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Sci-Fi Book Club Edition.
In a chilly laboratory in sunny California, Vergil Ulam is creating a new form of life. He is determined to tailor a convenient common virus into a powerful computer element, a biochip—but what he creates instead is an independent microscopic intelligence that breeds and spreads and mutates. Acknowledged genius though he is, Vergil is in trouble with his employer because he is sloppy, offensive and—worst of all—has been caught doing unauthorized experiments. Now caught again, he is fired and ordered to destroy his experimental material. Instead, Vergil injects himself with his disease culture to smuggle it out of the company.
And that is how the end of the world begins.
Blood Music is both a novel of high tech hard science and a metaphysical and evolutionary speculation in the central SF tradition of such works as Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End and Theodore Sturgeon’s More Than Human. For as the opening sections of the novel end, it becomes evident that this awesome viral intelligence can absorb and transform any and all living matter. All life as we know it is at risk. It is worse than any past plague, because the virus spreads intentionally. But as it spreads, it learns to communicate with its hosts, and an extraordinary dialogue begins between human beings and the microscopic super intelligences that discover humanity and the external universe.
A new life form, grand in intellectual scale, awesome and wondrous in its capabilities, inhabits Earth. And what will become of Earth and humanity?