Monday, April 20, 2009


Spin by Robert Charles Wilson was originally published in 2005. My paperback copy is 454 pages. Spin was a Hugo Award winner. While Spin opens up at a fast clip that compels you to keep reading, it soon becomes rather slow and plodding in places. This is a character driven science fiction novel, so there is a whole lot more character development than science and I guess it's the science and those concepts that kept me reading more than the characters. All in all, it was a satisfying book and I'm continuing on with the story in Axis. (I wish Wilson had kept track of some of his character information better, for example the twins were 14 on pg. 28 and suddenly one, Jason, was referred to as being 15 on pg. 29. Sometimes small errors like that drive me crazy.) I've been in a weird mood lately so likely any book I'm reading is going to suffer, but Spin is Recommended

Synopsis from back cover:
"The time is the day after tomorrow, and three adolescents - Diane and Jason Lawton, twins, and their best friend, Tyler Dupree - are out stargazing. Thus they witness the erection of a planet-spanning shield around the globe, blocking out the universe. Spin chronicles the next 30-odd years in the lives of the trio, during which 300 billion years will pass outside the shield, thanks to an engineered time discontinuity. Jason, a genius, will invest his celibate life in unraveling cosmological mysteries. Tyler will become a doctor and act as our narrator and as Jason's confidante, while nursing his unrequited love for Diane, who in turn plunges into religious fanaticism. Along the way human-descended Martians will appear, bringing a drug that can elevate humans to the Fourth State, ‘an adulthood beyond adulthood.’ But will even this miracle be enough to save Earth?” --The Washington Post

"Everybody falls and we all land somewhere." opening sentence

"I was twelve and the twins were thirteen, the night the starts disappeared from the sky." pg. 5

"People often say that, people who saw it happen. It wasn't much. It really wasn't, and I speak as a witness: I had been watching the sky while Diane and Jason bickered. There was nothing but a moment of odd glare that left an afterimage of the stars imprinted on my eyes in cool green phosphorescence." pg. 11

"English-language media called it 'the October Event' (it wasn't 'the Spin' until a few years later), and its first and most obvious effect was the wholesale destruction of the multibillion dollar orbital satellite industry." pg. 19

"The sun wasn't the sun; but it went on shining, counterfeit or not, and as the days passed, days layered and stacked on days, the bewilderment deepened but the sense of public urgency ebbed." pg. 24

"Time was passing differently outside the barrier.
Or, to turn the equation around, time on Earth was passing more slowly than in the universe at large." pg. 44

"It had been five years and a couple months since the October Event. Outside the barrier, that translates into a little over five hundred million years." pg. 46

"I imagined I felt the Martian drug working in my body, making fresh assaults and negotiating temporary truces with my immune system, establishing cellular beachheads, sequestering hostile chromosomal sequences." pg. 51

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