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Blood Music by Greg Bear

Blood Music

by Greg Bear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,355414,394 (3.8)71
Nebula Award Finalist: A genetic engineering breakthrough may portend the destruction of humanity in this cyberpunk novel by the author of The Forge of God. This Hugo and Nebula Award finalist follows present-day events in which the fears concerning the nuclear annihilation of the world subsided after the Cold War and the fear of chemical warfare spilled over into the empty void it left behind. An amazing breakthrough in genetic engineering made by Vergil Ulam is considered too dangerous for further research, but rather than destroy his work, he injects himself with his creation and walks out of his lab, unaware of just how his actions will change the world. Author Greg Bear's treatment of the traditional tale of scientific hubris is both suspenseful and a compelling portrait of a new intelligence emerging amongst us, irrevocably changing our world. … (more)
  1. 20
    Brain Plague by Joan Slonczewski (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: For sentience at the microscopic level affecting human life and behavior.

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» See also 71 mentions

English (39)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
genetic science creates intelligent cells which run amok
  ritaer | Apr 23, 2020 |
I think I like the concept of this book more than the execution. It's not badly written and the "normal" parts aren't too difficult to read. Bear is also pretty creative with a couple of different narrative styles throughout the book which I enjoyed.

But the fake science parts were a slog and pretty boring. And sadly there is a lot of fake science bits to get through.

The characters aren't particularly well developed, and one set is swapped out for another halfway through the novel anyway, but it's actually the parts relating to the characters that I enjoyed reading the most. Which probably doesn't say anything good about the rest of the book.

( )
  Fardo | Oct 15, 2019 |
I believe the only other Greg Bear books I’ve read are “Eon” and “Eternity”. I read both a very long time ago. I enjoyed both, especially Eon, but I remember having a few problems with the stories and was disappointed in the overall ending. Well, my neighbor picks up sci-fi at a used book story on occasion and passes on ones that he liked, as we have similar tastes. So, despite this being first published in 1985, I decided to give it a read.

Overall, it was a similar experience to “Eon” and “Eternity”, I enjoyed the read, but found myself let down at the end. The story starts with Vergil Ulam, a slightly overweight, nerdy, goalless, but brilliant scientist. He works at a biochip company where he is secretly performing research on his own. He’s building intelligent cells, highly intelligent cells. I mean they can navigate mazes better than lab rats. Well, he’s found out, and rashly decides to preserve his creations the only way he can get them out of the lab – by injecting them into his bloodstream. This kicks off a series of events, beginning with positive improvements to his body (improved eyesight, weight loss, increased strength, etc.) but leading to much more disturbing and ultimately cataclysmic events.

I found the book to be a page turner, as I was intrigued, first by what would happen to Vergil, and then by the broader events. Along the way, I experienced some disappointments, such as wondering who the main character was, and finding frustration that we never seemed to stay with a character enough to development an interest in them. But it’s not really a character driven story, it’s a series of transformations that are well described and fascinating. Bear occasionally dips deeply into biochemistry and later physics adding support to the events. There were some interesting ideas about the make-up of the universe in the final third of the book. If those ideas were used at the end as a climatic ending with some characters we cared about, I think this could have been excellent. But in all honest, by the end, I didn’t really care about the remaining characters and the thought-provoking ideas had already been spent as we approached the final ending. I was left feeling like some very cool ideas and creative scenes were wasted.

A borderline hard sci-fi novel, which contains an escalating series of creepy, captivating, and skillfully described events, that disappoints due to a lack of strong characters and an anti-climactic finale. ( )
  Kevin_A_Kuhn | Apr 19, 2019 |
This is the way the world ends: not with a bang but with a quantum mechanic WTF. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Jun 3, 2018 |
An early take on a biotech-induced meltdown, but one with some interesting twists. Bio-engineered bugs become intelligent and take over their human hosts. They then realise that killing off the host is not a good idea and instead start to assimilate them, ultimately ending up with a vast, amorphous biomass but one which still contains strains of individualism. They then go on to have some rather poorly defined impact on the world at the quantum level. Then it ends. Very rich in ideas but they're not always clearly explained or followed through. And the characterisation and plotting are cardboard cut-out quality. The first rule of writing good sci-fi is to write a good book and this falls short on several counts. An absorbing, in some ways stimulating, but ultimately frustrating book. 3 July 2017. ( )
  alanca | Jul 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bear, GregAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brautigam, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jetter, FrancesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wachtenheim, DorothyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Astrid - Luxury, necessity, obsession With all my love
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Each hour, a myriad of trillion of little live things - microbes, bacteria, the peasants of nature - are born and die, not counting for much except in the bulk of their numbers and the accumulation of their tiny lives.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Vergil Ulam's breakthrough in genetic engineering is considered too dangerous for further research. Rather than destroy his work, he injects himself with his creation and walks out of his lab, unaware of just quite how his actions will change the world. Bear's treatment of the traditional tale of scientific hubris is suspenseful and a compelling portrait of a new intelligence emerging amongst us and changing our world irrevocably.
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