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
"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)
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.
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!
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.
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!
Show me your paso doble.
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.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
I loved the initial premise of the book. Unfortunately, that's all this novel had going for it.
The story progressed in a ridiculously slow fashion, and the characters just plain annoying.
We're constantly reminded that one of the characters is a genius, despite the fact that he never does anything remotely genius-like.
The main love interest is an idiot, who gets sucked into one cult after another and has no apparent redeeming qualities.
Our main character is boring.
The author seems more concerned about exploring uninteresting side plots than focusing on the parts of the story that the audience is actually sticking around for.
The author creates an entire world of super-advanced humans on Mars. We only ever get to meet one of them, and despite the fact that he should be 100,000 years more advanced than us, his technology seems to be only 100 years ahead of us- TOPS.
The author also seems to have missed the memo about Moore's Law and computer development. There is no way that a civilization 100,000 years more advanced than us wouldn't already have sentient computers many billions of times smarter than us.
Ultimately this novel had a satisfactory ending. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, I no longer really cared.
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!
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!
A lot of other reviewers seem to have complained about not finding out what's going on until the end.
This confuses me - why would you bother reading the book if the ending was laid out for you neatly in the first two chapters?
The book is part SF, part mystery. It's written from the perspective of a character who isn't a scientist, but a doctor, so the SF stuff is dumbed down a bit, but not offensively so.
I enjoyed this audiobook very much, and I would have enjoyed seeing a direct sequel, rather than a spin-off novel with the same premise and a different lead character.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I enjoyed this book. The narration was superior, the story was unusual and interesting in both structure and concept, and the characters were excellently developed. This is not an action-adventure sci-fi - if that is what you want, look elsewhere. Here, even the characters that appear on a couple of pages are nicely developed. In a complex scientific setup the author does a great job of not screwing things up or unnaturally forcing events. Every character is flawed; every choice by every character is questionable, there is a lot of ambiguity. This is the kind of Sci-Fi that almost deserves to be called a novel. This book is not as good as Ender's Game or Childhood's End, but Spin was in the same ballpark (which the vast majority of Sci-Fi is not).
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