The human race is about to give birth to a new species …
World War III will be the war against our extinction.
Christopher Dicken, ‘virus hunter’ of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, joins an emergency Taskforce on the order of the President. Around the world, what were thought to be ancient junk genes in human DNA have been stimulated to assemble encoded proteins and RNA into an infectious virus which attacks only women – and it kills unborn children. It’s called SHEVA, an apt name for a killer.
Dicken needs Kaye Lang on his team. She’s the scientist who predicted the emergence of SHEVA. She knows more about SHEVA than anyone… Except for one other scientist, a paleontologist, who has intuited even more. But, Mitch Rafelson has no credibility whatsoever. The sin of overwhelming curiosity has left him an unemployed outcast – and revealed to him something nobody else knows, not even Kaye Lang.
Our place on the ladder of evolution is not where we thought. All other wars in history have been in some way between the forces of good and evil. Not this war. Like a signal on Darwin’s radio SHEVA is broadcasting an extraordinary truth about the origin of species. SHEVA confirms Darwin’s view of ‘blundering, low and horribly cruel works of nature’. There are those who will want to control human destiny, and others who will fight them.
The Descent of Man is at hand.
At once a gripping thriller on the grandest scale and a tender love story, this is a uniquely controversial and thought-provoking page-turner.
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All the best thrillers contain the solution to a mystery, and the mystery in this intellectually sparkling scientific thriller is more crucial and more strange than most. Why are people turning on their neighbours and their new children? And what is causing an epidemic of still-births? A disgraced palaeontologist and a genetic engineer both come across evidence of cover-ups, and the government is clearly not up to any good. But no-one knows what is really going on, and the government is covering up because that is what, in thrillers as in life, governments do. And what has any of this to do with the find of a Neanderthal family whose mummified faces show signs of a strange peeling? Greg Bear has spent much of his recent career evoking awe in the deep reaches of space, but he made his name with Blood Music, a novel of nanotechnology that crackled with intelligence. His new book is a workout for the mind and a stunning read; human malignancy has its role in his thriller plot, but its real villain, as well as its last best hope, is the endless ingenious cruelty of the natural world and evolution. -- Roz KaveneyReview:
‘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
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Book Description Harper Collins. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0002257319 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW4.0000467
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