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Queen of Angels (Questar science fiction) [Mass Market Paperback]

Greg Bear
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, 31 Dec 1991 --  

Book Description

31 Dec 1991 Questar science fiction
This novel is set in 2047 on the eve of the Binary Millennium. It explores a world of cybernetically-enhanced personalities and complex city archologies. At its core is a murder mystery which proves to have implications for the entire society.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; Reissue edition (31 Dec 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446361305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446361309
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.4 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,219,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Eon and Eternity may have sold more copies, but Queen of Angels is Greg Bear's masterpiece; a novel of extraordinary richness and depth. The depth isn't immediately evident; the showy, well handled murder plotline keeps you reading, the many futuristic and mind-tickling ideas keep popping up to make you think, and the vaguely experimental division of the text between different viewpoints can be a little distracting. But at the core of this book is an exploration of the nature of consciousness as profound as any in literature. Martin Burke is a psychologist who investigates the motivations for a murder in a society, using nanotechnology to explore the Country of the Mind. AXIS is a sophisticated computer that has travelled to a distant planet. The two journeys of exploration are paralleled, but in their different ways they prove relative dead-ends. Bear's masterstroke is surreptitiously to delineate the shift of another sophisticated computer, JILL, from a linear intelligence based on processing data to a self-aware sentient intelligence that is a genuine consciousness. These passages at the novel's conclusion are amongst the most affecting things Bear has written.

It is true that aspects of this novel work less well; it is, for instance, in part an exploration of the role race plays in society, something that doesn't gel entirely. But overall it embodies exactly what Science Fiction does best--philosophical investigation into the mystery of consciousness expressed in an popular and accessible form. You finish the novel changed. A masterpiece of the genre; the author really does deserve the appellation The Great Bear. --Adam Roberts --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

In a world of wonders, wealth and 'perfect' mental health, a famous poet commits gruesome murder. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars crime and therapy 21 Nov 1999
By A Customer
I actually thought this was rather wonderful. The world Bear creates (which is just 50 years into our future) is believable and frightening. The 'newspeak' works, I think, constantly reminding us that we are in a world which is different from ours, but has evolved from it. The novel is more than just a thriller and contains some very interesting stuff on the nature of free will, evil and the purpose of punishment (if there is one). It took a little while to get into it, but once engaged I was well int 'sneaking off for a quick read when I should have been doing something else' mode.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece of emotive writing 18 July 2000
By A Customer
This was one of the first hard science fiction novels I read and I still feel the force behind the emotional climaxe ten years later.
Bear creates a totally believable world, which has been changed almost beyond recognition by nano-technology. It is a world where humans shapes can be customised to suit their wildest taste, and the human mind can be entered and traversed by a therapist in 'virtual' physical form.
But for all Bear's inventivness of character, the reader never feels any great sympathy for their trials and tribulations. This is saved for a computer.
The unforgetable moment in the book is when a enourmously complex and powerful computer, becomes self aware, in a part of space where an answer to a question takes over a year to return. It is a testement to Bear that he is able to make the subject for such a moving moment, emotive science, a computer's unconsolable isolation and lonleness in an unreachable void.
Truely great science fiction and while the rest of the novel is clearly flawedand suffers from Bear's trademark stagnation of pace and looseness of plot control, this moment alone makes the book a significant milestone in science fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 9 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Yet another excellent example of Bear's work. The world he creates is rich and interesting, not to mention believable.
Queen of Angels is the first book in a series of three - Slant, Heads and Moving Mars. If you enjoy this book, Slant and Moving Mars come highly recommended, where as Heads is a little disappointing.
Sadly, Amazon don't seem to stock Moving Mars, which is a shame, because it's an incredible ending to this series.
Country of the Mind sounds like it may also belong with this collection, but I have yet to see a copy, so I'm not sure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Queen of Angels 2 Jan 2012
When compared to other works by Greg Bear such as EON or Halo: Cryptum this story is a little disappointing.
The story takes a long time to get up to speed and the ending, however good, doesn't make up for the short falls in this particular book. In particular it is marred by an over indulgence of references to physical appearance/state of one of the main characters, so much so it becomes tiresome. To a lesser extent it is also marred by the use of "newspeak" which really doesn't work well. I am in no hurry to read the sequel.
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