Review of "Spin"
by Robert Charles Wilson







Article by Bill Brockman

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

This novel imagines a near future that stretches to the end of the solar system for the protagonists, a twin brother and sister and their close childhood friend. Their childhood is forever changed the night that the moon and stars disappear and the Earth is disconnected temporally from the external universe. We soon learn that time is passing at an alarming rate outside what people come to call the "Spin." So fast indeed, that within a normal human lifetime the Sun will swell to destroy the Earth. In the meanwhile, the mysterious "Spin" protects humanity from the hurtling millennia, with even a simulated Sun in the sky.

As the trio grow up, the brother matures into the physicist genius his father had hoped for, while the sister falls in with "end of the world" religions and the friend (our narrator) becomes a physician and comes to play a role in all that follows.

As the years on Earth (eons in the universe) pass, Jason (the scientist) manages a NASA like program which attempts to answer the questions of the "Spin" and maybe even figure out how to escape it. Tyler (the narrator) becomes Jason's personal doctor and comes to play a vital role in the settling of Mars and the eventual seeding of the universe with self-replicating machines. Throughout, Tyler's love for Diane (the sister) never fails despite her marriage to a fellow religious cultist.

By the end of "Spin", the reader will not be left in the dark, as the purpose for and effect of the Earth's quick journey through time are revealed as Tyler and Jason interact with a Martian from a culture newly created and older than mankind's on Earth. Through the Martian, they discover a method to reach the inner secrets of the "Spin."

I found "Spin" to be imaginative, well written, well grounded in as much real speculative science and culture as possible, extremely novel and thought provoking. I recommend it highly.