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Hominids is a strong, stand-alone SF novel, but it’s also the first book of The Neanderthal Parallax, a trilogy that will examine two unique species of people: Humans and Neanderthals.
During a risky experiment deep in a mine in Canada, Ponter Boddit, a Neanderthal physicist, accidentally pierces the barrier between worlds and is transferred to our universe, where in the same mine another experiment is taking place. Hurt, but alive, he is almost immediately recognized as a Neanderthal, but only much later as a scientist. He is captured and studied, alone and bewildered, a stranger in a strange land. But Ponter is also befriended-by a doctor and a physicist who share his questing intelligence and boundless enthusiasm for the world’s strangeness, and especially by geneticist Mary Vaughan, a lonely woman with whom he develops a special rapport. …[more]
To test his theories of immortality and life after death, Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. The first has all knowledge of physical existence edited out, to simulate life after death. The second is without knowledge of aging or death, to simulate immortality. The third is unmodified, a control. Now they are free. One is a killer.
For nearly twenty years Earth’s space exploration had exploded outward, thanks to a series of mysterious, artificial wormholes. No one knows who created these interstellar passages, yet they have brought the far reaches of space immediately close. For Starplex Director Keith Lansing, too close.
Discovery is superseding understanding. And when an unknown vessel — with no windows, no seams, and no visible means of propulsion — arrives through a new wormhole, an already battle-scarred Starplex could be the staring point of a new interstellar war…
Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he’s discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she’s no longer constrained by a worn-out body either.
But suddenly Karen’s son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance.
Mindscan is vintage Sawyer—a feast for the mind and the heart.
Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math—and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind.
When a Japanese researcher develops a new signal-processing implant that might give her sight, she jumps at the chance, flying to Tokyo for the operation.
But Caitlin’s brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. Once the implant is activated, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes. While exploring this amazing realm, she discovers something—some other—lurking in the background. And it’s getting more and more intelligent with each passing day.
Dr. Sarah Halifax decoded the first-ever radio transmission received from aliens. Thirty-eight years later, a second message is received and Sarah, now 87, may hold the key to deciphering this one, too…if she lives long enough.
A wealthy industrialist offers to pay for Sarah to have a rollback—a hugely expensive experimental rejuvenation procedure. She accepts on condition that Don, her husband of sixty years, gets a rollback, too. The process works for Don, making him physically twenty-five again. But in a tragic twist, the rollback fails for Sarah, leaving her in her eighties.
While Don tries to deal with his newfound youth and the suddenly vast age gap between him and his wife, Sarah struggles to do again what she’d done once before: figure out what a signal from the stars contains.
Exploring morals and ethics on both human and cosmic scales, Rollback is the big new SF novel for 2007 by Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Robert J. Sawyer.
Neanderthal physicist Ponter Boddit, a character you will never forget, returns to our world and to his relationship with geneticist Mary Vaughan, as cultural exchanges between the two Earths begin.
As we see daily life in another present-day world, radically different from ours, in the course of Sawyer’s fast-moving story, we experience the bursts of wonder and enlightenment that are the finest pleasures of science fiction. Humans is one of the best SF novels of the year, and The Neanderthal Parallax is an SF classic in the making.
Neanderthal Ponter Boddit and his Homo sapien lover, geneticist Mary Vaughan, are torn between two worlds, struggling to find a way to make their star-crossed relationship work. Aided by banned Neanderthal technology, they plan to conceive the first hybrid child, a symbol of hope for the joining of their two versions of reality.
But after an experiment shows that Mary’s religious faith—something completely absent in Neanderthals—is a quirk of the neurological wiring of Homo sapiens’ brains, Ponter and Mary must decide whether their child should be predisposed to atheism or belief. Meanwhile, as Mary’s Earth is dealing with a collapse of its planetary magnetic field, her boss, the enigmatic Jock Krieger, has turned envious eyes on the unspoiled Eden that is the Neanderthal world…
Hybrids is filled to bursting with Sawyer’s signature speculations about alternative ways of being human, exploding…[more]
Calculating God is the new near-future SF thriller from the popular and award-winning Robert J. Sawyer. An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges, who says, in perfect English, “Take me to a paleontologist.”
It seems that Earth, and the alien’s home planet, and the home planet of another alien species traveling on the alien mother ship, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at about the same time (one example of these “cataclysmic events” would be the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs). Both alien races believe this proves the existence of God: i.e. he’s obviously been playing with the evolution of life on each of these planets.
From this provocative launch point, Sawyer tells a fast-paced, and morally and intellectually challenging, SF story that…[more]
In the near future, a signal is detected coming from the Alpha Centauri system. Mysterious, unintelligible data streams in for ten years. Heather Davis, a professor in the University of Toronto psychology department, has devoted her career to deciphering the message. Her estranged husband, Kyle, is working on the development of artificial intelligence systems and new computer technology utilizing quantum effects to produce a near-infinite number of calculations simultaneously.
When Heather achieves a breakthrough, the message reveals a startling new technology that rips the barriers of space and time, holding the promise of a new stage of human evolution. In concert with Kyle’s discoveries of the nature of consciousness, the key to limitless exploration—or the end of the human race—appears close at hand.
Sawyer has created a gripping thriller, a pulse-pounding tour of the farthest reaches of technology.
Pierre Tardivel is a scientist working on the Human Genome Project with the Nobel Prize winner Dr. Burian Klimus. A driven man, Pierre works with the awareness that he may not have long to live: he has a fifty-fifty chance of dying from Huntington’s disease, an incurable hereditary disorder of the central nervous system. While he still has his health, Pierre and his wife decide to have a child, and they search for a sperm donor. When Pierre informs Dr. Klimus of their plan, Klimus makes an odd but generous offer: to be the sperm donor as well as to pay for the expensive in vitro fertilization. Shortly thereafter it transpires that Klimus may be hiding a grim past: he may be Ivan Marchenko, the notorious Treblinka death-camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible.
While digging into Klimus’s past with the help of Nazi hunter Avi Meyer, Pierre and his wife discover that Pierre’s insurance company has been illegally screening clients for genetic defects. The two lines of investigation begin to converge in a sinister manner, while they worry about the possibility of bearing the child of an evil, sadistic killer…
The Neanderthal Parallax is a trilogy that examines two unique species of people. They are alien to each other, yet bound together by the never-ending quest for knowledge and, beneath their differences, a common humanity. We are one of those species, the other is the Neanderthals of a parallel world where they, not Homo sapiens, became the dominant intelligence. In that world, Neanderthal civilization has reached heights of culture and science comparable to our own, but is very different in history, society, and philosophy. This powerful idea allows Sawyer to examine some of the deeply rooted assumptions of contemporary human civilization dramatically, by confronting us with another civilization, just as morally valid, that has made other choices.