Gregory Dale "Greg" Bear (born August 20, 1951) is an American writer and illustrator best known for science fiction. His work has covered themes of galactic conflict (Forge of God books), artificial universes (The Way series), consciousness and cultural practices (Queen of Angels), and accelerated evolution (Blood Music, Darwin's Radio, and Darwin's Children). His most recent work is the Forerunner Trilogy, written in the Halo universe. Greg Bear has written 44 books in total. Greg Bear was also one of the five co-founders of the San Diego Comic-Con.
Bear in 2016
|Born||Gregory Dale Bear|
August 20, 1951
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Genre||Science fiction, Speculative fiction|
|Notable works||Blood Music|
Bear was born in San Diego, California. He attended San Diego State University (1968–73), where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. At the university, he was a teaching assistant to Elizabeth Chater in her course on science fiction writing, and in later years her friend.
Bear is often classified as a hard science fiction author due to the level of scientific detail in his work. Early in his career he also published work as an artist, including illustrations for an early version of the Star Trek Concordance and covers for Galaxy and F&SF. He sold his first story, "Destroyers", to Famous Science Fiction in 1967.
In his fiction Bear often addresses major questions in contemporary science and culture and proposes solutions. For example, The Forge of God offers an explanation for the Fermi paradox, supposing that the galaxy is filled with potentially predatory intelligences and that young civilizations that survive are those that don't attract their attention—by staying quiet. In Queen of Angels, Bear examines crime, guilt, and punishment in society. He frames these questions around an examination of consciousness and awareness, including the emergent self-awareness of highly advanced computers in communication with humans. In Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children, he addresses the problem of over-population with a mutation in the human genome making, basically, a new series of humans. The question of cultural acceptance of something new and unavoidable is also brought up.
One of Bear's favorite themes is reality as a function of observation. In Blood Music, reality becomes unstable as the number of observers—trillions of intelligent single-cell organisms—spirals higher and higher. Anvil of Stars (sequel to The Forge of God) and Moving Mars postulate a physics based on information exchange between particles, capable of being altered at the "bit level". (Bear has credited the inspiration for this idea to Frederick Kantor's 1967 treatise "Information Mechanics" (see Digital physics)) In Moving Mars, this knowledge is used to remove Mars from the solar system and transfer it to an orbit around a distant star.
Blood Music was first published as a short story (1983) and then expanded to a novel (1985). It has also been credited as the first account of nanotechnology in science fiction. More certainly, the short story is the first in science fiction to describe microscopic medical machines and to treat DNA as a computational system capable of being reprogrammed; that is, expanded and modified. In later works, beginning with Queen of Angels and continuing with its sequel, Slant, Bear gives a detailed description of a near-future nanotechnological society. This historical sequence continues with Heads—which may contain the first description of a so-called "quantum logic computer"—and with Moving Mars. This sequence also charts the historical development of self-awareness in AIs. Its continuing character Jill was inspired in part by Robert A. Heinlein's self-aware computer Mycroft HOLMES (High-Optional, Logical, Multi-Evaluating Supervisor) in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.
While most of Bear's work is science fiction, he has written in other fiction genres. Examples include Songs of Earth and Power (fantasy) and Psychlone (horror). Bear has described his Dead Lines, which straddles the line between science fiction and fantasy, as a "high-tech ghost story". He has received many accolades, including five Nebula Awards and two Hugo Awards.
Bear cites Ray Bradbury as the most influential writer in his life. He met Bradbury in 1967 and had a lifelong correspondence. As a teenager Bear attended Bradbury lectures and events in Southern California.
In 1975, Bear married Christina M. Nielson; they divorced in 1981. In 1983, he married Astrid Anderson, the daughter of the science fiction and fantasy authors Poul and Karen Anderson. They have two children, Erik and Alexandra. They reside near Seattle, Washington.
On September 23, 2014, Bear underwent surgery to repair an aortic artery dissection. The procedure included installation of a mechanical aortic valve.
Novels in internal chronology:
Anvil of Stars is a science fiction novel by American writer Greg Bear, a sequel to The Forge of God. The book was initially released in 1993 by Warner Books.Blood Music (novel)
Blood Music is a science fiction novel by American writer Greg Bear.
It was originally published as a short story in 1983 in the American science fiction magazine Analog Science Fact & Fiction, winning the 1983 Nebula Award for Best Novelette and the 1984 Hugo Award for Best Novelette.
Greg Bear published an expanded version in novel form in 1985. The completed novel was nominated for the Nebula Award in 1985 and for the Hugo, Campbell, and British Science Fiction Awards in 1986.Blood Music deals with themes including biotechnology, nanotechnology (including the grey goo hypothesis), the nature of reality, consciousness, and artificial intelligence.City at the End of Time
City at the End of Time is a 2008 science fiction novel by American writer Greg Bear. It was published in August 2008 by Del Rey in the United States, and Gollancz in the United Kingdom. The story follows three drifters in present-day Seattle who are tormented by strange dreams of the Kalpa, a city one hundred trillion years in the future. The Kalpa is attempting to ward off the Typhon, an inexplicable entity that has consumed the rest of the ancient universe and broken down the laws of physics.
The novel belongs to the Dying Earth subgenre. It is rooted in hard science fiction, but also incorporates several other genres, including fantasy and horror. Bear called it science fiction "stretched to the nth degree". He said that in the novel he honors those writers who changed the face of science fiction and fantasy, including William Hope Hodgson and Arthur C. Clarke, and pays homage to Hodgson's 1912 novel, The Night Land, with which City at the End of Time shares a number of plot elements.
The novel received a mixed reception from critics. Some reviewers were impressed by the novel's scope and grandiosity, while others felt that the characters were underdeveloped and the story was difficult to follow. New Scientist described the first half of the book as "a gripping, original tale", but complained that in the second half Bear over-complicates the story with "too many ideas, images, mythologies and distractions". City at the End of Time was nominated for the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 2009.Darwin's Radio
Darwin's Radio is a 1999 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It won the Nebula Award in 2000 for Best Novel and the 2000 Endeavour Award. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award, Locus and Campbell Awards the same year.The novel's original tagline was 'The next great war will be inside us'. It was followed by a sequel, Darwin's Children, in 2003.Dragons of Light
Dragons of Light (1980) is an anthology edited by Orson Scott Card. It contains 13 stories by different writers: George R. R. Martin, Roger Zelazny, Michael Bishop, Craig Shaw Gardner, Steven Edward McDonald, Steve Rasnic Tem, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Arthur Dembling, Greg Bear, John M. Ford, Jane Yolen, Richard Kearns, and Dave Smeds. Greg Bear illustrates his own story, but 12 other illustrators provide art for the 12 other stories.Eon (novel)
Eon is a 1985 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It is the first story written in The Way fictional universe.
Events in Eon take place in 2005, when the U.S. and U.S.S.R. are on the verge of nuclear war. In that tense political climate, a 290 km asteroid is detected, following an anomalous and very powerful energy burst just outside the solar system. The asteroid moves into a highly eccentric Near-Earth orbit, and the two nations each try to claim this mysterious object (dubbed "the Stone" by the Americans and "the Potato" by the Soviets, with the Chinese using 鲸, meaning "whale"). Eon was nominated for an Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987.Foundation and Chaos
Foundation and Chaos (1998) is a science fiction novel by Greg Bear, set in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe. It is the second book of the Second Foundation trilogy, which was written after Asimov's death by three authors, authorized by the Asimov estate.Hull Zero Three
Hull Zero Three is a science fiction novel by American author Greg Bear. It was published on November 22, 2010. It is set on a generation ship that has lost its way under mysterious circumstances.John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, or Campbell Memorial Award, is an annual award presented by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to the author of the best science fiction novel published in English in the preceding calendar year. It is the novel counterpart of the Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short story, awarded by the same organization. The award is named in honor of John W. Campbell (1910–71), whose science fiction writing and role as editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact made him one of the most influential editors in the early history of science fiction. The award was established in 1973 by writers and critics Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss "as a way of continuing his efforts to encourage writers to produce their best possible work." Locus magazine has listed it as one of the "major awards" of written science fiction.The winning novel is selected by a panel of science fiction experts, intended to be "small enough to discuss among its members all of the nominated novels". Among members of the panel have been Gregory Benford, Paul A. Carter, James Gunn, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Christopher McKitterick, Farah Mendlesohn, Pamela Sargent, and Tom Shippey. In 2008 Mendlesohn was replaced with Paul Kincaid, in 2009 Carter left the panel while Paul Di Filippo and Sheila Finch joined, and Lisa Yaszek replaced Di Filippo in 2016. Nominations are submitted by publishers and jurors, and are collated by the panel into a list of finalists to be voted on. The minimum eligible length that a work may be is not formally defined by the center. The winner is selected by May of each year, and is presented at the Campbell Conference awards banquet in June at the University of Kansas in Lawrence as part of the centerpiece of the conference along with the Sturgeon Award. The award has been given at the conference since 1979; prior to then it was awarded at various locations around the world, starting at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1973. Winners are always invited to attend the ceremony. The Center for the Study of Science Fiction maintains a trophy which records all of the winners on engraved plaques affixed to the sides, and since 2004 winners have received a smaller personalized trophy as well.During the 46 years the award has been active, 176 authors have had works nominated; 46 of these authors have won. In two years, 1976 and 1994, the panel selected none of the nominees as a winner, while in 1974, 2002, 2009, and 2012 the panel selected two winners rather than one. Frederik Pohl and Joan Slonczewski have each won twice, the only authors to do so, out of four and two nominations, respectively. Kim Stanley Robinson and Paul J. McAuley have won once out of seven nominations, and Jack McDevitt, Adam Roberts, and Robert J. Sawyer have won once out of five nominations, while Nancy Kress, Bruce Sterling, and Robert Charles Wilson have won once out of four nominations. Greg Bear has the most nominations without winning at nine, followed by Sheri S. Tepper at six, James K. Morrow at five, and William Gibson, Ken MacLeod, and Charles Stross at four.Moving Mars
Moving Mars is a science fiction novel written by Greg Bear. Published in 1993, it won the 1994 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and was also nominated for the 1994 Hugo, Locus, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards, each in the same category. The main focus of Moving Mars is the coming of age and development of Casseia Majumdar, the narrator, as political tensions over revolutionary scientific discoveries build between Earth and Martian factions, and Mars tries to unify itself.Muller's morphs
Neomorph redirects here. It is also one of the post-human types of persons in the novel Eon by Greg Bear.Hermann J. Muller (1890–1967), who was a 1946 Nobel Prize winner, coined the terms amorph, hypomorph, hypermorph, antimorph and neomorph to classify mutations based on their behaviour in various genetic situations, as well as gene interaction between themselves. These classifications are still widely used in Drosophila genetics to describe mutations. For a more general description of mutations, see mutation, and for a discussion of allele interactions, see dominance relationship.
Key: In the following sections, alleles are referred to as +=wildtype, m=mutant, Df=gene deletion, Dp=gene duplication. Phenotypes are compared with '>', meaning 'phenotype is more severe than'Rogue Planet (novel)
Rogue Planet is a 2000 novel set in the Star Wars galaxy. It is a prequel novel occurring after the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The book was written by Greg Bear. The cover art was by David Stevenson. The book takes place 29 years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.Serpent Mage (Greg Bear)
Serpent Mage (ISBN 0712616721) published in 1986, it is the second in a two book fantasy series written by Greg Bear. It is the sequel to The Infinity Concerto.The Forge of God
The Forge of God is a 1987 science fiction novel by American writer Greg Bear. Earth faces destruction when an inscrutable and overwhelming alien form of life attacks.
The Forge of God was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1987, and was also nominated for the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1988.The Mongoliad
The Mongoliad is a fictional narrative set in the Foreworld Saga, a secret history transmedia franchise developed by the Subutai Corporation. The Mongoliad was originally released in a serialized format online, and via a series of iOS and Android apps, but was restructured and re-edited for a definitive edition released via the Amazon Publishing imprint 47North, both in print and in Kindle format. Fan-submitted Foreworld stories were published via Amazon's Kindle Worlds imprint.The Way (Greg Bear)
The Way is the name of a fictional universe in a trilogy of science fiction novels and one short story by Greg Bear. The first novel was Eon (1985), followed by a sequel, Eternity and a prequel, Legacy. It also includes The Way of All Ghosts, a short story that falls between Legacy and Eon.