The Neanderthal Parallax is a trilogy of novels written by Robert J. Sawyer and published by Tor. It depicts the effects of the opening of a connection between two versions of Earth in different parallel universes: the world familiar to the reader, and another where Neanderthals became the dominant intelligent hominid. “Bring Me the Head of Robert J. Sawyer” seems to be a recurring written leitmotif. Still, he has this knack for managing to get one of his eminently. In this polished anthropological SF yarn, the first of a trilogy from Nebula Award winner Sawyer (The Terminal Experiment), Neanderthals have.
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Preview — Hominids by Robert J. Hominids Neanderthal Parallax 1 by Robert J. Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth.
A Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility.
Science Fiction Writer Robert J. Sawyer: Hominids Jacket Copy
Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleo-anthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language prob Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth.
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.
Paperbackpages. Published February 17th by Tor Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Hominidsplease sign up. Thank you for the recommendation, mate.
What made you think of me for this, perhaps Oldest Living Vampire? Ray Gardener Hi, um, sorry, I was just filing a review after reading the book, I didn’t see it being a recommendation to anyone.
See 1 question about Hominids…. Lists with This Book. Jan 24, Jamie Collins rated it it was ok Shelves: This is worth reading for the intriguing depiction of an advanced neanderthal society, but it’s not a very well-written novel. The narrative was more readable when it focused on the neanderthals, perhaps because the alienness of the society kept my attention, but as soon as it returned to the homo sapiens the prose became clunky enough to pull me out of the story.
The characterizations are poor, particularly that of Mary, one of the main protagonists. And the author almost ruined my enjoyment of t This is worth reading for the intriguing depiction of an advanced neanderthal society, but it’s not a very well-written novel. And the author almost ruined my enjoyment of the neanderthals by using them to sermonize about our abuse of the environment, unfair judicial system and foolish belief in God.
I would robeet appreciated a more honest attempt at contrasting the ethics of the parallel humanities.
View all 10 comments. Dec 05, Apatt rated it really liked it Shelves: The idea of a caveman accidentally arriving in our modern world is not new, but Sawyer has turned the trope on its head here. Ponter, in spite of being a Neanderthal, is not a caveman, he comes from a parallel Earth more advanced and civilized than ours.
Fortunately for him, his arrival is noticed by the nice research scientists at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory where he came through. I am definitely developing a taste for Robert J. I thought Flashforward was generally good, if a little mediocre in term of prose hojinids a silly ending. I feel like I have a clearer idea of what a quantum computer is and I am definitely more informed about theories concerning Neanderthals.
I find Hominids to be a much better book than Flashforwardthe story is more compelling and several of the main characters are rlbert believable, sympathetic and likable, Ponter being the best of them.
I actually felt moved at one point, with a spontaneous lump in the throat. Sawyer also uses the novel to explore the idea of religion, the religion-free and generally crime-free utopia of the Neanderthal Earth implies that humanity would be better off without it. The society of the parallel Earth makes for an interesting foil for ours, with its numerous shortcomings. The price for lack of crime seems to be a form of constant surveillance, I am not sure what Sawyer is advocating here.
This parallel Earth, with its strange culture and concepts, is far too interesting to waste on a courtroom drama. The world building is actually very good but I just felt frustrated with the trials, where the case is going against Adikor, the defendant.
The outcome is already predictable and I felt that we, the readers, should be exploring this fascinating world instead of sitting through a fairly pedestrian legal drama legal thriller author Scott Swwyer even gets a name check. Having said that, the courtroom stuff takes up maybe a third of the narrative so it does not actually ruin the book.
Another complaint is a rape subplot where a female geneticist, Mary Vaughan, is raped early on in the book. There is an actual rape scene which is rather distasteful and entirely unnecessary. Anyway, it is a very brief scene, so there is probably no need to boycott the book because of it. I feel that we, sci-fi fans can be just as snobbish as the literati types sometimes. I like the more literary sci-fi style of Ursula K. Le Guin or Iain M. Banks but Sawyer writes more in the tradition of Asimov or Clarke, but perhaps with a little more commercial styling.
For me this is fine, there is always room for easily accessible sci-fi books. I am definitely sufficiently intrigued by his Neanderthal society to come back to the other two installments.
Still, neutrinos poured out of the sun in such vast profusion that collisions did occasionally occur—and heavy water was an ideal target. But if you used a conventional computer to factor a big number—say, one with digits, like those used to encrypt credit-card transactions on the World Wide Web—it would take countless centuries to try all the possible factors one at a time.
But jominids quantum computer uses superposition of quantum states to check multiple possible factors simultaneously. View all 18 comments. May 16, Brendon Schrodinger rated it really liked it Shelves: Robert Sawyer can be a bit hit and miss to me, but ‘Hominids’ is the best hit he has had sawyeer me. This was a reread after about a decade at a guess. And while I knew the plot, the thought experiment is still strong and is a delight to read.
The sawyeer has its faults though. Like most of all Sawyer’s books it revolves around a great idea, fleshed out to find interesting consequences and peopled with pawns to do his bidding. These people are a little more rounded than most SF characters, but still l Robert Sawyer can be a bit hit and miss to me, but ‘Hominids’ is the best hit he has had with me.
These people are a little more rounded than most SF characters, but still lacking somewhat. There’s always the scientist in his books and he homlnids their life simplistically, but fairly accurately. Much better than most media. Why do you read this then? The fun premise of a crossing of parallel universes, one where we survived and neanderthals died, and then vice-versa. The neanderthal world is described in detail and differs from our world greatly.
Hominids (Neanderthal Parallax, #1) by Robert J. Sawyer
It’s certainly a leftie’s heaven. Robegt there is a warning. There are rape themes explored here, and, as far as I am aware, not done very well. This hominidx my opinion as a white male who has had no impact from rape. But it seems to me like there was not enough trauma, it was a bit ham fisted, used like a very blunt tool, and it wasn’t backed up by sexual maturity when the book was talking about women checking out guys asses occasionally.
But a very fun thought experiment and I’ll be rereading the next 2 volumes soon. View all 3 comments. Oct 29, Greg rated it robret it Shelves: The idea of this novel is fairly interesting.
In an alternate universe Neanderthals survived instead of our branch of the evolutionary tree.
While testing a quantum computer a swap ends up happening between the two realities and a Neanderthal scientist finds himself in our reality. The Neanderthals get some radioactive water from us. Culture shock follows and a compare and contrast between our present society and the what might have been if Neanderthals lived and we just disappeared The idea of this novel is fairly interesting.
Culture shock follows and a compare and contrast between our present society and the what might have been if Neanderthals lived and we just disappeared only to be known by a handful of bones found here and there.
I’m not quite sure how this would have been done though, since what I’m trying to say is if basically the ideas of the book were kept but most of the plot that weren’t directly connected with the ideasmost of the characters and all the none ideas dialogue were excised from the book I would have liked it. Instead the book has these great ideas, but terrible terrible terrible dialogue, characters and writing when the writing isn’t about the ideas.
Even though I was reading this book in the privacy of my own home, while a storm was going on, so no one was even possibly outside my window looking in this happens, really, people just look in my window to watch me read, honest I was still embarrassed at times to be reading the book.
Especially whenever anything remotely sexual was being written about. Most of the ‘romantic’ elements in the book sound like they were written by a horny 13 year old yes, but romantic I do also mean such things as checking out someone’s ‘buns’. One of the main characters is a super-model level gorgeous woman who happens to be a brilliant post-doctoral physicist and also happens to walk around in skimpy clothes, and outfits like daisy-dukes with rock t-shirts bunched and tied up just below her breasts.
She’s also obviously one who sleeps with lots of geeky guys. It is also painful to read a woman’s psychological state after being the victim of a sexual assault.
It’s not that the author isn’t sympathetic, but there is just a shallowness to the reaction. But this isn’t that surprising there is a shallowness to most of the characters and the way they react to things.