An Ugly Little Book Called Hominids

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seyefeye

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Apr 3, 2003, 7:02:53 PM4/3/03
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Over the past few days I've read a SciFi novel that is so bad that I
feel the need to share my review of it with the world. It's an ugly
little book called Hominids by one Robert J. Sawyer. In the end if
stupid people want to read stupid books no big deal, but I am appalled
that it is apparently a candidate for the 2003 Nebula Award. The
presence of this book on any lists with SciFi books of real substance
is unforgivable and having it actually win any awards would be a sure
indication of a great decline in the genre.

What's wrong with Hominids? First, the appalling the state of the
science and second, the appalling state of the fiction. Ultimately I
got a hernia laughing at how badly the thin, unoriginal story was
told. Imagine Planet of the Apes written as badly as possible by
Michael Crichton – it's worse.

The science. Sawyer pads the front of the book with two pages of
acknowledgements, a slew of Ph.D.'s first. Then five pages of
references listed at the end. A transparent attempt to make it appear
as if he's done eons of research for the book? Um yes. When you read
the book however you realize that all of the Neanderthal paleontology
in the book could be obtained from an evening surfing the web.
Ultimately it wouldn't have mattered if Sawyer could have maintained
any level of scientific credibility within his story, but sadly he
does not and appears to be nothing more than a layman who is incapable
of any real scientific thought himself. The excess padding only serves
to reinforce Hominid's actual lack of any creative scientific thought
beyond it's plagiarism of Planet of the Apes.

Then we get to the science within the novel. Sawyer's explanation of
the existence of the parallel universes is so abysmal that it becomes
laughable. Particularly hysterical is his description of the
Neanderthal from the parallel universe simply climbingthrough the
portal back to his own universe. This is truly Jetson's SciFi and
while I was laughing I was also appalled that anyone could actually
consider this novel a serious work of science fiction.

His depiction of an evolved Neanderthal culture based on current
paleontology evidence and theories is the grand attempt at science
here though. This could have been something important but instead it's
truly horrific to read through the cumbersome prose as Sawyer
regurgitates simple little factoids about Neanderthals and randomly
incorporates them into this work without any additional insight. The
discussion regarding the large nostrils is a perfect example, you'll
have to read it yourself to believe it but aren't we lucky that a real
Neanderthal came to us to solve this great mystery once and for all?

The story. A fundamental theme of Hominids is that Neanderthals are a
superior species and in a parallel universe they have developed a
superior society. A society in which two Neanderthals are working
together, one disappears in their joint experiment, and the other is
immediately accused of murder based on no evidence and forced to
defend himself. Um really? That's some superior culture there oh yes.
This half of the main story line is a complete bust as we are forced
to endure Sawyer's thoroughly uneducated attempt at an allegedly
superior system of justice at work and further details of society and
culture in the Neanderthal universe are remarkable only by their
absence.

The other half of the story follows what happens to the Neanderthal
who winds up in our universe. Ala The Jetson's level science of the
book this Neanderthal has a device that translates English to
Neanderthal so he can conveniently converse in English almost
immediately and the Neanderthal somehow manages to stay with his small
group of human scientists rather than be taken away by the government.
They then discuss differences in their worlds for some 200 droll pages
as we get to learn things like Neanderthals are bisexual and their men
like to fondle each others' privates. This can all be quite funny
entirely at Mr. Sawyer's expense, providing what little entertainment
can be gleaned from Hominids.

Subplots range from the comical to the bizarre. The main human female
scientist gets raped. Unfortunately this insensitively over-depicted
portrayal never makes any sense within the context of the rest of the
story and baffled me entirely. I can only conclude that he was after
some shock value. Another of the female humans is Louise Benoit, a
postdoc of some sort. All we learn about her is that she wears lacy
underwear, has great lips and long legs and a sexy French Canadian
accent. Fortunately for one of the first men to meet her in the story,
she is remarkably unattached as all beautiful women are and quickly
winds up in his bed. Oh did I mention that completely out of nowhere
she is the one who announces that the Neanderthal has come from a
parallel universe? Very funny stuff indeed.

The characters are flat and without any interesting details
whatsoever. They all speak in the same voice despite Sawyer's
amateurish attempt to have the Neanderthal's speech seem different by
having them speak without contractions for example. There is nothing
more to say about the characters, you will have as little interest in
them at the end of the book as you did at the beginning.
Finally Mr. Sawyer's prose and grammar. I mentally began referring to
him as Mr. Comma as I waded through in the end what is at least
hundreds of extraneous commas in the book. Thankfully he attempts
nothing new in the prose department, sticking to the tried and true
formula of writing for readers with a seventh grade education. He
really likes the word quantum. Too bad that despite pages of
conjecture he still seems to have no idea what it means in a
scientific context. In fact at no point did I get the feeling he is
even remotely competent at discussing science, and he certainly is no
great author with his barely passable prose. All that Mr. Sawyer seems
to do well is self-promotion in fact (I dare you to go to
sfwriter.com) and in the end I certainly didn't feel like I gained
anything from the book other than an excellent example on how not to
write an intelligent and meaningful novel.

Give this one a big miss.

Karl M Syring

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Apr 3, 2003, 7:45:16 PM4/3/03
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seyefeye wrote on 3 Apr 2003 16:02:53 -0800:
<snipped for lenght>
> Give this one a big miss.

As always, the problem is that a book gets interesting when
someone writes a long rant about it. If you really want that
nobody read the book, either keep quiet or write a short derisive
remark about it.

Karl M. Syring

Magenta Sky

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Apr 3, 2003, 7:49:27 PM4/3/03
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I read it serialized in Analog. I thought it sucked.


Paul F. Dietz

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Apr 3, 2003, 7:58:40 PM4/3/03
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Magenta Sky wrote:

> I read it serialized in Analog. I thought it sucked.

The sequel is worse.

Paul

Peter

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Apr 3, 2003, 10:09:29 PM4/3/03
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and... posting it six times adds weight to your 'review'?

Richard Shewmaker

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Apr 4, 2003, 1:00:51 AM4/4/03
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That's definitely not the effect it had on me! I wouldn't even pick it
up to see if I thought seyefeye were wrong: he (?) wrote convincingly
enough for me that it seems clear to me this is a book I'd not be
interested in reading.

You're right that sometimes the result of a bad write-up produces
unintended results, but for me that only happens if the person seems
smart and rational and describes a novel which I can see I'd like,
usually for the reasons the reader disliked it. This one sounds like a
dog.

--
My mother used to laugh and say that the only thing my father wouldn't
do for Axel Kern was promise him his only child. Of course, she was
wrong about that.
-- Elizabeth Hand, "Black Light"

Martin Dunn

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Apr 4, 2003, 5:48:18 AM4/4/03
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"Karl M Syring" <syr...@email.com> wrote in message
news:b6ikir$5nhmg$1...@ID-7529.news.dfncis.de...

Actually, that subject line alone was worth the price of admission.

Martin


Nicholas Whyte

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Apr 4, 2003, 8:17:26 AM4/4/03
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seye...@yahoo.com (seyefeye) wrote in message news:<6f7ce53c.03040...@posting.google.com>...

> Over the past few days I've read a SciFi novel that is so bad that I
> feel the need to share my review of it with the world. It's an ugly
> little book called Hominids by one Robert J. Sawyer. In the end if
> stupid people want to read stupid books no big deal, but I am appalled
> that it is apparently a candidate for the 2003 Nebula Award. The
> presence of this book on any lists with SciFi books of real substance
> is unforgivable and having it actually win any awards would be a sure
> indication of a great decline in the genre.

Well, it didn't make the Nebula shortlist which consists of:
Solitaire, by Kelley Eskridge
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Picoverse, by Robert A. Metzger
Perdido Street Station, by China Miéville
Bones of the Earth, by Michael Swanwick

...which actually looks like rather a good list, judging from the
three I have read (Gaiman, Le Guin, and Miéville)

Nicholas
(my real email address is explorers at whyte dot com)

Mike Beede

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Apr 4, 2003, 10:36:04 AM4/4/03
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I did too. I thought it was pretty good. Not terrific, but much
better than yet another virtual reality book. Or yet another LOTR
ripoff. The ideas seemed fairly fresh, and that's refreshing.
The constant comparison with Planet of the Apes seemed a
little odd--I didn't see any similarities at all. This may be because
I've never been a big fan of dreck sci-fi movies. The only thing
I know about POTA is that it took the oscar for makeup when
it should have gone to 2001.

I'm a little puzzled by the review, since many of the items that were
mentioned as "bad science" and "bad writing" weren't, in my opinion.
That's not to say the writing was inspired, but it was acceptable.

I thought the society that was invented for the Neanderthal descendants
was interesting. Whether it is plausible or not isn't really a matter I
was concerned about--if you're going to admit the notion of parallel
universes, then you probably get *all possible* universes, right?

Mike

P.S., I asked at Uncle Hugo's the other day if there was any content
in the book that wasn't in the Analog version. Nope. Too bad.

Steve Holland

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Apr 4, 2003, 11:06:09 AM4/4/03
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Mike Beede <be...@visi.com> writes:

> I thought the society that was invented for the Neanderthal
> descendants was interesting. Whether it is plausible or not isn't
> really a matter I was concerned about--if you're going to admit the
> notion of parallel universes, then you probably get *all possible*
> universes, right?

That was implicit in the parallel universe explaination for why
quantum computing works, but I do not remember it being explicitly
stated in Hominids. My first gripe about the Neanderthal society is
that there was no convincing explaination given as to why the
Neanderthal population was so low. I am not even sure that such a low
population would be able to develop the technologica society that was
described in the book. My second gripe is that the Neanderthal
society seemed to be custom-made to highlight problems in our society.
It was not until near the end of Hominids that the author started to
address some of the issues about the Neanderthal world that had been
nagging at me from near the start. All in all I enjoyed the book, and
I will probably read the sequel when it reaches the library.

==========================================================================
To find out who and where I am look at:
http://www.nd.edu/~sholland/index.html
"Only so many songs can be sung with two lips, two lungs, and one tongue."
==========================================================================

seyefeye

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Apr 4, 2003, 12:17:25 PM4/4/03
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> and... posting it six times adds weight to your 'review'?

No need to quote my whole post in your reply.

I have posted this review once, to this group. I submitted a 1000 word
version to amazon.com but they apparently post only positive reviews
of books.

Also, read the book if you're interested and let the world know what
you think. That's what these newsgroups are all about. I think most
people would be disappointed in it however. I know I'm glad I got it
from the library.

Lastly, good news for SciFi. Apparently Hominids didn't make the final
ballot for the Nebula Award.

Magnus Olsson

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Apr 4, 2003, 12:28:41 PM4/4/03
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In article <6f7ce53c.03040...@posting.google.com>,

seyefeye <seye...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>I have posted this review once, to this group. I submitted a 1000 word
>version to amazon.com but they apparently post only positive reviews
>of books.

I don't think so: I've seen lots of negative reviews on amazon.com.
Of course, most of these "reviews" were more or less just "This book
sucks, don't buy it", but they were certainly negative. And I've
seen some quite elaborate negative critiques there as well.


--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se)
PGP Public Key available at http://www.df.lth.se/~mol

seyefeye

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Apr 4, 2003, 12:30:53 PM4/4/03
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> I thought the society that was invented for the Neanderthal descendants
> was interesting. Whether it is plausible or not isn't really a matter I
> was concerned about-

You know that this has been covered before, and often?

John Darnton's 1996 "Neanderthal" for example is a thriller based on
paleontologists discovering a colony of living Neanderthals, and is a
much better book all around.

Karl M Syring

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Apr 4, 2003, 12:56:07 PM4/4/03
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Martin Dunn wrote on Fri, 4 Apr 2003 20:18:18 +0930:
>
> "Karl M Syring" <syr...@email.com> wrote in message
> news:b6ikir$5nhmg$1...@ID-7529.news.dfncis.de...
>> seyefeye wrote on 3 Apr 2003 16:02:53 -0800:
>> <snipped for lenght>
>> > Give this one a big miss.
>>
>> As always, the problem is that a book gets interesting when
>> someone writes a long rant about it. If you really want that
>> nobody read the book, either keep quiet or write a short derisive
>> remark about it.
>>
>
> Actually, that subject line alone was worth the price of admission.

Right, I am seriously considering the idea that it is an
elaborate marketing spin. Another poster noted, that the rant
has been posted multiple times.

Karl M. Syring

Bluejack

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Apr 4, 2003, 3:06:54 PM4/4/03
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On 4 Apr 2003 09:17:25 -0800, seye...@yahoo.com (seyefeye) wrote:
> > and... posting it six times adds weight to your 'review'?
>
> I have posted this review once, to this group. I submitted a 1000 word
> version to amazon.com but they apparently post only positive reviews
> of books.

Not true. I have heard a few reports in this newsgroup about people's
reviews randomly not being posted, and wonder if they are having
technical problems over at Amazon. They don't refuse negative
reviews, though -- there are a few pans of Hominids amongst the
raves there.

I was rather surprised to see the raves, though, I have to admit.
Like others in this newsgroup who read it in Analog, I did not
take to it. My reviews of the four part serialization are here:

1) http://bluejack.com/sff/zin/aff_0201.html#hom1
2) http://bluejack.com/sff/zin/aff_0202.html#01
3) http://bluejack.com/sff/zin/aff_0203.html#01
4) http://bluejack.com/sff/zin/analog/0204.html#01

This is why I no longer review serializations: I did think the
opening sequence was a reasonably good hook, but as the story
evolved, I grew less and less enthusiastic. I think a review
really only makes sense for a whole and finished story.

-bluejack


David Kennedy

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Apr 4, 2003, 4:32:59 PM4/4/03
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Nicholas Whyte <nichol...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> [...] the Nebula shortlist which consists of:

> Solitaire, by Kelley Eskridge
> American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
> The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
> Picoverse, by Robert A. Metzger
> Perdido Street Station, by China Mi?ville
> Bones of the Earth, by Michael Swanwick
>
> ...which actually looks like rather a good list, judging from the
> three I have read (Gaiman, Le Guin, and Mi?ville)

I've read the Gaiman (good but could have done more),
Mieville (fantastic), and the Swanwick (fantastic).

Of the three I'd vote for the Mieville, but Swanwick
is a close second.
--
David Kennedy

David Bilek

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Apr 4, 2003, 7:22:41 PM4/4/03
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nichol...@hotmail.com (Nicholas Whyte) wrote:

Yes, that's a nice list. I'm rooting for _Perdido Street Station_.

In the American sense of "rooting" of course.

-David

John S. Novak, III

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Apr 4, 2003, 8:09:50 PM4/4/03
to
In article <b6ikir$5nhmg$1...@ID-7529.news.dfncis.de>, Karl M Syring wrote:

>> Give this one a big miss.

> As always, the problem is that a book gets interesting when
> someone writes a long rant about it. If you really want that
> nobody read the book, either keep quiet or write a short derisive
> remark about it.

Certainly haven't (and won't) read that one, but everything else I've
read by Sawyer has been seriously awful, as well. I can't figure out
why his books are acclaimed, unless it's just very good skill at
marketting.

--
John S. Novak, III j...@cegt201.bradley.edu
The Humblest Man on the Net

Richard Horton

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Apr 4, 2003, 9:19:52 PM4/4/03
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On Fri, 04 Apr 2003 09:36:04 -0600, Mike Beede <be...@visi.com> wrote:

>P.S., I asked at Uncle Hugo's the other day if there was any content
>in the book that wasn't in the Analog version. Nope. Too bad.

Really? Perhaps that's right, but I did a quicky word count in the
bookstore and I thougt the book version came out 10,000 or so words
longer. Unless I'm thinking of some other book.

I think the original poster's take is extreme, but I don't think
_Hominids_ is a very good book. It's not terrible, and it's a fairly
entertaining read, but lots of it is just silly, particularly the
manufactured crisis that drives the Neanderthal-side plot.


--
Rich Horton | Stable Email: mailto://richard...@sff.net
Home Page: http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton
Also visit SF Site (http://www.sfsite.com) and Tangent Online (http://www.tangentonline.com)

Richard Horton

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Apr 4, 2003, 9:22:47 PM4/4/03
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It is a good list. Haven't read _Picoverse_ or _Solitaire_, and I
doubt either of them are "Top 6" books, but they might both be at
least decent. _The Other Wind_ was OK, not Le Guin's best, not Nebula
worthy. I liked the other 3 books quite a lot, and of them _Bones of
the Earth_ is my clear choice.

Paul F. Dietz

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Apr 4, 2003, 9:42:45 PM4/4/03
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seyefeye wrote:

> The science. Sawyer pads the front of the book with two pages of
> acknowledgements, a slew of Ph.D.'s first. Then five pages of
> references listed at the end. A transparent attempt to make it appear
> as if he's done eons of research for the book? Um yes

Among the bits that got my goat was the alternate cosmology the
Neanderthals supposedly have. This becomes more important in
book 2, btw. Unfortunately, he appears to have take this from
Lerner's 'The Big Bang Never Happened', which mainstream
cosmologists have rather thoroughly demolished:

http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/lerner_errors.html

Paul

kesi...@math.ttu.edu

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Apr 4, 2003, 9:58:03 PM4/4/03
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Mike Beede <be...@visi.com> wrote:
: Not terrific, but much

: better than yet another virtual reality book.

Maybe I haven't been following the current state of SF as closely
as I should, but are there really that many new virutal reality
books out there to justify ``yet another''?

==Jake

RRO

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Apr 4, 2003, 11:04:34 PM4/4/03
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On 3 Apr 2003 16:02:53 -0800, in rec.arts.sf.written, in article
<6f7ce53c.03040...@posting.google.com>, seye...@yahoo.com
(seyefeye) wrote:

>In the end if
>stupid people want to read stupid books no big deal, but I am appalled
>that it is apparently a candidate for the 2003 Nebula Award.

The Nebula process is far from perfect. Ideally, it would be a
Darwinian winnowing process involving all published sf.
Unfortunately, most SFWAns don't read a reasonable sample of all
published sf. In some ways, it's just another popularity contest.

Incidentally, the email address I'm posting this under is now
officially dead and not mine anymore. This, then, has been the last
message from rro...@ix.netcom.com. So long, and thanks for all the
fish...

Richard Shewmaker

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Apr 4, 2003, 11:29:46 PM4/4/03
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David Bilek wrote:
> nichol...@hotmail.com (Nicholas Whyte) wrote:
>
>>seye...@yahoo.com (seyefeye) wrote in message news:<6f7ce53c.03040...@posting.google.com>...
>>
<snip>

>>Well, it didn't make the Nebula shortlist which consists of:
>>Solitaire, by Kelley Eskridge
>>American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
>>The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
>>Picoverse, by Robert A. Metzger
>>Perdido Street Station, by China Miéville
>>Bones of the Earth, by Michael Swanwick
>>
>>...which actually looks like rather a good list, judging from the
>>three I have read (Gaiman, Le Guin, and Miéville)
>
> Yes, that's a nice list. I'm rooting for _Perdido Street Station_.
>
> In the American sense of "rooting" of course.
>
> -David

Bah ha ha.

<= shoves nose in dirt in root beer cellar and starts sprouting roots

Karl M Syring

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Apr 5, 2003, 2:02:59 AM4/5/03
to
John S. Novak, III wrote on 5 Apr 2003 01:09:50 GMT:
> In article <b6ikir$5nhmg$1...@ID-7529.news.dfncis.de>, Karl M Syring wrote:
>
>>> Give this one a big miss.
>
>> As always, the problem is that a book gets interesting when
>> someone writes a long rant about it. If you really want that
>> nobody read the book, either keep quiet or write a short derisive
>> remark about it.
>
> Certainly haven't (and won't) read that one, but everything else I've
> read by Sawyer has been seriously awful, as well. I can't figure out
> why his books are acclaimed, unless it's just very good skill at
> marketting.

Me seems, we had the same dispute not too long ago
... help, we are caught in a time loop.

Karl M. Syring

Jon Leech

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Apr 5, 2003, 4:50:07 AM4/5/03
to
...

>The story. A fundamental theme of Hominids is that Neanderthals are a
>superior species and in a parallel universe they have developed a
>superior society.

I don't see that as a theme at all. Their surveillance technology
has largely eliminated crime, that's all. Brin did as much in one of the
vignettes in _Earth_, IIRC.

>This half of the main story line is a complete bust as we are forced
>to endure Sawyer's thoroughly uneducated attempt at an allegedly
>superior system of justice at work and further details of society and
>culture in the Neanderthal universe are remarkable only by their
>absence.

IMO that subplot was pointing out failure modes in their justice
system. It was unable to deal with a scenario it hadn't anticipated, and
it was manipulated by someone with an axe to grind.

>Give this one a big miss.

I thought it was readable, but not memorable.

Jon
__@/

Rick

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Apr 5, 2003, 8:15:55 AM4/5/03
to

"John S. Novak, III" <j...@concentric.net> wrote in message
news:b6lacu$6i2av$3...@ID-100778.news.dfncis.de...

> In article <b6ikir$5nhmg$1...@ID-7529.news.dfncis.de>, Karl M Syring wrote:
>
> >> Give this one a big miss.
>
> > As always, the problem is that a book gets interesting when
> > someone writes a long rant about it. If you really want that
> > nobody read the book, either keep quiet or write a short derisive
> > remark about it.
>
> Certainly haven't (and won't) read that one, but everything else I've
> read by Sawyer has been seriously awful, as well. I can't figure out
> why his books are acclaimed, unless it's just very good skill at
> marketting.


I agree with you. Far too much science fiction and fantasy nowadays seems
like it never should have gotten past the slush pile.


Peter

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Apr 5, 2003, 8:52:36 AM4/5/03
to
Ah yes... let's see now. A particularly nasty review of a book by an
anon poster (seyefeye - Sci-Fi???) which google shows has no prior
usenet record.

Pointing out that the book is in line for a 2003 Nebula award...

Prompting others NOT to read the book... (don't think for yourselves...
follow MY lead!)

Hmm??? Could it be an attempt from some other author to disrupt the
playing field of votes? Naw... that would be a cheap plot suitable only
for an unoriginal pulp magazine.

Methinks there's a fly in the ointment.

seyefeye wrote:
> Over the past few days I've read a SciFi novel that is so bad that I
> feel the need to share my review of it with the world. It's an ugly

> little book called Hominids by one Robert J. Sawyer. In the end if


> stupid people want to read stupid books no big deal, but I am appalled
> that it is apparently a candidate for the 2003 Nebula Award. The

> presence of this book on any lists with SciFi books of real substance
> is unforgivable and having it actually win any awards would be a sure
> indication of a great decline in the genre.
>

> What's wrong with Hominids? First, the appalling the state of the
> science and second, the appalling state of the fiction. Ultimately I
> got a hernia laughing at how badly the thin, unoriginal story was
> told. Imagine Planet of the Apes written as badly as possible by
> Michael Crichton – it's worse.
>

> The science. Sawyer pads the front of the book with two pages of
> acknowledgements, a slew of Ph.D.'s first. Then five pages of
> references listed at the end. A transparent attempt to make it appear

> The story. A fundamental theme of Hominids is that Neanderthals are a
> superior species and in a parallel universe they have developed a

> superior society. A society in which two Neanderthals are working
> together, one disappears in their joint experiment, and the other is
> immediately accused of murder based on no evidence and forced to
> defend himself. Um really? That's some superior culture there oh yes.

> This half of the main story line is a complete bust as we are forced
> to endure Sawyer's thoroughly uneducated attempt at an allegedly
> superior system of justice at work and further details of society and
> culture in the Neanderthal universe are remarkable only by their
> absence.
>

Peter D. Tillman

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Apr 5, 2003, 9:41:55 AM4/5/03
to
In article <ngks8v4949crs2ppg...@4ax.com>,
RRO <rrogoffSP...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>
> Incidentally, the email address I'm posting this under is now
> officially dead and not mine anymore. This, then, has been the last
> message from rro...@ix.netcom.com. So long, and thanks for all the
> fish...

No, no -- not Rrogoff!!

Peter D. Tillman

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Apr 5, 2003, 9:46:28 AM4/5/03
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In article <c3rja.401$9m6...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com>,
Richard Horton <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote:

>
> I think the original poster's take is extreme, but I don't think
> _Hominids_ is a very good book. It's not terrible, and it's a fairly

> entertaining read, but lots of it is just silly...

Which is a fair summary of most of Sawyer's recent books. For varying
values of 'entertaining' and 'silly'.

Cheers -- Pete Tillman

--
We are between the wild thoat of certainty and the mad zitidar of fact
-- we can escape neither. (Edgar Rice Burroughs,The Gods of Mars, 1918)

Jeffrey C. Dege

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 11:05:40 AM4/5/03
to
On 5 Apr 2003 09:50:07 GMT, Jon Leech <nos...@oddhack.engr.sgi.com> wrote:
>In article <6f7ce53c.03040...@posting.google.com>,
>seyefeye <seye...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>...
>>The story. A fundamental theme of Hominids is that Neanderthals are a
>>superior species and in a parallel universe they have developed a
>>superior society.
>
> I don't see that as a theme at all. Their surveillance technology
>has largely eliminated crime, that's all. Brin did as much in one of the
>vignettes in _Earth_, IIRC.

The more fundamental theme is that the neanderthals are far less violent
that humans because they segregate their males.

--
The citizen sees nothing wrong, in the sense of robbing a neighbor
is wrong to him, in turning the tables upon...[government] whenever
the opportunity offers. When he steals anything from it he is only
recovering his own, with fair interest and a decent profit. Two gangs
stand thus confronted: on the one hand the gang of drones and exploiters
constituting the government, and on the other hand the body of prehensile
and enterprising citizens...The difference between the two gangs - of
professionals and amateurs - is that the former has the law on its side,
and so enjoys an unfair advantage.
- H. L. Mencken

Jeffrey C. Dege

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 11:09:14 AM4/5/03
to
On Sat, 05 Apr 2003 07:46:28 -0700, Peter D. Tillman <til...@aztec.asu.edu> wrote:
>In article <c3rja.401$9m6...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com>,
> Richard Horton <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote:
>
>>
>> I think the original poster's take is extreme, but I don't think
>> _Hominids_ is a very good book. It's not terrible, and it's a fairly
>> entertaining read, but lots of it is just silly...
>
>Which is a fair summary of most of Sawyer's recent books. For varying
>values of 'entertaining' and 'silly'.

It's the unnecessary PC crap that turns me off.

--
No discipline is ever requisite to force attendance upon lectures which
are really worth the attending, as is well known wherever any such
lectures are given. Force and restraint may, no doubt, be in some degree
requisite in order to oblige children, or very young boys, to attend
to those parts of education which it is thought necessary for them to
acquire during that early period of life; but after twelve or thirteen
years of age, provided the master does his duty, force or restraint can
scarce ever be necessary to carry on any part of education.
- Adam Smith

Htn963

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 12:11:31 PM4/5/03
to
"Peter D. Tillman" wrote:

>In article <c3rja.401$9m6...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com>,
> Richard Horton <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote:
>
>>
>> I think the original poster's take is extreme, but I don't think
>> _Hominids_ is a very good book. It's not terrible, and it's a fairly
>> entertaining read, but lots of it is just silly...
>
>Which is a fair summary of most of Sawyer's recent books. For varying
>values of 'entertaining' and 'silly'.

What did you (and others) think (if you've read) of _The Terminal
Experiment_? That was the only Sawyer I've read so far and I enjoyed it: the
characterization and prose may be clunky at times but the soul capturing
concept and the computer murder/detective story was entertaining; the
metaphysical ending was also refreshingly daring. Heck, I'll go even further
and say that I think it's one of the few deserved Nebula award winners of
recent times... which probably doesn't mean much these days.
--
Ht

|Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore
never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
--John Donne, "Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions"|

A.C.

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 12:19:32 PM4/5/03
to
"Htn963" <htn...@cs.com> wrote in message
news:20030405121131...@mb-fw.news.cs.com...

> What did you (and others) think (if you've read) of _The Terminal
> Experiment_? That was the only Sawyer I've read so far and I enjoyed it:
the
> characterization and prose may be clunky at times but the soul capturing
> concept and the computer murder/detective story was entertaining; the
> metaphysical ending was also refreshingly daring. Heck, I'll go even
further
> and say that I think it's one of the few deserved Nebula award winners of
> recent times... which probably doesn't mean much these days.

As much esteem as I hold the rasfw community in, there are some authors who
I just can't can't trust their judgement on. Robert Sawyer is one of them
(David Brin is another).


Htn963

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 12:43:57 PM4/5/03
to
"A.C." wrote:

>As much esteem as I hold the rasfw community in, there are some authors who
>I just can't can't trust their judgement on. Robert Sawyer is one of them
>(David Brin is another).

So that means that you like Sawyer too?

A.C.

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 12:42:43 PM4/5/03
to
"Htn963" <htn...@cs.com> wrote in message
news:20030405124357...@mb-fw.news.cs.com...

> "A.C." wrote:
>
> >As much esteem as I hold the rasfw community in, there are some authors
who
> >I just can't can't trust their judgement on. Robert Sawyer is one of
them
> >(David Brin is another).
>
> So that means that you like Sawyer too?

What little I've read, yes, very much.


Jeffrey C. Dege

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 12:57:15 PM4/5/03
to
On Sat, 05 Apr 2003 17:42:43 GMT, A.C. <nomadi...@removethistomailmehotmail.com> wrote:
>"Htn963" <htn...@cs.com> wrote in message
>news:20030405124357...@mb-fw.news.cs.com...
>>
>> So that means that you like Sawyer too?
>
>What little I've read, yes, very much.

I liked his first two books.

I've not cared for his last three.

--
Personally, I think my choice in the mostest-superlative-computer wars has to
be the HP-48 series of calculators. They'll run almost anything. And if they
can't, while I'll just plug a Linux box into the serial port and load up the
HP-48 VT-100 emulator.

David Bilek

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 2:03:45 PM4/5/03
to
Peter <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:

>Ah yes... let's see now. A particularly nasty review of a book by an
>anon poster (seyefeye - Sci-Fi???) which google shows has no prior
>usenet record.
>
>Pointing out that the book is in line for a 2003 Nebula award...
>
>Prompting others NOT to read the book... (don't think for yourselves...
>follow MY lead!)
>
>Hmm??? Could it be an attempt from some other author to disrupt the
>playing field of votes? Naw... that would be a cheap plot suitable only
>for an unoriginal pulp magazine.
>

Are you an idiot? The short list is out, and _Hominids_ isn't on it.

-David

David Bilek

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 2:06:27 PM4/5/03
to
jd...@jdege.visi.com (Jeffrey C. Dege) wrote:
>On Sat, 05 Apr 2003 07:46:28 -0700, Peter D. Tillman <til...@aztec.asu.edu> wrote:
>>In article <c3rja.401$9m6...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com>,
>> Richard Horton <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I think the original poster's take is extreme, but I don't think
>>> _Hominids_ is a very good book. It's not terrible, and it's a fairly
>>> entertaining read, but lots of it is just silly...
>>
>>Which is a fair summary of most of Sawyer's recent books. For varying
>>values of 'entertaining' and 'silly'.
>
>It's the unnecessary PC crap that turns me off.

Oh, yes. The whole rape sub-plot was so inane and cliche filled that
it made me vaguely nauseous. That scene with the rape counselor could
have come out of a million made-for-Lifetime-television movies.
Simply terrible storytelling that substitutes stock characters and
dialogue for actual effort.

Horrid stuff.

-David

Peter D. Tillman

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 2:32:16 PM4/5/03
to
In article <20030405121131...@mb-fw.news.cs.com>,
htn...@cs.com (Htn963) wrote:

> "Peter D. Tillman" wrote:
>
> >In article <c3rja.401$9m6...@newssvr16.news.prodigy.com>,
> > Richard Horton <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> I think the original poster's take is extreme, but I don't think
> >> _Hominids_ is a very good book. It's not terrible, and it's a fairly
> >> entertaining read, but lots of it is just silly...
> >
> >Which is a fair summary of most of Sawyer's recent books. For varying
> >values of 'entertaining' and 'silly'.
>
> What did you (and others) think (if you've read) of _The
> Terminal Experiment_? That was the only Sawyer I've read so far
> and I enjoyed it: the characterization and prose may be clunky
> at times but the soul capturing concept and the computer
> murder/detective story was entertaining; the metaphysical ending
> was also refreshingly daring. Heck, I'll go even further and
> say that I think it's one of the few deserved Nebula award
> winners of recent times... which probably doesn't mean much
> these days.

I read it when it was serialized in Analog, and disliked it enough to
write a letter to the editor, complaining about inane serials displacing
short fiction [note 1]. I don't remember my specific complaints (tho a
bit of googling will find you plenty ;-), so here's an AOL summary:

It sucked.

I did enjoy his early dino-scientist books, and a couple of others, but
he's far down on my to-read list these days.

Cheers -- Pete Tillman
Book Reviews: http://www.silcom.com/~manatee/reviewer.html#tillman
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/cm/member-reviews/-/A3GHSD9VY8XS4Q/
http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/iplus/nonfiction/index.htm#reviews
http://www.sfsite.com/revwho.htm

Note 1). Given the quality of most recent Analog fiction, this may be a
moot point -- road apples vs. cow flops?

seyefeye

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 4:04:39 PM4/5/03
to
Hi again Peter (nos...@nospam.com), if that's your real name. Please
stop posting my entire original post in your replies.

Yes, I am Ursula Le Guin and I believe anonymously posting negative
reviews of the other authors' works up for the Nebula Award this year
in newsgroups like this is the best way to secure the nomination for
myself.

In the human parallel universe however I am simply a long time SciFi
fan who thought the book sucked and just happened to find this
newsgroup after unsuccessfully trying to post my third review at
amazon.com.

If you don't like my review advising other SciFi fans not to waste
their money on a book that upon further research has been trashed
pretty much everywhere, feel free to write your own.

Maybe you could also tell us why such a lousy book written by a recent
president of the SFWA was on the first ballot for a Nebula award,
which is run and voted on by members of the SFWA.


"What do you despise? By this are you truly known."
- 'Manual of Muad'Dib' by the Princess Irulan

Peter <nos...@nospam.com> wrote in message news:<3E8EDFAB...@nospam.com>...

David Cowie

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 6:11:00 PM4/5/03
to
On Sat, 05 Apr 2003 13:04:39 -0800, seyefeye wrote:

> Hi again Peter (nos...@nospam.com), if that's your real name. Please
> stop posting my entire original post in your replies.
>

Hear hear! That's one of my pet hates.

--
David Cowie david_cowie at lineone dot net

Karl M Syring

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 5:38:11 PM4/5/03
to
David Cowie wrote on Sat, 05 Apr 2003 23:11:00 +0000:
> On Sat, 05 Apr 2003 13:04:39 -0800, seyefeye wrote:
>
>> Hi again Peter (nos...@nospam.com), if that's your real name. Please
>> stop posting my entire original post in your replies.
>>
> Hear hear! That's one of my pet hates.

Could you please stop it, guys?
I am sure, the advertising thread is overdone now.

Ouch, this is my own contribution
Karl M. Syring

Mike Beede

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 6:03:48 PM4/5/03
to

I can't offer specifics because I have enough trouble remembering
books I actually liked, but there certainly seem to be a lot of mediocre
works that hinge on scooting around in the "inside of the computer."
That's not to say that can't be done well, but a brief perusal usually
convinces me to stay away, stay away!

Mike

Jeffrey C. Dege

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 6:10:20 PM4/5/03
to

I found the "men are horrible and violent" thread to be equally horrid.

As was the "Americans are crazy lunatics who spend too much time playing
with their evil guns" thread in his previous book, "Calculating God".

--
What? Me .sig?

seyefeye

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 6:15:02 PM4/5/03
to
I just finished the last one from the list, The Other Wind. Ok that's
a lie I didn't finish American Gods or Perdido Street Station. Here
are my opinions:

-Solitaire, by Kelley Eskridge
The best of the bunch IMO. Interesting, creative story and very good
writing.

-American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
So it won the Hugo huh? I couldn't muster up the energy to finish it
myself.

-The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Wonderful writing but I'm just not a Fantasy fan.

-Picoverse, by Robert A. Metzger
More trendy stuff with alternate universes but certainly better than
Hominids.

-Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
I want to think there's a great novel in there, but it just wasn't
working for me after some 300 pages with that many more to go so it's
on hold.

>> Bones of the Earth, by Michael Swanwick

I'm on the fence with this one. Certainly his best with a polished but
overly commercial feel and a few flaws. Well worth reading however and
I'm going to be expecting great stuff from him.

And no I have nothing to do with any of these authors. :P


> >Nicholas Whyte <nichol...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >> [...] the Nebula shortlist which consists of:


> >> Solitaire, by Kelley Eskridge
> >> American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
> >> The Other Wind, by Ursula K. Le Guin
> >> Picoverse, by Robert A. Metzger

> >> Perdido Street Station, by China Mi?ville

> >> Bones of the Earth, by Michael Swanwick
> >>
> >> ...which actually looks like rather a good list, judging from the

> >> three I have read (Gaiman, Le Guin, and Mi?ville)
> >
> >I've read the Gaiman (good but could have done more),
> >Mieville (fantastic), and the Swanwick (fantastic).
> >
> >Of the three I'd vote for the Mieville, but Swanwick
> >is a close second.
>
> It is a good list. Haven't read _Picoverse_ or _Solitaire_, and I
> doubt either of them are "Top 6" books, but they might both be at
> least decent. _The Other Wind_ was OK, not Le Guin's best, not Nebula
> worthy. I liked the other 3 books quite a lot, and of them _Bones of
> the Earth_ is my clear choice.

Richard Horton

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 6:41:28 PM4/5/03
to
On Sat, 05 Apr 2003 19:06:27 GMT, David Bilek <dbi...@attbi.com>
wrote:

>jd...@jdege.visi.com (Jeffrey C. Dege) wrote:

Oh, yes, that was awful. The TV-movie-Cancer subplot of the previous
book was bad enough. It seems like Sawyer has to put such a subplot
in each book, I assume because he thinks it's characterization.


--
Rich Horton | Stable Email: mailto://richard...@sff.net
Home Page: http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton
Also visit SF Site (http://www.sfsite.com) and Tangent Online (http://www.tangentonline.com)

Bluejack

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Apr 5, 2003, 6:47:48 PM4/5/03
to
On 05 Apr 2003 23:10:20 GMT, jd...@jdege.visi.com (Jeffrey C. Dege) wrote:
> As was the "Americans are crazy lunatics who spend too much time playing
> with their evil guns" thread in his previous book, "Calculating God".

Although I understand that Robert Sawyer is Canadian, and
one can understand why people outside America might
form that opinion.

I wonder if there is an Arabic science fiction?

--bluejack


Jeffrey C. Dege

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 6:53:36 PM4/5/03
to
On Sat, 05 Apr 2003 23:47:48 GMT, Bluejack <nos...@bluejack.com> wrote:
>On 05 Apr 2003 23:10:20 GMT, jd...@jdege.visi.com (Jeffrey C. Dege) wrote:
>> As was the "Americans are crazy lunatics who spend too much time playing
>> with their evil guns" thread in his previous book, "Calculating God".
>
>Although I understand that Robert Sawyer is Canadian, and
>one can understand why people outside America might
>form that opinion.

There was one bit in CG that got me wondering. A police team is called to
a hotel, when a maid discovers a pistol and a gun case in a motel room:

"A Glock 9mm," said Hank, glancing at the handgun. Rhonda looked
at the case. It had a specially cut black foam-rubber inlay, just
the right size to hold an Intertec Tec-9 carbine, a nasty beast -
essentially a submachginegun - about the length of a man's forearm.

This, of course, is the not-so-much-ignorant-as-intentionally-deceptive
interpretation of the Tec-9 that has been promulgated by the anti-gun
fanatics in the US.

The Tec-9 isn't a carbine, and it isn't a submachinegun, and it isn't a
"nasty beast". It's a 9mm pistol, with exactly the same capabilities
as a Glock 9mm, except that it's heavier and less reliable.

Sawyer is parroting the talking-points of Handgun Control, Incorporated.

--
The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex
facts. Seek simplicity and distrust it.
- Whitehead.

Rick

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 6:54:24 PM4/5/03
to

"Bluejack" <nos...@bluejack.com> wrote in message
news:1103_10...@news.drizzle.com...

> On 05 Apr 2003 23:10:20 GMT, jd...@jdege.visi.com (Jeffrey C. Dege) wrote:
> > As was the "Americans are crazy lunatics who spend too much time playing
> > with their evil guns" thread in his previous book, "Calculating God".
>
> Although I understand that Robert Sawyer is Canadian, and
> one can understand why people outside America might
> form that opinion.

One can understand why misinformed ones might.


A.C.

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 6:59:06 PM4/5/03
to
"Jeffrey C. Dege" <jd...@jdege.visi.com> wrote in message
news:slrnb8ur3v...@jdege.visi.com...

> The Tec-9 isn't a carbine, and it isn't a submachinegun, and it isn't a
> "nasty beast". It's a 9mm pistol, with exactly the same capabilities
> as a Glock 9mm, except that it's heavier and less reliable.
>
> Sawyer is parroting the talking-points of Handgun Control, Incorporated.

HCI claims that the Tec-9 is a carbine?


Karl M Syring

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 7:04:41 PM4/5/03
to
Jeffrey C. Dege wrote on 05 Apr 2003 23:10:20 GMT:
>
> I found the "men are horrible and violent" thread to be equally horrid.
>
> As was the "Americans are crazy lunatics who spend too much time playing
> with their evil guns" thread in his previous book, "Calculating God".

Should be quite popular here in Europe, although Sawyer
would have difficulties top to Moore on the bestseller lists.

Karl M. Syring

Karl M Syring

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 7:13:24 PM4/5/03
to

Uh, now that the unholy trinity of Dege, Ray and McCutchen
has been involved in the thread, it slowly becomes clear that
this is fucking Replicant propaganda directed against Sawyer.
How quaint.

Karl M. Syring

Jeffrey C. Dege

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 7:18:18 PM4/5/03
to

HCI/VPC claim that the Tec-9 is an "assault weapon", which is a term
they invented themselves, to apply to semi-automatic weapons that have
a military appearance. The intent is to create confusion over the
differences between "assault weapons" and the military assault rifles
and submachineguns, and to mislead the public into thinking that these
"assault weapons" have full-auto capabilities.

The Tec-9 is a cheap and poorly designed semi-auto pistol, with
non-functional black plastic apurtenances that are visually similar to
features of various military weapons.

It is, in most respects, the equivalent of a Geo metro with a low-rider
kit. It's particularly evil only in the minds of the ignorant who judge
the firearms based on appearance, instead of on capability, and in certain
anti-gun advocates who are attempting to take advantage of that ignorance.

Now, this is a bit of confusion that would cause me no problems in a novel
were it expressed by a character I'd expect to be ignorant about firearms.
It would cause me some problems expressed by a Canadian police officer,
because I'd like to think that they weren't so ignorant.

But it causes me major heartburn to see it expressed in the narrative -
for the author to spout such ignorant nonsense.

--
Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without
bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not
too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with
all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There
may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope
of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.
- Winston Churchill

Jeffrey C. Dege

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 7:19:51 PM4/5/03
to

I expect Europeans to be ignorant about guns. Hell, even their police
and militaries used to think that a 7.65mm was a real gun.

--
The 1 & only place that a design is conceived is in the mind of the
designer. As this design un-folds over time, it is often captured on
such high-tech media as white boards, napkins, & scraps of paper.
-- Grady Booch

Brian Palmer

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 8:14:18 PM4/5/03
to
seye...@yahoo.com (seyefeye) writes:

> Hi again Peter (nos...@nospam.com), if that's your real name. Please
> stop posting my entire original post in your replies.

Would you please stop putting the text you're responding to below your
replies?

--
If you want divine justice, die.
-- Nick Seldon

Rick

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 9:23:00 PM4/5/03
to
"Karl M Syring" <syr...@email.com> wrote in message
news:b6nrf3$79qv9$1...@ID-7529.news.dfncis.de...

> Uh, now that the unholy trinity of Dege, Ray and McCutchen
> has been involved in the thread, it slowly becomes clear that
> this is fucking Replicant propaganda directed against Sawyer.
> How quaint.
>


Of course...we all simply read from a script, right? I mean, it's not
possible that individuals might hold similar opinions without being in
cahoots, right?


Rick

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 9:23:50 PM4/5/03
to

"Karl M Syring" <syr...@email.com> wrote in message
news:b6nquo$76bep$1...@ID-7529.news.dfncis.de...


Wow, Europeans are really that deluded?


Mark Atwood

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 10:48:17 PM4/5/03
to
jd...@jdege.visi.com (Jeffrey C. Dege) writes:
>
> But it causes me major heartburn to see it expressed in the narrative -
> for the author to spout such ignorant nonsense.

The NRA runs an information service. They will politely educate any
reporter, author, or scriptwriter on such points, and will suppy
technical critiques to prerelease articles, manuscripts, and
screenplays under an NDA, just to find, flag, and help correct such
gaffs.

With such a resource available, the only excuses available for a
published writer who committ such a fuckup are lazyness, ignorance,
stupidity, or agenda-holding.

--
Mark Atwood | Well done is better than well said.
m...@pobox.com |
http://www.pobox.com/~mra

A.C.

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 11:17:30 PM4/5/03
to
"Mark Atwood" <m...@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:m3brzkp...@khem.blackfedora.com...

> jd...@jdege.visi.com (Jeffrey C. Dege) writes:
> >
> > But it causes me major heartburn to see it expressed in the narrative -
> > for the author to spout such ignorant nonsense.
>
> The NRA runs an information service. They will politely educate any
> reporter, author, or scriptwriter on such points, and will suppy
> technical critiques to prerelease articles, manuscripts, and
> screenplays under an NDA, just to find, flag, and help correct such
> gaffs.
>
> With such a resource available, the only excuses available for a
> published writer who committ such a fuckup are lazyness, ignorance,
> stupidity, or agenda-holding.

And writers are supposed to believe the NRA implicitly, but not HCI. The
NRA is a political organization; they've been caught in many lies over the
years, they have a definite bias in how they present the information, and I
don't see why they should somehow be considered more objective than HCI.


Jeffrey C. Dege

unread,
Apr 5, 2003, 11:37:52 PM4/5/03
to
On Sun, 06 Apr 2003 04:17:30 GMT, A.C. <nomadi...@removethistomailmehotmail.com> wrote:
>"Mark Atwood" <m...@pobox.com> wrote in message
>news:m3brzkp...@khem.blackfedora.com...
>>
>> The NRA runs an information service. They will politely educate any
>> reporter, author, or scriptwriter on such points, and will suppy
>> technical critiques to prerelease articles, manuscripts, and
>> screenplays under an NDA, just to find, flag, and help correct such
>> gaffs.
>>
>> With such a resource available, the only excuses available for a
>> published writer who committ such a fuckup are lazyness, ignorance,
>> stupidity, or agenda-holding.
>
>And writers are supposed to believe the NRA implicitly, but not HCI. The
>NRA is a political organization; they've been caught in many lies over the
>years, they have a definite bias in how they present the information, and I
>don't see why they should somehow be considered more objective than HCI.

The NRA is the premier firearms training and safety organization in the
world. They are not primarily a political organization. The demonization
of the NRA was the first of the gun banners' lies - that the opposition to
"reasonable gun control" existed only because of the efforts of the evil
gun lobby.

They were pushing this nonsense years prior to the NRA's hiring of its
first lobbyist.

--
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.
- Milton Friedman

James Nicoll

unread,
Apr 6, 2003, 12:05:44 AM4/6/03
to
In article <1103_10...@news.drizzle.com>,

Bluejack <nos...@bluejack.com> wrote:
>On 05 Apr 2003 23:10:20 GMT, jd...@jdege.visi.com (Jeffrey C. Dege) wrote:
>> As was the "Americans are crazy lunatics who spend too much time playing
>> with their evil guns" thread in his previous book, "Calculating God".
>
>Although I understand that Robert Sawyer is Canadian, and
>one can understand why people outside America might
>form that opinion.

Although lots of Canadians own guns.

I notice that the human universe is an alternate one to
ours, since I got the impression his NY state has the death penalty
as an active thing, not something where an actual execution has not
been carried out since Eddie Cochran's day.

--
"About this time, I started getting depressed. Probably the late
hour and the silence. I decided to put on some music.
Boy, that Billie Holiday can sing."
_Why I Hate Saturn_, Kyle Baker

A.C.

unread,
Apr 6, 2003, 1:34:28 AM4/6/03
to
"Jeffrey C. Dege" <jd...@jdege.visi.com> wrote in message
news:slrnb8vbov...@jdege.visi.com...

> The NRA is the premier firearms training and safety organization in the
> world. They are not primarily a political organization. The demonization
> of the NRA was the first of the gun banners' lies - that the opposition to
> "reasonable gun control" existed only because of the efforts of the evil
> gun lobby.

Whatever credibility the NRA had was squandered by La Pierre and Heston.


Mark Atwood

unread,
Apr 6, 2003, 3:35:41 AM4/6/03
to

You are hereby challenged to come up with a on-point example. The on-point
being, in case you have (probably willfully) forgotten, technical information
about the appearance, technology, or safe operation of a firearm.

*You* were the one who invoked politics and gnu control.

Now put up or shut up.

David Bilek

unread,
Apr 6, 2003, 3:40:50 AM4/6/03
to
Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:
>"A.C." <nomadi...@removethistomailmehotmail.com> writes:
>> "Jeffrey C. Dege" <jd...@jdege.visi.com> wrote in message
>> news:slrnb8vbov...@jdege.visi.com...
>>
>> > The NRA is the premier firearms training and safety organization in the
>> > world. They are not primarily a political organization. The demonization
>> > of the NRA was the first of the gun banners' lies - that the opposition to
>> > "reasonable gun control" existed only because of the efforts of the evil
>> > gun lobby.
>>
>> Whatever credibility the NRA had was squandered by La Pierre and Heston.
>
>You are hereby challenged to come up with a on-point example. The on-point
>being, in case you have (probably willfully) forgotten, technical information
>about the appearance, technology, or safe operation of a firearm.
>
>*You* were the one who invoked politics and gnu control.
>
>Now put up or shut up.

Goddamn. Mark, why in hell did you *add* rec.arts.sf.composition to a
gun flamewar? That's trollish behavior and you should know better.

Two gun flamewars springing up in a single day. Argh.

-David

Mark Atwood

unread,
Apr 6, 2003, 3:48:04 AM4/6/03
to
David Bilek <dbi...@attbi.com> writes:
> >>
> >> Whatever credibility the NRA had was squandered by La Pierre and Heston.
> >
> >You are hereby challenged to come up with a on-point example. The on-point
> >being, in case you have (probably willfully) forgotten, technical information
> >about the appearance, technology, or safe operation of a firearm.
> >
> >*You* were the one who invoked politics and gnu control.
> >
> >Now put up or shut up.
>
> Goddamn. Mark, why in hell did you *add* rec.arts.sf.composition to a
> gun flamewar? That's trollish behavior and you should know better.

The original intent was to talk about the fact that there is a free
resource for authors to learn anything and everything they care to
know for the purpose of writing for publication about guns.

*I* wasn't the one who turned it into a gun flamewar.