Robert J. Sawyer
Hominids Cover



Wondering What All The Hype Is About

I really enjoyed Sawyer's www:Wake, Watch, and Wonder, despite the fact that while reading them it's impossible to forget the fact that they're written as YA: downward-adjusted, but not horribly so, and can still be enjoyed by adults.

But Hominids? It's got some good concepts, but it ends up being a hot mess. It's got a supposedly genius-level female scientist who is nevertheless rabidly religious. (WTF???) And then there's the whole subplot of her getting raped -- which I kept expecting, at some point, to become meaningful to the main story, but which apparently is only intended to add "detail" to the story and explain why she would feel attracted to a Neanderthal rather than to a contemporary male.

Seriously, if the author thinks hard, I'm sure he can find a way to be more insulting and offensive to intelligent female scientists and engineers -- but he'd really have to work at it.

And if you're going to stick a rape sub-plot in your book, then it had better, bythegods, be done in a meaningful manner -- an endeavor at which Hominids totally fails.

I am utterly at a loss to explain how this book won a Hugo.

Being the totally OCD person that I am, I forced myself to read the second book in the series, Humans (also Hugo-nominated). After which I finally, utterly uncharacteristically for me, gave up in disgust, declining to read the third entry (not Hugo-nominated, and you can take that for whatever it's worth) -- and believe me, I'm an author's best friend when it comes to "willing suspension of disbelief", but...

I just don't even.