Though I generally consider it in poor taste to comment negatively on someone else's work, Robert J. Sawyer's recent "novel" Humans, the sequel to his deservedly well-received Hominids, filled me with such loathing that I felt compelled to warn off other readers lest they waste their valuable time and money on this arrogant, elitist, and virulently anti-American piece of tripe. Whereas Hominids was a fairly exciting adventure novel with just a dash of PC inspired politics thrown into the wash, Humans reads like a pedantic Berkeley sociology professor's lecture on the many, many virtues of bisexual authoritarian socialism. I don't know anything about Robert J. Sawyer's personal life, but it would greatly surprise me if he has ever lived more than a quarter of a mile from a Canadian university campus at any point in his adult life, worked in the private sector, or met a woman who did not define herself as "exploited." Yes, this book is that bad and no, I'm not exaggerating.
So painfully and self-consciously PC that it is sometimes difficult to read, Hominids spares no effort when it comes to placing the full blame for all of the world's ills squarely at the feet of that whipping boy of college intellectuals everywhere, American Society. While reading its admittedly competent prose, once can practically see the author sitting in a coffee house, his three thousand dollar Ibook perched atop his knees, reading the latest copy of Mother Jones while solemnly shaking his head in disbelief a the antics of my nation's unwashed peasantry. The book moves breathlessly from condemnation of private property to praise of affirmative action to an advocation of the constant observation of a genetically engineered, forcibly pacified and disarmed population by an all-knowing benevolent socialist state with the sort of unselfconscious, know-it-all ease that can only flow from the pen of a Canadian academic. Yet it is, at the same time, an uninspired regurgitation of the sort of tired, worn out Baby-Boomer ideas that those of us under the age of fifty have come to expect from our increasingly unstable and whimsical elders.
In the words of that truly great sci-fi leftist George Orwell: "doubleplusungood"