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Eon (The Way #2)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  19,569 Ratings  ·  519 Reviews
The intruder is no simple alien craft. Seemingly a large asteroid, in fact the Stone is strangely larger inside than out, and holds technology which transcends both time and space. Set to coincide with the release of its sequel, Eternity.
Mass Market Paperback, 512 pages
Published May 15th 1987 by Tor Books (first published 1984)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
Review – Redux

There should be a picture of Eon in the dictionary: right next to “Sense-of-wonder-SF”.

Reading this book was like listening to a complicated symphony. Eon opens as a near future artifact, or big-dumb-object, tale largely inspired by Rendezvous With Rama. The novel then progresses through a number of movements, each more mind-numbing and awe-inspiring than the previous. It is therefore no great surprise that the book eventually evolves (or devolves, depending on your point of view)
Apr 30, 2009 Manny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Pronounced "yawn".
Paul Bryant
There's a thing in science fiction called the Big Dumb Object which always provokes awe and a sense of wonder and all that, and Eon is all about one of those. They're called big dumb objects because boys of all ages love them, their eyes go all glazey thinking about the size, power and size of these things and all the author has to do is make sure their alien object is really really big. Works every time. Boys love size – breasts, penises, brothers, breakfasts, all good as long as they're big. S ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Of course, " she said. "It's like touching the square root of space-time. Try to enter the singularity, and you translate yourself through a distance along some spatial coordinate." "You slide along," Farley said. "Right."
I never tried touching the square root of space-time before so I cannot attest to whether it is in any way similar to trying to enter the singularity (which I have also never attempted for some reason). Still, as an avid sci-fi reader I like reading the odd bits of technoba
Dec 29, 2008 Mosca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

I've been amazed at the number of readers that have been so underwhelmed by Eon. This astounding book was published in 1984 and did not anticipate the end of the Cold War, only half a decade away. Some say, with self-righteousness nurtured by hindsight, that this is a major flaw in this book. But most sleepwalking Americans, at the time, had no clue of the Eurasian (and Eastern European) realities of the times. This is not Greg Bear’s fault. It was,
Aug 15, 2009 Jimbo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, own
Having read Blood Music, and now Eon, the impression I am getting of Greg Bear is that he has good ideas, sets them up well, but has no follow through and no idea how to end his stories. I really enjoyed the first half of Eon - mysteries and characters introduced and developed well, and some convincing and tense action and politics. I was convinced that Eon was going to be a really good read. Perhaps it was these early high hopes that caused my later disappointment.

As the book progresses, things
I loved this book as a teenager/young adult in the 80's. It was the awesomest thing I'd read to that point, and it remained awesome in my memory. I own a true first edition hardcover in fine condition—actually pretty rare, especially in such good shape—and it will remain one of the prized pieces of my book collection for a long time. Eon also will remain one of the seminal sci-fi works of the late-20th Century. In retrospect its influence on later works is clear, its position as a pioneering wor ...more
Feb 22, 2010 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks, sf
Imagine an alternate history in which the cold war hadn't ended in 1989 and had instead continued to intensify. And to add fuel to the fire a mysterious object arrived in our solar system from who knows where that America gets to first and controls access to. If the Soviets believed the Americans were learning secrets that would give them an edge, tensions might escalate out of hand. But it isn't giving the Americans a technological edge, only offers confounding mysteries and a devestating visio ...more
Nick (Fantasy Book Review)
I'm an admitted Greg Bear fan. I really liked Moving Mars and also Darwin's Radio and they are among my favorites by him to this day. Eon is one of those "asteroid hurtling toward Earth" books. There was a cluster of these types of books in the late 70's and throughout the 80's. Eon tells the story of one such asteroid, but this one has a twist. Apparently the inside of the asteroid is hollowed out and contains seven chambers wherein lie different "cities" or abandoned settlements. It is later d ...more
Nov 11, 2009 Chelsea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had... issues... with this book. The first part was, of course, getting past the Soviet-era antagonism and accepting it as what it was: a convenient antagonist at the time.

I generally don't like books that have maps inside; like maybe if the author was better at conveying a complicated story, then we wouldn't need a map? This one DEFINITELY need a map. I spent the entire damn thing trying to just understand the world they were moving around in. Maybe that makes me stupid, but I don't know tha
Sep 14, 2011 Dustin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s a sub-genre of sci-fi referred to as “Big Dumb Object” for stories about big, wondrous objects that defy explination or have some sort of air of mystery to them. Often inhuman in origin, investigating the BDO usually acts as the mcguffin that drives the plot.

In Eon the Earth encounters one of these BDOs in the form of The Stone, a massive asteroid that parks itself in in Earth orbit during a rather politically tense period between the NATO and soviet governments. Oh yea, this was writte
Dec 11, 2008 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This is science fiction in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke, indeed when an asteroid appears in a nova-like burst of radiation and sails neatly into an orbit round the Earth and Moon, one is instantly reminded of Rendez-vous with Rama, but this artifact is not alien. The Clarke tradition is to take an Idea then build a story round it; this can lead to novels that really don't have a good story or even much of a story at all, for example, Niven's Ringworld. With Eon, Bear does not suffer this pr ...more
Jan 21, 2011 Kane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I suspect was going on here is that Greg Bear obvously wanted to pay homage to Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama, but he also wanted to give something to those who felt Rama cheated them out of a plot. I suspect.

The use of the word(s) USSR dates a sci-fi novel like a yellow stove-fridge combo dates a kitchen. Many SF authors have incredible technical imagination but for some that does not translate into visionary political views. I contrast that to Iain M. Banks' Culture, which is de
Jan 21, 2008 Ethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: real sci-fi fans (too weird for anyone else)
This is exactly what I was looking for when I was in the mood for some good 80's sci fi. Bear is a "hard" sci-fi writer - a lot of science, not so much in the way of character development. Actually, Bear's characters are developed fairly decently, but his best efforts come in his mind-expanding scientific/philosophical speculation. I honestly don't know enough math or physics to follow some of what he was talking about, but the basic ideas are pretty mind blowing, which is what good sci-fi shoul ...more
Ben Babcock
Big Dumb Objects always provide an interesting starting point. The Stone, as the Americans christen the hollowed-out asteroid that appears above 21st-century Earth in Eon, is full of mysteries. It has the exact same profile as Juno, but much less mass, because someone has hollowed it out into seven enormous chambers. Could it be from humanity’s future? Or a possible future? And if so, does it hold the answers to avert a Russian-American nuclear confrontation?

Oh, 1980s. Your cold war fiction is s
This book represents many interesting ideas; not least of which , how (as readers) do we react to a “future vision” that is wrong?

This novel is set in 2005, and it takes it a little getting used when reading this in the modern day (2014).

On the whole, I usually like Greg Bear, but reading this reminded me of how limited his vision of the future is. He never foresaw the rise of technology and networked communications in the way that Clarke or Asimov did, and as a result there were some key descri
Nov 06, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. The story was inventive and intriguing until the wheels came off at the end. I think Bear loves his inventions too much to create good endings...he can't seem to keep from following every thread to a conclusion at the expense of good story telling.
Bill Wellham

Not really sure how I feel after reading this. It certainly is full of some very good sci-fi ideas. Hard Sci-Fi for sure.

I like the idea of the infinately long linear universe, 'The Way', created by man kind's future descendents. Within this 'corridor' universe, humanity has evolved into several different kinds of entity; some humanoid, some completey abstract and exist as recorded memories. A whole new social structure exists, strange and complex.

The book deals with how our current mankind
Patrick Gibson
Aug 28, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Patrick by: evil spirits
Shelves: science-fiction
It's a book I loved when I was seventeen. On second reading, I question why I liked it. Oh, that's right, I was 17. Now I know.

The plot of EON is complicated, both in its science and in the political relationships between characters. Everything starts as a mysterious asteroid enters Earth orbit, and an expedition sent by the west discovers that it was built by humans of the future and somehow sent back in time unintentionally. Museums on the asteroid chronicle a future war between the U.S. and t
Nov 14, 2009 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, yeah, the characters and dialogue tend toward lameness, the pre-apocalyptic/cold-war setting is dated, and the "sex" scenes are groan-enducing and unbelievable. But once you get past all that…

In spite of its weaknesses, Eon will always be one of my favorite books because it contains so many amazing ideas. The Way is one of the greatest and most under-utilized creations in all of Science Fiction in my opinion. I challenge anyone to name anything of equal scope, innovation, and elegance anyw
May 07, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hard science fiction fans
Recommended to Mark by: provo library display
Rather compelling remake of Clarke's Rendesvouz with Rama. It really needed to be three books, perhaps, as too much happened in the last third of the book, and a bit too quickly to really engage me. Theoretical time/space science becomes the magic pixie dust that makes everything possible in the last portion of this book, but I still enjoyed it, even what I had a hard time visualizing.

Why aren't hard science fiction writers allowed to use illustrations? It seems archaic and lame to have to descr
Roddy Williams
Above our planet hangs a hollow Stone, vast as the imagination of Man… Tardislike, the inner dimensions are at odds with the outer; pyramid-like, there are chambers to be breached, some containing deserted cities; one chamber goes on for ever.

But the Stone is not an alien structure. It comes from the past/future of our humanity. Tombstone or milestone, the war that breaks out on the earth beneath its presence seems to bear witness to its prowess as oracle…

Blurb to the 1987 Legend edition.

Luke Joseph
Dec 22, 2015 Luke Joseph rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
I came, I tried, I just can't with this. I very much doubt that I will finish Eon. While it started with an interesting enough idea, Patricia and Lanier just aren't actually real characters. They are a weird hive-mind mary-sue, and that reality makes Lanier's relationship with Farley--the sexually compliant Chinese stereotype who is also a white, blonde woman who can't really speak English even though it would have been her parents first language--HELLA CREEPY! Maybe Bear shouldn't publish his s ...more
Jan 23, 2009 Oscar rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ha aparecido un asteroide en la órbita de la Tierra. Mide 300 kilómetros de largo y en su parte más ancha mide 100. Está hueco. En su interior hay ocho cámaras a cuál más sorprendente. Los americanos son los primeros en llegar, cómo no, pero dejan también investigar a los europeos, a los países de la OTAN, a unos pocos chinos y rusos. Este es el punto de partida de esta irregular y larga novela de Greg Bear, primera de una trilogía formada por 'Eon' y su secuela 'Eternidad', además de una precue ...more
Oct 30, 2012 Kian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks
If you like your space epics meaty - Greg Bear offers you possibly one of the meatiest epics of all. Eon takes a cast of heavyweight characters, a grand stage, and a complex space-time problem that'll make your nose bleed every other chapter.

The stage for the story is "The Stone", a large asteroid in Earth's orbit. The Stone is hollowed out and devised into a number of chambers, each chamber serving a specific purpose. A multi-national group of scientists and forces are responsible for researchi
Millie Taylor
Nov 06, 2016 Millie Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the longest book that I've read in forever, as far as pages go. (I've read shorter books that seemed to NEVER END. This book wasn't one of them, thankfully.)

Wanting to read some good sci-fi, I picked up this book at the urging of my husband. I wasn't disappointed. Normally, you'd expect a book like this to be full of boring jargon with little plot. Given that this book was written in the mid-80s, it was very well written as far as the scientific bits went. You could definitely tell that
This was September’s book group selection. We’ve read one Greg Bear previously – Slant, which received mixed reviews.

This book was published in 1985 and current events of the time were reflected in this: we were at the height of the Cold War with Russia and political tensions around the globe were significant. And I think that’s where my issues with the plot came into being. I was old enough at the time to be aware of the political climate, but not old enough to really care. So now, looking at
Jul 31, 2010 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 2013 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I liked revisiting my 80's Cold War childhood and seeing the world nuke itself into epochal winter, the political infighting of the advanced & alien societies that dominates the later part of the book had about as much resonance as a paper cup. Give me something to think on or give me lasers.

P.S. Any civilization that can contain wine in floating static-energy fields yet sips that wine with a straw still has some civilizing to do.

P.P.S. "Plantimals." Seriously? This is why sci-fi is a
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SciFi and Fantasy...: Eon by Greg Bear - Nov 2012 9 70 Nov 27, 2012 02:44PM  
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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.
More about Greg Bear...

Other Books in the Series

The Way (3 books)
  • Legacy (The Way, #3)
  • Eternity (The Way, #2)

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