Discussion Board

Topic: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Michael Gearon
Location: French island Australia
Date: 02/11/2013

Eon was perhaps the best sci fi novel I've ever read. Eventually found the Asimov novel that perhaps formed the idea. No problem with that.

Now... I can't read Neil Stephenson. I can't remember all the detail to connect the dots. Perhaps this is part of what went wrong with reading The Hydrogen Sonata.

However.... I remember Orson Scott Card mentioning in one of his forewords about limiting the characters due to multiplying complexity and giving characters special features like weird eyes or something.

Can't help thinking the jumble I just read was an excuse for not having a solid story. Also, the complexity is possibly part of authors now living something like avatar lives online.

I'm off to trawl for gems like ' The Mote in Gods Eye' or whatever that wonderful book,was called.

Thanks for all the wonderful reading you've provided in the past including "Dead Air" I read this while living in Battersea and cycling past the old power station added to the experience.

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/11/2013

Not sure what you're on about, Michael. Which book has put you off?

Glad you enjoyed some of my others, however. DEAD LINES may be the one you're referring to.

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Roald Laurenson
Location: I can hear the sea...
Date: 02/12/2013

Greg, appreciating the transpositions here, I think the tale in question might be The Infinity Concerto.

Would that be right, Michael? If so, this is a fantasy, and is also some much earlier writing by Greg which has just been re-issued in an ebook, which might be how you found it.

I'm kind of thinking of a painter friend of mine, who made very fine works, often in specific styles according to his wish to express a site or subject. I found them wonderful, but he had his definite innings with art dealers, who wanted a 'style' to sell.

Greg is kind of like this -- his interests and imagination seem to roam across wide territories, and with them his styles or forms. I myself liked this early work,and seem to remember some characters and situations that really must be imagination from the life of a growing young man.

Michael, there are many newer interesting works of Greg's -- and if you like to center on a few characters, some of them would fit this surely. Or might mention a favorite which has some of the qualities of Eon and a very strong center in a character, which is Moving Mars.

I find myself thinking also of Ursula Le Guin who stays strongly with her central characters often, mixing in an amount of hard sci-fi sides in such early and famous novels as The Dispossessed, or The Left Hand of Darkness. Also in Four Ways of Forgiveness, particularly, which may appeal to you in other ways.

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Michael Gearon
Location: French Island, Australia
Date: 02/15/2013

Greg...... A thousand apologies!

Ian M Banks was the author of both THE HYDROGEN SONATA and DEAD AIR.

The last book I read of yours was HULL ZERO THREE. Thoroughly enjoyable and you remain my favourite author!

Wish I had a good excuse for the screw up. E Reader only shows book title and not author and I just kept thinking " why has Greg Bears style changed so much. I'll keep reading. This must get better..... Then I got to the end and was a little pissed at spending so much reading time on what I still consider to be a mess of a book.

It reviewed 4 out of 5 so obviously most people enjoyed it.


Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: zrdb
Location: United States
Date: 02/19/2013

If you keep writing hard core science fiction (unlike Gregory Benford who seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth) I'll keep reading them.

Apologies.......

From: Michael Gearon
Location: French Island, Australia
Date: 03/27/2013

Iain Banks wrote THE HYDROGEN SONATA and DEAD AIR. Ipad books don't display the authors name.

Flimsy excuse.....

On a more useful note have you ever read Sean Mc Mullen? SOULS IN THE GREAT MACHINE. Interesting concepts and I enjoyed the book before realizing he was a local Melbourne author.


Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Pear_Lover
Location:
Date: 03/30/2013

Don't know what he's on about, either, although I'm sort of waiting for something beyond the Halo books to emerge from you, Greg.

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/03/2013

Gregory and Larry Niven have an excellent new novel, BOWL OF HEAVEN. Take a look!

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: John walton
Location:
Date: 04/04/2013

Thoroughly enjoyed Hull Zero Three, scared to living day lights out of me. Best generation-seed-ship style story I've ever read.

Thx!
John

Apologies.......

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/10/2013

I'll look up Sean's book! I was last in your neck of the woods back in the early nineties...

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/10/2013

Got something in the works. And there are those past thirty plus novels to dip into, if you haven't already!

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/10/2013

Good to hear, John--there's a terrific list of such books!

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Andrew Rakich
Location: Munich
Date: 05/04/2013

Hi

I thought I'd pipe in here; unfortunately Iain M Banks who is one of my favourite Sci Fi authors of all time is dying of cancer. See his brave and pragmatic statement: http://www.iain-banks.net/2013/04/03/a-personal-statement-from-iain-banks/

So unfortunately it is most likely that the Hydrogen Sonata will be his last Culture novel.

This book was best appreciated by existing fans, already familiar with the Culture universe. Before you give up on this marvelous creation, try the first one; Consider Phlebas (or Look to Windward or Use of Weapons or Surface Detail).

Funny, I found this page on Google 'cause I was wondering if the title "The Hydrogen Sonata" was an oblique tribute to "The Infinity Concerto" cause a symbolic representation of H2 can look like the infinity symbol. Probably not though. If you're reading Greg I really enjoyed that book too and Blood Music and Eon (but not so much the sequel).

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Greg Bear
Date: 06/17/2013

Iain is one of our best. His books remain--and I highly recommend them all.

Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Michael Gearon
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Date: 06/17/2013

My words aren't good enough. Here's a quote.

British author Charles Stross wrote that "One of the giants of 20th and 21st century Scottish literature has left the building."

Just started Iain M Banks book 'Matter'


Re: Last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear......

From: Michael Gearon
Location: Flatistan, USA and Oz
Date: 07/12/2013

Started this thread with the embarrassingly (for me) titled "last novel I intend to read by Greg Bear" before discovering that the author was Iain Banks.

I'm now revisiting Matter by Iain Banks. Started on 17th June and now at page 343 of 481 Around 10 to pages a day. Relevant because I look forward to a small early morning escape to an alien universe then spend the rest of the day making the best of this particular universe. Left me a little annoyed when I'd devoted some 30 or so morning reads to The Hydrogen Sonata and it didn't ever leave me looking forward to the next mornings read.

Well, I couldn't be happier and I've rediscovered the novel with the wonderful little knife missile drone. Wondered where I'd read that!

I remember on the first reading being so horrified at the Kings method of demise that I'd skipped forward quite a bit. Realize now I'd missed so much!

Even missed this bit (cool how the copyright automatically gets put in. I was worried about that)

This paragraph is so subtle and at the same time conveys so much. Made the hair on the back or my neck stand up. That doesn't happen often. Really don't know why The Hydrogen Sonata didn't work for me.

Sad to lose such a magnificent author.

Her reaction to the manner of their fathers death had been expressed at first not in words but in a brief widening of her eyes, then gaze narrowing. It was so little in a way, and yet Ferbin had the impression he had just set something unstoppable, implacable in motion. She had, he realised, become formidable.

Excerpt From: Iain M. Banks. Matter. Orbit, 2009-02-10. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/matter/id357669769?mt=11



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