Discussion Board

Topic: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Joey
Location: United States
Date: 11/25/2010

Dear Greg Bear,
I am very excited about Halo: Cryptum, being a huge halo fan and all, and I think you will do a great job explaining the time of the Forerunners in the Halo story. I just have one question about Cryptum. Does it take place during, before, or at the beginning of the Forerunner-Flood war? Thanks. :)

Sincerely,
Joey

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/26/2010

That's a complicated question! It's a big universe. Lets just say that at the beginning, our narrator - a young Forerunner - knows nothing about the Flood...

January 4th!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Joey
Location: United States
Date: 11/27/2010

Thanks man. By the way, I have just one more question. Did you write the new short story thats in Halo Evolutions volume 1 called Soma the Painter?

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/29/2010

No, just Cryptum... so far.

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: David Twinkle
Location: The North Pole
Date: 12/03/2010

Dear, Mr.Bear

I have never read any of your books, although I am planning to read the Eon series after I finish Edmund Morris's Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy, which I must highly recommend to anyone who reads this, but I was wondering if the forerunners have entertainment. Do they go to the ancient equivalent of Burger King? Are there bad movies in forerunner land? I cannot think that they all are busy tinkering away in workshops like us elves. I was also wondering if there are any influences from the origin story in the Halo:Legends movie? I was also wondering if you could leave a copy on Santa's doorstep when the book comes out it would be appreciated. We're busy finishing packing Santa's sleigh for launch.

P.S. Bear is an awesome last name. Maybe you and Santa could write a book together and the author credit could be Bear-Claus. Thank you for writing another Halo novel also.

P.S.S I wanted to post my correspondence on this site. I got all your books requested from the Elf Library.

All the Best,
Twinkle the Elf

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Frank
Location: 343 Industries
Date: 12/07/2010

Soma the Painter was by me.

And hi Greg!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 12/07/2010

Welcome, Frank! Glad to have that settled! Frank O'Connor is very well known to all Halo fans, and one of my prime guiding lights at 343. Frank and Kevin Grace and many more at 343, and Eric Raab at Tor, have all been incredibly helpful and patient providing feedback, input, and history as I write these Forerunner novels.

January 4 is coming up rapidly!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Frank
Location: 343 Industries
Date: 12/09/2010

Just got a single hardcover edition in the mail from Tor. Looks beautiful. Reads even more beautifully.

Congratulations!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 12/16/2010

Cover is spectacular!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Joey
Location: United States
Date: 12/28/2010

Oh, so Frank O'Connor wrote Soma the Painter. I guess he wrote Wages of Sin (the short story exclusive to Halo Evolutions volume 2) as well. Well, that answers my questions. By the way, I read Chapters 1 and 2 of Cryptum and they were awesome! I was both shocked and surprised, also excited! You have done an awesome job explaining the time of the Forerunners in the Halo story with these two chapters, and I can tell the rest of the book and the next two books will be just as great! Thank you Greg Bear for answering my questions, and tell Frank O'Connor that I say thanks for answering my questions as well.
:)
Only one week left!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/01/2011

Will do! Big blow out event for HALO CRYPTUM at University Bookstore in Seattle on Jan 4... Surprises galore.

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/01/2011

Good questions! Next question: does Santa take care of good little Manipulars by traveling back in time?

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Gurinder P
Location: Vancouver, BC
Date: 01/16/2011

Hello Mr. Bear,

I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed every page of your novel, and that I hold you some what responsible for shattering the perfect image I had of the Forerunner society.

Speaking of Forerunner society, I was wondering if you would be able divulge any further information on how such an advanced society can run on such archaic principles of castes and currency.

I look forward to reading your future novels.

An avid new fan,

G.P.

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/16/2011

Also good questions, Gurinder. Perhaps a more challenging question--can even the most advanced society work without a social structure, a hierarchy? Can all be in charge, and all be equal? Caste and predetermination by birth might be holdovers from the Forerunner past, of course... much as such tradition lingers and even controls our societies today.

Halo: Cryptum

From: James M
Location: Cleveland, OH
Date: 01/28/2011

Just finished Cryptum. All I can say is FANTASTIC. I'm sure interested to see if "the prisoner" is incorporated in the next book. Great read Mr. Bear.

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Jonathan G
Location: Chicago, IL, US
Date: 01/28/2011

Greeting Greg Bear, I finished reading your wonderful epic 'Halo Cryptum' which is probably a book akin too the Original dune in a way, but I'm having trouble visualizing Mutations, forms and rates.

I understand, as an writer myself that you give enough space for readers to make there own interpretation. However, I'm very curious about the whether the Forerunners mutations were purposely of Precursor genetic introduction or in itself evolutionary development. And if you can be so kind, are forerunners furry creatures like a Yetti or more like Humans just larger and full of color.

Anyway, good luck on your future endeavors.

You are what you dare.

Halo: Cryptum

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/02/2011

The Captive is looking over my shoulder even as I type this...

Thanks, James!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/02/2011

What we know about the Forerunners so far: they seem to bear a resemblance, however distant, to humans, at least during the early stages of their development. (But which humans, you ask? Riser, after all, is very different from Chakas, and there are many other varieties of humans in the Librarian's panoply.) Mutations are customized according to the class a Forerunner is moving into, with varying physical forms. So Forerunners do not all look alike. But the question of their origins... and their eventual destiny... has yet to be explained!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Emery Calame
Location: Austin
Date: 02/06/2011

I sort of got the impression that the caste system was a little bit messed up by nepotism. There was probably supposed to more mobility in it but it was discouraged due to cultural prejudice about relative importance and probably reinforced by the changes in appearance that blending with a mentor not of your family's occupation (and appearance) might cause.

The Forerunners seemingly were not quite up to the idealistic aspirations of their lofty name and self appointed role. They spoke of transmitting knowledge and elevated status to a successor but in practice they did not suffer rivals even within the bounds of their own society. They were highly arrogant yet they often questioned their society and found it somewhat wanting but can't see any way to deal with it publicly without risking a dissolution of society. They seem to trust their AI's too easily, need them too much, and to undercut each other or work on conflicting solutions to things.

Very interesting.

They were not nearly as in control of everything, nor above everything, as we were previously lead to believe. And they knew it on some level. The mantle almost seemed to be an excuse to do whatever they wanted so long as it could be rationalized as good for life in some way. But they could tell that the meaning of the mantle rang a bit hollow as problems became more complex. The Halos while they don't really fit into the Mantle philosophy (as professed) do seem to be potentially necessary to stop the Flood as a last resort, and the reality that they need to abandon the principles of the mantle to have a chance at saving the mantle or to serve it, seems to be more or less destroying the fabric and meaning of the society and exposing the illusions that helped hold it together in a common cause.

It seems to me that the forerunners could have survived the Halo pulse as teir 1 specimens on the Ark or as stored information (schematics and formulae) that their monitors and mechanical servants could use to reconstruct them as life soon after the danger had passed and living things had been restored. Apparently they chose not to survive, or some other catastrophe happened to wipe out their last remnant.

Perhaps they realized that for the mantle as they understood it to survive they must relinquish their false claim to it and admit that they were never really worthy of it and that it did not after all separate them very much from the "animals" they benignly presided over.

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/25/2011

Very interesting analysis, Emery! These issues are coming up in the next two volumes. And more besides.

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Patrick Ibrahim
Location: California
Date: 03/06/2011

Hello Mr. Bear,
I just finished reading your book Halo Cryptum, and all that I can say is, wow. The best book I have ever written by far, and my favorite. the last three lines spoken by the precursor in the Didact's mind sent chills down my spine. My question for you is: Will there be a next book coming out SOON? I have been looking everywhere for the name of the next book and all I have found was the title "Prisoner" which makes sense considering the release of the prisoner on the halo test firing planet. Any answer would be great!
Thank you very much
With respect,
Patrick Ibrahim

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Brandon Traylor
Location: Shreveport Louisiana
Date: 04/03/2011

To Mr. Bear

Hello. First I would like to say I am very pleased with your masterful piece of work, thank you for giving us a new light on the Forerunners.

But I have a question, how fast is Forerunner non-Portal slipspace speed? The book has it wear you can't pinpoint it exactly

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/03/2011

Alas, the Precursor is staring hard at me right now--wants to know what happens next, and he's getting a little scary... so back to work! Thanks for the kind words, Patrick!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/10/2011

Slipspace, as I understand the concept, can be bundled up and tied off to create portals. Speed seems to be about the same, but a portal can stay open for more than one transit. But I'm happy to have Halo experts put in their two cents worth on this question!

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: sean gorosh
Location: troy MI
Date: 04/21/2011

what do you consider you the reading level of you halo cryptum novel work?

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/10/2011

Hello, Sean--I suspect a smart 6th grader would have no trouble with these novels. Anyone who's worked through a Halo game should have little difficulty--though of course the games are rated M.

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Vivek
Location: Bangalore, India
Date: 01/09/2012

Dear Mr Bear,

I just finished completed the novel, and I must say it turned out beautifully. However, I am confused as the storyline seemed to break the terminals (exchanges between the Librarian and The Didact) from Halo 3. Could you help the anamoly?

Re: Halo: Cryptum question

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/20/2012

There's a Spartan with a shock prod standing beside me as I type...

Halo: Cryptum

From: Melissa W
Location: Independence, MO
Date: 09/25/2013

I am a reading teacher and one of my students has read your book. I was looking for a discussion guide or comprehension questions that I can ask the student to monitor their understanding of the elements of your book. I can have the student write a book report, but since I'm not familiar with Halo at all, the student could just make up a bunch of information and I wouldn't know it.
Thanks for any help you could give.

Halo: Cryptum

From: Greg Bear
Date: 10/01/2013

HALO WAYPOINT (www.halowaypoint.com) is a terrific source and portal for all things HALO and even Forerunner. Check it out! Having a teacher's guide is a good idea and perhaps you should approach Tor or 343 with that notion?

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