Greg Bear
Bear in 2016
Bear in 2016
BornGregory Dale Bear
(1951-08-20)August 20, 1951
San Diego, California, U.S.
DiedNovember 19, 2022(2022-11-19) (aged 71)[1][2][3]
EducationSan Diego State University (BA)
GenreScience fiction, Speculative fiction
Notable worksBlood Music

Gregory Dale Bear (August 20, 1951 – November 19, 2022) was an American writer and illustrator best known for science fiction.[4] His work covered themes of galactic conflict (Forge of God books), parallel universes (The Way series), consciousness and cultural practices (Queen of Angels), and accelerated evolution (Blood Music, Darwin's Radio, and Darwin's Children). His last work was the 2021 novel The Unfinished Land. Greg Bear wrote over 50 books in total.[5]

Early life

Greg Bear was born in San Diego, California. He attended San Diego State University (1968–1973), where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. At the university, he was a teaching assistant to Elizabeth Chater in her course on science fiction writing, and in later years her friend.[citation needed]


Bear is often classified as a hard science fiction author because of the level of scientific detail in his work.[5] Early in his career, he also published work as an artist, including illustrations for an early version of the reference book Star Trek Concordance and covers for periodicals Galaxy and F&SF.[6] He sold his first story, "Destroyers", to Famous Science Fiction in 1967.[6]

In his fiction, Bear often addresses major questions in contemporary science and culture and proposes solutions. For example, 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 do not attract their attention but stay quiet. In Queen of Angels, Bear examines crime, guilt, and punishment in society. He frames these questions around an examination of consciousness and awareness, including the emergent self-awareness of highly advanced computers in communication with humans. In Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children, he addresses the problem of overpopulation with a mutation in the human genome making, basically, a new series of humans. The question of cultural acceptance of something new and unavoidable is also indicated.

One of Bear's favorite themes is reality as a function of observation. In Blood Music, reality becomes unstable as the number of observers (trillions of intelligent single-cell organisms) spirals higher and higher. Anvil of Stars (sequel to The Forge of God) and Moving Mars postulate a physics based on information exchange between particles, capable of being altered at the "bit level."[a] In Moving Mars, that knowledge is used to remove Mars from the Solar System and transfer it to an orbit around a distant star.

Blood Music was first published as a short story (1983) and then expanded to a novel (1985). It has also been credited as the first account of nanotechnology in science fiction.[citation needed] More certainly, the short story is the first in science fiction to describe microscopic medical machines and to treat DNA as a computational system capable of being reprogrammed, that is, expanded and modified. In later works, beginning with Queen of Angels and continuing with its sequel, Slant, Bear gives a detailed description of a near-future nanotechnological society. This historical sequence continues with Heads—which may contain the first description of a so-called "quantum logic computer"—and with Moving Mars. The sequence also charts the historical development of self-awareness in artificial intelligence. Its continuing character Jill was inspired in part by Robert A. Heinlein's self-aware computer Mycroft HOLMES in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966).

Bear, Gregory Benford, and David Brin wrote a trilogy of prequel novels to Isaac Asimov's influential Foundation trilogy. Bear is credited with the middle book.

While most of Bear's work is science fiction, he has written in other fiction genres. Examples include Songs of Earth and Power (fantasy) and Psychlone (horror). Bear has described his Dead Lines, which straddles the line between science fiction and fantasy, as a "high-tech ghost story".[7] He has received many accolades, including five Nebula Awards and two Hugo Awards.[8]

Bear cited Ray Bradbury as the most influential writer in his life. He met Bradbury in 1967 and had a lifelong correspondence. As a teenager, Bear attended Bradbury lectures and events in Southern California.[9]

He also served on the Board of Advisors for the Museum of Science Fiction.[10] Bear was also one of the five co-founders of the San Diego Comic-Con.[11]

Personal life and death

In 1975, Bear married Christina M. Nielson; they divorced in 1981. In 1983, he married Astrid Anderson, the daughter of the science fiction and fantasy authors Poul and Karen Anderson. They had two children, Chloe and Alexandra, and resided near Seattle, Washington.[12]

Bear died on November 19, 2022, at the age of 71, from multiple strokes, caused by clots that had been hiding in a false lumen of the anterior artery to the brain since a surgery in 2014.[13] After being on life support for two days and not expected to recover, per his advance healthcare directive, life support was withdrawn.[14][15]

Awards and accolades




The Forge of God
Songs of Earth and Power
Quantum Logic

Novels in internal chronology:[27]

War dogs
The Way

Series (non-originating author)

The Foundation Series
Man-Kzin Wars
Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Wars
Foreworld Saga


Short fiction


Anthologies edited

Critical studies and reviews of Bear's work

War dogs

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Bear has credited the inspiration for the idea to Frederick Kantor's 1967 treatise "Information Mechanics" (see Digital physics).


  1. ^ "Sci-fi Novelist Greg Bear Has Passed Away". November 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "Halo Author Greg Bear Passes Away Age 71". November 20, 2022.
  3. ^ "Greg Bear: News". Greg passed away peacefully yesterday, surrounded by his loving family. [...] Greg Bear 8/20/1951–11/19/2022
  4. ^ Holland, Steve (December 29, 2022). "Greg Bear obituary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved December 21, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "SFE: Bear, Greg". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Greg Bear: Continuing the Dialog", Locus, February 2000, pp. 4, 76–78.
  7. ^ "interview". Fiction Writers of the Monterey Peninsula. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  8. ^ "Top SF/F Authors". Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  9. ^ Adams, John Joseph (June 6, 2012). "Sci-Fi Scribes on Ray Bradbury: "Storyteller, Showman and Alchemist"". Wired. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "Funds sought for science fiction museum lift-off". November 3, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  11. ^ Robbins, Gary (November 22, 2022). "Greg Bear, prize-winning sci-fi author and Comic-Con co-founder, dies at 71". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  12. ^ "Greg Bear, 1951-2022: Best-selling writer influenced sci-fi world, on and off the page". November 20, 2022.
  13. ^ Glyer, Mike (November 20, 2022). "Pixel Scroll 11/19/22 Scroll And Deliver, Your Pixels Or Your Life!". File 770. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  14. ^ Bear, Astrid (November 18, 2022). "Update on Greg". Facebook. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  15. ^ Glyer, Mike (November 20, 2022). "Greg Bear (1951-2022)". File 770. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  16. ^ The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1985. New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc. 1984. p. 415. ISBN 0-911818-71-5.
  17. ^ "1984 Award Winners & Nominees". Locus Awards Database. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  18. ^ "1987 Hugo Awards". July 24, 2015.
  19. ^ "Greg Bear".
  20. ^ Inkpot Award
  21. ^ Doris Lessing: Hot Dawns, interview by Harvey Blume in Boston Book Review.
  22. ^ "2000 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  23. ^ "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  24. ^ "1988 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  25. ^ a b c "1986 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  26. ^ a b "1985 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  27. ^ "Greg Bear: Discussion Board". Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  28. ^ "1991 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  29. ^ "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  30. ^ "1994 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  31. ^ "1987 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  32. ^ "1996 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  33. ^ "Third novel in the Forerunner Saga by Greg Bear, Halo : Silentium revealed". Archived from the original on July 20, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  34. ^ Eaton, Kit (May 26, 2010). "The Mongoliad App: Neal Stephenson's Novel of the Future?". Fast Company. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  35. ^ "2003 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  36. ^ "Invalid Site". Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2008.
  37. ^ "Del Rey Online | City at the End of Time by Greg Bear". Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2008.
  38. ^ "2009 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
Hugo Award for Best Short Story (1981–2000)
Nebula Award for Best Short Story