Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Hull Zero Three
Greg Bear
Narrated by Dan John Miller, unabridged
Brilliance Audio, 8 hours, 34 minutes

Greg Bear
Greg Bear was born in San Diego, California, in 1951. With a father in the navy, Greg Bear had travelled to Japan, the Philippines, Alaska and all over the US by the age of 12. At 15, he sold his first story to Famous Science Fiction and in 1979 he sold his first novel, Hegira, to Dell. His awards include Nebulas for his stories "Hardfought," "Blood Music" and "Tangents" and one for his novel, Moving Mars (1993), plus Hugos for his stories "Blood Music" and "Tangents." As an illustrator, Bear's artwork has appeared in magazines such as Galaxy and Fantasy & Science Fiction along with a number of hardcover and paperback books. He was a founding member of ASFA, the Association of Science Fiction Artists. He did the cover for his own novel, Psychlone, from Tor. Heavily involved with SFWA, Greg Bear co-edited the SFWA FORUM, chaired the SFWA Grievance Committee, served as VP for a year, and President for 2 years.

Greg Bear Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: City at the End of Time
SF Site Review: City at the End of Time
SF Site Review: Quantico
SF Site Review: Darwin's Children
SF Site Review: W3: Women in Deep Time
SF Site Review: Eon
SF Site Review: Vitals
SF Site Review: Blood Music
SF Site Review: Darwin's Radio
SF Site Review: Slant
SF Site Review: Dinosaur Summer
SF Site Review: Foundation and Chaos

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven Brandt

Hull Zero Three Ship is the penultimate achievement of human technology. It consists of three colossal vessels, each one twelve kilometers long, and each tethered to a central moon-sized chunk of ice and rock to provide the elemental materials necessary for a long space voyage. Ship is the human race's attempt to reach, and colonize, far distant planets. But somewhere during the centuries-long voyage, something went terribly wrong.

The story begins with a fully grown man being literally birthed from a placental sack. The man, known only as Teacher, emerges from his cocoon into utter chaos. The ship is dark and freezing cold and there are dead bodies all around him. He has only the vaguest memory of who he is and what he is supposed to be doing, but he knows right away that this is not right. Teacher is only saved from freezing to death by a little girl who seems to know what she is doing as she leads him to a warmer compartment. And so Teacher's journey begins. He soon learns that Ship has been badly damaged, although he does not know how or why.

He knows that he was not supposed to come out of hibernation until Ship reached its destination, but his first view out of an observation port tells him that this has not happened. When he catches a glimpse of the ice rock to which Ship is tethered, he can see that the planetoid is much too large; most of it would have been used up by the time the journey was complete. Teacher is also discovering that each new thing he sees, and each new situation he experiences unlocks more memories from his confused mind. As Teacher and his young companion make their way through the damaged Ship, they meet up with other passengers, some friendly, some not, and none quite human. They are all suffering from fragmented memories, just like Teacher, but little by little they begin to piece together what happened.

They learn that Destination Guidance, the crew responsible for locating a suitable planet for colonization, suffered a schism within its ranks. The schism erupted into all-out war, with one faction trying to complete the mission, and the other trying to abort. Teacher and his new companions must fight to stay alive as they piece together what caused the split. Then they will face a monumental decision as they unravel the secrets behind Ship's true mission.

Hull Zero Three is Greg Bear's entry to the generation-spanning, space-ark branch of science-fiction, and it's a doozy! Imagine three twelve kilometer long ships and a moon of ice, all rocketing through the universe at twenty percent light speed. The author throws a nice little twist into this one, answering the moral question: What if the planet selected for colonization is already inhabited? Bear never does anything small, does he?

The story is told entirely from the perspective of Teacher, who is unable to access much of his memory. This allows the reader to figure things out right along with the main character, which really makes you feel like you're part of the story. I may be showing my age here, but watching the characters wander through the ship, finding objects which were not always immediately useful, and gathering clues as they go, made the book feel like a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

The only drawback I found in Hull Zero Three was that I sometimes had trouble picturing what Bear was trying to describe. He has such a powerful imagination, that sometimes I couldn't keep up. I still enjoyed the audiobook, though. It has interesting characters who are placed in interesting situations. I even liked the ending, which is something that I think a lot of authors struggle with.

Dan John Miller is primarily known as a musician; he played Johnny Cash's guitarist in "Walk the Line." He is also an award-winning narrator, however, and in 2009 was nominated for two Audie awards. This was my first experience with Dan John Miller, and I thought he did a decent job with Hull Zero Three. He used different voices for the characters and read with a lot of enthusiasm.

Overall, Hull Zero Three is a good piece of science fiction from one of the genre's heavy hitters. I've never read anything by Greg Bear that I didn't like.

Copyright © 2010 Steven Brandt

Steven Brandt spends most of his waking hours listening to audiobooks and reviewing them for his blog, Audiobook Heaven. When not reading or reviewing, Steven is usually playing the saxophone for the entertainment and amusement of his family.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide