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Eon


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard hitting Sci-Fi, Great Story Telling.
This is a hard hitting science fiction drama along the lines of the "Andromeda Strain", or "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
I found it to be gripping reading from start to finish. And spent any free moment trying to get to the end. All though the story of something, or someone saving the Earth from itself is important but over done. Yet, in...
Published on June 23 1998 by Bill Machi (machib@pobox.com)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Eon Enigma. Great SF or complete bollocks?
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...
Published on Nov. 16 2003 by haysonics


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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
This review is from: Eon (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
By 
not4prophet (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eon (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". The problem is that Bear doesn't have the literary style to pull such a stunt off, and I really have no desire to pour through this book time after time trying to fit the puzzle together. While I have great respect for some of Bear's other works, this one could have used some more planning and rewriting.
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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
By 
Warlen Bassham (Bothell, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eon (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
By 
Christopher (Cincinnati, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eon (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts off good but ends up in left field, April 6 2000
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This review is from: Eon (Mass Market Paperback)
This book started out promising, with a great premise. A huge asteroid is discovered near the moon that has huge cities and advanced technology on the inside. It is left to a select group of Americans to discover all the secrets of the Stone. It is a great beginning to what could be a great story.
The first two-thirds of this book kept me up at nights devouring each page. However, the book takes a sharp turn into left field when it turns to the culture who actually built the Stone. If you are not a hard-core sci-fi/fantasy reader, this is where you'll start to get completely lost in all the jargon and trying to keep up with the myriad of technological wonders that are introduced. For example, the author throws about 20 complex names of people at you (that are all similar in their makeup) over and over that you try to keep up with thinking they might be important to the story. Alas, it turns out that 19 of them weren't pivotal or even necessary to the flow of the story. It's as if the author wanted to see how many esoteric names he could come up with.
Also, alot of the technology is hard to grasp and yet is covered in the book as if it were common knowledge. I'm sure this is a great book for the really hard-core sci-fi fans, but I would caution the casual sci-fi readers to stay away and instead read a book by Stephen Baxter, such as Moonseed or Titan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big disappointment, Oct. 10 2001
By 
Jerry Ball (Dexter Circle) (FOB Hughie, Jalalabad, Afghanistan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eon (Mass Market Paperback)
Friends and colleagues had hyped this book for years, so I finally bought it and slogged through its 500+ pages.
The book suffers from a common failing of "hard" science fiction: a lack of humanity. Bear does try by providing a three-dimensional heroine, but focus on her is constantly lost in anachronistic machinations of Cold War politics and nearly unintelligible Thistledown politics.
Also: Thistledown is never fully explained and never fully presented to us as an understandable place where humans or their descendents live; characters like the Jarts seem thrown in only to goose the plot; the explanation of time and universe travel was inadequate (how can a divining rod be the mechanism for finding Patricia's proper space and time?); and the romantic scenes, although appreciated by my prurient and adolescent mind, seem to be tacked on as an afterthought and unrealistic insofar as who chases whom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard hitting Sci-Fi, Great Story Telling., June 23 1998
This review is from: Eon (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a hard hitting science fiction drama along the lines of the "Andromeda Strain", or "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
I found it to be gripping reading from start to finish. And spent any free moment trying to get to the end. All though the story of something, or someone saving the Earth from itself is important but over done. Yet, in someway he made nuclear war a distinct possibility (India/Pakistan?). And the fact that scientist can solve complex theories in a few minuets that would take years to discover is always amusing.
I would have given this book 5 stars, if I had read it during it's first publication before current events and others who copied the story line. The Russian's are portrayed rather stereotypical. And in light of current events rather makes this book more fiction then fact.
This book was recommended by Book Matcher what a find.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wordy and wooden, Jan. 14 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Eon (Mass Market Paperback)
Greatest sci-fi epic ever. Not! Complexity and emotion in the characters. Not! Well-written. Not! Sorry, but after slaving through this 150,000 word tome, I felt cheated. I could have had a V-8 :) The characters are shallow, wooden stick figures. Bear spends a lot of time creating a family for Patricia, then drops it like a, well, potato :) He didn't have the imagination to bring them back in at the end like any good author would have, and have events lead to psychological self-discoveries. You can get that much in a TV movie of the week! The sole positive is his apparent superficial study of relativity theory and topology, and his plot device of the Stone itself. But even that seems to degenerate from almost pseudo science to pure magic and fantasy muck by the "geometrically increasing" end. And he did what? Wrote a sequel? Yiyiyi!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geometrically Mind-Blowing, Nov. 21 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Eon (Mass Market Paperback)
If I ever rode a rocket book, this was the wildest ride - all 10 G's. From humble beginings with an innocuous asteroid, Bear's book literaly tried to jump out of my hands as he compounded the profound several times. By the end of my first reading of the book, I was breathless and overawed at his vision of ultimate human destiny. The style he used, which I refer to as Geometrically Mind-Blowing, causes a simple exposition to build up steam slowly and irresistably until each step of the plot is gaining twice as much ground as the previous. Refrain from reading this book if you have no intentions of leaving this planet or the twentieth century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic concept, lots of wonder, but too much detail., April 9 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Eon (Mass Market Paperback)
Just finished this book last night. I must admit - it left me hot and cold. The story is one of the most creative and fascinating time paradox sci-fi epics I've read. Lots of details make you believe the storyline. However, Gred often provides *too* much detail -- worse, it's often very dry and sometimes not terribly relevent. Still, just as I found myself geting bored, he pulled me back into the story with absolutely fascinating theories. This book makes you think.
It has a strange ending -- definately prepped himself for a sequel. However, I don't think I'll dive into it just yet -- I need a break from his universe. (-:
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Eon by Greg Bear (Paperback - Nov. 17 1988)
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