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Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear

Darwin's Radio

by Greg Bear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Darwin Series (1)

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2,715692,174 (3.52)76



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English (65)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
It's a rare book that I can't finish, but this is one of them. I can look past outdated science if what emerges follows from the principles set forth, but that doesn't happen here. The premise is interesting, but the result is goofy at best.
What I can't be bothered with is bad narrative. This book is populated by boring characters running through an uninteresting plot, ending with a flat honk of a climax. Halfway through, I couldn't take it any longer and loaded the Wikipedia summary to see if it got better. It didn't. The page for the sequel made me wince.

This is not one of Mr. Bear's better works, nor is it best of breed for its conceit. You're better off looking into other titles than finding a copy of this one. ( )
  Bieeanda | Dec 22, 2014 |
As warned by a friend, the ideas here are pretty fascinating -- the book might be fifteen years behind in terms of science, but there's nothing inherently ridiculous about the idea based on the scientific knowledge of the time -- but the actual narrative is pretty deadly boring. Some of the writing is just... why would you let that slip past, editor? Hard SF isn't just about the cool ideas: there has to be some element of execution there as well, or there's no point in writing it as a novel -- there'd be a non-fiction audience for speculation about the future too, undoubtedly.

It's pretty unfortunate, since Bear did the work here in setting up the world, figuring out the details, making A lead to B without a gap in logic. Unfortunately, the prose is flat, most of the characters likewise, and isn't there a song with lyrics that go I don't care a lot? Because it's in my head right now. ( )
1 vote shanaqui | Nov 23, 2014 |
It was enjoyable enough as the light read I was looking for, but the book has some serious flaws. Some of the dialog and characterization is pretty bad but that doesn't get in the way too much, and I can forgive that in science-fiction even. However the posit being made about the next sub-speciation jump being caused by over-crowding causing mutations that have nothing to do with over-crowding was ultimately a let down. Also, it is clearly out-dated in presenting Neandertals as a pre-human ancestor instead of a co-existing separate species, but those types of things will happen with science over time. ( )
  rockinghorsedreams | Nov 13, 2014 |
This book started out with an interesting idea -- that there are parts of our genes that code for great leaps forward in evolution -- but it quickly became silly and slow and very predictable. I just wanted it to get to the point already because it was easy to see what would happen. ( )
  piersanti | Sep 28, 2014 |
I loved this book. I can't remember exactly when I read it. Many years ago. But I loved it. It was the beginning of my love for Greg Bear. This is hard science fiction, which means it's going to either require or try to teach you some science principles and concepts as a basis for the plot, and this particular plot is all about evolution. Let's face it. This book would have had to really, really sucked to have lost me at this point. But there are a lot of interesting concepts here, speculations about evolution by punctuated equilibrium, what role "junk DNA" plays in evolution, the interaction of viruses and our DNA... The more character-based portion of the plot occasionally had a sort of Dean Koontz-ish feel, which seems overly harsh to say, but then again, Dean Koontz has sold millions and millions of novels and I bought a few dozen or so in my youth, so maybe it's not as mean as all that.

With any good sf, there are also interesting societal implications. How would people react if evolution were suddenly happening before their eyes? This part is the same basic idea as the X-Men -- in a world divided into sapiens and whatever comes next, how will the two species interact?

Very interesting stuff, to my mind. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Bearprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Romero,Pedro JorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosvall, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For My Mother, Wilma Merriman Bear 1915-1997
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The flat afternoon sky spread over the black and gray mountains like a stage backdrop, the color of a dog's pale crazy eye.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345435249, Mass Market Paperback)

All the best thrillers contain the solution to a mystery, and the mystery in this intellectually sparkling scientific thriller is more crucial and stranger than most. Why are people turning against their neighbors and their newborn children? And what is causing an epidemic of still births? A disgraced paleontologist and a genetic engineer both come across evidence of cover-ups in which the government is clearly up to no good. But no one knows what's really going on, and the government is covering up because that is what, in thrillers as in life, governments do. And what has any of this to do with the discovery of a Neanderthal family whose mummified faces show signs of a strange peeling?

Greg Bear has spent much of his recent career evoking awe in the deep reaches of space, but he made his name with Blood Music, a novel of nanotechnology that crackled with intelligence. His new book is a workout for the mind and a stunning read; human malignancy has its role in his thriller plot, but its real villain, as well as its last best hope, is the endless ingenious cruelty of the natural world and evolution. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:18 -0400)

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When a virus that has slept in our DNA for millions of years wakes up, will the human race survive?

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