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Old 03-05-2010, 07:01 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Default polyamorous social convention: Neanderthal Parallax

Just wondering how many people have read Robert J. Sawyer's trilogy, "Neanderthal Parallax" ? It's awesome fiction for poly folk.

It's a sci-fi, but if you don't like sci-fi, please hear me out first!

Some scientists from an alternative universe accidentally open a portal into our universe. In that universe, Neanderthals became the dominant species on Earth and humans were extinct.

Now here's where it gets interesting for us: Bisexual polyamory is the social convention.

Each person has a male and female partner. They live with their same-sex partner most of the time, but on a socially dictated schedule, they go live with their opposite-sex partner. Mothers raise the children up to a certain age, after which boys go live with their dads.

One thing that was neat, since they have a very keen sense of smell enabling them to detect hormones, all the women are on the same menstrual cycle. *giggles* needless to say, this is when the men steer the hell clear! Also, because their cycles are synchronized, they've also synchronised child birth. The time of the month when they trade partners prevents pregnancies, except for every 7 years, when all the women get pregnant in the same month. I guess it also would mean that all the kids go through their terrible twos at the same time, but they don't talk about that. I should mention that they aren't "forced" to have children, it's just that if they do want them, they can only do it every 7 years.

Another interesting aspect of the book was how they dealt with violent crime. They wore monitoring devices that record every second of their lives, stored in a private locked vault, so they had perfect evidence of any crime. If a person was convicted of a violent crime, then anyone who shared 50% of their DNA was sterilized. It seems a little eugenic, but I can see the logic of it.

So as my grade 8 French teacher used to say, "Checkez ça out"
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:46 AM
budKEP budKEP is offline
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wish there was a like button on here. sounds like a entertaining read. =)
and ive always been a fan of the chip in everone, sorry lol.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:59 PM
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vandalin vandalin is offline
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I haven't read this one, but I did read a short story (I'm sure I have the anthology it was in somewhere in my basement) that this reminded me of. In this speculative fiction peice there were three scientists, two female one male. The man and one of the women were married and she was also pregnant, the second woman identified as lesbian and was very good friends with both husband and wife. The sci-fi part is that they were working on part of the genome and discovered that there may have been three genders, not just two. This third gender was typically non-breeding and more of a care-giver role but was just as much a part of the family dynamic as the mated couple. So of course, the second female takes the infection that would re-start that gene...and I'm not telling anymore.

As for your story, I agree a chip would be nice, but the neutering 50% DNA shared relations just because one person was a violent offender...that is a bit much. Otherwise it does sound like an intriguing story.
Life is about the journey and not the destination,
so what better way to know life
than to wander all the roads and paths set before you.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:29 PM
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Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
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I've read it and met the author. It's an awesome book. (As is flash forward)

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Old 03-06-2010, 01:44 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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It's so refreshing to see someone mention "poly-sci-fi" other than Heinlein. I read Stranger in a Strange Land and thought it was insipid.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:21 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by YGirl View Post
It's so refreshing to see someone mention "poly-sci-fi" other than Heinlein. I read Stranger in a Strange Land and thought it was insipid.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:01 PM
Twill Twill is offline
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Location: New York City
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I was a huge fan of "Stranger in a Strange Land" as a teenager. And, even though I'd probably dislike it if I read it today for the first time, it remains a favorite because of the emotional attachment I have to it.

For those of you that don't like "Stranger," I'd suggest you give Heinlein one more chance and read "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress." In it, he includes line marriages. Even if you hated "Stranger," you might enjoy this book, as it's very different.

And, to satisfy my own curiosity: Can anyone suggest other fiction that features polyamorous relationships? Either sci-fi or not.
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