Greg Bear, 1951-2022

We are deeply saddened to report that award-winning author Greg Bear died this weekend at the age of 71. The author of more than 50 books and winner of five Nebula Awards, Bear was also a co-founder of San Diego Comic Con, an artist, and a person beloved in SFF circles for his warmth and kindness.

Bear’s writing career began when he sold his first story as a teenager. His work is often considered “hard” science fiction—detailed and technical—but for this readers, Eon and Moving Mars were anything but hard; they were vital steps in discovering all the things science fiction could be. Bear wrote original work and novels set in existing universes, including Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Halo. His last novel, The Unfinished Land, was published in 2021.

The author’s award-winning work includes Nebula Awards for the novella Hardfought, the novelette “Blood Music,” the story “Tangents,” and the novels Moving Mars and Darwin’s Radio. “Blood Music” and “Tangents” also won Hugo Awards.

The bio on Bear’s website notes that his last “formal job” was as a bookseller; he also wrote movie reviews, book reviews, and opinion pieces for a wide variety of publications. Bear consulted for or worked with a fascinating array of organizations, including the Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy, which his bio says “contributed substantially to the end of the Cold War and advised NASA on the future of commercial space.”

Bear died on November 19th. He had had surgery a week earlier, and never awoke; as reported by File 770, blood clots from a previous surgery had caused multiple strokes. His wife, Astrid, wrote on Facebook: “Even if he returned to consciousness, and they feel this is highly unlikely, he would probably need 24 hour care and be limited in his cognitive and communication abilities, as well as many other issues. This is not the life he wants to lead, and the conversation we had and his advance directive were both very clear on this. These were a final gift from Greg, and I am confident in making this decision now that he is unable to express his wishes.”

Many of Bear’s friends and colleagues in the SFF community have taken to social media to share loving tributes, mourning his brilliance and kindness. At his blog, John Scalzi wrote:

What I will add here is the personal observation that in my experience of him, he was kind and decent, and treated me as a peer from a very early stage in my career, which is something I noted and appreciated, and tried to emulate in turn. I have condolences and care for Astrid and their children, and all who knew him, either personally or through his work. He will be missed. He is missed, already.

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