The latest ‘Halo’ novel, ‘Halo: Cryptum’ from Tor Books, will be available on January 4, 2011. Written by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning science fiction author Greg Bear, the first two chapters of the novel are now available to read online:

In Cryptum, Bear reveals the story of the Forerunners, a civilization that ruled the galaxy one hundred thousand years ago. Eons beyond all other species in both technology and knowledge, they ruled in peace and met any opposition with quick and brutal effectiveness. For they were the keepers of the Mantle, the next stage of life in the Universe’s Living Time. And then they vanished.

Greg Bear is the author of such books as ‘Eon’, ‘The Forge of God’, and ‘Hull Zero Three’.