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Sci-Fi Entertainment Games

Greg Bear To Write Halo Trilogy 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-are-you-doing-you-won-a-hugo-for-god's-sake dept.
SailorSpork writes "Many gaming websites are reporting that Hugo and Nebula award winning sci-fi author Greg Bear will be writing a 100,000-year prequel trilogy to the Halo series, focusing on the Forerunners and presumably the construction of the Larry Niven knock-offs. Will he be able to balance the needs of his hard sci-fi fanbase with the Halo fans' need for a soft introduction to 'chapter books?' Despite my sarcasm, as someone who considers both of them guilty pleasures, I am actually really looking forward to seeing how he handles this."
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Greg Bear To Write Halo Trilogy

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  • by clickety6 (141178) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @02:49AM (#27486129)

    Jeez! And I thought the Wheel of Time series was taking a long time to complete!

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Still Mr. Bear will be finished with this novel, long before Duke Nukem Forever is released.

  • by synthesizerpatel (1210598) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:01AM (#27486179)

    The entertainment industry: When it comes to recycling, they're blazing the trail.

    • by foobsr (693224)
      recycling

      You beat me to it; but it systematically seems a little more, quote [wikipedia.org]: "Bear, Gregory Benford, and David Brin also wrote a trilogy of prequel novels to Isaac Asimov's famous Foundation trilogy with Bear credited for the middle book in the trilogy."

      CC.
    • by creimer (824291)
      Same accusations was hurled against William Shakespeare. Worst, he was even accused of making up some words.
  • Not played the games myself, but aren't the Halos Orbitals [wikipedia.org] rather than Ringworlds?

    • by Toonol (1057698)
      I'm not sure of the exact scale, but they're much, much smaller, and don't have a star in the middle. So, yes. They're more like a huge space station than a ringworld.

      Also, I'm a bit aghast at the condescension from the summary submitter.
      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        Also, I'm a bit aghast at the condescension from the summary submitter.

        It's the conceit of the hard science fiction fan, the sort of chubby white male who worships Niven and Pournelle and Heinlein and believes that girls don't talk to him because they're man-hating feminists.

        Here's how you destroy them: "Scrith is fucking magic, you smelly virgins, and the Kzin were more plausible aliens in Wing Commander!"

        • It's the conceit of the hard science fiction fan, the sort of chubby white male who worships Niven and Pournelle and Heinlein and believes that girls don't talk to him because they're man-hating feminists.

          I consider myself a hard science fiction fan, I worship Niven and Heinlein (Pournelle is okay), and I know girls don't talk to me simply because I wear Dragonball Z shirts and can't make eye-contact with them, not because they're feminists.

  • by rarity (165626) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:16AM (#27486263)

    I always thought that they were knock-offs of Iain M Banks' Larry Niven knock-offs...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Talent borrows, genius steals.

      Guys just trying to scrape a paycheck together take whatever work they can get.

      The economy is adversely affecting our sci-fi writers as well. Just wait for Corey Doctrow's new tome out on Wiley titled "I was kidding about all that free stuff!"

    • I always thought that they were knock-offs of Iain M Banks' Larry Niven knock-offs...

      ...of Freeman Dyson. That sounds about right.

    • by bughunter (10093)

      Giving up my ability to mod this thread to point out a difference between Banks' "Orbitals" and Niven's "Ringworlds."

      The Banks orbitals are ring structures designed to rotate once every standard day about an axis perpendicular to the primary star, creating a natural day/night cycle due to its own rotation, as well as artificial "gravity" due to the "fictitious" centrifugal force experienced in the rotating frame of reference on its inner surface. The center of mass of the orbital revolves around the primar

      • by scdeimos (632778)
        The size of the Banks Orbitals could be somewhat less than what you outlined as they themselves have a non-zero weight and so exert a gravitational force on objects placed on their surfaces.
  • Anyone else find his stories hard to follow or is it just me? Even with his short stories I end up going, "Wait, what?"
    • by Shrike82 (1471633)
      I know exactly what you mean. I used to get his books from the library, but found them difficult to get into and, dare I say it, not particularly well written.

      Nothing against Bear's fans, he's just not for me and I won't be getting excited about these upcoming books.

    • Eon and Eternity are some of the best SF I've ever read.

      • Nobody saying they aren't good; he's just very difficult to read, especially if you're not already steeped in the genre's forms and traditions. There are plenty of authors who are difficult to read; it doesn't necessarily make them bad. (James Tiptree, Jr. is another one that springs to mind--fantastic stories, but pretty difficult to get into.)

        • by perlchild (582235)

          Have you considered that how "hermetic" they are might be just why they're called "hard" sci-fi(the steeped in the genre's forms and traditions bit especially). I always felt the formalism has been added to move away from space opera, and prevent confusion between the genres.

          • Hard SF has more hard science in it, yes, but that doesn't inherently make it more difficult to read. Soft SF--Tiptree, as I mentioned above--can be just as impenetrable.

            And the formalism is sometimes hard to recognize as such, since it's done so oddly. Eric Raymond wrote some interesting notes about that [catb.org], though they are, like everything else he writes, suffused with his own brand of politics.

    • Re:Hard to follow (Score:4, Insightful)

      by itsdapead (734413) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @07:16AM (#27487427)

      Anyone else find his stories hard to follow or is it just me?

      Which ones? He's pretty diverse - I don't think you'd guess that "Blood Music" (brilliant), "Eon" (very good), "Queen of Angels" (heavy going, but worth it) and "Vitals" (dull Michael Crighton-style techno thriller) were by the same author.

      ...and that's assuming you don't get him mixed up with Greg Egan (hmmm - Master Chief as an androgynous posthuman software entity...)

    • by MrKaos (858439)

      Anyone else find his stories hard to follow or is it just me? Even with his short stories I end up going, "Wait, what?"

      I usually find myself going "How the fuck is he gonna top this one?", I got sucked in to his writing with Eon, from then on I found the scale of his books addictive.

      I read 'City at the End of Time' over christmas, and again the scale was epic and unexpected. It appeared (to me) there was some hat tipping to Clarke as one of the Chapters included a history which included the City in Clarke

  • by quin_chance (975766) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @03:43AM (#27486371)
    the halo novels they have already released are actually pretty sweet: the only bad one was the one covering the first game: cos the felt the need to give you a walkthrough of master-chief going through the game... the "stuff everybody else was up to" is cool. They've done a good job of creating a very detailed world, with massive level of detail missing from the game itself
    • by fyrewulff (702920)

      It was also written by a completely different author than the good ones. And yes, it suffered from bad writing and acting as a game walkthrough.

      Also none of good ones have really been the "intro to books" style. A vast majority of the Halo playerbase online hasn't even beaten campaign, much less care about it. The books cater more to sci-fi fans and the people who actually care about the Halo universe than the general Halo population does. Also, Bungie has a thing about canon and sticking to it a lot. Inste

      • The games allude to the similarity between humanity and forerunners. I'll go out on a limb now and predict that whichever option he chooses: a) the forerunners were human or b) forerunners were similar to humans, he'll become the target of a legendary amount of internet man-boy rants and trolls.

        I suspect the trilogy will encompass, at least as main themes: the forerunners deification of the precursors, the first encounter with the flood and end with the lead up to and the activation of the halo array.
        • by Kalriath (849904) *

          Dude, Halo 3 includes the line "You ARE Forerunner" from the little AI (Guilty Spark) in the lead up to the final fight of the campaign - so they pretty firmly answered that already. You're not out on a limb, and there's really nothing to rant at him for.

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by PCM2 (4486)

        the people who actually care about the Halo universe

        I will never understand this kind of thing.

  • Is this just Microsoft struggling to milk as much out of the franchise as possible or a sign that the gaming industry is going the same way as the movie industry? Remakes, rehashes... where are the new stories?

    Global recession aside, is it now considered too much of a gamble to create a new franchise?

    • by Shrike82 (1471633)
      This is a new story, set before the events of the games. Yes, it is set in the same Universe, but this is by no means the first time a fictional Universe has been host to prequels and sequels that are quite distinct. Star Trek anyone?

      Also, why are they "struggling to milk money" out of this (highly successful) franchise? If they think people will pay money to read this stuff then why on earth wouldn't they do it? And yes, it is often much safer to continue with an existing concept than it is to start a n
    • When was the last time you saw a game in comedy genre?
      Or a romance?
      How about a thriller that doesn't involve shooting?
      Or an actual SF game with a well written story - that is not an FPS? Besides Portal (which is threading the fine line of being an FPS).
      Are adventures games even being made anymore? Or turn-based RTSs?

      Game genres are dieing out or being replaced and mutated into a kind of a reality TV version of games - less actual story, more player interaction and social content.

      • by Com2Kid (142006)

        When was the last time you saw a game in comedy genre?

        ...

        Or an actual SF game with a well written story - that is not an FPS? Besides Portal (which is threading the fine line of being an FPS).

        Thanks for answering your own question.

        Lets see, Sam and Max, Penny Arcade, and to an extent World of Goo are all at least partly in the Comedy genre.

        Romance games typically do not get released in the US, they are huge over in Japan and some other Asian countries though. See Otome game [wikipedia.org].

        How about a thriller that doesn't involve shooting?

        Most of Silent Hill counts here. Technically there is shooting, but not very much! Mostly it is running and screaming, if you happen across a few bullets while sprinting down the hallway, figure it as good luck and don'

      • by Jedi Alec (258881)

        Or an actual SF game with a well written story - that is not an FPS? Besides Portal (which is threading the fine line of being an FPS).

        Mass Effect. As much as I hate EA...I just know I'll shell out the money for part 2.

    • Basically, yes it is. And it's to be expected.

      As gaming's budgets have increased to Hollywood levels, the risk associated with launching the "new" is extremely high. When the basic entry level is into the multiple millions of dollars, who's going to risk their multiple millions?

      So, you milk Halo as hard as you can to generate cash to pay for other less fiscally rewarding ventures. It's kind of the same way that yet another craptastic Seth Green/Judd Apatow movie pays for Rachel Getting Married. Sure the lat

  • Awesome, I actually like the Halo universe. Especially the book that ties together the first and second game... that was just great. I just hope it really doesn't try to work with Nivens material. Steal from the man, please, but never take it to him. Ring World was an awful awful book and it's great thing that Halo took what Niven had and made it better (in my opinion). Did anyone else feel the lucky girl was a bit of Deus Ex Machina?
    • Pretty sure that for the girl to be a Deus Ex Machina, it would have had to have been a secret that she was lucky, rather than directly stated early on from practically the first moment she's met. The fact that she was lucky (or unlucky, or really lucky, or her descendants are really lucky, or however Niven's retroactively redefined it this year) was always to me the whole point of the book.
    • by denzacar (181829)

      Awesome, I actually like the Halo universe. Especially the book that ties together the first and second game... that was just great. I just hope it really doesn't try to work with Nivens material. Steal from the man, please, but never take it to him. Ring World was an awful awful book and it's great thing that Halo took what Niven had and made it better (in my opinion). Did anyone else feel the lucky girl was a bit of Deus Ex Machina?

      Considering your nick, sig, spelling and taste in games - the post above is about exactly what I would have expected.

      • by pieisgood (841871)
        Of course it takes a man of objectively good taste who is absolutely mature to point out all those things doesn't it?
  • I assume that the books will keep being written until Microsoft and Bungie have sucked as much money out of the franchise as they possibly can. Seeing as Bungie's user-base logged its one billionth match earlier this year [bungie.net], I'd guess that they will keep publishing for some time.

    I wonder how long it will take them to go down the alley of what happens after the cryptic ending of halo 3? [wikipedia.org] They'll have to take that alley eventually.
  • guilty pleasure? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OglinTatas (710589) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @06:28AM (#27487157)

    I guess I'm a little confused as to why someone would consider reading a guilty pleasure

  • Its actually a combination of two books under one cover. The books account the adventures of Michael, who receives a key from an eccentric composer and is transported into a world of elves, men, and monsters.

    But the backdrop of the story is that magic is in everything: Music, architecture, poetry, even wine. So the book brings an enthusiasm not only for far away places, but for things we see but do not appreciate here at home.

    The book has excellent character development and places Michael inside a histor

  • I wonder why Mr. Bear has agreed to do this. For the money? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I just find it strange that a long-established and respected SF author would resort to writing pro-am fanfic.
  • by honestmonkey (819408) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @08:48AM (#27488531) Journal

    Man it's just fucking amazing. The first thing most of the commenters do here is to piss on Greg Bear. He's written a ton of books, won awards, is pretty accessible (he's emailed me back and when I met him at ComicCon a couple years ago he remembered the emails and thanked me for my input).

    He's written more stuff that anyone here ever has, and he's a damn good writer, as witnessed by having won awards and selling tons of books. And now he's wanting to make some coin writing on a popular game. Like most other writers - Asimov wrote Fantastic Voyage when the movie was coming out, Clarke wrote at least one book for a movie, Niven wrote for the Saturday morning Star Trek cartoon for fuck's sake.

    These guys aren't allowed to make money? They aren't allowed to write in different styles? They aren't allowed to write fan-fic? Is the best comment you can make "does he need the money?" What the fuck, really?

    • Well said sir... well said. Just like Martin Lawrence said: "What the fuck is a critic anyway? That's somebody that can't do what you can do..."
  • And they shall call it... "Marathon"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon_(game)/ [wikipedia.org]

  • Maybe I'm jaded from watching too much Star Trek, but I fear there will be a time travel incident that allows the Master Cheif to meet the forrunners.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten

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