April 20th, 2005


Phillip J. Windley

Phillip Windley was the first professor I had that I really liked. Prior to his arrival at the University of Idaho the C.S. Department was mostly populated by folks who couldn't program their way out of a wet paper bag. I worked for him for a year doing research on HOL. Was fun.

Anyway, he was linked from Slashdot today. I'm name-dropping.

I think the only other time someone I knew was slashdotted before was Chris Toshok last year after he was raided by the government.


Darwin's Children, Greg Bear

Darwin's Children
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Haven't written about my reading much this year. Partially because I am way behind on my goal of 52 books this year. But I have been reading some.

Finished Darwin's Children, by Greg Bear. It's the sequel to Darwin's Radio. Greg Bear is generally speaking an author who falls into the hard SF genre. In his books it's the cool science that is the star. The Darwin series premise is that viruses play a huge part in reproduction and in evolution. The setting is th outbreak of a new virus (SHEVA, related to HIV), that causes women to deliver children who are a new species of human. They can control their skin pigmentation and have enhanced scent glands, both issuing and sensing. Naturally, in the story, regular humans are afraid of them. At the end of Radio, the discoverer of the virus is on the run from the government with her own SHEVA child.

Children starts off with them being discovered after few years, and the child being placed into a quarantined camp for SHEVA children. All sorts of other nasty things happen. Meanwhile, the mother returns to research to try to prove that the new breed of children do not pose a health risk to humans. And the father goes back to archeology to try to find evidence of the same process spawning homo sapiens from homo erectus.

The book was rather dull. I skimmed a lot fo the details on viruses interacting with DNA. And a lot of other stuff because the characters were dull.

Don't bother to read this.

Next up, I'm reading Stiff. Beth bought me a copy.