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Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
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Spin (2005)

by Robert Charles Wilson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Spin (1)

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3,0571282,650 (3.98)135
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English (117)  French (7)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (128)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
When waffling over whether to DNF or not to DNF my husband said, "Do it so you can tell everyone it was because there were too many feelings and not enough spaceships." I've yet to find out whether spaceships are even a thing at 20%, but I still decided DNFing was worth the joke. Which is just that I prefer my character-driven feels vehicles, so if I'm telling you there's a problem: damn, son. This basically felt like reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower with a significantly less precious cinnamon roll of a narrator in an admittedly intriguing hard sci-fi premise that progressed about a page's worth of plot for every 20 pages of a romance I could not have cared less about.
  Jeeps | Jul 26, 2018 |

This is an outstanding book. And difficult to review without spoilers, but totally worth the effort. It's best to be surprised right along with the main characters.

Through our viewpoint character, Tyler Dupree, we get to experience a world-changing what-if scenario. Through his friendships with Diane and Jason Lawton, the other two main characters in the story, we also get to see how two other, very different people experience that what-if.

The What-If happens when the three are still children. Each of them reacts to it differently, in some ways each one represents how lots of people might react to the What-If, or a similar What-If. I found each one's growth and development over the lifetime of the story gave me some fascinating insights into people who might react to things, whether large as a What-If or small as the mundane slings and arrows we all experience.

Mr Wilson's writing is outstanding from beginning to end. It was very, very easy to simply fall into the story. The characters were each and all very real, with great depth. And the plotting was excellent. I'm pretty good at figuring out what's happening - a lifetime of reading mystery stories at work, I think. Mr. Wilson managed to not only surprise me, but make the surprises so smooth I wondered why I didn't figure it out correctly. All the clues were right there.

The story does jump back and forth between two time frames, the "current" time line of what's happening to Tyler, and his retelling of his past. This is a pretty common structure, and usually feels pretty contrived. Mr. Wilson managed to pull it off flawlessly. It made sense that Tyler reviewed and shared his history, and the history of his two closest friends, in as much as he knew it.

In the best sense of the word, Spin is speculative fiction, as well as future history. In it, Mr. Wilson offers a world-spanning What-If, then shows us how humanity might respond. It's a totally believable future, taking into account both the depths to which people can sink, and the greatness to which they aspire. In other words, his characters are people, with all that means. I am very glad to have read it, and look forward to more of his works.

While Spin has a very satisfying ending, it is the first in a trilogy. Frankly, if there hadn't been an excerpt from the second book, Axis at the end of it, I would have thought it was a stand alone novel. But there are enough questions left that Axis should be a good tale. ( )
  hopeevey | May 19, 2018 |
Loved the seamless blend of science speculation and plot. Great read. ( )
  josh513 | Feb 3, 2018 |
I think of Greg Bear as the kind of writer who's willing to take a big idea with big consequences, and then actually explore those consequences. Mr. Wilson does the same, here, in Spin, and I think executes it quite well. The mystery is well delivered, the narrative well paced, the characters interesting and fairly realistic, and the examination of the consequences of his idea, both on the individual characters as well as the earth (and universe) at large, is fascinating and compelling. Definitely worth a read. ( )
  fancypantalons | Oct 27, 2017 |
Wilson's Last Year reminded me how much I'd enjoyed this a number of years back so I decided to pay it a revisit. What had stayed with me from the first reading was the tension and suspense that had me turning the pages to see what was going to happen next. This time through I found it was the characters and the way they reacted to being faced with an apocalyptic crisis that kept the pages turning, along with some insightful observations about politics and religion. Even though there are sequels this ended with enough sense of conclusion that I didn't feel the need to go on to the next book. But it's nice knowing it's there if I do. ( )
  wandaly | Oct 17, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Charles Wilsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gálvölgyi, JuditTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schütz, NeleCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Singelmann, KarstenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076534825X, Mass Market Paperback)

Spin is Robert Charles Wilson's Hugo Award-winning masterpiece—a stunning combination of a galactic "what if" and a small-scale, very human story.
 
One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.
 
The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk—a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world's artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they'd been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, a space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside—more than a hundred million years per year on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future.
 
Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who's forged a new religion out of the fears of the masses.
 
Earth sends terraforming machines to Mars to let the onrush of time do its work, turning the planet green. Next they send humans…and immediately get back an emissary with thousands of years of stories to tell about the settling of Mars. Then Earth's probes reveal that an identical barrier has appeared around Mars. Jason, desperate, seeds near space with self-replicating machines that will scatter copies of themselves outward from the sun—and report back on what they find.
 
Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives." "The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk - a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world's artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they'd been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside--more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future." "Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who's forged a new religion out of the fears of the masses." "Earth sends terraforming machines to Mars to let the onrush of time do its work, turning the planet green. Next they send humans...and immediately get back an emissary with thousands of years of stories to tell about the settling of Mars. Then Earth's probes reveal that an identical barrier has appeared around Mars. Jason, desperate, seeds near space with self-replicating machines that will scatter copies of themselves outward from the sun - and report back on what they find. Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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