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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blood Music by Greg Bear

This is July's SciFi book group selection.  This won a Hugo Award in 1984 for best Novelette and Nebula Award in 1986.  

From  In the tradition of the greatest cyberpunk novels, Blood Music explores the imminent destruction of mankind and the fear of mass destruction by technological advancements. Blood Music 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 of nuclear fear. 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 quite 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.

I felt this book started out strong, with some great ideas concerning what would happen if someone decided to inject themselves with their scientific experiment.  Would it just affect that person?  Could it go viral? If so, how fast? Ramifications?  I also liked the way Bear handled the change in characters and point of view.  I won't elaborate too much as it would give away too much plot, but the shift between characters was well done.  

However, I wouldn't go so far as to say this was a cyberpunk novel.  This is more along the lines of say, Andromeda Strain than Mona Lisa Overdrive.

I also thought the ending got a bit, ah, out of hand.  I felt there was some strong plausibility being developed and then it seemed like the story just warped into another dimenson comeletely.  Ha! and again, I can't say more lest I give away the plot.  Grrr. 

So, I do recommend this one.  I'm looking forward to discussing it in book group.

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