The Cygnus Key: The Denisovan Legacy, Göbekli Tepe, and the Birth of Egypt
By Andrew Collins
Published in May 2018
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
The Cygnus Key is a book that seemingly collects a jumble of ancient mysteries ranging from Denisovian technology, to pre-historic anatolians, to ancient Egyptians into a chaotic mash of ideas.
The beginning of the book is fascinating, giving a clear overview of Göbekli Tepe and explaining how many of the ideas found there are common throughout other sites inhabited by denisovans. He makes a fascinating argument that denisovans - pre-human hominids - were significantly more technologically and mathematically advanced than previously believed. Then, his narrative deteriorates into speculation about symbolism.
Most of the book is devoted to ancient symbolism and numerology. He makes many highly speculative guesses about what different building alignments and animal carvings may represent. In the absence of knowledge about the day to day lives of the people of these civilizations, they are nothing but guesses. Also, the topic of sacred geometry and star alignment isn’t of much interest to me.
If you are into the history of sacred geometry, then this book might be fascinating. It might also have some interest to people who are into the history of the development of mathematics. However, I found it quite dull.
This isn’t a bad book - it just isn’t a book for me. I read about halfway, then put it down and moved on.
Children of Time
By Adrian Tchaikovsky
Published in 2015
Thibault’s Score: 5/5
Sometimes, you come across a book that is so good that you recommend it to everyone that you know - however, in cases where that book is fiction, describing why it needs to be read without spoiling the plot can be difficult. Children of Time was recommended to me by my wife Katarina, who has great taste in science fiction.
It is a story about evolutionary biology, the end of man, and the rise of a new intelligent species. The story manages to grab your attention and remain fast paced, despite happening over the course of several millennia.
I will not say more, out of fear of spoiling the surprises that you will encounter. When embarking on this great literary journey.
Let me say this: it is likely the best science fiction book that I have ever read.
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