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Eon Hardcover – Jul 1985

4.0 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Jul 1985
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr (July 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312941447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312941444
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 15 x 4.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,196,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.


“Hard science and human interest intersect ingeniously in the prequel to Bea's Eon and Eternity....This is a stunning SF novel that extrapolates a scientifically complex future from the basic stuff of human nature.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Legacy

“Each new novel only serves to illustrate how masterful Bear has become.” ―Houston Post on Greg Bear

“Whether he's tinkering with human genetic material or prying apart planets, Bear goes about the task with intelligence and a powerful imagination.” ―Locus on Greg Bear

“A cohesive and original vision of the future. Bear has combined a lively set of characters, colorful writing and gripping psychological-technological fabrications into a very seductive read.” ―People Magazine on Queen of Angels

“The ambitiousness of Greg Bear's Eon lies more in the mainstream of science fiction... its uniqueness arises from Bear's bold imagination. Bear is a writer of passionate vision. Eon is his grandest work yet.” ―Locus on Greg Bear

“Bear is one of our very best.” ―New York Daily News on Greg Bear

“If anyone is the complete master of the grand scale SF novel, it's Bear.” ―Booklist on Greg Bear

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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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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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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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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