1999 1st edition, "First Edition: September 1999" stated; The Ballantine Publishing Group, New York; hardbound in ebony boards with bold gilt stamped lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
Darwin's Radio is a 1999 science fiction novel by Greg Bear. It won the Nebula Award in 2000 for Best Novel and the 2000 Endeavour Award. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award, Locus and Campbell Awards the same year.
The novel's original tagline was 'The next great war will be inside us'. It was followed by a sequel, Darwin's Children, in 2003.
In the novel, a new form of endogenous retrovirus has emerged, SHEVA. It controls human evolution by rapidly evolving the next generation while in the womb, leading to speciation.
The novel follows several characters as the "plague" is discovered as well as the panicked reaction of the public and the U.S. government to the disease.
Built into the human genome are non-coding sequences of DNA called introns. In Darwin's Radio, certain portions of these "non-sense" sequences, remnants of prehistoric retroviruses, have been activated and are translating numerous LPCs (large protein complexes). The activation of SHEVA and its consequential sudden speciation was postulated to be either controlled by a complex genetic network that perceives a need for modification or a human adaptive response to overcrowding. The disease, or rather, gene activation, is passed on laterally from male to female as per an STD. If impregnated, a woman in her first trimester who has contracted SHEVA will miscarry a deformed female fetus made of little more than two ovaries. This "first stage fetus" leaves behind a fertilized egg with fifty-two chromosomes rather than the typical forty-six characteristic of Homo sapiens sapiens.
During the third trimester of the second stage pregnancy, both parents go into a pre-speciation puberty to prepare them for the needs of their novel child...