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Vergil Ulam has created cellular material that can outperform rats in laboratory tests. When the authorities rule that he has exceeded his authorization, Vergil loses his job, but is determined to take his discovery with him.

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30 review for Blood Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    karen

    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 exp 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 more traditional elements of storytelling like characterization?? or is this more 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 rest...it 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 more easily, and more 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 more likely cold-war stuff, but that part is less fun and more 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." hahahahahaha

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    MOULD, FRANKENSCIENCE AND MIRTH In 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 like WORDS communicate with *share body structure external* is this like *wholeness WITHIN* *totality* is EXTERNAL alike COULD DO WITH A BEER Okay okay, I a MOULD, FRANKENSCIENCE AND MIRTH In 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 like WORDS communicate with *share body structure external* is this like *wholeness WITHIN* *totality* is EXTERNAL alike COULD DO WITH A BEER Okay 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 everybody gloop!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Apatt

    “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 h “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 lymphocyte This 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 more 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 more versatile sci-fi authors. The ending of the book is truly epic, surreal, yet philosophical and even intimate. Unfortunately the more I talk about this book the more 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 more 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.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    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 horro 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 Sand... I 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)] but it doesn't really matter for the overall atmosphere and message or the progression of the story. (view spoiler)[Though I was almost a bit disappointed that it turned squishy instead of techy - maybe I was hoping for a more metal-ish evolution (think Robocop or the nanites from Stargate) but if you only have a squishy body to work with ... (hide spoiler)] The characters were relatively flat (much like in the trilogy) so I'm left also wondering if characterisations are a weak point of this author or if it was deliberate here because it was supposed to be all about the science and the (view spoiler)[old (hide spoiler)] individuals didn't matter. Anyway, nice and creepy story that marks the perfect transition from September to Spooktober. ;)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    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 Novel Nominee: John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (the original short story WON the award for Best Short Story) Nominee: Nebula A 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 Novel Nominee: John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel Nominee: 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. 5 out of 5

    Lasairfiona Smith

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 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 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Oscar

    Vergil Ulam, biotecnólogo estadounidense, trabaja para Genetron investigando sobre biochips. Al mismo tiempo, desarrolla un proyecto personal basado en si los linfocitos son capaces de pensar por sí mismos, lo que daría lugar a células inteligentes. Sin embargo, sus superiores le instan a abandonar y destruir dicho proyecto. Pero Vergil no desea renunciar a este experimento, y para sacarlo del laboratorio no tiene más remedio que inyectarse a sí mismo los linfocitos. A partir de aquí deberá ser Vergil Ulam, biotecnólogo estadounidense, trabaja para Genetron investigando sobre biochips. Al mismo tiempo, desarrolla un proyecto personal basado en si los linfocitos son capaces de pensar por sí mismos, lo que daría lugar a células inteligentes. Sin embargo, sus superiores le instan a abandonar y destruir dicho proyecto. Pero Vergil no desea renunciar a este experimento, y para sacarlo del laboratorio no tiene más remedio que inyectarse a sí mismo los linfocitos. A partir de aquí deberá ser el lector que el que continúe leyendo para saber cómo sigue la historia. ‘Música en la sangre’ (Blood Music, 1985), del escritor Greg Bear, empezó siendo un relato corto que el autor desarrolló posteriormente para convertirlo en novela. La prosa de Bear es sencilla y clara, pero abunda en elementos de ciencia ficción hard, más concretamente en biología y ciertos aspectos metafísicos. Por lo demás, la historia se desarrolla desde distintos puntos de vista y personajes cotidianos. En resumen, una novela original, que me ha interesado y atrapado en algunos momentos, pero que no me ha entusiasmado.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Yoshiboy13

    book *awesome-on-verge-of-omfg* greg bear MUST SPEND MORE TIME STUDYING AUTHOR Could you make that slightly more 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. - -

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    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 laym 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 more and more 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    Greg Bear once said "science fiction works best when it stimulates debate" and I couldn't agree more. Before this Frankensteinian adventure, I'd never read a book by him and I'm feeling like I am definitely missing out. I seriously enjoyed the language he uses. My interest waned about 70% in but I stuck in there and ended up loving the last 10 or so pages. Overall, I'd say it had a strong finish and in the end it made me think. Sure, there were a few outdated pieces. A majority of one character' Greg Bear once said "science fiction works best when it stimulates debate" and I couldn't agree more. Before this Frankensteinian adventure, I'd never read a book by him and I'm feeling like I am definitely missing out. I seriously enjoyed the language he uses. My interest waned about 70% in but I stuck in there and ended up loving the last 10 or so pages. Overall, I'd say it had a strong finish and in the end it made me think. Sure, there were a few outdated pieces. A majority of one character's arc taking place in one of the WTC towers or the mentioning of floppy diskettes or pocket computers. Regardless, I'm giving it 4 stars because I really liked Blood Music. Listening to Your Love Is An Island by TALOS while reading the final pages is highly recommended. If this book ever gets optioned for a movie... I did your homework for the final scene. Some random lines I liked... "They orbited around each other like moon and planet, never really touching" (134). - Gotta love space similes. "It is the bullet you don’t hear that gets you" Page 196 "Thought moves like a dissociation of leaves across a lawn in a breeze." Page 261 Other random thoughts... I also liked how Bear incorporated in real controversy regarding embryonic stem cell research. One last thing, I wish someone could tell me if it's true is whether the Slotin story actually happened. 4 stars... go read it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    Blood Music is built around a great science fiction concept: a man-made virus becomes sentient and starts rebuilding the world to their own specifications. (Yes, I know that they're technically lymphocytes, but they act and are treated much like a virus throughout.) And to start with, that concept is indeed very promising. The first half or so of the book seemed to be fairly hard SF to me. There are some issues dragging down the book as a whole, though. The most immediately obvious thing is that Blood Music is built around a great science fiction concept: a man-made virus becomes sentient and starts rebuilding the world to their own specifications. (Yes, I know that they're technically lymphocytes, but they act and are treated much like a virus throughout.) And to start with, that concept is indeed very promising. The first half or so of the book seemed to be fairly hard SF to me. There are some issues dragging down the book as a whole, though. The most immediately obvious thing is that the characters are one dimensional sketches, even the viewpoint characters. Nobody feels authentic, or even sympathetic. Adding to that, the narrative makes an abrupt turn towards outright fantasy towards the end. Sure, parts of the book up to that point unrealistic, but I feel fine with labeling some of the things that happen in the last few chapters as magic, pure and simple. Including the odd concept that the universe obligingly reshapes itself to the whims of whoever has the best current theory. It's a far cry from the original premise of the novel. There's that great premise, though. And some really creepy imagery once the lymphocytes start relandscaping. It sounds very much like what might happen if Dr. Seuss and H.R. Giger were hired to design sets for a Tim Burton movie. Certainly worthwhile for SF buffs, but not something I'd give to somebody who isn't already a fan of the genre.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    At a certain point, I had to admit that Blood Music ceased to be about science-y horror stuff, and just became a wild, sci-fi horror novel. And while I liked that, I sort of missed the science part. And the aspects that actually related to being human, and why that's important. A lot of that appears to just drop away in the end (which is fairly abrupt). For some reason (gee - the cover? the synopsis?), I'd had this impression that the book was going to be about crazy Cthulu monsters. What a let d At a certain point, I had to admit that Blood Music ceased to be about science-y horror stuff, and just became a wild, sci-fi horror novel. And while I liked that, I sort of missed the science part. And the aspects that actually related to being human, and why that's important. A lot of that appears to just drop away in the end (which is fairly abrupt). For some reason (gee - the cover? the synopsis?), I'd had this impression that the book was going to be about crazy Cthulu monsters. What a let down. I liked Blood Music. But it leaves a lot to be desired.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Banner

    I had no idea this book was going to be so weird! I guess the name and cover should have given me a hint, but I try to practice the "Don't judge a book by its cover" rule. The protagonist is an interesting fellow, a sloppy research doctor. Working in the area of microbiology. Aspersions of greater things and a drive to achieve but he just isn't that careful in the lab. A germ with intelligence.... That's all I'm saying; it just gets weirder after that. It is a good, imaginative science fiction y I had no idea this book was going to be so weird! I guess the name and cover should have given me a hint, but I try to practice the "Don't judge a book by its cover" rule. The protagonist is an interesting fellow, a sloppy research doctor. Working in the area of microbiology. Aspersions of greater things and a drive to achieve but he just isn't that careful in the lab. A germ with intelligence.... That's all I'm saying; it just gets weirder after that. It is a good, imaginative science fiction yarn, by a notoriously hard science fiction author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pustulio

    HOOOOOOOOOOOLYYYYYY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT Ya en serio, ¿que pedo con este libro? Es uno de los pocos libros, en los que me he encontrado perdido pensando en lo que va a pasar después. ¡En serio que pedo! EL FINAL ME DIO ESCALOFRÍO QUE PEEEEEEEEDO Estoy como anonadado, me parece super chingón que un libro "vieito" me pueda volar la mente tanto como lo ha hecho este. Ciencia ficción en toda su extensión de la palabra. Me quedaron dudas, que ya le preguntare a la b HOOOOOOOOOOOLYYYYYY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT Ya en serio, ¿que pedo con este libro? Es uno de los pocos libros, en los que me he encontrado perdido pensando en lo que va a pasar después. ¡En serio que pedo! EL FINAL ME DIO ESCALOFRÍO QUE PEEEEEEEEDO Estoy como anonadado, me parece super chingón que un libro "vieito" me pueda volar la mente tanto como lo ha hecho este. Ciencia ficción en toda su extensión de la palabra. Me quedaron dudas, que ya le preguntare a la barrita rica. Y definitivamente lo volveré a leer pronto. Resumen ligero porque la verdad cualquier cosa que les diga podría parecer un spoiler. Aunque pasan tantas cosas en el libro que la verdad ni importara si les cuento el final. Un científico logra crear unas celulitas que piensan. Y ya, no voy a decirles más. De verdad leanlo, Greg Bear debería tener más reconocimiento en el mundo. No he leído nada más de él, pero por este libro se ganó mi corazón y un lugar en mis escritores de ciencia ficción. Y ahora un gif de CIENCIA, BIIIITCH!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ben Loory

    starts out a pretty run-of-the-mill Michael Crichton-type thriller, then segues into a cronenbergian fly-like body-horror thing and then ends as a stephen king The Stand-type situation, with a bunch of characters wandering around in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (only the characters are really flat and none of them were there at the start and you don't care about any of them and... whatever). BUT! right in the middle, there's this one amazing chapter! narrated by a news reporter in a plane flying starts out a pretty run-of-the-mill Michael Crichton-type thriller, then segues into a cronenbergian fly-like body-horror thing and then ends as a stephen king The Stand-type situation, with a bunch of characters wandering around in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (only the characters are really flat and none of them were there at the start and you don't care about any of them and... whatever). BUT! right in the middle, there's this one amazing chapter! narrated by a news reporter in a plane flying over the country just as the intelligent supervirus begins to alter the physical landscape, remake the country into something alien and new... like a new plane of existence materializing within ours... and that chapter is so great! just so grand and visionary, nightmarish and convincing... i will probably remember it forever.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    This novel was suggested to me by a sadistic prick who I thought was my friend. Turns out he wanted to see if the concept would bother me. Joke's on him. Loved the book. The story itself was original and unlike anything I'd read before. The concept of a man-made apocalypse where the end of the human race comes in the form of an intelligent virus that ultimately rebuilds the likes of humanity is so far out of the box it's no wonder many light readers are thrown into abysmal attacks on sentence st This novel was suggested to me by a sadistic prick who I thought was my friend. Turns out he wanted to see if the concept would bother me. Joke's on him. Loved the book. The story itself was original and unlike anything I'd read before. The concept of a man-made apocalypse where the end of the human race comes in the form of an intelligent virus that ultimately rebuilds the likes of humanity is so far out of the box it's no wonder many light readers are thrown into abysmal attacks on sentence structure and grammar. This is the first novel I've ever read that used infinitesimals as a plot point, let alone a key character. The originality in this piece alone will have me revisiting it again and again over the years.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ivan Lutz

    Da je knjiga izašla prije kratke priče bila bi za čistu desetku. Ovako Virgil je dobio dušu i prošlost, njegova veza s majkom je odlično opisana i zapravo prikazuje ga kao sociopata, no s druge strane narator Nebulom nagrađane priče je izgubio dio svoje osobnosti jer je priča prebačena u treće lice pa je njegov lik stopljen u knjigu kao nužno zlo. Svakako pročitajte kratku priču jer nećete ništa izgubiti u samoj radnji i poanti, ali knjiga je dobra, jer ima dašak stare škole pripovijedanja. Čita Da je knjiga izašla prije kratke priče bila bi za čistu desetku. Ovako Virgil je dobio dušu i prošlost, njegova veza s majkom je odlično opisana i zapravo prikazuje ga kao sociopata, no s druge strane narator Nebulom nagrađane priče je izgubio dio svoje osobnosti jer je priča prebačena u treće lice pa je njegov lik stopljen u knjigu kao nužno zlo. Svakako pročitajte kratku priču jer nećete ništa izgubiti u samoj radnji i poanti, ali knjiga je dobra, jer ima dašak stare škole pripovijedanja. Čitao sam onu verziju SF Masterworksa, čak su i krupna slova :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Vergil Ulam is a brilliant biotechnology researcher who takes matters into his own hands when his company threatens to shuit his work down. Vergil's noocytes are like nano-techonlogy living organisms that begin to evolve and multiply rapidly. Greg Bear knows his science and comes up with some big ideas and concepts while exploring what it means to be human.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    This novel surprised me with how enjoyable it actually was. The title and cover conspired to give me the distinct impression of "generic SF." A more up-to-date look at the worries of genetic engineering, "Blood Music" moves from an "Andromeda Strain" bio-thriller into speculation of physics and the nature of reality. It manages to do so smoothly, and without invoking any mystical hand waving, which adds greatly to its effect. A solid read, and one that would sit well with anyone who enjoys near This novel surprised me with how enjoyable it actually was. The title and cover conspired to give me the distinct impression of "generic SF." A more up-to-date look at the worries of genetic engineering, "Blood Music" moves from an "Andromeda Strain" bio-thriller into speculation of physics and the nature of reality. It manages to do so smoothly, and without invoking any mystical hand waving, which adds greatly to its effect. A solid read, and one that would sit well with anyone who enjoys near future SF. (With the exception of biologists, for who the suspension of disbelief will require quite a bit more effort.)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Dalesandro

    Genre: sci-fi Rating: 3.5 I listened to this book. Don't quite know what to think about this book. Parts had me spellbound, and parts, bored. I enjoy bio sci-fi. Darwin's Radio is one of my very favorite books. The bio in Blood Music is great... George Guidall does a good job narrating.

  21. 4 out of 5

    David Nichols

    Unfortunately, this book does not improve the short story upon which it is based; the main characters are either unsympathetic or two-dimensional, and Bear doesn't provide more than a glimpse of the world created by the Blood Musicians (so to speak). Also, the book's title just doesn't work with the "In My Pants" game.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I'd given this book 2.5 if I had had the option to do so. Closer to "mediocre" than to "multiple-award-winner".

  23. 5 out of 5

    Abe

    My first of many (and still my favorite) Greg Bear book. This guy is good!

  24. 5 out of 5

    prcardi

    Storyline: 3/5 Characters: 3/5 Writing Style: 3/5 World: 3/5 The last epidemilogical hard science fiction book I read was......also written by Greg Bear! Blood Music shared a lot with the Darwin's Radio duology. And when I say, "a lot" I mean the same subgenre, the same general plot structure, more or less the same problem to understand and respond to, and mostly the same types of characters. I did wonder though if I was being too critical. Perhaps some who read military space science fiction novels Storyline: 3/5 Characters: 3/5 Writing Style: 3/5 World: 3/5 The last epidemilogical hard science fiction book I read was......also written by Greg Bear! Blood Music shared a lot with the Darwin's Radio duology. And when I say, "a lot" I mean the same subgenre, the same general plot structure, more or less the same problem to understand and respond to, and mostly the same types of characters. I did wonder though if I was being too critical. Perhaps some who read military space science fiction novels think they're all the same: space ships, weapons, challenges of vacuum and trajectories, etc. I was able to enjoy Blood Music a little more while making an effort to appreciate the differences between it and Darwin's Radio. The latter was concerned with public health agencies, political responses, socio-ideological hopes and fears, and evolution. Blood Music, instead, took on bio-entrepreneurs, research ethics, cascading repercussions, and ontology. Darwin's Radio was much more of a political thriller where Blood Music developed into a solid science fiction work. I had trouble with this book for reasons other than its similarity to Bear's other medical thriller. For most of the book I could only visualize the happenings in 1980s made-for-television cinematic style. A young Jeff Goldbloom was even my picture of the protagonist. I skimmed back through the book, and Bear had actually done a pretty good job of avoiding now-obsolete technology. It was not a vision of an analog future, and there were few (if any) references to floppy disks or MS-DOS. Still, the first three-quarters of the book were tainted by the poor 1980s sheen my mind added to it. It didn't help that for most of the book, it could easily have been filmed as a 1980s straight-to-television movie. There was little in those sections that couldn't have been adapted to the screen. One of the bonuses to reading is that you are supposed to glean images, tones, and voices that cannot be captured or coherently related through cinema. For most of this story, Blood Music failed to add anything substantive to the reading experience. Everything that happened could easily have been filmed and told through a straightforward narrative and with few effects. Additionally, I did not find the story that thrilling or intriguing. I realized upon putting it down one night that I really had no worries or cares about how it would end. There was nothing particularly bad about the book, but there was no resolution or answer that I was looking forward to. Something changed in the last quarter of the book. Instead of 1980s tv it became thoughtful science fiction. I was finally convinced that the premise was plausible. I finally understood the stakes. I was finally intrigued and cared about how it would end. What was written there couldn't have been adapted to television. Bear wrote an ending, and he wrote well. This last quarter was the real heart of the book, and I wished that the balance had been transposed: 25% preparation and 75% exploration of deeper themes and significance instead of the 3:1 that was here. Better, though, to begin slow and end well than the other way around. This was originally published as a short story in Analog and went on to be an award winning novelette before it was an award winning book. I looked at the original Analog story and believe the book would have been better had it started where that original short story began. That would have cut the first eight chapters (and admittedly, the best parts of my favorite character in the story). I'm not sure which direction the novelette took, but overall Bear did a great job developing the short, original idea into a longer more substantive tale. I also think that I would have liked this more had I read it before I read Darwin's Radio (which was published 14 years later) and in the 1980s. This was another genre-changing book, popularizing scientific concepts that had yet to fully escape the academy and become part of pop-culture knowledge. By this point, however, in 2017, the ideas are not as fresh and have been taken on by other science fiction writers in the intervening thirty two years. As far as I know, Bear still presents a unique take on the ideas here, though, and I will put this book in that category of "Worth Reading."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Olethros

    -En su momento, ideas de vanguardia.- Género. Ciencia ficción. Lo que nos cuenta. En el libro Música en la sangre (publicación original: Blood Music, 1985) conocemos a Vergil Ulam, que trabaja en una compañía dedicada a la investigación biotecnológica que tiene ideas propias sobre el rumbo que deben tomar ciertos proyectos. Su actitud profesional y personal le termina llevando al despido, pero logra llevarse con él su propio proyecto secreto: linfocitos manipulados genéticamente, a partir de los d -En su momento, ideas de vanguardia.- Género. Ciencia ficción. Lo que nos cuenta. En el libro Música en la sangre (publicación original: Blood Music, 1985) conocemos a Vergil Ulam, que trabaja en una compañía dedicada a la investigación biotecnológica que tiene ideas propias sobre el rumbo que deben tomar ciertos proyectos. Su actitud profesional y personal le termina llevando al despido, pero logra llevarse con él su propio proyecto secreto: linfocitos manipulados genéticamente, a partir de los de su sangre, con la intención de crear inteligencia en ellos. Primero fue un relato del mismo nombre, publicado en 1983. ¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite: http://librosdeolethros.blogspot.com/...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    The novel begins following maverick biotechnologist Vergil Ulam, and his 'after-hours' creation of lymphocytes capable of passing information between one-another. His research is considered too dangerous, but rather than destroy his work, he injects his masterpiece into his bloodstream - their only chance for survival. This leads to the evolution of intelligence in the noocytes (from the greek word for mind, 'noos'), and they begin to rapidly multiply and evolve further. Vergil begins to notice The novel begins following maverick biotechnologist Vergil Ulam, and his 'after-hours' creation of lymphocytes capable of passing information between one-another. His research is considered too dangerous, but rather than destroy his work, he injects his masterpiece into his bloodstream - their only chance for survival. This leads to the evolution of intelligence in the noocytes (from the greek word for mind, 'noos'), and they begin to rapidly multiply and evolve further. Vergil begins to notice some changes in himself, and can 'hear' the noocytes in his blood as a kind of music (thus, Blood Music). Before long, the nano-scale invaders have altered their own genetic material, can spread from one host to another, and are capable of communicating with their hosts. I won't detail any more of the story in depth to avoid spoiling it for potential readers, but in general, the rest of the novel follows a few characters on their (mostly) separate journeys through a world in metamorphosis. This novel was originally published as a short story by Bear in 1983, winning the 1983 Nebula Award and 1984 Hugo Award for best novelette. The short story covers (approximately) the first half of the novel, and this can be seen in the story as a rather abrupt change of perspective at the halfway mark. The first part focuses on Vergil Ulam's development of the noocytes and the personal effects they have, whereas the latter focuses on several other characters - some of whom played a minor part in the first half - and examines the environmental effects of the expansion of the noocyte civilisation and their interaction with (and treatment of) humans. The latter also uses a multiple-person point of view, jumping quickly from one character to the next to tell their separate stories as time progresses. The novel is also separated into several phases - interphase, anaphase, prophase, metaphase, telophase, and interphase. These phases are based on the phases in the cell cycle, and are a metaphor for the separation of the noocyte civilisation from humanity. Themes and concepts covered are: biotechnology and nanotechnology, consciousness, the anthropic principle, evolutionary transcendence, noospheres, and genetic memory. Some readers may find the abrupt change at the end of the first half a little off-putting, and Bear probably had no choice but to keep the development of the characters in the second half brief, in order to maintain the novel's fast pace and suspense. The use of the multiple-person point-of-view did not come across as unfocused in any way, but instead does a great job of telling of different characters' experiences in the story's changing environment. On a scale of 1 to 10, the 'sci-fi hardness' of this novel would be around 7 (with 1 being 'very soft' and 10 being 'very hard'). I am not a biologist, but I found all aspects of the nature of the noocytes as described by Bear to be believable and convincing. I feel the novel has barely 'aged' at all since its original publication; if anything, it has become much more 'real' because the themes in the story are much more existent, and the feelings conveyed are much more palpable than they were 25 years ago.

  27. 4 out of 5

    D.J. Cockburn

    What would happen if a socially awkward genius was to tinker with his own DNA until his immune system learned to think for itself? That's the starting point for Blood Music, which spends the rest of the novel answering the question. I don't think I'm giving away any spoilers by saying it's not pretty. The genius in question, Vergil Ulam, is straight out of central casting. He's the brilliant loner who is much better at solving the problem in front of him than at predicting consequences. He's depi What would happen if a socially awkward genius was to tinker with his own DNA until his immune system learned to think for itself? That's the starting point for Blood Music, which spends the rest of the novel answering the question. I don't think I'm giving away any spoilers by saying it's not pretty. The genius in question, Vergil Ulam, is straight out of central casting. He's the brilliant loner who is much better at solving the problem in front of him than at predicting consequences. He's depicted in a way that suggests he brings about the apocalypse out of sexual frustration. What raises this above the usual 'beware of the geek' cautionary tales is that there is some rationale given for his actions; the man who failed to stop him reflects that a certain indifference to consequences is a necessary attribute for a creator because it's impossible to predict where true innovation will lead. Vergil sinks into the plot device by about half way through, and the consequences he neglected take over the story. That's another point where Blood Music transcends a lot of novels that start with a flawed genius and a test tube. No lone hero steps in to save the world from Vergil's tinkering. The consequences unfold on an enormous scale, and the closest Greg Bear comes to giving us heroes are the people who retain their dignity in the face of it. Reading it now, I had to keep reminding myself that Bear wrote it in the mid-eighties, as the science felt as up to date as anything written recently. It was one of the first novels to use genetic engineering as a plot device, making it a pioneer in the subgenre sometimes called 'biopunk'. Strong as the premise is, it's the characters who carry the story. There is no single protagonist, but rather an ensemble who fade in and out of prominence in the course of the novel. From the doctor struggling to understand what his friend has done to himself to the teenager pursued up New York's World Trade Centre by 'grey goo', the characters must face the new world whether they can adapt to it or not. The short story that Blood Music started as is available at Baen: http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/97...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bijan

    Strange, creepy, beautiful, and insane With these four adjectives, I can somehow summarize this book. While borrowed some elements from the classics like Frankenstein, The Time Machine, and I dare to say Solaris (plus maybe other books that I haven’t read yet), Greg Bear created a world unlike any of them. In his world, you, as the spectator, can’t stand your ground till the very end. Your emotions will be fluctuating wildly during the journey. Whenever you think that you find the solution, and y Strange, creepy, beautiful, and insane With these four adjectives, I can somehow summarize this book. While borrowed some elements from the classics like Frankenstein, The Time Machine, and I dare to say Solaris (plus maybe other books that I haven’t read yet), Greg Bear created a world unlike any of them. In his world, you, as the spectator, can’t stand your ground till the very end. Your emotions will be fluctuating wildly during the journey. Whenever you think that you find the solution, and you know how you feel about a character or the noocytes as a whole, a new event will happen and will shatter all your ideas. It’s been my first experience to read a story, which combined hard aspects of science-fiction with its soft prospects. While I was reading the first few pages, filled with technical jargon, I had a bad feeling. Hopefully, it had changed. The author had given me a chance to know more about his characters, and also about their fears, pains, ambitions and dreams. Even, he had paved the way for understanding the noocytes better. Maybe I can call these lymphocytes, the protagonist of the story. I like the versatility of this story. It doesn’t give you any final solutions. It doesn’t judge the characters. It only describes them and shows you the world it has been grounded on. Importantly, it gives you all the freedom to judge for yourself.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I read this because the short story (by the same author) it is based on is so great. I think it should have stayed a short story. The book was alright. The added characters were one-dimensional irritating, and obviously tacked on to fill space and make the story longer, but added very little to it, with the exception of Bernard. Bernard is the only character who became a valuable addition. The only part of the book that was missing from the story in my opinion is Bernard, who made the book beara I read this because the short story (by the same author) it is based on is so great. I think it should have stayed a short story. The book was alright. The added characters were one-dimensional irritating, and obviously tacked on to fill space and make the story longer, but added very little to it, with the exception of Bernard. Bernard is the only character who became a valuable addition. The only part of the book that was missing from the story in my opinion is Bernard, who made the book bearable. Other than that, save yourself a lot of time and read the excellent short story of the same name.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    One of my favorite books, period. Is it science fiction? Horror? How are we supposed to feel about the idea of humanity's fundamental transformation by a veritable sea of nanotechnology? The book remains relatively neutral, with perhaps just a hint of wonder at the possibilities.

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