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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Writing That's 'Out of This World'

“It's kind of a misnomer about science fiction that science fiction is about anything other than people. It's about people doing stuff, sometimes doing extraordinary stuff.” – Greg Bear

Sci-Fi writer and illustrator Bear was born in San Diego on this date in 1951, and is one of the 5 co-founders of the San Diego Comic-Con phenomenon.  Among the best known of his 44 books are the Forge of God and The Way series, and his works on “accelerated evolution” – Blood Music, Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children. His artistic work has appeared on a wide range of Science Fiction and Science magazines, books and journals.

Bear is often classified as a “hard” science fiction author due to the level of scientific detail in his work.      He often addresses major questions in contemporary science and culture and proposes solutions. The Forge of God offers an explanation for the Fermi paradox, supposing that the galaxy is filled with potentially predatory intelligences and that young civilizations that survive are those that don't attract their attention—by staying quiet.

Blood Music, first published as a short story, has been credited as the first use of nanotechnology.  The short story version is the first in science fiction to describe microscopic medical machines and to treat DNA as a computational system capable of being reprogrammed.  

The winner of numerous awards and prizes, Bear said he welcomes the conversations his ideas generate.   “Science fiction works best when it stimulates debate.”

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