I finished Blood Music by Greg Bear. It was published twenty years ago and, because it's a "near future" story, some parts are a bit dated. Still, it holds up fairly well.

Blood Music is one of those "hey, it was a great novella (Hugo and Nebula Award winner, in fact), let's expand it into a novel!" books you see every so often. Because I haven't read the original I don't have anything to compare the book to, but I can say that the story works well as a book-length one. Thankfully, it doesn't suffer from the common fate of many expanded stories--it doesn't have any jarring transition that screams out "this is where the original ended, isn't it?". I'm sure Bear, being the pro he is, rewrote it all from scratch rather than taking the lazy way out.

This book fills you with the fear/awe associated with The Singularity. It's very much a bittersweet "what the hell have we done now and what are we in for?" story. It's a bit like reading Childhood's End without the aliens. I'd recommend it.

I'm about halfway through Neuromancer. I know it's bad form to discuss a book I haven't even finished yet, but right now I'm remembering why I stopped reading on page ten when it first came out. In fact, I've avoided anything labeled "cyberpunk" ever since tossing my first copy of this book in the bin. It's engaging and all, and I can see how it was amazing and groundbreaking in the 80s, but I never really liked gritty fiction. Throwing truckloads of tough sounding street slang into the mix only distracts and slows me down while I try to puzzle out what's being said in English. "Punk." Yeah. Whatever.

Still, I'll slog through it. Maybe somewhere in the last half of the book there's a scene which takes place in a clean room, with intact furniture (but no chrome), where undrugged people hug each other just because they feel warm inside. Here's hoping.

Besides, my other books haven't arrived yet so there's nothing else to read.
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