Toronto, ON, Canada | Member Since 2009
I loved Robert J Sawyer's Parallex Series (there are 3 books in the series) so much, I've listened to it twice! Using a parallel universe, Sawyer sets the stage whereby he can compare the current state of the universe with a more ideal one of his own creation. And I would love to live in the world Sawyer’s created, along with Ponder Bondit – the Neanderthal that travels between the two universes – with a “Companion” implanted in my arm (a prescient take and extrapolation on today’s smart phone mini-computers).
I’ve listened to a lot of interviews with Robert J. Sawyer, and read quite a bit about his views and philosophies, and find many of his interesting ideas coalescing in The Neaderthal Parallax trilogy. For example, I read somewhere that Sawyer does not believe in citizen privacy. He reasons that if citizens are behaving legally then they have nothing to hide. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. If you’re not shirking your responsibilities to family, paying your taxes, and not causing anyone any harm, then what do you really have to hide? (Face it, everyone in government is an adult that knows that everyone else masturbates too; so what else is there to be shy about? And I can’t see a good government being interested in outing its citizens for perfectly normal biological behavior? Can you?) So it’s these sorts of ideas, along with a myriad of others, that flesh-out Sawyer’s parallel universe.
If you like science fiction (or speculative fiction, as Margret Atwood calls it) do yourself a favour and listen to: Homids: The Neaderthal Parallax, Book One, today. You’ll be glad you have two more books in the series to look forward to!
PS I love the Canadian-like multi-cultural characters that people this series. I think they truly represent 21st century Canadian cultural mores.
If you are a SciFi fan that's 30+ this book is for you!
Will Wheton and Wade Watts don't just share the same first intials; it's like they were twins separated at birth.
Will Wheton narrates this fabulous book perfectly. He has narrated some other Sci-Fi greats on audible well too: like Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi. Wil Wheton was good as Wesely Crusher on TNG but he is even better and is the perfect narrator for Cline's great story about our lousy world and our natural escape into the better 'Verse known as the Oasis.
These ratings aren't lying -- listen to this book.
I wasn't surprised that I enjoyed Calculating God, because I've read some of Robert J Sawyer's earlier work and so tried this one out.
Besides the delightful, and unexpected turns (it seems like the story could end satisfactorily two or three times and yet it keeps bringing you more -- and the more is very welcome.)
Then there is the unexpected turn of events where the alien, Hollis, isn't visiting earth just for visiting's sake, but is far ahead in what information he's after, hence his arrival at the Royal Ontario Museum. So, it's more the everyday, matter-of-factness of Hollis' visit and the obvious parallels we start to see and hear about his life and our own that become so very interesting.
But, the novel becomes very interesting when we find out that the aliens (more than one alien species arrive at the same time) believe in God and the counterpoint of our narrator being an atheist, that you really start to sink your teeth into this story.
And, I can't finish without noting how very, very likeable Hollis is. Robert Saywer has created a most memorable, endearing and charming character, in Hollis; dare I say, a lovely human-e creature.
Thank you Robert J Sawyer!
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