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Orphan of Creation

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Anthropologists discover a remnant of our ancestral genus Australopithecus--pitiful creatures enslaved by a backward African village shunned by its neighbors for its cruel practices. It is the greatest anthropological discovery ever made--but who will guarantee that the rest of the world will treat Thursday and her fellows any better than the slavemasters?
Paperback, 345 pages
Published February 1st 1988 by Baen
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I had three main impressions as I read this book. At first, I couldn't figure out why it was listed as Science Fiction. Then the woman digs up a skull that is neither human nor ape and I had an 'a-ha!' moment. The science fiction is not in the space ships or technology that I'm used to, but rather in the idea that our predecesors, or cousins, did not die out but are alive and well. A fascinating idea. My second impression was that I really liked it. I liked the interactions of the main character ...more
Silvio Curtis
I feel justified in outlining some parts of the plot without considering it spoilers, since suspense isn't really the point. The main character is a paleoanthropologist who finds an odd anecdote about imported apes in her great-great-grandfather's account of growing up as a slave in Misissippi, gets curious, and decides to make a small-scale excavation of the ape bones. Of course, what she finds is a much bigger deal - several complete skeletons of australopithecines buried fresh in the 1850s. T ...more
I was excited about this book for several reason. I had previously read 'You Shall Know Them' by Jean Vercors which also dealt with finding a living 'missing link' and had been captivated by the idea and welcomed another book on this subject.

Unfortunately, the story never really drew me in. I loved the discovery of the long lost diary, the subsequent dig, the search through old newspaers etc, but the characters themselves left me cold. There also seemed to be a lack of suspense. The story just
An interesting premise and an engaging read ... what happens when a paleoanthropologist finds the very recent (150 years old) bones of a hominid species that should have been extinct many thousands of years ago. And when she's able to then find living examples of that species, bringing it to America, issues of how we define "personhood" are fundamental to the other problems faced. Food for thought. I liked this book quite a lot, but would have liked more time spent grappling with those central i ...more
Really interesting story about what is a person? And what make us human? Where and what is that part that make us the dominant species on earth.

Using the event of discovering the bones of an Australopithecus in USA, the author take us into the adventures of Dr. Barbara Marchando, paleontologist of the Smithsonian museum, that will lose everything in the attempt to spare humans to lose its humanity.
Begins as a discovery novel, as scientists track down surviving Australopithecines. Becomes more philosophical: what does human mean? in second half. Main character, Barbara, seems thin, especially her private life. Readable.
Georgina Williams
This novel made you think, and had unbiased points of view, of the idea of where morals lie.
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