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Hominids Mass Market Paperback – 1 Feb 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765345005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765345004
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation." -- "The New York Times"
" A rapidly plotted, anthropologically saturated speculative novel . . . [with] Sawyer-signature wide appeal." - "The Globe & Mail"
" Hominids takes sophisticated paleoanthropological data, cutting-edge theoretical physics, and characters that will warm your heart; and mixes then into a charming, witty, and provocative novel. Hominids is anthropological fiction as its best." - W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O' Neal Gear, authors "of Raising Abel"


“Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation.”—"The New York Times"
“A rapidly plotted, anthropologically saturated speculative novel . . . [with] Sawyer-signature wide appeal.” –"The Globe & Mail"
“Hominids takes sophisticated paleoanthropological data, cutting-edge theoretical physics, and characters that will warm your heart; and mixes then into a charming, witty, and provocative novel. Hominids is anthropological fiction as its best.” - W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O’Neal Gear, authors "of Raising Abel"


"Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation."--"The New York Times"

"A rapidly plotted, anthropologically saturated speculative novel . . . [with] Sawyer-signature wide appeal." -"The Globe & Mail"

"Hominids takes sophisticated paleoanthropological data, cutting-edge theoretical physics, and characters that will warm your heart; and mixes then into a charming, witty, and provocative novel. Hominids is anthropological fiction as its best." - W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O'Neal Gear, authors "of Raising Abel"


Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation. "The New York Times"

A rapidly plotted, anthropologically saturated speculative novel . . . [with] Sawyer-signature wide appeal. "The Globe & Mail"

Hominids takes sophisticated paleoanthropological data, cutting-edge theoretical physics, and characters that will warm your heart; and mixes then into a charming, witty, and provocative novel. Hominids is anthropological fiction as its best. "W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O'Neal Gear, authors of Raising Abel""

About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer is the Hugo Award-winning author of "Hominids," the Nebula Award-winning author of "The Terminal Experiment," and the Aurora Award-winning author of "FlashForward," basis for the ABC TV series. He is also the author of the WWW series "Wake," "Watch" and "Wonder" and many other books. He was born in Ottawa and lives in Toronto."


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
You have to give Sawyer credit. He offers a Francophone, a Japanese-Canadian, a Canadian-Jamaican, an Ojibway, a Neanderthal, multiple universes, and a rape - all in the first 80 pages. He uses well-established credentials in converting science, albeit speculative, into fiction. He has achieved a high point with this book. Incorporating geology, paleoanthropology and quantum physics into this story, he makes a fantastic situation both credible and readable.
In this first volume of a trilogy, physicist Ponter Boddit disappears in mysterious circumstances from a deep mine physics laboratory. Ponter, however, is not of this earth. He is of an "advanced" Neanderthal society in an alternative universe. Homo sapiens has apparently gone extinct in his world, but Ponter emerges in a world where that "extinct" species dominates. Sawyer uses the need for Ponter's adjustment to his novel environment to examine many aspects of our society - its values, beliefs and practices. Communication is enhanced by Ponter's possession of an electronic implant that "learns" words and derives meaning from context. It's a cunning ploy, reflecting a measure of desparation to move Sawyer's other ideas along more readily. He further suggests the Neanderthal's brain capacity could mean greater intelligence, even an enhanced moral sense.
The story itself isn't complex. What happens in Ponter's world to account for his disappearance, and what must he do to adapt to the one he's in? The circumstances surrounding these issues give Sawyer the opportunity to minutely examine and contrast the two societies. People in the world Pondar left prove very "human" in their motives and behaviour. Although their society is drastically different, their emotions and interactions are vividly familiar.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
With HOMINIDS Sawyer has created a fascinating story with all the ingredients of a traditional science fiction novel - and a lot more. He presents the reader with a different view on life on earth - but not from the usual perspective of 'aliens' coming from outer space as he has done in previous novels. He imagined an alternative hominid reality - that of the Neanderthals - existing in parallel with ours.
Ponter Bobbit, a physicist in this parallel universe, literally drops into ours, seemingly out of nowhere and is found floating in a tank of heavy water. An accident in his quantum computing department opens up a brief window between the two realities. The people in the science lab in Sudbury, (Ontario) were taken by surprise, to say the least. They require some time to work out who he is and what his appearance represents. This is the hook that leads to a clever and imaginative description of human (homo sapiens) attitudes vis-à-vis the unexpected. An engaging story of sharing and mutual learning from both realities in this multiverse develops from there. In particular the exchange between Mary Vaughan, the geneticist brought in to examine the Neanderthal’s DNA, and Ponter explore some pretty fundamental issues in both societies.
While Ponter is learning how to communicate with an ethnically diverse group of homo sapiens, in his Neanderthal reality his disappearance leads to a completely different set of problems. A small pool of heavy water provides the only hint of something having gone wrong. But, a person cannot really disappear thanks to the “alibi archives” that record where everybody is at any time. So, his friend and colleague, Adikor Huld, is charged with his murder.
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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. Love the twist on parallel worlds, where a doorway to an alternative Earth is accidentally created and an inhabitant of another Earth ends up here. A Neanderthal, from an Earth where we died out and they thrived.

Won't go into further detail but the storyline enthralled me to the extent I have already bought the sequels.

Ray Smillie
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Hominids (the first part of a trilogy) a Neanderthal physicist from an alternate reality ends up in our universe. His civilization is also an advanced one, but rather different from ours, the divergences seem to be partly based on biology. The Neanderthal and the Canadian researchers who make first contact with him make some progress understanding each other's worlds. Robert J. Sawyer is also a humorous writer, and includes quite a lot of snippets of media coverage and what modern groups might say if a Neanderthal was to appear in our modern world. As usual, Sawyer presents us with a good read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read a few of the author's other books, which I found to be interesting, though not exactly thrill packed. Calculating God and Flashforward had very human characters (I mean this as a compliment) in thought provoking situations. They weren't action oriented, but they told good stories. Unusually for me, I found the tv series of flashforward (the bits that I've seen) a better story than the book (that I read a few years ago). The tv series adds some adrenaline to the mix IMHO.

I didn't hate this trilogy, but by the end of it I felt that I'd read about a pretty unconvincing feminist inspired utopia. It felt like a world dreamt up by a man-hating 1980s' lesbian feminist who couldn't quite kick the 'man-thing'(!) and had discovered green ideology

( For the sake of clarity; The idea of homosexuality doesn't worry me, I'm not one, but I can understand that some people are. Discriminating against gay people seems as pointless as dicriminating against short / white / bald / black / hairy / martians / men / women - they can't change what they are - live and let live. )

As a male, I take exception to being told that:
all men are rapists
a certain operation solves male anger ( justified anger according to the book (my reading of it anyway)).
a white man plotting a hideous crime is evil, but a woman speculating almost as extreme an idea is ok

Unconvincing world, I said:
a society seems to have bypassed wheeled transport, internal combustion and gone to flying, solar powered transport directly
owning your own transport is an alien concept but your own home is natural (implausibly natural)
hunting (by men, clearly) is done by spears. Not very humane, is it?
a woman only society is a perfectly harmonious one...
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