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Hull Zero Three Paperback – 1 Nov 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (1 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575100966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575100961
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.3 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Hull Zero Three is a lean, mean, supercharged sense-of-wonder engine. (Alastair Reynolds)

Hull Zero Three is a grand adventure of scientific discovery ... by turns chilling and touching, it poses challenging questions about what it means to be human. (Charlie Stross)

Greg Bear's voice is a resonant, clear chord of quality binding some of the best SF of the 20th Century to the short list of science-savvy, sophisticated, top-notch speculative fiction of the 21st. More than a grace note, Hull Zero Three is a compelling allegro in the growing symphony of Greg Bear's finest work. (Dan Simmons)

Not for those who prefer their space opera simple-minded, this beautifully written tale where nothing is as it seems will please readers with a well-developed sense of wonder. (PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY)

I loved Hull Zero Three ... this book reminds me of why I fell in love with science fiction in the first place. Searing questions of humanity, a good old fashioned riddle of a plot, and excellent conceptualization make Hull Zero Three more than worth the effort. (THE BOOK SMUGGLERS) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Trapped on a mysterious spaceship, the only way to escape is to survive. A thrilling novel from the Hugo and Nebula award-winning Greg Bear.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By T. D. Welsh TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I looked forward intensely to receiving and reading Hull Zero Three, and I was not disappointed. First and foremost, this is a cracking good story with all the elements of exciting, provocative hard SF. The nameless narrator is rudely awakened from pleasant dreams of arrival on a lovely hospitable new planet, surrounded by friends and with his also nameless partner by his side. Suddenly he finds himself bruised, terrified, and freezing, and literally has to run for his life. Instead of a calm, controlled return to consciousness as planned, he gradually discovers that the starship in which he has been travelling 500 light years to colonise a new planet has been ripped, blasted, burned, and thrown severely out of control. Gravity comes and goes as the hull starts and stops spinning; sometimes it is bright, others pitch black; some areas are freezing cold, others full of unimaginable volumes of water. Worst of all, the corridors are roamed by a nightmare menagerie of deadly monsters, differing in every imaginable way except for their single-minded devotion to destroying human life. Under these circumstances, our hero (or perhaps anti-hero) finds that survival from moment to moment is almost impossible; yet he must explore the ship, evaluate the damage, find out how it was caused and do something to restore order if possible. Before the unlikely denouement, Greg Bear peps up the elements of traditional SF with psychology, biology, and even religion of the most primitive - and perhaps fundamental - kind.

"Hull Zero Three" comprises 304 pages of text, split into three main sections: "The Flesh", "The Devil", and "The World" (a typically Biblical allusion for those with that sort of background).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. F. Harvey on 19 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What I like about this book is that Greg Bear involves the reader in the narrative by putting you there with the main character. The challenge is to distinguish between what is important and what is not. If you enjoy books that make you work and that you do not second guess then this book is for you. If you are looking for a simple story to ride along with then you still could enjoy the action sequences but you might want to borrow a copy rather than buy it.

'Hull Zero Three' is Greg Bear's masterful working of one of the big questions of science fiction. What happens when new technology quite literally overtakes old technology? Old hat - yes but Greg Bear has some interesting twists.

His old technology is not the usual generation ship launched from Earth towards a specific target. This behemoth is an automated ship with three semi-autonomous hulls, linked through Destination Control, and wrapped around the mountain of ice that is its fuel and propellant supply. The plan is that as the ship nears the halfway point of its journey it will give birth to a group of human crew members. They will live in Destination Control and select the ships target system. As the ship approaches its target world it will give birth to other human crew members. The key twist is that these crew members will be genetically adapted to both survive on their new world and to perform specific duties. One such special task is the extermination of any intelligent, native life from their new world.

The story of 'Hull Zero Three' happens long after the time of the selection of the ship's destination. The main character is born believing that the ship has arrived. He expects to be disembarking to teach the new settlers about humanity's ideals and achievements.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By P. G. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
The novel starts with the narrator seemingly arriving at a new world which he and his fellow travellers are about to colonise and turn into a utopia. However he is quickly ripped out of this dream of eden and instead dumped into the nightmare world of the colonising starship still on its journey but where things have gone badly wrong.

He is untimely ripped from an artificial womb and forced to confront a world where gravity comes and goes, where different variations on humanity form shifting alliances, where ghosts lurk in the machine, and where all are hunted by monstrous creatures fashioned from the ship's gene pool.

This is a thriller of discovery as our narrator, at first confused, and with large gaps in his knowledge, slowly learns about himself, about the nature of the ship on which he is travelling, about what has gone wrong and about the true nature of its mission. All the time, he and his companions must decide who to trust and with whom to ally themselves between three powerful forces, Ship Control, Destination Guidance and the apparently benevolent Mother.

To get a feel of the novel I would say it has elements of Greg Bear's own Anvil of Stars in its themes of the destruction of civilsiations and of children growing beyond their parents, the nature of the mission owes much to Allen Steele's Coyote novels and the environment within the starship is reminiscent of Larry Niven's Integral Trees.

This is definitely at the thought provoking end of SF, exploring themes of identity, of what is acceptable in the name of survival and of colonialism. The writing is often dreamlike, sometimes borders on the lyrical, but is also gripping and fast paced when necessary.
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