Darwins Radio & Darwins Children...Greg Bear

Sulphonic

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Darwins Radio is a novel about mankind's next evolutionary step and the prejudice and perils that this new species will encounter.

I cannot praise this book enough for its thought provoking ideas and basing everything on known science fact.

The sequel, Darwins Children is equally good and shows the children reaching puberty and adulthood. A nice little twist at the end too.

If you like believable, near future sci-fi with a fast paced storyline then this is a must read.
 

Brian G Turner

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Thanks for the info, Sulphonic. :)

What sort of book is it - technically written, character driven, plot-heavy...? Just curious. :)
 

Sulphonic

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I said:
Thanks for the info, Sulphonic. :)

What sort of book is it - technically written, character driven, plot-heavy...? Just curious. :)
Its all three, thats why I liked the books so much..its everything in a sci-fi novel I could hope for.


Darwins Radio

2000 Nebula Award Winner
2000 Hugo Award Nominee
 

Leto

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Noted on my to-read list, along most Greg Bear novels I haven't lay my hand on yet. This authors is not one of my favorites (contrary to his father-in-law ;) ), since I tend not to re-read his works, but yes he's got very interesting story, with good characters and on the whole a very good style.
I loved Dinosaur summer and Eon, and found Blood music quite prophetic.
 

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

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contrary to his father-in-law

That's Poul Anderson, right?

Bear is one of the most consistently rewarding hard-SF writers around. There is a certain dry touch to his fiction that makes it an unlikely re-read, but he does strike a good balance between brilliantly researched and imagined 'what ifs', well-rounded characters and gripping plots. Can you strike a balance between three things? Uh.

Sulphonic - it would be great if you could give us a slightly more detailed review of these books - some idea of the plot (sans spoilers), the scientific ideas about human evolution at play and the possibilities explored, and what you think Bear is saying with it it all. Cheers.
 

stencyl

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I have had this book sitting on my shelf for a while and just recently picked it up. Between working and packing to move over the last week or so, I have managed to peck away at a good chunk of it and am almost through.

My take so far:

The ideas that Bear is dealing with are sophisticated. The book centers on the debate over punctuated equalibrium vs. gradualism, but underlying the debate is the idea that evolution may be controlled by ancient dormant retroviruses "sleeping" in what we have previously conceived as the "junk" of human DNA. The virus that the novel has focused on to the point that I have read is aptly named SHEVA and is transmitted sexually, but unlike AIDS, women with steady long-term partners are most susceptable--making for some interesting play with some of the social aspects of the novel.

The story comes off as a sort of detective novel (one of the characters is a 'virus hunter') spun into a bio-thriller. There are a lot of politics involved, the scope of which cover the United States CDC and NIH as well as several drug companies and the WHO, too.

The charaters are complex, and amazingly I have not found them to be lost in the science.

True to Bear's stuff, it is pretty science-heavy, complete with a mini biology glossary in the back. However, I haven't found myself lost yet and I'm no scientist.

I have not finished yet but I'm impressed so far.
 

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

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The end-of-book matter in these books is especially impressive - the write-up appended to Darwin's Children works as a sort ofprimer on genetics and evolution - very cool stuff. If you're into these aspects of the life sciences, Bear's website offers 'A Brief and Opinionated Overview of What's Happening in the Life Sciences Today' here: http://www.gregbear.com/A55885/Bear.nsf/pages/300067
 

Leto

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Yep, that's him.
And yes Bear's site is really interesting. Helped me a lot professionnaly speaking when writing about biotech (that's why i've read Blood music in the first place and never regretted it).
 

Sulphonic

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I'm pretty new to the review game , so any advice is welcome.

I wanted to keep it simple and just to encourage you guys to read it and not to give too much away.

Any thoughts?
 

Tsujigiri

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Sulphonic said:
I'm pretty new to the review game , so any advice is welcome.

I wanted to keep it simple and just to encourage you guys to read it and not to give too much away.

Any thoughts?
I'd personally have liked a little more meat to the review, perhaps a comparison to other novels in the genre and a word or two about the author and where these works sit within his writing arc.

That said, I'm still going to go out and find a copy, thanks :)
 
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