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Robert J. Sawyer's Hominids introduces a new world, a parallel historical universe in which Neanderthals, not Homo sapiens, survived to explore the world and build a civilization. It also tells the story of a man from his own world and the people who try to understand and help him. Ponter Boddit is a Neanderthal physicist working on quantum computing. While running an experiment, he suddenly disappears from his own universe, leaving a puddle of heavy water behind him. Just as suddenly, he appears in our universe, in a container of heavy water at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Trying to understand how a Neanderthal arrived in the laboratory, and how to introduce him to human culture, poses a major problem for Louise Benoit, a physics student, and Mary Vaughan, a geneticist with expertise on Neanderthal DNA.
A parallel story of the Neanderthal world follows Adikor Huld and his attempt to explain why he should not be charged with murder in the disappearance of his partner Ponter. The book nicely contrasts Neanderthal society with our own: Ponter's descriptions of a society where violence is almost unknown and pollution non-existent paint an idyllic picture of his home universe. But Adikor's experiences show a more balanced view: Neanderthals sin, too. The first volume in Sawyer's new Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, Hominids is a self-contained story that combines fully drawn characters in both worlds with provocative ideas about physics, history, and evolution. --Greg L. Johnson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is the first book in The Neanderthal Parallax trilogy. The other two being Humans (book 2) and Hybrid (book 3). Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2011 by fastreader
A bridge is created between our world and an alternate Earth where the Neanderthal has become the dominant species. Read morePublished on April 2 2011 by darcmarc
Im not much of a reader but I have read this novel and really enjoyed it.
after reading Hominids , the fist book in the trilogy. I Had to read this book and then 3rd one. Read more
HOMINIDS exemplifies what I consider to be the best quality of a great science fiction novel. No robots, no space ships, no faster-than-light travel; just a fascinating "What... Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by Melissa McCauley
This was the first book I read by Robert J. Sawyer, but it probably won't be the last (I at least have to finish out "The Neanderthal Parallax"). Read morePublished on July 5 2004 by Grant McKee
To me, Science Fiction books I've read in the past were all about space or the future, or time-travel, or high-tek whachamakalitz. Read morePublished on June 17 2004 by Scott McCabe
During early human history, scientists conjecture that there was a battle waged between by early humans and Neanderthals. Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by Michael A. Newman
I bought this book on impulse when I saw it had won the Hugo award, and while I enjoyed the several hours it took me to read it, I was a bit disappointed that I had bought it and... Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by Clara Arak
Robert J. Sawyer adds a new twist to the idea of having someone come from a different Universe to get a new perspective on ours. Read morePublished on May 6 2004 by Brian P. McDonnell