Bear Head by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Vertigo

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Bear Head is a sequel to the excellent Dogs of War, though it is a very different book told largely from the perspective of Honey, the over-intelligent bioform bear from the previous book, and the PA of the main antagonist. Mars has been colonised using both biofroms (adapted and enhanced animals derived from the bioform soldier-animals of the first book) and heavily adapted humans (strong echoes of Pohl’s Man Plus here). After a period of initial support from most humans, this support has now started to swing the other way, particularly in regard to the distributed intelligences, Bees and HumOS, and largely led by the antagonist Warner S. Thompson, a wannabe senator (and global dictator?) who simply has to have been modelled (without much disguise) on Donald Trump, especially considering the publication date of 2021. Tchaikovsky has, to my mind, done everything but actually give the character the name Donald Trump or make any mention of his hair!

Despite the borrowing of Trump (or maybe partly because of it) this is an excellent book. Most of the science and technology are plausible extensions of much that is under research today, particularly in the area of genetics. The only real technology requiring any significant suspension of disbelief being the headware technology that is derived from that of the first book. The big reveal towards the end is very cleverly both hidden and hinted at without ever quite giving it away. The writing is excellent, and the characters very well developed in some surprising ways, though some of the antagonist characters make for some very difficult reading. The action is all well-handled and well-paced making the book a fast enjoyable read that never flags.

Everything I read from Tchaikovsky makes me more impressed with his ability and formidable imagination. He is now right up there with my favourite authors.

5/5 stars
 

Rodders

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Great review for a thoroughly enjoyable book. I especially enjoyed the chapters told from the point of view of the secretary and found the implications of such a technology bloody terrifying.

I wonder if Tchaikovsky will return to tell Bee's story?
 

Vertigo

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Great review for a thoroughly enjoyable book. I especially enjoyed the chapters told from the point of view of the secretary and found the implications of such a technology bloody terrifying.

I wonder if Tchaikovsky will return to tell Bee's story?
I agree one hundred percent. Those chapters made for difficult reading but were extremely well written. I was wondering if you would agree with my impression that the Thompson character was modelled on Trump?

I'm not sure about Bee, he might revisit her at one of her star destinations maybe.
 

Rodders

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LOL. The Trump thing was spot on and in places i found it quite amusing, especially when Springer is describing how she handles him.
 

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