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Mysterium

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3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  670 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
In a top-secret government installation near the small town of Two Rivers, Michigan, scientists are investigating a mysterious object discovered several years earlier. Late one evening, the local residents observe strange lights coming from the laboratory. The next morning, they awake to find that their town was literally cut off from the rest of the world...and thrust int ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Orb Books (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,192)
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Bart Everson
This is the fourth book I've read by Robert Charles Wilson. He seems to have a certain patented approach: a wildly improbable concept, vividly imagined and somehow made to seem plausible, at least for a while, building irresistibly toward a conclusion, a revelation of some central mystery that promises to explain it all. Tension arises because it seems an impossible feat, but the payoff comes at the narrative climax. It all comes together in a manner that is deeply satisfying — when it works.

I'v
...more
Nima
Dec 21, 2014 Nima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2014, alternative
félelmetes egy könyv. itt is, ott is keresztények, ott gnosztikusok, de semmivel sem könyörületesebbek, mint a mi barbár korszakaink bármelyikében a sima keresztények, vagy épp a nemkeresztények.
nincs túl nagy különbség a vallási és politikai eszméken alapuló diktatúrák között, a fennálló hatalmi rendszer bármelyiket szívvel és lélekkel képes szolgálni, és a hatalom demonstrálásnak mindig pusztítás és halál a vége, még a párhuzamos létsíkon is.
és pont ezért félelmetes. bizonyos szempontból jobba
...more
Amber
Nov 21, 2010 Amber rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this one up thinking it was a new novel by Wilson, but it turned to be one of his older books with a new cover. It was also rather disappointing and somewhat offensive. We've got 3 female characters in this book and after the "big event" not one, but two of them immediately start trading sexual favors for special treatment from the men in charge. Really? Is that the only way females can respond to a disaster situation? The third woman, who according to the back of the book description i ...more
Spacewanderer
If you are offended by the mere mention of wormholes or are disturbed by children hanging from light poles, then this is probably not the book for you. However, if you love atomic blasts and Gnostic Christianity and cities being teleported into other dimensions and everyone is like "What the hell just happened here?" then you may want to pick it up.
Profundus Librum
Oct 24, 2014 Profundus Librum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A kanadai – későbbi Hugo-díjas – szerzőnek ugyan viszonylag korai műve (a kötet 1994-ben jelent meg) a Misztérium, mégis sokat köszönhet neki. Két Philip K. Dick-díj jelölés után ezzel a művével végre el is nyerte a rangos díjat, ami ezáltal széles körben ismertté tette a nevét a science-fictiont olvasók előtt. Már ebben az írásában is jól megfigyelhető írói eszköztárának egyik legmeghatározóbb vonása – ami úgy tűnik, a kanadai sci-fi „írói-iskola” tagjainak (Wilson, Gibson, Sawyer) sajátja –, n ...more
Nicholas Barone
I enjoyed Mysterium (which won Wilson the 1994 Philip K Dick Award). I really wanted to love it, but it didn't quite deliver. It has a great set up - a government research installation in Two Rivers, Michigan is investigating an ancient and mysterious relic and triggers an event that sends the installation and the neary town into an alternate world (i'm a sucker for a good alternate world story). The alternate USA the town ends up in is technologically inferior to our own, and is controlled by a ...more
Ronald Wilcox
Jun 28, 2013 Ronald Wilcox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
First book I have read by this author.

A shard is found by an excavator. When subjected to radiation as it is studied, it transports the town of Two Rivers to an alternate reality / timeline where Christianity is not a major religion, instead Gnosticism holds sway. The town members of Two Rivers are subjected to the strict laws and rules of this different society with resultant severe punishments.

The novel reads very similar to a Stephen King novel with some disturbing images and occurrences but
...more
Gary
Jan 18, 2016 Gary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A secret government installation experimenting with a mysterious artifact explodes, sending it and the nearby town into an alternate reality.

That's a premise that could be used very badly. Robert Charles Wilson, however, wraps a great story around it. Much of that is due to the depth he adds by knowing enough quantum physics mumbo-jumbo to add by way of explanation, while mating it with elements of Gnostic mystery religion (!). Plot-wise he also has a way of upping the ante as the story progress
...more
Steven
Jan 11, 2014 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. I even woke up in the middle of the night (a week night, even) to read it. It comes close to matching Wilson's later novel "Spin" in terms of pure excitement and plotting, although I can't say it necessarily strikes as deep a chord, being a bit more of action-thriller. However, it does address religion in an insightful way, although it's used more as a vehicle to explain the bizarre occurrences that form the core of the story. But this does not detract from the st ...more
My Inner Shelf
Dec 10, 2011 My Inner Shelf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Un mystérieux complexe scientifique installé près de la ville de Two Rivers donne lieu à toutes les spéculations, jusqu’à ce que, du jour au lendemain, une explosion fasse basculer la ville dans l’improbable le plus absolu. Ses habitants s’éveillent dans une ville qui est toujours la leur, mais dans un univers qu’ils ne reconnaissent pas. Isolés du reste d’un monde qui leur est à la fois familier et étranger, ils sont rapidement mis en quarantaine par l’armée, surveillés et étudiés. Ce nouveau m ...more
Mukta Mohapatra
Nov 30, 2011 Mukta Mohapatra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two Rivers is suddenly thrust into a parallel universe that is technologically and socially primitive relative to ours. The religiously based government rules with a heavy fist and are greatly threatened by what they find in the new town.

Dex was a history teacher in Two Rivers. After the change, he is struck with the futility of his career when the history he knows no longer exists in this world. He is suspicious of this new fascist government.
Linneth Stone has lived her life in fear of her gov
...more
Tim Martin
Mysterium_ by Robert Charles Wilson is a skillfully written, engrossing earlier work of the author's, one that hasn’t gotten anywhere near the attention of his other works (such as _Darwinia_, _Bios_, and _The Chronoliths_).

_Mysterium_ is a book one could place in the "island in the sea of time" sub-genre of books on alternate history and parallel universes, one made famous recently by of course _Island in the Sea of Time_ by S. M. Stirling (1998), _1632_ by Eric Flint (2000), and _Weapons of C
...more
Alex Telander
Sep 14, 2010 Alex Telander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published in 1994, Robert Charles Wilson’s Mysterium went on to win the Philip K. Dick Award that year. Released this year in a new paperback edition, it is the story of the discovery of a very strange artifact discovered beneath the ground in Turkey; no one has a clue what it is, and it kind of looks alien. Once the US government gets its hands on it, they secret it away in a lab near Two Rivers, Michigan. Everything returns to normal until the scientists decide to fire a large amoun ...more
Emmanuel
Feb 27, 2012 Emmanuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il y a essentiellement deux sortes de science fiction : la futuriste et l'uchronique. Wilson appartient à la deuxième et plus précisément au genre du "formidable événement". Ici, l'explosion d'un artefact archéologique qui ne peut exister transplante un disque autour d'une petite ville américaine dans un autre monde. Un événement trop important pour qu'on puisse réparer et revenir en arrière. Donc il faut s'adapter, se cacher, combattre...

Mysterium marche plutôt bien. Ce nouveau monde issu d'un
...more
Casey
Feb 26, 2015 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heath Alberts
"Mysterium", one of Wilson's older cache of works is similar in many ways to the underpinnings of the 'Fringe' television series storyline - specifically with regard to the William Bell plot devices. It also gives hints of what "Darwinia", another of his older works, will become on some levels.

With that being said, here we have an entire town, thrown into chaos and confusion - unsure of where they are, when they are, and what went wrong that got them there in the first place. We are faced with a
...more
Gary Brim
Interesting premise that could have benefited from a deeper exploration of the alternate world that was the focus of most of the book.
Joanna
Mar 17, 2016 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting storyline. I don't think the ending quite fulfilled its potential.
Alfred Stanley
May 12, 2012 Alfred Stanley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy just about everything I've read by Robert Charles Wilson. The term "science fiction" is inadequate to describe his work; the term "speculative fiction" suits Wilson far better. As with other Wilson works, I wondered where he was going with Mysterium, and how he could possibly deliver a plausible explanation for a small American city transported to an alternate universe where everyone nevertheless speaks English. Yet he does so, and in doing so Wilson once again establishes himself as a d ...more
Laura
Oct 31, 2014 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drew me in pretty well, but a little unfulfilling in the end.
Torgeir Solberg
Jul 12, 2014 Torgeir Solberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exciting, and truly mysterious. A great read!
Anna
Sep 11, 2015 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started well, but dragged later
Ian Walker
Apr 08, 2014 Ian Walker rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this after reading the Storyteller and it had parallels with the jewish persecution during the war, although the residents of Two Rivers didn't fair so well. I usually like stories by RC Wilson, but this one left me wondering what was going on at the end. I suppose it lives up to it's name; Mysterium.
Jim Dressner
An easy read, with good pacing and some good characters. Very interesting to have a science-fiction novel make extensive use of gnostic thinking rooted in the early Christian era.

Not Wilson's best work; I'd rank it better than A Bridge of Years but not quite as good as Chronoliths or Blind Lake, and definitely not as good as Spin.
Chris
Mar 05, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Mysterium is very similar to Blind Lake. Wilson, as usual, does a great job developing his characters, who are very real and accessible. Wilson also tells a compelling story that keeps the reader interested until the end. I'm interested in knowing who the writer based his antagonists on, Nazi Germany?
Michael
Oct 05, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
Very good. A town wakes up one day to find that it's town is not in the world they were in when they all went to bed. All the roads leaving town end in forest and then they start getting visitors. The best part of the book is the characters. Good development and interesting ideas about creation and reality.
Dan
Dec 05, 2008 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is about some town that is transported to an alternate earth. The main difference is that the gnostics had won the battle for christianity. For whatever reason, this caused earth to be set back technologically about 60-70 years.

This book was ok. I don't remember it that well.
Ben
Dec 09, 2011 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few times I've wished a book was longer to flesh out some of the cultural aspects of the society as well as some of the technical aspects of how the town of Two Rivers came to be moved. Loved the premise, just needed a bit more to plump it up.
Jim
I have no idea of how to categorize this. Alternate reality? I suppose it might be thought provoking to some, but I just found it to be a compelling read for no reason I can put my finger on.

It's not action, not mystery, not suspense... but its worth checking out.
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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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