From: Rich Kisch
Location: Minneapolis MN
Hi Mr. Bear,
I've read a number of your novels and have enjoyed them all, with the exception of Vitals. The story concept was good, but the ending SUCKED! I was almost mad at being left hanging like that--what really happened? Who was really in charge? Was Rob alive or dead? Was Banning really behind everything? Were the Little Mothers actually speaking and controlling things or was everyone nuts...? Where' they come from? The tie in with the longevity stuff was nebulous and unclear at best, unnecessary at worst--didn't go anywhere. Could've been any cellular biology studier.... I know "artists" love this kind of open ending crap, but to the reader it's very unsatisfying and frustrating! I've never written an author before, and I know you could care less about some schmuck's opinion, but I was so frustrated after wasting my time reading that book, getting involved in the story and the science fact/fiction, I felt like I was robbed and had to speak out! Love to see a sequel to the Forge of God, though.... (Where'd the little snake people wind up?)
From: Greg Bear
The book is a puzzle box, to be sure, but not without a solution. I wrote it with a few of my favorite contemporary suspense novels and movies in mind. My readers are clever people, and a fair number of them regard VITALS (and its scientific speculations) with favor.
If movie goers can make hits out of films far more tortuous and obscure than VITALS, then why should I expect any less of you?
Ha. Every time I read some complaint such as this, I'm reminded why most people can't handle non-tertian and especially non-tonal musics. Resolution, often of a definitive, if not familiar, sort is an innate, deep desire.
From: Greg Bear
I've been ticked off at first by some movies and books as well, and then come to realize my enjoyment. Reading is always an odyssey, and so is music appreciation.
From: chris pickens
Location: Fairfax, CA
I think I enjoyed the experience of reading vitals more than
the ending - but that is why I am a Greg Bear fan. The power of his work for me has been his overall sense of drama and storytelling and great characters. Endings are not as important to me compared to his sense of structure, tone
and his very impressive world-building.
From: tom hackwelder
ok-- liked the book very muchand ending was mystery.
could someone out there that is better at puzzles than me give me some interpretations of the ending?