Greg Bear

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Nothing is lost. Nothing is forgotten.
It was in the blood, the flesh,
And now it is forever.

Gregory Dale Bears (August 20, 1951November 19, 2022) was an American writer and illustrator best known for science fiction. His work has covered themes of galactic conflict, artificial universes, consciousness and cultural practices, and accelerated evolution.


  • The hardest theme in science fiction is that of the alien. The simplest solution of all is in fact quite profound—that the real difficulty lies not in understanding what is alien, but in understanding what is self. We are all aliens to each other, all different and divided. We are even aliens to ourselves at different stages of our lives. Do any of us remember precisely what it was like to be a baby?
    • "Introduction to 'Plague of Conscience'", The Collected Stories of Greg Bear (2002)
  • We're not prophets. We're not here to inform the rich people of the world on how to make more money, or to inform governments on how to direct themselves. We are here to allow you to dream your dreams and make them happen, and have your nightmares a little in advance so you can prevent them from happening.
    • On science fiction writers, Guest of Honor speech at the Millennium Philcon 59th World Science Fiction Convention (2001), from Women in Deep Time (2002), p.224, ed. ibooks

Short fiction[edit]

The Wind from a Burning Woman (1978)[edit]

Novelette originally published in Analog, October 1978; reprinted in the anthology of the same name (1983)
  • You deserve whoever governs you … Everyone is responsible for the actions of their leaders.

The White Horse Child (1979)[edit]

Short story originally published in Universe 9 (1979), ed. Terry Carr
  • There is nothing finer in the world than the telling of tales. Split atoms if you wish, but splitting an infinitive—and getting away with it—is far nobler. Lance boils if you wish, but pricking pretensions is often cleaner and always more fun.

Hardfought (1983)[edit]

Novella which won the 1983 Nebula Award and was nominated for the 1984 Hugo Award. Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, February 1983. Page numbers from the reprint of the story in The Nebula Awards #19 ed. Marta Randall.
  • The battle was over. There were no victors.
    • p. 39
  • To fight an enemy properly, you have to know what they are. Ignorance is defeat.
    • p. 54
  • “We must know our enemy, at least a little.”
    “That’s dangerous,” Prufrax said, almost instinctively.
    “Yes, it is. What you know, you cannot hate.”
    • p. 63
  • When evenly matched, you cannot win against your enemy unless you understand them. And if you truly understand, why are you fighting and not talking?
    • p. 69
  • She saw that in all wars, the first stage was to dehumanize the enemy, reduce the enemy to a lower level so that he might be killed without compunction. When the enemy was not human to begin with, the task was easier.
    • p. 76
  • We’ve been fighting for so long, we’ve begun to lose ourselves. And it’s getting worse.
    • p. 76
  • There is no war so important that to win it, we must destroy our minds.
    • p. 76

Heads (1990)[edit]

Novella which finished second for the 1991 Locus Award. Originally published in Interzone, #37 July 1990, (1990).
  • The price of freedom—of individuality—is attention to politics, careful planning, careful organization; philosophy is no more a barrier against political disaster than it is against plague.

Blood Music (1985)[edit]

All page numbers from the mass market paperback edition published by Ace (March 1986; ISBN 0-441-06796-4)
  • “I’m going to take you out tonight,” he said. “Another Heisenberg dinner.”
    “What’s that?”
    “Uncertainty,” Edward said crisply. “We know where we are going, but not what we are going to eat. Or vice versa.”
    “Sounds wonderful. Which car?”
    “The Quantum, of course.”
    “Oh, Lord. We just had the speedometer fixed.”
    “And the steering went out?”
    “Shh! It’s still working. We’re cheating.”
    • Chapter 10 (p. 65)
  • Around her gulps of water, she repeated her prayer, until the monotony and futility silenced her.
    • Chapter 20 (pp. 116-117)
  • Can’t own a woman, Mike. Wonderful companions, can’t own them.
    • Chapter 39 (p. 207)
  • “You’re a romantic, aren’t you?” she said.
    “I suppose I am.”
    “I am too. The silliest people in the world are romantics.”
    • Chapter 39 (p. 210)
  • He may not have had time, but even allowing him the time, Vergil simply did not think such things through. Brilliant in the creation, slovenly in the consideration of consequences.
    But wasn’t that true of every creator?
    Didn’t anyone who changed things ultimately lead some people—perhaps many people—to death, grief, torment?
    • Chapter 41 (p. 219)
  • Nothing will ever be the same again.
    Good! Wonderful! Wasn’t it all badly flawed anyway?
    No, perhaps not. Not until now.
    • Chapter 41 (p. 219)
  • Information can be stored even more compactly than in molecular memory. It can be stored in the structure of space-time. What is matter, after all, but a standing-wave of information in the vacuum?
    • Chapter 45 (p. 237)
  • “Very evocative. He seems to be confirming what I said last year—that the universe really has no underpinnings, that when a good hypothesis comes along, one that explains the prior events, the underpinnings shape themselves to accommodate and a powerful theory is born.”
    “Then there is no ultimate reality?”
    “Apparently not. Bad hypotheses, those that don’t fit what happen on our level, are rejected by the universe. Good ones, powerful ones, are incorporated.”
    • Chapter 45 (p. 239)
  • Nothing is lost. Nothing is forgotten.
    It was in the blood, the flesh,
    And now it is forever.
    • Interphase: Thought Universe (p. 247; closing lines)

Eon (1985)[edit]

All page numbers from the mass market paperback edition published by Tor Books
  • Sometimes I feel like a beetle crawling through a fusion power plant. I can feel a certain amount, see a certain amount, but I sure as hell don’t understand everything.
    • p. 73
  • “That’s insane,” Lanier said.
    “Not very. It’s politics.”
    • p. 153
  • Grief is not productive. It simply represents an inefficiency in accepting change of status.
    • p. 263
  • Having one’s eyes opened doesn’t make one grateful.
    • p. 291

The Forge of God (1987)[edit]

All page numbers from the mass market paperback edition published by Tor Books
  • “We’d like to agree with you.” He glanced at Arthur.
    “We can’t, however,” Arthur said.
    “For the moment, then, amicable disagreement and open minds.”
    • Chapter 24 (p. 159)
  • Apocalypse could not be repealed by the democratic process.
    • Chapter 34 (p. 250)
  • “It’s not impossible,” Minelli said.
    “No,” Edward admitted, “but it’s paranoid as hell, and that’s the last thing we need, more fear.”
    • Chapter 37 (p. 264)
  • I sometimes think we deserve to die, we’re all so goddamned stupid.
    • Chapter 50 (p. 342)
  • Life on earth is hard. Competition for the necessities of life is fierce. How ridiculous to believe that the law of harsh survival would not be true elsewhere, or that it would be negated by the progress of technology in an advanced civilization...
    • Chapter 52 (p. 352)
  • Altruism is masked self-interest. Aggressive self-interest is a masked urge to self-destruction.
    • Chapter 52 (p. 352)
  • A Stellar’s jay hopped along behind him, watching closely for dropped crumbs. “It’s dark,” he told the bird. “Go to sleep. I've eaten already. Where were you? No food now.” The bird persisted, however; it knew humans were liars.
    • Chapter 54 (p. 362)

Hull Zero Three (2010)[edit]

  • We are born in ignorance, we die in ignorance, but maybe sometimes we learn something important and pass it along to others before we die. Or we write it down in a little book.

Quotes about Greg Bear[edit]

  • It's interesting how many science fiction writers get going when they are very young. I was on a program with Greg Bear, and he mentioned that he had gotten started writing when he was eight. And I began writing when I was ten.
  • I remembered being so amazed by hs stories from when my parents subscribed to OMNI magazine.

External links[edit]

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