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Eon: Totally Space Opera (Sf Masterworks) Paperback – 2 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082519
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 737,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Sharing aspects of Calrke's "Rendevouz with Rama", its uniqueness arises from bear's bold imagination. Bear is a writer of passionate vision. "Eon "is his grandest work yet."--"Locus"""Eon" may be the best constructed hard SF epic yet."--"The Washington Post" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'A triumph of soaring imagination and huge detail. The science fiction novel of the year' DAILY MAIL

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"It's going into a wide elliptical Earth orbit," Judith Hoffman said. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M Sockel on 21 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book represents many interesting ideas; not least of which , how (as readers) do we react to a “future vision” that is wrong?

This novel is set in 2005, and it takes it a little getting used when reading this in the modern day (2014).

On the whole, I usually like Greg Bear, but reading this reminded me of how limited his vision of the future is. He never foresaw the rise of technology and networked communications in the way that Clarke or Asimov did, and as a result there were some key descriptions that suffered.

That quibble aside, this is a page turner of a book… up to a point. The prose is good, and there are plenty of cliffhangers. The air of intrigue as a mysterious hollow meteorite orbits our world is comparable with Rendezvous with Rama, and there is plenty of tension as one crisis leads to another.

However, some of the concepts feel underdeveloped. On many occasions, it felt that we were going to be hit with a revelation, akin to understanding the true nature of the Monoliths (2001), only for a whimpered “it’s too advanced to comprehend.” This was disappointing because it means that either Bear never had a fully formed idea, or doesn’t credit his readership with the intellect to understand.

There are some saving details, albeit granular. Computer files are transferred in "memory blocks" - not far off from flash drives. And “slates” are used to interface with computers, just like tablets now. However the political vision remains mired in the 80’s, and it struggles for it.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that this book touches (but does not fully explore) the idea of an infinite number of universes, and therefore an infinite number of “you’s”.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Irikefe Okonedo on 20 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
This hard science fiction novel tells the story of a large asteroid that suddenly appears in orbit around the earth, leading scientists to go and study it. What they discover is that the interior of the asteroid has been hollowed out into seven chambers by beings from elsewhere. In some of the chambers are abandoned cities. In one of these cities is a library with historical reports from the future that foretell cataclysm on the earth in the near future. And - the greatest mystery of all - the asteroid is bigger on the inside than the outside because the seventh chamber of the asteroid doesn't actually end: it goes on forever. To help to try to understand the Stone (what the asteroid comes to be called) and decipher its mysteries the US government's advisor to the President Judith Hoffman calls upon the services of young mathematical genius Patricia Vasquez whose mathematical theories just might hold the key to saving the earth. Assigned to look after her is Hoffman's chief administrator Garry Lanier, who has been struggling to cope with the Stone and the impossible things it contains. But unbeknownst to Garry and Patricia, the future is calling (quite literally), and it will change them - and all the book's characters - forever...

Comments: this book was a funny one. It was hard to put down because it has an excellent plot but the book was also flawed because it was hard to visualize much of the fantastical world that the author Bear was describing because the language used was so technical. Part of the enjoyment for me of science fiction like this is visualizing strange new worlds so this detracted quite a bit from my enjoyment of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dervid on 11 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
Set in the near future, Earth is recovering from a limited nuclear war. But as a second, full-blown, war looms, an asteroid appears orbiting Earth. Scientists enter the hollowed out rock to discover chambers with cities, cities with parks and libraries, but no life, and in the libraries a shocking historians' description of the future war. And in the seventh chamber, the biggest shock of all - it goes on forever.

I think this is fabulous, hard Sci Fi. Incredible, but made credible by excellent writing and characters that you empathise with, whether current humans or the humans (from a post-apocolypse parallel universe) that built the asteriod and in a flourish of genius created the space-time warp that traverses universes. Even the aliens have character! Sure, the background international relations seem dated now, but I can handle that, and who knew any better, eh? Sounds an ominous tome of a book, but not at all - it's readable, enjoyable, fascinating and challenging all in one; easy to read in a few sittings and it rewards multiple readings.
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Format: Paperback
In the continuing interregnum between Amazon orders, I decided to delve back in time to a book that left a lasting impression. I first read this book way back in 1987 when I was half my current age and, having cut my teeth on the works of the early masters of the genre, the contemporary freshness and variation on the Rama theme really fired my imagination.

At first, reading it again might not have been that great an idea. The cold-war politics with squeaky-clean liberally-minded Yanks and Russian state machinery automata seem now to be naïve caricatures and it is always a mistake to mention future dates; 2005 may have seemed a long time ahead back in 1987 but now… it’s all a bit Tomorrow’s World. Some of the technological references also give the book a very dated feel (e.g. booking processor time on the mainframe!), but Bear wasn’t too short of the mark predicting the near ubiquitous hand-held tablet (mind you, I think Star Trek got there first).

It’s an odd book, this one; the first half is slow and almost painfully dated but then as soon as Ser Olmy enters the narrative things really get going. The Frant, Jart & Talsit races and the Naderite / Geshel politics in the still futuristic Axis City as it rides the singularity down The Way are as original today as they were back then. The latter half of the book rattles along at a cracking pace and, getting to the end I’m glad that I read it again. So much so that I really fancy staying back in my long-lost youth and re-reading Eternity. That, however, is not going to happen until the next inter-Amazon order vacuum as the latest one has just arrived.
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