Greg Bear, anyone?

Bick

A Member of the Forum
Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
2,997
Location
Auckland, NZ
Many thanks for the feedback, chronites. Sounds like he can be great, or not, depending on the book. Also sounds as though if were to read anything else by him, I should look out for Blood Music and Forge of God series. Cheers.
 

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
4,953
Yea and thats the trouble isn't it! You discover an author, hate the book he wrote and it puts you off that author! So if someone discovered Bear with Slant they might not pick up another of his books,and that would be a big shame!
Absolutely. I wonder about how many authors out there are great and I just picked up the wrong book. That's why, while there are some people I'm just not motivated to try again, I'm usually at least theoretically willing to give authors of all but thoroughly bad books a second try, just in case.
 

AE35Unit

]==[]===O °
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
6,588
Location
Quelque part près de Jupiter
Absolutely. I wonder about how many authors out there are great and I just picked up the wrong book. That's why, while there are some people I'm just not motivated to try again, I'm usually at least theoretically willing to give authors of all but thoroughly bad books a second try, just in case.
Yea it kinda gives you a wake up call when you realise that!
 

Danrama

Archetype
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
57
Location
If God is watching us, the least we can do is be e
wonder how many Bear completists there are and how many like everything even so? It seems like it doesn't take long for most people to run into something (or things) they don't like. But, by the same token, I'd guess there are few people who wouldn't really like some Bear book or other.
I think by the sounds of this thread, my high standing of Bear's work would drop if I read him more comprehensively.
 

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
Supporter
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
4,776
Location
Edinburgh
I adored Eon/Eternity but then I was only about 15 or thereabouts when I read them. I don't know if they have aged well. (James, don't worry I've always been a book worm, always finished a book that I started ;))

I think I'm an early Greg Bear fan and read loads of his early stuff and his short stories. But I kinda got a bit tired as we moved through the 90s and didn't look out for his stuff anymore.

I do prefer the short story Blood music to the novel version. I think he tacked on a happy ending to make it a novel and it doesn't really sit well with me.
 

Rodders

|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
5,092
I think the only similarity is the Stone that comes into Earths orbit. It's a completely different story.
 

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
4,953
Yeah - it's been a long time (too long for Rendezvous) since I read either but I recall their only real commonality being that they're both BDO stories.
 

zaltys13

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2010
Messages
158
Location
Stoke on Trent
Below is what I wrote on a previous thread and pretty much stand by it. Having serious trouble though with Hull Zero Three and I am not sure that I will ever finish it.. just not very good really:(

I've read a far bit of his stuff.

I thought The Forge of of god was a fantastic novel, Anvil of Stars, not so good - didn't think much of the teenage characters populating it. Overall though this is a great apocolyptic series, very large scale, very large explosions:D

Eon and it's sequels where good, but seem a little dated now. I think that you would have serious trouble with them if you hadn't lived through the Cold War yourself.

Blood Music was great, the ending is very ambiguous though, and may not satisfy those that like tidiness.

Deadlines I found to be your bog standard airport thriller, just very unmemorable, a shame realy, as the idea of a new telecommunications device that recieves the dead is an interesting one.

Queen of Angels I thought was an outstanding novel, one of his best, the three seperate storylines where all interesting and it came together beautifully at the end.

Darwins Radio and Darwins Children where both interesting books, similer in style to Dead Lines in that they are near future thrillers, these though where much more succesful. The ending to the dualogue though could have done with a bit more of Blood Music's ambiguity - it did seem a bit "safe".

Finally, I am reading Hull Zero Three at the moment and have to admit I am finding it tough going. To be fair, this may be because it is the first full length novel I have read on my Kindle and I'm just not used to it.

Greg Bear's writing can veer between straight forward and simple to downright oblique and confusing, but still I would regard him as one of the giants of hard SF from the last 30 years. At least you cant call him predictable.
 

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
4,953
My boss is a BDO....
:D

Finally, I am reading Hull Zero Three at the moment and have to admit I am finding it tough going. To be fair, this may be because it is the first full length novel I have read on my Kindle and I'm just not used to it.
You may be right - I recently started to read a novella online (web browser rather than e-reader, but still) and couldn't finish it (could hardly start it) and then I got a book which included it and it was amazing the difference it made. Not that it completely transformed it from one thing into another but the stylistic things that made the story such a slog online were so much better in print. (And it did transform it from something I couldn't finish to something I pretty much liked.) If these ebook things do take over (which the corporations and many users have decided is already a done deal) I wonder if enough people will be affected in such a way that it causes an upheaval in what old things are still read and in the way new things are written?

Greg Bear's writing can veer between straight forward and simple to downright oblique and confusing, but still I would regard him as one of the giants of hard SF from the last 30 years.
Yeah, that's a key point. As much as we and some others find him hit-or-miss, his hits are such that you can't miss him. ;) Definitely a major figure.
 

James Coote

Spoon Thumb
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
439
Location
Anywhere I roam, where I lay my head is home
You may be right - I recently started to read a novella online (web browser rather than e-reader, but still) and couldn't finish it (could hardly start it) and then I got a book which included it and it was amazing the difference it made. Not that it completely transformed it from one thing into another but the stylistic things that made the story such a slog online were so much better in print. (And it did transform it from something I couldn't finish to something I pretty much liked.) If these ebook things do take over (which the corporations and many users have decided is already a done deal) I wonder if enough people will be affected in such a way that it causes an upheaval in what old things are still read and in the way new things are written?
Reading on the web on a computer screen is very different from reading on a kindle or other black and white e-reader, which is different again to reading on a tablet. I personally can't read a book or large passages of text on a computer screen. Could be I've just grown used to having lines and pictures and dividers split everything up into neat, easily readable chunks, just as you get on a forum or facebook or on a well written blog

I suspect that printed books won't go away, but will become a luxury item. If you really like a book, you might buy the special edition "paper" version, but you wouldn't bother for a throwaway airport thriller

</offtopic>
 
Last edited:

billhafan

Optimist Primer
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
170
Location
I like films that keep the spirit of the books - S
I Enjoyed Eon, and Forge, and also read through his Foundation and Chaos - though probably because I was hooked on Asimov's Foundation (which I couldn't get enough of at the time ... and have recently re-read:)).

- regarding readers, I've become hooked on the Kindle, and previously used a Sony reader - it's ideal when travelling, and perfect even in bright sunlight, but still love the feel of a real book. Think in time, though, they will take over - and the simplicity of the kindle and similar readers will certainly bring about the demise of mainstream paperback sales. It seems almost inevitable.

Would love an auto-scroll feature, though, like on the palm reader of old ;-)
 

JoanDrake

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2008
Messages
1,445
I read Eon and found it absolutely fascinating, albeit a little depressing. I never got around to reading the other two, which might have made it better. I'll have to do that someday.

I found Strength of Stones to be strange and haunting but I felt its main point was beyond me. I do love his way with names though, like calling a planet settled by people of different faiths "God Does Battle"
 

Bick

A Member of the Forum
Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
2,997
Location
Auckland, NZ
Thread starter here: I finished Eon a week or so ago. I did enjoy it, but I feel that, after my initial enthusiasm, it let me down slightly. On the plus side, the ideas were big, and I thought it was successfully plotted. The characters were not especially memorable however, and I didn't feel particularly connected with the protagonists. I'm reading a Heinlein now (Job) and its a fair bit more readable and engaging. I imagine I'll give Greg another go at some point, but I may leave it a little while.
 

Rodders

|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
5,092
Yeah, characterisation is not Greg's strong point.
 

Rodders

|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
5,092
Anvil of Stars is a lot harder sf but it thought the ending was quite satisfactory.

I did read somewhere that Greg had plans to revisit this story but alas, nothing.
 
Top