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by Robert J. Sawyer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Neanderthal Parallax (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,647507,354 (3.62)69
Hominids examines two unique species of people. We are one of those species; the other is the Neanderthals of a parallel world where they became the dominant intelligence. The Neanderthal civilization has reached heights of culture and science comparable to our own, but with radically different history, society and philosophy. Ponter Boddi, a Neanderthal physicist, accidentally pierces the barrier between worlds and is transferred to our universe. Almost immediately recognized as a Neanderthal, but only much later as a scientist, he is quarantined and studdied, alone and bewildered, a stranger in a strange land. But Ponter is also befriended-by a doctor and a physicist who share his questing intelligence, and especially by Canadian geneticist who share his questing intelligence, and especially by Canadian geneticisty Mary Vaughan, a woman with whom he develops a special rapport. Ponter's partner, Adikor Huld, finds himself with a messy lab, a missing body, suspicious people all around and an explosive murder trail. How can he possibly prove his innocence when he has no idea what actually happened to Ponter?… (more)
  1. 00
    Kin: Descent of Man by Gary Frank (hobreads)
    hobreads: Another author's take of contact between Neanderthal man and modern humankind.
  2. 00
    West of Eden by Harry Harrison (MikeBriggs)

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» See also 69 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
A fantastic book and the start of a great series. I love RJS and had heard this was his best series. While it may not be my favorite RJS book, it did not disappoint.

Highly recommend. ( )
  cgfaulknerog | May 28, 2020 |
So disappointed by this book. It started out seeming very promising, but then it wasted all its potential.

I love fish out of water stories. I love alternate societies that are used as a commentary on our society. A lot of this was done well here. Honestly, this is the only good portrayal of a polyamorous person I've seen in published fiction. But it didn't go far enough. Never did the polyamory/monogamy divide become an issue. Never was Neanderthal society used to critique rape culture, which should be a NO-BRAINER given that a main character gets graphically raped at the beginning of the story. What was the point of that if not to offer a contrast to sexual power dynamics in Neanderthal society? But apparently that was there for needless drama, not social commentary. Gross.

The science was beautiful, really it was. I totally believed a lot of Neanderthal society as an extension of what we know from fossils and DNA. But it absolutely strains credulity to think that 1) a total surveillance state wouldn't be abused for political gain, 2) eugenics is actually effective at preventing most violent crime, and worst of all, that 3) such a technologically advanced society could arise without agriculture. You fail economics forever, goodbye.

The Neanderthal characters were likeable and good but the human characters were really lacking. If you don't like any of the humans in a story and it's not Bambi then you're in trouble.

In sum, this kind of story is only effective if the contrast society to our own has its own problems. Setting it up as a utopia is boring and breaks my suspension of disbelief. ( )
  dreamweaversunited | Apr 27, 2020 |
So, so sick of rape as a plot device. TY FOR RUINING A PERFECTLY GOOD STORY FOR ME >:( ( )
  thewanlorn | Feb 24, 2020 |
The rare sf failure that wouldn’t have worked better as a short story. Honestly, it probably doesn’t work in any format, especially when filtered through this authorial filter, a supremely uninteresting and banal mind in most respects OTHER than sometimes conveying scientific ideas (AND that is simply conveying and NOT working them naturally into the story). Very little of note takes place after the inciting incident, other than the through-the-motions efforts to Return Him Home, and some boilerplate Shining A Penetrating Light on Our Wacky Ways and World Through Contact With An Other. This is all to say nothing of the cringey, no matter how well intentioned (and very Canadian, early aughts liberalism), attempts to depict diversity, female desire, and female trauma (the very early rape scene being an example of Sawyer biting off way more than his prose and characterization can chew). Also, we have just such an obvious and awkward mismatch between material conceit and thematic concern: ie between neanderthals jumping between parallel universes and concerns about the surveillance state. It really points to a paint by numbers plotting going on: how do we solve the language issue? AI implants. What does AI world look like? Must be constant surveillance. The incongruence sticks out like a sore thumb, a sore thumb struggling to be pushed through the eye of a needle. Rich Horton, as usual, sums it up nicely: Sawyer writes “TV Movies”. ( )
1 vote Ebenmaessiger | Oct 5, 2019 |
Lectura fácil, rápida y entretenida. Es un libro para leer en unos pocos días, sin grandes metáforas, pero con los ingredientes justos para una buena novela. ( )
  maxtrek | Jan 30, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert J. Sawyerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hartwell, David G.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Marcel Gagné and Sally Tomasevic, Dude and The Other Dude, Great People, Great Friends
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The blackness was absolute.
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