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The Forge of God (Forge of God #1)

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  8,807 ratings  ·  277 reviews
On July 26th, Arthur Gordon learns that Europa, the sixth moon of Jupiter, has disappeared. Not hiding, not turned black, but gone. On September 28th, Edward Shaw finds an error in the geological records of Death Valley. A cinder cone was left off the map. Could it be new? Or, stranger yet, could it be artificial? The answer may be lying beside it a dying Guest who brings ...more
Audiobook, 15 pages
Published March 12th 2012 by Audible Frontiers (first published 1987)
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Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Excellent, gripping story.

Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1988)
Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1988)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1988)
Sara
With its pacing and readability, The Forge of God reminded me of a Michael Crichton novel - the kind of science fiction story where scientific plausibility reigns and the narrative structure keeps you reading. This is a good novel. I enjoyed the heck out of it. Reading this book, however, incited musings on the various incarnations of science fiction, its characteristics and purposes. Musings follow.

The Forge of God was recommended to me by the kind of reader who dismisses Ray Bradbury and Phill
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Chris Westin
I was really disappointed by this. I had picked it up because I had really liked other Greg Bear novels: "Eon," "Eternity," and "Legacy." So I was expecting something fantastical on the same scale as those are.

Instead, it was a dull romp through 1980s paranoid Earth. Pages and pages of the government trying to keep extraterrestrial contacts secret from the populace.

There was one very annoying literary device used throughout. The novel is told from a 3rd person omniscient viewpoint. And every tim
...more
Ron
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsea
Wow. Not one of Greg Bear's finest, I would say. Although the last third does try to make up for the plodding two thirds.

Like most sci-fi written in the past talking about "the future" that is now our past, it has a few stumbling blocks where he didn't get it quite right. Forge of God was written in 1986, the cold war was still on with no end in sight, computers were just starting to reveal their usefulness as personal computing platforms and modern data storage techniques were coming to light.
...more
Bryan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mia
A really great concept marred by heavy-handed yet poorly detailed plotting. For a world-wide crisis, one gets only momentary high-level glimpses of how most of the world is taking it; the conceptualization of politics and diplomacy (and government) is pretty simplistic, and for all the talk of characters' intelligence, none of them seem that bright (which may actually be the point.) The most distracting thing for me was noticing how, no matter how often they were referred to as intelligent and c ...more
Dave Peterschmidt
Having read and enjoyed several other Bear books, I had high hopes for this one. Sadly, Forge of God is perhaps the only book I've ever read that has literally nothing to redeem it. I cannot figure out why Bear bothered to write this story. It seemed to have nothing to say, no commentary to impart, and no excitement to bring, while at the same time depicting a human race that, faced with ultimate destruction, fails to attempt even the smallest action in their own defense. Humanity is depicted as ...more
Shane Moore
In short, this book is a boring apocalypse.

I wish that I had read this book 15 years ago. Back then I had lower standards. It does a good job of presenting some compelling scientific ideas, like self-replicating space probes and the concept that the earth can be thought of as an organism which will might eventually be spread by humans acting as a sort of seed or spore. Another point in its favor is that this book is at least as scientifically plausible as any other Science-Fiction I've read in t
...more
Patrick Gibson
In 1996, Jupiter’s sixth moon Europa suddenly vanishes. The media plays the disappearing act for a few weeks, but as usual fades from their blip screen as they believe the public is apathetic towards some obscure moon. Scientists come up with numerous theories, but no one knows what really happened. Most astronomers remain astounded that a relatively large object can go missing.

In Death Valley, three Texas geologists find what seems as the first error of US Geological Survey charts they have ev
...more
Jonathan Cullen
Jan 25, 2011 Jonathan Cullen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fermites
I've mentioned in my review of Stephen Baxter's Manifold: Time that I really enjoy the Fermi paradox and its potential solutions. The Forge of God explores one potential solution and also dovetails nicely with Stephen Hawking's recent warning not to talk to aliens , although it doesn’t really add anything new to the concept.

The Amazon description here suffices: "The disappearance of one of Jupiter's moons, the appearance of "little green men" in Australia and the American Southwest, and the sud
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Shari
It's been a while since I last read a book by Bear. I still remember enjoying Darwin's Radio and Eon when I read them years ago. (Bears is one of the writers who made me hooked on science fiction.) Thus, I'm glad when I start reading his works again I picked a novel that I found equally exciting. In this book, Bear kept his narrative focused in spite of the global setting. Alien invasion is often - in my reading experience at least - expounded at the expense of the characters. I'm glad Bear gave ...more
Sara Reeves
Its not clear to me why this book won so many awards. Its a pretty generic science fiction story with the added bonus of all sorts of premise holes. (view spoiler) ...more
Allan Fisher
One of the best Hard Sci-Fi books I have had the pleasure of reading. Strong on ideas, possibly at the expense of characterisation, although this never deterred me. This was read in the Eighties...

After a second read twenty five years later the story was a lot different to what my memory thought it was. However that said it is still great and apart from a touch of editing here and there still one of my favourite sci-fi books.

For some strange reason I always remember a dying alien in a spacecraf
...more
Benjamin Kahn
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Jeremy
Greg Bear, Greg Bear Greg Bear.... Each time I begin reading a Greg Bear story I find myself asking why. Bear's writing style is more than a touch ponderous. It is not bad just predictable. Setting. Character. Plot. Next chapter and away we go again.

I know why this story is written this way. Bear is an idea guy. He is a hard science fiction writer, they are all about the idea. Bear has tons of ideas that he wanted to put into this book. To keep one character from being the mouth piece of these
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Guru
This my first Greg Bear book. Incidentally, I was encouraged to pick up a Greg Bear after finding an oddly placed reference to him in Dan Simmon's "Flashback". Bear, by reputation, is one of the well respected "hard" sci-fi authors that dominated the genre in the 80s and 90s, with likes of Ben Bova, Larry Niven & Stephen Baxter. "The Forge of God" is considered to be Bear's one of Bear's best.
In "The Forge of God", Bear gives a slight twist to the "invasion of Earth" theme. In 1996 (the nov
...more
Tony
Another "golden oldie" of the SF genre, and part of my quest to read all past Hugo winners. This was a disappointment. Touted as "literary SF", my expectations were high. Unfortunately, those who made such statements must spend more time with science fiction than with literature. The author's prose is flat and dull, with only a few sentences here and there that shne. The characters are well developed (to a painful degree), but in a spoon-feeding manner, which I can't stand. Furthermore, thought ...more
Banner
As I was reading this book there were times I wanted to give it a five star and other times only a one star, so I settled on three. As far as writing style and characterization I give it a 5. This is especially note worthy when you consider the number of characters that are developed. When you get to the last 100 pages, clear your schedule because you will not want to quit reading. I'm writing this after staying up till after midnight reading (I have to be at work in a few minutes...agggg).

It's
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Larry
Feb 02, 2013 Larry rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hard sf fans
Ive read many post-apocalyptic stories, but this is the first pre-apocalyptic book Ive encountered! And Bear does a very good job.
Written in 1987 and set in the mid 90s, a strange object appears in the American desert resembling a volcano cone, and next to it is found a strange dying alien, The alien speaks English and has a message for Earth: "I'm afraid I have bad news".
Later a second cone is found in Australia but this time mechanical beings, robots, appear around it and they appear benevolen
...more
Jacob
Well worth your time! It's not often that a SciFi written in the 80's and set in the 90's is still approachable and believable now but this book pulled it off. One of the best end of the world/first contact stories you'll read and full of characters you'll care about.
Libby Chester
The difference between a 4 star book and a 5 star book is vast, definitely more than the span of one star. Bear.......bears comparisons with Stephen King in his ability to draw huge inferences in character from descriptive narrative passages, the actions of his characters, and interior and exterior dialogs, as well as relationships between characters. For this reader, they share a knack for initiating caring about what's happening to the characters and the magical gift of crafting a new world th ...more
Suncerae
In the span of a couple of months, Europa disappears and two alien spacecraft are simultaneously found on Earth. In Australia, the AI occupants bring enlightenment and the promise of a better future for humanity. In Death Valley, Nevada, a dying alien humanoid says that he hitchhiked on the spacecraft after his world was destroyed, and that the “planet-eaters” have come to destroy Earth. There’s nothing anyone can do to stop them.

The Forge of God has an engaging premise about the end of the worl
...more
Tomislav
This is a story of both alien invasion and the apocalypse of Earth. The interesting thing about it is that the aliens never actually show up in the story - just the consequences of their actions, and some beings that are peripheral to the aliens themselves.

Reading this, I thought of how the year 1990 is a watershed. Just a few years earlier than that, when this book was written, no one envisioned the end of the Soviet Union, and the complete re-alignment of national powers as found in our contem
...more
Doug
An entertaining science fiction novel, if somewhat sentimental in places -- there were passages that I skimmed quickly, thinking the subplots not wholly relevant to the main action.

Cosma Shalizi called this "one of the scariest books I've ever read", hence my interest, but I was not so terrified. It's plausible, to be sure -- alien invasion isn't as far-fetched as it seems -- and certainly well-speculated: how might a planet be destroyed is pulled off believably.

The book is a bit fragmentary, i
...more
Matt
3.0/5

Most men writing science fiction through the 20th century were idea men first, writers second. I wish this wasn't the case, because I've really had to question MOST of the male sci-fi writers, even the successful ones, and ask them if they know what writing "is". Not my subjective idea of what "Writing" capital-W is conceptually, but objectively, what writing is suppose to do, be about, sound like, and how it should flow. Style aside, storytelling is suppose to be detailed accordingly and n
...more
Barbara Sumpter
Plenty of reviewers have summed up the plot here so I will get right to it. I was not sure of this book when I first began reading. The entire story takes place on Earth and I was looking for a book with more space travel in it. Also I was hoping for more alien interaction. In this book the aliens do not interact until the last third or so and even then it is not extensive. I was in the mood for space opera perhaps. Still I found myself drawn into the story. I became very invested in the charact ...more
Stan James
I'd probably give this book 3.5 stars but Goodreads (where this review originates) doesn't allow half stars, so I'm giving it four, since I lean more toward that than three.

This 1987 novel is dated politically (set in 1996 but not foreseeing the collapse of the Soviet Union) and technologically (it predates the Internet so a lot of data in the story is gathered and stored on fancy optical disks) but otherwise feels fairly fresh nearly thirty years later.

The plot is a downer--mysterious aliens ar
...more
Chui Ying
I didn't realize this was a series, but the ending of the book was obvious enough to call for a sequel. I picked the book up because of the Europa disappearance, but subsequently was a little disappointed it wasn't anything more to do with astronomy. Also, due to the title of the book, I expected the author to explore a whole lot more on the human's perspective on religion in a pre apocalyptic world. He does to a certain extent, but I guess I was expecting more, given that in the first half of t ...more
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Greg Bear is one of the world's leading hard SF authors. He sold his first short story, at the age of fifteen, to Robert Lowndes's Famous Science Fiction.

A full-time writer, he lives in Washington State with his family. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. He is the son-in-law of Poul Anderson. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/gregbear
More about Greg Bear...

Other Books in the Series

Forge of God (2 books)
  • Anvil of Stars (Forge of God, #2)
Foundation and Chaos (Second Foundation Trilogy, #2) Eon (The Way, #1) Darwin's Radio (Darwin's Radio #1) Blood Music Moving Mars (Queen of Angels, #3)

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“From horizon to horizon the sky was filled with stars to within a few degrees of a fresh sliver of moon, a tiny thing lost in the yawn of night.” 0 likes
“The death of a world is judgment of its inadequacy. Death removes the unnecessary and the false.” 0 likes
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