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Orphan of Creation Paperback – Feb 1988

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Paperback, Feb 1988
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 345 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (February 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671653563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671653569
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,055,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book, now back in print Feb. 21 2002
By Robert J. Sawyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I finished reading this book a few days ago, and find myself constantly bringing it up in conversation with my wife and other people. It's extremely good: paleoanthropologically accurate, but also dead-on in its human psychology. More: it's one of those books that happens to be packaged as science fiction that could be read, and thoroughly enjoyed, by any thoughtful reader. Indeed, I used to say that no SF book would ever have a chance of being an Oprah's Book Club pick, but this one just might. Its soaring humanity, fascinating look at the concept of slavery (through the distorting lens of a group of African-American slaves having actually burried australopithecines who had been forced to work alongside them in the fields), and finely detailed (and completely believable) African-American female protagonist would make it a natural choice for Oprah. But it also should satisfy anyone who IS a science-fiction reader. It certainly satisfied this lifelong fan. I've written my own paleoanthropologically themed SF (HOMINIDS, from Tor Books), and deliberately waited until I'd finished before I started Allen's book, so as not to be influenced by it. Now that I have read it, it impressed the heck out of me. Five stars.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A keeper April 13 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The year this book came out, my friends passed it around until the copies we had were tattered. We all thought Allen deserved to win the Campbell award for best new writer. I still have a "circulation" copy for others to read because it's so good.
The basic story line takes you from Africa to the Smithsonian Institue in Washington, DC, then to a startling discovery in the Southern States (remains of prehistoric man are found that only date back to the 1800's). The main character is a black woman, who's point of view is so convincing, I initially thought Allen was a pseudonym for a woman. She's not only dealing with an anthropological mystery, but also with everyday life and marital problems.
The anthropology and basic science presented in the story helps move the plot along, rather than interfering. In fact, by the end of the book, I found myself believing the events depicted really could happen!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good book Aug. 12 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I finished this last night. Read through until 2am, even though I had to get up at 7am this morning.

I really enjoyed it, makes you think a lot. I liked the twists and characters, although the ending did seem a bit... rushed. The first half is so slow and methodical, then the last half just churns by, skipping months at a time, and not nearly as much focus on the initial characters... but I still really enjoyed it, and like I said, it kept me up til 2am!
What if a group of primitive hominids had survived ?, March 7 2007
By Marshall Lord - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Like Harry Turtledove's "A different Flesh" this superb book by Roger MacBride Allen takes as its starting point the survival of an early race of hominids and the enormous moral problems which might arise if humanity discovered a race of creatures which are human enough that we have to accept them as people but primitive enough that we cannot pretend even as a legal fiction that they are our equals.

The story starts when a paleontologist, who is an American of colour, is staying with her family, who have done well enough that they now own the plantation where their ancestors were once slaves. She finds some records indicating that the original owner had imported as slave labour a group of creatures who her ancestor described as apes. Intrigued she organises an archaological dig to try to find out what kind of ape could have been used in this way. She was not expecting what she finds ...

An example of one of the thought provoking ideas in the book - a journalist asks a distinguished scientist what question he would ask an Australopithicus, and he replies that he would ask "What is a person?" Later in the story he actually does get to meet a hominid closely related to Australopithecus, and on a whim he does ask her this question.

On the last page of the book we get her answer and, although of limited use as a wider definition, it would be completely convincing. If you want to know what it is, you'll have to read the book.
Interesting, well written, but PLEASE change the cover. July 1 2014
By spark&Bela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Not quite an "I love it" - but I very much enjoyed this book. Many unexpected lurches in the story that kept me very involved. Enough character development that I did care about the ending - which was satisfying to me.
A very risky, IMHO, book in terms of the delicacy in which the author presented or failed to present racial undertones through out - but I thought it was handled well - (from the point of view of a sheltered North American caucasian).
Can I say I just hate the cover? I'm so sorry - no offense to the artist who I am sure does marvelous work - but this cover art is misleading about the content. Mostly in that, to me, it looked like a "young adult" cover of a self-published book likely to be of very questionable quality.
Which perhaps helped me to appreciate the book - - - my expectations were not very high.
Those low expectations taught me just how important a good cover is! Just sayin'.

Oh - and another reviewer commented that the title was less than exciting.
How 'bout the title:
"Thursday's Child"?

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