Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Robert J Sawyer's Hominids was a big waste of time. How is it I never noticed what a poor writer he is?

The dialogue is admittedly breezy. Reading his other books, I've been swept up and along by the ideas, the science, the philosophy as voiced by the characters.

But Hominids reads like it's written by one of those guys you date in first-year university who make a show of being modern and sensitive and take a Women's Studies course to pick up women and think they can get inside your head to get in your pants.

The characterization of women, their dynamics, is flat. One woman is raped. Though the emotions and her psychology may be true in essence, it is written without grokking and rings false.

Similarly, Sawyer strings out a slew of Canadian references, seemingly for their own sake. It feels unnatural. He forces the point of a multicultural environment. Dr Singh's syntax is badly rendered.

I've always liked Robert J Sawyer, from the first time I heard him in interview with Peter Gzowski on Morningside regarding Terminal Experiment. I've enjoyed the Canadian references, and appreciated the seeming ease of the science. But now he's trying too hard.

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