Greg Bear (2005)
|Born||Gregory Dale Bear
August 20, 1951
San Diego, California
|Genres||Science fiction, Speculative fiction|
|Notable work(s)||Blood Music|
Gregory Dale Bear (born August 20, 1951) is an American science fiction and mainstream author. His work has covered themes of galactic conflict (Forge of God books), artificial universes (The Way series), consciousness and cultural practices (Queen of Angels), and accelerated evolution (Blood Music, Darwin's Radio, and Darwin's Children). His most recent work is the Forerunner Trilogy, written in the Halo universe. Greg Bear has written 44 books in total.
Bear was born in San Diego, California. He attended San Diego State University (1968–73), where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. At the University, he was a teaching assistant to Elizabeth Chater in her course on science fiction writing, and in later years her friend.
Bear is often classified as a hard science fiction 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 and covers for Galaxy and F&SF. He sold his first story, "Destroyers", to Famous Science Fiction in 1967.
Bear often addresses major questions in contemporary science and culture with fictional solutions. For example, The Forge of God offers an explanation for the Fermi paradox, 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 in science fiction. More certainly, the short story is the first in science fiction to describe microscopic medical machines and to treat DNA 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 AIs. Its continuing character Jill was inspired in part by Robert A. Heinlein's self-aware computer Mycroft HOLMES (High-Optional, Logical, Multi-Evaluating Supervisor) in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.
Such recent works as Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children stick closely to the known facts of molecular biology of viruses 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.
While most of Bear's work is science fiction, he has written in other fiction genres. Examples include Songs of Earth and Power (fantasy) and Psychlone (horror). Bear has described his 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 Awards and two Hugo Awards.
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. They have two children, Erik and Alexandra. They have resided near Seattle, Washington. Erik has trained in Bartitsu cane fighting and German longsword in Capitol Hill.
- Darwin's Radio (1999) Nebula Award winner, Hugo, Locus SF, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 2000
- Darwin's Children (2003) Locus SF, Arthur C. Clarke, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 2004
The Forge of God
- The Forge of God (1987) Hugo, and Locus SF Awards nominee, 1988; Nebula Award nominee, 1986
- Anvil of Stars (1992)
Songs of Earth and Power
- The Infinity Concerto (1984) Locus Fantasy Award nominee, 1985
- The Serpent Mage (1986)
- Songs of Earth and Power (1994 – combines The Infinity Concerto and The Serpent Mage)
Novels in internal chronology:
- Quantico (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 (1993) Nebula Award winner; Hugo, Locus SF, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards nominee, 1994
- Eon (1985) Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee, 1987
- Eternity (1988)
- Legacy (1995) Locus SF Award nominee, 1996
- The Way of All Ghosts (1999)
- Foundation and Chaos (1998) (Second Foundation series: book 2)
- Cryptum (2011) (Forerunner trilogy: book 1)
- Primordium (2012) (Forerunner trilogy: book 2)
- Silentium (2013) (Forerunner trilogy: book 3) 
- Corona (1984)
- Rogue Planet (2000)
- Hegira (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 (1998) (winner 1999 Endeavour Award)
- Country of the Mind (June 1998)
- Vitals (2002) John W. Campbell Memorial Award nominee 2003
- Dead Lines (2004)
- City at the End of Time (Gollancz edition published 7/17/2008; Del Rey Books edition August, 2008) (Nominated for the Locus and Campbell Awards, 2009)
- Hull Zero Three (2010)
- The Mongoliad (2010)
- The Wind from a Burning Woman (1983, vt The Venging 1992)
- Early Harvest (February 1988)
- Tangents (1989)
- Bear's Fantasies (1992)
- The Collected Stories of Greg Bear (2002)
- W3 Women in deep time (2003)
- Sleepside: The Collected Fantasies (November 2005)
Other awards and accolades
- Before Blood Music was a novel, it was a story published in the June 1983 issue of Analog. It won the Best Novelette Nebula Award (1983) and Hugo Award (1984).
- Darwin's Radio won the Endeavor Award in 2000
- Hayakawa Award "Heads" Best Foreign Short Story (1996).
- 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."
- "Greg Bear: Continuing the Dialog", Locus, February 2000, p.4, 76-78.
- "interview". Fiction Writers of the Monterey Peninsula. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "Top SF/F Authors". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- Greg Bear at adherents.com: "My religious beliefs are hardly settled--I do believe in God, but leave wide open his (or its) character."
- "2000 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "1988 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "1986 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "1985 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "1991 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "1994 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "1987 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "1996 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- Upcoming4.me. "Third novel in the Forerunner Saga by Greg Bear, Halo : Silentium revealed". Upcoming4.me. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "2003 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "2009 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- Eaton, Kit (May 26, 2010). "The Mongoliad App: Neal Stephenson's Novel of the Future?". Fast Company. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- "1984 Award Winners & Nominees". Locus Awards Database. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- Doris Lessing: Hot Dawns, interview by Harvey Blume in Boston Book Review
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Greg Bear|
- Greg Bear's Official Site
- 2010 Interview on the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy Podcast
- Darwin's Radio Review
- Interview at SFFWorld.com
- All of Greg Bear's audio interviews on the podcast The Future And You (in which he describes his expectations of the future)
- Greg Bear at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- An excerpt from Slant (1997)
- The 20th challenge of the society of digital artists, which made use of EON. In the about part it includes the chapters 1, 2, 10 and 33.
- Quantico: Official Website
- Complete list of sci-fi award wins and nominations by novel
- Interview with questions submitted by Reddit.com users
- Greg Bear on Worlds Without End