From: Louise Sharp
Location: Katoomba, Australia
I am trying to come to terms with your description of Australoids and their mode of migration to the Americas. Surely they migrated via a land bridge from northern Europe down to northern America and perhaps to southern America?
Our Australian Aboriginals certainly came here from Asia around 60,000 years ago and have never been linked to South America and Tierra del Fuego to my knowledge.
I enjoy your books immensely along with the posed social dilemmas. I do take exception to calling your characters Australians, however. 'In the end, the Australians had all but vanished' ... We are a prosperous nation of diverse peoples and proud of our combined histories.
From: Greg Bear
Thanks for writing, Louise!
The migrations posited in DARWIN'S CHILDREN are of course mostly speculative, but there have been tentative linkages of Australians/Australoids with the Tierra Del Fuegans.(Australoid means "like Australians," whereas these were genuinely Australians... just older!)
Sixty thousand years is a very long time, and humans are an exceptionally ingenious and mobile species. The recent surprises on Flores Island and elsewhere should teach us that we don't have the entire story. So my linkage is just an attempt to suggest how surprising future discoveries might be.
When the book was published, suggesting that Homo Erectus might have survived until twenty thousand years ago was pretty speculative as well. I was not nearly so bold as to suggest they would also be three feet tall! But that appears to be the case with the Flores Islanders--and I've inserted one as a character into my Forerunner novels in the HALO universe.