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Spin | [Robert Charles Wilson]

Spin

One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an 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.
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Publisher's Summary

One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an 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 "sun" is now a featureless disk - a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. The world's artificial satellites have fallen out of orbit. Eventually, space probes reveal that the barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time passes faster outside the barrier - more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death of the sun is only about forty years away.

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 religion out of the fears of the masses.

Earth sends terraforming machines, then humans, to Mars...and immediately an emissary returns with thousands of stories about the settling of Mars. Then an identical barrier appears around Mars.

Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.

©2005 Robert Charles Wilson; (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2006

"Wilson continues to surprise and delight. I can't think of another science fiction writer who understands the strengths of the genre so well and who works with such confidence within its elastic boundaries." (The New York Times)
"The best science fiction novel so far this year." (Rocky Mountain News)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3292 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert Coventry, CT, USA 04-19-08
    Robert Coventry, CT, USA 04-19-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    506
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    Overall
    "A Classic"

    Those of us who mourn the loss of Arthur C. Clarke and fondly remember the style and substance of his stories will enjoy Spin. It has great characters and an interesting story that evolves in stages. The many questions are all answered, but only in good time so the reader can enjoy the process as much as the revelations. This book is both fun and thought-provoking, and has enough realistic hard science to keep a scientist or engineer entertained. If you enjoy science fiction, this book is a must read. If you like an interesting mystery, this book is also an excellent choice. I was very sorry when it was over.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant Loving Los Angeles, CA United States 03-16-08
    Grant Loving Los Angeles, CA United States 03-16-08 Member Since 2003

    Show me your paso doble.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
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    "Great Listen"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. It had really good character development, and a really good storyline. It was more focused on the characters then the sci-fi part, but the sci-fi part was awesome. The sci-fi part seemed almost plausible, which in turn brought up some interesting questions about the future of human beings, and our place in world/universe.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian peabody, MA, USA 03-28-08
    Brian peabody, MA, USA 03-28-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    "Great Listen!"

    Having read some of Robert Charles Wilson in the past, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect with Spin. I had certainly heard good things, but Wilson has the tendency to start with a great idea and not do much else with it (see Darwinia).

    I am happy to report that Spin delivers on all fronts. Not only is the spin a fantastic sci-fi concept, the subsequent focus on how humanity deals with it engrossing. Wilson drifts between scientific and social ideas with such grace, that the world he creates in Spin seems completely plausible.

    Another beef I have with Wilson is that he doesn't always end his stories with a lot of closure (or even elementary explanation sometimes). I was working through Spin with a dreadful feeling that all of this tremendous tension and buildup was going to be a letdown. Again, I had nothing to worry about. The ending is left open for the sequel (Axis, coming out this year or next), but the Spin itself is fully explained.

    All of the pieces of this book fit very nicely together and I can't recommend it highly enough. This was well deserving of the Hugo, and I look forward to more Robert Charles Wilson in the future!

    45 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh Baltimore, MD, USA 03-18-08
    Josh Baltimore, MD, USA 03-18-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Highly Recommended"

    I found it completely engrossing with its character development a tightly knit narrative, and its insights into society's possible reactions to the end times.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Rock Hill, SC, USA 03-13-08
    Daniel Rock Hill, SC, USA 03-13-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    3
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    "First Rate! A must read!"

    This was a great book! I finished it in a weekend, I couldn't stop listening. Solid story with complex relationships between characters.It will keep you listening, and don't read the summary if you really want to take the ride!

    39 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James San Jose, CA, USA 04-10-08
    James San Jose, CA, USA 04-10-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "A rare talent"

    This is one of the best sci-fi books i've downloaded from audible, and i've downloaded dozens.
    The author is of a rare breed in sci-fi in that he is able to tell a compelling story about dynamic individuals within the context of a deeply sci-fi background. Most sci-fi authors are pretty bad at character development, and focus mainly on the science part of it. Not so with this guy!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Swinscoe Jr. Hollister, CA 04-06-08
    Don Swinscoe Jr. Hollister, CA 04-06-08 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
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    5
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    "Original, timely and compelling Sci-Fi drama"

    From the rich details of the main characters' lives together as children in the first few minutes of the book, to their awe inspiring transition in the final hour, I was fascinated from beginning to end with not only the depth of Wilson's characters, but his masterful ability to interweave entirely plausible science with an highly original and compelling plot. Brought to life with the familiar narrative genius of Scott Brick, the story quickly develops, capturing the listener's imagination with a vibrant, multi-perspective, panoramic view of an epic human adventure, set in a familiar, yet wonderfully original not-to-distant future. Listeners looking for pure Sci-Fi might be disappointed though, as Spin delivers much more, providing ample philosophical food for thought about the 'human condition', while giving relevant insights into today's ultra-conservative, socio-political environment in the US. I highly recommend Spin!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Saint Petersburg, FL, USA 03-26-08
    Jim Saint Petersburg, FL, USA 03-26-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "A few minutes and you're hooked."

    An engaging story that presents a new take on the traditional "who are they and what do they want?" extraterrestrial mystery. Unlike many similar stories, Wilson provides not only an answer, but one that is unpredictable, well thought out and emotionally satisfying without being trite. Highly recommended.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Fayetteville, GA, USA 03-21-08
    Vincent Fayetteville, GA, USA 03-21-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A perfect blend"

    It's sometimes hard for me to find the right blend of hard sf with great characterization. Wilson seems to be very good at doing just that. Characters in this book are not just stand-ins for a science exposition. Nor is this a romance that blurs the details of the science either. It's a solid story and great SF. I'd like to see more of his novels on Audible, especially Darwinia and the Chronoliths.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Cincinnati, OH, United States 04-21-09
    Matthew Cincinnati, OH, United States 04-21-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Really great!"

    I'm not normally a huge sci-fi fan, but I really enjoyed this book. Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators; I flew through this book in 2 short weekends. Compelling, thoughtful, thought-provoking and, in general, well written!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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