Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blood Music, by Greg Bear

book cover Greg Bear is the type of writer that I just have to love: he writes hard SciFi, but easy to read, he doesn't bullshit the reader with too much technobabble and, even if his writing is by no means simplistic, he doesn't bore you with how some person or another feels unless it propels the subject forward. Blood Music is also of a subgenre that I love: global pandemic, so I have to also love the book. So take that into account when you read my review.

The book starts with a preposterous idea: that cells can become intelligent. A brilliant scientist, but one that has always cut corners to get around, discovers this almost by accident and... well... cuts a few corners. The result is something that feels like John Saul's The God Project, but soon leaves it and reaches for the stratosphere. The end is typical Greg Bear, astounding and megalomaniac.

Blood Music has some flaws. One of them is that it is really a very short book, an extension of the original 1983 short story that won the Nebula. The other is that it is written in 1983 (similar to The God Project) and so the science background is both grandiose and a bit obsolete. But it is a good book and one that ponders on the significance of identity, thought, society and ultimately: the essence of reality. I've read it in about three days, so you have no possible excuse for not trying it.