Review: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

July 12, 2010 Books, Reading, Reviews 1 ★★★★½

Review: Spin by Robert Charles WilsonSpin by Robert Charles Wilson
four-half-stars
When Tyler Dupree was twelve years old, the stars went out. He and his friends, twins Jason and Diane, grow up in the Spin, a strange cloak around the Earth that has slowed down time, so that every second that passes for them means three years have passed outside of the Spin. Tyler, Jason, and Diane's paths diverge and cross repeatedly as the world tries to understand what the Spin is and, more importantly, who put it there.
Series: Spin Saga #1
Published by Macmillan on 2010-07-01
Genres: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
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While the SF aspects of Spin were pretty fascinating (the ongoing mystery of the Hypotheticals and why the Earth was shrouded in a time-bending cloak–the Spin–more than held my interest; it made me read the book all in one sitting), what impressed me the most was Wilson’s masterful blend of hard and “soft” SF elements. The science is equally important as the human relationships that make up the backbone of this excellent novel.

Tyler Dupree, the narrator, is very believable and human in his reactions to the world and the people around him, and even Diane, the character we don’t see much but who always occupies a place in Tyler’s mind and heart, is fleshed out and intriguingly complex. The characters are always at the heart of the story, and Wilson communicates most of the science through Jason, Tyler’s genius friend, another strong character who is willing to accept the role for which his father has molded him but who desires more; he wants to know, and doesn’t want to die ignorant of the reason behind the Spin. Even the minor characters, from Jason and Diane’s parents to Tyler’s mother and even Tyler’s brief love interests over the years, are much more than simply flat side characters. They all have complicated motivations and reactions.

Spin was a treat to read. I love SF that masterfully combines speculative science with the human element that sometimes goes missing in hard SF.