A terrifying disease, or the next step in human evolution? Three scientists must battle to find the truth in this heart-stopping technothriller.
Mitch Rafelson makes a major discovery high in the Alps – the preserved bodies of a Neanderthal family with a human child.
Kaye Lang investigates a mass grave in the Caucasus – the bodies are mutated.
Christopher Dicken tracks a mysterious flu-like disease that causes pregnant women to miscarry.
Together, these three scientists discover that so-called junk genes, dormant in our DNA for millions of years, are waking up. A signal from Darwin’s radio has triggered the next step in human evolution.
The women who miscarry become inexplicably pregnant again. However, this time they are carriers of Homo sapiens novus. But there is mass panic, official denial, draconian measures against the terrible ‘disease’. Only Mitch, Kaye and Dicken can solve the evolutionary puzzle that will determine the future of the human race, if a future exists at all.
‘Whatever Bear touches turns epic… awesome momentum… rarely have I felt so much the presence of great events’
‘He has a soaring control of the language and dreams that belong to the visionary… Bear’s books map the future. They are required reading’
The Encylopaedia of Science Fiction
About the author
Greg Bear was born in 1951 and published his first short story sixteen years later. His first novel was published in 1979, and his most famous novels, Blood Music and Eon, emerged during the eighties and have now become established classics.
Is evolution a gradual process, as Darwin believed, or can change occur suddenly, in an incredibly brief time span, as has been suggested by Stephen J. Gould and others? Bear (Dinosaur Summer and Foundation and Chaos) takes on one of the hottest topics in science today in this riveting, near-future thriller. Discredited anthropologist Mitch Rafelson has made an astonishing discovery in a recently uncovered ice cave in the Alps--the mummified remains of a Neanderthal couple and their newborn, strangely abnormal child. Kaye Lang, a molecular biologist specializing in retroviruses, has unearthed chilling evidence that so-called junk DNA may have a previously unguessed-at purpose in the scheme of life. Christopher Dicken, a virus hunter at the National Center for Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, is hot in pursuit of a mysterious illness, dubbed Herod's flu, which seems to strike only expectant mothers and their fetuses. Gradually, as the three scientists pool their results, it becomes clear that Homo sapiens is about to face its greatest crisis, a challenge that has slept within our genes since before the dawn of humankind. Bear is one of the modern masters of hard SF, and this story marks a return to the kind of cutting-edge speculation that made his Blood Music one of the genre's all-time classics. Centered on well-developed, highly believable figures who are working scientists and full-fledged human beings, this fine novel is sure to please anyone who appreciates literate, state-of-the-art SF. FYI: Bear has won two Hugos and four Nebulas.