Greg Bear was born in San Diego, California, on August 20th, 1951, to Wilma M. and
Dale F. Bear. His father was in the navy so as a child he had traveled
extensively to Japan, the Philippines and Alaska, as well as
touring various parts of the United States.
He completed his first short story at the age of 10 while living in Alaska. At age thirteen or fourteen he began to submit stories to magazines, and at fifteen he sold his first short short to Robert Lowndes' Famous Science Fiction magazine, but it didn't appear in print until he was sixteen years old. It took five years to sell his next story, but by the time he was twenty-three he was selling regularly. He completed his first novel when he was nineteen but it was not published until 13 years later (having been completely rewritten). He sold his first novel, Hegira, to Dell in 1979.
He is the author of more than thirty books of science fiction and fantasy, including Blood Music, The Forge of God, Darwin's Radio, and Quantico. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear and is the father of Erik and Alexandra. Awarded two Hugos and five Nebulas for his fiction, one of two authors to win a Nebula in every category, Bear has been called the Best working writer of hard science fiction by The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. His stories have been collected into an omnibus volume by Tor Books. Bear has served on political and scientific action committees and has advised Microsoft Corporation, the U.S. Army, the CIA, Sandia National Laboratories, Callison Architecture, Inc., Homeland Security, and other groups and agencies.
This biography was last updated on 08/24/2011.
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An Interview with Greg Bear for Darwin's Children
Q: In Darwin's Radio, you wrote about the evolution of a new human
species that is triggered by an HERV, or Human Endogenous Retroviruswhich, if
I understand correctly, is a kind of ancient virus that has entered into human
DNA and persisted there in a dormant state for hundreds of thousands, if not
millions, of years. HERVs sound so much like pure science fiction that it's
rather shocking to discover they actually do exist inside us, although without
the evolutionary properties you ascribe to them . . . at least, so far. Can you
talk a little bit about HERVs, both in fact and in your fiction?
GB: Endogenous Retroviruses (ERV) are real and exist in various forms in nearly all living things. ERVs appear to serve a number of functions; in humans, a gene from an HERV (that is, a virus gene) helps human embryos implant in the mothers womb. So, they are no longer solely disease-causing (though expression of ERV may lead to some autoimmune disorders).
Within our genes are many "mobile" genes that can copy themselves and transport other genes from one position to another. These are called transposons, or retrotransposons, and they may ...
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