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Spin Mass Market Paperback – February 7, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
One night the stars go out. From that breathtaking "what if," Wilson (Blind Lake, etc.) builds an astonishingly successful mélange of SF thriller, growing-up saga, tender love story, father-son conflict, ecological parable and apocalyptic fable in prose that sings the music of the spheres. The narrative time oscillates effortlessly between Tyler Dupree's early adolescence and his near-future young manhood haunted by the impending death of the sun and the earth. Tyler's best friends, twins Diane and Jason Lawton, take two divergent paths: Diane into a troubling religious cult of the end, Jason into impassioned scientific research to discover the nature of the galactic Hypotheticals whose "Spin" suddenly sealed Earth in a "cosmic baggie," making one of its days equal to a hundred million years in the universe beyond. As convincing as Wilson's scientific hypothesizing is--biological, astrophysical, medical--he excels even more dramatically with the infinitely intricate, minutely nuanced relationships among Jason, Diane and Tyler, whose older self tries to save them both with medicines from Mars, terraformed through Jason's genius into an incubator for new humanity. This brilliant excursion into the deepest inner and farthest outer spaces offers doorways into new worlds--if only humankind strives and seeks and finds and will not yield compassion for our fellow beings. Agent, Shawna McCarthy. (Apr. 14)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Spin is not merely a SF thriller. Its 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 Wilsons deep characterization and convincing relationships, and youll be OK. After all, Spin is "a book about faith: especially our faith in ourselves" (Emerald City).
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I'm debating on whether I should continue on with this series. The sequel seems to be a completely different story from the first and heads into a whole other direction. But... I did really enjoy Spin...!
Spin has a marvelously ambitious, well thought-out plotline encompassing all of humanity in a modern, multi-cultural manner. Heinlein would be proud.
And the writing is quite wonderful - good dialog, no dragging chapters.
But at the core of the book is a small set of characters caught in a web of romance and familial relationships, and you just, well... you never know much about any of them. The core romantic tension is between two main characters, including the protagonist, and honestly you never even know what either character looks like. Why does he like the girl? What does she look like? Is she pretty? Is she tall? Short? Dark hair? Eyes? Anything? For a woman that a the protagonist is obsessed with, he doesn't seem to notice much about her.
Indeed, we know nothing about the physical appearance or traits of the main character, either. He goes into medicine, but it comes off as just a plot requirement for later usage. Why medicine? Why not law or politics? We have no idea.
I'm still trudging through book one and I'm fairly certain I'll attempt the others. The writing and the plotline are just too compelling to be ignored.
But man - I really wish the author were better able to see the world through the eyes of his characters.
I can't tell you a whole lot without giving away some of the plot points that make this book so very cool. The story starts simple enough, with what sure feels like a beginner's writing exercise: Write about the time when the stars went out. Because that's where we begin, when 12-year-old Taylor and his best friends, the 13-year-old Lawton twins (heirs to a fortune of money and brilliance, unlike Taylor) witness the disappearance of the night sky into utter blackness. The novel chronicles all that the three go through as the world changes -- with Jason Lawton among the catalysts of that change.
That could be a fluffy story to capture your attention for a while and then let you move on, but Wilson kept throwing in twists that made me stop reading and _think_ -- the mark of the very best SF. (How *would* society react if we learned...?) I finished reading this book a week or two ago, but I find that my attention keeps returning to it, and I'm irritated that my husband hasn't read Spin yet because I want to talk to him about it. So yes, it's worth reading.
From a plot or storytelling point of view, though, it's... good. Not quite as Wow as the SF What-Iffing. I believed in the main characters, but I never quite fell in love with them; to some degree they become plot devices rather than people. And while it was probably necessary to get the plot moving, after a while the flashback story structure started to annoy me.
That's a quibble, though, because this is an excellent book that shows the power of a single SF What If. If you've been disappointed by tired tropes and wanted something new... this is the novel to choose.
Written in two separate story threads, the book involves the virtual sequestration of the planet Earth from the rest of the universe by means of a membrane like device which, while shielding the Earth from harmful radiation and other outside perils, allows man made devices to pass through and outside the membrane. More importantly, the passage of time within and outside the membrane are dramatically different. One year on Earth equates to roughly 100 million years outside the membrane. Thus, in the span of roughly 50 Earth years, 5 billion years will elapse and the sun will expand and consume the Earth.
The book follows the lives of three individuals, their actions and reactions to what becomes known as the Spin. The concept is highly original and raises a multitude of questions and theories which the author handles quite well, though not flawlessly. Bottom line, however, is that this is a very engaging and highly entertaining story which kept me awake until late into the night.
Most recent customer reviews
Kept me reading to the end though