Slant (Queen of Angels, #4)
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Slant (Queen of Angels #4)

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  1,502 ratings  ·  51 reviews
In the sixth decade of the twenty-first century, Earth has been transformed. Nanotechnology has been perfected, giving humans the ability to change their environment and themselves down to the cellular level. And the study of the mind has brought a revolution in human psychotherapy and artificial intelligence.

It's a sane and perfect world. Almost.
Paperback, 512 pages
Published June 15th 1998 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

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Kelly  Maybedog
I think I would have enjoyed this better if I had read the first book. The story stand alone fairly well but there are a lot of references to things that happened before that I felt I would benefit from having more info about. I'm not going to spoil it so I'm just going to say that the premise, the cause of why people are having problems, didn't make sense to me. I have some experience with people who have the modern day version and I can't imagine why the person who started it all would have ma...more
Liz
Brilliant and scintillating possible future that seems all too tangible a reality when read a decade after its first publication. Depending upon your own personal slant, you will either be horrified or anticipatory of the technology presented in this story.

Possible futures based upon current world trends fascinate me. Books written when certain types of technology are in their infancy; those that seem to be a self-fulfilling prophecy 10 years later on; are a fantastic read, almost a horror story...more
Nicholas Barone
Slant is the 4th novel written by Greg Bear in the setting he introduced in the novel Queen of Angels - an Earth which has been transformed by nanotechnology. In internal chronology, it is the second of the 4 novels, so I chose to read it right after finishing Queen of Angels.

Slant is, in a word, excellent. Where the story in QoA occasionally dragged, Slant's story is a high energy, fast paced page turner. The story takes place several years after the events of QoA. Three of the main characters...more
Jennifer
High time for a quick read, I headed to the science fiction section at the used bookstore and picked up Slant, as Greg Bear has made it onto my list of trusted authors. Despite that, the first noteworthy thought I had reading this book was "Please, dear Greg, no more writing sex scenes!" I was a tad concerned when sex/porn turned out to be rather central to the plot, but the most cringe-worthy moment had passed and I was soon absorbed by the story.

Basic idea -- it's 60ish years in the future. Th...more
David
Slant is set in an all-too-possible future United States where people are constantly hooked (often physically) into an advanced version of the Internet and it is routine to undergo mental therapy, mediated and maintained by nanobots that float freely in one's bloodstream till the end of their days. Dataflow rules all, and people are generally consumed by information. Immortality is within reach ... or so a group of wealthy "Untherapied" aristocrats believes.

There is a lot going on in Slant, and...more
Angie
So, I didn't realize until just now (when it came up for my search) that Slant is #4 in a series. That might make all the difference when reading it.

I like Greg Bear; I really liked Darwin's Radio, at least, and I've got a few books of his on my shelf. This one, though, was a bit too disjointed, and he tried to pack in SO MUCH stuff that it just detracted from the overall story line. It almost seemed like 2 parallel books jammed into 1, but not well. The interesting kernel of the story (to me) o...more
Isabelle
I like Greg Bear a lot, because he definitely doesn't forget the "science" in "science-fiction". Darwin's Radio/Darwin's Children was, in my opinion, spectacular (although if I remember correctly the first one is better than the second one). For some reason, though, I enjoy them when reading them, but I usually can't remember them that well afterwards - Blood Music and Eon/Eternity are a good illustration of that - I know I liked them, but I just can't remember what/who they were about.
I guess S...more
Ellen (Elf TajMuttHall) Finch
This has been sitting on my shelf a long time, waiting to be read.

This was technically well written (i.e., didn't feel like an amateur or sloppy writer writing it) and had interesting characters, or I might not have made it through the book. At least the first half felt like it was taking forever to get to the point or the action or whatever--I didn't really know why I was reading the book. Normally, I love stories that unfold rather than dumping everything on you up front, but this just felt te...more
Cindy
Questioning moral of the story: Is life worth living if it's without some strife?

Slant is not, strictly speaking, the second in a series, but follows the events and several characters from Queen of Angels. Although Slant is a better story than its in-universe predecessor, sadly you need to read QofA to really be able to easily fall into the story. As others have reviewed here, Bear does not explain most of the background information, language and culture of this near-future world. So things like...more
Nicolas
Dans un caveau caché dans le fin fond de l’amérique profond doit se trouver le trésor amassé par d’innombrables nababs qui attendent un avenir meilleur(1). Bien sûr, d’audacieux cambrioleurs rêvent de mettre la main dessus. Ca, c’est à peu près ce qu’on peut trouver sur la quatrième de couverture de ce formidable roman. On y retrouve un certain nombre de personnages déja vus dans La reine des anges avec lequel Oblique partage également une vision de la Terre future extrêmement séduisante. Heureu...more
Ryan Schneider
SLANT is well written and has lots of cool futuristic lingo which takes forever to figure out, plus an ensemble cast of characters whom I constantly had to try and remember each time there was a POV shift.

Greg Bear makes an interesting sociological observation about how pornography and the instant gratification mentality so prevalent today is a risky, and potentially destructive one.

But I found my interest lagging toward the end. I ended up reading really, really quickly through the big climax c...more
korty
This sort of sequel to Queen of Angels is wild near future tale about advanced therapy, nanotech, sex and artificial intelligence. Greg Bear is an amazing hard SF writer who has been at it for many years. There is an amazing non-traditional AI construction that gets revealed at the climax of the novel that blew me away. Queen of Angels is a very different kind of novel to this one, and they don’t have to be read in succession. His book Moving Mars -which I also highly recommend- is also tangenti...more
Punk
SF. It's the future and therapy's on its way to becoming mandatory. Society's divided into high naturals, naturals, untherapieds, and CTRs; then there's the transforms (humans who have elected to change their physiology for aesthetic purposes) and the thinkers (artificial intelligence responsible for guiding entire companies), and the Ruggers (militia members in the Republic of Green Idaho), but now, with a little help from an unlicensed thinker and a band of domestic terrorists, those class sys...more
Althea Ann
Slant, is a aequel to Queen of Angels, but, I would say, is much less ambitious and also a much better book.
Policewoman Mary Choy is back, after a few life changes (divorce, move from LA to Seattle, job change). When she's called on to assist in an investigation of sex workers killed through botched back-alley nanotech operations, she does not expect to be launched into a far-reaching conspiracy to bring down society. But a billionaire investor's mysterious suicide, a virtual-reality murder, and...more
Jim
Thought provoking, scarily prescient view of the direction humanity is driving towards, Slant is equal parts dystopian and optimistic roadmap for our near future. Nano tech, social engineering, and artificial intelligence all collide in a future in danger of collapsing.
Angela Bull Radoff
It's been a week or so since I finished this book and already it's fading from memory. I remember thinking how intelligent and deep thinking the author, Greg Bear, must be. There were ton's of highlight-able ideas and snippets. In the end though, none of the characters grew on me and it's all turning to mist.
Jjlupa
Light spoilers on general topics inbound:

The big premise is that humanity going forwards uses chemistry changing "therapy" to work through psychological issues (running the gamut from mild depression to serious psychosis). We then get to walk through a scenario where they have to deal with the sudden catastrophic failure of said therapy.

As usual, Greg Bear does the "Big SciFi" topics, which I've generally been happy with, but his execution in story telling in this particular book was easily the...more
Peter
Difficult at first: In inventing the world of Slant, Bear uses an infuriatingly large array of long made-up words (some easily derived from current words, others seemingly random collections of letters). This makes it very difficult to read at any kind of pace, and difficult to keep track of the many sub-plot twists and turns. Personally, I found it very difficult to get through the first 150 pages.

However, as one gets further and further through the book, the language (and plot) seem to become

...more
Graham Crawford
This was really bad - ok - a couple of good ideas - but dreadful prose and completely unlikeable/ forgettable characterization. And his BIG idea is just - WRONG! - the writer talks about autopoietic systems, but he has confused these with morphogenetic processes. He has obviously read a tiny bit of science, and got the wrong end of the stick - and since this is the entire point of the book ..... its a tiny bit disturbing that the writer doesn't understand what he is attempting to write about. em...more
Steve
A semi-experimental fractured postmodern narrative coheres by the end and turns out to be an interesting story. Turns out it's the 4th in a series, though it doesn't say anything on the cover of the book.

I've read this book in spurts and left it alone for a year, and then recently finished it. An odd way to read a book. I suppose I look for smoothness in scifi, maybe I should try more post-modern scifi now that my tastes are evolving in this direction.

I like Greg Bear, lots of good books.
Chanpheng
Near future science fiction where everyone on Earth finds being hooked up to Yox more real than reality. Explores the social effects of this comfort. And a group of people working to exploit the social flaws to ensure that they come out at the top of the evolutionary ladder.

Interesting concepts - bacteria as a supermind, adjustment of the brain which makes two castes - therapied and un-therapied.

I liked it a lot; however, the fight scenes at the end get really long.

Donald E Jones
From an author whose other works are engaging and thought-provoking, this book was a disappointment. There were countless, intertwining plot lines, but many remained difficult to appreciate even as the book was coming to a close and some ended up irrelevant. The characters lacked the depth and substance to make me care about whether they survived or not, and some left me wondering what purpose at all they had in the book. A few intriguing ideas, but nothing worth 500 pages.
Macha
it's a kind of sequel to Queen of Angels (two common characters, set a bit later). he dumps artifical intelligence, nanotech into a dystopia pot, stirs well, and emerges with a fairly standard cyberpunk narrative. since i kinda like cyberpunk narratives, i was fairly pleased with the result. but the characters weren't so much interesting, the whole thing read stiffly in Bear's usual style, and it's not as inventive as his premises can be.
Blind_guardian
In the future, there will be a lot of sex. And a virtual-reality Internet. And lots of nanotechnology. An interesting yarn that borders on brilliance at times, only to get bogged down by the number of PoV characters it jumps between. As usual my favorite character is an AI, for some reason I love seeing authors try and bend their own ways of thinking into that of a computerized intelligence. Overall a nice little book but nothing world-shaking.
Andreas
I am still not entirely sure what this novel is about. It is a near future tale, with few traditional SciFi space trappings. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and my final conclusion is that Bear is writing about societal trends that may appear in the future, in particular the impact of the very rich wanting to live for a very long time. Not nearly as epic as Eon and Eternity, it is nevertheless a solid work.

http://www.books.rosboch.net/?p=440
Tiva Quinn
Greg Bear carries on with his usual set of obsessions: cryonics, bacteria, links between genius and madness, culture clash over every new technology.

It's a fine set of obsessions, works for me every time.

The scariest thing he proposes here isn't really about the technology, though. It's that we're on the road to building a culture that can't function without therapy any moreso than a car engine can function without oil.


Dave
A very slow starting book. 5 completely different character perspectives within the first 50 pages, and by the time you get back to the first character you don't remember anything about them!

It finally got better much later in the book, especially when the separate character threads starting merging and you got a better sense of the overall plot.

The ending was satisfying, but overall the book was just okay.
Nikola
It took about 100 pages to draw me in, nice ideas but it was a bit too "action-heroey" for me. Also, why does every hero in SF have to have had something to do with the police and/or military?

However, I really liked this bit from the epilogue:

There are no tribes, no heroes, no gods or godly inspired prophets, no angels or sublimely superior individuals. There are only children.
Rob
Short version: my first exposure to Greg Bear; seemed a bit tedious (the pacing seemed a bit off -- like in fits and starts); the climax/wrap-up went well but seemed to start too early and fold in on itself, dragging out. Some neat concepts presented and certainly a chilling and plausible future (even if he seems to be beveling the edges of his science a bit (if you know what I mean)).
Rtm Taylor-Manning
This book pulls together a number of threads related to the speed of culture, the way our brains work, and biological computing. Some of his speculations regarding the capacity of the human brain to cope with current data loading are things Ive also been thinking. He just got there 8 years before I did.

In my mind, as provocative in a practical sense, as Stross.
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16024
Greg Bear is one of the world's leading hard SF authors. He sold his first short story, at the age of fifteen, to Robert Lowndes's Famous Science Fiction.

A full-time writer, he lives in Washington State with his family. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. He is the son-in-law of Poul Anderson. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/gregbear
More about Greg Bear...
Foundation and Chaos (Second Foundation Trilogy, #2) Eon (The Way, #1) The Forge of God (Forge of God, #1) Darwin's Radio (Darwin's Radio #1) Blood Music

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