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The Forge of God by Greg Bear
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really liked it
bookshelves: sf

** spoiler alert ** Once again, Greg Bear delivers an epic tale. I read the sequel to this, "Anvil of the Stars", 1st - simply b/c I came across it 1st. In my GR review of that (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46...) I call it "grandiose" & remark on the scale. I think this novel impressed me EVEN MORE in that regard.

Bear has quite the imagination to be able to envision such an end to the Earth - & I'm happy to say that the End of the World here means just that - not just the death of most of humanity. Imagine being an ant living in an ant colony while a nuclear war rages around it. Different ants have different perceptions about what's going on, the more talented & remarkable ants may even gather info somehow from distant relatives - trying to piece together what's happening, trying to see if their own colony is about to be destroyed & if there's a way to save it. Here you have the plight of the humans in this bk.

Highly skilled people in positions of great access to info start getting fragments of a puzzle. Bear's construction of this puzzle is 'masterly'. Both the characters & the readers try to solve the puzzle. Things look grim - but are they REALLY grim? Yep, indeed, they are. This bk has so many characters, a plethora of viewpoints, all sorts of possibilities explored. Even so, it's still basically English-speaking-culture-centric. Mind you, I'm not complaining - even constructing this bk thusly is impressive.

Alas, I'll probably never give a Bear novel a 5-star rating (stupid though the whole rating thing is) b/c the writing itself is mostly uninspired. James Joyce & Vladimir Nabokov he ain't. Still, the ideas are abundant & explored w/ excellence. This is the sort of bk I read when other things that I'm reading (2 bks that I'm trying to read right now in particular) are slowing me down. "The Forge of God" was a quick read (despite its 473 pp) & a thoroughly enjoyable one too.

A somewhat trivial sidenote is that Bear falls into the misuse-of-anarchy trap on page 471. It's also such a disappointment when otherwise intelligent people are more gung ho about government than they are about individual responsibility.

Otherwise, just reading thru this & having Bear's enormity of concept gradually reveal itself is a delight.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 11, 2010 – Shelved
June 11, 2010 – Shelved as: sf
June 11, 2010 – Finished Reading

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