News from Gregory Benford


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Dec 8, 2007
Somewhere near Jupiter
Got this in an email earlier....

"I've gotten many email on my website, and alas, neglected them. But now I've revived the site, posting new material, and hope you'll give it a look.

I've also reissued on my own my quite successful novel of 1993, CHILLER. There's a piece on the website about it; you can get a trade paperback or an e-book.

Next year Larry Niven and I will publish the first of two volumes of a long novel. First is THE BOWL OF HEAVEN, where a ramscoop starship suddenly finds a vast structure, which I call a Big Smart Object. Instead of being statically stable (sort of) as is RINGWORLD, this one is on its way to...where?

Hope you enjoy the site. I'll be posting on its blog and new articles, poems etc regularly.

It's at:

That's interesting, I have just started my first Benford novel, In the Ocean of Night (first in the Galactic Centre series) , and so far (70 odd pages in) it seems pretty good. I was particularly interested in these books have seen them listed on Wiki as examples of hard SF that use ramscoop drives. Whilst I am always interested in good hard SF, in this case it is the Bussard ramscoop drives that I am particularly interested in.

So far it certainly looks to be good hard SF whilst still being well and engagingly written. It's too early yet to have reached the ramscoops but I'm very hopeful on what I've seen so far.

Dask: unfortunately for you (though not for me :)) the Chiller of the title refers to Cryonics not horror:

I wanted to write realistic fiction about future prospects that didn’t end in the essentially conservative or even reactionary finish of the Crichton school. Chiller is about cryonics, beginning now and taking it into the future.

Chiller was to be the opener in a series of “scientific suspense” novels
That's interesting, I have just started my first Benford novel, In the Ocean of Night (first in the Galactic Centre series) , and so far (70 odd pages in) it seems pretty good.
I read the whole series some years ago, and I didnt enjoy the first two, which were written years before the rest of the series was conceived.
The later books, beginning with Great Sky River(superb!!) are really good!
I must admit I have ejoyed the start of the first book (just about to settle down and continue as house jobs done and weather foul :D) but I am particularly interested int he hard science aspects and so far I have been impressed by that and how he weaves it in without the kind of horrendous detailed info dumps that put off anyone but a scientist. I sumetimes find writers of hard SF seem to feel the need to show just how much they have researched the science by trying to cram it all into the story. I guess nowadays with the internet you can go a bit lighter and put in some extra research and reading links at the end, which is something I've started noticing some authors doing. That's really how I like it if some bit of the science interests me I'll go reasearch it separately.

From what I have read, I gather he didn't originally intend to write a series and then later after deciding to do so life got in the way for a while, hence the long gap before the later books. He is after all not a full time author.
Read it a couple of weeks ago as part of my "research" into Bussard ramscoop drives and yes, superb! You don't exactly get a bigger canvas than that! Although he does get detailed enough in that book to put off some of the less technically minded.

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