Greg Bear, Hugo and Nebula award winning author of Hull Zero Three, joins us this week on io9's Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast to talk about his novels, working with Neal Stephenson, and the Fermi paradox.

Art by Jamie Jones, from the Mongoliad

The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy is hosted by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley.


You can download the MP3 for this episode here, subscribe to The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast feed here, and browse other episodes here.

Read on for this episode's fabulous SHOW NOTES!

0:00 Introduction

0:25 Dave and John introduce the show

Interview: Greg Bear

01:20 Interview begins

01:29 Bear talks about Hull Zero Three, published by Orbit Books

02:05 The science behind Hull Zero Three

02:56 How have real world events developed since Bear wrote Quantico and Mariposa


04:04 The imaginary technologies in Quantico Mariposa

05:30 Bear's collaboration with Neal Stephenson and others on The Mongoliad

07:00 The unusual distribution method of The Mongoliad

07:33 The technique behind medieval sword-fighting and combat

09:43 How to learn to fight with a sword

10:13 Bear's work as a consultant for Government agencies

12:09 What was it like appearing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?

13:10 Working in the Halo universe

13:53 The response to his novel Eon

15:53 The Society of Digital Artists challenge artists to illustrate Eon

16:54 Bear's solution to the Fermi Paradox from The Forge of God

18:03 What does Bear think of the <a href=""SETI Institute? Should we announce ourselves to the universe? Or hide from potential threats?


18:36 Bear's involvement in creating the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, Washington

19:05 Expanding into Fantasy and Horror?

20:07 ePublishing and eReaders

21:47 The fiction of Nikos Kazantzakis

23:32 Parallels between Kazantzakis and Olaf Stapledon

25:40 Teaching writing seminars and Terry Brooks' Sometimes the Magic Works

27:13 Writing screenplays and the necessity of a humble attitude

28:17 Some of the lesser known Science Fiction authors who deserve more recognition


29:47 Any recent or upcoming projects from Bear?

31:26 End of interview

31:37 Ad Spot for Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear

Dave and John talk about alien invasions

32:36 Alien invasions in Science Fiction

33:45 H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds

34:30 An early example of the "big twist" in popular literature

34:51 Two common patterns in alien invasion stories

35:43 What would aliens think of our anti-alien movies and TV shows?

35:59 War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches

36:53 Big ray-guns vs. mind control. Which is scarier?

38:19 Too many cop-out endings in alien invasion flicks?

39:07 Independence Day. Too goofy?

39:48 Why can't more alien invasion movies have darker endings?

40:20 John Carpenter's The Thing, based on John W. Campbell Jr.'s "Who Goes There?"


42:03 Heinlein's The Puppet Masters

42:43 The Genocides by Thomas M. Disch

43:15 Vilcbamba by Harry Turtledove

43:54 Seattle Geekly's conversation about the concept of the "gamemaster"

45:13 So much predictability in today's entertainment

45:40 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the film and the graphic novel

46:50 They Live (film)

47:36 "I have come to kick ass and chew bubblegum…"

48:02 Eight O'Clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson

48:15 Dave can't remember the name of a mysterious (but wonderful) short story. Can you help him remember?


49:16 The boom of recent alien invasion movies: Skyline The Battle of Los Angeles and Monsters

54:48 Ad Spot for Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

55:51 Who didn't want a sword when they were a teenager?

56:40 Records of the Medieval Sword. How heavy is that armor?


59:12 Ordering from the classified ads in "Dragon Magazine"

1:00:12 Training in full plate mail. Not so easy as it seems.

1:01:28 Drowning in plate mail and sweat?

1:02:07 Show wrap-up

Thanks for listening!


John Joseph Adams is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the bestselling editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, andWastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. His most recent books are The Living Dead 2 and The Way of the Wizard, and he is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds and The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination. Barnes & named him "the reigning king of the anthology world," and his books have been named to numerous best of the year lists. In addition to his anthology work, he worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction,and is currently the editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Fantasy Magazine.

David Barr Kirtley has published fiction in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Lightspeed,Intergalactic Medicine Show, On Spec, and Cicada, and in anthologies such as New Voices in Science Fiction,Fantasy: The Best of the Year, and The Dragon Done It. Recently he's contributed stories to several of John's anthologies, including The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, and The Way of the Wizard. He's attended numerous writing workshops, including Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, James Gunn's Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card's Writers Bootcamp, and he holds an MFA in screenwriting and fiction from the University of Southern California. He also teaches regularly at Alpha, a Pittsburgh-area science fiction workshop for young writers. He lives in New York.


Snownotes compiled by podtern Aidan Moher

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