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Darwin’s Radio Paperback – 3 Nov 2003

3.8 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (3 Nov. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006511384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006511380
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.7 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 463,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amazon Review

Greg Bear notoriously reworks traditional SF themes in his own special way. His first success, Blood Music (1985), features an intelligent plague which seems destructive but eventually recreates humanity in new, transcendent form--echoing Arthur C. Clarke's rough-hewn 1953 classic Childhood's End. Darwin's Radio revisits this territory but foregrounds scientific, medical and political reactions to disaster; it's reminiscent of a Michael Crichton technothriller. The menace is a "new" virus, SHEVA, which is in fact very old--embedded in a ancient human DNA sequences and now emerging as "Herod's 'Flu", which in pregnant women always forces miscarriage. Chillingly, US health aauthorities first see this threat as something to boost funding, while conservative scientists suppress research into the bizarre reality of what's happening. Evidence from Neanderthal remains and Stalin's mass graves hints that SHEVA is no disease but evolution in action. Human genomes everywhere, linked by the subtle network of "Darwin's radio", are activating Plan B: the creation of a new species. Then, with the world racked by panic, riots, death cults and martial law, SHEVA begins to mutate ... Tense stuff, though some biological info-dumps are tough going, and it's awkwardly paced towards the end when nine months are needed for the biologist heroine's own pregnancy, leading to... but that would be telling. This is a fearfully plausible scientific thriller. --David L Langford


THE NEXT GREAT WAR WILL START INSIDE US Greg Bear's powerfully written, brilliantly inventive novels combine cutting-edge science and unforgettable characters, illuminating dazzling new technologies -- and their dangers. Bear draws on state-of-the-art biological and anthropological research to give us an ingeniously plotted thriller that questions everything we believe about human origins and destiny -- as civilization confronts the next terrifying step in evolution. A mass grave in Russia that conceals the mummified remains of two women, both with child -- and the conspiracy to keep it secret...a major discovery high in the Alps: the preserved bodies of a prehistoric family -- the newborn infant possessing disturbing characteristics...a mysterious disease that strikes only pregnant women, resulting in miscarriage. Three disparate facts that will converge into one science-shattering truth. Molecular biologist Kaye Lang, a specialist in retroviruses, believes that ancient diseases encoded in the DNA of humans can again come to life. But her theory soon becomes chilling reality.

For Christopher Dicken -- a 'virus hunter' at the Epidemic Intelligence Service -- has pursued an elusive flu-like disease that strikes down expectant mothers and their offspring. The shocking link: something that has slept in our genes for millions of years is waking up. Now, as the outbreak of this terrifying disease threatens to become a deadly epidemic, Dicken and Lang, along with anthropologist Mitch Rafelson, must race against time to assemble the pieces of a puzzle only they are equipped to solve. An evolutionary puzzle that will determine the future of the human race...if a future exists at all.

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