Robert Charles Wilson
Spin Cover



The book Spin by Robert Charles Wilson has been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction novel of the year along with Accelerando by Charles Stross, Old Man's War by John Scalzi, Learning the World by Ken MacLeod and A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin. I picked up Spin a few months ago because of commenters' recommendations at Kevin Drum's Washington Monthly blog.

The book has an intriguing premise: one night when the protagonists, (brother and sister twin siblings and their best friend) are 12 and 13 the stars (and the Moon) disappear from the night sky. It turns out that Earth is surrounded by some kind of shroud, called "The Spin" which is affecting the flow of time drastically inside the Spin. Approximately 300 billion years (the amount of time left before Earth's Sun goes nova) will occur outside the Spin within the next 30-plus years of elapsed time on the planet. This one central idea animates the novel, but at its core is the relationship between the three main characters: Tyler Dupree, Diane Lawton and Jason Lawton. Of course, this turns out to be a (straight) love triangle between the three. In addition, however there are numerous other interesting themes and questions: how does society deal with certain impending doom? If you could extend your lifespan through a very painful process which also has a chance of expanding and drastically modifying your consciousness, would you? What do you think is the likely nature of extraterrestrial intelligences? All these ideas are included and weaved throughout Wilson's Spin to thrilling effect.