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The Forge of God [Hardcover]

Greg Bear
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 1987
A science fiction novel,in which a science advisor to the American President cannot help but feel uneasy when a dying alien announces dire news in the Californian desert.While in Australia another spaceship appears promising peace and hope. From the author of STRENGTH OF STONES, BLOOD MUSIC and EON.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

An award-winning SF writer of great promise, Bear has in recent years turned away from the startling, visionary concepts that made his reputation. Now, with his recent novel Eon and this new book, he is producing mainstream disaster stories that just happen to be SF. The 1990's present humanity with a dilemma when two groups of aliens arrive on Earth. The first invaders introduce themselves as altruistic ambassadors, but the second warn that their predecessors are actually unstoppable planet-eaters who will utterly destroy the world. The American president accepts this message as the ultimate judgment and calls for fervent prayers to appease the Forge of God. Meanwhile, military men plot to blow up spaceships, and both scientists and lay people help the second alien race preserve Earthly achievement. SF readers may wonder where the earlier Bear has gone, but others should enjoy this smooth, professional performance.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The disappearance of one of Jupiter's moons, the appearance of "little green men" in Australia and the American Southwest, and the sudden presence of unidentifiable objects on a collision course inside the Earth's core add up to the inescapable conclusion that the Earth has been invaded by an enemy it cannot fight. Powerfully and gracefully written, the latest novel by the author of Eon and Blood Music stands far above most examples of "doomsday" science fiction. Recommended. JC
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Arthur Gordon stood in the darkness by the bank of the Rogue River, having walked a dozen yards away from his house and family and guests, momentarily weary of company. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great plot, weak writing June 27 2004
By A Customer
This is the first Greg Bear novel I've read. And the story he writes is a frightening one. The Earth is undergoing an alien invasion from "unseen" aliens, i.e., aliens who stay hidden and let machine proxies interface with humans. What the human race does to enounter the aliens and fight back comprises most of the book. The plot itself is engaging and interesting, even though there are a few points where the story plods a little.
One of the irritating things about this book is the number of minor characters that come and go without adding much to the story. I also have to disagree with a couple of reviewers about the level of sentimentality - I found the book at times to be overly maudlin. Yes, we are dealing with a very heavy subject, but the repetition of some themes or certain thoughts going through the characters heads was overdone. Finally, I had a problem with Bear's writing style. It felt like it was written by a college undergrad. There's very little style to speak of. There are a number of other Sci-Fi writers (Niven, Stephenson, Simmons) whose writing is really a pleasure to read.
But on the whole I would recommend this book, especially to fans of movies like "Independence Day", or "Day The Earth Stood Still". This is a thought provoking book that will certainly make you appreciate the planet more. And I do plan on reading the sequel, "Anvil of Stars" at some point.
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(SPOILERS) This has to be one of the most convincing and well-executed end-of-the-world fantasies ever written. The physics is very believable, the characterization is good (although there are a lot of characters to worry about!). The description of the end of the world, viewed from Yosemite National Park (among other vantage points), is so well done that I went back and reread it. And it saddened me again. If Greg Bear's vision is accurate, then the Universe is a dangerous place. Brrrrrrr!
Some beautiful touches. The US President's "Fire and Brimstone" attitude curtails humanity's ability to respond to the threat. The scientists studying the problem argue about attribution of the research into the imminent end of the world - as if it will matter! The bad aliens two-pronged attack on the Earth's deep oceans and core - ouch. The only quibble I had is that the motives of the "good aliens" (who attempt a rearguard action to save representatives of Earth and its cultures) are not exactly clear. But it was nice to have some hope at the end of the book!
Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very exciting and very readable book Jan. 14 2004
When I started to read this book it seemed rather boring and slow. First few chapters go into the lives of the main characters, introducing their family and feelings, giving some background basically. Later the mystery starts to unfold and the book becomes truly difficult to put down.
The astronomers are puzzled by the very unusual movements and images they receive from space, from direction of Jupiter. While the scientists are preoccupied with space, equally strange phenomena start happening on Earth, and are observed by others. As the story progresses the main characters tie the observations together and really see whats going on it becomes really brilliant.
I like how Greg Bear skillfully explains the science of what aliens are doing in the book because he explains it in simple English and yet gives something new to think about.
The book is very easy to read, action is great, drama almost made me cry, and the ending is very much NOT what I expected.
I am sure you will enjoy this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars takes you there Dec 16 2003
This is a fascinating book by an author who consistently draws the reader into an intricate universe that any reader can enjoy. Of the 100+ Scifi novels I've read, Greg Bear's always rank among my favorites. Right up there with Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov, and Orson Scott Card, he persistently puts the reader into a perfectly realized world that can't help but intrigue the hardest of sci-fi fans while fascinating the casual reader.
As a reader, you find yourself empathizing with both primary and secondary characters. Bear is a master of putting the reader right next to his characters. They are real people caught in seemingly real situations. You're right there with them.

Some of the best end of the world visualization that I've read. You really feel that you would put yourself in the same situation given the circumstances. Check out Stephen Baxter's "Moonseed" for similar feelings.
I Haven't read the sequel yet, but I've decided that everything that Mr. Bear does must be of superior quality and "Anvil of Stars" is among my "books that must soon be read" list.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bye Bye Earth Feb. 5 2003
Bear is great at coming up with grand ideas to write hard SF around but sometimes the execution lacks a little to be desired. Don't get me wrong, THE FORGE OF GOD is undoubtedly an above average novel, and maybe even great by the low standards I've come to expect from today's authors of any genre. But there are some quibbles.
As most readers of this commentary probably already know, the plot revolves around the ultimate destruction of the Earth. The climax, in fact, is a small group of surviving humans watching the plant disintegrate with its billions of human lives. The quibble is the characterization and descriptions of the impending doom, for whatever reason, just don't convey a sense of panic and loss. The main characters are too cerebral and leaden. There just isn't any emotion evoked by the writing style.
And the novel seems too long. I can't point to specific things I think should be cut, other than to say that the characterization was rather weak and some plot elements drag on a little too long (especially the little group awaiting the end of the world in Yellowstone National Park). This would have probably made a better novella or short story.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars fastreader
Highly entertaining book by Greg Bear. The Forge of God is heading to Erath and we don't really know what's going to happen or wether we want to know. Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2011 by fastreader
4.0 out of 5 stars Armageddon 2?
Greg Bear doesn't do things in half measures and when it comes to this book, that's no exception. Between it's covers he explores the minutae of human emotion and interaction and... Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A credible novel about a really sad difficult topic
This is the first book I read by Greg Bear and I have sought him out consistently after this. This is about people on our planet finding out that their world is to end, and how... Read more
Published on March 8 2003 by mobiusklien
4.0 out of 5 stars Good hard SF, fast-paced and intelligent
An enjoyable read, hard to put down. Not quite one of his best, but if you like Bear, well worth it...
Published on Sept. 27 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as hot as I thought
This book tells a good story, except for
loose threads that hopefully are resolved
in the sequel. Read more
Published on May 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A shocking, exhilarating read
One to buy and read over again, together with the very different sequel, "Anvil of Stars". One of my favourite authors.
Published on May 15 2002 by MR MARK DOWLING
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book
I am so picky about the books I read, and even more picky about recommending one. This is a suspensful, scary book. Get it.
Published on May 7 2002 by DanTanna
5.0 out of 5 stars simply the best
It is very hard to call a book simply the best at what it is. To often the book is simply one reader's opinion (mine). Read more
Published on April 13 2002 by papaphilly
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