"Are you stoned?" I asked.
He stood his head, then nodded once, very slowly. "Listening," he said.
"I don't know. Not sounds . . . exactly. Like music. The heart, all the blood vessels, friction of blood along the arteries, veins.
Activity. Music in the blood."
"Blood Music" is a tale warning about the dangers of genetic engineering that echoes the cautionary themes of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus (1818; see separate entry, Vol. 5). The novelette completely overturns the conventions of the Romantic protagonist as Vergil Ulam, the ostensible hero, defies his superiors, saves his experiment in intelligent "Medically Applicable Biochips," and by so doing leaves a fatal legacy of horror and misery to humanity. The "music in the blood" is the relentless activities of invaders of the human body that turn their creators into gigantic versions of themselves.