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Anvil of Stars by Greg Bear

Anvil of Stars (1992)

by Greg Bear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Forge of God (2)

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1,398148,472 (3.56)12
Follows the mission of a select group of human survivors as they search in the Ship of Law for the aliens who destroyed their planet.



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» See also 12 mentions

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I found this to be a disappointing sequel. It's combinations of Peter Pan (overtly)/Lord of the Flies/...Wrath of Khan??? ultimately didn't pay off. There are perhaps too many loose ends (who are the mom's creators, what did become of the solar system's humans, what happens with the Brothers, who/what/why the Killers, etc.)

Worse, the great moral dilemmas/plots that the entire last third of the book hinges around are not satisfactorily addressed. I.e., "Collateral damage on the scale of multiple-genocide just happened... anyway, moving on." I.e., "We've got a religious movement developing... oh, its leader is murdered... oh, its vice-leader is now vice-president. Ok, no worries, now its over." I.e., the entire pacifism versus... not so much violence, as revenge. (There is even a passage that comes tantalizingly close to, in my ears, an "obvious" debate about the efficacy -not even the morals- of the death penalty.) Which is subsumed in the larger WTF of committing genocide on a planetary-system-wide scale...

Uggh, frustrating. I feel like this is a case of over-ambitious storytelling. If this was a 900-1000 page book maybe... or treated in two separate books... or re-editted to... ugh. ( )
  dcunning11235 | Oct 17, 2016 |
Greg Bear is one of my favorite authors, but some of his more recent books have not been to my taste. This one however, is classic science fiction. It is not quite as good as the "prequel", The Forge of God, but it is an excellent read. The book starts slowly, so when you read it, persevere. The pace picks up and accelerates as the book becomes a classic page-turner. It is ripe for a sequel. Highly recommended. ( )
  rondoctor | Jun 26, 2015 |
Follow-up to the also-excellent "Forge of God", totally stand-alone however. Small-group social dynamics in a pressure cooker, and amazing cosmology. Just following the physics is a delight. Survivors of the destruction of Earth (from "Forge of God)", a large crew of young adults are chosen by the alien Benefactors who save a sliver of mankind. They are sent to find the "Killers", a civilization that spawns Berzerker-style robots to destroy all other life. Follows in the footsteps of "Ender's Game" and other "children at war" novels, with characters who must wage interstellar battle while agonizing over the morality of destruction. ( )
  Clevermonkey | May 29, 2014 |
Not bad in the end but nothing like Forge of God, of which this book is a sequel. Two totally different and bearly related novels. Good science, good story if slightly long winded, and annoying characters. ( )
  sf_addict | Mar 7, 2013 |
My reactions to reading this book in 1992. Spoilers follow.

I found this, a sequel to Bear’s very enjoyable – and different – Forge of God, to be surprisingly slow going, tedious. The book seemed to move slowly yet not provide much of the nitty-gritty detail of shipboard life on the Dawn Treader. Much of the technology was of the superscience variety (the ladders, the fields, the ship which could – presumbably through a form of nanotechnology – reorganize its mass and shape) and, not having reread the Forge of God, the weapons were little more than names since their function was little described. In fact, through a long book, Bear’s style was altogether too sketchy for me.

I did like isolated elements (the struggle between flaky prophet Rosa and Hans was interesting and reminded me of the mediaeval struggle between Church and State; ruthless, intuitively correct, obsessive, man-of-action Hans was an interesting portrait of an effective but tyrannical, deceitful leader as opposed to the fair-minded but somewhat ineffective Martin; I liked the anti-matter converting trap of the Killers and their elaborate system; the information theory enabling manipulation matter; the elaborate system of the Killers; I even liked the Brothers.

But the novel as a whole never engaged my feelings. I really didn’t feel the characters pain and only some of their doubts on their mission of vengeance (I certainly never thought the act of vengeance was wrong – only an uncertainity as to the rightful targets of it). I thought Bear could have made a much more powerful statement and ending if he left it in the air as to the Killer presence in the destroyed system (and I’m usually not in favor of ambiguous endings) rather than conclusively showing that the system should have been destroyed. ( )
  RandyStafford | Jan 22, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Bearprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eggleton, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puckey, DonaldCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodgers, NickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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