The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Monday, 19 July 2004]

Review: Blood Music

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.

« You have been assimilated


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

Impressions moving from an Apple Watch Series 3 to Series 5

Is there reason to upgrade from a 3 to a 5?

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything

Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing

Die in a ditch

After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.

The big thieves hang the little ones

Book roundup, part 29

A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable

Book roundup, part 28

Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.

Las Vegas trip report

Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?