Monday, November 24, 2008

Book Review: Robert Charles Wilson – Spin (2005)

Published by

What would happen if the stars suddenly disappeared one night while watching the sky? This phenomenon is experienced by teenagers Jason and Diane, brother and sister, children of a wealthy industrialist, and Tyler, the maid’s son. The story is presented through Tyler’s eyes, past and present interlinking while he’s writing his memoirs during a painful treatment meant to physically advance him to a superior stage.

For years they don’t know what is going on. The insecurity and lack of sense in life makes Jason become a scientist, Diane join a religious cult and Tyler, who struggles with an unfulfilled crush on Diane, become a doctor. In their own way they’re all looking for answers, salvation, absolution. But none really finds either of them. There is no solution, the matter is out of their hands.

Little by little answers start to appear. Earth is enveloped in a membrane meant to stop radiation from killing its inhabitants while the sun is dying. The other surprising thing is the fact that time fluency is distorted by the membrane and a couple of weeks on earth are the equivalent of billions of years in the rest of the universe. Humans’ attempt to destroy the devices floating above the poles that are responsible for creating the membrane fails and the membrane reappears in a short time. Now they have the proof that their sun is indeed dying but time is not lost.

Next attempt is terraformation of Mars. Since the membrane is permeable they send a ship over there to create a new civilization from scratch, one that might find answers and solutions for their problem. Things start to look less promising when Mars gets its own protective membrane years later. Having a common problem now, a ships travels from Mars to Earth bringing a representative of the new civilization along with an all diseases cures among other things.

There is never given a definite answer. What is implied is that the galaxy is populated by self replicating machines that protect planets when they reach their peak and the decline is about to start because of lack of resources and physical difficulties. There are lots of other planets experiencing a similar fate and what people discover is that all these planets are inter-connected through worm-hole gates which allow them to travel almost effortlessly from one planet to another.

It is this kind of travel that Tyler and Diane embark on after having both taken the Marsian cure and being hunted by the authorities for it. Only that we don’t know how it ends. They just enter another world and look prepared for a new adventure. Hopefully the next book will tell us all about it.

* * * * *

Written for “Scrie ca sa primesti…o carte”

No comments: