Hugo: Hominids (2003)

Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer
Read May 13, 2010 – May 18, 2010

Premise: A Neanderthal man from a parallel (and Neanderthal dominated) world is accidentally thrust into the human world and causes a huge stir, both by his disappearance and by his adjusting to human society.

Verdict: This novel sounds amazing and I was very excited to read it. However, like many of the reviews I’ve read, I have to agree that this book is overly pretentious, patronizing, and absurd. I understand that the author was trying to show us that most aspects of humanity are not logical and are bad. Religion, violence, sexism, racism, yeah I get it, I know it’s all bad. Thanks. You don’t have to have a modern caveman pacifist flower-child come into this overpopulated world and point out the fact to me. You don’t have to explicitly portray a rape and then have Mister Hulking Gentle Manly Man heal the poor raped woman. I was offended not only by the author’s portrayal of humanity but also by his portrayal of women in both universes. He was pretending that women were treated as equals and had equal abilities but they all had emotional issues, rage issues, were vindictive bitches, or were extremely vapid, shallow, and self-centered. All of them were either “beautiful” or “plain” and were troubled by sexual assault issues or feeling awkward around nerds who stare at their overly exposed bodies. ‘Scuse?? Anyway, I definitely wasn’t impressed. It dragged on and on and the way he presented his approaches to social problems was sloppy and overly-preachy. This book was pretty terrible. There is a way to do “problem” sci-fi with finesse and intelligence. This isn’t it.

It sounds really awesome, but don’t waste your time on it.

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