Greg Bear

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Gregory Dale Bear
Greg Bear (2005)
Greg Bear (2005)
BornGregory Dale Bear
(1951-08-20)August 20, 1951
San Diego, California, U.S.
DiedNovember 19, 2022(2022-11-19) (aged 71)[1][2][3]
GenreScience fiction
Notable worksBlood Music

Gregory Dale Bear (August 20, 1951 – November 19, 2022) was an American science fiction author. He wrote about war across the galaxy, artificial universes, consciousness, and evolution.

Biography[change | change source]

Bear was born in San Diego, California. From 1968 to 1973 he attended San Diego State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1975, he married Christina M. Nielson, but they divorced in 1981. He remarried in 1983, to Astrid Anderson, the daughter of science fiction author Poul Anderson. They have two children, Erik and Alexandra. They live outside of Seattle, Washington.

Career[change | change source]

Bear is often called a hard science fiction author because he uses many scientific details in his work.

Bear often answers major questions in contemporary science and culture with fictional solutions. For example, The Forge of God tries to explain the Fermi paradox. If the galaxy is filled with intelligences that could be very dangerous, young civilizations could only survive by staying quiet so nobody would notice them and attack. In Queen of Angels Bear examines crime, guilt and punishment in society. He does this by examining consciousness and awareness. Part of the novel is about highly advanced computers that begging to become intelligent and aware of themselves as they communicate with humans. In the two books "Darwin's Radio" and "Darwin's Children" he writes about the problem of overpopulation with a mutation the human genome making, basically a new series of humans. The books bring up the question of cultural acceptance of something brand new that cannot be stopped.

One of Bear's favorite themes is how observers effect or create reality. In Blood Music reality becomes unstable as the number of observers–trillions of intelligent single-cell organisms–gets higher and higher. Both Anvil of Stars–a sequel to The Forge of God–and Moving Mars propose 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 (first published as a short story in 1983, and expanded to a novel in 1985) has also been credited as being the first account of nanotechnology in science fiction. The short story described microscopic medical machines. He described DNA as a computer system that could be changed. In Queen of Angels and 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 "quantum logic computer"–and with Moving Mars. These books also show the historical development of self-awareness in AIs. One AI character called Jill is in all of these books. Bear was influenced by Robert A. Heinlein's self-aware computer Mycroft Holmes ("High-Optional, Logical, Multi-Evaluating Supervisor") in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress when creating Jill.

More recent works, such as the two novels Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children stick closely to the known facts of molecular biology of viruses and evolution. These books are about the impact of a strange disease that appears to make evolutionary transitions happen. Bear includes some very speculative ideas, but he wrote about them so carefully that Darwin's Radio gained praise in the science journal Nature.

Bear, Gregory Benford, and David Brin wrote a series of three novels that take place before Isaac Asimov's famous Foundation series. Bear is named as the author of the second of the three books.

While most of Bear's writing is science fiction, he also wrote in other genres. Two of his early works, The Infinity Concerto and The Serpent Mageare clearly fantasies. These are now published together as one novel called Songs of Earth and Power. Psychlone is horror. Bear called his story Dead Lines a "high-tech ghost story."[4] He has received many accolades, including five Nebula awards and two Hugo awards for science fiction.[5]

Death[change | change source]

Bear died from multiple strokes on November 19, 2022, at the age of 71.[6]

Works[change | change source]

Novels[change | change source]

Series[change | change source]

Darwin[change | change source]
  • Darwin's Radio (1999) Nebula Award winner, Hugo, Locus SF, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 2000[7]
  • Darwin's Children (2003) Locus SF, Arthur C. Clarke, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 2004[8]
The Forge of God[change | change source]
Songs of Earth and Power[change | change source]
Quantico (books set before the Queen of Angels series)[change | change source]
Queen of Angels[change | change source]
  • Queen of Angels (1990) Hugo, Locus, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 1991[12]
  • / (also known as Slant; 1997) John W. Campbell Memorial Award nominee, 1998[13]
The Way[change | change source]

Series he added to, but did not begin[change | change source]

The Foundation Series[change | change source]
Man-Kzin Wars[change | change source]
Star Trek: The Original Series[change | change source]
Star Wars[change | change source]

Non-series[change | change source]

  • Psychlone (1979)
  • Hegira (1979)
  • Beyond Heaven's River (1980)
  • Strength of Stones (1981)
  • Blood Music (1985) Hugo, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 1986;[10] British Science Fiction Award nominee, 1986;[10] Nebula Award nominee, 1985 [11]
  • Sleepside Story (1988)
  • Heads (1990)
  • Moving Mars (1993) Nebula Award winner; Hugo, Locus SF, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 1994[16]
  • New Legends (1995)
  • Dinosaur Summer (1998) (winner 1999 Endeavour Award)
  • Country of the Mind (June 1998)
  • Vitals (2002) John W. Campbell Memorial Award nominee 2003[17]
  • Dead Lines (2004)
  • City at the End of Time (Gollancz edition published 7/17/2008;[18] Del Rey Books edition August, 2008[19]) (Nominated for the Locus and Campbell Awards, 2009[20])
  • Hull Zero Three (to be released November 2010)
  • The Mongoliad (expected 2010[21])

Short Fiction[change | change source]

Collections[change | change source]

Other awards[change | change source]

  • Before Blood Music was a novel, it was a story published in the June 1983 issue of Asimov's. It won the Best Novelette Nebula Award (1983) and Hugo Award (1984).[22]
  • Darwin's Radio won the Endeavor Award in 2000
  • Hayakawa Award "Heads" Best Foreign Short Story (1996).

Praise from other authors[change | change source]

  • Doris Lessing, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in literature, wrote, "I also admire the classic sort of science fiction, like Blood Music, by Greg Bear. He's a great writer."[23]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Sci-fi Novelist Greg Bear Has Passed Away". November 20, 2022.
  2. "Halo Author Greg Bear Passes Away Age 71". November 20, 2022.
  3. "Greg Bear: News". Greg passed away peacefully yesterday, surrounded by his loving family. [...] Greg Bear 8/20/1951–11/19/2022
  4. "Reviews: Dead lines Beta". Review by Library Journal Review. Retrieved 2010-10-16.[permanent dead link]
  5. "Top SF/F Authors". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  6. Glyer, Mike (2022-11-20). "Pixel Scroll 11/19/22 Scroll And Deliver, Your Pixels Or Your Life!". File 770. Retrieved 2022-11-20.
  7. "2000 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  8. "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  9. "1988 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "1986 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "1985 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  12. "1991 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  13. "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  14. "1987 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  15. "1996 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  16. "1994 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  17. "2003 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  18. "Invalid Site".[permanent dead link]
  19. "SF & Fantasy | Suvudu".
  20. "2009 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  21. Eaton, Kit (May 26, 2010). "The Mongoliad App: Neal Stephenson's Novel of the Future?". Fast Company. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  22. "1984 Award Winners & Nominees". Locus Awards Database. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  23. Doris Lessing: Hot Dawns, interview by Harvey Blume in Boston Book Review

Other websites[change | change source]