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Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson


by Robert Charles Wilson

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English (26)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I enjoyed [b:Spin|910863|Spin|Robert Charles Wilson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1312033151s/910863.jpg|47562] and so when I saw this in the thrift store I bought it. It's been sitting on my shelves a long time. When I learned it qualified for a group challenge (Steampunk) I brought it out. Hope it's good!

Ok, it's not really steampunk. I mean, there's electricity and gas.

Well. The other reviewers said it better than I. Good adventure, well-written through about the first two thirds of the action, interesting characters, totally provocative premise. Was thinking I was liking it 4 stars. Last part, the Big Reveal, was confusing and weird, seemed to me to belong in a different book. I really cannot figure out what the author was trying to do. Can't even make a compromise and give it 3 stars - just not that important to anyone's time. Too bad. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
In one of the chief storylines, Darwinia, a land from an alternate universe, has replaced or overlaid early 20th century Europe; North America and the other non-European areas are not affected. Some of the flora and fauna of Darwinia can be hostile to humans. An exploratory expedition, mostly American, encounters a “midden,” a circle of bones representing the boundary of a colony of carnivorous insects (chapter 14). Creatures that stray within the boundary are brought down and eaten alive to the bones by the colony drones. This functions as a metaphor for the backstory, a cosmological end of days scenario. It seems that the universe has actually come to an end eons ago and is only preserved as a virtual memory in islands of interconnected nodes of sentience in the memory of a cosmic computer. However, the memory is being damaged and destroyed by swarms of entropic algorithms that are programmed to devour sentience, much as the Darwinian insects devour the (virtually) living creatures they are able to capture. At another level, the mind and memory of the universe are in battle with the mindless, memory destroying, prionic, virus-like programs, a cosmic case of Alzheimers. In Wilson’s short story Utriusque Cosmi in the collection The New Space Opera 2 (see the review), the memory of worlds systematically being destroyed by dark matter is preserved in cosmic computer files. Darwinia carries the preserved memories into a future at the end of time. Unfortunately, the surface story itself, recalling H.G. Wells and John Wyndham, was rather dull; the climax to me resembles a pastiche of shopworn eschatologies, perhaps an acknowledgement of the limits of the Second Life of virtual memory. ( )
2 vote featherbear | Mar 3, 2015 |
The novel started fairly quickly, but then it dragged on and on for too many pages. It was a good idea for a story, but there was too much waiting around for the characters to actually do something other than ponder the meaning of their lives. ( )
  piersanti | Sep 28, 2014 |
I am a fan of Robert Charles Wilson, but it has been a while since I read any of his books. This one took me a while to get into, but I think that may have been as much my rusty reading habits as the slowness of the build-up. It was worth sticking with it -- Robert's writing style is fluid, illustrative but not flowery. There are moments when I just feel deeply those precious little moments, and I really love that gift he gives the reader.

The story was poignant, and the ending really worked for me. His explorations of death and the afterlife made me wonder, and I kind of liked where he took things in this fantasy. As someone who has lost a dear family member, I appreciate being reminded of how precious a life is no matter how short. We need to remember things, preserve those memories...and I also wonder if immortality can exist through that preservation. This was a unique book, but classically Robert Charles Wilson in that the protagonist is a wanderer. ( )
  CarreonLib | Apr 17, 2014 |
Well, along about 1892, the American Frontier, in the Classic sense was closed. There was no longer a place on the map where you head out for, in Twain's phrase. Robert Wilson's book has a really creepy answer to this problem , if you aren't an American. We'll drop a part of an Alien planet, with its ecosystem intact, and wipe out Europe!
No other people to contest the fate of the world as anything but an American plaything, until say the 1960's.
And even more frontier!
What ever other virtues this book has that was the overriding impression I got from this effort! Made me mad, I confess.
This is American Exceptionalism gone riot! ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 19, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Charles Wilsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charrier, MichèleTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To PNH and TNH, for patience and good advice; Shawna, for believing in my work; and unindicted co-conspirators everywhere (you know who you are).
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Guilford Law turned fourteen the night the world changed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812566629, Mass Market Paperback)

In 1912, the entire European continent and all of the United Kingdom mysteriously vanished during the Miracle, replaced by an alien landscape known as Darwinia. Darwinia seems to be a slice of another Earth, one that diverged from our own millions of years ago and took a separate evolutionary path. As a 14-year-old boy, Guilford Law witnessed the Miracle as shimmering lights playing across the ocean sky. Now as a grown man, he is determined to travel to Darwinia and explore its mysteries. To that end he enlists as a photographer in the Finch expedition, which plans to steam up the Rhine (or what was once the Rhine) and penetrate the continent's hidden depths as far as possible. But Law has brought an unwanted companion with him, a mysterious twin who seems to have lived--and died--on an Earth unchanged by the Miracle. The twin first appears to Guilford in dreams, and he brings a message that Darwinia is not what it seems to be--and Guilford is not who he seems to be. --Craig Engler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:34 -0400)

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Wilson joins the Tor list with a breathtaking novel about a very different 20th century that takes its protagonist to a shattering revelation about mankind's destiny in the universe.

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