Greg Bear’s Blood Music earned both the Hugo and Nebula awards, which means it should be really good.
But it isn’t.
The beginning of the novel, detailing the discovery of the “noosphere” of intelligent cells and the tormented, egotistical and terminally sloppy researcher who makes the scientific breakthough is taut and strong, but then after the cells run rampant and cause a mass holocaust in North America things get really trippy and strange. Trippy and strange aren’t necessarily bad qualities in a work of fiction, but Bear’s writing style, which works so well for the more down-to-Earth parts of the book, isn’t up to carrying events of the massive scale that transpire toward the end of the novel. Lots of “huh?” moments in there.
The characterizations–apart from the aforementioned scientist–also leave a lot to be desired, and don’t provide much a tableau to paint the novel’s cataclysmic climax.
This isn’t by any means a terrible book. It’s highly readable and the plot and science behind the plot are intriguing to say the least. The problem with Blood Music is that it reads more like a treatment of a novel than the novel itself.
Also be aware that the current paperback edition is absolutely littered with typos, which certainly doesn’t do Blood Music any favors. Makes you wonder how it slipped by QA at the publisher.
Posted Monday, 19 July, 2004 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.