Discussion Board

Topic: Cryptum

From: JuanCarlos Bravo
Location: Anywhere, nowhere. NY.
Date: 07/31/2011

Hello there. I'm an avid Halo fan and I was excited when you wrote Cryptum not because I know of your work (I'm going be honest and say it was the first I read that you wrote,) but because you were exploring the background of the Forerunners. I love the Forerunners because they're the mysterious 'heroes' in the Halo background who committed suicide to save the galaxy.

That being said, I have a few questions.


Since Crpytum you've made the Forerunners into one of the low/high-tier science fiction races. Like the Ancients from Stargate but with competence, lack of stagnation and alien culture.

But on certain forums, like the Spacebattles Forum, people argue about calcs and yields, an example being Daleks/Time Lords vs Forerunners or WH 40k. A lot of people there argued on whether the Forerunners are actually high-tier or you made it vague enough so that it looks like their a advanced race.

1. The way you write it, Forerunner battle suits like the Sphinx or their successors can wipe out an entire city single-handily or fire shots from their armor that can be seen from orbit. Is that an exaggeration or do Forerunner weapons really fire shots as powerful as a small nuclear bomb?

2. How powerful are Forerunner weapons on their ships? Right now it seems like Teratons...

3. Are Onyx drones are anything similar going to make an appearance? In the next book, are we going to get glimpses of a Forerunner war? In too many books about galactic wars, people don't grasp just how big a war fought across the galaxy can be. Are you going to give hints or anything like that?

4. The Forerunner Flood War... is a bit confusing. With the level of tech the Forerunners have (and that you gave them), they shouldn't have had an issue with the Flood. Swamp them with Sentinels and the Flood are done with no, no infected. In the novel, you mention that since the flood's return the Forerunner's have lost less than a dozen worlds. What changed?

5. You imply that the Flood are the creation of the Precursors - but previous canon says the Flood came from another galaxy (having infected said previous galaxy.) Are you still using that background?

Re: Cryptum

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/07/2011

All terrific questions, JuanCarlos! I'll answer a couple. In my estimation, Forerunner weapons are plenty powerful, but not quite up to erasing entire planets or solar systems. Precursors are just mysterious enough that their origins are still unresolved!

Re: Cryptum

From: JuanCarlos Bravo
Location: White Plains
Date: 08/16/2011

Sorry again... the stuff that the Forerunners use and the things seen in the games seem drastically different. Forerunner combat suits seem to be able to create massive explosions that could be seen from low-Earth orbit and Forerunner cruisers carry smaller cruisers with millions of drones in them. But in the games, the Sentinels and their weapons can barely deal with the Flood. Covenant gear, which is based off Forerunner tech, don't seem to be related to Forerunner tech.

Why the drastic difference?

Re: Cryptum

From: Kronos
Location: Moscow, Russia
Date: 08/30/2011

Hello I (and others) want to ask you something.
Sorry, tell us when you wrote Cryptum, you know enough ancient history and the history of Halo? Sorry.
1. 100,000 years ago, the galaxy was populated by a great variety of beings. 100 000. People then were Neanderthals. How could they fight the Forerunners? And to live on other planets? They had their own spacecraft and launch sites?
2. Steam boat on Earth? At that time? Why? At this time there were only stone axes.
3. People have become toxic to the Flood. Why they are infected - in the games?
4. So where has appeared Flood? He did from another galaxy came to us? Or not?
5. There were two wars with the Flood? One in your book, and the other - before that? If so, why not lived previously Forerunners warned posterity?
We would be very grateful if you could answer us.
Thank you.

Re: Cryptum

From: Greg Bear
Date: 09/25/2011

What a difference a thousand centuries makes! Maybe they're all past their warrantee expiration dates?

Re: Cryptum

From: Greg Bear
Date: 09/25/2011

All good questions, Kronos! Perhaps I can answer a few of them in the third Forerunner novel. Meanwhile, PRIMORDIUM introduces us to a wide range of human types and settings.

Re: Cryptum

From: JuanCarlos Bravo
Location: White Plains
Date: 10/11/2011

Maybe in your next book, can you go a little more detail in Forerunner technology? The society you made is fantastic... but really, its their technology that move the Halo series - everything the Forerunner leave behind revolves around their technology and structures.

Have you seen Halo Origins?


Re: Cryptum

From: Sean
Location: Texas
Date: 11/20/2011

I'll handle a bit of these; I actually post on SB.com, so yeah.
-Forerunner tech permits destruction of biospheres. This was routine throughout the war. It came to the point of inducing suns to go nova at even the slightest hint of an infestation. However, I don't think Mr.Bear is quite interested in calculations. He seems to want to throw in the general idea of what's going on while spending more time building the story(which, btw, superb job).

As for the Flood-Forerunner war, read into a few things that Mr.Bear put into the book: Mendicant Bias devastated their government, their information network and probably their ability to transit across the galaxy. Throw in the fact that he also had a massive strategic advantage, given he was the top tier AI. I bet most of their strategic assets were completely down.

Then there's the fact that the Warrior Servants were at a low point what with the Master Builder's political maneuvers. It wasn't so easy to just spam them with trillions of sentinels. Then just look at the sheer capability of the Flood to spread.

Then there's the Timeless One, who I am very convinced will have something to do with the Gravemind(my guess is either becomes it, creates it or something similar). But I'm sure Mr.Bear will be able to confirm that in the next book.

Re: Cryptum

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/16/2012

Thanks, JuanCarlos!

We're getting there in PRIMORDIUM and in the third book, in progress now, but if I told you any more, the folks at 343 would send a Spartan or two after me!

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