Cezanne and Provence jPart survival horror part Science Fiction exploration novel Hull Zero Three may have an old fashioned streak but I thoroughly enjoyed it Not since Non Stop has a generation ship story so gripped me I m saying generation ship as opposed to big dumb object because frankly we know what Ship is from the start The novel opens in relentless fashion and then hurtles along at breakneck pace The first person narrative iserky disjointed Confused It is perfect Consider the protagonist opens his eyes from dreamtime Hull Zero Three is a pretty solid 3 star sci fi story It s my first read of anything by Greg Bear and while I wasn t exactly blown away I ll keep my eye out for other stuff by him in the future The novel follows the first person account of a newly awakened passenger on a seedship headed towards a destination as yet unknown The seuence that opens the novel followed by the disorienting waking of the passenger is well done and immediately immerses the reader into the dangerous world of ShipThe majority of the novel plays out as a kind of scientific mystery tinged with horror as the newly awakened crewman soon dubbed Teacher by his saviour is immediately thrust into a race to find out not only the purpose of the huge ship he has found himself aboard but the reason for why everything seems to have gone so horribly wrong As Teacher and his growing group of companions race across the giant hull in an attempt to follow heat and live with a constant spin up and spin down of gravity to which they must become accustomed they also have to avoid the Factors giant creatures created by Ship to keep things in orderunfortunately that apparently also means terminating any human strays they find in the myriad passageways and compartments that make up the vast environmentI personally thought that Bear let the survival elements of the story play out a bit too long The final mystery as to what happened to Ship to place it in its current predicament was interesting and had a lot of potentialunfortunately the conclusion reached by Teacher as to the agency behind Ship s difficulties though very intriguing seemed to come out of nowhere given the relatively sparse build up given to the clues that led to his intuitive leap I thought fleshing out of that aspect of the story and a little less emphasis on the survival part would have been an advantage Overall a fun read though not earth shattering by any means I checked the book on its publication day yesterday and I have to say I was hooked and Hull Zero Three hijacked my reading time Very compelling stream of consciousness hard sf and it ust works however strange the combination sounds a great moving ending I was sad to leave the milieu of our heroes the tale about a deep space huge ship hurling through space at 20% light speed and the humans produced on it for reasons that will be revealed keeps one guessing to the end The book is a bit too short in some ways and I would have loved an epic tale with the characterssetting hereI will leave with a uote and add the full FBc rv hpefully in a couple of weeks latestI don t know which is unsettling meeting myself dead or meeting myself aliveHere is the FBC reviewINTRODUCTION A starship hurtles through the emptiness of space Its destination unknown Its purpose a mystery Its history lost Now one man wakes up Ripped from a dream of a new home a new planet and the woman he was meant to LOVE IN HIS ARMS HE FINDS in his arms he finds wet naked and freezing to death The dark halls are full of monsters but trusting other survivors he meets might be the greater danger All he has are uestions Who is he Where are they going What happened to the dream of a new life What happened to the woman he loved What happened to Hull 03 All will be answered if he can survive Uncover the mystery Fix the ship Find a way homeGreg Bear is a famous name in sf and his novels of years ago
Eon Is The Mostis the most were highlights for me at the time while most are dated today I still have a fondness for Moving Mars which has remained strongly in my memory and it is the only one of the author s older work I would recommend for today s readers a novel of politics love and revolution in a sfnal context Moving Mars is less dependent on any particular sf trope so it is one that has time legs imhoSlant which takes place in Moving Mars milieu may still be of interest too though it never connected that well with me even at the time and it s very cyberpunky with the now dead subgenre s combination of prescience social computing Internet s pervasive reach and transformative power and hilarious naivete human nature politics history cyberpunk being the Jetsons of the 90 s and a perfect showcase for why and how sf dates so uicklyFORMATINFO Hull Zero Three stands at about 330 pages divided into three parts and uite a few short chapters all with descriptive names For most part the narration is first person stream of consciousness with the recently born though as a a full grown man narrator slowly discovering or recalling pertinent facts about the situation at hand while he essentially tries to survive moment to moment The blurb above describes well enough the general set up and part of the novel s enjoyment is discovering what s what so I will not add Hull Zero Three is literary hard sf with a good dose of social commentaryOVERVIEWANALYSIS I don t know which is unsettling meeting myself dead or meeting myself aliveHull Zero Three stands on its style first and foremost if the stream of consciousness narrative that you can get a taste HERE entrances you as it has happened to me
than you will love it since if you keep reading youyou will love it since if you keep reading you slowly understand what s what as well as you will get to know a fascinating set of charactersIt is true that the book is confusing for a good while and I found myself retracing the narrative several times when some new detail appeared that seemed implied earlier and I could not recall it but that is natural since the narrator is confused himself and the book conveys this perfectlyThe hard sf stuff ship capabilities layout conditions artifacts is also done superbly and we slowly fit the puzzle together with the narrator From time to time new words and later concepts and ideas pop up one of the novel s main conceits is that the narrator is imprinted before birth but recalls stuff ifwhen situations warrant and the author handles this aspect very well never slipping by using words that the narrator could not have known and were not mentioned beforeFor its first two parts which cover most of the book Hull Zero Three was a superb read that showed how you can combine a literary style with hard sf and keep the reader turning the pages but I was mixed. A starship hurtles through space its destination unknown Its purpose A mystery Now one man wakes up Ripped fro. .
Greg Bear ✓ 2 Read & download.
Deuately on 2 and largely succeeds on 3 for the reader that delves deeplyPlotwise the entire book is exploration of a BDO Big Dumb Object by an amnesiac narrator Where it disappoints is in the unendingly numbing page after page of description Little is explained all that the reader needs to know is that our hero s on a big spaceship that s damaged and malfunctioning Pages of description of various rooms and hallways add ambience but most of this could have been shortened There are better BDO books out there Rendezvous With Rama Ringworld which avoid this tendency to become annoying and answer uestions about each individual detailThe fact that Bear chose a narrator with no memory and initially with barely a working vocabulary makes things difficult In Ringworld intelligent characters traveled about investigating discovering and making surmises about function Bear s protagonist Teacher otherwise nameless for most of the book has no such ability so the reader plods through endless description without much enlightenment what understanding does come only comes slowlyPresent tense and short choppy sentences may become tiresome but Bear sticks with it because the techniue also helps accentuate the fact that the protagonist is caught in something he can t begin to fathom and is trying to survive moment by moment Some advice be sure to understand aft forward and inboard outboard and don t confuse them Inboard takes you towards the core or interior of the hull while outboard takes you to the skin of the hull During spin gravity is simulated by centrifugal force so inboard is up Aft heads toward the back or stern of the hull while forward takes you to the front or bow of the hull Each hull is a large double ended pod the spaceship is comprised of three of these hulls which are each strapped to a iceball moonlet harvested from the Oort Cloud Each hull is bilaterally symmetric imagine a double ended snub nosed torpedo rounded on both ends the central part of the hull is where the strut makes connection and attaches the hull to the moonlet While the moonlet is gigantic and dwarves the hulls they in turn are very large and distances within each hull are usually measured in kilometers Of course through the generations the ship consumes the moonlet as fuel so it is intended to dwindleWhile I was bored and admittedly confused throughout the book I still rate it highly Will it be confusing for you No need I was ust looking for answers that truthfully weren t reuired All I ve told you in this review is enough to understand what s happening and where it s happening Bear deals with the view spoilermonsters and silvery person hide spoiler I m the haunted house My brain is the ghost hereI fully expected this book to be awesome and I was disappointedA ship is sent from Earth to colonize a new planet Traveling through space for hundreds if not thousands of years the passengers kept in cryosleep Our narrator emerges from an amniotic sac awakened by a little girl who urges him to hurry Disoriented with no knowledge of his name or his history our naked narrator flees from the various monsters and machines on the ship which seek to kill him Following the little girl chasing the heat always seeking water food and clothes stripped off the dead bodies of less fortunate crew members the narrator has no idea what is really going on Together he and the little girl find other crew members who have survived and they try to piece together what happened to the ship and how they can fix itEver hear of the film PANDORUM I highly recommend it This amazing film starring Dennis uaid and Ben Foster is eerily similar to this book except much better executedPANDORUM isn t the only source material this is borrowing from There were also strong elements of Annihilation and Resident Evil Perhaps I am ust too well versed in Sci Fi to enjoy this book Pandorum is so similar to this and so much better I couldn t stop making comparisons
Throughout The Whole ThingIthe whole thingI found Bear s writing style to be confusing and vaguely perplexing Even when I was being provided with explanations I was still a little shaky about what was going on and not in a fun Jeff Vandermeer sort of way His descriptions of the monsters and alien like people were sorely monsters and alien like people were sorely and left me unable to really form any sort of mental picture for themThe characters are neither fleshed out nor compelling The scary horror scenes are not effective You can t get a clear picture of what s going on for one thing And for another thing they lack any sense of urgencyTl dr Confusing and vaguely unsatisfying Borrows heavily from Pandorum and lightly from Resident Evil and Annihilation I feel like all this has been done before and better What a mess this was Bear s style of writing here is so foggy and confusing I had no idea what was happening half the time It was next to impossible to picture what anything on the ship looked like including the various horrors the narrator comes across which made it next to impossible for me to become involved in the story on any levelAnd I was so looking forward to another good space horror after the stellar Ship of Fools Full review to come I was very disappointed by this novelThe cover is cool and suggests epic space faring science fictiony stuffToo bad the story fell shortWay shortThe novel offers an interesting technological premise a space ship sent from earth on a 500 year ourney and all the challenges that would entailBut I was bored There was a lot of description of the innards of the ship and after awhile I tired of the constant struggle to try and create a mental image based on the confusing descriptionsThe writing style was lacking as well The tone was constantly slow and relaxed like a genial grandfather reading a story to a grandchild with the intent of lulling the child to sleep And given that half of this story involved people running around the innards of the space ship being chased by things intent on killing them such a benign tone is not appropriateUltimately I finished the book because I kept hoping it would improve or get good It didn t MehI m reading Greg Bear s SLANT now and it is much better Cataloguing everything wrong with this book would take an age Suffice to say poor writing combined with poor plotting leaves me frustrated with another Bear novel that had enough interesting ideas to give it a fairly generous two stars As with previous books I ve read by him I find that the material would probably have suited another writer much better In this case Alastair Reynolds who would have delighted in the Gothic horror elements and in fact wrote a vastly superior novella Slow Bullets that somewhat overlaps in territory. Freezing to death The dark halls are full of monsters but trusting other survivors might be the greater dange. About the last part that explains things On its own it is well done and uite emotional but I thought that it broke the novel s unity and its narrative balance moving from immediacy and continual discovery to a view from above and omniscience This change stamped Hull Zero Three as a genre novel that conforms to the reuirement of explaining almost all And that did not work well for me since I would rather have had an ambiguous ending with the characters still facing the unknown ending which if handled well would have been in the spirit of what came beforeAll in all Hull Zero Three A is very good and I highly recommend it but I still have this little regret that with an open ending it could have been one of the year s top novels for me the explanatory last part brought it firmly into the genre camp and its expectations rather than holding to the convictions of the first two parts that transcend sf Mystery in Space Poor Teacher He wakes up cold and naked and without a memory his only companion a mean little girl on board a gigantic spaceship called Ship whatever should he do Why he should move forward of course forward ever forward Otherwise gigantic monsters out of some monster s imagination will collect andor devour him He needs to figure out who he is what his purpose may be and what the heck is happening with Ship or he ll die And so begins his brief and rather frenetic adventure Or rather his adventure because this is less of an adventure and like a nightmare that he cannot escapeGreg Bear is one of the most respected hard science writers of science fiction currently working He s probably some sort of genius scientist in his spare time like Alastair Reynolds But I didn t really get a sense of hard science being central to the story Nor unlike other reviewers did I feel this was an exploration of a Big Dumb Object All the pleasures of both things are there certainly Fascinating science that makes my head spin and a BDO that is awesome in scope and also functions as a terrible haunted house in space full of deadly traps and creatures Divided by Color (American Politics and Political Economy Series) just waiting to kill off poor Teacher Again and again Sorry that last sentence was spoilerish but in an ambiguous way that makes you want to read this book right Despite the hard science and the BDO I think the author is mainly interested in exploring things like Identity and Memory The novel and its protagonist continually contemplate what makes us who we are whether it is how we act in the here now or whether it is about what we have done in our lives our context our relationship to ourselves and how those things impact how we move forward Ever forward Teacher is a tabula rasa which can prove frustrating at times and amusing at other times particularly when he realizes he hasust said or thought a word that is new to him But I think that Teacher whether frustrating or amusing is mainly a blank slate so that the reader can contemplate what is needed to fill in those blanksThe novel is fun but it is also surprisingly cerebral It has action and wonder and mystery and it has some endearing characters and it has plenty of fearsome beasts all of that fun stuff But this is of a novel of contemplation than one of adventure The protagonist is ever moving forward trying to survive but I spent most of my time musing on all the moving parts that make up a human that create the human condition itself I think that that is exactly what Bear intended when writing Hull Zero Three I think I did Greg Bear a disservice I kinda avoided his recent I did Greg Bear a disservice I kinda avoided his recent ever since uantico and all the Halo tie in novels because A I wasn t all that interested in uantico and B I never played the Halo gamesOh I know I know SHAME ON ME but then I saw the rating of this book in GR and thought huh maybe I ought to passWell that is a DEFINITE SHAME ON MEWhy Because Bear goes all out with the Hard SF with a grand reprisal *Of The Delightful Biopunk * the delightful Biopunk I tended to associate with him Plus this is a total space opera horror with our MC waking without memories and losing skin to the freezing surfaces while a young woman tells him to ignore all the dying men in pods all around himGreat opening Sure it might be like one or two horror SF movies you might have seen but never mind that Bear Creating Country Music just opens there and turns this into an adventure on a very interesting HUGE spacecraft surrounding an ice moon it is consuming all the bots and biological horrors seem to be out to clean up or destroy the newly awoken clones and the rest is all pure mysteryMYSTERY IN SPACE Great golly If I wasust reading this without knowing the author at all or knowing what great books he has written in the past I would still probably rate this the same It has elements of Indiana Jones with biological monstrosities on a broken Big Dumb Object that feels like that old movie The Cube where sooooo many copies of the core characters keep getting ushered out like a respawn in a video game where the whole damn ship is BROKEN and all We Want To Do want to do figure out WHYAnd Bear does it He keeps things hopping and full of great descriptions and hints and images that would translate awesomely to the big screen or a full miniseries Impalements Blacklands jumps monsters corpses galore and nasty robots Too awesome And it s a straight adventure too starting out in the first part of the ship Hull Zero One barely surviving the trek across the almost destroyed Hull Zero Two and praying there is safety and answers on Hull Zero ThreeAnd all the time the spaceship revolves and revolves and does it s gorgeous interstellar thing Don t think that s all tho There s great introverted stuff here and his exploration of memory and identity gets full marks hereust as it used to in say his ueen of Angels This is chock full of all the goodies and ambition I ve come to admire in all his writingWhere it doesn t succeed is not of conseuence On the whole when compared to similar kinds of Space Opera SF hard or otherwise Bear s imagination is truly one to behold and love I m reminded of ust how much stock I always put in his books I m back I should never have doubted Greg Bear is a fine writer no argument there whatsoever He s also a superb hard science fiction writer his novels contain accurate science factual and speculative But he can do that in his sleepWhere Bear strives to be a well rounded novelist are in the following in which he commendably makes great efforts1 Bear wants to depict compelling characters2 Bear wants to employ superiorly constructed prose and3 Bear wants his novels to have a message the underlying theme is intended to add depth to the novel it doesn t indicate that Bear has left any action out of the bookAnd in this book Bear stuggles on 1 does M a dream of a new home a new planet and the woman he was meant to love in his arms he finds himself naked and. ,