I could probably write a whole lot but I'll try to be succinct. Thank you for Eon. I feel fortunate to be so easily taken away by music, films, and books, but nothing takes me farther than the type of story you've created in Eon. The concept / implications of 'first-contact' scenarios have intrigued me since I was a kid (I have the Lucasarts PC adventure game "The Dig" to thank for that. Do you know of it?). Something about them makes me feel humble with regard to my own existence, and the existence of 'mankind' / intelligent life in general. What a profound and drastic impact -- potentially dangerous at first but ultimately positive -- such an event would have in real life. It generates a sense of wonderment rarely (if ever) felt. What I'd give to live out the story of Patricia or Lanier...
From: Greg Bear
Thanks for the kind words, Austin! The big one for me was probably CHILDHOOD'S END back in the mid-sixties.