Perhaps it wasn't from our time, perhaps it wasn't even from our universe, but the arrival of the 300-kilometer long stone was the answer to humanity's desperate plea to end the threat of nuclear war. Inside the deep recesses of the stone lies Thistledown: the remnants of a human society, versed in English, Russian and Chinese. The artifacts of this familiar people foretell a great Death caused by the ravages of war, but the government and scientists are unable to decide how to use this knowledge. Deeper still within the stone is the Way. For some the Way means salvation from death, for others it is a parallel world where loved ones live again. But, unlike Thistledown, the Way is not entirely dead, and the inhabitants hold the knowledge of a present war, over a million miles away, using weapons far more deadly than any that mankind has ever conceived.
©1985 Greg Bear (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
It starts of well, if a little bland. And, oddly it skips the discovery of the asteroid and it's mysterious interior and begins with the secrets already discovered. This is an odd choice and rather disappointing as it removes much of that sense of exploitation.
By the middle it gets rather good but there are many rather forgettable characters so it's hard to keep up. Also there is much "hard sci-fi" but really it's just physics terms used in a gobeldigook kind of way so it's rather confusing. It's not hard to keep up, just that a lot of it is superfluous to the readers needs so you find your self almost stuck in literary mud, making needlessly slow progress.
At this point it's still mostly good and enjoyable. But then it goes full star wars prequels and hits you with alien politics. You don't care about what is happening or who it's happening too so you don't end up caring what is happening, which can be hard to discern due to the laborious descriptions that really don't help you understand anyway.
All up there are some god ideas but it really is hard work and not satisfying. There are many, many better books worth your time.
Fwiw I read a lot. I loved Ubik, catch 22, the forever war and I'm a rather fast reader and I enjoy physics.
"Am Epic Original SciFi Read Worth Your Time..."
I'm cautious as to what I recommend, because recommendations in anything defines us in those with whom we associate. With that in mind, I only recommend audiobooks/book that captivate me, that are truly original in scope and idea. No middle ground. No gray area. In this case, I'd recommend this audiobook to anyone, ESPECIALLY my friends. Eon brings together alternate dimensions, aliens, Armageddon, warfare, character conflict and culture clash together brilliantly. AND it's a series??? Most excellent.
It grows almost exponentially as you read it. Once you HAVE read it, you'll know exactly whatI mean. The scope and ramifications of the story reach out further and consequences become more severe and dramatic as the story unfolds. This ALWAYS makes for a good story, and remember, it's ALL about the story. And NO, I'm NOT giving anything away.
Clear, pace-setting, restrained.
SO many moments in this read stood out, but one in particular was when Lanier is simply overwhelmed by the sheer scope, the magnitude, of the technological capabilities of the Stone's inhabitants and societies. The technology borders on seeming magical at certain points, because of the almost limitless scope of what can be done by everyday people in this society. Imagine what a Neanderthal would think of a microwave, a television, running water, or photography. WOW. How's that for a descriptive word of what you'll encounter as you read this for yourself? You'll discover what they discover, and you'll enjoy the journey.
Any review I write in this depth or greater is due to PASSION. You'll see that the books, authors, and narrators I dislike will have short to the point epitaph-style reviews. Not this audiobook. I cannot recommend it enough. This book will require you to think. Yes, that's right, I wrote THINK. It doesn't mean that you will not understand this book. It's easy to understand. What you'll have to think about are ideals. Things like politics, societal norms erased, eternity, religion, the human condition. Wait, wait, wait...It's a great, fun read, and not lofty, so rest easy. Enjoy the book. Find others who have read it, and have fun tearing ideals apart. You'll be better for it, and be glad you read this book. I know I am.
"Enjoyable solid Si Fi-30 years old- still topical"
I first read "Eon" when it was published in 1985 - and was fascinated by the concept and ideas detailed in this long and complicated novel. Especially complicated for me since I'm not a physics or mathematics specialist. I had to take the theories as SF drama and let it go at that.
Listening to the book after such a long time was rewarding and equally fascinating. The character development is involved and up to Greg Bears usual fastidious work...plot development is intricate and convoluted at times but well done and the final chapters unexpected.
If you've read it and are looking for serious SF to listen to, give "Eon" another try. If this 3 book trilogy is new to you than "Eon" is the place to start.
Stefan Rudnicki. Enough said. And the fact there's a whole faction based on Ralph Nader... Naderites. LOL!
The way the author used time and space, and avoided paradox. The technology and physics were really far out, but not so far that you felt 'no way, this is just some guy writing while tripping'.
Stefan Rudnicki. Enough said.
I bought this book in hard copy when I was 15. When I saw Stefan was reading it, I had to pick it up, and was glad I did.... I usually listen to books while I work, however, you really need full attention with this one, because it's jam packed with time/space technology that if you miss the explanation of it it will hurt you in the long run.
"Ingenious, Thought-provoking, Imaginative"
The physics and mathematical puzzles related the Stone.
The realization of the true nature of the Stone and the imaginative delights and puzzles of its inhabitants and the world they inhabit.
An emotional dimension.
No, it's better to linger.
Suspend your disbelief: ignore the time the story takes place, pretend the Cold War has not ended. Immerse yourself in Bear's imaginative universe, and you'll be amply rewarded.
IF HE COULD ONLY EXPLAIN THE SIMPLE THINGS
Bear took on more then he could write about in this saga. Full of lots of mind blowing physics, math and science, the story was just too broad and complicated for Bear to explain. I first read this over 30 years ago. At the time I could barely understand it, but in my youth I felt compelled to finish every book I started and I did. Now that I am older, more mature, and better read, I thought I would try again with the help of Stefan Rudnicki. I still could not wrap my mind around it or find much entertaining in this future text book. I could blame myself for not being the scientific genius, it takes to enjoy this diatribe or I could blame Bear for not being a good enough writer to give it life. I blame Bear and I am not going to listen to no boring book. I quit early on this and advise you not to start.
"Big Idea Sci Fi"
It harkens back to a time when Sci Fi was full of big ideas that can be traced back to Clarke. The big idea in this book is a touchstone so that a description of quantum physics can play front and center to a story that attempts to define our future and ultimately our past. I enjoyed it.
There is hard science in this book, make no mistake. I enjoyed the fact that it make me think of physics and gave me incentive to investigate concepts central to the plot. Additionally, thought written in the 1980's, the political intrigue in the book is somewhat timeless. I thought it was a smart and clever book.
I have not. I thought he did a good job. He portrayed the different characters with different voices well.
The ending. Though I saw it coming, it was fascinating and sets up the next book very well. Well done.
This book requires your attention. There are many different characters, some with similar names in a setting that is very different. It can get confusing if you don't keep track, so be prepared to immerse yourself in "the stone". I like this genre of Sci Fi, and I will read the rest of the books in the series.
"Very good book"
I have never really read Greg Bear but rather was on the hunt for books narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, my favorite narroator. I am glad I found this book. Very interesting story from a sci-fi and inter-personal relationship point of view.
Overly technical, seemed as though author wanted to express his knowledge or perceived knowledge of physics more than tell a story. Long time spent listening to end up with 1 chapter inconclusive ending. Basic story was there but lost in theories and probabilities. Would not recommend as good or true sci-FI
"A classic written in '85"
It's a pretty good book. I really liked the first half of the book, maybe the first 3rd, but after that, it just kind of got weird.
"Too far to slog for no payoff"
Sorry but I just don't see what's so great about this one. We'll ignore for the moment the blatant Clarke Rama ripoff. It starts "well", though the Rama aspect is foremost in my mind as it starts, but I would say that after the halfway point, when the obligatory "Hollywood" shootemup military assault happens, too much of interest is shunted aside in favor of dealing with that, and boring political crap.
Were I editor, I would have told Bear, and all writers currently, take the military and political crap out, take the guns out and do something creative and different, and use the time better developing and explaining the really wondrous aspects of the ideas. I'm bored with unnecessary explosions etc. Do something imaginative. So much of import, i.e., Who built it, How, Why, How does it all work, etc., is passed over briefly if at all. Not to mention elements that start to verge on magic. Scrap that crap. I guess we can learn (maybe) some of these answers in next book. NOT Interested.
So many SF writers have great ideas, but they're terrible writers; they need editors not to mention learning some craft. Here's a good example from Eon: "What happened next, happened so fast Patricia could hardly follow it." Don't tell me something is going to happen, just show it, I'll know it happens next, because it happens next. Don't dilute surprise, destroy suspense, let it happen. This is a simple quick fix that so many authors need to learn. This is just one of a plethora of bad writing examples. Describe visually, explain with similes and metaphors. So much of this novel is lacking stylistically. No poetry here. I will be first to admit Clarke's Rama isn't well written stylistically, but at least he keeps revealing wonders.
And the characters in this are just cardboard. And of course there's the obligatory "we have to shut it down immediately" race against time so overused by everyone. And the also obligatory "throw some sex scenes in" are laughable, thankfully there are only a couple.
Just bored with this type of stuff. Could have been mind bending. I'm sure many others will love this one, I wanted more.
Excellent read or should I say listen. I couldn't wait to hear each instalment, now I have finished there is a blank in my journey home.....
"Great story, Shame about the voice"
I found the voice of the narrator very difficult to listen to - rather grating.
This is my favorite book of all time. I thought I would enjoy the audible version, but found the narrator's voice grating. Not a good choice for me.
"A Syruggle but got there in the end."
A great story. having Chapter Titles would have been an advantage. i hope the next in series will define the period and place better
while a little heavy on the hard sci-fi, and more than a little ramshackled in story telling, ultimately enjoyable.
"My all time favourite novel heard in a new light"
I loved this, but then I knew I would, Eon is the best novel I've ever read. I have probably read this once a year since I discovered in back in the late 90's.
And despite thinking I knew the story inside out, this performance of it did bring a new depth to the story. Yes in my head I've had pictures of what Patricia, Mirsky, Olmy and Gary look like, but until now they never had there own voices, it was always my voice I heard while reading them. Now after Stefan Rudnicki's excellent performance they all have proper, distinct voices to me.
As normal the scenes describing the death and it's aftermath got to me, gave me the shivers and made my cry (slightly embarrassing when sitting on the bus listening to the story, but I do like to 'feel' the stories I read). And listening to the words did give me a chance to build clearer pictures of the strange worlds and beings described.
Overall I can't recommend this highly enough, it is the best story I've ever read, preformed in a way which made it come live in new ways inside my head.
"Interesting and imaginative but could be shorter"
Interesting and imaginative.
Could have been a shorter punchier novel.
I did enjoy it but wished that it had got a move on at certain parts.
"Some great ideas but the author forgot a story"
The book has some great ideas but the characters never felt fully painted, to be frank I just did not care about them. There was some background to the earth characters but the people from down the way just seemed sketched in and surely they were the most interesting.
I like the science in science fiction but I do want it supported by a compelling story but in this instance it felt like the story was bolted on to support the ideas that went into the creation of the way. I did not get the point in portraying some of the physical relationships between characters, it did not add to the story or support any of the relationships.
He was fine, If i read the book I probably could have kept track of all the Russian names better. Thats a personal thing though.
I know this is a series and some things might get filled in in later books but I'm not compelled to find out.
"Shows its age but holds up well"
In the past I read another book by Greg Bear, Legacy, which this is a prequel to. It was a fun read and passed the time while I was in the Navy.
I listened to this book over the recent early winter and enjoyed it. It's a good read and if you are a fan of "hard scifi" you will enjoy this. The science is wonderful. It fills your head with ideas and wonder.
But as I stated in the subject it does show its age. The book was written in the eighties and it shows. The political side of the story focuses on the Cold War between USSR and USA. It doesn't detract from the story but it does sit in your mind while reading and how real world events happened versus the fears of the period.
"Entertaining reading of great epic sci-fi"
Stefan Rudnicki does great justice to the wordscape crafted in the first of the Eon series. With a complicated and winding story line, I found the reading engaging and easy to follow. The many characters, and fair amount of unusual language, used in the story are conveyed clearly and faithfully to the text.
If you've never read the books, this is the place to start - a graphic and compelling story, and a must-read/listen for any sci-fi fan.
Great story and although I was unsure about the reader at first, the voice did grow on me after a little while.
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