August 21, 2004

Humans by Robert J. Sawyer

coverLast in my pre-Hugo nominee reading frenzy. Humans is the second book in Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax trilogy. In it, Ponter Boddit returns to our Earth as a member of a diplomatic mission aiming to initiate trade between the two alternate Earths.

I didn't enjoy this outing nearly as much as the first. Some of my disappointment has to do with the lack of a driving conflict. In the first there was a murder trial where we knew the defendant was innocent, the issue of whether Ponter would be able to return home, and the novelty of comparing the two societies. In this one, the mysteries are mostly either easily resolved or left for the third book. The book uses the device of having Ponter discuss his visit to our Earth with his world's equivalent of a therapist which didn't work for me. Some of these things are just typical middle book issues, but I mostly felt like Sawyer wasn't at his idea spewing best in Humans. I'll read Hybrids to see how it all ends, but I'll be surprised if it holds very many surprises.

As for my Hugo pick, of the three of the five books nominated that I read, my favorite is definitely Charlie Stross's Singularity Sky. We'll see who wins in a couple weeks.

Posted by jeffy at August 21, 2004 08:23 PM
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