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Greg Bear

Greg Bear

Overview
Gregory Dale Bear is an American science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 and mainstream author. His work has covered themes of galactic conflict (Forge of God
The Forge of God
The Forge of God is a 1987 science fiction novel by American writer Greg Bear. Earth faces destruction when an inscrutable and overwhelming alien form of life attacks....

books), artificial universes (The Way
The Way (Greg Bear)
The Way fictional universe is a trilogy of science fiction novels and one short story by Greg Bear. The first novel was Eon , followed by a sequel, Eternity and a prequel, Legacy...

series), consciousness and cultural practices (Queen of Angels), and accelerated evolution (Blood Music, Darwin's Radio
Darwin's Radio
Darwin's Radio is a 1999 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It won the Nebula Award in 2000 for Best Novel and the 2000 Endeavour Award. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award, Locus and Campbell Awards the same year....

, and Darwin's Children
Darwin's Children
Darwin's Children is a science fiction novel by Greg Bear published in 2003. It is a sequel to his 1999 Nebula Award-winning novel Darwin's Radio.-Plot introduction:...

). His most current work is the Forerunner Trilogy, written in the Halo universe.

Bear was born in San Diego, California
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

.
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Quotations

Nothing is lost. Nothing is forgotten.It was in the blood, the flesh,And now it is forever.

Closing paragraph
Encyclopedia
Gregory Dale Bear is an American science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 and mainstream author. His work has covered themes of galactic conflict (Forge of God
The Forge of God
The Forge of God is a 1987 science fiction novel by American writer Greg Bear. Earth faces destruction when an inscrutable and overwhelming alien form of life attacks....

books), artificial universes (The Way
The Way (Greg Bear)
The Way fictional universe is a trilogy of science fiction novels and one short story by Greg Bear. The first novel was Eon , followed by a sequel, Eternity and a prequel, Legacy...

series), consciousness and cultural practices (Queen of Angels), and accelerated evolution (Blood Music, Darwin's Radio
Darwin's Radio
Darwin's Radio is a 1999 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It won the Nebula Award in 2000 for Best Novel and the 2000 Endeavour Award. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award, Locus and Campbell Awards the same year....

, and Darwin's Children
Darwin's Children
Darwin's Children is a science fiction novel by Greg Bear published in 2003. It is a sequel to his 1999 Nebula Award-winning novel Darwin's Radio.-Plot introduction:...

). His most current work is the Forerunner Trilogy, written in the Halo universe.

Biography


Bear was born in San Diego, California
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

. He sold his first story, "Destroyers," to Famous Science Fiction in 1967. He attended San Diego State University
San Diego State University
San Diego State University , founded in 1897 as San Diego Normal School, is the largest and oldest higher education facility in the greater San Diego area , and is part of the California State University system...

 (1968–73), where he received a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree. In 1975, he married Christina M. Nielson; they divorced in 1981. In 1983, he married Astrid Anderson, the daughter of science fiction author Poul Anderson
Poul Anderson
Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories...

. They have two children, Erik and Alexandra. Erik is currently training in Bartitsu
Bartitsu
Bartitsu is an eclectic martial art and self-defence method originally developed in England during the years 1898–1902. In 1901 it was immortalised by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery stories...

 Cane Fighting and German Longsword
Longsword
The longsword is a type of European sword designed for two-handed use, current during the late medieval and Renaissance periods, approximately 1350 to 1550 .Longswords have long cruciform hilts with grips over 10 to 15 cm length The longsword (of which stems the variation called the bastard...

 in Capitol Hill. They live near Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

. He is a deist.

Career


Bear is often classified as a hard science fiction
Hard science fiction
Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific or technical detail, or on scientific accuracy, or on both. The term was first used in print in 1957 by P. Schuyler Miller in a review of John W. Campbell, Jr.'s Islands of Space in Astounding Science...

 author, based on the scientific details in his work. Early in his career, he also published work as an artist, including illustrations for an early version of the Star Trek Concordance
Star Trek Concordance
The Star Trek Concordance is a reference book by Bjo Trimble about the television series Star Trek. It contains summaries from episodes of The Original Series and The Animated Series, as well as an encyclopedia of characters and technology from the series...

 and covers for Galaxy
Galaxy Science Fiction
Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published from 1950 to 1980. It was founded by an Italian company, World Editions, which was looking to break in to the American market. World Editions hired as editor H. L...

 and F&SF.

Bear often addresses major questions in contemporary science and culture with fictional solutions. For example, The Forge of God
The Forge of God
The Forge of God is a 1987 science fiction novel by American writer Greg Bear. Earth faces destruction when an inscrutable and overwhelming alien form of life attacks....

offers an explanation for the Fermi paradox
Fermi paradox
The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations....

, supposing that the galaxy is filled with potentially predatory intelligences and that young civilizations that survive are those that don't attract their attention—by staying quiet. In Queen of Angels, Bear examines crime, guilt, and punishment in society. He frames these questions around an examination of consciousness and awareness, including the emergent self-awareness of highly advanced computers in communication with humans. In Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children, he addresses the problem of over-population with a mutation in the human genome making, basically, a new series of humans. The question of cultural acceptance of something new and unavoidable is also brought up.

One of Bear's favorite themes is reality as a function of observers. In Blood Music, reality becomes unstable as the number of observers—trillions of intelligent single-cell organisms—spirals higher and higher. Anvil of Stars (sequel to The Forge of God) and Moving Mars postulate a physics based on information exchange between particles, capable of being altered at the "bit level." (Bear has credited the inspiration for this idea to Frederick Kantor's 1967 treatise "Information Mechanics.") In Moving Mars, this knowledge is used to remove Mars from the solar system and transfer it to an orbit around a distant star.

Blood Music was first published as a short story (1983) and then expanded to a novel (1985). It has also been credited as the first account of Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

 in science fiction. More certainly, the short story is the first in science fiction to describe microscopic medical machines and to treat DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 as a computational system capable of being reprogrammed; that is, expanded and modified. In later works, beginning with Queen of Angels and continuing with its sequel, Slant, Bear gives a detailed description of a near-future nanotechnological society. This historical sequence continues with Heads—which may contain the first description of a so-called "quantum logic computer"—and with Moving Mars. This sequence also charts the historical development of self-awareness in AI
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

s. Its continuing character Jill was inspired in part by Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre. He set a standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of...

's self-aware computer Mycroft HOLMES (High-Optional, Logical, Multi-Evaluating Supervisor) in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, about a lunar colony's revolt against rule from Earth....

.

Such recent works as Darwin's Radio
Darwin's Radio
Darwin's Radio is a 1999 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It won the Nebula Award in 2000 for Best Novel and the 2000 Endeavour Award. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award, Locus and Campbell Awards the same year....

 and Darwin's Children
Darwin's Children
Darwin's Children is a science fiction novel by Greg Bear published in 2003. It is a sequel to his 1999 Nebula Award-winning novel Darwin's Radio.-Plot introduction:...

 stick closely to the known facts of molecular biology
Molecular biology
Molecular biology is the branch of biology that deals with the molecular basis of biological activity. This field overlaps with other areas of biology and chemistry, particularly genetics and biochemistry...

 of virus
Virus
A virus is a small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of organisms. Viruses infect all types of organisms, from animals and plants to bacteria and archaea...

es and evolution. While some fairly speculative ideas are entertained, they are introduced in such a rigorous and disciplined way that Darwin's Radio gained praise in the science journal Nature
Nature (journal)
Nature, first published on 4 November 1869, is ranked the world's most cited interdisciplinary scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports...

.

Bear, Gregory Benford
Gregory Benford
Gregory Benford is an American science fiction author and astrophysicist who is on the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine...

, and David Brin
David Brin
Glen David Brin, Ph.D. is an American scientist and award-winning author of science fiction. He has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards.-Biography:...

 wrote a trilogy of prequel novels to Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000...

's famous Foundation
The Foundation Series
The Foundation Series is a science fiction series by Isaac Asimov. There are seven volumes in the Foundation Series proper, which in its in-universe chronological order are: Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, Foundation's Edge, and...

trilogy with Bear credited for the middle book.

While most of Bear's work is science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

, Songs of Earth and Power is clearly fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

, and Psychlone is horror
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

. Further, Bear has described Dead Lines, which straddles the line between science fiction and fantasy, as a "high-tech ghost story." He has received many accolades, including five Nebula Award
Nebula Award
The Nebula Award is given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America , for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the previous year...

s and two Hugo Award
Hugo Award
The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards...

s.
Darwin
  • Darwin's Radio
    Darwin's Radio
    Darwin's Radio is a 1999 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It won the Nebula Award in 2000 for Best Novel and the 2000 Endeavour Award. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award, Locus and Campbell Awards the same year....

    (1999) Nebula Award winner, Hugo, Locus SF, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 2000
  • Darwin's Children
    Darwin's Children
    Darwin's Children is a science fiction novel by Greg Bear published in 2003. It is a sequel to his 1999 Nebula Award-winning novel Darwin's Radio.-Plot introduction:...

    (2003) Locus SF, Arthur C. Clarke, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 2004

The Forge of God
  • The Forge of God
    The Forge of God
    The Forge of God is a 1987 science fiction novel by American writer Greg Bear. Earth faces destruction when an inscrutable and overwhelming alien form of life attacks....

    (1987) Hugo, and Locus SF Awards nominee, 1988; Nebula Award nominee, 1986
  • Anvil of Stars
    Anvil of Stars
    Anvil of Stars is a book by Greg Bear and a sequel to The Forge of God. In the novel, volunteers from among the children saved from the recently destroyed Earth are sent on a quest by a galactic faction called "The Benefactors" to find and destroy "The Killers", the civilisation who sent the...

    (1992)

Songs of Earth and Power
  • The Infinity Concerto
    The Infinity Concerto
    The Infinity Concerto is a 1984 fantasy novel written by Greg Bear, and prequel to Serpent Mage.The plot centers around Michael Perrin's search for what is a Song of Power and why some think he can create such a thing. He discovers the Sidhe intervened in Coleridge's incomplete poem, Kubla Khan...

    (1984) Locus Fantasy Award nominee, 1985
  • The Serpent Mage
    Serpent Mage (Greg Bear)
    Serpent Mage is a fantasy novel written by Greg Bear, sequel to The Infinity Concerto....

    (1986)
  • Songs of Earth and Power (1994 – combines The Infinity Concerto and The Serpent Mage)

Quantum Logic

Novels in internal chronology:
  • Quantico
    Quantico (novel)
    Quantico is a 2005 science fiction/thriller novel by Greg Bear. The novel concerns a group of FBI agents trying to prevent a massive bioterrorist attack. A sequel, Mariposa, was published in 2009....

    (2005)
  • Mariposa (2009)
  • Queen of Angels (1990) Hugo, Locus, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 1991
  • / (also known as Slant; 1997) John W. Campbell Memorial Award nominee, 1998
  • Heads (1990)
  • Moving Mars
    Moving Mars
    Moving Mars is a science fiction novel written by Greg Bear. Published in 1993, it won the 1994 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and was also nominated for the 1994 Hugo, Locus, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards, each in the same category...

    (1993) Nebula Award winner; Hugo, Locus SF, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 1994

The Way
The Way (Greg Bear)
The Way fictional universe is a trilogy of science fiction novels and one short story by Greg Bear. The first novel was Eon , followed by a sequel, Eternity and a prequel, Legacy...

  • Eon
    Eon (novel)
    Eon is a 1985 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It is the first story written in The Way fictional universe.Events in Eon take place in 2005, when the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. are on the verge of nuclear war. In that tense political climate, a 290 km asteroid appears within the solar system...

    (1985) Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee, 1987
  • Eternity
    Eternity (novel)
    Eternity is a science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It is the second book in his The Way series, dealing largely with the aftermath of the decision to split Axis City and abandon the Way in the preceding book, Eon.-Plot summary:...

    (1988)
  • Legacy (1995) Locus SF Award nominee, 1996
  • The Way of All Ghosts (1999)

The Foundation Series
The Foundation Series
The Foundation Series is a science fiction series by Isaac Asimov. There are seven volumes in the Foundation Series proper, which in its in-universe chronological order are: Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, Foundation's Edge, and...

  • Foundation and Chaos
    Foundation and Chaos
    Foundation and Chaos is a science fiction novel by Greg Bear, set in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe. It is the second book of the Second Foundation trilogy, which was written after Asimov's death by three authors, authorized by the Asimov estate....

    (1998) (Second Foundation series: book 2)

Man-Kzin Wars
Man-Kzin Wars
The Man-Kzin Wars is a series of military science fiction short story collections , as well as the eponymous conflicts between mankind and the Kzinti that they detail...

  • The Man Who Would Be Kzin (with S.M. Stirling) (1991)

Halo
Halo (series)
Halo is a multi-million dollar science fiction video game franchise created by Bungie and now managed by 343 Industries and owned by Microsoft Studios. The series centers on an interstellar war between humanity and a theocratic alliance of aliens known as the Covenant...

  • Cryptum
    Halo: Cryptum
    Halo: Cryptum is a science fiction novel by Greg Bear, set in the Halo universe. The book released on January 4, 2011, and is the eighth Halo novel, following 2009s Halo: Evolutions, an anthology written by various writers creating short stories.Set approximately 100,000 years before the events of...

    (2011) (Forerunner trilogy: book 1)
  • Primordium (2012) (Forerunner trilogy: book 2)

Non-series

  • Hegira
    Hegira (novel)
    Hegira is a 1979 science fiction novel by American writer Greg Bear . It deals with themes including cyclic time, artificial intelligence, artificial life, and artificial structures of planetary scale.-Plot summary:...

    (1979)
  • Psychlone (1979)
  • Beyond Heaven's River (1980)
  • Strength of Stones (1981)
  • Blood Music (1985) Hugo, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 1986; British Science Fiction Award nominee, 1986; Nebula Award nominee, 1985
  • Sleepside Story (1988)
  • New Legends (1995)
  • Dinosaur Summer
    Dinosaur Summer
    Dinosaur Summer is a novel by Greg Bear, published in 1998.Tony DiTerlizzi illustrated the book.- Background :The novel is set in an alternate history in which the events of Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Lost World actually occurred...

    (1998) (winner 1999 Endeavour Award
    Endeavour Award
    The Endeavour Award, announced annually at OryCon in Portland, Oregon, is awarded to a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book written by a Pacific Northwest author or authors and published in the previous year....

    )
  • Country of the Mind (June 1998
    1998 in literature
    The year 1998 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*March 5 - Tennessee Williams' 1938 play, Not About Nightingales, receives its stage première....

    )
  • Vitals (2002) John W. Campbell Memorial Award nominee 2003
  • Dead Lines (2004)
  • City at the End of Time
    City at the End of Time
    City at the End of Time is a 2008 science fiction novel by American Hugo and Nebula Award-winning writer Greg Bear. It was published in August 2008 by Del Rey in the United States, and Gollancz in the United Kingdom. The story follows three drifters in present-day Seattle who are tormented by...

    (Gollancz
    Gollancz
    Gollancz often refers to the British publishing house Victor Gollancz Ltd.Gollancz, a family name originating from the Polish town Gołańcz , is mainly known as the name of a prominent British Jewish family, including:* Sir Hermann Gollancz , rabbi* Sir Israel Gollancz , scholar of...

     edition published 7/17/2008; Del Rey Books
    Del Rey Books
    Del Rey Books is a branch of Ballantine Books, which is owned by Random House and, in turn since 1998, by Bertelsmann AG. It is a separate imprint established in 1977 under the editorship of author Lester del Rey and his wife Judy-Lynn del Rey. It specializes in science fiction and fantasy...

     edition August, 2008) (Nominated for the Locus and Campbell Awards, 2009)
  • Hull Zero Three
    Hull Zero Three
    Hull Zero Three is a science fiction novel from Greg Bear. It was published on November 22, 2010. It is set on a generation ship that has lost its way under mysterious circumstances.-Critical reception:...

    (2010)
  • The Mongoliad
    The Mongoliad
    The Mongoliad is an experimental fiction project of the Subutai Corporation, initially released in September of 2010. The corporation is an application company based in San Francisco and Seattle, whose chairman is speculative fiction author Neal Stephenson...

    (expected 2010)

Collections

  • The Wind from a Burning Woman
    The Wind from a Burning Woman
    The Wind from a Burning Woman is a collection of science fiction stories by author Greg Bear. It was released in 1983 and was the author's first hardcover book. It was published by Arkham House in an edition of 3,046 copies. Two of the included stories were nominated for a Nebula Award. "Petra"...

    (1983, vt The Venging 1992)
  • Early Harvest (February 1988
    1988 in literature
    The year 1988 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-New books:*Margaret Atwood - Cat's Eye*J.G. Ballard - Memories of the Space Age*Iain M...

    )
  • Tangents
    Tangents (collection)
    Tangents is a collection of short stories by science fiction writer Greg Bear. The stories all originally appeared in a number of different publications.This collection, originally published in 1989, includes:...

    (1989)
  • Bear's Fantasies (1992)
  • The Collected Stories of Greg Bear (2002)
  • W3 Women in deep time (2003)
  • Sleepside: The Collected Fantasies (November 2005
    2005 in literature
    The year 2005 in literature involved some significant events and new books.-Events:*February 25 - Canada Reads selects Rockbound by Frank Parker Day as the novel to be read across the nation....

    )

Other awards and accolades

  • Before Blood Music was a novel, it was a story published in the June 1983 issue of Analog
    Analog Science Fiction and Fact
    Analog Science Fiction and Fact is an American science fiction magazine. As of 2011, it is the longest running continuously published magazine of that genre...

    . It won the Best Novelette Nebula Award (1983) and Hugo Award (1984).
  • Darwin's Radio
    Darwin's Radio
    Darwin's Radio is a 1999 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It won the Nebula Award in 2000 for Best Novel and the 2000 Endeavour Award. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award, Locus and Campbell Awards the same year....

    won the Endeavor Award in 2000
  • Hayakawa Award
    Hayakawa Award
    The Hayakawa's S-F Magazine Reader's Award is an award chosen annually by the readers of Hayakawa's S-F Magazine for the best Japanese short story, illustrator, and foreign short story. The honor has been awarded since 1989...

     "Heads" Best Foreign Short Story (1996).
  • Doris Lessing
    Doris Lessing
    Doris May Lessing CH is a British writer. Her novels include The Grass is Singing, The Golden Notebook, and five novels collectively known as Canopus in Argos....

    , winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize
    Nobel Prize
    The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

     in literature, wrote, "I also admire the classic sort of science fiction, like Blood Music, by Greg Bear. He's a great writer."

External links