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Hull Zero Three

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  4,722 ratings  ·  571 reviews
A starship hurtles through the emptiness of space. Its destination - unknown. Its purpose - a mystery.

Now, one man wakes up. Ripped from a dream of a new home - a new planet and the woman he was meant to love in his arms - he finds himself wet, naked, and freezing to death. The dark halls are full of monsters but trusting other survivors he meets might be the greater dang
Paperback, 307 pages
Published October 7th 2011 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jonathan S. Harbour Sorry no one answered your question yet. I just finished reading this a 2nd time because I love sci-fi horror. This is about a space ship full of…moreSorry no one answered your question yet. I just finished reading this a 2nd time because I love sci-fi horror. This is about a space ship full of monsters, a great read, and it has a satisfying ending (not left hanging like so many books today). I would compare this to Blood Music because it's in the horror genre. It might be compared to Eon since it involves a "big dumb object" (BDO). And... I'm in danger of spoilers here so I'll stop. Bear can be hit-or-miss. I hated City at the End of Time. But I like HZT. I didn't care much for War Dogs. I like Alien, that sort of film/book, if that's an indication. If you're a fan of Alien--spooky horror scenes on a spaceship--you probably will enjoy this.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,722 ratings  ·  571 reviews

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Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
I'm the haunted house. My brain is the ghost here.

I fully expected this book to be awesome, and I was disappointed.

A ship is sent from Earth to colonize a new planet. Traveling through space for hundreds if not thousands of years, the passengers kept in cryosleep. Our narrator emerges from an amniotic sac, awakened by a little girl, who urges him to hurry. Disoriented, with no knowledge of his name or his history, our naked narrator flees from the various monsters and machines on the ship which
mark monday
Mystery in Space!

Poor Teacher. He wakes up cold and naked and without a memory, his only companion a mean little girl, on board a gigantic spaceship called “Ship”… whatever should he do? Why, he should move forward of course, forward, ever forward! Otherwise gigantic monsters out of some monster’s imagination will collect and/or devour him. He needs to figure out who he is, what his purpose may be, and what the heck is happening with Ship, or he’ll die. And so begins his brief and rather frene
Dirk Grobbelaar
Part survival horror, part Science Fiction exploration novel, Hull Zero Three may have an old-fashioned streak but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not since Non-Stop has a generation ship story so gripped me. I’m saying ‘generation ship’ as opposed to ‘big-dumb-object’, because, frankly, we know what Ship is from the start.

The novel opens in relentless fashion and then hurtles along at breakneck pace. The first person narrative is jerky, disjointed. Confused. It is perfect. Consider: the protagonist op
Jack Tripper
What a mess this was. Bear's style of writing here is so foggy and confusing I had no idea what was happening half the time. It was next to impossible to picture what anything on the ship looked like, including the various horrors the narrator comes across, which made it next to impossible for me to become involved in the story on any level.

And I was so looking forward to another good "space horror" after the stellar Ship of Fools. Full review to come.
I think I did Greg Bear a disservice. I kinda avoided his more recent novels ever since Quantico and all the Halo tie-in novels because A: I wasn't all that interested in Quantico and B: I never played the Halo games.

Oh, I know, I know, SHAME ON ME... but then I saw the rating of this book in GR and thought... huh... maybe I ought to pass.

Well, that is a DEFINITE SHAME ON ME.

Why? Because Bear goes all out with the Hard-SF with a grand reprisal of the delightful Biopunk glories I tended to associ
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
_Hull Zero Three_ is a pretty solid 3-star sci-fi story. It’s my first read of anything by Greg Bear, and while I wasn’t exactly blown away I’ll keep my eye out for other stuff by him in the future. The novel follows the first person account of a newly awakened passenger on a seedship headed towards a destination as yet unknown. The sequence that opens the novel followed by the disorienting waking of the passenger is well done and immediately immerses the reader into the dangerous world of Ship. ...more
Ryan Schneider
Feb 08, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was very disappointed by this novel.

The cover is cool and suggests epic space-faring science fictiony stuff.

Too bad the story fell short.

Way short.

The novel offers an interesting technological premise (a space ship sent from earth on a 500-year journey, and all the challenges that would entail).

But I was bored. There was a lot of description of the innards of the ship, and after awhile I tired of the constant struggle to try and create a mental image based on the confusing descriptions.

The wri
Nov 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Greg Bear is a fine writer - no argument there whatsoever.

He's also a superb hard science fiction writer; his novels contain accurate science (factual and speculative). But he can do that in his sleep.

Where Bear strives to be a well-rounded novelist are in the following (in which he commendably makes great efforts):

1) Bear wants to depict compelling characters,

2) Bear wants to employ superiorly-constructed prose, and

3) Bear wants his novels to have a message; the underlying theme is intended to
I checked the book on its publication day yesterday and I have to say I was hooked and Hull Zero Three hijacked my reading time. Very compelling stream of consciousness hard-sf and it just works, however strange the combination sounds; a great moving ending I was sad to leave the milieu of our heroes; the tale about a deep space huge ship hurling through space at 20% light speed and the humans "produced" on it for reasons that will be revealed keeps one guessing to the end. The book is a bit too ...more
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Cataloguing everything wrong with this book would take an age. Suffice to say poor writing combined with poor plotting leaves me frustrated with another Bear novel that had enough interesting ideas to give it a fairly generous two stars. As with previous books I've read by him, I find that the material would probably have suited another writer much better. In this case, Alastair Reynolds, who would have delighted in the Gothic horror elements and in fact wrote a vastly superior novella, Slow Bul ...more
Greg Bates
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
It's a story as old as science fiction itself. Guy wakes up on a spaceship, has no freaking clue where he is or what he's supposed to do, aaaaand run with it. As a veritable elder statesman of the hard sci-fi genre, Greg Bear both embraces and subverts this cliched idea in the utterly brilliant Hull Zero Three.

I won't pull any punches - HZT is a ~300 page novel, and for about the first 200-225 pages there's going to be a lot of "buh"s and "what the hell?"s. The book's protagonist, the functiona
Terry Brooks
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This month I am recommending Greg Bear's new book. No, not the Halo book, although I hear it's pretty good, too. I am talking about HULL ZERO THREE, which I keep referring to as Greg's take on ALIEN. Greg is a hard science fiction writer, but when he gets hold of a good story, look out. This is one. A page turner once you get into it and begin to see the story taking shape, it follows the efforts of a newly awakened space traveler in a giant space ship as he realizes that his awakening has not g ...more
Angie Boyter
Sep 04, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was a fan of Bear’s SF for years through Darwin’s Children. After that book, his more recent works were near-future thrillers that seemed targeted more to the mainstream market and did not live up to the quality of his earlier work. In Hull Zero Three Bear returns to more traditional SF but, alas, does not return to his previous stellar level of writing.
The narrator of Hull Zero Three awakens naked and freezing with very fragmented memories. He knows he is on a “Ship” but little more. He appar
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010, e-books
Probably closer to 3.5 stars for me. This is not a hard Scifi novel, nor is it similar to past Greg Bear novels. It is however, an enjoyable, short, fast paced, science fiction mystery / survival thriller. Yes, it does have a lot of similarities to the movie Pandorum. Yes, it would make a great Saturday night "B" movie on the SyFy channel. And, yes, it is nothing really new or fresh in the genre. Even with all these similarities, it still has Greg Bear's flare and writing talent to keep you read ...more
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a really, really good book.

Hull Zero Three concerns the adventures of an amnesiac Teacher who comes out of hyper-sleep on a generation ship in which things have gone Badly Wrong. You get quite a few stories for your money here, part thought-experiment on the nature (both ethical and physical) of a generation ship voyaging to a new system, part existentialist monster-horror and part story about what defines us as humans.

It's Hard Sci-fi and completely merits the capital H, but the way th
It took me a while to get round to finishing Hull Zero Three, but it's not a difficult book at all. It's easy to read, despite the ethical questions it brings up; it's not hard SF, really, it's low on technical details.

Mostly Greg Bear gives you a sort of survival-horror world, which you come to realise is a version of the generation-ship idea, and then poses a problem unique to this particular ship that they have to work through. Because the main character has a sort of amnesia, all of this is
Jeff Raymond
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-sci-fi
It's rare that I finish a book and really truly have no clue what I just read.

I spent the first 70 pages or so irritated with the book. The next 200 or so sorta into it, waiting for a twist that never came in the final 40. It was both trying too hard to be unique while ending up being very samey and similar to a lot of the stuff I've read before.

I was really excited for this, so part of the problem may have been that I set a bar too high, but still. Highly disappointing.
Julie  Capell
The most interesting thing about this book was the way the author put the reader 100% into the shoes of the main character. This might not sound unusual, but in fact it was a difficult task because the main character is “born” right at the beginning of the novel as a full-sized adult humanoid with little to no memory—not even the memory of language itself. He is disgorged from some kind of growth crèche (think “The Matrix”) into a chaotic, freezing cold and dangerous environment where lots of we ...more
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've been a big Greg Bear fan ever since reading "The Forge of God" many, many years ago. For whatever reason, and there wasn't one, I stopped reading Bear after reading three books in "The Way" series. "Legacy" was the last Bear book I read; that's how long it's been since I've read anything by him.

Fast forward to "Hull Zero Three", the Bear book I chose at random when I realized that he had written quite a few books since I stopped reading anything by him. "The Way of All Ghosts" would have be
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A novel that keeps you guessing, a narrator whose scattered memories bear little relation to his present situation, a space-ship that might be symbol or reality, and a wealth of characters who aren’t quite human but might not be anything else; it would be hard to imagine a more unsettling start or setting for a novel. But Greg Bear’s Hull Zero Three keeps readers glued to the page, providing just enough consistency and detail to promise a genuine resolution.

The story has a computer-game feeling,
Torgny Bjers
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greg Bear throws you into the thick of the action in this wonderful and quirky hard sci-fi novel. My attention and imagination was hard at work right from the start of this free-standing novel about a man that wakes up without memory.

Regaining consciousness in a chaotic hallway, our protagonist notices a little girl calling him 'Teacher;' something that continues to puzzle him throughout his journey across the massive generation ship that sets the stage.

In a frantic pursuit of memories, knowledg
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Patient explorers
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
It's a common enough SF trope to have its own three-letter acronym: BDO, the Big Dumb Object that human beings are forced, through threat, circumstance or mere monkey curiosity, to explore, often dying in the process. The canonical example would probably be Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama. And Greg Bear himself has played with the concept before, at greater length, in his 1985 novel Eon. Often, of course, it's a different kind of BDO—the Big Dangerous Object, 'cause it's a lot more inter ...more
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Hull Zero three was another book that recently subverted my expectations. The description I read of this title suggested to me a dark survival horror-style novel of a man being woken on board a generation ship to find the halls full of monsters and broken-down machinary and himself hunted.

Whilst that is not an entirely inaccurate description of the setup for the novel, I was somewhat disappointed to find this atmosphere somewhat lacking; in fact, that is one of my key complaints about this novel
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So i thought i'd branch out from my favourite genre 'Bohemians Drinking Gin and Feeling Sad in the Rain' (BDGAFSITR) and try something actually written in my lifetime. My personal feeling now is that life's too short for 'hard science fiction', i'm not one that cares too much, or at all, for scientific accuracy or technical detail. Also I don't think a writer needs to tell us the size of each room in metres. I kind of miss the days when science fiction didn't feel like it had to justify itself. ...more
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, survival
Whew. It's been awhile since a book gave me so much eyestrain. I started reading it last night and then midnight came around and I was like "...I SHOULD go to sleep, but... one more chapter!!!"

Hull Zero Three turned out to be exactly the kind of story I like to read. The book opens with the rather rude awakening of the main character, who was in a sort of stasis pod aboard the ship. He is awakened, and immediately needs to run for his life. That pretty much sums up all you really need to know in
Fred Hughes
When this book first came out I looked at it and passed.

I have now read it after buying it at a reduced rate and my first instincts were right. Not really one of Bears stronger books.

It was not as enjoyable to read as many of his other books I have read. It’s a story that starts out with a fully grown man popping out of a birthing chamber with very little of his memory in place. He the meets varied people/creatures that help him reach Hull Zero Three.

He finds he is on a heavily damaged triple h
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Greg Bear has written a gripping throwback Science Fiction novel reminiscent of the 1950's genre. Murder and mayhem aboard a starship carrying colonists to a new world at 20% of the speed of light, so the trip will take hundreds of years. It's non-stop action from the opening chapter to the conclusion, and, at least for Mr. Bear, short. So it can be read in a couple of days. The protagonist is chased by malevolent forces from beginning to almost the end. But who (or what) are they? Who are frien ...more
I was impressed by this book.
Greg Bear writes a lot of weird books.
This one is weird, too, but fun for me.
Maybe this is because it's about interstellar travel...
Greg Bear certainly does know how to keep the reader engaged in a mystery.
This book employs the technique of the amnesic narrator.
Normally a silly trick, but a clever explanation is proffered.
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alright. Wish I had got it on my Nook, and not a proper book. Updated 3/25:

I just saw that a friend was reading this, I felt bad. But I thought maybe she will like it. Maybe it will be more for her. Sadly, I was wrong. It's a stinker.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
2 -- The beginning was interesting and brought me in to a strange "world" -- hero coming out of a pod in an unknown ship -- then we are brought on a long, arduous, repetitive, boring journey....
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  • Ship of Fools
  • Pointblank (Starfist: Force Recon, #2)
  • The Quiet War (The Quiet War #1)
  • The Undertaker's Gift (Torchwood, #14)
  • Empire of Light (The Shoal Sequence, #3)
  • Leviathans of Jupiter (The Grand Tour, #14)
  • The Dark Beyond the Stars
  • Echo (Alex Benedict, #5)
  • Hell Ship
  • Galactic North
  • Marsbound (Marsbound, #1)
  • Almost Perfect (Torchwood, #9)
  • Liminal States
  • Year's Best SF 15
  • Eater
  • Absorption (Ragnarok #1)
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.
“Welcome to the truth of our world-a massive seed shot out to the stars, filled with deadly children. A seed designed to slay everything it touches.” 22 likes
“I will learn by screwing up.” 9 likes
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