Frequently Asked Questions
Is this novel fiction?
Is the major human fossil find on Flores Island in Indonesia described in the novel for real?
Did scientists actually discover Hobbits?
Was Homo floresiensis ancestral to modern human beings?
Does Homo floriensis still exist?
Did the Ebu Gogo ever exists?
Did Homo floresiensis coexist on Flores island with modern humans?
Is there any viable Homo floriensis DNA remaining among the fossil finds?
Are there really modern day pirates?
The character Reggie bears an uncanny resemblance to my old boss. Are any of the characters in the novel based on real people?
Will there be a sequel to Flores Girl?
Can you tell me what happened to some of the major characters in the first book?
Readers of the book have been asking me lots of questions regarding the recent fossils findings in Flores and they want to know what parts of the novel are grounded in actual fact. In this section I am attempting to answer the most popular questions I have received to date regarding the novel.
Erik John Bertel.
Yes, very much so but parts of the novel are firmly grounded in recent scientific findings and the book incorporates those findings into the storyline. As much as possible I made the story plausible and realistic while deviating as little as possible from current mainstream scientific knowledge.
Yes, there was a major find on Flores Island of six miniature skeletons that were found in the limestone caves of Liang Bua. The announcement was made in late 2004 and CBS Sixty Minutes even ran a feature story on the find called "In Search of the Hobbit". That part of the novel is very much true. See this link for more information on the fossil discovery: The Find
No, they found the remains of a group of proto-humans that only stood at three feet tall as adults. They are an entirely new hominid species called Homo floresiensis. At three feet tall they weighed less than 80 pounds, were bipedal (walked on two legs) and had relatively long arms. They also had a surprisingly small brain that was roughly equivalent to the size of a modern day chimps. Yet it is believed they were tools users and capable of using fire. They are believed to be miniature descendants of Homo erectus that were stranded on the island up until modern times. What is amazing is that they were contemporary with modern man up until 18,000 years ago. The Hobbit label obviously reflects the ongoing popularity of the Ring Series.
No, it is generally believed that Homo floresiensis was an archaic species that evolved from Homo erectus hundreds of thousands of years ago but this is subject to great debate. The thinking is that they became stranded on Flores island and subsequently evolved into the miniature forms found in the caves. They are cousins to modern humans, not ancestral to modern humans.
There is no evidence, as of now, that would indicate that Homo floresiensis has survived to modern times. It is possible that they were present on Flores up until the arrival of Dutch explorers some four hundred years ago but again this is pure speculation. However, many researchers do believe there is a remote possibility that a small tribe of these ancient people await discovery in some remote, uninhabited islands of Indonesia. Research teams plan a return to Flores in 2005 to look for more fossils and, perhaps,to begin the search for actual survivors. This discovery of these survivors is the premise of the novel, Flores Girl: The Forgotten Children of God.
Here is the answer from a leading expert of Homo Floresiensis, Bert Roberts, Ph.D., a senior research fellow at the University of Wollongong's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, excerpted from Nova, Science Now Q&A. Bert Roberts along with Peter Brown and Mike Morwood was one of the first Australian scientists to evaluate the Homo Floresiensis remains at Liang Bua Cave complex on Flores Island.
"It would be absolutely stunning, and I'd dearly love to believe that it could be the case. My heart says yes, but my head says no, because the chances must surely be vanishingly small. What part of Southeast Asia hasn't been explored, or at least visited, by modern humans in the last few hundred years? And what part hasn't been radically altered, directly or indirectly, through our activities? But then again, if the legends of Ebu Gogo have even a grain of truth to them, then another type of human was wandering around central Flores until 250 years ago—only just before the Dutch arrived in this neck of the woods!
It is just less than six months ago that we first reported our findings to the scientific community and to the public at large. Naturally enough, our reports were greeted by many with astonishment verging on disbelief, because the discovery came completely out of left field. So while we are still in this honeymoon period of suspended disbelief, I am reluctant to discount entirely the possibility—no matter how remote!—that Homo floresiensis survives up until the present day in a remote pocket of a remote island in Southeast Asia."
No,well maybe...the Ebu Gogo are part of a traditional folk story told by the Flores Islanders. Some scientists believe that the folk lore maybe a shared cultural memory of Homo floresiensis but there is no evidence to support that theory. For more information about the Ebu Gogo please see this link: The Ebu Gogo
Yes, they did coexist with modern humans on Flores up until recent history. What type of social interaction occurred between the two species is totally unknown at this point but it is apparent they peacefully coexisted with Homo sapiens for thousands of years. Some believe they were still present on the island up until the arrival of the Dutch Explorers, that was only 250 years ago.
Viable DNA has yet to be found but the possibility does exists.
Absolutely and Indonesia, because of its island geography, appears to be a safe haven for many of them. As in the novel they don't have man of wars but do their plundering by speed boat and they regularly raid the freighters that cross the Flores Sea!
First, you have my deepest sympathies and secondly this is a work of fiction,
all characters and incidents are a product of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, or to
persons living or dead, is coincidental. Besides, almost all corporate managers resemble Reggie.
Will there be a sequel to Flores Girl?
Yes, there will be and, in fact, the writing of the sequel is well under way.
Sure I can, it's called a sequel. I assure you that I will answer all of your questions about the first novel in the sequel. Please be patient.
If you have any further questions feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org