Hominids (2002), the much-praised first volume in Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, which introduced an alternate Earth where fo"/>
 

HUMANS

Robert J. Sawyer, Author
Robert J. Sawyer, Author . Tor $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-87691-3
Reviewed on: 01/13/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-7653-4675-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4558-5732-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4558-5826-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4558-6014-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4558-5920-7
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4299-1462-8
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-7653-2633-1
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In this solid sequel to Hominids (2002), the much-praised first volume in Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, which introduced an alternate Earth where for reasons unknown our species, Homo sapiens, went extinct and Neanderthals flourished, Neanderthal physicist Ponder Boddit brings Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan back to his world to explore the near-utopian civilization of the Neanderthals. Boddit serves as a Candide figure, the naïve visitor whose ignorance about our society makes him a perfect tool to analyze human tendencies toward violence, over-population and environmental degradation. The Neanderthals have developed a high artistic, ethical and scientific culture without ever inventing farming—they're still hunters and gatherers—and this allows the author to make some interesting and generally unrecognized points about the downside of the discovery of agriculture. Much of the novel is devoted to either the discussion of ideas such as these or to Boddit and Vaughan's developing love affair. Sawyer keeps things moving by throwing in an attempted assassination, his protagonists' confrontation with a rapist and, on a larger scale, the growing danger of what appears to be the imminent reversal of Earth's magnetic field. As the middle volume in a trilogy, this book doesn't entirely stand on its own, but it is extremely well done. When complete, the Neanderthal Parallax should add significantly to Sawyer's reputation. (Feb. 26)

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