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SFF Author: Greg Bear

Greg Bear(1951- )
Greg Bear was born in San Diego, California and is the author of more than thirty books of science fiction and fantasy. Awarded two Hugos and five Nebulas for his fiction, one of two authors to win a Nebula in every category, Bear has been called the “Best working writer of hard science fiction” by The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Bear has served on political and scientific action committees and has advised Microsoft Corporation, the U.S. Army, the CIA, Sandia National Laboratories, Callison Architecture, Inc., Homeland Security,  and other agencies. Learn more at Greg Bear’s website.
CLICK HERE TO FIND MORE BOOKS BY GREG BEAR.



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The Wind From a Burning Woman: Dated

The Wind From a Burning Woman by Greg Bear

I don’t think early Greg Bear and I are a good match. I did not finish The Wind From a Burning Woman, a collection of short stories from the late 1970s and early 1980s. That may be part of the problem. Maybe these stories are just dated.

Bear seems to be a “writer of ideas,” and several of these tales feature fascinating “what-ifs” or technological wonders, like an asteroid shaped into a deep-space vessel, a surrealistic cathedral in a world where God has definitively Died,


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The Infinity Concerto: Fails to deliver

The Infinity Concerto by Greg Bear

I give myself credit for finishing The Infinity Concerto, the first book of Songs of Earth and Power, written by Greg Bear in 1986. The Infinity Concerto has a compelling opening chapter but fails to deliver on that chapter’s promise.

Michael Perrin, the book’s main character, is a sixteen-year-old boy living in southern California, an only child who wants to be a poet. At a family party his father introduces him to the composer Arno Waltiri.


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Blood Music: One of the first novels about nanotechnology

Blood Music by Greg Bear

Blood Music (1985) by Greg Bear is a novel that, in its day, was well lauded, but has since had its profile reduced by books which have taken its central premise further. One of, if not the first, major novel to utilize the idea of nanotechnology, the wave of related sci-fi digging deeper into the potential for nanotech that has followed has perhaps drowned out the book, leaving it to be found by those looking back into the history of the genre.


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Darwin’s Radio: Cool idea that doesn’t connect

Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear

Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear follows several characters — a molecular biologist, an archaeologist, and a public policy maker — through a cataclysmic pandemic sweeping through the human race. This disease is an HERV, a human endogenous retrovirus, which is a piece of dormant genetic code that, when activated, only affects sexually-active women. It causes them to get pregnant with a horribly-mutated fetus that self-aborts, only to follow up with another pregnancy of a new species of human, homo novus.

I found Bear’s description of homo novus a fascinating suggestion of ways in which our species might evolve.


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Hull Zero Three: A science fiction thriller with a touch of horror

Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear

Greg Bear’s Hull Zero Three is a science fiction thriller with a touch of horror thrown in for good measure.

The novel starts quickly with a spaceship arriving at a distant planet. A man wakes suddenly, naked, and tries to figure out where he is. He can remember sleeping and dreaming, and the memories of those dreams remain. He otherwise knows very little about himself, aside from the names of his organs, and how he has come to be where he is.


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The Mongoliad: Mostly successful

THE MONGOLIAD by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, and others

The series of books known as THE FOREWORLD SAGA was a grand experiment in collaboration and serialized storytelling involving more than half a dozen authors, including Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear. So far it includes three novels (individually titled The Mongoliad, Books One, Two, and Three) which relate the central tale set during a near-history version of the Mongol invasions of the mid-thirteenth century. Also available are several short stand-alone prequels and “sidequests,”


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The Beast of Calatrava: A FOREWORLD sidequest

The Beast of Calatrava by Mark Teppo

Mark Teppo’s The Beast of Calatrava is one of the “sidequest” stories associated with the FOREWORLD SAGA universe shared by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, and others. (Bill recently reviewed the novels in the series.)

This story is set in the Iberian Peninsula during the Reconquista. The Knights of the Templar have arrived to cleanse the land of the Muslims who took the region twenty years earlier.


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The Assassination of Orange: A Foreworld sidequest

The Assassination of Orange by Joseph Brassey

The Assassination of Orange is another short (only two hours in audio) “sidequest” in the FOREWORLD universe shared by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, and others. Like the other sidequest I read, The Assassination of Orange is strictly historical fiction — there are no supernatural elements. It stands alone, so you don’t need to have read any of the other FOREWORLD stories.

This story,


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SHORTS: El-Mohtar, Miller, Cooney, Pullman, Bear, Valente

Here are some of the stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. This week we continue focusing on 2015 Nebula-nominated short fiction, along with some other stories that caught our attention.

“Madeleine” by Amal El-Mohtar (2015, free on Lightspeed magazineKindle magazine issue), nominated for the 2015 Nebula award (short story)

Madeleine is in therapy after the death of her mother from Alzheimer’s. She and her therapist, Clarice, are discussing the loss of her mother and the odd side-effects from a clinical trial for an Alzheimer’s drug that Madeleine has taken part in.


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Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology: An examination of what defines the genre

Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology edited by Bruce Sterling

There are a handful of people who have/had their finger on the pulse of cyberpunk. Love him or hate him, Bruce Sterling has perhaps two. In 1986 he decided to pull together a collection of stories he felt were representative of the sub-genre. Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology is both broad in scope yet largely encompasses the idea of what the average sci-fi fan’s expectations are for the form. Though Sterling’s agenda is his own, some stories will be immediately recognizable for their mood and voice,


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Next SFF Author: Lauren J.A. Bear
Previous SFF Author: Elizabeth Bear

We have reviewed 8269 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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    Maybe in the next couple months I'll get the DVDs of the two "Dune" SyFy productions from 2000 and 2003.…

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