Spin by Robert Charles Wilson


By Robert Charles Wilson

  • Release Date: 2010-07-01
  • Genre: Science Fiction
Score: 4.5
From 318 Ratings
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From the author of Axis and Vortex, the first Hugo Award-winning novel in the environmental apocalyptic Spin Trilogy...

One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard 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 outside the 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.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


  • Terrific book

    By MachewD2
    Probably the best sci-fi novel I've read since Carl Sagan's Contact.
  • Great idea, mediocre character development.

    By Spookphish
    I had a difficult time rating this, because the ideas behind the world were beautiful and brilliant, but the writing quality wasn't able to back it up. The book describes our world as encased in a time differential, with millions of years passing outside of earth's orbit for every one year on earth. This allows experiments and explorations to be performed that were otherwise inconceivable. This part gets five stars. Character development however is atrocious. One dimensional characters with poorly defined or absent motives plow randomly through a plot line that outside of the science behind it could have been described in a paragraph. The author uses time shifting to try to hide the fact that the narrative can't stand by itself if presented in a linear fashion. Female characters have even less development, in a world where apparently they can only be nurses, failed religious zealots, or alcoholics. The men are driven logical creatures, and the women are ruled by emotion, becoming alcoholics, failing at relationships, or sleeping around for information. As poorly developed as the male characters are, the female characters might as well have been written out completely. It's a ridiculous amount of misogyny for a book written in the twenty-first century. Overall, it's an interesting read, but the bright spots were centered on a few small descriptions of the science involved, and sadly, one might enjoy the plot summary on Wikipedia more then the book itself. With a different author, character arcs, and an actual plot, this might have been a great book. I will not be reading the sequel.
  • Very enjoyable

    By pmelito
    There are some very interesting concepts here, ones that I've never heard imagined in any other science fiction book. I was most engaged when the story focused on what was happening in the bigger picture of our solar system and less so when it focused on the relationship nuances between the main characters. Sometimes, it seemed like their dialogue was somewhat trivial and verbose. But all in all, a very good book that I would recommend.
  • SPIN Theory...

    By respears
    This should be one of the Greats!
  • Excellent

    By Pepermint_Patty
    A well written and very intriguing book and story. Well written and defined characters, interesting and fascinating plot to keep you hooked on to the next chapter(s). The medical synopsis and verbose were quite impressively accurate in vernacular and meaning. The physics was well thought out and displayed a good sense of reality if there is such.. Overall a must read.
  • Genius.

    By idovoodoo
    A fantastic sci-fi premise navigated with grace and feeling. Even if you aren't a die-hard sci-fi fan, the complexity of the relationships at the core of the story carry you easily across the eons it somehow spans. By the end of the book, I found myself wondering which was the greater creative achievement: unraveling the puzzle that underlies the tale, or the fact that its unraveling is so natural, processed through the eyes of its many unforgettable characters.
  • WOW!

    By LoFreq
    I loved 'Spin'! So well written, with relatable characters and frighteningly plausible premise, insightful, clever, funny... All the things a good read should have.
  • Best Book I've read in a long time.

    By flynnman
    I just finished it after 2 days of furious secret reading at my desk at work and up all night at home. It reminded me a bit of The Great Gatsby with a little bit of The Forever War thrown in and a little of KSR's Mars Trilogy. Just read it. Buy it an read it. It won the Hugo Award. Just read it. Your welcome.
  • Creative and imaginary.

    By Abeq9493
    I love science fiction and this was my favorite of all science fiction stories I've read so far. The style of writing was imaginative, creative, and vivid. This is the first book I've read by this author but not my last. I'm looking forward to the next one. I loved it.
  • Not bad for sci fi

    By Ratter dog
    Hope this does not double post. Downloaded because on iTunes essentials list! but so was Enders Game, but downloaded it anyway. Good pacing for a sci fi book if not a bit over indulgent. Interesting pay off. Book read better once I learned I could skip every, yes every, part where Tyler interacts with a woman. The Diane relationship was beaten to death, propped up, and beaten again. The significance of the betrayal at YoYoDyne was never explained. Martian was a throw-away. Wasted opportunity. Still, a good read for a science fiction story.