Victor Ulam is an average guy. He is tall, bespectacled, soft spoken. He is also a brilliant geneticist who, surprise, finds rules to be a hinderance to his work and therefore ignores them.
Victor performs unauthorized experiments with introns, genetic material that does not code for protein synthesis. The bacteria colonies that Victor altered become very complex and well organized. Unfortunately, his employers get wind of Victor's extracurricular activities and he is summarily fired. Victor has 10 minutes to sterilize his lab under very close strutiny. In an ill-considered gambit to save his research, Victor surreptitiously injects himself with one of his bacterial specimens.
In the short term, the results are positive for Victor. He loses weight, his eyesight improves, he gains confidence. He even gets laid. Ah, but the piper must be paid. These little critters are smart and now they have some trillions of cells in their small universe; cells that can be taught. In time, these sentient cells discover Victor, their god. Then they discover that Victor is not a god.
Bear entertains a wonderful hypothesis that the laws of physics are influenced by the perceptions of the consciousnesses that inhabit the universe. The spreading smart microbes skew the bellcurve of perception as an unimaginable number of them come to sentience. Will the physical template of the universe change to accommodate them?
This was the first of Bear's novels that I ever read and it got me hooked. He is a fantastic speculative author and Blood Music is a great read.
This report prepared by Greg Careaga
A new kind of life is created when a scientist goes too far in messing around with DNA. This is a great, kind of creepy read that gets a little strange near the end.
This report prepared by Eric Terrell