Discussion Board

Topic: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.

From: Mike Glosson
Location: Normal Heights, San Diego, California, USA, Earth, Sol System, Orion Arm, Milkway, Local Group
Date: 10/05/2007

Greg: It's been at least a year and a half since I've had a chance to drop you a line. Currently on Sabatical from my Network Engineering Career (more on that later, differnt message)and catching up on my reading. After finally finishing Durrell's Alexandria Quartet I needed something a bit least emotionally exhausting and intellectually stimulating.
Your work has been coming up in our household since you appeared on the Daily Show talking about your latest nearly main stream novel and dazzling John Stewart. And you came up again while we were watching a repeat of the "Worms" episode of Futurama, where Fry is redesigned by super intelligent intestinal worms, and I told my wife that the premise was out of the Bear Story "Blood Music" but with some major redesign.
And Blood Music came up again, both Story and Novel, when our friend who does neural-molecular studies at UCSD (and is working on the receptor site mechanics of schizophrenia currently) when I related the Futurama episode (which happened to be on again when she called) sited above and we got off on a discussion of biochips...she had just finished reading Gibson's Mona Lisa Overdrive for the firt time and I remarked that your story/novel was the first place the concept actually showed up in fiction, she was stunned having only read your two fantasy novels, so I need to educate her on the Bear Oeuvre, especially since she was in a seminar a few years back run by the inventor of the birth control pill who wrote novels about the scientific process.
So, exhausted by Durrell and still needing to replace more Bear in my Library, went out and found copies of THE WIND FROM A BURNING WOMAN, which I'd never previously owned, TANGENTS, which I had owned but only remembered three of the stories in it, plus the final piece about computer graphics, and STRENGTH OF STONES, which the last section didn't quite match up to the original version I read.
I noticed the there was a second copy right date (1988) for the composite "novel" about the dissolution of the cities on GOD DOES BATTLE, was the last section re-written? And I couldn't see any difference between the version of Mandala in this novel, or the one that was anthologized in THE WIND FROM A BURNING WOMAN.
And I'd never before read that title story, though I think you mentioned it during one of the classes you taught at Crawford. The story seemed to fit, and yet not, into the future history of EON and ETERNITY, and re-reading "Scattershot" made me think about the various stories you published in Galaxy and elsewhere of that some where between Niven's "Known Space" some where between the galaxy in "Star Trek" and something completely your own with higher geodesics ftl travel, almost yet not quite a series, with BEYOND HEAVEN'S RIVER being the one full novel from that universe, STRENGTH OF STONES, woven from smaller works, appenedable to that.
I've started to replace some of my lost issues of Galaxy from back in the day (and found a source here to do that), but thought "wouldn't it be great if all that material was compiled in one place, with some authors notes?" And maybe some new material set in that Universe?
Consider that a request. I'd buy that, having done the same with gathering togethers of out of print Niven Known Space characters in CRASHLANDER and FLATLANDER.
Anyway, it's been a fun week reading your prose, leaving me invigorated and page turning.
How much longer before Science Fiction becomes the Main Stream?
Out to finally buy a copy of Quantico...

Mike Glosson

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/06/2007

Hello, Mike! Good to hear from you. Don't recall a new copyright on STRENGTH OF STONES, not since the early eighties. The stories were fixed up for the volume published by Ace Books back then, but haven't been substantially revised since. Mandala is likely much the same, and the recent story collection does include revised versions of the stories. I'm a fan of FUTURAMA, of course! QUANTICO is still rolling along, and we're planning for the American paperback due this summer.

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego
Date: 10/06/2007

I'm already to Part 2 of Quantico. Having part of it set in Temecula has brought the heebeegeebees a bit closer to home, since a decade ago I had active contacts in the Vineyard country, before the dotcom bust. I haven't had one of your books be this compulsive a page turner since Psychlone; and that's saying something, since I can get engrossed in your prose for several hours at a time and not notice.
Let's see how far I can get before social life starts at 7 PM.
Has this been optioned for film rights yet? Having become hooked on the best main stream scifi show on TV, the original CSI (and the real world still hasn't caught up with the tech they use on that show) I was already seen it as Film as I was reading it.

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/11/2007

No nibbles on QUANTICO yet.

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego
Date: 10/11/2007

Give it some time. Of all your work, this would be the easiest to film, being character and event driven, with minimal special effects needed.
Got thru two thirds of Q before we had to go out (we were 1.5 hours behind schedule) and then finished it Sunday mid day.
The Mulder/Scully getting busted like moments at the climax of the novel even keyed it more for me: This is more of what the X-Files should have been like, instead of getting wrapped up mega conspiracy ufo story arcs.
I see multiple built in audiences for this, crime drama, fbi crime drama, out collective terrorism concern, x-file fan cross overs, etc.
While I stated above that your works tend to be engrossing and engaging page turners I almost got friction burns on my fingers this time!
This could be your "Jurassic Park".

Cheers!

MG

Re: Bear's Prose as Decompression & Various Items.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/11/2007

Ah, but those dinosaurs... tough to beat!

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