Darwin's Children by Greg Bear
(Bear, Greg)

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Greg Bear’s Nebula Award–winning novel, Darwin’s Radio, painted a chilling portrait of humankind on the threshold of a radical leap in evolution—one that would alter our species forever. Now Bear continues his provocative tale of the human race confronted by an uncertain future, where “survival of the fittest” takes on astonishing and controversial new dimensions.


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.

About Greg Bear

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Greg Bear, author of over 25 books, which have been translated into 17 languages, has won science fiction's highest honors and is considered the natural heir to Arthur C. Clarke. The recipient of two Hugos and four Nebulas for his fiction, he has been called "the best working writer of hard science fiction" by THE SCIENCE FICTION ENCYCLOPEDIA. Many of his novels, such as DARWIN'S RADIO, are considered to be this generations' classics. He is married to Astrid Anderson, daughter of science fiction great Poul Anderson, and they are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandria. His recent thriller novel, QUANTICO, was published in 2007 and the sequel, MARIPOSA, followed in 2009. He has since published a new, epic SF novel, CITY AT THE END OF TIME and a generation starship novel, HULL ZERO THREE..
Published March 4, 2003 by Del Rey. 512 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Horror, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Darwin's Children

Kirkus Reviews

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Not so much a sequel as a continuation of Bear's near-future biological thriller, Darwin's Radio (1999).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Darwin's Children (Bear, Greg)

The Guardian

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Darwin's Children by Greg Bear 387pp, HarperCollins, £17.99 For Stephen Jay Gould, fiction reaches those parts that science cannot.

Jul 26 2003 | Read Full Review of Darwin's Children (Bear, Greg)

Publishers Weekly

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In this masterful sequel to his Nebula Award–winning Darwin's Radio, Bear takes us into a near future forever changed by the birth of millions of genet

Mar 03 2003 | Read Full Review of Darwin's Children (Bear, Greg)

Book Reporter

As medical science and the media continue to grapple with the spreading SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus, Greg Bear's recently released DARWIN'S CHILDREN seems to read less like speculative fiction and much more like well-informed prophecy.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Darwin's Children (Bear, Greg)


The new children can communicate using freckle-like marks on their faces, and they're developing a new language and perhaps even new ways of living.

Dec 18 2016 | Read Full Review of Darwin's Children (Bear, Greg)

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