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Blind Lake

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  2,138 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
At Blind Lake, a large federal research installation in northern Minnesota, scientists are using a technology they barely understand to watch everyday life in a city of lobster like aliens upon a distant planet. They can't contact the aliens in any way or understand their language. All they can do is watch.

Then, without warning, a military cordon is imposed on the Blind La
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 11th 2004 by Tor Books (first published September 22nd 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,140)
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Nicholas Whyte[return][return]I liked this book. It's about a community of research scientists in the very near future who have been able (for reasons they don't fully understand) to observe remotely a community of aliens on a planet far far away. Their research facility is suddenly isolated from the outside world, with no communication possible, and the human relationships between the researchers churn out of control. I thought it was much more successful in this regard ...more
Dec 04, 2007 John rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: SF readers
Shelves: science-fiction
I loved this book.

One of the cool things is that the reader is in the dark about what is really going on for almost all of the book, and so are the characters. The characters desperately want to know why they have been locked up in total quarantine, what is going on in the outside world, and so on, and so does the reader. The tension builds in small but constant increments. Each page taking you closer to the mystery at the heart of the story, but never giving it away.

I enjoyed most of the chara
May 09, 2008 Sandi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, sci-fi
I started reading this book thinking that it would be entertaining and a light read. I had liked Robert Charles Wilson’s “Chronoliths” and I thought “Spin” was extremely good. So, when I got an recommendation for “Blind Lake,” I thought it sounded interesting enough to order. I expected it would be a three or four star book; it turned out to be amazing. The science part is good, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of the book. Wilson does an amazing job of developing his characters. A ...more
Apr 16, 2008 Guy rated it really liked it
This is an odd but oddly likeable book. I read it in one sitting... so it was clearly engrossing, but engrossing in a sort of detached way. I think that Robert Charles Wilson is one of those writers who becomes, at least for a while, the principal character(s) he writes about, and the principal characters (Tess, Marguerite, Chris, the Subject) in Blind Lake are all emotionally disconnected from the world about them. As a result, Wilson seems to have written the book as one of his characters woul ...more
Jun 04, 2008 Evan rated it really liked it
I read this the way I have read all of Robert Charles Wilson's novels, obsessively over one or two afternoons. I don't know how he does it, but he crafts stories that are impossible to put down willingly, or to stop thinking about when you aren't reading them. But his is a funny kind of suspense, equal parts moral, intellectual, emotional, and purely plot-driven. And it is totally free of the obvious manipulations of lesser pop-fiction writers. Wilson's suspense is quiet and slow, maddeningly im ...more
Con cada novela que escribe, Robert C. Wilson se está convirtiendo en un escritor a tener muy en cuenta. Wilson destaca sobre todo por el tratamiento de los personajes, a los que les da mucha importancia, no se quedan en meras fichas al servicio de una historia, también tienen sus traumas, aunque igualmente es verdad que algunos personajes están algo estereotipados. Pero Wilson tampoco deja la trama en un segundo plano, y escribe una ciencia ficción hard bastante asequible, especulando sobre div ...more
May 25, 2009 Milo rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Robert Charles Wilson is quickly becoming one of my favorite science-fiction authors. Not because his sci-fi ideas are so revolutionary, but because he manages to humanize them and bring the real world impact of his themes down to a scope the reader can identify with. Blind Lake is not as good a book as Spin or Chronoliths, and I'd certainly recommend reading those first if you are new to Wilson's work, but this book, written earlier than those two, shows a lot of the promise to come.

The heart
In future America, a scientific installation observes life on a very distant planet through complicated quantum whatsits, trying to make sense of behavior with no commonality or context. But then the facility is locked down from the outside with no communication or explanation, leaving an astrobiologist, her troubled daughter and crazy ex-husband, and a reporter inside.

All right, now there's a book. A three-star Wilson book is a four-star for most other scifi authors. This isn't the best of him
4.0 stars. Very interesting, well-written science fiction mystery with superb characterization, original sci-fi concepts and a terrific plot. The description of both the alien "subject" and the technology that allows the researchers to study it are both described extremely well. Recommended.

Nominee: Hugo Award for Best science fiction novel
Nominee: Locus Award for Best science fiction novel
Richard Thompson
Sep 30, 2011 Richard Thompson rated it liked it
Shelves: best1009, sci-fi
At a secure government facility at Crossbank, Minnesota and a similar one at nearby Blind Lake scientists working with hugely powerful organic quantum computers have been able to observe creatures on a planet orbiting a distant star. They really have no idea how the self-evolving technology works, or if what they are seeing is real or a “dreamed” artifact of the machines themselves. Suddenly, the people at Blind Lake find themselves cut off from all communication with the outside world and unab ...more
Nadine Jones
Sep 10, 2010 Nadine Jones rated it really liked it
Another great book by Wilson. Scientists have somehow come up with a super computer, organic at its heart (the O/BEC, which is an organic Bose-Einstein Condensate - neat thing about this is that there really IS a Bose-Einstein Condensate, that is able to learn and change and solve problems that it poses to itself. Yadda yadda yadda, tuns out this new organic supercomputer can actually show images from other planets, and can even home in on one sentient b ...more
Apr 02, 2011 William rated it really liked it
Robert Charles Wilson has a knack for writing books with some fantastic Science Fiction premises, although his record on writing books that fully develop that premise is a bit patchy. “Blind Lake” maybe doesn’t have his most memorable premise, but his idea of a remote scientific observatory observing a distant alien planet that is put into a mysterious quarantine with none of the people inside the quarantine allowed to leave is an intriguing way to start the novel. Wilson’s characterisation has ...more
Jul 24, 2011 Pasteurisiert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
Dies ist bereits mein zweites Hörbuch von Robert C. Wilson und ich erkläre mich hiermit zum Wilson-Fan.

Dieses Hörbuch wurde 13 Stunden und 20 Minuten lang von Oliver Siebeck vorgelesen. Spannende Science Fiction, ähnlich dem Roman “Die Chronolithen” vom gleichen Autor und eher unkonventionell.
Mein pasteurisiertes Urteil:
5 von 5 Sterne für dieses Abenteuer.

Worum geht’s? Die Menschheit hat Quantencomputer auf biologischer, selbstlernender Basis entwickelt und setzt diese zu astronomischen Zwecken
Sep 13, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is what Wilson does best: the impossible happens, some stunning scientific mystery that no one understands, which dramatically affects the lives of his characters. In Darwinia and Spin, the mystery affected the whole world (Europe, Africa, and Asia are replaced; the stars disappear). In Blind Lake, the effects are more local, when a scientific community is suddenly quarantined, their outside communications cut off, and their facility guarded by military drones who kill anyone who tries to l ...more
Paul Darcy
Jan 08, 2012 Paul Darcy rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is not your traditional Science Fiction novel. It has a really cool concept, but one which left me feeling a little like saying (in my head) yeah, right . . .

You see the central idea is that we humans have built supercomputers of the quantum type, and well, these computers are able to examine and study planets many light years away. Follow me yet.

The science behind the quantum computers is (how shall I say) never explained, but they just sort of work and observe in close detail (visually) o
Jan 18, 2012 Serene rated it really liked it
Shelves: alien-invasion
This was an interesting hard science fiction novel about a scientific community called Blind Lake which studies alien life on another planet via a organic computer/telescope. The main character, Chris is a reporter who blames himself for the suicide of a colleague, and who travels to Blind Lake for work.

Once they arrive, however, Blind Lake community mysteriously goes into lockdown and anyone who tries to leave is killed by armed military. No one is allowed in or out. What has happened to the sc
Apr 15, 2012 Andor rated it liked it
I read this after I had finished the Spin trilogy by the same author, Robert Charles Wilson. Spin is my favorite book and the sequels aren't bad either, so I was looking forward to this one.

And I enjoyed it all the way. It was interesting to see so many great concepts from the trilogy written in this earlier book, in kind of a compact form.

- The whole nature of the quarantine
- People's reactions and their lives changing accordingly (both individually and as a community)
- The mysterious Q/BEC com
Mar 26, 2012 Josh rated it really liked it
In Blind Lake, Robert Charles Wilson again brings us his unique brand of science fiction: a character story wrapped around a mystery with a meaty sci-fi center. Blind Lake is set in a top-secret government research facility in Minnesota. The facility is doing ground-breaking research into what appears to be a sentient alien species. The strange thing is that no one really understands how the alien images are being recovered by the facility's self-evolving quantum computers. And when the entire f ...more
Apr 01, 2012 Gendou rated it it was amazing
A mysterious and original story, complete with superb characters, and, as I have come to expect Robert Charles Wilson, a great big science fiction idea. Physically big, not as large as in Spin, but still, it satisfies that urge for huge spooky structures! The exobiology in this book is very exiting.

I was sort of annoyed by the recurring theme, "it could end at any time", which I assume is some literary device. The repetitive phrase made me cringe after a while, though.

Robert Charles Wilson reall
Jamie Collins
Oct 23, 2012 Jamie Collins rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
2.5 stars. Like The Chronoliths, this book is well written and engaging, but the plot fell a little flat for me.

In this story, scientists have created a sort of magic telescope that lets them spy on aliens on a planet 51 light years away. The images they see look as if someone were following an alien “subject” around with a video camera. I can’t decide if the author spent too little time explaining how this works (because I was not convinced) or wasted too much time on technobabble.

I found the c
Aug 07, 2012 Dylan rated it it was ok
Blind Lake is a partially enjoyable sci-fi-mystery-thriller with little depth and no payoff. Wilson builds tension and intrigue effectively throughout most of the book, but the narrative ultimately goes nowhere and the life-as-a-story moral is precious nonsense that the plot doesn't justify. Really, Blind Lake just feels lazily written. The characters, most of whom are cardboard throwaways, range from boring to irritating and unlikable, and they're all sketched in the style of reality television ...more
Christopher Murphy
Jun 01, 2014 Christopher Murphy rated it it was amazing
Great book! Robert Charles Wilson (the books of his I've read at least) always comes up with the most inventive ways to do I say this without spoilers....communication viable through non-space-opera-traditional ways. I'll admit that on this one, the (main) story was slow, but I think that was mostly to let us get ahold of the characters, who were VERY well fleshed out. Half the story was about what was happening with the whole of Blind Lake and the world, but the other half was reall ...more
Willy Eckerslike
May 26, 2014 Willy Eckerslike rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Having greatly enjoyed ‘Spin’ and mostly enjoyed ‘The Chronoliths’ there was a pretty good chance that Blind Lake would likewise appeal to me. RCW’s comfortable, classically rooted character based style with a narrative progressing at a consistent & measured pace makes for a deeply satisfying read; it’s not edge-of-your-seat action or multi-threaded operatic stuff but it is nevertheless engrossing and hard to put down.

Blind Lake is almost an existential exploration of the nature of perceptio
Oct 22, 2014 Jheurf rated it it was ok
(This was the Audiobook)

This book did hold my interest until the end and it is well crafted, so I was initially going for a a 3 stars. But the last 50 pages dragged on so much and the final payoff was a let-down, so I went with 2.5, rounding down.

This author seems to have a following and the reviews often mention his great-character development. I agree, there was a lot of character development...I mean soap-opera-level character development. I'd finish a chapter and think "hum, the story didn't
Dec 22, 2014 Ron rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how I feel about this one, other than "I'm not sure." I like reading Wilson's stories because he is great with coming up with unique (to me) ideas. The stories however never seem to completely satisfy me. In this case there are several storylines and I didn't really care for some of the characters or their problems, and yet some I did, quite a bit. This was written in 2003 and it is a near future but not quite tomorrow story, almost a bit of a thriller in part. The book goes at a ra ...more
Feb 23, 2015 Gloin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tres estrellas que podrían haber sido tres estrellas y media.
Por lo general, en una novela nos esperamos una introducción, un nudo y un desenlace. A veces encontramos un epílogo, si así lo quiere el autor. Lo que ocurre es que también esperamos que la introducción sea CORTA, no el 70% de la novela, que es lo que ocurre con Testigos de las estrellas: más o menos 250 páginas de construcción de personajes y ambientación para llegar al nudo. Los personajes quedan muy bien perfilados pero cuando ya m
Ármin Scipiades
Jul 04, 2015 Ármin Scipiades rated it liked it
There's a lot of things about Wilson's writing I absolutely love. Still so often he kind of... falls short. Now I'm after a Wilson binge, having read Darwinia, the Spin trilogy, and now Blind Lake in short succession, and I'm so ambivalent about this guy.

Blind Lake, like Wilson's other novels, is soft science fiction of the best kind: the science is plausible, if largely handwaved, and the book concentrates on ideas, on humans, on society. Wilson is great at making me identify with his character
It has been about 5 years since I've read a book by this author. I quite enjoyed it.

Tessa is the daughter of Ray Scutter (got to love the name) and Marguerite, who recently had an unpleasant divorce. Marguerite is a scientist and the head of the group at Blind Lake, a research facility, that is studing a species on another world. Ray is an administrator at the same facility who finds himself in charge when all the senior folks are at a conference and a quarantine is imposed on Blind Lake. Chris
Apr 19, 2016 Patrick rated it really liked it
I'd say I'm a fan of Robert Charles Wilson's books, and this is the fourth of his books that I've read. While I didn't enjoy it as much as Spin or The Chronoliths, it was still a solid, enjoyable read.

It seems Wilson has a bit of a pattern in each book of his I've read:

1. The main character has daddy issues. In this book, Tess and her father fill that role.
2. Theres One Big Thing that happens and drives the story. Here, we have organic quantum processors that, through genetic algorithms that no
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  • Nothing Human
  • Learning the World: A Scientific Romance
  • Frameshift
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  • Ship of Fools
  • Marsbound
  • The Time Ships
  • Permanence
  • Brasyl
  • Sister Alice
  • Bones of the Earth
  • The World Before (Wess'Har Wars, #3)
I've been writing science fiction professionally since my first novel A Hidden Place was published in 1986. My books include Darwinia, Blind Lake, and the Hugo Award-winning Spin. My newest novel is The Affinities (April 2015).
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“Then his expression softened, as if he had solved a troublesome riddle. He smiled. "You do it," he said. Then he stepped over the edge.” 3 likes
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