Discussion Board

Topic: I'm exhausted.

From: Carol Aldinger
Location: Green River, WY
Date: 10/12/2008

I've been a fan of yours for years, reading every Si-Fi you've published.
But,
But never have I been as exhausted by a book as this latest "City". Not even the Dune series by Herbert left me this drained. Like that series, I had to read this in small sections just to try to comprehend what was going on, and when I finally finished it yesterday, I wiped the sweat off my brow, and just sat there for 5 minutes.
Good Book, and Good Job (I think. I'm still trying to digest it 24 hours later!)

Re: I'm exhausted.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/13/2008

Many thanks for your efforts and kind words, Carol! Glad you've stuck with the book. Any suggestions how I might help the paperback readers slide into these worlds more easily? A glossary or primer of some sort, perhaps?

Re: I'm exhausted.

From: Steven Becker
Location: San Jose
Date: 10/13/2008

A primer would be wonderful on multiple levels. A number of your books have incredible eye openers for one or another area of science. That said, a primer would have helped me get more out of them than I was able to do so on my own.

In addition, a primer on an interesting area of science by a writer with your insight would be tremendously valuable in and of itself, let alone as an intro to one of your stories.

Re: I'm exhausted.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/13/2008

Which areas in CITY would be of most interest? I already have a piece almost ready to go on the theory and history of Babels, and a piece on entropy published on the Del Rey website. Both could be included in the paperback. Anything else?

Re: I'm exhausted.

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: 10/13/2008

Stapledonian Time Scale Charts! Current Era to End of Bright. End of Bright to the Time of the 500 Living Galaxies. 500 Living Galaxies Vs. Typhon. Typhon vs. Earth/Kalpa

A glossary of fate-shifter/collecter terms? Just the thought puts a quiver in the sky.

The hint of Appendixes opens up whole new avenues of enjoyment and "veritas". An Article on the history of Babels? Wow!

Very exciting!

Mike

Re: I'm exhausted.

From: Carol Aldinger
Location: Green River, WY
Date: 10/14/2008

In your first note, you mentioned a glossary. That would definitely be a useful tool. I would have referred to it numerous times throughout the book.
Even with my scientific background I still had trouble following at times although I did understand your references to particles splitting in cloud chambers.
A brief primer as you call it about entropy and other notions you bring up would help the more serious readers tremendously, but the casual reader would probably skip over, get lost in the book, and (horrors!) lay it aside? I stuck with it because I like the way you write. True Science Fiction, yes with capital letters rather than space opera (Elizabeth Moon) which I'm now reading to "recover" from the trauma of seeing beautiful Seattle disappear from the cosmos. (I grew up in Bremerton.)
I did find the cover picture helpful and looked back at it more than once, in order to grasp what you were describing. But I kept wishing for some kind of drawing of the end game. I became confused in my imagining of who was where, even though they were all within the final circle.

Re: I'm exhausted.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/16/2008

I think we'd put the extra stuff in the back, not to distract. Hm! An illustrated edition... lovely idea, but not likely any time soon. (And I do enjoy Elizabeth's space opera--she's one of the contemporary masters of that venerated and highly influential genre.)

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