The Forge of God described the destruction of Earth itself by self-replicating robots, Von Neumann machines designed to use the planet's mass to create more robotic creatures and spread throughout the Galaxy. Only a few humans have survived, aided by a mysterious alien race known only as “The Benefactors”, who arrived at Earth too late.
Now the small group of human survivors is determined to track down the criminal race who launched the planet killers. Humanity is given a starship by The Benefactors, and driven only by revenge they set out to find the unknown beings who are responsible for the destruction of Earth, and many other worlds.
©1992 Greg Bear (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This book has some interesting ideas about technology and how advanced alien races would defend themselves. It ranks amongst the top ten SciFi books I've read so far.
The action parts where stuff is happening and techno babble is on rapid-fire.
The Forge of God was a page-turner. It's hard to believe Anvil of Stars is by the same author. The first six hours of the book is agonizing. It is virtually all angst and neurosis of the main character, Martin. What do his lovers mean to him? How is his affair with the boy different from his affair with the girl? What does it mean to be a leader of young adults on a mission to avenge mankind? In terms of plot, very, very little happens in the first six hours. I could literally say it in a sentence, so I will: In the fifth year of their mission, the children think they have discovered the killers of mankind, and launch the attack. You might think I'm leaving out a ton of plot turns and twists, but I'm not. You could say I've left out a training exercise (boring) and apparitions seen by a few of the crew (even more boring). And of course the ship divides as planned, but that's it. I'm not going to bother with the last two installments. In fact, I've already read the Wiki summary. The narrator is good, and even though I found his "voice" for at least one of the characters irritating (an uptalker? you know, when everything they say rises in inflection like a question?), I would have to say his narration kept the otherwise moribund story on life-support. Sadly, when nothing of consequence had occurred by the end of the first six hours, my interest expired, and the plug had to be pulled.
The story of the Ship of the Law is tired and does nothing to make me care about the characters.
The air on board ship is stale and grim. The end of the world (in Forge) seemed more cheerful...
The story is for the most part an original one.
"20 years on and still brilliant!!"
After I read 'Eon', almost 25 years ago, I immediately became a hooked on the science fiction of Greg Bear and read them all!. 'Anvil of Stars' was always my favorite and I was so pleased to see so many of his older books suddenly available in Audible. I downloaded this one immediately! Do you need to read 'The Forge of God' first? Well... yes... probably best... if only for continuity, but this really is a stand alone story. With echoes of 'Lord of the Flies' and 'Enders Game' it mixes the super science and colossal scope from the likes of Alistair Reynolds and Peter Hamilton with the social and moral plight of a group of children (reminding me of Orson Scott Card) as they journey to avenge the desctuction of the Earth. Loved it!
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