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Eon

by Greg Bear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Way (1), The Eon Series (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,613482,672 (3.69)1 / 78
The 21st century was on the brink of nuclear confrontation when the 300 kilometer-long stone flashed out of nothingness and into Earth's orbit. NASA, NATO, and the UN sent explorers to the asteroid's surface...and discovered marvels and mysteries to drive researchers mad. For the Stone was from space--but perhaps not "our "space; it came from the future--but perhaps not "our" future; and within the hollowed asteroid was Thistledown. The remains of a vanished civilization. A "human"--English, Russian, and Chinese-speaking--civilization. Seven vast chambers containing forests, lakes, rivers, hanging cities... And museums describing the Death; the catastrophic war that was about to occur; the horror and the long winter that would follow. But while scientists and politicians bickered about how to use the information to stop the Death, the Stone yielded a secret that made even Earth's survival pale into insignificance.… (more)
  1. 51
    Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (santhony)
    santhony: The original, and still the best, of those science fiction tales centered upon huge, inter-stellar habitats.
  2. 31
    Ringworld by Larry Niven (santhony)
    santhony: If you enjoy the science fiction genre featuring huge, interstellar habitats, this fits the bill.
  3. 10
    The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton (santhony)
    santhony: This behemoth of a trilogy is chock full of original, scientific theory and principles, including huge, sentient, space habitats.
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» See also 78 mentions

English (46)  Italian (1)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Just as good as the first time I read it in the 80s. ( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
Overall the book as good, but not great. Potential spoilers below.

= The Good =
The ideas of the book are cool. The author provides some hard sci-fi ideas, and unravels an interesting plot about alternative dimensions, and how various folks cope with this.

= The Bad =

- "Just Because". There were several points in the book where things happened 'just because', or the explanations/rationale were pretty weak. It seemed the author just made choices in order to advance the plot in a certain direction the author wanted it to go.
"I think we should do XYZ". "We can't". "Why not?". "Just because". "Ok, sounds good to me".

- The CAD mind. A bunch of this book seemed like the author created a technical CAD drawing, then proceeded to describe that drawing to the reader, assuming they would understand what is going on. I didn't understand a bunch of what the author was trying to describe, but luckily this didn't get too much in the way of reading the book.

- Bad characterization. A few lead characters seemed like 2D caricatures, rather than real people. This was disappointing. At one point I felt the author was trying to write a bad romance novel.

- Just ok ending. There wasn't really any conclusion in the book, just a description of various events. Clearly this book was set up to start a new trilogy. ( )
  aarondesk | Jul 2, 2021 |
For all this author's propensity to hang on lengthy technical descriptions, his storylines are generally intriguing, and this one is no exception. This has nicely expanded characters, action, and a wondrous setting floating around the universe. As is typical, he has a slow build-up, but once the action starts it's a bona fide page turner. I enjoyed it right to the end. ( )
  terriks | Feb 27, 2021 |
This book started out great but slipped a bit in the middle/end, ending up only as very good overall. It basically shows that near Infinite power makes a story far less interesting than something with realistic constraints, and even if the challenges scale up as well, it just becomes silly (sort of a “who can name the biggest number game”)

Not terribly interesting characters, and elements of the plot were dated (very Cold War, and a cult based on the worship or Ralph Nader...)

However, interesting tech, and the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the book was a really good story in the “bid dumb object” genre. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Eon is a pretty good story overall. The first half of it suffers from outdated political motifs such as the threat and eventuality of mutually assured nuclear destruction between the U.S., Russia and China, resulting in a nuclear winter called "the Death." Some of the sections that dwell on these obsolete political posturings are humorous, but many are merely tiresome.

The story hits its stride when it sticks to the science fiction and leaves the political intrigue behind. The incredibly cool technology of the chambers within the Stone and the synthetic universe of the Way are what kept me coming back to the story. It seems like these sections were fewer and shorter than the others, but it may just be that I read through them faster.

Of course, if there is a moral to the story, it's wariness. One finds out that all of the new technology is, just like the nuclear warheads that caused the Death, nothing more than a political tool to be manipulated by the descendants of humanity. It's not necessarily an overt message, but it's not a hidden one either -- I give Greg Bear credit at least for not making more or less out of it than it should be.

And I'm still laughing about the concept of Naderites. ( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Bearprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mänttäri, EeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, RonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rudnicki, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
L'envoi: "Unless you know where you are, you don't know who you are." --Wendell Barry
Dedication
For Poul and Karen with much appreciation and love.
First words
"It's going into a wide elliptical Earth orbit," Judith Hoffman said.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

The 21st century was on the brink of nuclear confrontation when the 300 kilometer-long stone flashed out of nothingness and into Earth's orbit. NASA, NATO, and the UN sent explorers to the asteroid's surface...and discovered marvels and mysteries to drive researchers mad. For the Stone was from space--but perhaps not "our "space; it came from the future--but perhaps not "our" future; and within the hollowed asteroid was Thistledown. The remains of a vanished civilization. A "human"--English, Russian, and Chinese-speaking--civilization. Seven vast chambers containing forests, lakes, rivers, hanging cities... And museums describing the Death; the catastrophic war that was about to occur; the horror and the long winter that would follow. But while scientists and politicians bickered about how to use the information to stop the Death, the Stone yielded a secret that made even Earth's survival pale into insignificance.

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Average: (3.69)
0.5 2
1 9
1.5 3
2 53
2.5 15
3 212
3.5 53
4 304
4.5 20
5 148

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