Here in Ann Arbor

And getting ready for my thing today with Toby and Paul. Aaaaaaaaaand that’s all you’re getting today from me because I’m, like, getting ready for my thing with Toby and Paul. And then I have to drive home. So, you know. Busy with the real world.

In the meantime: What’s your favorite type of primate that is not a human (specifically homo sapiens sapiens, i.e., us)? Feel free to list currently extinct species of primates. Show your work.

62 Comments on “Here in Ann Arbor”

  1. golden tamarins. They’re featured at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, and in fact, are allowed to roam relatively freely in one section of the park. Because they’re family-oriented, and tend to stick close to home base.

  2. John Joseph Adams – John Joseph Adams is the editor of John Joseph Adams Books, a science fiction and fantasy imprint from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is also the series editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as the bestselling editor of more than thirty anthologies, including Wastelands and The Living Dead. Recent books include Cosmic Powers, What the #@&% Is That?, Operation Arcana, Press Start to Play, Loosed Upon the World, and The Apocalypse Triptych. Called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble, John is a two-time winner of the Hugo Award (for which he has been a finalist twelve times) and an eight-time World Fantasy Award finalist. John is also the editor and publisher of the digital magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare, and is a producer for WIRED’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. He also served as a judge for the 2015 National Book Award. Find him online at and @johnjosephadams.
    John Joseph Adams

    I’ve always liked bonobos. How can you not like a species that has no war and has sex all the time?

  3. Squirrel Monkeys. One, they’ve got a great name. Two, they’re tiny, freakishly so.

    P.S. @#4, Scalzi said primates. Bipedal reptiles don’t count.

  4. Quote: “# Jenny Rae Rappaporton 24 Aug 2008 at 11:34 am

    If I had all the money in the world, a big chunk of it would go to the Gorilla Foundation! =)”


  5. Pygmy Marmosets. Because they are very, very small. Or Aye-ayes, because they defend themselves from human predation by freaking people way the hell out.

  6. Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, because brow ridges are butch, and because The Neanderthal Parallax by Robert J. Sawyer is a fun read.

    Also, because they get crapped on by a certain insurance company, and species-ism just isn’t cool.

  7. ytimynona – FLORIDA – I'm a big wannabe. Wannabe a truck driver, PotUS, scientist, writer, and teacher. Well, I already am a teacher. :-)
    Anny Mouse


    I never truly gave them the respect they deserved until I read Congo… Amy opened my eyes =)

  8. H. sapiens neanderthalensis, because they were either a non-ancestral human who shared the European peninsula with my ancestors, or, as some claim, may have contributed genetic material to my Eastern European forebears.

    Either way, I’m fascinated by Ice Age Europe, and wonder what kind of real interaction went on between Neandertals and Cro-Magnon peoples.

  9. Homo post hominem. Because it would be nice to know that there is a second team if we should hump the bunk.

    The mere fact that we have yet to identify Hph should not be such a large impediment to favorite status.

  10. I’ll vote for our extinct cousins the Neandertals too!

    P.S. A lot of scientists nowadays see them as a full species: Homo neanderthalensis.

  11. Homo floresiensis, and not just because it most unequivocally is a distinct species derived from hominins, but also because I adore that John Gurche painting made for National Geographic with the hobbit facing off an ora.

  12. Favorite non-human primate. Hmmm. That probably lets out a couple of members of our state legislature. I’m not sure they would count as primates. I guess I’ll have to second the Bonobos. Sex all the time with whoever is handy. Can’t fault that “lifestyle choice.”

  13. whitney – I work as a writing professor, and I've got a Ph.D in Cognitive Science - I'm a huge language nerd, and I'm a progressive liberal vegetarian. I also play the violin, and of course, I knit. Which is what this whole blogging thing is about, anyway.

    Colobus monkeys are my favorite! They have awesome hair and look like rock-stars and/or wizards.

  14. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, cranky.

    You know, I want to say silver back gorilla but I realize I am really just a baboon.

  15. I’m going with the proboscis monkey. Any poor creature that looks as ridiculous as they do deserves some love.

  16. The macaque. Because I was watching David Attenborough’s “Planet Earth” series again recently and they were very impressive swimming under water to find food. And I’ve always rather admired how they are prone to stealing stuff from tourists.

  17. I don’t personally know any extinct species of primates (or extant ones either) so I can’t really say.

    However, John’s appearance in Ann Arbor was great fun–thanks John! And thanks for signing my copy of Zoe’s Tale!
    This was my husband’s first author panel and signing, so it’s good he started with the best. He enjoyed it a lot.
    This comment might even show up before John gets home.

  18. I’m going to go with gibbons, because everybody always forgets about the other ape. Although I have had lemurs climbing all over me. Little known fact: they have fangs. Not that they’d ever use them for anything other than cutting through a banana skin, but still. Fangs.

  19. Another vote here for a) lemurs, because they’re adorable, and b) finding most other non-human primates terrifying and/or creepy. Tarsiers are almost cute, but they have creepy little stick-hands.

  20. Homo erectus. Because that name’s like, cool. Oh, and the whole tool thing.

    I don’t understand the condition though. Does anyone have homo sapiens sapiens in their top 20?

  21. Bushbabies. They’re super-adorable little foot-tall guys, but they travel on the ground by hopping something like 10 feet a hop. Also, they sound like babies and freak people out.

    I’d also put in a word for the slow loris since it may be the cutest animal in the world.

  22. When I was growing up, the summer home of Sabo’s Chimps (who used to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show and other TV variety shows, as well as perform in movies) was in a small combination trailer and wild animal park between Millbrook and Amenia, NY just off Route 44. My dad delivered eggs from the farm to auction in Amenia every week, and I’d often go along to help load and unload the truck. I’d bug him on a regular basis about taking the family there. We went one time when I was about 11. They let the trained, performing chimps just wander around the property (such a more innocent time) and one of the chimps took a liking to me and wanted to play, so he (or she. I’m really not sure) grabbed me by the hand and started walking off with me. If I’d known then what I know about chimps today, I’d have been scared shitless, but thanks to my naivete, I stayed calm and a minute of so later one of the trainers came over, and the chimp lost interest in me. So, I’m thinking for me, it’s the chimps, so I briefly had one for a friend.

  23. Second vote for gibbons in general, siamangs included. Out of an order that is chock full of critters that are entirely too much like humans minus the redeeming features, gibbons form strong family bonds, don’t tend to abuse their young, and substitute a lot of hollering for the disturbingly warlike tendencies some other primate groups have.

  24. I third the vote for bonobos, the only primates that have never been observed to kill their own kind. And the sex thing is good too.

  25. John, I got wind of your work from Joe Mallozzi’s blog. Just wanted to take a minute to tell you how much I enjoyed Androids Dream and Old Mans War. Ghost Bridges is next and I’m sure that will be a good read to. Thanks for your time.

  26. From the moment I became a baby anthropologist (please note, I’ve never been more than a baby anthropologist), I’ve had an insane passion for proconsul.

    It’s the name. And the tooth enamel. And that my other passion at the time was ancient Rome. It was like… *puts hands out like a scale* Rome! Monkeys! And proconsul was where the two overlapped in the Venn diagram. (Plus, like, maybe in the Arena.)

  27. Not sure about the gibbons, because it’s well known that on Christmas, they run rampant through insane asylums, wreaking havoc, hunting down, killing, and eating the unfortunate residents.

    Yes, everyone knows that yule gibbons ate fruits and nuts.

    (And yes, I totally stole that joke from Spider Robinson.)

  28. Re #21: “what kind of real interaction went on between Neandertals and Cro-Magnon peoples”

    They cohabited regions of Europe and the Middle East, usually in different microclimates. The Cro-Magnon might take the land closer to the river, and the Neandertals up in the hills.

    They traded trinkets, minerals, and both played music. Neandertals invented the bagpipes, according to recvent interpretation of archaeological evidence. Neandertals first had flutes made from hollowed animal bones.

    Still unclear if Neandertals could talk. “The Inheritors” postulated that Neandertals were the empathetic, quasi-telepathic ones, and Cro-Magnon the nonempathetic mutant invaders for whom spoken language was the sustained competitive advantage.

    Or maybe Cro-Magnon had the advantage of coevolving with dogs, giving them advantage as hunters over the Neandertals, who considered wolves and their descendants as mere enemies.

    Isaac Asimov: “The Ugly Little Boy.”

    Don’t know. Good question.

  29. #3. Bonobos – hippy commie apes
    #2. Orang-utans – smart; only other practitioners of the Missionary Position
    #1. Pak Protectors – Because Larry Niven invented them.

  30. I’ll have to say silver back gorillas, very family oriented. The Atlanta Zoo has a great silver back exhibit & habitat, and one of the most successful captive breeding programs.

    and Jerry Critter @ 47: thanks for the shout-out to my mispent youth! I was a Davey Jones fan myself, and still have a fair collection of the original vinyl. Hey, Hey I’m a Monkee…

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