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Topic: Eon/Eternity.... holiday reading yet again

From: Michael Pine
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Date: 04/15/2008

Greg,

I know it probably gets old, but recently went and came back from overseas holiday, decided it was time to read EON, AGAIN! Started towards the end of the holiday, finished by the time I got back home, the very next day, I picked up ETERNITY and sat down all day recovering from jet-lag and read eternity from front to back in the one day which is quite good reading for me, my wife woke me up, 3 times, with the book dropped on the floor. But I was so engrossed, I just had to finish it, it astounds me, no matter how many times I read EON, how much I enjoy and it just consumes me until it is finished.

August is approaching..>!!!!

cheers
Michael

Re: Eon/Eternity.... holiday reading yet again

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/15/2008

Many thanks, Michael! I'm always impressed by people who can read for hours and hours at a stretch. I have to get up and clear my head, which explains why I read forty or fifty books at a time, but not all at once.

Re: Eon/Eternity.... holiday reading yet again

From: James Campbell Andrew
Location: Stafford, England
Date: 05/14/2008

I'm the same re: Eon/Eternity - they're must-re-reads for me every so often. As are Forge of God/Anvil of Stars.

All four are books where I find something new, or understand somethinig a little better with each iteration.

Looking forward to City.

Re: Eon/Eternity.... holiday reading yet again

From: Tom
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Date: 05/14/2008

I was rereading Eon and Eternity and some of Mr. Bear's descriptions did not seem right -- The Stone is brought into Earth's orbit at 10,000 km. The Stone is a nickel/iron asteroid, 91 km by 292 km. He describes it as being 'a bright point of light' in the sky when seen from Earth. My rough guess was that it should look larger than the moon, so I did some math:

The Stone:

292 ￷ 10,000 = .0292 radians

The Moon is 3400 km in diameter, and is 384,000 km from us on average.

3400 ￷ 384,000 = .008 radians

That works out to 3.65 times the Moon's size in the sky, for the asteroid's longer dimension. The asteroid's smaller dimension, 91 km, works out to .009 radians, so still a bit larger than the Moon's apparent size. There are 360ᄎ in 2￀ (~6.28) radians, so that's about 57.3ᄎ per radian.

So the Moon is .45ᄎ in arc, and the asteroid's long dimension is 1.67ᄎ

Did I make a mistake? Mr. Bear is usually very meticulous in researching his stories.

I know this is a minor quibble -- I love the books as well. I think I like 'The Forge of God' and 'Anvil of Stars' even more.

Re: Eon/Eternity.... holiday reading yet again

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/27/2008

Good math, Tom, but as I recall, the Stone is actually orbiting around both the moon and the Earth, an orbit I worked out long ago with the help of John Lewis and Poul Anderson. Let me know if that still doesn't clear things up--I never claim infallibility!

Re: Eon/Eternity.... holiday reading yet again

From: mr123paul
Location: Brighton, England
Date: 11/24/2008

I'm glad I'm not the only one! I must have read Eon a dozen times since 1988 and am currently re-reading Eternity. I stumbled on this discussion while searching for more details about the background of Gaia - alternate 'earth' in Eternity. I'd love to know more detail about the names/place names/peoples used for Gaia.

These books really are touchstones for me - I first read Eon while on holiday in Cyprus in 1988 & was hugely impressed and entertained by the book - the evocation of the life of the inhabitants of the stone were gripping and the book tells a great story. I read it - maybe 'gorged myself' is a better expression of what happened - over two days.

Anyway...is there any place or interview or discussion that fleshes out the world of Gaia in more detail? I'd love to know.

I'm going to seek out 'City At The End Of Time' this week & am looking forward to it very much.

Re: Eon/Eternity.... holiday reading yet again

From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/24/2008

Thanks! I don't know of a discussion group, and there's not much extra material that isn't already in the sequels and prequel (I didn't keep copious notebooks, like Frank Herbert)... but other readers may be able to help. And feel free to ask questions!

Re: Eon/Eternity.... holiday reading yet again

From: mr123paul
Location: Brighton, England
Date: 11/25/2008

Thanks for the response, Greg. Interesting that you don't keep 'copious notebooks' - is this because most of the work is written / re-drafted directly on the computer?

Anyway - a more specific question - I remember when I first read Eternity, I flipped to the front of the book to look for a map of the Gaia world (again, like Frank Herbert's Dune!!), but didn't find one! Is there such a thing?

Re: Eon/Eternity.... holiday reading yet again

From: Greg Bear
Date: 12/03/2008

Not to my knowledge. There have been schematics--but it's not a bad idea to produce a kind of map--or seven of them. Lots of unfolded tin cans! One of them very long indeed...

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