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Queen of Angels by Greg Bear

Queen of Angels

by Greg Bear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Queen Of Angels (1)

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1,125107,293 (3.55)14
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Queen of Angels has been described as Greg Bear's most ambitious work, and ambitious it certainly is. But ambition does not necessarily equal success.
The book takes a murder-mystery type story - a famous and successful poet of the 21st century unexpectedly murders eight of his closest friends - and turns it into a musing on the nature of awareness and identity. The question is approached through various perspectives
- that of a policewoman who has opted for physical transformation through nanotech, costing her friends and family,
- a poet friend of the suspected murderer, a somewhat unhappy individual who has opted not to have the nanotech-enabled 'therapy' that is common in society
- a therapist who has lost his career due to political scandal
All these individuals try, in their own ways, to make sense of these murders and why they may have happened.
Interspersed with this story is the story of the gradual awakening to self-aware consciousness of an AI which is an interstellar probe, and its counterpart on earth. This story is really only thematically linked to the main plot.
Bear discussed many interesting issues here, however, my enjoyment of the book was greatly diminished by the writing, especially during the part having to do with the poet. Attempting an experimental poetic? type of language Bear eschews the use of commas parentheses inserting phrases words into sentences randomly a flow-of-consciousness perspective or just pretension you decide.
It does make it slow to read, because the reader has to sort out all the phrases, decide where the commas should have been, and then decide what meaning(s) the author was getting at.
I like commas. Of course, I had a professor once yell at me for my propensity toward using them too liberally, so this could be a personal issue! ;-) ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is a good candidate for the first book I don't finish. I do see two other people did just that :-)

However I'll still try for a bit and maybe update here if there's any change.

Edit: I finished it. Sorry, there isn't any redeeming closure or "big arc" or anything worthwhile. It seemed for a short while that it was going somewhere but it crumbled completely. Just not worth it.
  v12345 | Nov 11, 2015 |
Possibly the best exploration of journeying into the consciousness and memories of another. Gorgeous but boring movie "The Cell" used the idea - this is what that should have been. Also excellent consideration (from the viewpoints of multiple characters, and an evolving A.I.) of what consciousness and self-awareness really mean.
  Clevermonkey | May 29, 2014 |
Greg Bear is one of my favorite writers and while I have a few of his works, I try just to read them now and then so I know I will always have a few new ones waiting for me. This time I picked up "Queen of Angels".
It is 2047 and the world is basically separated into therapied and untherapied. The therapied people get the better jobs, the untherapied people seem to be freer in their thinking. A third class of people is the high naturals, those of such mental make up that they don't need therapy. In this society where almost everyone is therapied, the crime that writer Emmanuel Goldsmith commits of premeditated murder is a huge shock. We follow this crime in three ways. One is through the eyes of Richard Fettle, another poet and a friend of Goldsmith. Another is through Mary Choy, a police officer on the case who is desperate to find Goldsmith. Lastly we Martin Burke, a disgraced psychotherapist who has discovered a way to enter a persons "Country of the Mind". In between we also learn about a space probe with an AI on board who is slowly growing towards a discovery and self-awareness.
There is a lot going on in this book. Not only in the many story lines, but also with bigger ideas about crime, therapy, self-awareness. Because of this I had difficulty getting into the book. I felt I never really understood just what exactly was going on, or what the meaning was of what I was reading. But still, I wouldn't say the book was bad. The ideas and the future Bear pictures for us are very interesting and I am curious how this version of the future is developed or used in the other books in the series. I give it three out of five stars. ( )
  divinenanny | Oct 31, 2013 |
Started this, did not finish.
1 vote | ricaustria | Apr 5, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bear, GregAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eggleton, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This one is for Alexandra from before she was born, until long past 100000000000
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Orca shiny in water, touched by mercury ripples, Mary Choy sank into her vinegar bath, first lone moment in seventy two hours.
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A writer, a scientist, and a policewoman collaborate to discover the motive of a famous poet who murdered eight close friends.

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