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Blood Music (S.F. MASTERWORKS) [Paperback]

Greg Bear
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

12 April 2001 S.F. MASTERWORKS (Book 40)

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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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (12 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857987624
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857987621
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The award winning tale of the inevitable take-over of our society by a benign, intelligent scientific experiment gone awry.

About the Author

SALES POINTS * #40 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written. * Blood Music won the Nebula and Hugo Awards in its original shorter form. * ¿One of the few SF writers capable of following where Olaf Stapledon led, beyond the limits of human ambition and geological time¿ Locus * ¿Arthur C. Clarke has his most formidable rival yet¿ The Times

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Ideas Overshadow Weak Execution 14 Aug 2000
By A Customer
One of the most memorably tongue-in-cheek creations of Douglas Adams was a madness booth--designed to make its victims insane, simply and effectively, by displaying them "to-scale" beside the rest of the cosmos.
In many ways, it's the same trick Bear's best novels play on a reader's mind, forever putting it in contexts too vast to afford the thing any significance at all: "Queen of Angels" concerns a therapist who literally delves into his patients' subconscious, while "Eon" and its sequel plunge characters into an infinite number of alternate universes.
"Blood Music" represents yet another disturbing tour of an alarming theoretical Bearscape--that of an earth whose population has, after a singular biological catastrophe, come to share the same vaguely protoplasmic, continent-sized body.
It could do with a sense of tone, a touch of poetic irony, a memorable character or two, and perhaps even a dollop of Barthelmian humor, but the central idea itself is so unquestionably remarkable that the novel's trashy-ness is, for once, actually overwhelmed by its ambition.
Like it or not, you will be thinking about "Blood Music" long after you put it down. And you should definitely pick it up.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eerie. 12 Jun 2003
With an apocalyptic vision at its heart, Blood Music is escapist reading with high drama, though its excitement has been somewhat muted by time and the magnitude of the real events which have transpired since its publication in 1985. Here a genetic experiment goes awry, and the whole world is endangered. .
Though only seventeen years have passed since its publication, the book feels old--eerily so. Gene therapy is now a reality. The Soviet Union, which here rattles its nuclear sabers in an effort to dominate the world, seems like a very old enemy. Strangely, a number of particularly vivid scenes here take place in a ravaged World Trade Center, images so similar to the reality of 9/11 that I found them painful to stumble upon in a piece of light fiction. Suzy McKenzie, a lonely survivor in New York, sets up home in the World Trade Center lobby, and Bear’s descriptions of her explorations through the desolate upper floors and of the collapse of one of the towers conjured up nightmarish (real) images.
Bear’s narrative is fast-paced and suspenseful. With an acute sensibility and eye for detail, Bear creates stark images. His characterizations of Vergil and Suzy are often touching, however, and the dialogue between Vergil and his mother will bring smiles to the faces of many parents. Structurally, the novel is very loose, with characters who come and go, and ultimately the novel feels almost as chaotic as Bear’s vision of devastation. Bear’s immense potential, obvious here, finds its true fulfillment in his later, more carefully controlled, novels. Mary Whipple
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas, average story 6 Mar 2013
By Brendan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Overall I enjoyed the book. Bear presents some very interesting ideas regarding not only biology, but more abstract quantum and cosmological concepts. It's also nice that the majority of these topics are easy to understand, at least on the surface.

Where the book falls down is in its story. As interesting as Bear's ideas are, almost none of the characters are interesting or memorable. Sure, Bear tries to inject some personality into Bernard, Suzy and Vergil (the POV characters we spend the most time with), but they are ultimately secondary to the plot. Of course, this is to be expected in such an 'end of the world' science fiction novel. Nonetheless, I often found myself bored while reading, pushing myself to finish the book to find out the nature of the scenario.

In summary, full of great ideas, but lacking the structure and coherency of a real story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost.. 17 Jan 2012
The author almost managed to pull it off. It is an excellent read, the characters and concept are well worked which ensure you become engaged in the story. Why almost? I personally felt that the ending could have been stronger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
After having read the novelette version of Blood Music i found the concept extremely intrigueing and decided to read the extended novel. The novel contains the same concepts of the novelette and develops some of the ideas.

The novel follows the seperate (yet intertwined) stories of a few different characters, which eventually lead to the dramatic and enigmatic ending.

The events of the novelette version leave a highly ambiguous ending whereas the ending in the novel is final and definitive, whilst allowing you to develop your own views on the themes in the novel.

Overall i found it an extremely interesting, and an intellectually challenging read. It is more than worth the money, however, i recommend reading the novelette version first before deciding to read the novel as it is, in my opinion, in fact better due to the added ambiguity and pace. If you find yourself immersed in the novellette, i reccomend buying the novel at is develops the storylines further.

Thankyou for reading my review of Blood Music :)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A timely classic 25 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A classic piece of 80's cyberpunk made chillingly prescient by recent developments in microbiology, notably Venter's creation of synthetic cells.

Blood Music is a hardnosed piece of science fiction with a high degree of scientific verisimilitude, drawing widely on the ideas of cell biology and real life scientific events. Despite this Bear's writing never becomes inaccessible to the layperson, exploring philosophical and metaphysical questions such as what it is to be human? And what constitutes our individual identity? He even memorably creates humour from quantum mechanics(p.70)

Bear further explores the concept of collective human consciousness and it's potential perhaps first developed by writers such as Olaf Stapledon in 'Star Maker'
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly imaginative
I read this book a while ago as the first Greg Bear I had come across. It rates as one of my all time favourites partly for the rich yet flowing way it is written but mostly... Read more
Published 7 months ago by matt dales
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG! One of the best sci-fi/apocalypse stories I have read!
This one ticked all the boxes for me, definitely one to keep to read and re-read. A haunting tale, both sad and hopeful, that kept me thinking about aspects of the story for a long... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Peter Bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars Plague - but not as you know it
An wonderful (and early) musing on the notion of biological computers. Bear never stints on the biological sciences and this raises some of the earliest sf themes regarding... Read more
Published 15 months ago by sf_hound
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the personally most influential books I've read.
I have loved this novel since its appearance on the SF market. I find the concepts both exhilarating and challenging and Bear hits the target with his usual elegance and pace. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kanulf Kindred
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary, though provoking; barely dated!
As scary as when I first read it. Blood Music is interesting, poignant, funny and, I'll say it again, scary!
Published 18 months ago by Andy
4.0 out of 5 stars Though Provoking and Chilling
Blood Music is one of many books that have dealt with human extinction by its own hand, but it is much more than that it also about the very perception of existance in the first... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Kes Phillips
4.0 out of 5 stars Genesis of the "Grey Goo" genre?
There is a genre in science fiction dedicated to genetic and biological engineering or experimentation gone awry reducing mankind to either "grey goo" or in which mankind becomes... Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2012 by Lark
5.0 out of 5 stars nightmarish and inspiring
This is another one of those hard scifi novels that has it all: some new scientific discovery (the creation of intelligent cells and what unexpected things they do) and very very... Read more
Published on 30 May 2011 by rob crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars blood music - worth a read
I found Blood Music a really interesting read, based on a microbiology rather then outer space or the mind. Read more
Published on 27 April 2010 by Curlet Lousararian
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, but get the Gollancz S.F Copy.
This is a fantastic book, reguardless of its floors the concept is so strong that it carries the novel, and alone makes it worth reading. Read more
Published on 22 April 2010 by Lawrence J. Glynn
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