In Greg Bear's stunning new thriller, nature is more of a bitch goddess than a kindly mother, and evolution is no longer just a theory -- it's an urgent and dangerous fact. In DARWIN'S CHILDREN, human society is about to get a complete makeover. A new kind of humanity is growing up. Some call them the Virus Children. They are special children, equipped with significant natural upgrades that allow them to communicate and socialize in ways we can hardly imagine, or resist. Charming, gentle, persuasive, beautiful...in them can be seen a future that may make all of human history until now seem clumsy and brutal. As products of an extraordinary evolutionary event called SHEVA that swept through the population like a contagious disease over a decade ago, they carry ancient viruses that could cause our extinction, viruses that may be triggered at any moment by stress, anger...or puberty. The new children are being methodically rounded up and sequestered in special schools where they are studied, measured and biopsied. Stella Nova, the daughter of Kaye Lang and Mitch Rafelson, is one of them. She is driven by instinct to be with her own kind, to establish a new kind of social order and discover her potential. Kaye and Mitch wish to protect her, but to do so, they must keep her isolated, stifled in a blanket of security that they all know must eventually be lifted. Despite their best efforts, Kaye, Mitch, and Stella are tracked by security forces that could break them apart as a family. The new children must be controlled, these forces believe; and the time may come when both species must either separate, or engage in outright war. In DARWIN'S CHILDREN, human society is about to get a complete makeover, and who will win is anyone's guess. For, as Kaye Lang discovers, silence is also a signal...