Friday, June 02, 2017

Five top SF/F novels about Neanderthals

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Ceridwen Christensen tagged five of the best SF/F novels about Neanderthals (that aren’t The Clan of the Cave Bear). One title on the list:
Neanderthal Parallax, by Robert J. Sawyer

In this trilogy of novels, which starts with Hugo-winning Hominids, a Neanderthal scientist travels from his alternate Earth, where homo neanderthalensis is the dominant hominid, to our own. Sawyer’s Neanderthal society is more in the utopian paradise vein, free from war, overpopulation, pollution, and other ills of the modern world. The downsides, such as an under-determined justice system, are explored in a subplot back on the alt-Earth, but strike me more as flowing out of plot expediency than being contingent on Neanderthal biology. That said, the series contains Sawyer’s usual sprawling examination of the questions of humanness, quantum science, archaeology, justice, evolution, and a dozen other thoughts and asides. His Neanderthals are also notable because they have developed modern technology, and aren’t just remnant populations still banging rocks together. It’s an interesting thought experiment.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue