Calculating God

Calculating God

Book - 2000
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An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges and says, in perfect English, "Take me to a paleontologist."

In the distant past, Earth, the alien's home planet, and the home planet of another alien species, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at the same time (one example: the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs). Both alien races believe this proves the existence of God: i.e., he's obviously been playing with the evolution of life on each of these planets. From this provocative launch point, Sawyer tells a fast-paced, morally and intellectually challenging story of ambitious scope andtouching humanity. Calculating God is SF on a grand scale.
Calculating God is a 2001 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2000.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780765322890
Branch Call Number: SAW
Characteristics: 334 p.


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CranbrookLibrary Feb 02, 2015

A spaceship lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum. Out steps an alien and says, Excuse me. I would like to see a paleontologist.'

This sounds like the start of a mediocre 1950's science fiction paperback not worth the paper its printed on. But taking into account that the author is Robert J. Sawyer, one of Canada's foremost science fiction writers, and that this novel won a Nebula Award, the reader may decide to reconsider.

The reward is a philosophically and morally complex story that considers whether great cataclysmic global events prove the existence of God. Being placed firmly in 2000s Toronto keeps the story real even as the plot takes the reader far away from the ordinary.

This book manages to combine big ideas and humour in a satisfying way. Recommended for those who want to give science fiction a try.

Oct 12, 2011

Accomplished Canadian Science Fiction author starts this novel improbably enough with aliens from outer space who want to learn of our planet’s past. Surely this is a piece of sci-fi doggerel designed to appeal to a youthful audience. We expect nothing more than bad aliens, goods scientists, space-ship chases and the inevitable triumph of man over alien. A kind of “Cowboys and Aliens” . But surprisingly no. This novel gives you so much more. Rather than an adventure story, this is an intellectual story. This novel deals in philosophy as well as mayhem on a stellar scale. You may be pleasantly surprised if this is your first venture into this genre.

Robert J. Webster
Aug 20, 2010

I liked it, a good story.

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