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Introduction of the ebook: The Forge of God

Đánh giá : 3.87 /5 (sao)

On July 26, Arthur Gordon learns that Europa, the sixth moon of Jupiter, has disappeared. Not hiding, not turned black, but gone. On September 28th, Edward Shaw, a geologist working in Death valley, finds a mysterious new cinder cone in very well-mapped area As more unexplained phenomena spring up around the globeL: a granite mountain appearing in Australia, sounds emanati On July 26, Arthur Gordon learns that Europa, the sixth moon of Jupiter, has disappeared. Not hiding, not turned black, but gone. On September 28th, Edward Shaw, a geologist working in Death valley, finds a mysterious new cinder cone in very well-mapped area As more unexplained phenomena spring up around the globeL: a granite mountain appearing in Australia, sounds emanating from the Earth’s core, flashes of light among the asteroids, it becomes clear to some that the end is approaching, and there is nothing that can be done. In The Forge of God, award-winning author Greg Bear describes the final days of the world on both a massive, scientific scale and in the everyday, emotional context of individual human lives. Facing the destruction of all they know, some people turn to God, others to their families, and a few turn to saviors promising escape from a planet tearing itself apart. Will they make it in time? And who gets left behind to experience the last moments of beauty and chaos on Earth? …more

Review ebook The Forge of God

Greg Bear is one of the more popular science fiction authors that I have been neglecting. I have only read his best-known book Eon prior to this one. Perhaps that is just as well as I have quite a few more to look forward to. I like sci-fi books set in “the present day” (in this case 1996), they tend to be immediately relatable. They also tend to be about First Contact, the meeting of mankind and extraterrestrials.

““Do you have a name?” the President asked.
“Not in your language. My name is che Greg Bear is one of the more popular science fiction authors that I have been neglecting. I have only read his best-known book Eon prior to this one. Perhaps that is just as well as I have quite a few more to look forward to. I like sci-fi books set in “the present day” (in this case 1996), they tend to be immediately relatable. They also tend to be about First Contact, the meeting of mankind and extraterrestrials.

““Do you have a name?” the President asked.
“Not in your language. My name is chemical and goes before me among my own kind.””

Ah, I love such alien weirdness. The Forge of God seems to be all about First Contact during the first half of the book until some unexpected turns of event divert the storyline into an apocalyptic territory.

A crashed alien spaceship disguised as a volcanic cinder cone is found in the desert near the town of Shoshone, USA, at the crash site some geologists find an alien in very poor health. Around the same time another faux-cinder cone is found in an Australian desert, no alien found but some robots make contact instead. The alien in the US bears a message of doom, the robots in Australia bring glad tidings for mankind. WTF? Soon the human characters discover something “off” about the alien and the robots and things escalate quickly.
The plot of The Forge of God is very intriguing and I had no idea where the story will go. I love the way science is woven into the fabric of the story rather than simply dumped as blocks of info. Biology, geology, physics and astronomy expositions are cleverly used to make the story much more believable (as advantage sci-fi has over fantasy for me). The mystery of who or what the alien and robots are and what their agenda is fascinating.

Greg Bear makes more effort than most sci-fi authors to develop his characters. However, for sci-fi this can be a double–edged sword. Sometimes the epic sci-fi storyline dwarfs the characters and the readers become more interested in the events in the story than the struggles of the characters. It is not enough for characters to be believable and realistic, they also need to be interesting, to stand out in a sci-fi epic. I think this is the single flaw of this book, Bear spends a lot of time developing characters, and they do seem like real people, but, unfortunately, not interesting people. It also does not help that there are too many “point of view” characters and most of them remain flat in spite of the author’s valiant efforts. Arthur C. Clarke never bothered much with characterization, he played to his strength of plotting and storytelling and the style works very well for him.

The above-mentioned gripe aside, The Forge of God is a tremendously good read. The ending really is a humdinger, I wish I can tell you something about it without spoiling the book horribly. OK, I’m going to put something behind this spoiler tagged paragraph:

(view spoiler)[It’s the end of the world, dudes! The disintegration of the Earth is described here in amazingly visual details. The description of the world’s end through the eyes of several characters, some located on Earth and some on a spaceship is wonderfully vivid (hide spoiler)] .

On the whole, Bear tells a very gripping and wondrous narrative and even gets a few digs in at religious fanatics and politicians. In spite of some superfluous characterization—which does not detract much from the book—I highly recommend this (Hugo and Nebula nominated) book. …more

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