.'" This line really gave me shivers but a Google search revealed only two references, one of which was in German. I am fairly certain of the answer but I will ask anyway. Are you referring to Pamela Geller, the anti-Islamist or Leonard Cohen the, "neither left nor right, I'm just staying home tonight" song writer?


Date: 08/25/2012
From: Greg Bear

Leonard Cohen, of course!

Chakas and Guilty Spark

Date: 08/17/2012 From: DecepticonCobra
Location: California

The relationship between Chakas and Guilty Spark has caused a bit of trouble in the Halo community. Some contend that Chakas is 343 Guilty Spark, others believe that Spark is a fragment of Chakas. Can you reveal which of the two, or any other possibility, is correct?

Thank you.

Re: Chakas and Guilty Spark
Date: 08/25/2012
From: Greg Bear

Logically, if Chakas is Guilty Spark in the first instance, then a duplicate or fragment would also be Chakas... but that philosophical argument is pretty dense! More to come in Vol 3, which I'm now revising.

Re: Chakas and Guilty Spark
Date: 08/27/2012
From: Albert M.
Location: Europe

Another Halo fan here, with another question on Guilty Spark/Chakas.

As I understood from Primordium, the monitor the UNSC team was interrogating was a fragment of Guilty Spark, and there may have been more fragments of him in existence. My question is, how does the Installation 04 Guilty Spark factor into this? Was it also only a "fragment" of an original Guilty Spark or was it itself the original version? Or was the "damaged duplicate" in Primordium the original instead?

I noticed that the Guilty Spark duplicate in Primordium seemed to be more informed of things than the Guilty Spark in the games - for example, knowing that there were two Arks, as opposed to the other Spark who didn't even know the location of Installation 00 until he was taken there. Is this part of the Forerunners' practice of limiting an individual AI's body of knowledge, in case they get captured (this was hinted at in the first Halo game by Guilty Spark himself, and also in Primordium if I remember correctly). Could this mean that the different fragments had differing amounts of knowledge?

The idea of multiple fragments also raises the question of whether these fragments were in communication with one another, or if they were isolated. The latter would certainly explain why one of them would know less than the other.

And thank you in advance for taking your time to respond to the fans' questions while working on the next entry in the series.

Re: Chakas and Guilty Spark
Date: 10/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Questions best asked again after SILENTIUM, Albert! Many thanks.

Re: Chakas and Guilty Spark
Date: 11/20/2012
From: Augusto Lopez
Location: Panama

It is clear that Chakas was placed on a different monitor. You can see the explanations of the discussion on this HaloWikia page:

Re: Chakas and Guilty Spark
Date: 02/01/2013
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Augusto!

Halo Size

Date: 08/16/2012 From: Thomas E.
Location: Michigan

The original 12 Rings were said to be 30,000 kilometers in diameter but were replaced with 10,000 kilometer Rings after the originals were destroyed at the battle of the Forerunner Capitol. However one of the original Rings was said to have survived and successfully made it back to the Ark. Mendicant Bias' Ring also survived but was eventually reduced to 10,000 kilometers. So what about the other Ring which made it back to the Ark? Are there now six 10,000 kilometer Rings and one 30,000 kilometer Ring or did the Forerunner also reduce the other Ring after making repairs to it?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give to clear this up.

Re: Halo Size
Date: 08/25/2012
From: Greg Bear

Complications abound, Thomas! Can't provide too many clues... But this problem and the number of rings are on my mind as I finish revisions on SILENTIUM.

Re: Halo Size
Date: 08/25/2012
From: Thomas E.
Location: Michigan

I look forward to reading it.

Your vacation on Mars with& a chicken?

Date: 08/13/2012 From: Steven and Michael
Location: Mars

Hello Greg,
We are Steve and Michael and we read your story "Why I Love Mars" on CNN and it made us smile. We have been very moved by the recent landing on Mars: it was an outstanding achievement, which was in the center of our life for the past week. We are contacting you to maybe make you smile as well&

We were so amazed and impressed about the Curiosity landing, that we decided to make a short (and unexpected) video about it& While reading "Why I Love Mars"& we could not stop thinking that you were nearby on the Mars set, your naked toes into the fine, red-orange soil :)

We would be very proud and excited if you watched it.

Here it is:

We used an actual landscape from Mars stitched together with the footage we shot on earth.

We hope you'll enjoy watching "life on mars" as much as we enjoyed "discovering" it. Thanks for reading this,

All the best,
Chickens on Mars

Re: Your vacation on Mars with& a chicken?
Date: 08/13/2012
From: Greg Bear

Terrific discovery! And a very convincing one at that.

No doubt Billina has made her way from Oz to Mars... specifically

Thanks for a good cluckle--I mean, chuckle!


Re: Your vacation on Mars with& a chicken?
Date: 08/14/2012
From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose


And just as importantly, proof that DOuglas Adams had the hierarchy only partially correct.

No American flag

Date: 08/09/2012 From: Tony Serrano
Location: Tampa, Fl

Why there is not an American flag on Curiosity?

Re: No American flag
Date: 08/25/2012
From: Greg Bear

Hmmm... I don't see one. That doesn't mean it isn't there, somewhere! Anybody know the answer?

Re: No American flag
Date: 09/20/2012
From: Adrian Jones
Location: Japan

S**T! I knew we forgot something

Silentium, the Ur-Didact, Requiem and Halo 4

Date: 08/02/2012 From: DecepticnCobra
Location: California

Dear Mr. Bear

I am a big fan of your Halo series of novels and love what you have contributed to the Halo universe. The Forerunners, Precursors, ancient humanity, all of it has made me rethink everything I thought I knew about Halo. Now I don't know how much YOU personally know about Halo 4, but according to 343i your novel Silentium contains spoilers for it.

After reading the summary for Silentium on Amazon and seeing seeing that the Ur-Didact was abandoned on a Flood-infected system I've come to the conclusion that Requiem has to be some sort of prison for the Ur-Didact. I'll give evidence point by point and then tie them all together in a final point.

The Didact and his "Unbound" State

unīžˇbound (n-bound)
v. Past tense and past participle of unbind.

adj.1. Not bound: unbound manuscripts; an unbound book.
2. Freed from bonds or restraints; released:

According to the dictionary, this is the definition of unbound. The unbound idea came from Frank O'Conner on NeoGaf regarding someone with the avatar of the Didact's symbol. So the Didact is free from bondage? We can see that he is in a Cryptum in the E3 2012 trailer. Though Cryptums aren't necessarily prisons themselves, they are used by Warrior-Servants as punishment with self-imposed exile. Yet could it be retrofitted as a sort of containment?

The Ur-Didact in Silentium

According to Amazon, the Ur-Didact was "treacherously abandoned in a Flood-infested system" by the Master Builder. Could there be a chance he was compromised by Flood infection in his time there. Amazon also says that: "one of them must now commit the greatest atrocity of all timeto prevent an insane evil from dominating the entire universe."

This is an obvious reference to the Halos being fired and we know the Didact is responsible for that in the Halo 3 terminals. This could partly be a reason he goes inside a Cryptum. Yet could possible Flood infection be another reason? I will explore this in the next section.

The Prometheans and the Composer

So as we see in the Halo 4 trailer, the Promethean Knights are nothing like the Promethean Warriors we are told about in the novels. However after over 300 years of war against the Flood, I can easily see how much their ranks would diminish. It's like zombies, every person they kill fills their ranks and lessens your own manpower.

Yet we are also introduced to the Composer, a being/machine/thing that can convert flesh and blood organisms into a ancilla. It is was saved Chakas and Genemeder Folder of Fortune in Primordium. Thus far we've only seen beings turned into imprints and Monitors. Yet what is stopping them from being turned into the Knights? The Knights could serve as timeless guards on Requiem.

Requiems name and it's use as a Shield World.

A Requiem mass is a celebration or repose of the dead. Could Requiem serve as a place for those Flood-infected individuals to live for all time and not be a harm to the galaxy in general? Another curious aspect seems to be the lack of ships. If the Didact is a true danger to the galaxy, then why would he not use the ships that have thus far been seen on all the Shield Worlds we have encountered?

The Mendicant Bias-Cortana connection

Again, I don't know if you've viewed Halo Legends, yet in the episode Origins I, we see the Iris symbol on it's representation of Mendicant Bias. In Origins II, the Iris symbol is seen in Cortana's eye.

Now though Mendicant Bias himself may be dead as he claims in the Halo 3 terminals, is it possible his programming lives on? He was originally made to organize Forerunner protection against the Flood after all. This could lend credence to Cortana's now infamous "I will not allow you to leave this planet!" line from the E3 trailer to my all connecting point.

Final Thought

Alright, here it goes. I believe that the Ur-Didact is infected by the Flood. He fires the Halos to stop the Flood from spreading then imprisons himself in a Crpytum on Requiem for his "crime" in firing the Halos and to contain himself from the galaxy. Requiem also serves as a world to house those infected by the Flood and turned by the Composer, enter the Promethean Knights. The Knights could be there to serve as guards to ensure the Ur-Didact does not leave.

Yet something must've happened. Why would Mendicant Bias send Master Chief to Requiem with the idea that it is a prison to contain the Ur-Didact and Flood-infected Forerunners turned Promethean Knights? Remember Bias' original programming? Though he may have perished, Bias could've uploaded his directives to Cortana to make sure the Ur-Didact is not freed, hence her insistence that the UNSC does not leave Requiem due to the danger the Ur-Didact possess if he escapes.

What about the Knights? Well, if the Ur-Didact has gone insane due to Flood infection, it is possible they may have as well. Thus far we've seen two types of Knight, orange and blue. Could this be significant in the notion that the orange Knights are under the Ur-Didact's control while the blue Knights are still independent thinkers?

And so that concludes my theory. I apologize for it's length and I don't know how much of the Halo lore you know or kept up with or what you can divulge. However, am I close to figuring anything out?

Either way, I cannot wait for Silentium.

Best wishes.

Re: Silentium, the Ur-Didact, Requiem and Halo 4
Date: 08/25/2012
From: Greg Bear

Wow, Tor has spilled the beans on Amazon! Cool reasoning, DC--but there will be many more revelations in SILENTIUM, and a number of full-circle developments that have taken even me by surprise.

Cryptum and DNA Strains

Date: 07/30/2012 From: Ghouse Mirza
Location: Toronto, Canada


During the Halo Universe Panel you've mentioned that "The Master Chief and the Spartans are two unmixed strains of DNA somewhere embedded in one of my human characters in Halo Cryptum." I was slightly confused since you said both the Master Chief and the Spartans have the unmixed strains of DNA.

What exactly does having embedded strains of DNA mean for the Master Chief? Can he possibly have a Geas within him?


Re: Cryptum and DNA Strains
Date: 08/25/2012
From: Greg Bear

I don't recall using that wording, but I may have meant that the humans in CRYPTUM are ancestral to all later humans. I'm not sure what an unmixed strain might be. After the Librarian gets done with us, there are few surprises left in anthropology!

Beyond the Kettle

Date: 07/28/2012 From: Michael Egan
Location: West Yorkshire, England

Hi Greg
I just recently re-read Isaac Asimov's classic, The End of Eternity, and it dawned on me that we haven't seen that many honest-to-goodness, down-home time travel science fiction novels in recent years. I find this astonishing, as the scope for storytellers in this part of the genre must effectively be beyond limit. Is this something that might interest your good self? The man who transported the red planet across the light years to another solar system could have a right old time sending his hero back to witness key events during the crusades, or maybe fight in the shield wall during the viking age. I hope you might give the matter some serious thought, as this would be quite a prospect. Also, I recently re-read your terrifying novel, Dead Lines. I'm convinced that Stephen King must feel a considerable sense of relief that you concentrate on science fiction.

Re: Beyond the Kettle
Date: 07/28/2012
From: Greg Bear

Many thanks, Michael! I'm actually kind of glad Mr. King hasn't yet decided to write space-oriented SF...

Time travel is indeed a major challenge. I may get there eventually... but it has to be a really interesting idea, and my one time travel novel is still sitting in the trunk, waiting for a rethink.

Re: Beyond the Kettle
Date: 08/12/2012
From: Carson Cockman
Location: Mooresville NC

How about cross specialization? Good sci-fi horrors make great films and decent opportunity for dinero. Maybe Mr. King and Mr. bear might collaborate?

Re: Beyond the Kettle
Date: 08/20/2012
From: Pear Lover

CITY is totally about time.

Re: Beyond the Kettle
Date: 08/25/2012
From: Greg Bear

That would be great fun, but of course Mr. King might find the cut in pay discouraging! Besides, the films made from his works already include a number of classics, and a number of my favorites as well.

Re: Beyond the Kettle
Date: 10/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Indeed, but not in the traditional TIME MACHINE sense, which is a particularly difficult and classic form of SF. Still, maybe CITY AT THE END OF TIME will pass for a recommendation!

Re: Beyond the Kettle
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Michael Egan
Location: West Yorkshire, England

I certainly agree there are elements of time travel in City. Also in Eon, Alastair Reynolds's Pushing Ice, Clarke/Baxter's The Light of Other Days (if we see simply viewing the past as in some way having travelled to it)and many others. For me though, City is a take on the Many Worlds hypothesis (and a hugely entertaining take too!). What I was referring to was that branch of SF where the hero physically travels forward or backward through time, within his own universal frame of reference, and either witnesses or directly affects events taking place there - something that Hawking, if I'm not mistaken, clearly feels would be prevented by the universe itself. I do agree a time travel novel in the Time Machine sense would in itself be, well, too Wellsian. I would definitely appreciate more further reading suggestions though.

Darwin's Radio news

Date: 07/25/2012 From: Greg Costella
Location: New York

I read this news article and thought back to a similar story in Darwin's radio.

Re: Darwin's Radio news
Date: 08/25/2012
From: Greg Bear

Both creepy and sad, no?

Canon Policy of 343i

Date: 07/21/2012 From: Anonymous
Location: NZ

Firstly, I love your books, so lets get that out of the way :P

I do have a question: Is book canon= game canon now that 343i is in charge? I would really like a public response, I have been trying to find out 343i's canon policy, I figured I would ask you since you are involved in Halo 4's development.


Re: Canon Policy of 343i
Date: 07/23/2012
From: Greg Bear

343 determines what's canon, of course. I haven't yet played the new game to see just how much these Forerunner books have contributed, but there are exciting hints in what I have seen and been told.

Mariposa coming?

Date: 07/19/2012 From: Pear Lover

A thread on a forum I frequent got way tangential, and someone mentioned Texas fiber optic that lay dormant, got appropriated by Home Security, and then:

"Texas A&M is nuts deep with high level security and intelligence officials (you probably recall Robert Gates). I sat in public meetings where all that unused, already paid for fiber optic cable was specifically cited as a reason to move a lot of operations there."

This makes me think of Mariposa.

Re: Mariposa coming?
Date: 07/23/2012
From: Greg Bear

Very interesting! Long runs of fiber optic cable can be valuable for a number of purposes...

For the love of all things Holy...Greg, please get "F.O.G" and "Anvil of Stars" into production!

Date: 07/18/2012 From: John S
Location: Western MA

I know you have a lot on you plate, but these two novels have, IMHO, the best chance in not only translating into genre-defining films, but raising the bar on all Sci-Fi films. Who is your agent? Get this man/woman cracking! (LOL). Also, any update on a possible third book in the series?

I can't believe we get stuff like "Prometheus" (don't get me wrong, "Alien" is in my top ten films of all time) with more plot-holes and bad science then you could shake a stick at. You need to show these people how it is done.

Second step, is signing on a visionary director.

Let's get cracking!

Re: For the love of all things Holy...Greg, please get
Date: 07/23/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, John--

We're still working hard on it! Fingers crossed...


Re: For the love of all things Holy...Greg, please get
Date: 07/26/2012
From: Brian Beatty
Location: Ireland

I agree with you on getting the 2 novels made into films, but I enjoyed "Prometheus", I thought it was excellent. Regarding plot holes, they will be answered in the upcoming game "Alien: Colonial Marines" or in a possible "Prometheus" sequel. But the movie did give me what I wanted; revealed the origin of the Xenomorphs, some of the 33 years-old mysteries of the Engineers/Space Jockeys and lots of people dying in many horrible ways. As far as the actual scientific accuracy of some of the movie elements-origins of humanity, interspecies birth; it is science-fiction and therefore not likely to be accurate. If all sci-fi movies and novels were following real known physics-they'd be nowhere near as exciting or fun. But that's just my humble opinion.

Re: For the love of all things Holy...Greg, please get
Date: 09/03/2012
From: Arthur
Location: Canada

While we are at it, are/were there any plans to make a movie or mini series of Eon or that series?

A fantastic "trailer" is out there on YouTube (there are several, based on a CGI contest, but I like this one the best so it is certainly within the ability of film makers to create a cinematic version of the book, but is there the interest?

Re: For the love of all things Holy...Greg, please get
Date: 09/20/2012
From: Adrian Jones
Location: Japan

I've just re-read Forge of God. Oh my, I'd forgotten what a magnificent and moving book it is. I really hope the film project comes off. But I was wondering whether Greg felt the impact of the story had been lessened by some of its ideas being - ahem - "borrowed" by the Nicholas Cage film, Knowing .

I'm glad you enjoyed Prometheus, Brian. For myself, I enjoyed the spectacle of it but overall I came away slightly disappointed.


My reasons are really two-fold: Firstly, I thought the actions of the crew were somewhat bizarre. Upon encountering an alien environment for the first time - would you really be in a rush to whip off the helmet to sample the evening air? I wouldn't. When confronted with vials leaking ominous-looking black goo, would you really dive in to retrieve a thick finger-scoop? Not to mention trying to endear yourself to an alien creature by tickling it under the chin (BIG mistake!).

Secondly - the plot lines didn't tie up neatly enough with either the first or second Alien films. I watched the first again just the other night (still brilliant). One of the most memorable scenes was the sight of the fossilised space jockey slumped over the controls of the ship. Yet in Prometheus, the creature meets its end after a rather one-sided bout of tonsil tennis with Squiddly-Diddly.

I might of missed something but it just didn't add up to me. And the sight of the alien ship disappearing over the horizon, clearly en route for Prometheus 2, just about finished it off for me.

Re: For the love of all things Holy...Greg, please get
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

We're working on something interesting here, but won't spill the beans until they're cooked and highly seasoned. Thanks, Arthur!

Re: For the love of all things Holy...Greg, please get
Date: 10/31/2012
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Adrian! I haven't seen PROMETHEUS yet myself so I skipped the last part of your message. As for FORGE OF GOD, our fine script has been all over Hollywood. Screenwriters are ever hungry for ideas.

Re: For the love of all things Holy...Greg, please get
Date: 11/10/2012
From: Jonathan Williams
Location: United States

Waiting for this eagerly. This is one I might just wait in line overnight to see.

Re: For the love of all things Holy...Greg, please get
Date: 11/12/2012
From: Brian Beatty
Location: Ireland

Yeah I hope there's word about Eon coming onto the big screen soon. Hey Adrian, I totally get your reasons regarding the crews bizarre actions in Prometheus. I wouldn't do what they did either but then again if they all did the logical things everytime it probably wouldn't have been much of a movie. I had to watch it twice to get it all.

If you break up every movie your gonna find major plot holes or characters doing stupid things. I mean hell I paid to see what would happen to those guys when they started messing around with the black goo and the alien snake (very BIG mistake).

The scene with the Space Jockey in Alien was also one biggest scenes in it for me. And as for the fight between the creature and the Giant facehugger, he was pretty much screwed, you'd be if you did same as he did, charging in no weapon and all. As I said there plot holes which will hopefully be answered in the sequel. I'm getting the blu-ray edition movie shortly as i believe the deleted scenes and extra bonus contents actually give some answers or give hints as to why things happened as they did.

I think Ridley Scott intended for the movie to confuse the audience. He is a master of sci-fi movies despite having done what only 3 or 4 i think. For me the enjoyment was(people dying horrible deaths notwithstanding)finding at least something out about the Space Jockeys, the special effects were to die for and it was a movie that made me think about these kind of big questions that the movie poses, about life, death, the possibility of alien life, intelligence beyond our own.

Plot-wise one of my biggest questions is about the mural of the Xenomorph-like creature on the wall in front of the altar in the ampoule chamber-just what is the significance of it. All I know is i'll have faith in Ridley when the sequel comes along in a few years. Hopefully then i'll have more answers regarding this movie and the alien franchise as a whole. Bye for now. P.S. Apologies if this messege is too long.

A Song: "The Chalk Princess" by The Human Operators

Date: 07/17/2012 From: Tungsten Carbide
Location: San Francisco / CA / USA

I have placed some tracks on SoundCloud from the forthcoming EP by my band The Human Operators, among which are:

The Chalk Princess (lyrics below)

Snowflakes (instrumental epilogue to TCP)

Both are in the general electronic genre, TCP being more dubstep-ish and Snowflakes being of the "ambient" variety.

Lyrics for The Chalk Princess (c) 2012 The Human Operators LLC, reprinted below with permission, all rights reserved:

Every story begins in the center
Every story has a path
Every story changes
When you do the math

Galaxies and stars
Far away and small
Mnemosyne arrives
To change them all

And perhaps Ill slip away
Into another world
Where things were different today
I could maybe meet a girl

The sky cant remember
The stars and the moon
Mnemosyne arrives
Too soon

Feel free to share the links with your friends.
The general url is:


- W74

Re: A Song:
Date: 07/19/2012
From: Greg Bear

Lovely work! Thanks, W74!

More mind control!

Date: 07/05/2012 From: Pear Lover

This sort of thing reminds me of Vitals.

Re: More mind control!
Date: 07/23/2012
From: Greg Bear

Indeed, makes you wonder whether cat hoarders have this particular problem!

Halo Cryptum E book

Date: 07/05/2012 From: Stephen
Location: Healy

Hi, I have an Amazon Kindle and wanted to read the first novel in the Forerunner Saga - Cryptum but find that it is not available as an ebook for us in Australia. It's sequel Primordium is but I don't want to read that without reading the first one.

Is there any chance this will become and Ebook for the Kindle for customers in Australia?

Re: Halo Cryptum E book
Date: 10/17/2012
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Stephen! I certainly have no idea why this is the case. Best to send this query to the franchise directors! It does seem illogical.