Fully 100,000 years ago, the galaxy was populated by a great variety of beings. But one species - eons beyond all others in both technology and knowledge - achieved dominance. They ruled in peace but met opposition with quick and brutal effectiveness. They were the Forerunners - the keepers of the Mantle, the next stage of life in the Universe’s Living Time. And then they vanished. This is their story.
Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting is a young rebellious Forerunner. He is a Manipular, untried - yet to become part of the adult Forerunner society, where vast knowledge and duty waits. He comes from a family of Builders, the Forerunners’ highest and most politically powerful elite. It is the Builders who create the grand technology that facilitates Forerunner dominance over the known universe. It is the Builders who believe they must shoulder the greatest burden of the Mantle - as shepherds and guardians of all life.
Bornstellar is marked to become a great Builder, just like his father. But this Manipular has other plans. He is obsessed with lost treasures of the past. His reckless passion to seek out the marvelous artifacts left behind by the Precursors - long-vanished superbeings of unknowable power and intent - forces his father’s hand. Bornstellar is sent to live among the Miners, where he must come to terms with where his duty truly lies. But powerful forces are at play.
On a Lifeworker’s experimental planet, Bornstellar’s rebellious course crosses the paths of two humans, and the long lifeline of a great military leader, forever changing Bornstellar’s destiny… and the fate of the entire galaxy.
This is a tale of life, death, intergalactic horror, exile, and maturity. It is a story of overwhelming change - and of human origins. For the Mantle may not lie upon the shoulders of Forerunners forever.
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you are what you dare
- Jim "The Impatient"
Easily the best thus far. Greg bear has become one of my favourite authors because of this book.
Dune. While not as ground breaking and eternally memorable as Herbert's work, the comparison gives a potential reader the echelon of tale about to be spun. Like Herbert, Bear is obviously highly intelligent and takes the matter of his story to be a four dimensional fluid concept, and not merely a 300 page jaunt down a-few-bucks lane. Things, all of them, are thought out.
The Didact. Part army sergeant, part Gadalf, part man who knows his race is about to be extinguished, I thought he was mesmerising like the Grey wizard, but far closer to someone you mourn for in passing.
Extreme in the sense that one truly never knew what to expect, especially not at the end. Upon that final paragraph the height of reaction was 'WTF?!' in a tremendous way. Unlike almost any Science Fiction attempt I've seen, that has tread the minefield of prequel eras, this story actually enhances what happens 100 000 years later, in feeling and in depth.
I'd recommend this book to any lover of fiction, especially those who've grown stale on what they thought was Sci-Fi. From Dune to the Ender series, Verne to Asimov, Bear and this work belong on the path of 'fiction to reshape fiction'. I hope other Halo and established universe writers take note of what can be done.