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Hegira by Greg Bear

Hegira (1979)

by Greg Bear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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I went into this book with low to zero expectations. That proved to be a good strategy because the rather slow start and getting to know the people and world took a little patience. This is a very early novel, possibly the first for Greg Bear. My copy of the book shows it was originally written in 1979 and revised in 1987. I read quite a bit of Greg Bear in the 1980's and a smattering in later years but never this one.

I was quite satisfied with the book by the end. This is not a book to reveal plot points in a review since it would potentially completely spoil the read for the reader. The story takes place on a world where all of human history is inscribed on huge obelisks erected across the world which the populace strive to read and learn from. Society seems to be in something like a mixed 17th-mid 20th century level. At the very beginning we see a Christ cult that flagellates itself and so on trying to achieve enlightenment since the story of "This Heisos Kristos - or Yesu as we knew him - is mentioned on all the Obelisks I have ever known and his story is always the same." We follow the journey several men are taking across their immense world in an attempt to learn what it is all about.

The biggest complaint one can have is that the book feels a little derivative of other science fiction but that is hardly new. It just seems a little more obvious here, but it is put together in an interesting way and I enjoyed the book. ( )
  RBeffa | May 17, 2014 |
A good, solid work, although very early for Greg Bear. I'm not sure he had quite found his footing yet as influences from Dune and the Riverworld novels was pretty obvious. Written in 1979, it tells of 3 mens journey/quest/hegira (meaning flight or migration) from their current areas to the ends of the earth, literally. The main character Kiril is a writer who has lost his beloved and there is a prophecy that our loved ones can be returned to those who make this journey. What they find on their way and what happens to them, it would cause too many spoilers to say but the wikipedia article on the book lists AI and cyclic time as themes - and to say that it is influenced by the Riverworld books is probably enough to tell you what you might expect.
I did like it quite a bit - not his strongest work - but very good considering how early it is for him. ( )
  stuart10er | Nov 5, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Bearprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Newman, TrevorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came and went - and came, and brought no day..." Darkness, by Lord Byron
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812531639, Mass Market Paperback)

Almost three-quarters of a million miles around, Hegira has, against all the laws of physics, Earth-normal gravity; its different races have a common history: all the accumulated knowledge of the First-born, graven on giant Obelisks that rise up out of sight to the sky, beyond mankind's powers to reach and read. But as knowledge advances, so the enigmas of Hegira's nature become steadily more impossible to explain or to understand. The ill-assorted trio who embark on their personal quests know little of their planet's oddities and care less...until Hegira's changeless mysteries begin to alter; until the first great Obelisk tumbles.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:17 -0400)

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Classic science fiction.

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