- Series: Eon (Book 1)
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (September 15, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765380498
- ISBN-13: 978-0765380494
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Eon Paperback – September 15, 2015
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“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
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Top Customer Reviews
But I never felt like I knew or cared about the characters. Not one felt real to me as page after page showed odd science ideas yet rarely a sense of what they felt. The conflicts between characters felt like afterthoughts. Even the structure of the Stone - a focus of the novel - was obtuse. I rarely abandon a novel but I'm done with this one.
I read EON shortly after it was published in 1985, I think. I enjoyed it then in a print edition, probably paperback. So far as I can remember, there were few if any manuscript errors. Not so with this edition from Open Road Media. Mr. Bear has been poorly served by this e-media specialty house. The Publisher of the 2014 e edition owes us all a corrected file.
Amazon, you need to lay down standards for the books you sell. Your customers deserve well crafted editions. So do your authors. Those of us who read print editions, expect near perfection as the standard. Why should be receive less from you? If a file is corrected, make sure those of us who bought an imperfect one, or an early draft of a book that's later published in more finished form, get the final file, each and every time.
Greg Bear is one of the masters who is capable of imagining worlds that don't exist and filling them with detail. I liked it then. I like it now.
*** MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW ***
Part I - the Earthlings are exploring the Stone and trying to save Earth from impending war. This part is mostly boring, except toward the end.
Part II - the Earthlings find out what is beyond the seventh chamber. This part is also mostly boring, and also more confusing (if more imaginitive).
I know Greg Bear is a well-regarded author but I was really underwhelmed by this book. The setup is interesting, but ultimately I didn't find any of the characters very memorable or interesting. What would have made it more interesting, is if in Part I there was more serious attention given to the notion of trying to stave off the predicted future war. However the novel more or less treats it as fait accomplis, and what could have been a driver for a really interesting plot, is kind of wrapped up in a few pages, we shrug our shoulders and say oh well... and then take a serious left turn into the far-out speculative world of Part II.
Perhaps it's just me that's getting lazy and dull, but in many cases even by the end of the book I was forgetting who was who, or even who was what gender (not aided by most characters being referred to by last name only). I never did get a feel for the Way and the Flaw and the Gates and this that and the other thing. It's also interesting reading works like this 30+ years after they were written - I think a lot of sci fi authors were playing around with similar ideas, like personalities being stored in AI and "resurrected" and so forth, and it all seems kind of a blur... some of these concepts are recycled quite directly (for example) in Peter Hamilton's crummy "Commonwealth universe", but I don't know if Hamilton borrowed it from this book, or if this book was borrowing it from earlier works.
Another interesting thing is that the author's geopolitics turned out to be way, way off (and a scant 6 years from its publication, was clearly way way wrong). However, given the nature of this book, we can simply speculate that the Earth in the novel is not our Earth, but some other Earth that shared similar history up through about 1985, but then slight differences led to different outcomes, etc. Because I would hate to think it really was our Earth that suffered a terrible war in 2005, and I never even knew about it.
Overall it really felt like a chore to read this, and I have no interest in reading the subsequent entries in the series.