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10 thoughts on “Blood Music

  1. says:

    I HAVE BEEN TOLD THIS REVIEW IS SPOILERY BEWARE dude, you seriously want an audio version of this so i read this because bird brian told me to i don t know that i am the best person to review sci fi books i have zero background in the genre, but for whatever reason, brian thought it would be amusing if i reviewed this so i will try soooo okay quick plot for you plotty folks out there genius bad boy scientist gets fired from job for meddling with mammalian cells and conducting experiments outside of his job description before he gets booted to the curb with his cardboard box, he surreptitiously injects many of his little cells into his own body so he can continue his experiments in the privacy of his own home oops.once inside his body, they start housekeeping a little they are like sentient little roombas, fixing his allergies and his eyesight gentrifying his insides so the nice noocytes can move in and go condo they make it all better, like when my super put potted plants in my foyer suddenly, he is stronger and thinner and he can have sexual intercourse FOUR times in a single evening with a girl who approaches him in a bar and then moves in he is like jeff goldblum in the fly he is better than human he contains multitudes and they communicate with him in his miiiind but then, much like poor jeff goldblum, he begins to deteriorate but in this book, he takes everyone with him.and the world goes ffwwoosshh and that s when it gets a little huh for me so north america is pretty much gone people turn into like jello and so this slow girl survives why no one knows i guess she is the only sped in north america and the noocytes can t be bothered fixing her, and then the mother of the now gelatinized bad boy scientist she survives because yeah, well no one knows, and then twin brothers eeeek survive because they have a lot of pesticide exposure okay, i can buy that and then the twins meet up with old science mama as they flee the rapidly changing landscape sure, makes sense the USA is not that big after all.but slow girl goes to live in the world trade center i pour out my 40 ounce where she is visited by three ghosts who bring her food and yeah, i don t understand any of this part.again i don t read a lot of sci fi is it traditional in sci fi that the sci takes over the traditional elements of storytelling like characterization or is this of a criticism of a particular kind of science fiction from a particular time the eighties because these characters were pretty one dimensional and there isn t really a main character because the one you assume will be the main character knocks off pretty quickly as do the restit reminded me a lot of on the beach, which book seemed so unrealistic to me in the way that people just quietly accepted their fate without changing their day to day routines dummies.i have to confess i have no idea what happened in the post noocyte takeover of north america why there were four people left knocking around the whole fucking continent what their stories were meant to contribute to the greater story i am at a loss here, guys i am also at a loss here first you need to find a length of viral DNA that codes for topoisomerases and gyrases you attach this segment to your target DNA and make it easier to lower the linking number to negatively supercoil your target molecule i used ethidium in some earlier experiments zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz what you want is to add and subtract lengths of input DNA easily, and the feedback enzyme arrangement does this when the feedback enzyme is in place, the molecule will open itself up for transcription much easily, and rapidly your program will be transcribed onto two strings of RNA one of the RNA strings will go to a reader a ribosome for translation into a protein initially, the first RNA will carry a simple start up code sorry, i totally drifted off there, greg bear greg bear also wrote the book moving mars which greg stahl is always talking about we saw it yesterday during our bookstore jaunting this is an aside i don t know i don t know where this falls in the greater scheme of science fiction, or what i am supposed to have gotten out of it all i assume it is a cautionary tale about not taking your work home with you, right although if i ever get fired, i am going to inject SO MANY books under my skin so i can read them when i get home oh god if i got fired, i would have so much free time kind of tempting and the likely cold war stuff, but that part is less fun and blowy uppy.i did learn that greg bear likes the word cocantenations as much as proust and that s all i got.oh, i almost forgot my most favorite bit of dialogue i ll never be rid of you, bernard said you always represented something important to me she swiveled on her high heels and presented the rear of an immaculately tailored blue suit he grabbed her arm none too gently and brought her around to face him you were my last chance at being normal i ll never love another woman like i did you you burned i ll like women, but i ll never commit to them i ll never be naive with them hahahahahahacome to my blog

  2. says:

    I believe the only other Greg Bear books I ve read are Eon and Eternity I read both a very long time ago I enjoyed both, especially Eon, but I remember having a few problems with the stories and was disappointed in the overall ending Well, my neighbor picks up sci fi at a used book story on occasion and passes on ones that he liked, as we have similar tastes So, despite this being first published in 1985, I decided to give it a read Overall, it was a similar experience to Eon and Eternity , I enjoyed the read, but found myself let down at the end The story starts with Vergil Ulam, a slightly overweight, nerdy, goalless, but brilliant scientist He works at a biochip company where he is secretly performing research on his own He s building intelligent cells, highly intelligent cells I mean they can navigate mazes better than lab rats Well, he s found out, and rashly decides to preserve his creations the only way he can get them out of the lab by injecting them into his bloodstream This kicks off a series of events, beginning with positive improvements to his body improved eyesight, weight loss, increased strength, etc but leading to much disturbing and ultimately cataclysmic events I found the book to be a page turner, as I was intrigued, first by what would happen to Vergil, and then by the broader events Along the way, I experienced some disappointments, such as wondering who the main character was, and finding frustration that we never seemed to stay with a character enough to development an interest in them But it s not really a character driven story, it s a series of transformations that are well described and fascinating Bear occasionally dips deeply into biochemistry and later physics adding support to the events There were some interesting ideas about the make up of the universe in the final third of the book If those ideas were used at the end as a climatic ending with some characters we cared about, I think this could have been excellent But in all honest, by the end, I didn t really care about the remaining characters and the thought provoking ideas had already been spent as we approached the final ending I was left feeling like some very cool ideas and creative scenes were wasted.A borderline hard sci fi novel, which contains an escalating series of creepy, captivating, and skillfully described events, that disappoints due to a lack of strong characters and an anti climactic finale.

  3. says:

    MOULD, FRANKENSCIENCE AND MIRTHIn Greg Bear s funny and creepy and REALLY insane story, the rogue scientist invents a virus which goes viral Ha ha, that s funny right there, ain t it Well, what did he expect That it would stay where he told it and just watch tv No sir It develops intelligence Learns the art of conversation Says stuff likeWORDS communicate with share body structure external is this like wholeness WITHIN totality is EXTERNAL alike COULD DO WITH A BEEROkay okay, I added the last bit Anyway, the virus eats New York these things never happen in Nottingham or Albuquerque which then looks like some giant has draped giant army surplus blankets over it You think I made that bit up too No, I didn t Greg Bear s very words army surplus blankets Ha ha Greg, you re killing me with your blankets So of course 5 people are immune to the virus, everyone else becomes subsumed within the blankets, and just as in all other apocalypso books and movies, the five people find each other and all of the survivor malarkey goes on apace Does love bloom amongst the glop Read on to find out But, you know, it s a safe bet in these things Maybe not the kind of love The Ronettes sang about though I guess if ALL your human characters get turned into brown gloop by page 87 the story might lack a certain something So Greg had to get his survivors to meet somehow this was before Tinder But the survivors meeting stuff just seems unlikely to me Oh look I see there s a light on in the 75th floor of that skyscraper over there Could it just be my cool punk cousin Or maybe a cute 14 year old girl Let s find out Then again you have to respect a novel where one army surplus brown gloop says to the other WHOLE infrastructure skonkalolly INTELLIGENCE far from BIOSPHERE and the other says YOU RE MAKING ME BLUSH YOU LITTLE RASCAL gloop gloop everybodygloop

  4. says:

    Vergil Ulam had become a god Within his flesh he carried hundreds of billions of intelligent beings If Blood Music is ever adapted into a movie, the above quote would be ideal for the movie s slogan It sums up the central conceit of the novel very nicely So Vergil Ulam, a not entirely sane scientist working for a biotechnology lab, experiments with lymphocyte a form of white blood cell to turn them into smart cells This is very far from his employer s purview so they summarily dismiss him In order to continue his work after dismissal he hastily injects the experimental lymphocytes called noocytes into himself These noocytes soon develop sentience and start to transform Ulam from the inside They soon learn that their host is not the entire universe, there is a much larger macro scale universe of which Ulam is a tiny subset, and they want access to that The world is definitely not ready for these microscopic guys, and life will never be the same again A lymphocyteThis is by far my favorite Greg Bear book, Eon and The Forge of God are great sci fi books but the ideas and plot of Blood Music are much startling The effect these noocytes have on the human population of America is the stuff of nightmare There is something very surreal about the landscape of the cities and the bizarre creatures roaming around them once the noocytes really get going While there are several variants of the noocytes creatures specially design to function in our macro world I imagine a lot of them look kind of like gigantic tofu How they come to exist and what they are able to do are also wonderfully sf nal If you are familiar with the grey goo scenario you can look forward to some serious grey gooing On the writing side, I have to give props to Bear for creating complex and believable human characters with recognizable relationship issues and foibles In the Quotes section after the review, I have juxtaposed Bear s different styles for writing science expositions and emotional human drama He is clearly one of the versatile sci fi authors.The ending of the book is truly epic, surreal, yet philosophical and even intimate Unfortunately the I talk about this book the I am likely to spoil it So I will shut up now Blood Music is a feast for the imagination, read it ________________ A bit like smartphones I suppose, except they are not phones, nor are they cell phones Sorry Quotes Why limit oneself to silicon and protein and biochips a hundredth of a millimeter wide, when in almost every living cell there was already a functioning computer with a huge memory A mammalian cell had a DNA complement of several billion base pairs, each acting as a piece of information What was reproduction, after all, but a computerized biological process of enormous complexity and reliability Can t own a woman, Mike Wonderful companions, can t own them I know Do you Maybe you do I thought, when I found out about your mother s lover, I thought I would die It hurt almost as much as this does I thought I owned her Information can be stored even compactly than in molecular memory It can be stored in the structure of space time What is matter, after all, but a standing wave of information in the vacuum She had postulated that sex was not evolutionarily useful at least not to women, who could, in theory, breed parthenogenetically and that ultimately men were superfluous

  5. says:

    3.5 stars Classic SF novel dealing with biotechnology, nanotechnology including the grey goo hypothesis , the nature of consciousness and artificial intelligence On my list to re read in the near future as it has been some time since I first read this Nominee British Science Fiction Award for Best NovelNominee John W Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction NovelNominee Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel the original short story WON the award for Best Short Story Nominee Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel the original short story WON the award for Best Novelette Nominee Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel

  6. says:

    This week I started and finished reading a trilogy by this author My first encounter with Greg Bear see what I did there lol I wasn t overly impressed although I liked the writing style According to my buddy reader and constant volunteller, Brad, the trilogy was NOT the author s best work, not by far, and I should read this short story.So I did.The story is about a scientist experimenting with biochips computer chips that can be put in a human body In the tradition of scientific horror stories, he takes it too far, even by the standards of the biotech company he s working for, and therefore gets fired Panicking, he injects himself with his invention of course and that is where the fun begins.As William Blake said To see a World in a Grain of SandI really liked the story and the creepy crawly feeling it invoked Imagine knowing that intelligent biochips are inside you but you have no control over them and no knowledge of what they are going to do Will they be trying to conquer, take over Will they worship the body they live in as a deity Just how intelligent can they become Was that just a normal itch or some change the things have initiated I was wondering view spoiler why it took them so long before the doctor realized he had been infected and if the sweaty palm trick hadn t also worked on the Bernard guy hide spoiler

  7. says:

    I can t decide should I burn this book because it is the most horrible piece of trash I have ever read or should I frame it Why is this book so horrible It is because the concept is so _cool_ I couldn t put it down because it is just neat that a virus could become sentient There is also some cool though completely bogus science and theory on observations of time The only character worth caring about is the virus But I had to wade through bad sentence structure, useless characters that you can t empathise with, bad story structure, bad statistics only 12 people in all of north america survive and of course 3 of them find each other Oh, and one is the main character s mom , complete improbabilities, the killing of the main character with no replacement except the virus and the story is structured around it rather than on it , and the most useless and unfulfilling ending ever I threw this book across the room many times only to pick it back up to find out what happened There is nothing worse than a cool story with an inept writer It is just cruel This concept needs to be handed off to an author that can write and do this concept justice.

  8. says:

    Far and away Bear s best novel.It made my skin crawl and kept my eyes glued to the pages.Modern classic.

  9. says:

    book awesome on verge of omfg greg bear MUST SPEND MORE TIME STUDYING AUTHOR Could you make that slightly readable for the nice people out there negative understand possible mean EXTERNAL GROUPING Yeah, pretty much.VERGIL translate CLUSTERS can not translate I think they mean that it s a good book.pause EXTERNAL GROUPING nice nice from city nice in country france nice friendly QUERY Nice friendly.CLUSTERS need learn MORE Yes, quite right. End transmission.

  10. says:

    This novel really irked me, for several reasons I think my primary complaint is in the characters they were undeveloped, unrealistic, and clearly vessels for the science and story rather than dynamic individuals I didn t care about any of them, except for maybe the intelligent cells themselves.It didn t help that the plot was slow moving and required a lot of suspension of disbelief I don t know enough about hard science to judge the likelihood of any of this novel s events, but from a layman s perspective, they seemed so absurd and and so as the book progresses that I had a hard time continuing to read past the halfway point I love science fiction I used to devour Michael Crichton s books But they were enjoyable and exciting because they seemed at least somewhat plausible Blood Music doesn t What really killed this novel for me, though, was the writing style The prose is straight forward, detailed, and kind of cold It s written like a scientific report here s what happened, to whom, and when Bear throws in little unnecessary details he went to Jack in the Box for breakfast , he got a Dos Equis from the fridge which just distract from the story The detached way in which it s written made it hard to read I felt like I was plowing through it, rather than becoming engrossed in it.I know I seem harsh Clearly, with all the five star reviews, not everyone feels the way I do But if you have little experience with science fiction, I would avoid Blood Music as your first exploration of the genre, unless you have a really strong interest in nanotechnology.Oh and be sure to check your edition for typos before you pick it up mine was full of them, on almost every page Big ones, too the word hi would often appear where the word in should have been, and a lot of punctuation was missing I m not sure how that happened, but it was also very distracting.