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McCarthy, Wil (sic). Bloom. New York: Ballantine, 1998. New York: Ballantine, 1999 ("A Del Rey Book" as hardback and paper []).

See for threat and promise of nanotechnology, including in the promise "intimations of immortality" (our phrase, after William Wordsworth). Important hard SF examination of the possibility of highly destructive "technogenic life" like real-world fungi—and called "mycora"—but with the potential for rapid and possibly self-guided evolution, complex perception, and even self-awareness. The future-world of the "Immunity" is high-tech, but avoids nanotech; note especially the "zee-spec" VR device, that looks like foolishly large glasses (1999: 16, 18; ch. 2) but delivers temptingly attractive simulations: "There's sometimes a delayed reaction to reality on emergence from VR; the colors aren't quite as bright, the sounds not quite as crisp, and the brain can be surprisingly reluctant to accept the degradation as anything other than a mistake" (262; ch. 22). WM develops with sensitive nuance some of the political and theological implications of the struggle against take-over of human worlds by technogenic life. (RDE, Bill Howe, 10/12/06)