Darwin's Children

Darwin's Children

Greg Bear

Synopsis of Darwin's Children

Eleven years have passed since SHEVA, an ancient retrovirus, was discovered in human DNA-a retrovirus that caused mutations in the human genome and heralded the arrival of a new wave of genetically enhanced humans. Now these changed children have reached adolescence . . . and face a world that is outraged about their very existence. For these special youths, possessed of remarkable, advanced traits that mark a major turning point in human development, are also ticking time bombs harboring hosts of viruses that could exterminate the "old" human race.

Fear and hatred of the virus children have made them a persecuted underclass, quarantined by the government in special "schools," targeted by federally sanctioned bounty hunters, and demonized by hysterical segments of the population. But pockets of resistance have sprung up among those opposed to treating the children like dangerous diseases-and who fear the worst if the government's draconian measures are carried to their extreme.

Scientists Kaye Lang and Mitch Rafelson are part of this small but determined minority. Once at the forefront of the discovery and study of the SHEVA outbreak, they now live as virtual exiles in the Virginia suburbs with their daughter, Stella...a bright, inquisitive virus child who is quickly maturing, straining to break free of the protective world her parents have built around her, and eager to seek out others of her kind.

But for all their precautions, Kaye, Mitch, and Stella have not slipped below the government's radar. The agencies fanatically devoted to segregating and controlling the new-breed children monitor their every move-watching and waiting for the opportunity to strike the next blow in their escalating war to preserve "humankind" at any cost.

Reviews of Darwin's Children


Though much of the latter half of the plot depends on luck and coincidence, fans of deep tales with strong scientific roots and powerful messages will relish this novel of the old humans trying to keep the new enhanced species from dominating the future. -- Harriet Klausner, BooksNBytes

Bear has become one of science fiction's most consistent producers of thrills and chills, and with Darwin's Children his strong imagination and writing skills come together in a combination that has all the hallmarks of future bestsellerdom. -- Gavin G Grant, BookPage

Darwin's Children is essential reading for all SF fans, and a good bet for the major awards in the field this year. -- D. Douglas Fratz, Scifi.com

It's a fine novel, but it doesn't have the same punch as its predecessor. -- John C. Snider, ScifiDimensions

Many thanks to Greg Bear for this wonderful, yet chilling look at where the human race might be heading. -- Bruce Wallace, SFRevu

Despite some interesting speculations about the nature of God, the origins of humanity and the purpose of evolution, this novel is unsuccessful. -- Martin Morse Wooster, The Washington Post

This is a must-read for anyone following current scientific and ethical issues in biogenetics, and a very good read even for those who aren't. -- Pauline Finch, BookReporter.com

what a disappointment... what a Book this could have been -- Inchoatus