June 19, 2015

High Praise for Robert Charles Wilson's "Spin"

I just finished this. Normally when I finish a book, I put it on my pile and I think to myself that I will review it when I get some downtime, or when that pile gets so high that I feel like I have to make some progress on the reviews.’

Not this book. I had to review it right away. I’ve been making my way through science fiction giants lately, and I keep finding myself disappointed. If there’s not an issue with the world then there’s one with the characters or the plot that goes on with the world and the people in it. So many writers in the genre have such great imaginations, but are not storytellers or students of how people interact. Nor are they experts in the craft of writing. Wilson excels at all of these.

The book is so good that I found myself wanting to read at the detriment of my other responsibilities. I started this book on Monday. This week is the end of my semester, and I have three papers due and a two presentations to do. Today is Friday, and I somehow finished it in spite of all the other things I have going on.

One small structural point. The book is mostly linear, and you figure out what is going on at the same time as the characters. There is peril, and you want to see if or how it is resolved. The weird thing is that interspersed with the linear chapters is a different section that shows a different storyline which is the characters in the future. It signpost that the big issue has been resolved. This is interesting, but it eliminates some of the tension around if or how the thing is resolved. I’m not sure why he structured it like that.

So then it comes to the end, and it sets up for more books and more adventures in the world he built. Here’s the thing. I liked this book so much, I’m a bit scared of reading the following books in the series. I probably will though. I hope I’m not let down.