Bookbanter Column: Get Lost in a Good Science Fiction Series: THE SPIN SERIES by Robert Charles Wilson

Good science fiction can sometimes be a hard thing to find.

You need to find a good story, something that will suck you in from the very first page and keep you going to the very end of the book, leaving you hoping for sequels.

You need a good writing style that keeps you engaged, with a fresh vocabulary.  Classic science fiction has come to be known for its lacking in fully-developed characters, so for good science fiction you’re going to want some well-rounded characters.

Good science fiction is a regular book that deserves to be shelved next to any other award-winning, bestselling work of regular fiction, and yet it involves elements, storylines and plot involving elements of the future and science.

Look no further than Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin trilogy.


A Man of Many Worlds: An Interview with Robert Chrarles Wilson

Robert Charles Wilson

Rober Charles Wilson

Robert Charles Wilson is the award-winning author of Spin. Some of his other books include the two sequels to Spin: Axis and Vortex, as well as Mysterium, The Chronoliths, and Julian Comstock. In the interview, Wilson talks about how he got into writing, where the idea for Spin came from, what he’s working on now, what he hopes people get out of reading his books, and what he likes to do in his spare time. Read the interview . . .

“Spin” by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor, 2005)


The point of a fantastic story, especially when it comes to science fiction, is to blow your mind with the story, and if there’s anything I’ve discovered with the award-winning author, Robert Charles Wilson, is that he’s managed to do this with everything of his I’ve read so far.  Spin is another one of these incredible stories, going on to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel, which begins with the idea of what happens when all the stars go out?

Tyler Dupree still remembers that fateful night, outside under the stars with his best friend in the whole world, Jason Lawton, and the girl he’s in love with – who just so happens to be Jason’s sister – Diane. Tyler’s mother works for Jason and Diane’s parents, looking after their mighty mansion of a house.  The Lawton’s have always been very well off, while the Duprees have always struggled to get by.  But on this night all the stars suddenly go out, turning the night’s sky completely and eternally black.  And life continues on for the world, as everyone wonders what in heavens has happened to all the stars, as well as the moon.  As research is done, it is revealed that somehow the planet is encapsulated in some sort of sphere that allows sunlight to penetrate through as if everything is normal, but it is also discovered that beyond the confines of this sphere, space is moving along much faster: for every second and minute on earth, the universe is aging by years and decades.

The world learns to live with this “little problem,” wondering if tomorrow might just be the end of it all; the universe is after all aging at an incredibly fast rate, and the sun only has a couple billion years of hydrogen left to burn through.  Meanwhile Tyler, Jason and Diane grow up and become adults, living in the world, drifting apart and then coming together occasionally over the years.  Jason is a genius after all, working for his father’s company that soon becomes one of the most important on the planet, after the development of what comes to be known the “spin,” while Tyler lives his life as an ordinary doctor who is inevitably pulled into the lives of the brilliant but doomed Lawtons.

Then there is the plan created by Jason to grow a civilization from scratch on Mars, where time is moving so much faster, so years on Earth are millennia and eons for Mars, and everything changes when the first Martian arrives on Earth.  Mars soon somehow develops its own sphere and spin and is put under the same conditions as Earth.  It all seems to be part of the unbelievable plan of the beings that come to be called the Hypotheticals.  And then the arch arrives from nowhere, creating a gateway to another world.

This is a story like none other you have read.  It is the story of the coming of age and lives of three unique people, a love story and a genius under the power and pressure of a dominating father.  It is also the story of the impossible and incredible come true, and how far the human spirit will go to face it.  Spin will titillate and interest you, then hook and snare you, keeping you until it last few pages, where it will finally free you, only to grab you once again in its sequel, Axis; but after the cliffhanger of Spin, you’ll not just want to read it, you’ll have to.

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Originally written on June 9, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

You might also like . . .

Mysterium    Julian Comstock

2/27 on the Bookshelf . . . “Spin” & “Axis”

Spin Axis

Finally got hold of the first two books in this series currently available, by Robert Charles Wilson: Spin and Axis.  Now I just need to get them read before the next volume comes out, Vortex.  Fortunately, I’ve got until July.  And after enjoying Mysterium, I’m definitely looking forward to them.

“Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America” by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor, 2009)

Julian Comstockstarstarstar

From Robert Charles Wilson, author of Spin, comes an original future tale in the style of The Postman and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.  It is the 22nd century and our world is a different place, just as we know it will be.  After the halcyon days of the early 21st century, there were decades of war and suffering and a reset for the planet.  After the Efflorescence of Oil and a number of cataclysmic events: The Fall of the Cities, the Plague of Infertility, the False Tribulation, and the days of the Pious Presidents, the American flag now stands proud with sixty stars and thirteen stripes under the control of the Dominion.  But one man named Julian Comstock is looking to change that.

President Deklan Comstock rules with a mighty fist, hand in hand with the Dominion, subjugating Americans while sacrificing thousands of troops in the ongoing war against the “mitteleuropans”.  He has already sent his brother into harms way and had him “sacrificed,” keeping his rule as President certain.  But in the small town of Athabaska his nephew Julian Comstock is a young boy with dreams of becoming a great man.  Told from the viewpoint of his best friend who has hopes of becoming a writer, Adam Hazzard chronicles Julian’s life from a young age as close friends, to fighting in the army and become a national hero, to overthrowing his evil uncle and becoming rightful president.  Always a leader, he has goals of ending the rule of the Dominion and reestablishing the former atheistic doctrine, the age of reason, and celebrating his hero, the great Charles Darwin, in a biographical film.  Told in a strong, chronicling voice, Julian Comstock is a powerful novel.

Wilson has created an incredible and memorable world with some fascinating events that have come to pass.  While the story of Julian Comstock is an important one, readers are left wanting more about the last century and exactly why things are the way they are, what’s going on with the rest of the world exactly, and what’s in store for the future.  This is hopefully a strong first book in a series that will explore this unforgettable world that Wilson has put so much work into creating.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on August 28th, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.