this is a pretty wide-ranging interview, worth reading in full. But one thing that leaped out at me was this Q&A, because not many people are aware of Bear’s work in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes.
Aberrant Dreams: You are also one of the few writers that come to mind, having written in both the Star Trek and the Star Wars universes. At every science fiction convention, there is always a panel about Star Wars verses Star Trek. If you found yourself on that panel, for which side would you bat?
Greg Bear: Well, there wouldnâ€™t have been a Star Wars without a Star Trek. Iâ€™m sure even George Lucas would admit that. If you go back to the lineage of interstellar travel and space opera, youâ€™ll find two sides of the equation.
I think Star Trek adheres to the more seriously extrapolated side, despite some of the sillier episodes. It was more of a universe you could imagine yourself living in with fewer fantasy elements.
Star Wars came along and mixes in so many different elements. There are pulp films, samurai movies, Arthurian legend, and science fiction, and itâ€™s all planted in a thoroughly convincing science fiction designed universe. It was a flavor that no one had quite seen before, and it was also done with tremendous conviction and love. At that time, Star Wars became a kind of crossover bridge for science fiction and fantasy. I think is still is to this day, while Star Trek and science fiction are more closely aligned. Its universe is a little more convincing.
Ultimately, it depends on your feeling of the moment. If you want rip-roaring action and that sort of thing, I still like Star Wars. Iâ€™ve been a Star Wars fan ever since 1977. I donâ€™t follow all of the novels and all of the off-shootsâ€”it would take a lifetime at this point. I certainly havenâ€™t done that with the Star Trek novels, either, and Iâ€™m not even that familiar with the more recent Star Trek series.
He also discusses transhumanism and his forthcoming book about the middle east and the west.