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Eon (The Way #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  18,906 Ratings  ·  490 Reviews
The 21st century was on the brink of nuclear confrontation when the 300 kilometer-long stone flashed out of nothingness and into Earth's orbit. NASA, NATO, and the UN sent explorers to the asteroid's surface...and discovered marvels and mysteries to drive researchers mad.

For the Stone was from space--but perhaps not our space; it came from the future--but perhaps not our f
Paperback, 512 pages
Published October 15th 1991 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1984)
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(showing 1-30)
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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)
May 01, 2009 Manny rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Pronounced "yawn".
Paul Bryant
Apr 08, 2012 Paul Bryant rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
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 10, 2014 Apatt rated it really liked it
"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
Apr 02, 2015 Mosca rated it it was amazing
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 24, 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 05, 2011 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
Nov 11, 2009 Chelsea rated it it was ok
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
Jan 23, 2008 Ethan rated it really liked it
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
Dec 17, 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
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
Apr 27, 2015 Dustin rated it really liked it
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
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
Oct 21, 2014 George rated it liked it
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
Oct 16, 2011 Josh rated it really liked it
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
Dec 12, 2015 Joe rated it really liked it
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
Sep 02, 2009 Bill Wellham rated it liked it

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
May 10, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
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.

May 22, 2013 Oscar rated it it was ok
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
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
Patrick Gibson
Aug 28, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it it was ok
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
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
Sep 27, 2010 Ron rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2013 Josh rated it it was ok
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
Feb 14, 2013 Andreas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
An unknown object enters our solar system, a big Stone. The Americans arrive first and find wonderful things but also reveal something very unsettling...

That was a poor book. I liked the beginning when the nature of the Stone was slowly explored but the events that followed were pretty boring. The whole sense of wonder was missing and the reader gets a lot of political games instead. At the end it gets a bit better again but not enough to save the book for me. What I disliked was the structure o
Sudama hebert
Dec 13, 2010 Sudama hebert rated it it was ok
Good setup with interesting characters, but the story fall flat midway through the book.
A lot of events happen to the characters but they seem without powers to change the course of events, the main actors in the story does not appear in the book! So I lost interest rapidly. Mr Bear tends to over-describe or under-describe everything that the characters sees. In one case it is difficult to have a good overall idea of what is described. In the other case, we dont have a single idea of what the ch
Mar 26, 2011 Andreas rated it really liked it
Greg Bear can think BIG. Eon is his classic tale of an asteroid that arrives in orbit around the earth. The asteroid is revealed to be simply one endpoint for an endless (?) corridor named The Way. Inside The Way is the city of Thistledown, populated by humans. That human civilization is thousand of years old. Thistledown is the future, and the past. Greg Bear knows how to describe his quantum mechanics, and the non technical reader should not be intimidated. The characters and intrigues of the ...more
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SciFi and Fantasy...: Eon by Greg Bear - Nov 2012 9 69 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)
  • Eternity (The Way, #2)
  • Legacy (The Way, #3)

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“pellucid.” 1 likes
“The asteroid was longer on the inside than it was on the outside. The seventh chamber went on forever.” 1 likes
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