Hybrids Mass Market Paperback – Oct 28 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Canadian writer Sawyer brings his Neanderthal Parallax trilogy to a close, leaving some loose ends that beg for a follow-up further exploring the interaction of two parallel worlds: the overcrowded and polluted one we're used to and another inhabited by highly intelligent and civilized Neanderthals. In the earlier books (Hominids and Humans), physicist Ponter Boddit got translated from the Neanderthal world to ours, where he fell in love with geneticist Mary Vaughn. The couple joined with people of good will from both worlds to keep the link open. Now, though, it's time to consider the implications of such a continuing connection. If people have trouble getting along because of such distinctions as sex and race, how will they be able to co-exist with members of another species? Some individuals see anyone different as a rival, a threat that must be destroyed. Others coldly calculate how to seize new territory for "humanity." Sawyer's characters are less interesting for who they are than for what they are-or what they represent. Still, his picture of the unspoiled Neanderthal world is charming, and he raises some provocative questions. If, for example, only Earth-humans have brains capable of religious belief, should Ponter and Mary genetically design their child with that ability or not? It all amounts to some of the most outrageous, stimulating speculation since Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land questioned our tired, timid conventions.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In the conclusion of the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy (Hominids, 2002, and Humans [BKL Ja 1 & 15 03] precede it), scientists and lovers Mary Vaughan, who is human, and Ponter Boddit, who is Neanderthal, embark on the harrowing adventure of conceiving a child together. To overcome the genetic barbed wire of mismatched chromosomes, they must use banned technology obtainable only from a Neanderthal scientist living in the northern wilderness, alone but not isolated, for Neanderthals prefer a nonprivate society in which injured persons are quickly rescued, theft is unknown, and personal violence is contained, thanks to permanently implanted personal monitors--a society whose benefits Sawyer persuasively describes. The Neanderthals' electronic surveillance is compatible with their basic peacefulness, however, and can't begin to cope with human craftiness or the malevolent racism of one of Mary's colleagues, who considers Ponter's world as a plum ripe for picking. If his ambitions constitute one alarming threat to a society, the imminent collapse of Earth's magnetic field constitutes another, for it is feared that this will wreak havoc with human consciousness. In an excellent closing twist, a New Year's celebration is disrupted in a very alarming, uniquely human manner as a few Neanderthals watch dumbfounded. A fine combination of love story, social commentary, and ecothriller closes a terrific series with a bang. Roberta Johnson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This time around, distinguished Neanderthal scientists have crossed from their universe into ours via the portal created and maintained with Neanderthal technology. Their scientific skills far surpass those of humans, and yet the world in which they live remains pristine. Primeval forests thrive; water and air are pure and sweet; the oceans abound with life and no animals have gone extinct from over-hunting. Their work with DNA rivals anything humans have discovered. The trusting Neanderthals believe the more information exchanged between worlds, the better, but their human counterparts are not so idealistic. Human conditions are overcrowded, the environment fouled by fossil fuels and littered with garbage. One powerful man sees the Neanderthal world as the new Eden and devises a horrifying plan to claim that rich wilderness for humans.
Humans and Neanderthals socially, emotionally, and philosophically gain greater understanding of each other in Hybrids.. Still, there are many problems. Humans cannot grasp the concept of a world without satellites, war, gps systems, cell phones, highways and airplanes. Neanderthals cannot understand a species that would pollute the world they live in and greedily deplete all resources. Meanwhile, Ponter and Mary plan to officially bond and have a child together.Read more ›
In this book we find Dr Mary Vaughan (human geneticist) and Ponter Boddit (Neanderthal physicist) continuing their relationship that developed when they first met. Mary has gone over to the parallel Neanderthal world to learn more about their culture.
From the first books we have learned that in the Neanderthal world:
1) The population has been limited to 185 million
2) All the men live on the outskirts of town and all the women live in the middle
3) The women live with their woman mate and children
4) The men live with their man mate
5) Every 25 days the men go into town and visit their woman mate for 4 days
6) Conception is limited to once every 10 years thus aiding the ZPG
7) Regressive genes (violence, disease etc )have been bred out of the population
8) While they have helicopters they don't have airplanes
9) They don't use fossil fuels but rather solar power
10) They have a strong opinion about religions, because they don't have any
11) They have an implanted electronic companion that records everything they do so crime and violence is rare
Mary and Ponter want to have a child however their chromosomes are different so it would not be possible. They meet a disgraced Neanderthal geneticist who may have solved that problem and smuggle out her equipment that has banned to be used.
However her boss, Jock, who works for the military designs an airborne virus that will only kill Neanderthals and leave their idealic world available to the humans.
The race is then on with Ponter and Mary trying to stop Jock.Read more ›
Like the Hugo Award winning HOMINIDS and the equally deserving HUMANS before it, HYBRIDS is a story of big ideas and all-too-human and fallible characters. If you're used to sci-fi about gleaming heroes ... the kind of stuff Baen publishes ... you may indeed find the complex, error-prone, conflicted people populating this book unfamiliar ... except when you take your nose out of a book and look around at REAL HUMAN BEINGS, which is what Sawyer excels at writing about.
The plot here involves multiple levels of hybridization: cultural and personal. There's a quest for the best of both worlds, a mid-ground between the harshness of the Neanderthal system (yes, harshness -- I'm astonished that so many people seem to gloss over the flaws that Sawyer so clearly paints in the Neanderthal system) and our own. And there's a quest for Ponter and Mary to have a child, despite their differing chromosome counts.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
It was a great read, couldn't put it down. It had been 2 years since I had read the first two and it was easy to fall back into the setting. Wish there was a number 4.Published 8 months ago by Sherry Elliott
I guess we will never know what dramas took place when Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals hung out on the same turf. Read morePublished on May 29 2014 by Richard Schwindt
Haven't read this. Sci-fi. I have read this author in other works but can't comment on this book. Maybe somedayPublished on May 18 2014 by Michael Kearney
After reading Homonids, the first book in this series, I had high hopes for the series. Because, despite what I thought was too much focus in that book on Mary Vaughn's personal... Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by John Howard
Just read this trilogy in the last few days. Gotta say, I'm disappointed.
The premise is somewhat interesting - a Neanderthal physicist is experimenting with quantum... Read more
This book is one of the reasons I dislike trilogies. I read the first two books which represented very good, inventive science fiction. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2004
It's become fashionable in some circles to denigrate the term "science fiction" .... in favor of "speculative fiction," or some such .... Read morePublished on Dec 13 2003 by Jon Jackman