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For Release Tuesday, April 9, 2002
First New Robert J. Sawyer Novel in Two Years!
Following on the mainstream-bestseller success of 2000's
Calculating God, Toronto's
ROBERT J. SAWYER
returns with another present-day philosophical science-fiction
thriller aimed not just at the genre audience, but at mainstream
fiction readers as well.
HOMINIDS has the same mix of
settings, engaging humans stories, philosophical debate, and
cutting-edge science that propelled Sawyer's last novel onto the
Maclean's and Globe and Mail national
Like Sawyer's previous novels, Hominids starts with
a bold premise: 40,000 years ago, when two kinds of humanity
existed side by side our ancestors (the Cro-Magnons) and the
Neanderthals the universe split into two timetracks. In one,
the Cro-Magnons rose to prominence, extinguishing our Neanderthal
cousins in the process. In the other, Neanderthals survived to
the present day, developing their own technology and culture, and
we did not.
Hominids begins with the opening of a portal
between the two versions of reality at the Sudbury Neutrino
Observatory, a real installation located 2 km down in an Inco
nickel mine in Sudbury, Ontario. And through the course of the
adventures and growing romance between York University
geneticist Mary Vaughan and Ponter Boddit, a
Neanderthal displaced from his world to ours, we learn about the
many ways humanity's stewardship over this planet could have gone
For instance, we have an ever-growing population; the
Neanderthals found a way to achieve zero-population growth
centuries ago. We have raped the land with agriculture; the
Neanderthals have a technologically advanced and
environmentally friendly hunter-gatherer culture. And,
perhaps most intriguing of all, the majority of us believe in a
God and an afterlife, notions that are completely foreign to the
Drawing on extensive research and consultations with the world's
leading Neanderthal experts, Sawyer, 42, has crafted a novel that
lets us discover what it really means to be human.
USA Today bestselling authors W. Michael
Gear and Kathleen Gear, authors of Raising
Cain, say: "Robert J. Sawyer has written the most
delightful novel! Why can't all authors who write about other
cultures do this kind of rigorous in-depth research?
Hominids takes sophisticated paleoanthropological
data, cutting-edge theoretical physics, and characters that will
warm your heart, and mixes them into a charming, witty, and
provocative novel. Anyone who is interested in what it is to be
human will be enchanted by Ponter, the story's charming
protagonist. Hominids is anthropological fiction
at its best."
Hominids will be the lead science-fiction hardcover
for May 2002 from New York's Tor Books, the world's
largest SF publisher. It is the first volume of Sawyer's
Neanderthal Parallax trilogy. The second volume,
Humans, will be published in February 2003, and the
conclusion, Hybrids, in December 2003.
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