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Hominids (Neanderthal Parallax) Mass Market Paperback – February 17, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
More About the Author
Rob has won Japan's Seiun Award for best foreign novel three times (for END OF AN ERA, FRAMESHIFT, and ILLEGAL ALIEN), and he's also won the world's largest cash-prize for SF writing -- the Polytechnic University of Catalonia's 6,000-euro Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficcion -- an unprecedented three times.
In 2007, he received China's Galaxy Award for most favorite foreign author. He's also won fourteen Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards ("Auroras"), an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada, ANALOG magazine's Analytical Laboratory Award for Best Short Story of the Year, and the SCIENCE FICTION CHRONICLE Reader Award for Best Short Story of the Year.
Rob's novels have been top-ten national mainstream bestsellers in Canada, appearing on the GLOBE AND MAIL and MACLEAN'S bestsellers' lists, and they've hit number one on the bestsellers' list published by LOCUS, the U.S. trade journal of the SF field.
Rob is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences, teaches SF writing occasionally, and edited his own line of Canadian science-fiction novels for Red Deer Press.
His novel FLASHFORWARD (Tor Books) was the basis for the ABC TV series of the same name. He enjoyed spending time on the set and wrote the script for episode 19 "Course Correction."
His WWW trilogy, WAKE, WATCH, and WONDER (Ace Books), is all about the World Wide Web gaining consciousness.
RED PLANET BLUES is Rob's noir detective novel about the only private detective working the mean streets of Mars. It's his most-recent novel in paperback.
Next up is Quantum Night (Ace Books), March 2016. Set in the present day, QUANTUM NIGHT is an exploration of the concept of the Philosophical Zombie: someone whose lights are on but no one is home. Sawyer posits that our population is dominated by these easily led, emotionally vacant followers. And who leads this vast mob? Psychopaths.
For more information about Rob and his award-winning books, check out his web page: http://sfwriter.com
Top Customer Reviews
This book asks the questions, What if there were a parallel universe in which Neanderthals, instead of Homo sapiens sapiens, had survived and developed civilization? What would their world be like? How would their society be different from our own? How might they interact with us?
I think these are interesting questions and worth the effort to try to answer them via the sci-fi genre. Through much of the book, Sawyer presents in an entertaining way current thinking on and debates about Neanderthal anatomy, physiology, behavior and social structure. Unfortunately, in his attempt to explain why Neanderthals eventually achieved civilization (and why, in our world, our species did the same), Sawyer reveals a fatal flaw in his thinking that demonstrates a distinct lack of careful research and, in my view, undermines his entire project. That is, unless his project is to write a romance novel.
Toward the end of his book, two of Sawyer's protagonists, Louise, a post-doc quantum physicist who happens to be a brunette bombshell "wearing tight-fitting denim cutoffs and a white T-shirt tied in a knot over her flat midriff" (p. 369 in the hardcover version), and Mary, a plain Jane geneticist who happens to be a devout Catholic, engage in a one-sided discussion about the origins of consciousness. Louise has had an epiphany that she shares with Mary after carefully testing her idea on "some guys...in the physics department" (370). It's all become crystal clear to her: the reason humans were able to develop civilization was because, forty-odd thousand years ago, they became conscious through the "quantum superposition of isolated electrons in the microtubules of brain cells" (380).Read more ›
Ponter is given Canadian Citizenship, which is unusual because he is a Neanderthal. One could argue however, that a Neanderthal emerging from an INCO mine in Sudbury might not be that far out of the question. Many around the world believe it is a hoax - some believe it is true and a Ponter cult begins. Some want to control him and his knowledge.
In our sister earth, they have not ever had a global war, not developed nuclear weapons, or destroyed the environment the way we have. There is much we could learn from our cousins in this world.
Follow Ponter as he develops friendships, experiences religion and learns that we don't have to be homo sapiens to be human.
Briefly the plot: There is a parallel universe where neandethals survived and we became extinct. During a failed scientific experiment using quantum computers, one of the neanderthals is transported into our world.
This book is a light, quick read despite being over 400 pages. There are two parallel stories, one of the neanderthal in our world, the other of the neanderthal world where on man is being trialled for the murder of the missing neanderthal. Of the two plots, the story set in the neanderthal world is the far more compelling.
So let's get to the meat of it, why did this book make me angry?
Firstly, the author uses incredibly cheap plot devices that really stretch the realms of plausability. For example, four characters (including the neanderthal) are quarantined in a house. To push the romance element of the story, the author decided that Mary and the neanderthal needed to be alone. So how does he get them alone in the house? The other two character lock themselves in their own room to have sex, that's how. Think about it, there is a man from another dimension who could quite possibly be the most amazing experience in your life, but instead you lock yourself away from him to have sex? Yeah right.
The second thing that made me angry was the so called "social commentary". This term can hardly be used to describe what is a sneering, down the nose look at man's history.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy. The 1st book got my hopes up, but the last 2 didn't quite measure up for me. I did my undergraduate degree in anthropology. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Matt
I could not put this book down. It was amazing, and then I went off and read the next two books in the series back to back.
Anything by Robert J. Read more
There were repeated inaccurate explanations of the two main philosophical interpretations of what happens when a quantum wave function collapses. Read morePublished 26 days ago by J. Stimson
An interesting book that is certainly recommend to a friend. It kind of reminds me of the same author that wrote Jurassic Park but a little less exciting.Published 27 days ago by Michael Beloff
Interesting ideas were presented here -- the quantum computing, the parallel universe, the alternate histories and cultures and how they developed and differed. Read morePublished 1 month ago by jeanjackie
This is one of these books that was continually coming up in my recommendation list on Amazon so I eventually gave in and bought it. Will admit that I am glad that I did. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kay Smillie
Well done. My first of Sawyer's work, but certainly not the last. The story explores typical interactions with atypical people/neanderthals. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tomenator
This book is a sad sorry attempt at a utopian society contrasting our own society. The authors incompetence at philosophy and highly illogical ideas make the overall themes... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Daniel Henry
Fascinating and wonderfully written.
The author has wonderful turn-of-phrases.
It's a little slow to get started but well worth it.