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Anvil of Stars Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446364037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446364034
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Like Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, this sequel to The Forge of God explores the issues of morality and justice, using children as its vehicle. Bear's treatment differs, however, in that his characters have already lost their innocence and face their destiny with open eyes. As a stylist, Bear writes with a heady brilliance that communicates a sense of immediacy and credibility.”
--Library Journal on Anvil of Stars
 
“One of the outstanding sf novels of the current year is also the best book so far from an author whose versatility is continually growing.  Literate hard-science or alien invasion novels are no longer rare, but a book such as this, which effectively blends these concepts and is also compellingly written, is a joy to behold.”    
--ALA Booklist on The Forge of God
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Greg Bear, author of more than twenty-five books that have been translated into seventeen languages, has won science fiction’s highest honors and is considered the natural heir to Arthur C. Clarke. The recipient of two Hugos and four Nebulas for his fiction, he has been called “the best working writer of hard science fiction” by The Science Fiction Encyclopedia. Many of his novels, such as Darwin’s Radio, are considered to be this generations’ classics.
 
Bear is married to Astrid Anderson, daughter of science fiction great Poul Anderson, and they are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandria. His recent thriller novel, Quantico, was published in 2007 and the sequel, Mariposa, followed in 2009. He has since published a new, epic science fiction novel, City at the End of Time and a generation starship novel, Hull Zero Three.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Greg Bear is the author of more than thirty books, spanning thrillers, science fiction, and fantasy, including Blood Music, Eon, The Forge of God, Darwin's Radio, City at the End of Time, and Hull Zero Three. His books have won numerous international prizes, have been translated into more than twenty-two languages, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Over the last twenty-eight years, he has also served as a consultant for NASA, the U.S. Army, the State Department, the International Food Protection Association, and Homeland Security on matters ranging from privatizing space to food safety, the frontiers of microbiology and genetics, and biological security.

Customer Reviews

Plot and characters are well developed.
David Hamilton
Like mosquitos they spread throughout the Galaxy to carry with their horrific plan.
Jari Aalto
It is easily twice as long as it should be if not more.
Tom Barnett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Lee D. on October 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Anvil, Bear combines speculations on quantum physics with war-story melodrama, immense ethical quandaries with teen romance, exobiology with whodunit. Yet with all this intellectual weight, the novel proceeds at a brisk and exciting pace.
Anvil picks up where Forge of God left off: the earth has been destroyed by alien machines, and aliens from a different civilization have rescued a small population and resettled them on Mars. From the survivors are drawn adolescents to serve as crew on a Ship of the Law, charged with carrying out a death sentence passed by humanity's benefactors on the race which created the planet-killing machines. Fans of SF writer Orson Scott Card will see many parallels to the Battle School milieu from Ender's Game: youths incongruously training for war under the tutelage of inscrutable teachers.
We join Earth's last children some years into the mission, when they are beginning to draw close to a prime suspect civilization. Bear does not shy away from the titanic moral questions raised by Galactic Law and its harsh retribution, as youths who might otherwise be arguing capital punishment or abortion in Philosophy 101 must weigh the evidence against the suspect civilization. Simultaneously, they must stuggle within the constraints of an alien justice system that has no provision for such human notions as mitigating factors, statutes of limitations, or redemption.
Bear's young protagonists (and antagonists) stand out in the often bland universe of SF characters. The crew has established a unique shipboard society of pseudofamilies and shifting allegiances, a kind of co-ed Lord of the Flies.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was somewhat disappointed with the first book, The Forge of God, in part because it was bound to terra firma, and in part because of the weak political intrigue. Fortunately, Anvil is a different sort of animal; it takes the reader from planet to planet, star system to star system, spinning believable struggle-for-power subplots, with a few red herrings thrown in for good measure.
At times, however, I had a hard time empathizing with some of the characters: the dialogue simply wasn't powerful enough to convey what Bear was trying to get across. There are several of these literary lapses, when a character would break down emotionally, for no apparent reason (i.e., Theresa, while talking to Martin). The effect is there, but not the cause.
These quibbles aside (for Bear can surely write better than this lowly reviewer), Anvil offers believable aliens (David Brinnian, in fact), convincing physics (convincing-sounding, at the very least), cool spaceships, and an appreciation of the grandeur and vastness of space. Some parts remind me of Orson Scott Card's Enders Game.
Very well done and addictive to the end. And oh yes, you don't have to read Forge to follow this book; it's self-contained.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. Baker VINE VOICE on February 5, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ANVIL OF STARS is the sequel to THE FORGE OF GOD but is a much different book. A group of human children volunteer (are coerced?) to board a Ship of the Law created by the alien race that saved humanity. Their mission is to seek out and destroy those beings that created the devices that destroyed the Earth.
To make this commentary short - this is a fairly entertaining novel and wrestles with dilemmas similar to those found in Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card). A group of human children are taken away from their parents and environment in which they have grown-up, with no possibility of return. As result Bear is able to explore interesting ways human beings develop and interact in an enclosed environment with minimal social restraints - as well as grapple with life or death issues. From leadership, sexuality, religion, war, xenocide, xenophobia, ethnicity - it's all here. And we get even get to closely encounter another rather interesting race of alien - which is actually the most inventive and interesting part of the novel. The drawback to this book is it is too long. It could have been much tighter and shorter.
Certainly an above average novel, if at a times a bit tedious.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By kscarbeck@aol.com on July 26, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read two or three science novel a year and am usually disappointed. This book is one of the reasons I keep on looking. This book uses the setting of 80 odd juveniles without parental or moral guidance to explore both the morality of war and the contradictions inherent in any belief system founded on following another's command. It is to the science fiction interstellar war genre what Saving Private Ryan is to conventional war movies. There are no easy answers to the dilemmas posed, and Bear thankfully does not suggest that there are, he merely explores the depths of the problem. Along the way, Bear pushes to their limits two science fiction conventions: interstellar war by advanced civilization and alien intelligence. In this novel, war technology is so advanced that supernovas can be engineered by combatants. And the aliens are so alien that humans are able to communicate with them at all only with help. The implications of both concepts are daunting, but! Bear pushes them through to their natural conclusions. What's even more surprising is that this is a sequel to Forge of God, a novel I found trite by comparison. Characterization is not Bear's strength, but the characters are believable enough to sustain the fascinating story.
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