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(The Way #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  27,312 ratings  ·  723 reviews
Perhaps it wasn't from our time, perhaps it wasn't even from our universe, but the arrival of the 300-kilometer long stone was the answer to humanity's desperate plea to end the threat of nuclear war. Inside the deep recesses of the stone lies Thistledown: the remnants of a human society, versed in English, Russian and Chinese. The artifacts of this familiar people foretel ...more
Published March 27th 2012 by Audible Frontiers (first published 1985)
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Marc It's not a character but I suspect you are thinking of the implants which record each person's life and periodically saves backups of the recordings i…moreIt's not a character but I suspect you are thinking of the implants which record each person's life and periodically saves backups of the recordings in the City Memory. If the person is killed he or she can be resurrected from the most recent backup. The implants also serve as personal computers, high speed communications, recording, and storage devices. See chapter 44 which starts on page 304 of the Tor paperback edition and the part about implants is in the middle of page 311.(less)
Marc The Stone first spotted by the Deep Space Tracking network in June 2000 when it was still outside the solar system. It approach Earth and started orbi…moreThe Stone first spotted by the Deep Space Tracking network in June 2000 when it was still outside the solar system. It approach Earth and started orbiting on Christmas Eve 2000. The novel starts in 2005 as the orbiting stone is being explored.(less)
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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)
Mario the lone bookwolf

Classic elements of the Sci-Fi with a reminiscence to the cold war

Hard science fiction with a well-rising arc of suspense and many surprises.
At the time of the writing of the novel, a continuation of the cold war in space was still a possible option.
Time travel, parallel universes, megastructures in space and the continuation of aggressive territorial behavior in space are thematized.


Klassische Elemente der Sci Fi mit einer Remineszenz an den kalten Krieg

Hard Science Fiction mit ei
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
Leo Robertson
Here's a parody of all the male-written sci-fi I abandon:

They looked upon a very important object: it had lines and was a colour. She reached out and touched a thing.
"Wow," said Russian Democratic Federal Leader of the Military Defence of the Milky Way Leader, Tessa Baryshnikov. "There's a hole on this end and the other."
"That's right," said NATO-official Chinese Democracy of the International Order of Space Division Center, Third Division Demilitarised Antigravity Chief, Steve Jiaolong.
"So that
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction, sci-fi
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
Dec 29, 2008 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,
Feb 02, 2014 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 techno
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
Hmmmm...what to say about Eon?

Ummmm...I finished it? Does that count?

This was a selection for my local book club, as recommended by one of the members. The premise sounded interesting, and so I jumped right in.

And...good lord...what a struggle. I'll admit that the first 1/4th of the book captivated me. The Stone was a cool mystery, and the science behind it was deep and engaging. But then the mysteries started being solved, and the book became less interesting. And as each new development hap
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
Nov 11, 2009 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
Feb 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, sf-masterworks
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 Borrelli
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Patrick Gibson
Aug 28, 2009 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
David (דוד)
This was a book with a bit of confusing content in it. I pretty much liked its basic core idea. But was disappointed with things: too much of political stance to it, and too much of physical descriptions of technology and its workings. Having written in the late Cold-war period, this has its echoes to it, reverberating nearly throughout the story. But eventually I for one did not really like the amount of this idea that is focused upon in an SF book. The technologies by itself are very interesti ...more
Sep 14, 2011 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 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, 2008 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
Kara 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
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, sfmasterworks
SF Masterworks 50: Welcome to a land of hard sci-fi. The first half of this book is pretty compelling in a Cold-War never ended reality, where the two sides are bickering over a planetary object, 'The Stone', that has come to orbit the Earth. What's more, many of the discoveries and determinations found on The Stone are truly mind staggering. The rest of the book deals with the resultant occurrences influenced by The Stone and what the researchers find.

The suspense and mystery writing is pretty
Dec 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, speculative
I need something from my reading. Be it good prose, or insight in the human condition, or wild ideas about science, or just a sense of escapist wonder. This book from Greg Bear doesn't deliver.

Main turn off in Eon: characters that behave in a totally unbelievable manner. A global nuclear catastrophe is imminent, but let's not tell anybody aside from these 11 people with security clearance. Let's also put all our eggs in one basket, namely a 24-year old math genius. As time is not an issue, let's
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
Nov 06, 2012 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. ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting mix of Rendezvous With Rama, The expanse, Sliders and Ringworld. Basically it is an impressive ambitious project and though at times it managed to escape from me, for the most of it the pace and plot advances at a steady imaginative manner. The future \ past books of the series can go anywhere\when as the author desires, which is both exciting yet dismaying if every turn is not only possible but waiting out there in the...
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
Douglas Cosby
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is definitely a SF epic with big scope and big ideas. Even though it was written in the 1980s, the science is decent and doesn't feel outdated. A huge, hollow stone shows up out of nowhere orbiting the Earth, and scientists and politicians rush to investigate and lay claim. It is interesting to see a 1980's view of how the US, NATO, China, and the USSR would handle the situation politically (Bear, along with almost everybody alive at the time, does not anticipate the demise of the USSR ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, usa, aliens
I recently read 'Ringworld' another object in space story. I started off thinking this was so much better, much more readable and user friendly.

The concepts weren't as hard to grasp and although I wasn't getting the picture Bear was trying to paint all of the time, I took most of it in. The main characters were alright and their were smart women! Women who weren't just there to be sex objects.

I did however find my attention start to wain about halfway through. About the time the Russians attac
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, sci-fi
In the near future, an immense hollowed-out asteroid has appeared in the solar system, slotting neatly into Earth orbit. The Stone, as it's called by the American explorers, has six habitable chambers in a classic O'Neill configuration, and two alarming mysteries. First, the seventh chamber is larger than the length the asteroid, stretching down an artificial linear singularity to unimaginable distances. Second, the Stone's derelict cities contain libraries with books published centuries ahead, ...more
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
Nov 14, 2009 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
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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.

Other books in the series

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

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