From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego - Normal Heights
Re-reading EON as promised, for the first time in a nearly a quarter century (though I've read ETERNITY twice, but not in the last 12 years...)
Various images have stuck in my head from that first reading: Olmy speaking to the memory pattern of the designer of the Way in his family's appartment in Thistledown City, Pattricia's response of seeing too many pyramids in Egypt.
But over that quarter century, various details had faded, such as this occuring in 2005, now four years in our past! The Cold War turned hot Western Block vs. Soviet tension, with China being a bit more friendly.
And an Advanced to Lunar Colonization ability US and Soviet space flight ability, not just stuck with the shuttles.
When I first read EON, the Challenger disaster was still months away...an event that cost many brave lives and horrified the nation and the world...putting the Shuttle program on a 2-3 year stall, and effectively stalling manned space flight objectives by two decades.
History is stuffed with "Accidents" that become lurch points from one collected shared path to another.
America really lost it's Will toward space flight with that heart breaking event, meanwhile Soviet Space flight continued to plod on, but never really got its will up to try for the moon.
And then in '89 the Berlin Wall Fell, taking the Eastern Block with it, and History as we thought we knew it would unfold totally changed.
So instead of re-Reading Eon as historically dated, it's turned into an "Alternate Reality" novel for me, especially with the WAY tunnelling down the center of it, giving the characters not just access to worlds distant in Space AND time, but worlds in completely different time lines.
If 1989 hadn't happened the way it did happen for us, I was pretty much convinced we wouldn't make it very far into the 1990s.
I post this after reading some of the first parts of Patricia's reading the book about "The Death"
From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego
Avoiding after hour work and making headway thru EXTERNITY, and just hit a brick wall in my time-line speculations:
On page 151 of my paperback edition Mirsky states that our Universe ends "In about 75 Billion Years"
A few sweeps of the second hand in the time line of CITY.
Though the WAY itself, and it's end, has to extend Quadrillions if not Quintillions of years beyond that "Death" of the Universe.
Did you, or anyone, ever sit down and calculate just how "long" the WAY could possibly be?
From the texts we know it has to be hundreds, if not thousands of light year equivalents long...but could it extend millions of Light Years toward that other fizziling end cap?
I know the Jart Invasion of Gaia and Conquest is just a few pages away...and I've become more enamoured of a "Surviving Classical World" alternate time-line than when I last read this volume.
And the Impending Jart invasion brings to mind more Trek Rip offs: I'd always thought THE BORG were something of a Rip on Giger's Biomechanical Humanoids...something he almost abandoned when the ALIEN motify got so popular.
So in form THE BORG look like those, but not as weird-kinky...while in action they are WAY too much like the JART,and with a similar species imperative: The BORG consume and integrate other species as a goal toward perfection; the Jart collect and preserve other species/cultures into their data-banks, and then use that tech and biology to expand their own on going mission: making it a "present" for their ultimate descendants(what I remember from my last two readings...)
From: Greg Bear
Somewhere in the novels, I believe the Way is described as being coiled up within the multiverse like a tapeworm... and tapeworms can be much longer than their hosts!
All these analogies of space-time are just conventions, and beside the point on that deal. As well, the Borg are similar to the Jarts in only that surfacial aspect mentioned. The latter are certainly more complex, not to mention passionate.
From: Greg Bear
Hm... I thought Alice Krige as the Borg queen was fairly passionate...
From: Andrew Carpenter
Bah!...weaklings! I read Eon and Eternity once a year and have done so for many many years. I hate to call you a "comfort" author Greg, but to me, those two books are in the collection of what I hope to read when I'm dying in my bed of old age. I've had them since my mid twenties..now I'm nearly fifty (hope that this doesn't make you feel old!)...You're up there with my other well thumbed books that I'll die with, including "The Noel Coward Diaries" and Arthur Rimbauds collected verse...not sure where you fit in there..but you do..That was a compliment by the way!
Greetings from the snowy Pyrennees!
From: Greg Bear
Thanks, Andrew! I'm right up there with "The Drunkboat!" Cool!
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