Real science that questions our basic beliefs through fiction
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 world to ours where the Neanderthals became the dominant species? Because they had bigger brains, they were slightly more intelligent than /ahead of Homo Sapiens. They built a quantum computer that accidently allowed them to cross over to our world. The ensuing sequences of events takes up the trilogy. It is tautly written, gripping and filled with some of the best science writing I have seen in a long while. His reference science articles really exist and his science is workable. The story spans under two years and is filled with action, drama and some very penetrating questions about sustainability, religion, politics, and many of our basic beliefs. You will not only enjoy the fiction, the questions will give your brain a work out. A great Canadian piece of adult work that you can give your teenager to spark some real conversation. My youngest son gave these to me and I thank him.
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About the reviewer
Reg Nordman (RNordman)
I am Managing Partner forRocket Builders, a sales and marketing consultancy for high growth companies likeAsentus,Maximizer,Sophos,Microsoft Canada, andResearch in Motion. My background is direct and … more
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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...