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Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
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Spin (2005)

by Robert Charles Wilson

Series: Spin (1)

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3,6531523,018 (3.96)160
Now in a Tor Essentials edition, Robert Charles Wilson'sSpin, a Hugo-winning novel of breathtaking cosmic scope. One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his backyard 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 outsidethe 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.… (more)
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Title:Spin
Authors:Robert Charles Wilson
Info:Tor Science Fiction, Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
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Work Information

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (2005)

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» See also 160 mentions

English (141)  French (7)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (152)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
An interesting book, with a lot of astronomy and nonlinear storytelling. I'm not sure about the religious stuff, but I'm not sure the author is, either.

I had trouble deciding whether to give the book four or five stars. I may change my mind later. ( )
  villyard | Dec 6, 2022 |
Robert Charles Wilson writes good science fiction novels. I'm not a scientist, but the science seems accurate and plausible enough, the concepts and plots are usually interesting, and most of all, his characters are real breathing people, not the cardboard cutouts found in many other (especially older) science fiction works.

In Spin, the first volume of a trilogy, three teenagers are lying on the grass one evening star-gazing, when suddenly the stars are all blotted out. Some sort of barrier has been imposed between Earth and the heavens. When they go to bed that night, no one knows whether the sun will rise the next morning. It does, at least an artificial semblance of the sun appears the next morning and goes down the next evening, and life goes on, but...

We follow the three teenagers, Tyler Dupree and his friends, bother and sister Jason and Diane Lawson over the next 50 or so years as the world tries to determine what happened that night, who did it, and why. Jason becomes a renowned scientist who dedicates his life to studying the event, Diane joins a religious cult devoted to seeking signs of "end times," and Tiyler floats in and out of their lives.

The book made for very compelling reading, and I wanted to continue on with the series.

3 1/2 stars

First line: "Everybody falls, and we all land somewhere."
Last line: "How do you build a life under the threat of extinction?" ( )
  arubabookwoman | Sep 17, 2022 |
This Hugo Award winning novel (2006) is a story of two parts in my mind. The first, which involves the covering of the entire Earth with a complex membrane, is some of the most exciting hard science fiction I've read in a long time. Picture yourself lying on a lawn, looking up at the stars... and they go out. As awe-inspiring as a Clarke novel, Wilson tells us what the world's scientists come up with as they try to answer the big questions. What is happening? Why is it happening? Is there a "who" behind it? An outline of this book could be written that would look like a knotted string, each knot being an important and sometimes jaw-dropping idea. "The Spin", as the phenomenon is called by the characters, grips the Earth tightly and apparently permanently. Initial discoveries find that the membrane has created a time difference between life on Earth and life in the rest of the universe. A minute passes here while years pass out there. A few days of time here, and empires would rise and fall outside, if they existed. Do they?

The second part of this novel is the connecting material, or the rest of the string. I didn't find this as interesting as the Big Idea stuff while I was listening. In retrospect, I do appreciate what Wilson illustrated with his characters, but the plot won't be what I remember when I talk about this novel in the future. Frankly, about halfway through the novel, I wanted to skim the sections that focused on the characters, not because they were poorly written, but because I simply couldn't wait for what was really interesting me about the novel - more info about "The Spin". Of course, I can't skim an audiobook, so I dealt with the suspense and just kept listening. (Note to self: Add "lack of ability to skim" to the list of plusses for audiobooks. If I had read this book in print I would have skimmed - this way I got the whole novel.)

Scott Brick narrates, always a plus from my perspective, and is a great match with this book. He does very well with science "ooo wow" moments, and there are plenty here. A quibble for the accuracy department: a mispronounced word that unfortunately is used often during a portion of the book. "Oort cloud".
  SDanielson | Sep 5, 2022 |
2.5 stars. Another fun science fiction premise which the author got in the way of with an attempt at a more literary/non-genre story full of realistic set pieces of character development. Wilson introduces a gripping, bizarre, original combination of time travel/first encounter, then weaves 150 pages of that meaty science fiction story into the background of 300 pages of the stunted emotional lives of three childhood friends. No one seems to really care that much about each other; they don’t really have relationships with their parents who are not insignificant characters; they don’t really seem to love their girlfriends and spouses. Everyone was emotionally dead. I’d have liked to see him cut the length, or spend less time on these un-sympathetic characters and move the grander, space opera action along more swiftly. Or cut 100 pages. I read the whole thing, so the character moments throughout were interesting and well written enough to keep me reading, but I was left feeling robbed by a dull, boring narrator who I didn’t care a whit about. Wilson splits the structure of the book between current and future plot lines developing in tandem, then meeting at the end. A common device that seemed unnecessary except he probably needed a way to add excitement to an other wise stultifying, plodding book. ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
2.5 stars. Another fun science fiction premise which the author got in the way of with an attempt at a more literary/non-genre story full of realistic set pieces of character development. Wilson introduces a gripping, bizarre, original combination of time travel/first encounter, then weaves 150 pages of that meaty science fiction story into the background of 300 pages of the stunted emotional lives of three childhood friends. No one seems to really care that much about each other; they don’t really have relationships with their parents who are not insignificant characters; they don’t really seem to love their girlfriends and spouses. Everyone was emotionally dead. I’d have liked to see him cut the length, or spend less time on these un-sympathetic characters and move the grander, space opera action along more swiftly. Or cut 100 pages. I read the whole thing, so the character moments throughout were interesting and well written enough to keep me reading, but I was left feeling robbed by a dull, boring narrator who I didn’t care a whit about. Wilson splits the structure of the book between current and future plot lines developing in tandem, then meeting at the end. A common device that seemed unnecessary except he probably needed a way to add excitement to an other wise stultifying, plodding book. ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Charles Wilsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gálvölgyi, JuditTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schütz, NeleCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Singelmann, KarstenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Spin (1)

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Folio SF (362)
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Everybody falls, and we all land somewhere.
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Now in a Tor Essentials edition, Robert Charles Wilson'sSpin, a Hugo-winning novel of breathtaking cosmic scope. One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his backyard 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 outsidethe 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.

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