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January - August 2015

Interesting mention of Darwin's Radio in article

Date: 08/12/2015 From: Bill Christensen
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Interesting mention of Darwin's Radio here.

http://www.unz.com/gnxp/white-people-are-a-homoplasy/
 

Re: Interesting mention of Darwin's Radio in article
Date: 08/14/2015
From: Greg Bear

Interesting piece. Thanks, Bill!

Legacy

Date: 08/03/2015 From: Dave Thawley
Location: Cannck

I've just finished reading (well listening to) Legacy. I've read and listened to Eon and Eternity several times and I absolutely love these and I was expecting more of the same. Listening to Legacy though was the most beautifully weird, disturbing and sometimes confusing book I've ever come across. I can't say I enjoyed it but that isn't a negative. It wasn't at all what I expected but I am very pleased with what I got. Just wanted to say thanks for the experience. I think listening on Audible is a good experience for me as I am dyslexic so if you have chance to publish more work on here it would be great. It does mean I tend to miss little bits (like where the second gate came from) but It does mean I can easily listen again and get the full story.

Thanks again
Dave
 

Re: Legacy
Date: 08/14/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words, Dave. There are plenty of recordings of my books both on Audible and on Recorded Books and BBC and Random House etc. Check your local library!

Precursor/Flood Timeline

Date: 07/23/2015 From: Raad
Location: New York

Hello Mr. Bear. I'd like to start off by first thanking you for writing many awesome books. My favorites being Eon, Hull Zero Three and of course the Forerunner trilogy from Halo. Silentium in particular was my favorite; the novel was absolute madness in a very good way. I loved it.

I had some questions about the timeline of the ancient precursors/flood that I was hoping you could shed some light on. I have two main questions

In silentium we learned from the enigmatic Keymind, the greatest of them, that the Primordial "arrived" on the milky way galaxy edge roughly 9 million years (mly for short) before the novel. And we know that the precursors were nearly wiped out roughly 10 mly before the novel. The Librarian claims that the forerunners left him behind on an asteroid to plot plans (seems like an odd thing for them to do), but he was left behind 1 mly after their extermination campaign of the precursors. And we also learn that the primordial itself was nothing like the precursors, and that he was actually a gravemind. (I personally think he was the original gravemind, that failed to reconstruct itself properly from the powder)

it sounds like the librarian is contradicting herself. It goes against what she told the Isodidact and the Keymind's timeline of the primodial. How could the forerunners leave one last precursor behind when he was left behind 1 mly AFTER the war, and that hes not even a precursor? 1 mly is an extremely long time even for forerunners.

So my first question is should we believe the librarian's statement about forerunners leaving him behind? The forerunners could have their own motives and bias. It just doesn't seem true.

One last question, on the topic of the Keymind. In the frightful scene of where the reanimated Forthencho approaches the librarian with a haunting message from the Keymind, he says "This we were told by the Gravemind, the greatest of them, who has consumed ten thousand planets and brought entire galaxies to an end."

My last question is: when could these galaxies have fallen to the flood? We know that the flood showed up as a powder aboard mysterious autonomous ships only 10k years before the forerunner flood war. But, we also know that the primordial, an ancient gravemind, has existed for at least 9 mly. That provides a huge window for the flood, perhaps becoming acquainted with their tremendous power, to go on a galaxy eating spree around perhaps the local group of galaxies. A terrifying thought no doubt.

Thanks for your time.
 

Re: Precursor/Flood Timeline
Date: 08/02/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Raad. Alas, it's been so long since I wrote these books (with the extraordinary assistance of the Halo team) that I'm going to have to leave these matters to the dedicated readers and faithful Halo historians!

Loss of ancient forerunners technology and some other question.

Date: 07/16/2015 From: Fahad
Location: Bangladesh

How did the ancient forerunners lose their advanced technology? What happened to the forerunners who went to Path Kethona and didn't settled in that barren planet? How come their ships are all empty and why were they using digital system in their ships?
 

Re: Loss of ancient forerunners technology and some other question.
Date: 07/16/2015
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Fahad! All excellent questions which have puzzled game players and readers for years, and which open up major new areas of exploration--for example, in Halo 4. Not all Forerunners have lost their tech! And perhaps other remnants will pop up as we move through this long, fascinating history. Cool to have you help point the way!
 

Re: Loss of ancient forerunners technology and some other question.
Date: 07/16/2015
From: Fahad
Location: Bangladesh

Thank you for responding to my questions.

Eon

Date: 07/03/2015 From: Doug Schultz
Location: Near Rochester NY

Just finished Eon again after reading it for the first time close to 20 years ago. Just an amazing voyage!

Thank you
 

Re: Eon
Date: 07/03/2015
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear, Doug!

The Forge of God

Date: 06/26/2015 From: JoeAnn Hornstein
Location: Houston, Texas

Will there be another book in this series, after Anvil of Stars, and if yes, then when?
 

Re: The Forge of God
Date: 06/29/2015
From: Greg Bear

Always a possibility. Right now, however, I'm finishing up the WAR DOGS trilogy, and there are no contracts yet for an ANVIL sequel.
 

Re: The Forge of God
Date: 07/18/2015
From: John S
Location: Western MA

Greg Bear: "... and there are no contracts yet for an ANVIL sequel."

Hi Greg,

Perhaps you might elaborate on your quoted statement. I certainly have no experience with the contractual relationship between an other and their publisher.

I certainly would understand that a given publisher might hire and contract with an author to write a novel(s) set within, or based upon, an existing intellectual property. Examples would be the Star Wars extended universe of novels, HALO, Foundation Series, etc. In those specific cases, the author is obviously constrained, by contract, to write a story integral to, and based within the respective universe.

However, what I have difficulty coming to terms with (and I am hoping you can educate me), is an author being constrained from writing and creating their art, due to a "lack" of a contract.

Did you have a SPECIFIC contract to write the original "Forge of God", or even it's sequel "Anvil of Stars", for that matter. Now, I am NOT talking about a general contract with a Publisher that requires you to write and publish X number of books within a certain time period. I am talking about a publisher dictating terms at to what an artist (author) can or cannot write.

Did John Scalzi have to wait for a contract to exist before he wrote "Old Man's War"? Did J.K. Rowling sit around waiting for a contract to appear before embarking on her Harry Potter series? Besides having a GENERAL contract with your publisher in which you "owe" them a certain number of books...I can't imagine they TOLD you that you had to write the specific story "Hull Zero".

Now, with that said, we all understand you earn a living as a working author. No one begrudges you from reaping the rewards from the fruits of your labor. I am sure the SPECIFIC contract to write novels set in the HALO universe has been particularly lucrative for you. Good for you. You deserve it.

However, I can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that you won't tackle another book in the FOG/AOS universe, simply because you don't have a specific contract for such. Your quoted reply seems a bit disingenuous, with all respect.

Look, if you don't have any desire or motivation to continue the story, then just come out and say it. No harm, no foul. At least that makes it clear that you are calling the shots as to what you decide to write.

Nevertheless, please bear in mind that if you were to continue the story, you have a dedicated following that would just eat that up. I myself have been a vocal supporter, here on your board, who has politely badgered you about a follow up to FOG/AOS over the years. :)

With all respect from a humble and constant reader,
John S

 

Re: The Forge of God
Date: 07/18/2015
From: Greg Bear

I usually specify what the basic stories will be for the books I sign contract for--but FORGE OF GOD may have been an exception, as I recall starting out with no idea where I was going--and ending up with the book! In publishing, all possible variations of contracts and such have occurred, so I can't speak for other writers.

The immortal bear

Date: 06/10/2015 From: Gabriel Pï¿©ricles
Location: Brazil

Don't die before i finish my story :)
 

Re: The immortal bear
Date: 06/10/2015
From: Greg Bear

Funny, that's what I told myself as I went into surgery! And I survived to finish KILLING TITAN, and I hope many others.

Copyright question

Date: 06/09/2015 From: Benjamin Duerr
Location: Westerly, RI

Hey Greg, huge fan of your work! I have a quick question for you. I'm in a touring band and all of our lyrics are based off of the Halo series, specifically the forerunner saga books. I was wondering if I would be able to quote a paragraph from Silentium with your permission as part of an interlude track into a song. The paragraph: "Our urge to create is immutable; we must create. But the beings we create shall never again reach out in strength against us. All that is created will suffer. All will be born in suffering, endless grayness shall be their lot. All creation will tailor to failure and pain, that never again shall the offspring of the eternal Fount rise up against their creators. Listen to the silence. Ten million years of deep silence. And now, whimpers and cries; not of birth. That is what we bring: a great crushing weight to press down youth and hope. No more will. No more freedom. Nothing new but agonizing death and never good shall come of it. We are the last of those who gave you breath and form, millions of years ago. We are the last of those your kind defied and ruthlessly destroyed. We are the last Precursors. And now we are legion"

If not, I completely understand. I'd just rather hear it from the man himself just in case! If so, please let me know because it would go a long way in enhancing the story of the album we are writing. Throughout 10 songs, the story will span through all three books in the saga and with this touch it would mean a lot. Thank you for taking the time to read this!
 

Re: Copyright question
Date: 06/09/2015
From: Greg Bear

Ah, a cheerful passage! I have no problem with the quote, Benjamin, which seems to fall within the bounds of fair use for a novel-length work. Just wonder whether the pall of gloom will overshadow the stage! And a little context for the Precursors might be in order... Dark gods indeed!

Forerunner Terminology: "Path"

Date: 06/07/2015 From: Thomas
Location: Michigan

Hi, In the Forerunner Saga we learned that the Forerunner designation for the Large Magellanic Cloud is "Path Kethona". I was wondering if the term "Path" might be the term used for other satellite galaxies around the Milky Way. Two other locations in Silentium also used this designation: Path Terrulian and Path Nachryma. Are these location other satellite galaxies, or are they just your average star system in the Milky Way?
 

Re: Forerunner Terminology:
Date: 06/16/2015
From: Greg Bear

Satellite galaxies alone so far!

Halo - Sources of influence for de-evolved Ancient Humanity etc. + more?

Date: 06/06/2015 From: Adur Pandya
Location: NY

Hi Mr. Bear,

I'm in the process of reading Halo Primordium and found myself very interested in the city of Marontik - ironically, considering what the narrative says about it - as well as the inspiration behind the various beliefs of Chakas, such as the crocodile guarding spirits from vultures.

What were the sources of influence for these? Particular religions? Ancient tales? Or the beliefs of modern tribes that still live outside common society? I'm sure some of the beliefs were logically illustrated as representations of interactions with Forerunners, but I'm interested in the specific imagery used.

Also, how much of the Forerunner Saga is original material that wasn't already created by 343? Which parts were already planned out? Was it frustrating having to work within tight story limits? How large of an influence did the Forerunner Saga have on the direction of Halo 5?

For non-halo stuff, do you believe Dinosaur Summer had an influence on Jurassic World? Both feature the public becoming bored of dinosaurs. Honestly, I started reading this book in 2005 but couldn't finish it because I was new reading novels in general back then, but that is the next book on my list. I intended to read Darwin's Radio and Children a long time ago, but decided to wait until I had the educational basis to understand them so those come next. I will come back with more questions once I have read them!

Thank you for your time! Your books have been a very enjoyable and unique experience.
 

Re: Halo - Sources of influence for de-evolved Ancient Humanity etc. + more?
Date: 06/15/2015
From: Greg Bear

I've done a fair amount of reading of religious texts and myths, and it's difficult to know quite where these ideas may have come from--if they feel right, in they go! As for JURASSIC WORLD, I've met a fair number of the good folks involved in these movies over the years--especially in special effects--and don't think they were unduly influenced by DINOSAUR SUMMER. It's a logical progression! Just as film-makers worry that dinosaurs may not still be current, so their characters worry, no? I think those worries have been allayed.
 

Re: Halo - Sources of influence for de-evolved Ancient Humanity etc. + more?
Date: 06/16/2015
From: Adur Pandya
Location: NY

Thank you for your reply. It actually seems like a very logical progression since I learned some very depressing things about actual dinosaur intelligence, as well as some major paleontological mistakes (that seem like outright lies).

Rejected Stories

Date: 06/05/2015 From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear, On page 66 of Poul Anderson's GOING FOR INFINITY, I read this: "Meanwhile I was learning the craft [of writing] the hard way, at least as much through the rejections as by the acceptances." My question: do you know if the texts of any of these early stories by your late father-in-law have survived? If so, is there any chance of them finally being published? Or, possibly, some of these rejected stories were revised by Poul Anderson and later published. Perhaps Mrs. Anderson might know something about these rejected stories?

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Rejected Stories
Date: 06/10/2015
From: Greg Bear

I don't know of any, but I suspect Poul would not have wanted his early rejected work reprinted, unless he revised the stories and reissued them himself. Worth checking, however.
 

Re: Rejected Stories
Date: 06/11/2015
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear MR. Bear: thanks for replying! I would like to think the texts of any surviving stories written by Poul Anderson which had been rejected are still worthy of being published. And your comment reminded me of how someone said your FIL left behind "boxes of papers." My hope is those boxes contains publishable material, fiction and nonfiction. It would be good if an editor appointed by PA's estate eventually goes thru and sorts out those boxes.

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks
 

Re: Rejected Stories
Date: 08/02/2015
From: Greg Careaga
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Has your father-in-law's estate considered donating his papers to an academic library special collection? Perhaps the University of Minnesota where he studied and maybe received a fair few of those instructive rejections. Perhaps Cal since he lived so much of his life in the Bay Area. Perhaps UC Riverside because of their excellent special collections of science fiction and fantasy.

A library special collections unit could organize and preserve Poul's work and make it available to scholars and researchers without making unpublished works broadly available.
 

Re: Rejected Stories
Date: 08/02/2015
From: Greg Bear

Some of Poul's papers went to University of Southern Mississippi, quite a while back. For the time being, a central repository hasn't been selected, but we hope to move forward on that in the future!

Dattoos

Date: 06/01/2015 From: David Wright
Location: Lyon, Texas

I'm always amazed at your predictive powers. Seems like Dattoos (From Mariposa/Quantico) are right around the corner. Here's a link about electronic tattoos:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/devices/a-temporary-tattoo-that-senses-through-your-skin
These are more for medical sensor-type applications, but eventually I can imagine them being used for all sorts of things.
 

Re: Dattoos
Date: 06/09/2015
From: Greg Bear

Cool to know we'll remember all our passwords by asking our dattoos! Don't want to think about what it means to be hacked, however...

Thanks, David.
 

Re: Dattoos
Date: 06/09/2015
From: Greg Bear

Cool to know we'll remember all our passwords by asking our dattoos! Don't want to think about what it means to be hacked, however...

Thanks, David.

Wardogs - my thoughts and commentary

Date: 05/18/2015 From: p
Location:

Well, Greg, it's gritty. I like that. I have wonderings and perhaps qualms, though:

First off: why not just nuke, or better yet comet, the whole planet? Who's conna care, or matter if they did, about the 'distanced' settlers?


Next: wouldn't some people be all, like, 'why are the Antags bad guys just cos the Gu's say?' Since the Antags haven't bothered the Settlers, obviously they're not plain bad.....

Some people would try to chat and hang with 'em. Someone like Elon Musk for sure....



Some lesser things:

- Sanchez taking on brass? He's a First Sar'ent. For that matter, why so many staff NCOs and zeros?


- outside the drifter, why didn't they shoot the aerostat?...they had plenty of hardware to bring it out of the sky simply by attrition.

- it ended up not mattering, but when scoping the Antag line, wouldna they been a little more curious to actually see 'em close up?



- the tech doesn't seem non-terrestrially advanced. This is at least fifty years from now, right?

- Skintights would by design be body armour, which could incorporate siphoning and storing energy, which means any external energy could be stored. Also, why filters?...I'd think it would have a pouch where dessicated waste would collect, then you open it and shake it out, similar to a composting toilet - and you could do this anywhere, because it would have an internal seal.
 

Re: Wardogs - my thoughts and commentary
Date: 06/09/2015
From: Greg Bear

Many more details coming up in KILLING TITAN, including more about the Antags. As for why not just nuke everything and be done with it--

How much fun would that be for the Gurus?

Questions about Halo

Date: 05/05/2015 From: Brian Beatty
Location: Republic of Ireland

Hi Greg, I hope your well. I'm sure your very busy writing a new novel or engaged in other endeavors so I won't take up to much of your time. I have couple of questions regarding the Ancient human civilization from Halo that I thought you may be able to shed light on. I'm curious as to wheather you know if their empire/government had a proper name like the Forerunners' Ecumene or modern humanity's UEG? Also what exactly was the role of the Political and Morale Commander position held by Yprin Yprikushma? How tall were ancient humans on average exactly because I reckon they'd have to be very tall and significately larger than modern humans to face Forerunners on equal terms in direct combat and Halo canon currently suggests this is the case. Also one final question - Did the Ape Mara from Primordium and other Apes, Gorillas, Orangutans etc have language and intellect similar or equal to humans(like Planet of the Apes Series Intellect) in Forthencho's time or less? I ask these questions as I am writing a fanfiction story for Halo with ancient humanity as a major faction and I'm trying to gain more insight into them as a culture to stay as close to canon as possible and I'd just love to know in general like any Halo fan. Thank you for your time.
Hope to hear from you soon.
 

Re: Questions about Halo
Date: 06/10/2015
From: Greg Bear

Good questions, Brian! I've long since let such details about the Halo universe fall out of my memory banks, but perhaps other readers can step in to remind me/us. As I visualize them, the humans were very slightly shorter than the standard height today. I'm not sure how often such warriors would allow themselves to be caught in direct combat with Didact-sized warriors... As seldom as possible, presumably!

SubGenre Sections

Date: 05/02/2015 From: Mike Glosson
Location: At Large in San Diego

Dear Greg:

It's been a while since last we tossed data across the net. Earlier this evening I was charged with doing a reorg of The Asimov and Herbert Sections of the Borges Memorius Library here in Town. Any time there is a reorg of a few others it ripples into others, so Larry Niven, James Blish, Samuel Delany, Hal Clement, Stephen Baxter, Iain M. Banks, E. E. "Doc" Smith and your work also got reorganized. I hit the STOPO button at your Opus as it was being wedged in with Niven and did a quick review.
As I have been doing a side research project on Alternate History Novels, going back to the Seminal Classics like MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE and LEST DARKNESS FALL before the Sideways Explosion gave Turtledove a career in this sub genre.
In recent years you have done forays into the Dying Earth/End of Time/Stapledonian Vista's trifecta subgenre, The Ark Ship Malfunction Subgenre, and many own spins on various troupes you have made your own. The closest you have come to writing an Alternate Reality Novel was the Alexandrian Earth called Gaia in volume II of the Way Saga, Eternity.
But have you considered to consciously write an Alternate History, Altered History Novel? Perhaps specifically where various scientific advances that happened here did not happen there, or vice versa
Several years aback, after City Came out, you had mentioned on the discussion boards here of trying to work up an alternate history where Thistledown and the Way could happen with out "The Little Death" and subsequent nuclear wars...at which I mentioned that our history divert from the history of The Way when the Challenger Exploded a few minutes after launch, pretty much ending the US/Soviet Space Race and being one more straw on the end of the Cold War.
I have to go index a bunch of Baxter and Banks now...so with that in mind...good night.

Mike Glosson
At Large in Central San Diego
 

Re: SubGenre Sections
Date: 05/04/2015
From: Greg Bear

Sounds like a fascinating process, Mike! No major efforts at Alternate History, a la Dick and De Camp--but it's always a possibility. I like THE ALTERNATION by Kingsley Amis as well...

Peer review, evolution/devolution and sci fi

Date: 04/27/2015 From: Martin J Sallberg
Location: Sweden

I have been thinking about the fact that in real life, progress towards more unified theories in physics stagnated as soon as peer review journals gained access to the tools to enforce their policy against redundant publication. Peter Higgs and Francois Englert published the same theory independently without being stopped.

In the last decades, the only progress have been in fine-tuning of preexisting theories and in increased technical application of the same theories. General theories makes many unique predictions, increasing the chances of some of them being cheaply testable. Fine-tuning of existing theories, on the other hand, makes much fewer predictions and increases the risk of them all being expensive to test. So if the stagnation was due to increased research costs (e.g. Pareto principle), it would have struck fine-tuning of existing theories even more severely than breakthrough generalized theories. Ergo, it cannot be costs but must be something else.

I think it is due part to arbitrary divisions into "fields" in academia preventing ideas and falsifications from spreading, and part due to peer review no redundant publication policies scaring people with theories into not expressing them. This has given me a plot idea that can be applied into science fiction: that the road to a theory of everything allowing modified space-time goes by using the no redundant publication policy against itself so it ceases to work.


I have also thought about that if cavemen specifically punished individuals with more Homo sapiens characteristics and "excused" the others by "they cannot help" their actions, that would have bred against Homo sapiens characteristics so that modern humans would never have existed. That made me think about some scifi possibilities too: maybe space archaeologists discovering ruins of civilizations that destroyed themselves by psychologistic morality somewhat similar to today's Earth values breeding themselves into stupidity. Maybe the Fermi paradox being solved by all other proto-intelligent species thwarting their own evolution and humanity being extremely lucky to be so late in creating psychologistic morality. Maybe creation of intelligence-positive societies totally devoid of psychologistic morality, cultures in which the same action is never considered any worse just because it was conscious.

I would like to hear your replies by email to these ideas.
 

Re: Peer review, evolution/devolution and sci fi
Date: 04/27/2015
From: Greg Bear

Science is subject to all sorts of social pressures, just like any other human activity. Physics may indeed be going through a difficult period now, but that's in part because the proofs and next questions are getting more and more complicated. The maths may be beautiful, but what big predictions and provable assertions will they lead to--without costing trillions of dollars?

Given the apparent willingness of our distant ancestors to interbreed with whatever came over the hill, I wonder about discrimination on the basis of so-called superior traits! But it's always good to believe one is on the cutting edge, and just being held back by Yahoos. I know I feel that way sometimes.

I've got this really cool method of knapping flint that cuts back on fragmenting and improves heft...
 

Re: Peer review, evolution/devolution and sci fi
Date: 04/27/2015
From: Martin J Sallberg
Location: Sweden

Your comment about "Science is subject to all sorts of social pressures, just like any other human activity" cannot explain why there was indeed massive generalized progress before peer review journals gained access to technical tools to enforce no redundant publication policies.

You missed the point that if the stagnation had anything to do with increased complexity or costs, it would have struck fine-tuning of existing theories even more severely than new generalized theories. As I was saying, the more unique predictions a theory makes the lesser the risk of them all being very expensive to test, and new generalized theories makes more unique predictions than fine-tunings.

Interbreeding of multiple hominid species does not change the fact that in whatever hominid populations (including mixed ones) psychologistic moralizing of the "intelligent guilt" type was applied, it would have selected against intelligence. Mendelian genetic experiments shows that mixed populations recombine traits that can then be selected separately, not lump them all into a goo.

I have no idea what "But it's always good to believe one is on the cutting edge, and just being held back by Yahoos" means...
 

Re: Peer review, evolution/devolution and sci fi
Date: 04/28/2015
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: near to islands

Martin, I think Greg's being his presently kindly self with you here, for I feel your ideas while expressing some natural frustration also lean back to some that were learned away from quite carefully in the Europe I've lived in also.

It's not a one-to-one correspondence, but you might try Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky. I did, and was horrified - indeed it seems to my sense more horror than science fiction, though it was intended that way.

The most effective competing society -- for a while -- has quite a way of taking care of those who might not see things the same as the 'superior', and with lots of justification on the basis of saving society, etc.. A true how not to do it tale.

For comparison, you could read from an author truly and with much background deeply interested in the human spirit and human development, Chaim Potok. For different reasons I could suggest The Gift of Asher Lev, and Book of Lights. Neither is going to bore you.

I will tell you the mistake I made, akin to what Greg says, where I thought there was just a limit to what 'most people could do' as far as the leap=ahead innovating I did for some years.

In fact, I had to learn that it was their patient, incrementally rewarded, step-by-step development that over decades moved the initial discoveries such as quantum mechanical semiconductors, integrated electronics, and computer instruction into the remarkable capabilities they move in now - and still forwards.

This observation has to do with the European fondness for 'a concept', except on two sides it has: the initial conception, and the complexity-based development of new facets through pathways of actually many concepts, none apparently groundbreaking, but essential to depth advance and also expression.

I had to go there for an adult life and learn what my family showed me early, as far as Europe and its livings.

In my own experience of innovation, this was not directly in confrontation with the vagaries of bureaucratic intent. By instinct, I simply did differently -- and then discovered whole new experiences by helping others where in their way they did so, as a consultant, and one where technology while a needed background was only the way through a door, to where the real human issues acted and could be adequately befriended, that being the only way to help, and the only way to advance.

Greg, I remember some marvelous stone axes met on this travel -- and you make me think of the archaeologic sociology of the Darwin's books, perhaps their deepest intellectual sense, as well as some marvelous insights and scenes. Really enjoyed.

Best to both,
Clive
 

Re: Peer review, evolution/devolution and sci fi
Date: 04/30/2015
From: Greg Bear

It's when Yahoos like me don't understand what you're saying, and try for a humorous take on these matters.
 

Re: Of Microbes and Men
Date: 05/06/2015
From: Hector Cepeda
Location: Valencia, CA

Having recently finished VITALS (great vanpool reading!), I thought you might be interested in this:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/05/06/404199792/missing-link-microbes-may-help-explain-how-single-cells-became-us
 

Re: Of Microbes and Men
Date: 06/09/2015
From: Greg Bear

Fascinating piece, thanks, Hector!

There Are Doors

Date: 04/13/2015 From: Jack Lyon
Location: Utah, United States of America

Dear Mr. Bear:

I'm writing to say thanks for your wonderful book There Are Doors, which I've read many times and is one of my favorites. I've been a professional book editor since 1978; I've edited hundreds of books and read many hundreds more. So when I say it's one of my favorites, that's saying a lot. I particularly love chapter 28, "The Story," which is one of the most brilliant pieces of writing I've ever seen.

Thanks again, very much.

Best wishes,
Jack Lyon


 

Re: There Are Doors
Date: 04/13/2015
From: Greg Bear

I'll pass your kind words on to Gene Wolfe, Jack! He's the author, though I wouldn't mind having written this one myself.
 

Re: There Are Doors
Date: 04/28/2015
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: well, those isles beckon...

Well, will have to have a look at that one.

I didn't know about Gene Wolfe, and probably still don't, but ran into a marvelous other of his published recently, called The Land Across.

I couldn't begin to explain its experience, except I'd feel pretty confident you'd like it, Greg, if you found the time. Not unrelated to a few places you've been, at least in my view, while very much on its own.

A journey into gut truths of especially Mitteleuropa, Eastern Europe, through a quasi-realism. At least that.

Best,
Clive

Question about Kindle copy of Forge of God

Date: 04/01/2015 From: Collin Grady
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Hi, first off, I've really been enjoying The Forge of God so far :)

However, I'm finding a lot of typos in the Kindle version; they all feel like OCR errors during a physical->ebook conversion (like Wait instead of Walt, arid instead of and, and son on) and wondered where the best place would be to report those; would the "Report Content Error" on the Kindle work well, or somewhere else? :)

Thanks,
Collin Grady
 

Re: Question about Kindle copy of Forge of God
Date: 04/06/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Collin! Conversion errors are the bane of e-books, aren't they? If you'd like to list them as you find them, and send them on to me, we'll try to get them corrected. That said, I wonder how often I've stumbled across typos in old paperbacks!
 

Re: Question about Kindle copy of Forge of God
Date: 04/08/2015
From: p
Location:

I've rarely found typos in older books. Much greater discipline in past generations.
 

Re: Question about Kindle copy of Forge of God
Date: 04/09/2015
From: Greg Bear

Ah, those Linotype operators and classic New York and UK copy-editors! Some companies now offer similar services to self-published authors. I highly recommend using them. My daughter, Alex, has her own copy-edit business and I trust her with my own manuscripts, though she hasn't yet looked back over previously published e-books.

http://www.constellationediting.com/
 

Re: Question about Kindle copy of Forge of God
Date: 04/28/2015
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: isles they tow out when fog, but not the Arctic

That's very good to keep Alex in mind, and I liked looking at her storefront ;)

On the ebook-mangling, I got so irritated by Amazon cutting out endw of paragraphs for particles of formatting code in a particular WWII author's work a friend had put me onto that I dug up their actual error reporting page from its burial ground, and sent them a calibrated rocket, including some appeal to what they were doing to an author.

I got a rather instant reply, two of them from no doubt those nether parts of the world where work is sent, not on our weekend schedule. These were abashed and promising to do something very rapidly (they had cobbed even the short trial version of several novels).

I haven't seen anything yet of results, but it is early days, and they promised to inform. It could be a progress, and I mention it so others may try this, direct to who will be most affected if the author's market is.

How to get to this portal? It's well hidden in plain sight, a kind of Purloined Letter. Go to this page, and then ignore all the material on it: just scroll down the left hand side until you see a button: Contact Us.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=901888

Thus begins a journey with its own labyrinths, not nearly as bad as all the other help yourself with confused others pages. You'll have to sign in with your Amazon customer id, of course.

Then,, I think I picked Digital Services, Kindle Ebooks, and Something Else, at which point you get to enter what will be the report posting's title (only). Skip the Did You Know diversion, and the Recommended, and push the button for Email contact you would prefer.

Then you get a blank much like this one, to write in a to-a-person fashion about the problem with a Kindle book that you see. Then submit it.

All I can say is that it worked, or has possibility to, anyway, having made achievement on the initiative test. Sort of like some of your characters, Greg....

Again best,
Clive
getting over virus days can be good for some things...
 

Re: Question about Kindle copy of Forge of God
Date: 06/10/2015
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Within night sound of the sea

Just wanted to report back that Amazon did finally fix this book, notifying by email more than a month later. So it can be done.

To see the corrected version, I had to fully remove the book from Kindle-PC and Cloud, as they offer when you try it, and then download again. One error remained until I scrolled out of that page area, then came back.

I think it was a cache in the reader, and all shows fine and corrected now.
 

Re: Question about Kindle copy of Forge of God
Date: 06/10/2015
From: Greg Bear

Very good! We worked with Open Road to fix the errors (and correct a few others), and it all began with the list provided by Collin Grady. Thanks to all! We're currently correcting other books, including EON, ETERNITY, and LEGACY, for the print editions from Tor. Getting all the bugs out is likely not possible right away, but we're on it!
 

Re: Question about Kindle copy of Forge of God
Date: 06/21/2015
From: Greg Stewart
Location: Mississippi, USA

Please also include Anvil of Stars, current Barnes & Noble edition, as one to be corrected. I am re-reading it and found the initial attach on the decoy solar system is entirely missing. My EReads copy is correct.

Greg in Mississippi
 

Re: Question about Kindle copy of Forge of God
Date: 06/21/2015
From: Greg Bear

Strange! A missing signature, possibly. This one was published by Tor.

Hardfought's Literary Lineage

Date: 03/31/2015 From: Alex Sherman
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Hello Greg!

I only just started reading your work, beginning with Hardfought and The Venging. I just finished my second readthrough of Hardfought, and it has completely floored me. I must be one of the best SF stories I've read in a very long time.

I've been reading lately about twentieth century literary movements, specifically modernism and postmodernism, and to me Hardfought seems to be in dialog with a lot of those ideas. I'm barely a novice when it comes to this stuff, so please bear with me.
In the prologue to The Venging you wrote of being a reader of James Joyce, a textbook modernist, and I would say that the formal and stylistic experiments of Hardfought make it resemble a modernist work. Thematically, though, it deals with simulation, plurality, and the end (death) of history, all recurring themes in postmodern writing and thought. I've also been studying the cyberpunk movement, which has been argued as being a major postmodern literary movement by Larry MacCaffery in his book Storming the Reality Studio. I know that you were courted to be a part of "the Movement," by Sterling and co. but I don't think you ever really participated outside of the Mirrorshades anthology. Hardfought isn't cyberpunk, but the concept of cyberspace plays a major part in its postmodern simulated narrative.

So, Hardfought struck me as being informed all three of these strains at once (modernism, postmodernism, and cyberpunk), but it combines them into something that is unique, compelling, and totally brilliant. Was there a conscious influence, though? Was there a modernist text that you were deliberately referencing? Or a work of postmodern criticism? Were you reading Baudrillard or Derrida alongside Joyce and (I assume) William Gibson?

Thank you for reading, and hopefully responding! I'm an as-yet unpublished science fiction writer myself, and Hardfought is exactly the kind of thrilling, conceptually bold fiction that I aspire to create. I'm sure that I'll return to it again and again for inspiration, and I look forward to reading more of your work.
 

Re: Hardfought's Literary Lineage
Date: 03/31/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for the kind words and precise analysis, Alex! I've never really dug deep into the roots of my inspirations, but just let them mesh together and create a style and a mood. I think the roots you've traced definitely contributed, but so did Edward E. "Doc" Smith and Jack Williamson and Olaf Stapledon and Arthur C. Clarke. Take a look at "Judgment Engine" for a different take on similar themes. More heat-death tragedy than cynicism or literary exhaustion, perhaps!
 

Re: Hardfought's Literary Lineage
Date: 04/08/2015
From: p
Location:

Yeah, Judgement Engine is All-Time.

War Dogs is a real Hammer...

Date: 03/24/2015 From: Stefan Chrobak
Location: Germany / Munich

Dear Mr. Bear,

i'm a old Scifi-Fan who startet with Books from Stanislaw Lem
and Philip K. Dicks, our Books a famous like them but in a new
fanstatic Way. When i start to read War Dog it was like a step into a new amazing World.. please, please continue

.. and sorry for my bad english,
 

Re: War Dogs is a real Hammer...
Date: 03/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Stefan! KILLING TITAN, vol 2, has been delivered and will likely get published late this year or early next. Now to start vol. 3!
 

Re: War Dogs is a real Hammer...
Date: 05/27/2015
From: Viggo Hansteen
Location: Oslo Norway

My preorder of Killing Titan was just cancelled by Amazon. I hope this does not mean you are pulling out of this project! The first volume promised a classic in the making, if finished properly. In any case thanks for many (many!) enjoyable hours!
 

Re: War Dogs is a real Hammer...
Date: 05/27/2015
From: Greg Bear

Looks like KILLING TITAN is still available for pre-order in both the UK and U.S.--not sure what the problem is, Viggo! Maybe try again and let me know if you still have difficulty?
 

Re: War Dogs is a real Hammer...
Date: 05/31/2015
From: Jeremy
Location: Missouri

After reading the Forerunner saga, I decided to pick up Hull Zero Three. The main character kind of reminded me of Chakas and his lonely journey.

Anyway, I think War Dogs or Darwin's Radio will be my next purchase. I need a few books to read while I sink my toes into some white sand next month.
 

Re: War Dogs is a real Hammer...
Date: 05/31/2015
From: Greg Bear

Very good--enjoy the vacation, Jeremy! And let me know what you think about WAR DOGS.

Hull Zero story

Date: 03/22/2015 From: John Jackson
Location: Sacramento, California

We are going to need a sequel or prequel to Hull Zero story. You're the best. Keep up the good work. (You and Gregory Benson are awesome. Just thought I'd let you know.)
 

Re: Hull Zero story
Date: 03/22/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, John!
 

Re: Hull Zero story
Date: 03/24/2015
From: p
Location:

I think you mean Gregory Benford, there, John.
 

Re: Hull Zero story
Date: 03/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Brin and Benford and I all share the initials GDB. Guess all the names!
 

Re: Hull Zero story
Date: 03/30/2015
From: p
Location:

Unless self-stylized, I would guess none of you is Daneel..... Daniel first comes to mind...
 

Re: Hull Zero story
Date: 03/31/2015
From: Greg Bear

Glen David Brin, Gregory Dale Bear... alas, can't remember or find Gregory's middle name!

Chapters

Date: 03/18/2015 From: Liam Panton
Location: England

Hello
I would like to say thank you for the advice you gave me on the creation of characters and I would also like to ask a way to lengthen my chapters. My friend, who I am writing the novel with, has said that I jump between events too quickly however I am unsure how to lengthen my chapters.
Any advice you could give would be much appreciated.
Thank you,
Liam
 

Re: Chapters
Date: 03/18/2015
From: Greg Bear

You can always walk through a scene--action or setting--with your character and imagine what they're seeing, hearing, or smelling, as well as doing. This could lengthen a chapter, provide interesting backdrop and filler between scenes, and also help stage-set the book both for you and for the reader.
 

Re: Chapters
Date: 03/24/2015
From: p
Location:

Channeling Dan Simmons, I'd say 'let your characters move in their own time'. If at any time it isn't evident to you, then you have nothing to write until it is. If it doesn't come, then you're not listening to your characters, and perhaps not your story.....if you have one.
 

Re: Chapters
Date: 03/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Optimism when writing is essential!

Phage Therapy

Date: 03/11/2015 From: Shawn Rasmussen
Location: Layton, Utah

Hello Mr. Bear,

I'm writing to you, because there are very few resources out there about the use of macrophages in western medicine, and you are the one who introduced me to this incredible solution to drug-resistant bugs. I am hoping that you would have some links for me to share with my Primary Care Physician.

This isn't about a personal medical issue. I asked him if he had ever heard of it, and he denied any knowledge of it.

I am a frequent listener of TOTN, Sci-Fri, and occasionally look for any updates on Phage therapy, so I have caught the few shows where this subject came up.

My question to you: IS Phage Therapy a viable, comparable alternative to antibiotics? If so, what is your theory as to why it isn't being offered to the western world?

I am endlessly fascinated and intrigued about this subject. It has colored all of my views on American medical economics.

I am eager to hear back from you on this.

Best wishes.

S
 

Re: Phage Therapy
Date: 03/11/2015
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Shawn--

Good to hear from you. To my knowledge, there's very little phage therapy being conducted outside of research institutions in the U.S. Most phage treatments are in Eastern Europe, Republic of Georgia still being a center of phage research--as it has been for almost a century. We still rely on antibiotics for the most part. Any clues from readers about phage treatments in the U.S.?
 

Re: Phage Therapy
Date: 03/16/2015
From: Shawn Rasmussen
Location: Layton Utah

Thank you for the quick response!

It is unfortunate that no one else rang in on this topic. My impression is that it is highly controversial.

I first read Darwin's Radio over twelve years ago. I had no realization at that time that phages were really being used as depicted in the story. I only learned the reality of the Soviet Virus after catching a story on Science Friday, with Ira Flato.

I was floored! Phage therapy was real? Was the Georgian wine real, then? Could phages replace antibiotics?

I have since realized that there is a lot tied up in this, although it is still a mystery to me, why macrophages aren't already here.

Are they ineffective? Scary? Too cheap to produce? Not enough profit? Is it pride? We can't admit that the Soviets had something right? Is it government Control, protecting established industry interests?

It is frustrating!

From the several shows covering this topic, I know Ira Flato shares this frustration. I even called in and spoke with their screening assistant, who informed me that they were going to see if you would come back on to discuss this puzzling topic.

I don't believe that ever happened?

The WHO just recently announced that resistant bugs are one of the greatest threats to our species.

Eli Lilly is supposedly genetically altering some phages, and attempting to pass the FDA trials.

Why is it necessary to alter phages that are already proven to be effective? To create a patent, to control and profit from it?

Is profit more important than life? Or, is the fear of resistant bugs a convenient economic goad, to justify some much more expensive solution that has yet to be unveiled?

The mystery spawns many theories, but with little factual information being shared with the public, there is very little to go on.

This leaves me feeling very cynical and disillusioned with our medical industry. It is no wonder that we spend more here than anywhere else in the developed world on medical expenses.

Other industries are guilty of this behavior, too, including the oil and petrochemical, who oppose any alternative to their more toxic solutions, such as hemp and green energy sources.

Well, I just had to get all of that out. My apologies for my extended rant, but it isn't often that I talk to anyone that even knows what phage therapy is.

Mr. Bear, I love all your books I have read. Fantastic.

Thanks again for taking a little time off of your busy writing schedule. Best wishes to you and yours.

Skeptically yours in Utah,

Shawn.
 

Re: Phage Therapy
Date: 03/17/2015
From: Greg Bear

Phages can be a solution, even an important one, but one advantage still in antibiotic treatment is that drugs can linger a while in the system, whereas phages--being viruses--get removed rather quickly from the blood stream. The battle with bacteria is likely to be a long and hard one. Take a look at VITALS if you haven't already!
 

Re: Phage Therapy
Date: 03/24/2015
From: p
Location:

Yeah, Vitals instantly comes to mind here, especially as I remember it better.

A lot of stuff is happening - from high-end(/dollar) research, to the resurgence of home remedies (many of them tried and true, like colloidal silver). Until there is true nano, the best thing to do is sleep and eat well, keep active, and keep hygiene (meaning wash your hands and don't touch your face after shakin someone else's hands, etc).

Rights Inquiry

Date: 03/11/2015 From: John Griffin
Location: Renton, WA

Hi Greg,

I hope this message finds you well. A few years ago, you were kind enough to take a call with me to briefly discuss the status of film/TV rights for Slant which, at the time, I had potential financial backing for developing. You explained that you had been approached about it by a number of interested parties over the years, but that no one seemed to have a good solution for adapting it for the screen.

I've continued thinking about this in the years since and have some Seattle-based investors I would like to pitch some new ideas to around the broader series of books in which Slant resides. However, I wanted to touch base with you before I get too far down that road to determine a) if this is still a discussion you might consider entertaining and, b) if the rights are currently held by another party.

Please point me in the right direction if this is not an appropriate channel to reach out to you about this. If we don't get the chance to talk further, please know that your work has brought me many hours of enjoyment and the worlds you have created are something I consider very special.

With kindest regards,

John Griffin
john@diamondsolutionsgroup.com
206.683.9518
 

Re: Rights Inquiry
Date: 03/11/2015
From: Greg Bear

Hello, John--

Good to hear from you again! Best for you to talk with Vince Gerardis of Created By in Los Angeles. vincegerardis@gmail.com

He handles my film rights. You can get hold of me as well, directly, at ursus512@comcast.net

Best wishes--

Greg

Dinosaur Summer Movie

Date: 03/08/2015 From: Brian Fitzsimons
Location: New Hyde Park, New York

I love Dinosaurs. I'm still hoping Hollywood will make Dinosaur Summer into a movie. With Jurassic World coming out in June, i'm hoping that the Dinosaur Movie Genre is coming back. Hopefully, a director will want to make Dinosaur Summer into a movie. What i will love to see is the Death Eagle being put on the big screen. I can picture it right now. Teaser Trailer will be something like The Lost World: Jurassic Park. The Logo will say Something Has Evolved. The Death Eagle roars and then theres a footprint with the title Dinosaur Summer. I love Dinosaur Summer and i hope in the coming years that Dinosaur Summer is made into a movie.
 

Re: Dinosaur Summer Movie
Date: 03/09/2015
From: Greg Bear

Cool ideas, Brian. I'm looking forward to JURASSIC WORLD.
 

Re: Dinosaur Summer Movie
Date: 03/24/2015
From: p
Location:

Mmmmm, we'll see....there's so much out there, the retro bug is in full force - for example, Robocop (which wasn't terrible, but still) - and only Jurrasic Park was any good of them. There's so much SF that could be made into films....

Hello

Date: 02/25/2015 From: Colleen Shunk
Location: Grand Ledge, MI

I am writing to tell you that I am an admirer of your work. I read your book, Blood Music, when I was a teenager. And it changed my life. Literally, it changed the way I viewed the world around me and sent me on the scientific way of thinking that i still adhere to today.

As a published author myself, I still recommend your book to people. I explain what it did for me. And I hope that, one day, I will write a book that effects people like that.

Thank You
Colleen
 

Re: Hello
Date: 02/28/2015
From: Greg Bear

How lovely to hear from you, Colleen! I think one of my seminal moments was reading CHILDHOOD'S END when I was a kid. Did much the same thing for me. Thanks for writing, and let us know how the literary career progresses!

Blood Music Artwork

Date: 02/22/2015 From: Erica Hegebarth
Location: Layton, UT

Mr. Bear,

Ive greatly enjoyed your writing since I was quite young. In fact, Wind From A Burning Woman was the first book I ever purchased for myself.

Blood Music is my favorite book of yours. Ive always found the imagery extremely compelling, and was finally able to put together some artwork inspired by it. The online version is at:

http://sentwest.deviantart.com/art/Noocyte-Advance-Fivemile-Wash-515579468

Im an amateur artist, but I hope you enjoy this.

Erica
 

Re: Blood Music Artwork
Date: 03/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Erica! Lovely stuff!

Number of Human Essences

Date: 02/18/2015 From: Thomas
Location: Michigan

Hi, I was just wondering if the Librarian made duplicates of the human essences she gathered and placed them in various humans. For example, Chakas and Riser have Forthencho and Yprin Yprikushma imprinted on them. Does this mean that they are the only humans to have a copy of those ancient humans, or do other humans alive at that time also carry a copy of Forthencho and Yprin Yprikushma?

I ask because the Librarian mentions her gathered essences when she speaks to Forthencho's rotting corpse at the end of Silentium. I was curious to know if this was another human who also had a copy of Forthencho's essence, or if this was nothing more than a perverse duplicate created by the Gravemind in order to taunt the Librarian? The Gravemind is certainly cruel enough to do such a thing.

Thank you for your time.
 

Re: Number of Human Essences
Date: 03/11/2015
From: Greg Bear

Hmm... I'll leave this open to the Gravemind--oops, I mean group mind--of Halo fans!

War Dogs

Date: 02/17/2015 From: ryu
Location: california

hi Greg,

I just finished War Dogs--what an entertaining story! I have a personal policy of never starting a book series before the author has finished (and avoiding book series in general), but I broke the rule just for you and I'm glad. I've been reading your works over the years, and I'm full of admiration for your imagination and variety. I hope the next book isn't too far off!

-Rob

 

Re: War Dogs
Date: 02/17/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for breaking the rule, Ryu! KILLING TITAN will likely be out in October or thereabouts. And by that time, I should be well along in volume three, title not yet determined.
 

Re: War Dogs
Date: 03/03/2015
From: Dan Murn
Location: Fairport NY

Hi Greg
Really enjoy your work.I could not put down War Dogs.Great read with lots of twist.Keeping the aliens just out of view,is keeping the story intriguing . Thanks Dan
 

Re: War Dogs
Date: 03/05/2015
From: Greg Bear

More twists on the way! Finishing KILLING TITAN in editorial draft now...

 

Re: War Dogs
Date: 03/11/2015
From: Danny Cannan
Location: United States

Greg, awesome book. Really hard and heavy sci fi with just enough military that I could connect to it and all the logistical, medical and tactical confusions/foul ups. Like the post above said, I hate jumping in on a series before its over to mitigate waiting and bought this book not even knowing it was one. But the last third just had me begging for it not to end. Very well done.
 

Re: War Dogs
Date: 03/11/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Danny! About to send off KILLING TITAN, volume 2, to the editors--and am already planning ahead for volume three.
 

Re: War Dogs
Date: 03/11/2015
From: Matt
Location: Moline, IL

Just got done reading War Dogs. It is my first title I have read from you as an author.

I must say, I did not see the plot twist coming at the end. That was very refreshing. Once I got rolling with the story, I could not put it down.

My thoughts were, before coming and reading this thread were: If there was a story that begs to have a sequel written, it is this one. I was hoping to find out that was the case. I have happily found that it is at least going to be a trilogy.

Happy Days!!

Thanks!!!!
 

Re: War Dogs
Date: 03/11/2015
From: Greg Bear

Volume two, KILLING TITAN, is off to the publisher shortly! Glad you enjoyed it, Matt.

The Precursors

Date: 02/16/2015 From: Ethan
Location: North Carolina

Hello! I've really enjoyed reading the Forerunner Saga, and after having finished Silentium the Precursors have by far become my favorite alien race in sci fi. Ancient, god-like alien races aren't an uncommon concept, but I absolutely loved that you took it a step further and made them so old and powerful that they've allowed themselves to die out and re-evolve several times in multiple forms. I haven't seen that anywhere else before! I was wondering, was there anything that influenced what you chose to make the Precursors into? And have similar alien races existed in either your other works or works that you've read/heard of?
Eagerly awaiting your reply,
Ethan
 

Re: The Precursors
Date: 02/16/2015
From: Greg Bear

If there are any precursors to the Precursors, they're probably E.E. Smith's Eddorians in his Lensmen series, and the wonderfully weird psychic monsters unearthed from the deeps in John Brunner's THE ATLANTIC ABOMINATION. Those, plus a starshipload of Lovecraft's Cthulhu and other pulp denizens!
 

Re: The Precursors
Date: 03/30/2015
From: Thomas
Location: Michigan

I'm curious if you took any inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita as well? I couldn't help but notice that Krishna's Vishnu form when speaking to Prince Arjuna is four armed. In this form his description sounds a lot like the Primordial's. When Vishnu transforms in Vishvarupa, he's described as having innumerable forms, eyes, faces, mouths and arms. All creatures of the universe are part of him and he is terrible to look at. This sounds a lot like the Gravemind to me.

One entity, multiple forms.
 

Re: The Precursors
Date: 03/31/2015
From: Greg Bear

Excellent, Thomas! Hadn't thought of that one, consciously at any rate. I do recall that the Ed Emshwiller cover for John Brunner's "The Atlantic Abomination" featured a peculiar looking, purple psychic monstrosity with more than the usual number of limbs, being hefted along by a tide of human slaves... Maybe we were all thinking of Vishnu?

Forge of God and Greg Bear's Hollywood Adventure

Date: 02/16/2015 From: Mike Johnson
Location: St. Petersburg, Fl

Hello Mr. Bear!

As a past correspondent (I wrote you years ago about how Forge of God got me into reading, you sent me a hardback copy which has been read more times than I can accurately recall) I have of course been keeping up with all of your books, and plan to continue doing so. My question for you today is regarding the long, and hopefully not too strange journey that your books seem to be taking in order to get screen time in my local movie uberplex. There are two halves of this whole question, and here is the first: what, in your opinion, is the primary cause of the frustrating wait to get filming started? I realize there are most likely a virtual swarm of little reasons, as this is Hollywood we are speaking of, but surely there must be one that is more prevalent than the others? Or have all of the little reasons banded together in a Transformer-like whole that is holding everything back?

The second half is, I suppose, a combination question/idea. It seems to me that some of your books would be benefited more by being done as a high-quality television mini-series, something at the level of Game of Thrones-style film making, than as stand-alone 2-3 hour films. Your writing is so rich and descriptive and wonderfully technical at times that it would be a real shame to leave certain things out of a theatrical release that would be better served by being included in the mini-series format. I suppose it is not impossible that certain stories could span 2-3 films (as Lord of the Rings did, for example) as would befit the Forge of God series tremendously in my opinion. Perhaps I am a bit biased in hoping for exact translations of your stories to the screen, since that is not really the Hollywood way, but in order to properly introduce newcomers to the novels of Greg Bear, I think it would be best to immerse them completely from the beginning, rather than let them get only their feet wet first with an abridged version of your much grander vision.

Well, that's my two cent's worth...I really hope that, whatever form these films will take, that they will be made and released before I shuffle off this mortal coil at a (hopefully) very old age. If nothing else, thanks once again for sharing your immense imagination, your Forge of Ideas, if you will, with all of us. I look forward to whatever wonderful worlds you've yet to unleash on us, and wish you and yours all the best in health, love and life!
 

Re: Forge of God and Greg Bear's Hollywood Adventure
Date: 07/03/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Mike!

RE: Darwin's Radio (16 years in the making)

Date: 02/14/2015 From: Benjamin Clark
Location: United States

Dear Mr. Bear;

I wrote to you a couple of e-mails about 16 years or so ago, concerning your first and only Star Wars novel, Rogue planet, and lauding it to high heaven. It's still one of my favorites in the whole series, and it's what introduced me to you.

Now, a decade and some change later, I've just finished reading a book you recommended to me way back when, Darwin's Radio. In hindsight, I'm glad I put it off for so long, to let my literary tastes and understanding of science mature to the point I could appreciate the novel's significance more completely. (Though I'd be remiss if I didn't both thank you for telling me about it, and apologize for the tardiness I've shown in the reading.)

I wouldn't have understood a great majority of it back then, and I would have put it off in the back of my bookshelf for something more eye-grabbing. Now, though, I'm glad I did, again for a greater understanding of it via maturity on my part.

I don't know if you recall I told you I wanted to become a writer, and I still do; I just have yet had anything I felt was worthy of sending in to a publisher. I didn't want to have it sit next to some of the greatsAsimov, Bester, Ellison, Bradbury, and yourselflike some patch-bearded college kid with a wool jacket whose leather elbows earned a pair of well-worn holes.

I just wanted to write you again, sort of catch up with a favorite author, and thank you for doing what you do. Lately I've been doing a lot of soul-searching in the back rooms of used book shops, looking for jump-off points to test the waters so to speak. I fell in love with science fiction because of the soft-core science, but you made it clear that there's just as much room or more for a more founded, realistic approach to it, as well.

I intend to move onto Darwin's Children as soon as I can get my hands on a copy. One chagrined question, if you'd allow it, though. Are all your works published like they belong in an elderly person's library? Carrying around a dog-eared titan of a paperback felt a little cumbersome, and I was hoping for something a little more portable and manageable.

Yours with respect,
Ben C.
 

Re: RE: Darwin's Radio (16 years in the making)
Date: 02/14/2015
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Benjamin! Good to hear from you again. This time around, I'm finding a whole 'nother audience of dedicated fans with the HALO FORERUNNER series, as well as continuing my own novels with WAR DOGS and KILLING TITAN. And all of my books are published in electronic format, and there's nothing much light than electrons! Good luck with the writing!
 

Re: RE: Darwin's Radio (16 years in the making)
Date: 02/21/2015
From: Jim Kohl
Location: Northern Georgia

Hi Greg,

http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2015/02/20/virus-cutting-enzyme-helps-bacteria-remember-a-threat/

Our work reveals an overlooked role for Cas9: forming the memories that make adaptive immunity possible for bacteria, Marraffini says.

If you have a pdf or MSWord file of your 2003 presentation to the American Philosophical Society, I would like a copy via email (for quotes).

Hopefully, you will also post it to your domain as an indicator of how the conflict between theory and science fiction-turned facts will progress.
 

Re: RE: Darwin's Radio (16 years in the making)
Date: 03/12/2015
From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Oceanic San Diego

Thanks, Jim. The article is interesting.

Hello from germany

Date: 02/14/2015 From: Steffen Hartmann
Location: Bamberg/Germany

Hello. I'm a big fan of her books. Through them I became inspired to write books. Unfortunately, it is difficult in Germany to attract the right readers. Ebook here is not yet widely used. My book is already available on Amazon. I wish I could reach the US market. Unfortunately I can not afford the translation of my book, that's just too expensive. Maybe they have a few tips on what I could do? Thanks and all the best ... her admirers Steffen Hartmann. Excuse my English. I have written to the Google translator. Here is my page on Amazon: http: //www.amazon.com/-/e/B00TLGON1Q ref_ = pe_1724030_132998070?
 

Re: Hello from germany
Date: 02/14/2015
From: Greg Bear

Hello, Steffen! The cost of translation has been prohibitive, to be sure. Amazon has begun a program of translating novels published in other languages. I don't know the contact people for that program, but it's worth looking into! And good luck!
 

Re: Hello from germany
Date: 02/16/2015
From: Greg Bear

I don't have the link, and don't know much about the program, but I've heard it's under way. If you still can't find more info, let me know.

Thanks for getting back to me!

Date: 02/10/2015 From: Daniel
Location:

Hey Greg,
Thanks for getting back to me!
Absolutely, well please feel free to reach back to me at any time moving forward and I'll be happy to help for sure.
We'd love to work with you!
Thanks!
 

Re: Thanks for getting back to me!
Date: 02/14/2015
From: Greg Bear

Will do.

Thank you.

Date: 02/09/2015 From: Christopher Nobles
Location: Enola, Pennsylvania

Just a quick thanks. You took the time to respond to me, and that is just pure awesome. I mean, I'd heard that you respond to people but...

Yeah. It was really cool to hear back from you, especially with such good advice and encouraging words. Great author, and apparently just a solid dude all around. Earned humanity +2 faith points.

Thanks again,

Chris
 

Re: Thank you.
Date: 02/10/2015
From: Greg Bear

I blush! Thanks, Christopher.

The next Halo book's?

Date: 02/07/2015 From: David Brett
Location: England

Hello again!
I am here to ask you if there is any possibility of a 4th Forerunner book in the SAGA and/or if there will be one on Prehistoric Humanity from the Human-Forerunner wars.

P.S where can I find a War dogs book in England? I still have yet to read it. Many thanks David.
 

Re: The next Halo book's?
Date: 02/07/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks for writing, David! I'm finishing up the WAR DOGS trilogy soon, no plans to write more in the HALO universe--though it's been terrific fun hearing from Halo fans. A very intelligent class of players and readers (and game writers/designers), I must say. WAR DOGS should be available in the UK right now. Let me know if you can't find it.
 

Re: The next Halo book's?
Date: 02/07/2015
From: IAN WILLIAMS
Location: LONDON ENGLAND

My local librarys in Hillingdon have a copy of WAR DOGS and I saw a copy in Foyles on Charing Cross Road the last time I was there.
 

Re: The next Halo book's?
Date: 02/07/2015
From: Greg Bear

Excellent! Thanks, Ian.
 

Re: The next Halo book's?
Date: 02/08/2015
From: David Brett
Location: England

Thank's! I'll be shore to get a copy soon.

The Return to the Lesser Ark.

Date: 02/06/2015 From: Andrew
Location: Massachusetts

Hello. First of all thank you for making these great novels you have encouraged me to read more. The Lesser Ark Installation 00 is mentioned quite a bit in your books and is hinted at to be more than a foundry for Halo's and the place the halo's were fired by the Iso Didact. Many presumed it was destroyed in halo 3 however this is not the case.

This passage from the halo 3 terminals really made me think if the Lesser Ark really houses the absolute Record which was mentioned in halo 4's spartan ops as the place that holds the real time location of every piece of forerunner tech in the galaxy.

04-343 (errant): I have told you who I am. Who are you?

All our makers once held dear.

[Alexandria before the Fire].

04-343 (errant): Sincere apology. But how

Explanation: This facility is host to the [Librarians] final

04-343 (errant): The archive is intact?! Then our makers plan

Alexandria in my mind is a refrence to Alexandria the largest library in Egypt which held all the scrolls of the known world which was lost in a fire. Kind of sounds like the Absolute Record to me as well.

Now in Halo 3 Cortana mention's there is a way to stop the flood for good without firing any of the remaining halo rings her solution being the ark. This is later said again in the halo evolution's story human weakness.

She needed backup. She triggered one of the copies to create a massage to HighCom, a few urgent words about the Flood heading for Earth, the Portal that the Gravemind didnt know about, and that the way to beat the Flood without activating a Halo Ring lay beyond it  The Ark.

Then there are these passages from your books. This one from the Librarian as she is creating the portal on Earth.

I can only hope that they will survive and upon returning, that they will find this portal and use it to travel to the Ark  in order that they might discover their rightful place in this galaxy and the great responsibility they have finally inherited.

The responsibility to me refers to the mantle that humanity must go to the ark to obtain the mantle something there will help them.

Last but not least we have this line from The Trial of Mendicant Bias Silentium's epilogue. "You are brought here to be sentenced. You have not been immediately destroyed because you may yet be needed. Your intimate knowledge of the Flood makes you invaluable should they return, but we can never trust you, never again allow you any latitude. You will be entombed here. Your processes locked, frozen into a single thought for all eternity: absolution. Should you be needed, you will be reawakened."

We know that Spartan John-117 had communication with Mendicant through halo 3's terminals. That we will return to the ark to awaken Mendicant to help us when the flood inevitably return.

Sorry for the very long post this is just some of the pure speculation that has been put into the ark theory by many halo lore nuts. Just wanted to see what you thought about it.
 

Re: The Return to the Lesser Ark.
Date: 02/07/2015
From: Greg Bear

Cool thoughts, Andrew! Thanks for the hard work and puzzling things through!

what were you thinking?

Date: 02/04/2015 From: Chad Istook
Location: United States

I'm reading your book War Dogs.

It is good.

But you are a fucking idiot for making the Teal dialogue COMPLETELY UNREADABLE!

It has ruined the book.

It interrupts the normal reading flow because I have to read her dialogue OVER and OVER to understand what the fuck she is saying.

I've started to just skip her dialogue completely.

How could an accomplished writer like yourself make such a dumb fucking mistake in their book?

How did your publisher ever allow this?


 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/04/2015
From: Greg Bear

Good to hear from you, Chad. My readers generally enjoy being challenged. And Teal's dialect has delighted some folks. In fact, you're the very first to complain about it!
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/06/2015
From: Brenton
Location: Queensland Australia

Now now there is no need to be rude and most certainly no need to swear. how is it Mr bear's fault if you cannot read? maybe you would prefer a picture book? "hahaha" but still there is no need to be so rude and mean!
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/07/2015
From: Greg Bear

Some folks read very quickly because they're trained to see familiar words as a whole. Others read more slowly because we (and I'm one of them) sound out words, and thus have less trouble with unfamiliar words and phrases--or at least find a way of working around them. Could be extremely frustrating to be one kind of reader and encounter entire sentences full of unfamiliar words!

Still, science fiction as a whole is full of unfamiliar words. Take DUNE or LORD OF THE RINGS. People manage.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/08/2015
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

First, for Chad Istook: I'm not pleased at all by how you've treated Mr. Bear by being so rude and using obscenities. You could have made the same point about WAR DOGS far more civilly.

Second, for Mr. Bear: I can think of other SF and F authors (besides Frank Herbert and JRR Tolkien) who wrote skillfully with rich vocabularies: Gene Wolfe, Avram Davidson, and your own revered father in law Poul Anderson. He too had an extremely rich and varied vocabulary. One example being his use of "trianon" in A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/10/2015
From: Greg Bear

SF is rich with great examples! Poul in particular loved to mess with languages, with Karen's expert help.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/10/2015
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear: I agree! Poul Anderson was very skillful in his use of language. He was able to use strange and unfamiliar words in such a way that readers could quickly pick up their meaning from context. And I assume your mother in law frequently helped PA by reviewing drafts of the stories he wrote.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/10/2015
From: Greg Bear

Karen helped him with the drafts and with the grammar and syntax of the various languages. Karen also helped me work out the Greek in ETERNITY--and Poul helped with orbital mechanics in EON and FORGE OF GOD. Quite a team!
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/10/2015
From: Sean M. Brooks
Location: Lawrence, MA

Dear Mr. Bear: Yes, that's basically how I thought Mrs. Anderson assisted your father in law. I'll be rereading her contribution to MULTIVERSE, for what she said about this kind of teamwork.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/14/2015
From: Greg Bear

MULTIVERSE is coming out soon in trade paper and e-book form from Baen.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/15/2015
From: Paul Shackley
Location: Lancaster, England

I frequently use a dictionary when reading Poul Anderson. This is a compliment, not a complaint.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/15/2015
From: Rob Ostrander
Location: Burlington

Two words....Feersum Endjin...I may have spelt it wrong but who would know. I can't imagine going on an author's own site and insulting him so. Quite distressing.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 02/17/2015
From: p
Location:

I'm a little surprised a censor didn't get tripped.... Curious. I do understand a slight, though: I didn't get past perhaps page thirty of Gibson's PATTERN RECOGNITION because of all the short-ass sentences. Stop. Stop. Stop. Eww.

@Rob: yeah, no shit. Feersum Endjinn (two n's on the latter) was great. I used to delight in affecting a Scottish brogue in text - an influence by, and nod to, Alex Kilgour of Kilgour in the Sten series - and some girls loved it, some were all 'what the hell did you just say?', and a very few did not like it.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 03/28/2015
From: Carl Rosenberg
Location: Vancouver, BC

I haven't read WAR DOGS (although I've read and admired other works by Greg Bear) but like others posting above, I took strong exception to Chad Istook's language. There's no justification for writing to an author this way, even if you did dislike a certain aspect of one of his or her works. Please have a look at the article recently posted on Tor.com (the exact title escapes me right now) on the need for civility (and frequent lack thereof) in fandom.
 

Re: what were you thinking?
Date: 03/28/2015
From: Carl Rosenberg
Location:

Here is the article I mentioned, for Mr. Istook's reference.

"Protecting What You Love: On the Difference Between Criticism, Rage, and Vilification," Emily Asher-Perrin, Tor.com, March 24, 2015.

sorry you've been sick, very happy about "War Dogs"

Date: 01/29/2015 From: jon murphy
Location: maryland, u.s.a.

Dear Mr. Bear...

Having read Eon and Eternity I am very happy to see you have returned to writing in the spirit of Clarke , Heinlein , and Asimov... I consider you to be one of the closest living equivalents of these masters and will be paying close attention to the sequels... bless your heart!

Many thanks for all your wonderful writing and works...
Jon
 

Re: sorry you've been sick, very happy about
Date: 01/29/2015
From: Greg Bear

And thanks to you, Jon. Doing editorial shortly on KILLING TITAN!

James V. Kohl

Date: 01/28/2015 From: Steven Taylor
Location: United States

James V. Kohl claims you incorporated his model of nutrient dependent, pheromone ecological adaptation in your Darwin novels. Any truth to that?
 

Re: James V. Kohl
Date: 01/29/2015
From: Greg Bear

There's more than a hint of pheromone-HERV and cortico-steroid interaction in DARWIN'S RADIO. And James is certainly a pioneer in the pheromone world! We've corresponded for years on these subjects. I'm not sure about the nutrient angle, however. Interesting to follow that track as well!
 

Re: James V. Kohl
Date: 02/21/2015
From: James V. Kohl
Location: Northern Georgia

Thanks Greg,

The nutrient angle is the other side of virus-mediated cell type differentiation. We placed it into the context of our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review but did not specifically address the need for nutrient-dependent RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated cell type differentiation via the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones.

Indeed, as you might also have done, we just took it for granted that our target audience would realize that all organisms must eat to maintain a healthy immune system. Who would have thought that it could have taken others this long to realize that the role of viruses could not have led to a subspecies without the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction of species from microbes to man?

Instead, we still have people asking you if what I'm saying is true -- because you detailed the truth about cell type differentiation more than a decade ago.

I will be launching the domain RNA-mediated.com sometime during the next few weeks.

The clash that you predicted between evolutionary theory and what is known about viruses, physics, chemistry, and the conserve molecular biology that link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man has left others with their dusty old textbook-biased theories.

They need an additional source of accurate information to accompany what they can read about in Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children.


 

Re: James V. Kohl
Date: 07/23/2015
From: James V. Kohl
Location: Northern Georgia

Hi Greg,

Suzan Mazur has discovered the link from viruses to biodiversity and is interviewing "experts" who she seems to think know more than you did when you wrote "Blood Music."

The most interesting recent comment comes from Eugene Koonin.

"...the new understanding of evolution needs to integrate what we now know about viruses and virus-host interactions which, from my own perspective, has been absolutely one of the key factors of all evolution since the emergence of cells -- well, actually even before the emergence of cells."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzan-mazur/riding-the-evolution-paradigm-shift-with-eugene-koonin_b_7217216.html

Except for Luis Villarreal, all her "experts" seem to have arrived on the scene 30 years too late, which may be typical of those who have not followed your lead. They seem to have ignored RNA-mediated gene duplication and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate all the cell types of all individuals of all living genera -- and the characters you portrayed in 1985.

It will be interesting to see how much longer the ignorance continues -- as Mazur continues to expose it. I don't think she knows that you already did.

We've discussed your "raw insight." Has anyone else mentioned to you that this article was published in August of 1985? (4 months after your book was published)

RNA-mediated gene duplication: the rat preproinsulin I gene is a functional retroposon http://mcb.asm.org/content/5/8/2090.abstract

Kind regards,

Jim
 

Re: James V. Kohl
Date: 08/02/2015
From: Greg Bear

Of course, in BLOOD MUSIC I didn't get into the technical specifics about how all this was accomplished--so let's pin down the details and see what really happens! That's the problem with SF... putting in thousands of pages of science slows down the plot a bit. That's one reason I bow before scientists who do the heavy lifting.

Another is that I wouldn't be typing this today without decades of medical research, animal experimentation, materials science (dacron aorta and titanium valve) etc. Thanks to my surgeons and to the scientists and technicians who explored their own visions of how to solve an almost invariably fatal problem!

Ur-didacts true Height?

Date: 01/16/2015 From: Majestic
Location: Melbourne

Greetings from down under Greg! :P

I'd just like to inquire about the Didact's height. In Cryptum, you write that Bornstellar's father is four metres tall and is of the builder caste. Yet other halo sources throughout the net state that the Didact is only three hundred and fifty centimetres. I had always imagined the Didact to be on par with or even taller than most, if not all, Forerunner builders. It makes sense that the warrior-servants would be the larger variety of Forerunners seeing as they are responsible for the security and protection of the ecumene. So I'd just like to hear this straight from the horses mouth per-say; what is the Didact's true height?
 

Re: Ur-didacts true Height?
Date: 01/23/2015
From: Greg Bear

Better ask how much he weighs... Builders could be taller and slimmer! But Bornstellar takes on more of the character of the Didact, before he reaches Builder maturity. Don't think there's any contradiction here, but happy to be corrected!
 

Re: Ur-didacts true Height?
Date: 01/24/2015
From: David Brett
Location: England

He is one of the taller Warrior Servants and stands at 11'4" or 3.5 meters and weighs 360.6 kilograms (794.9 lb). Forerunners could be anywhere from 198.1 centimeters (6.6 ft) to 414 centimeters (13.7 ft)

Avg. weight: 109.8 kilograms (242 lb) to 377.1 kilograms (1,237 ft)

Hope this helps :)
 

Re: Ur-didacts true Height?
Date: 01/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Excellent!

Another nobody with a novel.

Date: 01/13/2015 From: Christopher Nobles
Location: Enola, Pennsylvania

You're so likely swamped with these that I feel ridiculous writing you about it. I've written a novel. A full novel for the Halo universe, and I cannot for the life of me figure out who to contact about it.

What has this to do with you? You've written for the franchise. Excellently. You're already so proven that I'm sure they were excited that you agreed to do the trilogy---I'm coming from the other end entirely.

I'm not known. I'm not prove. I just have this: https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3208956/1/Halo-Terranova

It's something worth having, something worth showing. I'm willing to tear it apart to align perfectly with lore, I've got this strangely masochistic love of being edited, I've got skills that come from somewhere that confuses even me. I have no formal education. I'm just a 24 year old who can tell a hell of a story.

I need a shot. I can do something with one good shot. Could you point me in the right direction? A way to get eyes on my work? Anything.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Your time is extremely valuable, and I'm floored to find out that you actually read these. Whether there's any direction you can offer or not, I'm a fan of your writing. You're an inspiration.

~Chris N
 

Re: Another nobody with a novel.
Date: 01/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, and congrats on writing a novel! That said, getting a franchise universe's show-runners to pay attention to your creativity--that's pretty much a one-way street. They like to keep things tight and under control. Best bet: take that energy and creativity and put together stories in your own universe! Maybe someday folks will want to write in YOUR franchise.

Darwin's Radio - and today's science

Date: 01/13/2015 From: Dan Mann
Location: Sacramento California Area

Hi Greg, I'm a huge fan. I started on your books by chance - it was EON. I can still remember specifically reading the passage about the Russian who was shot and the AI repair technology asking him questions to help rebuild his mental faculties. I really love your work, and I thought you might get a kick out of this:

https://hacked.com/ancient-viruses-hacked-human-brains/

Blood Music is my all time favorite book.

Best Regards,

Dan
 

Re: Darwin's Radio - and today's science
Date: 01/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Cool! Thanks, Dan. Kind of spooky to think that our genes are full of billion-year-old spam!

Sumerians Alien Gods

Date: 01/11/2015 From: Fred Bailey
Location: Meridian Ms.

Greg,similarity to yours Forernners saga, will you write a science fiction book series of the ancient Sumerian Alien Gods, the Anunnaki? Zecharia Sitchin did archaeology researcher on the Anunnaki and had wrote books how they are the origin of humanity. I also believe the "Face on Mars" on Cydonia Mars is a Anunnakis monument. And I was very disappointed that it's wasn't in yours "Moving Mars" book.
 

Re: Sumerians Alien Gods
Date: 01/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Well, at least the Face made it into MISSION TO MARS. Turns out pictures from different angles and with different lighting erase the face completely. Alas!
 

Re:Frustrated with the S F Books Market!
Date: 01/25/2015
From: Fred Bailey
Location: Meridian Ms.

I am very frustrated that there is not a Anunnakis science fiction books out in the current market.Even in the UFO community there is some fine Aliens that also get ignored in the S F books market like the Pleiadians,Draconian Reptilians and the Greys.

Question about the aliens of of War Dogs

Date: 01/10/2015 From: mojojojo
Location: USA

I know the new novel War Dogs features two species of aliens. Are either of the species described in great detail?
If so what are they like? Don't be afraid to give some mild spoilers, I will buy the book if the aliens are interesting and well described.
 

Re: Question about the aliens of of War Dogs
Date: 01/24/2015
From: Greg Bear

Just handed in volume 2, KILLING TITAN, and the alien details hinted at in WAR DOGS are coming much more into focus. Plus, there's the incredible landscapes and under-ice seascapes of what may be the most fascinating moon in our solar system, Titan! In volume number three--title not yet decided--we head out to the distant reaches of the solar system and even stranger locations... But that's enough for now.

Projecting "Blood Music" into the present

Date: 01/04/2015 From: Eric Fairfield
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Hi Greg,
I am working my way through your books. I just discovered "Blood Music." When you wrote the book, I was working with some of the machines that you describe. You did some nice work getting the details right.
Now, I am deciphering thoughts and memories, cell by cell and synapse by synapse. We have a working model of a simple brain. The model is based entirely on biological principles not the standard AI. It is very fast, accurate and cheap to run.
As I read "Blood Music", I am forced to think harder about what intelligence might be and what capabilities lymphocytes or other cells could have. I needed to do this thinking but had not gotten around to it yet. Thanks for the book.
By the way, I am an experimental biochemist, mathematician, and, generally, a problem solver.
 

Re: Projecting
Date: 01/25/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks to you, Eric! Looks to me that neural science and brain research are making real progress. And it's important to regard even the "simple" cell as a major powerhouse of organizational skills--that is, problem solving. Keep us in the loop!

Quatico/Mariposa sequels?

Date: 01/02/2015 From: Michael Quarterman
Location: San Jose CA

Title says it all. Any more coming in this series?
 

Re: Quatico/Mariposa sequels?
Date: 01/25/2015
From: Greg Bear

No plans for the time being. As with the DARWIN'S books, these novels have had a difficult time in the changing world of NY publishing--mostly run-ins with incompetent editors. And that makes a third volume unlikely, barring major changes.

Thanks for great reading

Date: 01/02/2015 From: Thomas Stelzl
Location: Austria

Hello Mr. Bear,

I'm reading Forge of God/Anvil of Stars right now and as a 25 years+ SF-fan I can't stop marveling at your terrific piece of art and also at why your work has escaped me for so long.
This must be the most accurate, reproducable (if these terms are valid for a work of science fiction...) imagination of cultural exchange of intelligent species on interstellar scale that I know of.
The only gripes I have with above mentioned books is the obvious lack of provisions for the Benefactors to ensure the experiences and conclusions learned by the crews entrusted with ships of the Law are gathered and pooled, to learn and adapt strategies/technologies for future use. In my humble opinion the ships should regularly release probes with all the information learned so far and send them back to the Benefactors...

Anyway, thanks again for a great read, and keep the good stuff coming!
Regards
Thomas
 

Re: Thanks for great reading
Date: 01/25/2015
From: Greg Bear

Thanks, Thomas! Good thoughts and ideas here. And with further explorations, perhaps these questions will get answered.