I'm shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Greg Bear, following complications after surgery. His works meant a tremendous amount to me. Blood Music nearly cost me a degree: I was so enraptured by it that I had to tear myself away for last-minute revision. I adored Eon and its successors, Eternity and Legacy. All three stamped indelible images into my brain. The Forge of God kept me awake and focussed during the long grind of an observing run at the Anglo-Australian Telescope; its sequel, Anvil of Stars was one of the first books (perhaps the first) to play with cosmic-scale ideas about the role of competing alien intelligence in the universe, dealing with first contact, galactic war and the Fermi paradox in always fresh, exciting ways. His short novel Heads, which first appeared in Interzone, was a suitably creepy and well-imagined story about cryogenics and weird physics, one of the few SF stories to explore thermodynamics as a theme, and to do so with phenomenal boldness. I think it fits into a future history which also includes the fine Moving Mars, as well as Queen of Angels and Slant, all of which are richly recommended. His short fiction taught me how to open a story.
He could be delightfully playful. Reading the description of the alien Jart in Eon/Eternity, I realised that they were literally the Hallucigenia fossils from the Burgess Shale.
I met him only once or twice, both brief occasions at American SF conventions. He was genial, welcoming and approachable.
Thanks, Greg, and all love and best wishes to his family.