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Strength of Stones by Greg Bear
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Strength of Stones (1988)

by Greg Bear

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Showing 5 of 5
This is a 3 part novel, composed of 2 novellas previously published. In a far future, the religious people of humanity have settled a single planet and built fully aware, highly advanced cities. Unfortunately for them, the cities promptly decided that humans were dangerous sinners and expelled them all. I guess that makes this a post-apocalyptic Mad Max style book, but with no great war or natural disaster. Humans are still living on God-Does-Battle, trying to break back into the great cities and struggling to rise above medieval level technology. All 3 stories deal with human interaction with the remains of the dying cities and how humans could be saved by getting back in - or leave the planet all together. Good, solid science fiction. ( )
  Karlstar | Nov 2, 2018 |
Hmmm not the best Bear book. I found the religious aspect confusing and upon reaching the end I was left feeling not quite sure what happened! The big problem with this book is there's no main central character. The book is in 3 parts, 3 large chapters and after the first 'chapter' (54 pages) I got to know the main character only to find in the next part (set 10 years later) there's a new main character. Then later the original character returns but the focus has changed. Most books are about one person-not so with this book! Will list it on bookmooch so someone else can read it! ( )
  sf_addict | Nov 10, 2010 |
Thoughtful and deep. The reader sees the exploration of an abandoned world and empty cities and then he is drawn into a deftly woven world of biotech and sentience and wonder-science all knotted about the questions of mortality. No other writer handled the religion aspects better than Bear in my view. And the end is both grand and sad at the same time. ( )
  Caragen87 | Dec 28, 2008 |
Post-apocalyptic on a distant world in the far future. Toss in some religious mysticism and too-complicated-to-explain technology.

The planet "God-Does-Battle" was purchased and colonized by Christians, Jews, and Moslems. They contracted architect Robert Kahn to build their high-tech cities - designed to re-inforce their shared religious ideals. Only centuries after their creation the cities expelled their inhabitants for failing to live up to those ideals. Without citizens, the cities have no mission and wander and decay.

This book concerns events on "God-Does-Battle" almost a millenium after the events above and itself spans a few centuries. The texture of this book is much different than other works by Greg Bear I have read. I found it somewhat to remain engaged in the storyline since there was no single unifying character to which the events held a personal significance so everything that happened seemed to have a "distance" to it that I had trouble overcoming. ( )
1 vote PortiaLong | Nov 30, 2008 |
Not his best by a long shot. Try The Infinity Concerto or Blood Music if you want to sample Greg Bear. ( )
  TadAD | Jun 2, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Bearprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
11 "What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is mine end, that I should be patient?

12 Is my strength the strength of stones?
Or is my flesh of brass?

13 Is it that I have no help in me,
And that sound wisdom is driven quite from me?"

-- JOB 6, the Masoretic Text
Dedication
For my grandmother, Florence M. Bear, provider of a home for wandering adventurers.
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The final decade of Earth's twentieth century was catacylsmic.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743452631, Mass Market Paperback)

In a theocratic world far into the future, cities control their own movements and organization. Constantly moving, growing and decaying, taking care of every need their inhabitants might think of, the cities have decided that humans are no longer a necessary part of their architecture, casting them out to wander in the wilderness and eke out a meager subsistence. To the exiled humans, the cities represent a paradisiacal Eden, a reminder of all they cannot attain due to their sinful and unworthy natures.

But things are beginning to change. People are no longer willing to allow the cities to keep them out, choosing instead to force an entry and plunder at will. The cities are starting to crumble and die because they have no purpose or reason to continue living without citizens.

One woman, called mad by some and wise by others, is the only human allowed to inhabit a city. From her lonely and precarious position at the heart of one of the greatest cities ever, she must decide the fate of the relationship between human society and the ancient strongholds of knowledge, while making one last desperate attempt to save the living cities.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In a theocratic world far into the future, cities control their own movements and organization. Constantly moving, growing and decaying, taking care of every need their inhabitants might think of, the cities have decided that humans are no longer a necessary part of their architecture, casting them out to wander in the wilderness and eke out a meager subsistence. To the exiled humans, the cities represent a paradisiacal Eden, a reminder of all they cannot attain due to their sinful and unworthy natures. But things are beginning to change. People are no longer willing to allow the cities to keep them out, choosing instead to force an entry and plunder at will. The cities are starting to crumble and die because they have no purpose or reason to continue living without citizens. One woman, called mad by some and wise by others, is the only human allowed to inhabit a city. From her lonely and precarious position at the heart of one of the greatest cities ever, she must decide the fate of the relationship between human society and the ancient strongholds of knowledge, while making one last desperate attempt to save the living cities.… (more)

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