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Eon [Hardcover]

Greg Bear
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1985
Above our planet hangs a hollow Stone, vast as the imagination of Man. The inner dimensions are at odds with the outer: there are different chambers to be breached, some even containing deserted cities. The furthest chamber contains the greatest mystery ever to confront the Stone?s scientists. But tombstone or milestone, the Stone is not an alien structure: it comes from the future of our humanity. And the war that breaks out on Earth seems to bear witness to the Stone's prowess as oracle ...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

YA In the year 2000, a huge potato-shaped asteroid, nicknamed the Stone by Americans, appears in orbit around the earth. Exploration shows that it is divided into seven man-made, hollowed-out chambers, indicating that it had been inhabited. Scientists discover that it was built by Earth people, but in the far distant future, and that a nuclear war is imminent. It becomes crucial that theoretical mathematician Patricia Vasquez discover why the former habitants left and where they went. Although Eon is far too long, its story of futuristic cities and life forms stirs the imagination. Readers travel to worlds where humans may exist as memories in the City Memory Bank, corporeal representatives (ghosts) or incarnations. Other humanoid life forms also exist, and in an amazing array of shapes, from snake-like creatures to floating blobs. Bear's creativity provides a richness to an intricate, complex plot. It's unfortunate that the length may deter all but the most avid sci/fi fans. Pam Spencer, Mount Vernon High School Library, Fairfax, Va.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"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 the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
On the first leg of the trip, in the passenger cabin of the long-bed shuttle, Patricia Vasquez had watched the Earth's cloud-smeared limb on a video monitor. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Eon Enigma. Great SF or complete bollocks? Nov. 16 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Something inbetween perhaps. The ideas in Eon earn 9/10, however Bear's writing style gets a 4. For starters, he describes the different locations in overtechnical geometric language. Sentences like "Patricia stood parallel to the vortex so that she formed a toroid at 90 degrees to its summit" tells the average reader nothing. I made this sentence up but its not an overexageration. The book is full of these sort of descriptions. Great for a hard geometry test, terrible for anything but. In my opinion Larry Niven's geometric descriptions in Ringworld are about as far as a writer should go. Its a shame because if Bear had used simpler language I probably would have been amazed by the pictures my imagination formed. I think Bear's characterisation is ok. I disagree with other reviews in that I didn't find his characters akin to carboard. Neither does the book fall apart at the half way mark. The story develops nicely. The problem is that Bear spends too much time describing some things and not enough entertaining. I am not asking for a shorter book or for his characters to do a tap dance. I was simply hoping that Bear's characters would play more of a key role in the events that shape the 2nd half of the book rather than just being the unwitting cause of what unfolds. If you think about it, only Patricia actually does anyhing, and only right at the end. More involvement, less babble is required. It could have been a 5 star earner. This is the first book I have read by Bear and it is worth reading. I will check out Blood Music as I have heard its pretty good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing Aug. 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Eon" may pose more of a challenge when it comes to selecting a rating than any other book I've ever read, since it consists of one half of a solid, well-written SF epic, and one half of a piece of incoherent junk. The story starts out like this: a gigantic asteroid arrives from outside the solar system and moves into an orbit around earth. The United States sends teams of scientists to explore it, and they soon find that the asteroid was a gigantic spaceship of sorts that appears to have come from our own future. Investigations into a library found on board soon reveal that the world is moving towards a massive nuclear showdown. This is the good portion of the book. It is written with intelligence, clarity, and an almost nostalgia-inducing dose of Cold War paranoia. The cast of characters is what most people have come to expect from hard science fiction: not extremely deep or dynamic, but believable nonetheless.
However, it all breaks down about halfway through the book. The story makes a wide turn involving alien invasion, parallel universes, alternate geometries, and some other stuff. The problem, simply put, is that this part of the book is too confusing. The explanations are cryptic and difficult to follow, and keeping track of all the new concepts that get introduced becomes quite a chore. Also, the characterizations collapse during the second half of the book. All of the major characters seem too ready to forget and ignore their previous lives and to accept all of the weird stuff that happens to them. One might, of course, make the argument that some enigmatic writing is acceptable and that "Eon" is a novel one that requires multiple readings, somewhat like William Gibson's "Neuromancer".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Two deadly secrets. Dec 10 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book contains two deadly secrets.
Deadly secret number one has to do with what the book's major characters will discover when they travel down the time-tunnel that forms one endless end of the interior of The Store, an asteroid that suddenly appears in our solar system one day and which contains relics of the future. Think 'Rendezvous with Rama' with the science ramped up several notches and the interest level ramped down by a similar amount.
Deadly secret number two has to do with the fact that this book was written at all: It probably shouldn't have been!
There are so many 'major' characters that all of them end up getting short shrift, with a consequent two-dimensionalism that makes them of no interest whatsover. We're never allowed to care about them.
There is so much 'hard science' that the speculations about possible anomalies in the space-time continuum overwhelm whatever small story idea was present in the first place. If I do say so myself, I am not an unintelligent reader. I'm no physicist, but I do know enough physics to enjoy the aforementioned Clarke book, and other hard science authors such as Larry Niven. But the physics in this book are so far over my head that I can't tell whether they're above or below me. In fact, I suspect they're a bit over the author's head, too.
My final complaint has to do with this author's fascination with
The End of the World as We Know It. In this and other books, he seems absolutely obsessed with the idea of blowing the world up in one way or another. If you don't mind, I think I'd rather blow up the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many notes June 29 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well, I can't fault Greg Bear for his imagination. He clearly has tons of ideas, many of which are wild and intriguing. His mistake was cramming them all into one novel, producing a hopelessly cluttered work in which so many threads are competing for attention that none of them is allowed any real development or substance. Early on, the book drops hints about the far-out ideas it contains, but devotes way too much attention to Cold-War squabbling which is boring and mundane in comparison, and hopelessly dated in retrospect. When it finally gets into the far-future stuff, the culture and technology are exotic to the point of caricature, more silly than awe-inspiring. It feels a bit like "Gulliver's Travels," but without a trace of Swift's satirical purpose. In fact, it's hard to see any real purpose underlying this story, other than to let Greg Bear unload his wild speculations. I read this book because I was interested in the physical concept of the Way and the technology of sculpting with spacetime; but this, like every other aspect of the story, is never explored with the detail it deserves. The characters have the same problem as the concepts: there are simply too many of them, and none is really given depth.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed, confusing, but hardcore SciFi
The absolutely blatent plagerizing of Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendevous With Rama" series aside, this book is a fairly healthy mix of harcore science fiction (heavy on the physics) and... Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by tj2k
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas poorly presented
Never having read Greg Bear before I wasn't sure what I had in store for me when I picked up Eon. A few chapters into the book I was about ready to give up on Mr. Bear. Read more
Published on May 12 2004 by B. K. Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfilmable
If anyone can make this book a film then maybe it is those Matrix guys but this would be a huge production if they did. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2004 by whitedruid
5.0 out of 5 stars Thou Dart Bullseye
This book was painted by him as a Great Science Fiction Novel. When it dried, it hung proud in the Gallery of the Greats, and I always remember it as a fabulous touchstone to the... Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars read a physics book
Wow! Great story and characters. Really sucked me in an wouldn't let go. Bear's imagination is seldom rivaled. Read more
Published on Dec 16 2003 by Jonathan S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book
This book is fascinating. If you are into science, especially time and space related, consider this book. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2003 by Randy Given
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling drivel
This is one of the worst books I have ever read in any genre. You could go on and on about the flaws in Eon, cardboard characters, stupid, old fashioned ideas (the cold war is... Read more
Published on Dec 30 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars "I Just Could Not Get Into It."
I got up to around 100 pages before I put this book down. The premise sounded good and I liked the potential conflict with the Soviets over the strange asteroid that settled in... Read more
Published on July 25 2002 by John J. Rust
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best SF books of the late 20th century
Eon stretches your mind, literally since it deals with higher dimensions to achieve the plotline. It led me to buy the subsequent "Eternity" and "Legacy" and I... Read more
Published on May 15 2002 by MR MARK DOWLING
5.0 out of 5 stars The only fantastic book ever found for [$]
...This is the only one I've kept. I beleive that even though this is fantanisy, we, as a people are always closer to the events that lead to the Thistledown's creation that one... Read more
Published on April 21 2002 by Jeremiah R. Halstead
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