Review: "Calculating God" by Robert J. Sawyer

When I first heard about Robert J. Sawyer's Hominids, I decided to wait several months for the paperback. It disgusts me that during all that time, I could have purchased Calculating God to hold me over, but didn't.

If you read science fiction, you have to read Robert J. Sawyer. That's all there is to it.

Calculating God explores such mundane questions as "Was the universe designed by an intelligent creator?" "Is there a God?" "Does he influence the affairs of man?" "Why is there life in the universe?" Sawyer's answers are the most imaginative you will ever read.

The story revolves around Thomas Jerico, a paleontologist at the Royal Ontario Museum. He is called out of his office one day, heads into the lobby, and comes face to face with an alien named Hollus.

Hollus has a theory that the creator of the universe has directly influenced the evolution of earth and at least two other planets. So the Human and the Forhilnor work together to try to find out the secrets of life, the universe, and everything.

It is obvious from reading his books that Sawyer is a smart man. You finish reading this book feeling like an expert in biological evolution and mass extinction. However, unlike other science fiction novels that are heavy into the science, this book doesn't skimp on good characters and dramatic storytelling. How often do you get choked up reading a book that mentions the Parasaurolophus, or Mu Cassiopeae A Prime?

And I can't even describe the last few chapters of the book. I thought the story was already finished. I couldn't understand what was left to be said. I didn't have any idea where the book was ultimately going. It went to a beautiful place.

Read this book.

Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer
Published on: Forge; July 2001
Author's Webpage:

About Joe Murphy

Joe Murphy succumbed to leiomyosarcoma on April 1, 2007. The irony of this is not lost on any who knew him and laughed with him. He was the first “official” book reviewer for The Dragon Page Radio Talk Show, and after moving to Arizona, he became a frequent contributor to Cover to Cover, Wingin’ It, Slice of SciFi and co-host of Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas.

He will be missed.

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