four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
18-Sept-Oct-2005
user_rating: 
0

A-SpinWhat if one night the starts simply blinked out of existence? The moon is gone; the sun merely provides heat; and a barrier encloses the earth. As Tyler Dupree and his best friends, twins Diane and Jason Lawton, grow up, space probes reveal that huge alien artifacts have created a time warp; one day on Earth equals 100 million years outside the barrier. At this rate, the sun has only 40 more years to live. As an adult, Jason studies the galactic nature of this "Spin" and Earth’s imminent apocalypse, Diane embraces a sinister religious cult, And life on various other planets—not to mention Earth—turns very strange indeed.
Tor. 368 pages. $25.95. ISBN: 0765309386

Washington Post 4.5 of 5 Stars
"Here’s a book that features speculative conceits as brash and thrilling as those found in any space opera, along with insights into the human condition as rich as those contained within any mainstream mimetic fiction, with both its conceits and insights beautifully embedded in crystalline prose. … The relations among the core trio and the supporting cast are deep and complex." Paul Di Filippo

Analog 4 of 5 Stars
"All I will say about those [plot] specifics is that they are as grandiose in scope and sweep as anyone could wish. They unify everything, they impose structure on time, space, and fate, and Olaf Stapledon (SF’s first cosmic visionary) would have loved Wilson’s vision. Don’t miss this one." Tom Easton

Emerald City 4 of 5 Stars
"[As] regular Wilson readers know, he always roots his scientific speculations within very personal tales of relationships. … Spin is a book that gets to the very heart of science fiction. It is the sort of book that deserves to win Hugos."

Critical Summary

Spin is not merely a SF thriller. It’s also a coming-of-age tale, a love story, a literary triumph, and an ecological and apocalyptic warning. The award-winning Wilson excels at all aspects of his tale, from the human angle to the political, religious, biological, medical, and astrophysical theorizing. The first part elicited "jaw-dropping amazement" from critics; luckily, the pace slows over the remaining pages to recount the next few decades on Earth (Emerald City). If the plot involving the terraforming and colonization of Mars seems farfetched, put it in the context of Wilson’s deep characterization and convincing relationships, and you’ll be OK. After all, Spin is "a book about faith: especially our faith in ourselves" (Emerald City).

Also by the Author

Blind Lake (2004): 4 of 5 Stars Mar/Apr 2004. In the mid-21st century, scientists observe daily life of an alien ecosystem from the Blind Lake National Laboratory. But thins take a turn for the worse when the facility mysteriously goes into lockdown.