From: Matthew Vomacka
Location: Montclair, NJ
Just curious, did it ever occur to you when writing the book that the creators of the ship of law might be the same as the creators of the von neumann probes which destroyed earth in the first place? That the latter was their act of atonement for the former? That they left the weapons they designed in place at the end of the book in order to destroy any guilt felt by their eventual destroyers? That they hoped to negotiate a cease fire but that in the event they were destroyed, they wished to give their destroyers a lasting sense of peace with what they had done? That a god was, essentially, testing humanity and giving humanity the chance to kill it?
Additionally, since the ship of law was able to interfere with the human's minds in order to accomplish the mission (something about opening up new avenues of momerath I remember), is it possible that the guy who hanged himself, whose name I forgot but was an alternate personality, actually existed at some point prior to the book's opening?
Finally, can you remind me why the Ship of Law volunteers were not allowed to return to the Sol System and live with the human colony there?
From: Greg Bear
Interesting ideas, Matthew, but my intent was to have opposing forces shaping the galaxy. As for not returning to Sol's neighborhood, the Benefactors seemed to think that our victors might carry too many secrets to allow them to go home again--and possibly empower humanity.
From: Jonathan Williams
One thing of several left unanswered at the end of Anvil of Stars was what the human and brother crews did with their reality-warping knowledge.
The Ship of the Law obviously intended to destroy itself, in accordance with the Law. But you'd think it would also have an imperative to transmit the details of any newfound weapons technology to its original creators. Otherwise, if the human or brother crew decided to violate the law in the future, they'd have a terrific leg up, thanks to their advanced knowledge...