Last weekend I finished "Calculating God", another older sci-fi novel by Canadian writer Robert J. Sawyer. It tells the story of a paleontologist's encounter with extraterrestrials who treat the existence of God as a scientific fact.
The friendship between the main character and a spider-like alien scientist named Hollus is charming & funny, but the book doesn't manage to live up to its larger ambition. Full review:
@eloquence just read your review and I agree with your points especially re intelligent design, but I like the framing of this one and for some reason my atheist brain likes to consume these fantastical stories.
Oh, and the "how physical attributes change perception" aspect was equally fun to ponder through. I still mentally reference it sometimes.
To me, the aliens were definitely the most interesting part of the book. I don't recall ever seeing the idea of an alien species that alternatingly speaks through two mouths before, for example.
And having expressions like "all the way to the left" for "evil/wrong", for a species that continuously strives for integration between its brain hemispheres, was very clever.
A Fediverse instance for people interested in cooperative and collective projects.