Saturday, June 14, 2008

Readings: Greg Bear's Eon

I finished Greg Bear's Eon a few days back. I can't remember the last time i'd been so disappointed by a book. It had the best hook i'd read in quite a while, the blurb at the back, very enticing. What it turned out to be was a badly written mess with the sci-fi almost getting buried under the political crap.

The book is about this giant 300 km asteroid that appears suddenly in the Solar System. It had seven chambers inside, each connected to the next. The seventh chamber, however, extends forever. The asteroid is longer on the inside than on the outside.

Such an interesting concept, and what Bear does is bury it under some retarded US-Russia cold-war political/war crap. The US/Nato controls the stone, and gives slots to scientists from other countries. Russia gets about seven, and aren't allowed into the 7th chamber (or 6th onwards, i don't really remember). Stung by this restriction, the Russians attempt to do a hostile takeover in space. This absolutely unimaginative, dreary sub-plot takes up nearly half the narration.

Any sense of awe at what's being described is quickly eroded by the clunky prose. The charaters aren't developed at all, so you don't care what happens to them. For instance, when they do actually meet the creators of the asteroid, i couldn't sense any feeling of shock or wonder in their reactions.

So in a sense, this was pretty similar to his other book that i'd read, Blood Music, in that the concept is extremely strong, but he's unable to write "epic" in any manner.

1 comment:

Dhaval Shah said...

Ya I know how the feelin is, a good story screwed up by the author by diverging into the unneeded.

BTW ur sentence: The asteroid is longer on the inside than on the inside.
I think u ment "outside"

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