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Anvil Of Stars Paperback – 18 Feb 1993

14 customer reviews

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Paperback, 18 Feb 1993
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Product details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New edition edition (18 Feb. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099780402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099780403
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,428,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Greg Bear is the winner of two Hugo Awards, four Nebula Awards and the Prix Apollo. He has published 14 novels to date, and is one of the world's leading hard SF authors. A full-time writer, he lives in Washington State with his family. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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MARTY SITS IN THE FRONT SEAT OF HIS FATHER'S BUICK, RIDING along a freeway in Oregon at midsummer twilight. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Nicholas Tulett on 12 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
The presence of younger characters does not make this a "kid's book" anymore than the presence of food makes it a cookery book. You cannot hold onto any easy assumptions reading this. Greg's characters never fall back on flat cliches and his aliens are creatures of immense power, described with a breathtaking scope. No bug-eyed monsters, these!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
If you like space-operas with macho technologies, politically not-so-correct attitudes, claustrophobic atmospheres, slower-than-light ships, evil alien bastards, hints at New Physics and a galaxy that looks like a desert with everyone who has his whits about him in hiding and armed to the teeth, get this book. As a bonus, you get to think about the morals of blowing away a few billions of potentially innocent aliens whose forebears might or might not have committed xenocide on your forebears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zaphod Beeblebrox on 20 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is up there in my top 10 sci fi books, along with Ender's Game, Rendevous with Rama, and Use of Weapons.
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By groovylordpingu on 27 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first discovered Greg Bear when i read Eon and then Eternity. I frequently re-read these books, as they are breathtaking in their scope and imagination. This one will be re-read as well. Marrying the character interplay with interstellar warfare that has your mind lit up like fireworks, it's difficult to put the book down.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 14 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
This little-appreciated book is Greg Bear's best, in my opinion. Science Fiction it may be, but its themes are as adult and rigorous as any book in any genre. It is also very well written.

An air of melancholy and despair - as well as barely suppressed terror - carries right through from start to finish, as befits the situation set up in its predecessor, The Forge of God. Bear does not shirk the philosophical implications of the story he is telling. The humans and aliens caught up in the story are overwhelmed by the mysterious technology that surrounds them, and never fully understand what is happening.

The climactic battle is very exciting, and the ambiguous outcome a satisfying, well-rounded one.

The technological explanations make enough sense to be convincing, but Bear also makes economical use of little suggestions and implications to give texture to the weird, merciless galaxy in which the story takes place. The Braid aliens, too, are a superb invention. They seem completely ahuman, unlike most alien races in sci fi.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Votadini on 18 Aug. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'll be frank here, the first hundred pages of 'Anvil of the Gods' are an interminable slog to read and I can see why many give up before getting through them. Another reviewer has described the book as 'teen angst in space' and that isn't far from the truth. The idea that a group of young adults would call themselves 'Lost boys' and 'Wendys' and elect a 'Pan' to lead them with a 'Christopher Robin' as their deputy is risible. Why no Tigger or Tinkerbell? A bunch of whiny Twenty somethings who still regard themselves (and act like) children hardly seem ideal candidates to judge and decide the fate of entire civilisations.

The book markedly improves once the humans encounter the planet killers for the first time and afterwards end up having to cooperate with a group of genuinely interesting (and infinitely more likeable) aliens, but the reader still has to put up with the protracted, monotonous social problems of the 'Wendys' and 'Lost boys, now with the added annoyance of a religious nutjob.

The final third is where Bear shines in his grand description of an awe inspiring, incomprehensible alien civilisation and the moral dilemnas (obvious from the very beginning of the book) involved in deciding how to deal with it. Sadly however the conclusion ends up bogged down in mountains of technobabble and a last minute moral get out clause which I found disappointing and somewhat cowardly on Bear's part.

'The Forge of God' was a magnificent book, but sadly as a sequel this is a huge let down that's at least a hundred pages too long. If I were to recommend it to anyone it would only be hardcore fans of Bear and people who enjoy somewhat peculiar and tedious teen soap operas in space.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wilf on 12 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
The reviewer before me has already done a very good job and I agree with him entirely. However, this book is so good and so unusual in its themes that it is worth reiterating many of them:

A truly enveloping pathos that, in conjunction with the setting and the storyline, gives the book an intense and profound emotional backdrop;

A great underlying sense of unease that remains pretty much throughout the story;

A very effective and intriguing use of science, and very imaginitive use of differing physical and environmental conditions in other places in the universe;

The author doesn't shy away from any of the 'issues' that the story leads him to and deals with all of them very effectively;

Lots of novel and original ideas (indeed, the story itself is entirely unique) such as, how to deal with the immensity of the distances you would need to travel in space to get anywhere (and the time required);

A genuinely satisfying conclusion to a story written over the course of two books.

If you enjoy being mentally stimulated and intrigued in ways that can only be achieved by the best sci-fi- writing, then you really should read this book - this book, IMO, exemplifies the work of an author who exemplifies the very reasons for which I read sci-fi. (Actually, I'm certain that non sci-fi readers would enjoy this book - there's even a way in which it made me think of Lord of the Flies!).
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