From: Syndi Yeakley
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
I am a student at North West Arkansas Community Collage taking a science fiction literature class. I chose to cover you as a science fiction author for my final project. I am very impressed by your writing and your achievements. I was hoping to get some more background information for you to complete this project. What degree or degrees do you hold and from where? I am also interested in knowing what drew you to the subject matter for "Blood Music". I was a medical laboratory and research laboratory scientist for over 18 years and found your level of detail so central to this story. It was why I chose you as my final project author. I would love to hear how you researched and developed the story idea. In short could you please tell me more about your writing process?
Thank you so much for your time and attention to my questions.
From: Greg Bear
Good to hear from you. I have a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in science, no other degrees... BLOOD MUSIC as a short story first popped into my head after reading a small piece about what were being called biochips in an issue of NEW SCIENTIST, early in 1982. It occurred to me almost instantly, upon reading this piece, that DNA was a kind of computational system in itself, and perhaps could be "hacked" to do even more extraordinary things. The rest just flowed into place over a couple of weeks. After the short story swept up a Hugo and a Nebula, I read up more completely on biology and genetics, visited UCSD to interview scientists, and started the novel version, which was published in 1985. Ten years later, another round of theorizing and research led me to DARWIN'S RADIO, DARWIN'S CHILDREN, and a new round of biology-based thrillers, VITALS, QUANTICO, and MARIPOSA.
Back in 1982, nanotechnology per se was still a twinkle in Eric Drexler's eye, bio-hackers were a distant concern, and DNA had yet to be thoroughly sequenced. Fascinating times!