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Legacy (Eon) Mass Market Paperback – June 15, 1996


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Product Details

  • Series: Eon (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (June 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812524810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812524819
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #538,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hard science and human interest intersect ingeniously in this prequel to Bear's Eon (1987) and Eternity (1988). Twenty-five years after the opening of The Way, a kind of tunnel through space that permits access to different planets and time continua, Olmy Ap Sennon is sent through it to spy on 4000 "divaricates" who fled the starship Thistledown for a utopian existence on the sylvan world of Lamarckia. What he finds, instead, is a full-blown divaricate civil war, whose opposing sides mirror his own ambivalent feelings about life aboard the strictly regimented starship. Olmy and the divaricates work through their respective identity crises against the exuberantly imagined backdrop of Lamarckia, a planet whose integrated ecosystem adapts readily to change. While occasionally numbing in their detail, Bear's meticulous descriptions of flora and fauna serve an important function: they authenticate Lamarckia as a world that assimilates and learns from other organisms, making it the perfect crucible for examining the personal and political dramas staged within it. This is a stunning SF novel that extrapolates a scientifically complex future from the basic stuff of human nature.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In Legacy's predecessor, Eon (1985), part of Earth's population escaped a nuclear war by traveling through time along a path called the Way. As the sequel commences, the Way has been in use for some time, and dissidents have found ways to drop out more thoroughly than any 1960s hippie ever did. One such dropped-out group consists of 4,000 antitechnological Naderites, to whom a troubleshooter named Olmy is dispatched. He finds them on a settled, Earthlike world and their society taking a host of radically different directions, all of which Bear works out with his accustomed literacy, scientific accuracy, and deft characterization. As much an exercise in world building and social experimentation as a conventional story, the novel will not disappoint Eon's fans and, since Bear really keeps it moving, stands well enough to be read on its own. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I thought this book had rather poor character development.
Gabriel
Not a very interesting story and most of it was describing things that couldn't be described.
bjpage
I think this is one of Greg Bear's best books and one of the best SCI FI books ever.
Daniel P. Bond

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "mandark" on November 27, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I purchased "Legacy" mainly because I had read Eon and Eternity...and was hoping for a book that would give me the good stuff that Bear is capable of and didn't fully deliver in Eternity. Be Warned though: Legacy abandons a great deal of the fascinating elements of EON.
The thread linking these books is very thin - that was disappointing...but the quality of Legacy goes beyond either of the other two books.
It reminded me a great deal of the grand adventure novels of an earlier age. Even a little taste of Charles Dickens in places, though you might have to look hard. You can allow yourself to get caught in the storytelling as long as you aren't too upset by the fact that this novel drops much of the fururistic science fiction in favour of a nostalgic seafaring epic with elements of the fantastic that are natural wonders rather than technological ones.
Bear shows his craft well in this book, and I kept thinking "What a spectacular film this would make!" Each new twist had me smiling to myself in appreciation of the way that he had interested me in a world that I was initially dishearted to find after reading the other two related books in this series.
Drop the expectations of another "EON" and you may find yourself loving this book more than the other two.
A pleasant surprise to be sure. Though I still hope for another book in the series to continue the EON series and make up for "Eternity"'s weak spots.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Nigrelli on April 16, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a fairly entertaining book with some remarkable ideas and concepts but I felt like it never achieved its full potential. I also found it to be a very frustrating book because it constantly got bogged down in dull forest and ocean adventuring at the expense of exploring the interesting sci-fi concepts that are introduced in the book (far too infrequently, I might add). It explores a tiny bit of the early history of Thistledown at the very beginning of the book but never returns to it, instead continuing the rest of the book on the planet of Lamarckia. The book begins with a lot of promise but quickly descends into boring planet exploration for hundreds of pages. The unique flora and fauna of the planet, although fascinating, are not enough to hold the interest of the reader for 400+ pages. There is so little action that actually takes place in the Way that it is difficult to connect this book with Eon at all, never mind calling it a prequel. Overall, the book was mildly enjoyable and I recommend it to those that want the complete story of the Eon world, but otherwise it's not worth the time it takes to plow through it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By q_smith on May 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
One thing I enjoyed about Bear's books such as Anvil of Stars and Eon is his ability to keep the action going. This book, sadly, just drags along, and the action is mostly mundane adventure, unrelated to science fiction. This book really has nothing to do with Eon, except for a few short chapters at the beginning and the end. Ser Olmy enters a weird planet through a gate and the book takes place there. The science fiction angle is uninspired. If you were intrigued by the physics and mystery of the Way, don't follow Olmy through this gate. Surely, Bear has much more to offer than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jsharbour on March 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
In this sequel to EON, Greg Bear continues to explore the possibilities presented by the asteroid Thistledown, a remnant of a lost human civilization. The Way is a tunnel through space and time that leads to other worlds, some more like planet Earth than Earth itself...

This third novel in the EON series is actually a prequel to EON which I found to be rather confusing and recall reading it for the first time (some 20 years ago) that I wish it had been a sequel to Eternity instead.

Most of the story takes place among the characters of a human colony in The Way, on an alternate universe Earth. I felt that their lives just weren't very interesting because that was a tangent story outside of the universe of EON (pun not intended).

Granted, it was a very long time ago, and I will soon be reading the EON trilogy again on Kindle. Looking forward to it!

And a note to Greg Bear--please continue or expand on the story of EON with a 4th novel some day, that would be great! For instance, since there was no nuclear war, perhaps treat EON as an alternate universe from OURS, HERE, and explore the ramifications with the original cast of EON. Just an idea.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alex.Cull@tesco.net on April 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first started reading Legacy I was a little disappointed, as I had expected it to be a straight sequel to Eon and Eternity, and had wanted to learn more about the Jarts. However, I found myself becoming swiftly involved in this well-written tale of human colonists struggling to survive in and coexist with a truly alien biosphere. The adventure progresses well, turning first into a sea journey that could almost have come from the pages of Joseph Conrad, and finally into a confrontation with the human forces that are corrupting and ultimately destroying this new world. The book's main triumph is the depiction of alien life forms that, refreshingly, fail to conform to the Earthly division of the plant and animal kingdoms, consisting of vast 'ecoi' that contain colonies of plant-like 'phytids' and mobile 'scions' that act as messengers and scavengers, much like blood cells and hormones in the human body. This is good - why indeed should we expect to find alien analogues of Earth biota everywhere we go, from trees and flowers up to humanoids and dinosaurs?! In an infinite universe, after all, the possible varieties of planetary ecology should be infinite. The human world of the colonists, with its divisive conflicts and deep-rooted unease, is also very well described. In fact, the only note that doesn't ring quite true, I find, is the fact that Olmy is able to blend so well into this insular society so quickly, with minimal preparation. In reality, he would have revealed himself to be a complete outsider the moment he opened his mouth, and would swiftly have been imprisoned or worse. But this is a minor quibble; to sum up, Legacy is science fiction at its best, with a near perfect balance of characterization and ideas.
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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.


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