Killing Titan

Killing Titan

October 6, 2015

A new planet. A new battle. Same war.

After barely surviving his last tour on Mars, Master Sergeant Michael Venn finds himself back on earth in enforced isolation. Through a dangerous series of operations he returns to Mars to further his investigation into the Drifters--ancient artifacts suddenly reawakened on the red planet.



Blue Origin


A huge accomplishment for Blue Origin and for the human race, making history and brushing space with persistence and genius.

Pride isn’t in it.

This is pure wonder.

[Blue Origin's 'New Shepard' achieves first spaceflight and rocket landing]

Invincible Bacteria

‘Invincible’ bacteria threatens global epidemic: study

Sinclair Lewis beat us all to part of this story with Arrowsmith, and they even made a movie out of it—in the 1930s!

Some phages are destructive to bacteria—viruses for bugs. Others can serve as gene transfer mechanisms for bacteria. They can carry resistance genes from population to population—and toxicity genes as well. So know your phages! Shigella toxin is mediated by phages, if I recall. And phages can turn harmless cholera into disease.

In Tbilisi, people working in phage research would sample wild populations at civic sewage outlets. That was in the 1920s. Phages were invisible in microscopes, but were tagged with the name “filterable viruses” because fine ceramic filters could stop transmission from one bacterial population to another. Phage medicine was most highly developed at the time in the Republic of Georgia. It could have gone big in the U.S., as per Lewis, except that sulfa and even more powerful antibiotics came along.

In VITALS, I try to make everyone a little suspicious about people spraying down lettuce in supermarkets... with phages carrying psychotropic chemical genes that can insert into our gut bacteria. Might explain Trump and Cruz and their followers.

In humans, viruses that serve a wide range of functions can also transfer genes, with positive and negative results. They’re called retroviruses. HIV is one. Old retroviruses, millions of years old in our genes, are activated in pregnant women in large numbers and appear to play a role in stopping the mother’s immune system from attacking the fetus.

Viruses and phages are FedEx for genes. Part of the ancient biological internet, and very important in evolution.

Shall we call them apps? Might go viral.


Future Visions

My new short story "The Machine Starts" is in the free e-book anthology, FUTURE VISIONS. Nancy Kress, Anne Leckie, David Brin, Elizabeth Bear, Seanan McGuire, Jack McDevitt and Robert J. Sawyer have stories in it, and there is a also a short graphic novel by Blue Delliquanti and Michele Rosenthal. We were all inspired by visits to Microsoft Research facilities. [Read More]

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About Greg Bear

Portrait of Greg Bear by Astrid Anderson Bear, 2006

Greg Bear is the author of KILLING TITAN (Orbit 2015 - sequel to WAR DOGS), HULL ZERO THREE (Orbit 2010), CITY AT THE END OF TIME (Del Rey 2009), MARIPOSA (Perseus paperback November 2010), HALO: CRYPTUM, HALO: PRIMORDIUM, and HALO: SILENTIUM (Tor, 2011, 2012, and 2013). He's the father of two young writers, Erik and Alexandra, and is married to Astrid Anderson Bear, who has written for SAN DIEGO NOIR.

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