Friday, September 08, 2006

Science Fiction for the Rest of Us

If you're anything like me, you don't read science fiction. (Watching the Star Wars movies four times doesn't count, unfortunately) Well, Hominids is a book that might change your mind. An intriguing plot, with a healthy dose of drama thrown in, goes a long way to making this sci fi novel read more like a paperback thriller.

Give Hominids a try. You might discover a new-found love of the genre... or at least win a prize!

Written by Robert J. Sawyer
Hominids, the first book of the Neanderthal Parallax, is a story of parallel worlds, ours, and another in which Neanderthals, not homo sapiens, became the dominant intelligent species. Ponter Boddit and his partner Adikor are physicists in this advanced Neanderthal civilization who are building a quantum computer. While conducting an experiment, Ponter accidentally pierces the barrier between the worlds and finds himself transplanted into ours. He is discovered by a group of scientists at the Sudbury Neutrino Laboratory and taken to safety. Almost immediately the group of scientists recognizes that Ponter is Neanderthal and are anxious to study and learn what they can from him. Ponter is both bewildered and curious about his new surroundings. He is befriended, in particular by Mary Vaughan, who comes to recognize that Ponter is a fellow scientist. Back home, Adikor is at a loss to explain Ponter's disappearance. Without an explanation he is forced to defend himself against a charge of murder. Only Ponter's safe return can save him. Meanwhile, Ponter is anxious to get home. He and his fellow scientists plan to reverse the experiment that brought Ponter to earth in an effort to send him home. Only the scientific genius of both universes can pull it off.

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