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Ancient of Days

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  114 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Paul Lloyd and his ex-wife, RuthClaire, discover a living descendant of a hominid species long thought extinct, homo habilis.
Paperback, 354 pages
Published February 1st 1995 by Orb Books (first published 1985)
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Mariab
Jul 10, 2014 Mariab rated it it was ok
This book seems to have actually three books in one.
The first is the most interesting of all and keeps the reader into his story.
The author seems to take the position of a distant and indifferent father who gives his readers his point of view but does not try to convince them (us) about his reason. But then turns incisive and definitely seems to take a "indoctrination" course.
The last book is the worst of the three and there is where the apologetic tone becomes dominant, to be quite heavy in
...more
Michael Battaglia
One of the ideas I always found fascinating, from my youthful days playing junior anthropologist with a Time-Life reference book or two, was the notion that there was a period of time or two during human history where different species of the human race were alive simultaneously and how that would have been to encounter someone who was sort of like you but from a different branch of the general family tree. We make so much of differences between us that really come down to perception and prejudi ...more
Elizabeth
Oct 26, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Michael Bishop was the special guest of honor will very science-fiction convention I cheered in August, so in preparation for meeting him, I scouted out a number of his books, including this one. I think this one may be my favorite.

Ask yourself what would happen if a supposedly extinct hominid was suddenly discovered to be not so extinct. That's the underlying premise of this book. What sets it off from the usual run is that the narrator is one of the more unlikable individuals are likely to enc
...more
Simon Mcleish
Feb 26, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in October 2002.

After the death of Philip K. Dick, Michael Bishop seemed to be the author most willing to follow in his footsteps. He has written a direct tribute (Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alass) but, more importantly, has taken on the question more central to Dick's output than any other, "What does it mean to be human?"

Ancient of Days is explicitly (at least, for a novel) about this question. It concerns a surviving member of the species homo habilis, an anc
...more
Luis
Jul 23, 2014 Luis rated it it was ok
I started this book with no clue about the author or the story itself. I liked very much all the first part, but as the pages started to pass I went down in my enthusiasm. The fact that there are no chapters but the whole book just divided in three long parts doesn't help at all to make the experience more attractive. The last fifty pages took me more than a week to read, it was hard for me to get myself into finishing it. Finally I did it. My rating of course reflects this final feeling. If I h ...more
Mike
Jul 18, 2014 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As others have said, started excellently but in the second section, around page 100, it takes a left turn into annoying stupidity. One of the fewer-than-10 books I didn't bother to finish.
Don
Mar 14, 2015 Don rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of this book. That final third was just too quasi-religious and philosophical for me.
Karen
May 26, 2011 Karen rated it liked it
Recommended to Karen by: Shmell
This should really probably get a 2.5. It started off with an unusual premise, intelligent storytelling, and interesting characters, but then the plot just seemed to go from meandering to contrived and the characters became more irritating with each turning page. Some of its main themes, which were quite interesting, just never seemed to materialize or resolve in any satisfying way.
Ketan Shah
Similar in theme to Michael Bishop's other anthropological SF . If you enjoyed this,you'd probably enjoy Isaac Asimov's and Robert Silverberg's :The Ugly Little Boy" and "Borderline" by the French SF writer Vercors. You might also Pat Murphy's Rachel in Love and Robert Silverberg's The Pope of the Chimps and Frank M Robinson's Waiting
Christopher Roberts
This book begins very compelling, and takes an absurd premise and makes it believable. The problem is that the second half of the book abandons science in favor of some mystical mumbo jumbo. Bishop is unquestionably a good writer but this book seems to be a bit of a misfire for him.
Milo
Jun 07, 2010 Milo rated it liked it
Book was really a easy fast read... Kinda sad, when u think about the ignorance of man...... and how the innocent pay.... i guess it's a vicious cycle.....
i really did enjoy this.... made me think.
Don
Sep 02, 2007 Don rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Melissa
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
This is one of my favorite sci-fi's. About the survival of a lone australopithicus! I enjoyed it, and my daughter melissa has read it several times.
Peter
Mar 27, 2011 Peter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't buy the premise; read 100 pages and have decided it's not worth finishing.
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Michael Lawson Bishop is an award-winning American writer. Over four decades & thirty books, he has created a body of work that stands among the most admired in modern sf & fantasy literature.

Bishop received a bachelor's from the Univ. of Georgia in 1967, going on to complete a master's in English. He taught English at the US Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs from 1
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