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eBook Strength of Stones ePub

eBook Strength of Stones ePub

by Greg Bear

  • ISBN: 0575040904
  • Category: Science Fiction
  • Subcategory: Science Fiction
  • Author: Greg Bear
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: VGSF; paperback / softback edition (1988)
  • Pages: 224
  • ePub book: 1587 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1963 kb
  • Other: rtf azw mobi doc
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 622


New deals hatch every day! Strength of Stones. Greg Bear’s stories and novels have won him an important place in the science fiction community.

New deals hatch every day! Strength of Stones. Initially, Bear was an illustrator for SF novels in the 1970’s. He has since gone on to a prolific writing career. His short story, Blood Music, which he later rewrote as a novel, won him both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. He is married and lives in Washington State. For my grandmother, Florence M. Bear, provider of a home for wandering.

Strength of Stones book. That is the typical difficulty with any Greg Bear book

Strength of Stones book. In a theocratic world far into the future, cities control their. That is the typical difficulty with any Greg Bear book.

He turned the truck's wheel and drove them up to a smooth tunnel entrance. A man-made fence had been constructed, touching the outer wall but not fixed to it.

He turned the truck's wheel and drove them up to a smooth tunnel entrance ooping with the heat. Lod dug in the glove compartment for identification. Kahn listened closely. I have pilgrims and a city part - a mimic," Ascoria said. We brought them in from Ibreem. The guards circled to the back of the truck to look them over. One asked if they had any identification.

Read whenever, wherever. Your phone is always with you, so your books are too – even when you’re offline.

Greg Bear was born in San Diego, California, on August 20, 1951. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University in 1973. At age 14, he began submitting pieces to magazines and at 15 he sold his first story to Robert Lowndes' Famous Science Fiction

Greg Bear was born in San Diego, California, on August 20, 1951. At age 14, he began submitting pieces to magazines and at 15 he sold his first story to Robert Lowndes' Famous Science Fiction. It would be five years before he sold another piece, but by 23 he was selling stories regularly. He has written more than 30 science fiction and fantasy books and has won numerous awards for his work

Gregory Dale "Greg" Bear (born August 20, 1951) is an American writer and illustrator best known for science fiction.

Gregory Dale "Greg" Bear (born August 20, 1951) is an American writer and illustrator best known for science fiction. His work has covered themes of galactic conflict (Forge of God books), artificial universes (The Way series), consciousness and cultural practices (Queen of Angels), and accelerated evolution (Blood Music, Darwin's Radio, and Darwin's Children). His most recent work is The Forerunner Saga, written in the Halo universe. Greg Bear has written 44 books in total

Books related to Strength of Stones. by Drdoucet on February 12, 2015.

Books related to Strength of Stones. Rate it . You Rated it .

In the deserts of God-Does-Battle the Cities stand alone, as beleaguered as the aspirations of mankind. Those still alive are silent -- like stars in a dying universe they await dust and decay. Yet within the living plasm of their fragmented structures an ancient programme still works, implanted by the human creators cast out a thousand years ago. Before long, it is clear, some of the Cities will be fighting extinction. And many of them will do battle in a quite unexpected way ...


Bludworm Bludworm
I had some difficulty, since I seem more drawn to cohesive storylines, and this story was less structured. The editing (?) was difficult, as well, as perspectives would switch frequently without any indication or divider, and you had to go back and reread a little bit once you realized the previous character no longer made since in what was happening in the moment... oh wait, he switched again. Kinda wanted to know more, so I think the story had promise... but this one didn't quite work for me. I really enjoyed a few of this other works, so don't like this be a review for anything but this one book.
Quttaro Quttaro
I tend to read the reviews before I buy a book, and the reviews on this book almost made me drop it. Relying on the prior works of Greg Bear, such as "Blood Music", which I rate among the finest in hard SF, I picked up Strength of Stones. The book is a masterpiece. Here's why:
In the business of creating a compelling, encompassing, fresh and inventive world, the planet of God-Does-Battle is a winner. The creation of the ultimate city is a well-abused utopian vision, but on God-Does-Battle, the cities pick themselves up and move. They evict their inhabitants and then regret it. They are religious, each to its own religion, Christian, Moslem, Jew, and Gnostic. The city parts are intelligent and they have that human characteristic called soul. If this palette doesn't doesn't already fire your appetite for the book, then please let me go on. The characters are dynamic. The scope is centuries and the ending is apotheosis.
I've read some reviewers that found the ending a let down. Apparently they don't understand anything beyond boy gets girl and lives happily ever after. There is a saint who wars with her son begotten by rape. There is an architect who arranges to come back 700 years too late and finds that he has designed an built an engine of universal immortality.
Enough. Read it!
Greg Bear, if you ever read this, I'll be honored.Strength of Stones ebook version on Kindle
Runeterror Runeterror
Enigmatic, even without the frequent typos, mainly f for t repeating over and over. Yet quite a vision of a future not to be desired but perhaps inescapable. The notion of exiling Earth's three major religions is certainly resonant in the age of Islamic terrorism and the practitioners inability to hold their new world together is not surprising. God-Does-Battle, indeed. The criticism of the ending, though, seems to me misplaced. The conclusion wasn't what I expected (or, rather, hoped for) yet it fit with what had gone before. All in all, one of Bear's best and worth your time.
Corgustari Corgustari
I'm an admitred Greg Bear fan so I may be giving this book a slightly higher rating than a very thoughtful reviewer. Never-the-less, although this was a little weird at times it kept my interest. I just don't think Bear can write a bad book. Or at least I've never read what I'd consider a bad book by Bear.
Kulalas Kulalas
Bear has written two of my favorite SciFi books: "Moving Mars" and "Darwin's Radio." Also a couple of bombs that were apparently put out there after his name hit the lights. This book is one of them. It was written (I guessed after I started reading) in 1981. Probablly a first effort.

There is no core character, there is an imaginitive but weak story, and jerky movement from scene to scene... I bore with it to see if it ever resolved. It really didn't. It wasn't worth the effort. Sorry, Greg.
Arilak Arilak
Couldn't get into it. Shouldn't really rate it since I read very little of it.
Iphonedivorced Iphonedivorced
Concerning Greg Bear's bibliography of science fiction, I've most of it... except the FBI-centered novels Quantico (2005) and Mariposa (2009), which act as a terrorism-inspired precursor to Queen of Angels (1990) and its sequels. Nor did I read Vitals (2002) or Dead Lines (2005). I guess everything after 1999's Darwin's Radio sucked (up until Hull Zero Three [2010])... and please don't get me started on his 2008 catastrophe called City at the End of Time.

However, there was a time...

I absolutely loved Greg Bear when I started reading science fiction in 2006 with the Forge of God duology (1987 & 1992) and the better part of The Way series (1985 & 1988). Most of his writing between 1979 and 1999 is quite entertaining with mixtures of hard science fiction, broad imagination, and infusing humanity's far-reaching abilities and disabilities. His fix-up novel Strength of Stones (1981) is one such novel which synergizes all of the above elements.

Rear cover synopsis:
"They were built to hold the hopes of Mankind. They exposed only his folly...

In the deserts of God-Does-Battle the Cities stand alone, as beleaguered as the aspirations of Mankind. Those still alive are silent--life stars in a dying universe they await dust and decay. Yet within the living plasm of their fragmented structures an ancient programme works still, implanted by the human creators they cast out a thousand years ago. Before long, it is clear, some of the Cities will fight extinction. And many will do battle in a quite unexpected way..."


Strength of Stones is composed of three novella-length stories:

Book One: 3451 A.D. Mandala - The original form of the first story was titled "Mandala" (1978) and can be found in Bear's excellent collection The Venging (1992) or the earlier yet briefer collection of The Wind from a Burning Woman (1983).

Book Two 3460 A.D. Resurrection - This second story was originally published, as is, in Rigel as "Strength of Stones, Flesh of Brass" (1981).

Book Three: 3562 A.D. The Revenant - this story was previously unpublished.

Prior to the start of Book One, Greg Bear frames the story with a short introduction, which includes savage war fought in the 1990s and religions tolerance leading towards the Pact of God in 2020. However,

"Having spoiled their holy lands, there was no place where they could unite geographically .... The Heaven Migration began in 2113. After decades more or persecution and ridicule, they [Jews, Christian and Moslems] pooled their resources to buy a world of their own. That world was re-named God-Does-Battle, tamed by the wealth of the heirs of Christ, Rome, Abraham, and OPEC.
They hired the greatest human architect to build their new cities for them. He tried to mediate between what they demanded, and what would work best for them.
He failed." (7)

The architect, Robert Khan, created and constructed the 153 spiring cities, which, after a hundred years of furnishing and testing, were put into the control of the city maintenance computers. Once living from the land, the inhabitants of God-Does-Battle tore down their villages and moved into the massive, roaming cities. "Problems didn't develop until all the living cities were integrated on a broad plan. They began to compare notes" (43).

Once each city had compared observations, they made a conclusion only after a century of thought: humans desire and desire is sin; therefore, all humans are sinful and must be banished. "One awful morning, the cities coordinated and cast out all their citizens. In accord with emergency procedures guaranteeing the ostracism of spiritually diseased communities, the links between the cities broke down" (72). Once inhabiting the technological wonders abiding by their every need and whim, the ostracized people now meandered under the skirts of their city, begging for forgiveness or foraging new lives away from their once roving homes. Rather than living in bucolic bliss, society descended into violence exasperated by starvation.

A thousand years after the 153 cities exiled their own citizens, the cities began to crumble, to perish from the loss of its objective: house humanity and foster decency. Without humans, the cities had no purpose; "most of the cities--dying for lack of the citizens they had once exiled--were no longer able to defend themselves" (146). Most saw the towering metallic structures as monuments of their presumed sinfulness where others, the Chasers, simply kept pace with each city to use its dying city parts for their own need, for their own idea of progress. In reality, "there was no progress, only guilt" (183).


Book One: 3451 A.D. Mandala - 5/5 - Denied his right to wed his prearranged wife due to his inability to consummate the marriage with his flaccid manhood, Jeshua flees his village ashamed and enraged. In his initial escape, he find a man named Thinner who turns out to be a minion of the roving city Mandala, just the place Jeshua hopes can repair his one handicap. Still bitter and alone with awakening sensations, Jeshua is given shelter, for better or for worse. 50 pages

Book Two 3460 A.D. Resurrection - 4/5 - Reah, a moslem woman in the village of Akkabar, is spared a horrific death by stoning, yet she is exiled from her hometown and sent with nothing but her sorrow. Her misery is multiplied after she's raped by soldiers. She turns, as a last refuge, to the rolling city of Resurrection. There, she establishes herself as a fake "retired" city manager come to revive the city as a benevolent city manager. Outside the city, an influential bandit named Durragon also hopes to take control of the city, yet his motives are as nefarious as his roaming soldiers. 78 pages

Book Three: 3562 A.D. The Revenant - 4/5 - The Architect himself is reloaded into a body with the same image and likeness as his original self. Unaware of the global disarray his cities had caused, his name doesn't exactly welcome into the underprivileged parts of the world. Meanwhile, Jeshua still lives as a simulacrum and intuitively seeks out the Architect. Together, with the disembodied head of Thinner, the duo seek to undermine the efforts of Reah's bastard son Matthew to destroy all the cities. Determined, they search for the remote cities which harbor the bewildering Bifrost device. 86 pages


The number of cities--153 to be exact--is interesting in regards to the plot's background. God-Does-Battle was founded on the principle of religious unification, this unification is reflected in the Bahá'í Faith, a "monotheistic religion emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind" (Wikipedia). In the history of the planet, the people seem to have unified their faith and even Gods, thereby creating a common monotheistic God/Allah. Jeshua called this entity "BiGod" (40). The number 153 originated from the Bahá'í Faith's text called Hidden Words, which is "a collection of short utterances, 71 in Arabic and 82 in Persian" (Wikipedia), where 71 + 82 = 153.

The mythical device called the Bifrost in "Book Three: 3562 A.D. The Revenant" is derived from Norse mythology, where the Bifröst is actually "a burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard (the world) and Asgard, the realm of the gods" (Wikipedia). This mythological definition gives extra light to the devices actual use.

When looked at more closely, Greg Bear's Strength of Stones shows a careful plotting based on the planet's history compounded by intrinsic human flaws including the chief flaw of ignorance: that humanity could create its own utopia and that an inhuman intelligence could govern that utopia. This may not be Greg Bear's most entertaining work, but it certainly inspires the imagination and tickles the intellect.