Hominids won the Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year!
Hominids is a strong, stand-alone SF novel, but it's also the first book of The Neanderthal Parallax, a trilogy that examines two unique species of people. They are alien to each other, yet bound together by the never-ending quest for knowledge and, beneath their differences, a common humanity. We are one of those species, the other is the Neanderthals of a parallel world where they, not Homo sapiens, became the dominant intelligence. In that world, Neanderthal civilization has reached heights of culture and science comparable to our own, but is very different in history, society, and philosophy.
During a risky experiment deep in a mine in Canada, Ponter Boddit, a Neanderthal physicist, accidentally pierces the barrier between worlds and is transferred to our universe, where in the same mine another experiment is taking place. Hurt, but alive, he is almost immediately recognized as a Neanderthal, but only much later as a scientist. He is captured and studied, alone and bewildered, a stranger in a strange land. But Ponter is also befriended — by a doctor and a physicist who share his questing intelligence and boundless enthusiasm for the world's strangeness, and especially by geneticist Mary Vaughan, a lonely woman with whom he develops a special rapport.
Meanwhile, Ponter's partner, Adikor Huld, finds himself with a messy lab, a missing body, suspicious people all around, and an explosive murder trial that he can't possibly win because he has no idea what actually happened.
Contact between humans and Neanderthals creates a relationship fraught with conflict, philosophical challenge, and threat to the existence of one species or the other — or both — but equally rich in boundless possibilities for cooperation and growth on many levels, from the practical to the esthetic to the scientific to the spiritual.
ROBERT J. SAWYER has won the Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell Memorial, Seiun, and Aurora Awards, all for best science fiction novel of the year. His novels include Golden Fleece, Rollback, Wake, and FlashForward (basis for the TV series).