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Eon (The Way #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  14,804 ratings  ·  365 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 January 1st 1984)
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Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
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Community Reviews

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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)
Pronounced "yawn".
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
"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 technobab

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,
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
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
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
Jonathan Cullen
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 23, 2008 Ethan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
Mark C.
May 10, 2008 Mark C. rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
I had no idea when I picked up this book that it had been written in the mid-80s and set in the then near future, ie 2004. After getting over this initial weirdness, I was quickly emersed into a great story which had some nice surprises and which despite being fantastic, seemed realistic in a way. At times, the maths and physics went over my head but that didn't spoil the story. The last part of the book wasn't what I expected and was a little brief. But then I found out that there's a sequel so ...more
Willy Eckerslike
In the continuing interregnum between Amazon orders, I decided to delve back in time to a book that left a lasting impression. I first read this book way back in 1987 when I was half my current age and, having cut my teeth on the works of the early masters of the genre, the contemporary freshness and variation on the Rama theme really fired my imagination.

At first, reading it again might not have been that great an idea. The cold-war politics with squeaky-clean liberally-minded Yanks and Russian
Patrick Gibson
Aug 28, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
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
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.

Stephen Thomas

Eon could have been a classic among the canon of epic SF. The basis of the story is immediately appealing, offering as it does the promise of mysteries and wonders. And initially the book delivers. The first quarter is full of exploration and discovery, taking the reader to exotic places and revealing fascinating technologies. But here’s the ‘however’. Quite suddenly the book takes a different tack. We become drowned in scientific detail and political intrigue. There’s so m
I've read reviews that contain complaints about the tension with Soviet Russia in the beginning of the book and the difficulty visualizing the 'world' Greg Bear created. I can see where these things might turn some off.
However, I remember the Cold War and it was freaking scary as hell. I remember the collapse of the USSR as being a wonderful surprise. I can hardly blame the author for not forseeing that. To me the tension and politics at the beginning of Eon are perfectly believable. It's fictio
After reading The Forge of God I wanted to give Greg Bear another read. I'm still going to but I wish it had not been this one. I just couldn't get into this book.

The characters were not real. We kept hearing how great the female protagonist was suppose to be, but it wasn't until near the end that she did anything noteworthy.

I like hard science but this was just too confusing. I don't want to say anything that would cause me to add a spoiler, but the concepts were out there (which is a good th
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
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
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SciFi and Fantasy...: Eon by Greg Bear - Nov 2012 9 68 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)
Foundation and Chaos (Second Foundation Trilogy, #2) The Forge of God (Forge of God, #1) Darwin's Radio (Darwin's Radio #1) Blood Music Moving Mars (Queen of Angels, #3)

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