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In this polished anthropological SF yarn, the first of a trilogy from Nebula Award winner Sawyer (The Terminal Experiment), Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth, as both sides discover when a Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility. Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleoanthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language problem and much else is a mini-computer called a Companion implanted in the brain of every Neanderthal. A computerized guardian spirit, however, doesn't eliminate cross-cultural confusion permanent male-female sexuality, rape and overpopulation are all alien to Ponter nor can it help his housemate and fellow scientist back in his world, Adikor Huld, when the authorities charge Adikor with his murder. Ponter's daughter Jasmel believes in Adikor's innocence, but to prevent a horrendous miscarriage of justice (Adikor could be sterilized), she must try to reopen the portal and bring her father home. The author's usual high intelligence and occasionally daunting erudition are on prominent display, particularly in the depiction of Neanderthal society. Some plot points border on the simplistic, such as Mary's recovering from a rape thanks to Ponter's sensitivity, but these are minor flaws in a novel that appeals to both the intellect and the heart.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10:  0765345005
ISBN-13:  978-0765345004
Author:  Robert J. Sawyer
Genre:  Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher:  Tor Science Fiction
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review by . May 28, 2009
1. Hominds 2002. ISBN 0765345005.   2. Humans 2003. ISBN07653467543   3. Hybrids 2003. ISBN 076534906X    For all those readers of my posts who have asked for some fiction reviews, here comes not one, but three ( I read many fiction books a month but usually do not post a review- but some want lighter reading)    Sawyer is a prolific and gifted Canadian writer who postulated what would happen if there was a parallel physically identical …
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