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Darwinia

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3.36  ·  Rating details ·  2,964 Ratings  ·  300 Reviews
In 1912, history was changed by the Miracle, when the old world of Europe was replaced by Darwinia, a strange land of nightmarish jungle and antediluvian monsters. To some, the Miracle was an act of divine retribution; to others, it is an opportunity to carve out a new empire.

Leaving an America now ruled by religious fundamentalists, young Guilford Law travels to Darwinia
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Orb Books (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nathan Harrison
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
"Darwinia" has a four-star first half, and a one-star conclusion. An interesting premise that at first seems unlikely to be fully explained (in the good, mysterious way) is later unraveled in one of the most unbelievable and ridiculous revelations I've encountered in a long time. I'm a fan of pulp and wild-eyed, fevered imaginations, but the explanation for the the "Miracle" that converted old-world Europe into a wasteland of alien flora & fauna is beyond any hint of the suspension of disbel ...more
Aslı Dağlı
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Son zamanlarda okuduğum en kaliteli, en özenli, en fantastikli bilimkurgulardan biriydi. Ayrıntılı yorumum için instagram: dagli_asli
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yaprak
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yazının aslı ve tamamı --> https://yaprakonur.wordpress.com/2017...

Kısaca Darwinya, mükemmellikten bir adım uzak da olsa ilginç kurgusu ve fikirleriyle okunmaya değer bir kitaptı. Bu fikirleri görmek için çok yüksek olmayan bir beklentiyle okunmasını tavsiye ederim.
Veeral
Regrettably, this book had so much potential which was never fully exploited (in my opinion, at the least). The alternative Europe setting promised much excitement and suspense. But that world was never fully realized. I really wanted to know more about "Darwinia" but in retrospect it seems that Robert Charles Wilson never really considered that to be the driving point of his book.

The characters were 2-dimensional and too many were killed-off nonchalantly to keep me interested in the plot.

Robert
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Michael Fierce
Nov 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Philip K. Dick, and heady sci-fi

At firt glimpse I was immediately taken in by the cover stating Darwinia was a Hugo Award Finalist.

An important fact in my book.

The quotes I read here and there said it was a variation on The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells, comparable to Philip K. Dick or A.E. van Vogt, and since then, armchair critics have said that it has a sprinkling of the Elder Gods mythos by H.P. Lovecraft, and that the creature portion was reminisce
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Sandi
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had certain expectations going into Darwinia: A Novel of a Very Different Twentieth Century and it didn't meet those expectations. It turned out that it wasn't about what I thought it was about at all. It had a big twist that completely turned my assumptions of the reality of the novel's world upside down. I didn't like how that twist was revealed so blatantly so early in the story.

I know I'm giving the impression that I disliked Darwinia, however I don't mean that at all. The story is very in
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Ferret
Jun 10, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
The same author's Spin is a far better book, and there were points when the meta-reference became too much for me (yes, even me), but it's a really interesting premise that quite often delivers on its promise, especially in the first half. The second half, where the book threatens to eat itself, I'm not as big a fan of, but the storytelling works well. Wilson is a good writer.
Nuno Magalhães
Jul 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ao meu pior inimigo
Shelves: own, scifi
Este livro deixou-me perplexo. Aliás, mais do que isso - estupefacto!

Sendo a Ficção Científica o meu género literário favorito, e sendo ainda raras as boas traduções de grande obras de FC para a Língua Portuguesa, foi com alguma expectativa que abordei a leitura deste Darwinia de Robert Charles Wilson (RCW), tanto mais que se trata de um livro da coleção Bang da SdE, que nos habituou já a traduções muito precisas e bem conseguidas, acompanhadas por boas edições sem gralhas. Infelizmente, este li
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Doğan
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1912 yılında Avrupa kıtasının büyük bir kısmında mucizevi bir şey oluyor; Eski Avrupa yok oluyor ve yeni yeni bitkiler, yeni tür hayvanlar meydana çıkıyor. Ülkeler ve bu ülkelerde yaşayan bütün canlılar da bu yok oluşa dahil oluyorlar, kimse onlara ne olduğunu bilmiyor. Kısacası koskoca Avrupa gidiyor yerine koskocaman Amazonvari bir habitat ortaya çıkıyor. Dini kesim bu değişimi Tanrı'nın dokunuşuna ve varlığına yoruyor. Hatta medya bile doğa-bilimcilerle dalga geçmek için bu yenilenmiş kıtaya ...more
Brittany
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
This was OK. I remember seeing this book on the shelf when it came out way back when I was in high school (and in the middle of my longest-running SF phases) and being lured by the cover. I finally got around to reading it due to a dearth of reading options. (Hurricanes will do that to you.) I still think it has a lovely cover, and the blurb seemed to promise a book about ecology, evolution, and the 20-th century scientific spirit. I was excited about all of it.

Unfortunately, the book and the wr
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David Katzman
Hmmhh. I felt nonplussed by Darwinia. Unmoved and untouched. It was an odd book but not I felt in a good way. It wasn't a bad book...it just didn't hold together enough for me to have much impact.

It's also hard to tell you much about it without spoilers. But I will say that it felt somewhat disjointed. The initial premise changes radically toward the middle as we learn why the premise exists. There were many unwieldy ideas shoved into the basic story. Imagine Out of Africa with extreme sci-fi co
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Rick
Oct 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reminiscent of such diverse writers as Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. G. Wells, and Philip K. Dick, Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson is an amazing piece of literary alchemy. Imagine, if you will, a reality where in 1912 Europe transforms into a strange land of nightmarish jungles and alien creatures. This so‑called Miracle is the centerpiece of this fascinating and truly different alternate history.

Young Guilford Law joins an expedition to explore this Darwinia. What they uncover shatters conception
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Lightreads
Photographer in alt history 1920’s gets recruited into a battle for the memory of the universe taking place at the end of time. Which is a way more interesting summary than this book deserves.

Yeah, I think I need to stop digging through RCW’s back catalog in search of a book as brilliant and wonderful as Spin. There clearly isn’t one back there, and it isn’t worth having to slog through stuff like this.

This is supposed to be a skiffy meditation on immortality and memory and living, all wrapped i
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Peregrine
Jan 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010, sci-fi
This book is a kinetic tumble of genres: alternate history, science fiction, geographical survey, action thriller, horror, mythology. The story is idea-driven much more than character-driven; it's the detached logic of situations that makes many sections heartwrenching. The complete strangeness of Darwinia juxtaposes the absence of Europe, direct ancestor of my literary development. Indeed, in this scenario, I would not have been born at all, as my paternal grandfather would have disappeared in ...more
Gendou
Apr 18, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Two pages of lame science fiction padded by lengthy carrying on by not-so-compelling characters. The premise, (and this doesn't spoil much) has potential: Europe suddenly vanishes and is replaced by a Europe analog from another world, with a whole new family tree of life to discover. But only a small handful of silly organisms are mentioned, most are unimaginative in their detail, and the rest are only mentioned by name.

I really get angry when I read awful "science fiction" like this that attemp
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Meris Bray
This came highly recommended, but my overall impression was "blah". It is well-written, I'll grant that, and the first half was just fine, but I spent the second half rolling my eyes so hard it's a surprise I actually managed to finish it. I don't usually have trouble suspending my disbelief, but this was just silly.
bsc
Gah. I loved the first half of this but it got too weird and convoluted and I sort of lost interest near the end. It was missing the great characters that Wilson does so well in his later novels, too. This won't stop me from jumping right into Blind Lake though.
Mick
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two of Wilson's books in a row, and I dug them both. This one was way more sci-fi than alternate reality, as the description suggests, but still really well done.

I can't say a lot about the story, unfortunately, because to even hint at some of the key points might give something away, and I can't stand spoilers (most of the time). Suffice to say, the story was a lot of fun, despite the grave circumstances it encompasses, and the characters are well-drawn and believable, which made empathizing wi
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Ian
Sometimes an author's less well-known books can be the best ...

While I am a fan of Wilson's more popular, award-winning books (see, e.g., Spin ), I love his less-popular works, like Darwinia and Blind Lake , even more. I think Darwinia is one of Wilson's best. I know a lot of reviewers didn't appreciate it as much, though, and I think it's just a matter of whether this book clicks with you. This book clicked with me on different levels. I love books that force you to question the nature of rea
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Andrew
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There comes a time when you read a book (especially science fiction, but that is a discussion for a whole new entry) when a concept is totally new a fascinating, and this is one of them. I guess every genre suffers from the adage - there are no new stories, just ways of re-telling old ones - or something like that.

Anyway this book I will admit had one such idea - I cannot really explain it since practically the WHOLE book hinges around it, what I can say is that I didnt see it coming and in a s
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Bookista
This book is worthy of recommendation, even if it doesn't quite fulfill the promise of that dynamite introduction. The story is a little gappy, and not wholly satisfying, but it's still strange, surprising, and affecting. Worth a read.
Erika
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at: http://jawasreadtoo.wordpress.com/201...

Guilford Law was born two years shy of the turn of the century. He lives vicariously through the sciences and world-changing theories he reads about in magazines, imagining himself as part of a much larger and quantifiable 20th Century universe. Even when a strange light blasts the sky on his fourteenth birthday, Guilford isn’t charmed by the miraculous explanations made by others. Instead, he’s become so fascinated about unravelling
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Jason Bradley Thompson
Like Nathan Harrison's review says -- this book starts with a fascinating science fiction premise (Europe is transformed overnight into an alien jungle) and then takes a right turn into a very clichéd, disappointing (even in 1999) explanation and a simplistic good-vs-evil storyline. (view spoiler) ...more
Quanjun
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Joyce
That was... interesting.

This started out as I expected. Europe and some of the surrounding lands and waters are replaced one day, in 1912. One day it's the world we know, the next it's an alien world. Flora, fauna, the very ground, itself.

Miracle? Scientific oddity? Something else? No one knows, but the Finch Expedition heads out to explore this new world. And that's only one of the stories that you'll follow, though the main protagonist is Guilford Law, the photographer on the expedition.

I ca
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Billy Roper
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The previous reviews ALMOST scared me off, but I'm glad that I pulled up my pants and waded on when, in the middle, what I had picked up as a dystopian alternate reality yarn took a turn for the downright metaphysical on me. Yes, it does go supernatural halfway in, and requires a doubling of the suspension of disbelief, but I have noted this fault in current fiction readers: their imagination is limited in transmissional ability, able to shift only once before grinding gears. As an example, even ...more
Jim Mcclanahan
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book provides a look at a titanic battle between inter-galactic forces of preservation and entropy. But, as is his custom, the author relates the tale of that struggle in very human terms and with very human characters. The main character, Guilford Law is the unwitting device of the forces of preservation, but must undergo a host of trials and tribulations to that end. Others are similarly intertwined; some with more awareness than others. Those that comprise the forces of chaos are sometim ...more
David
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
When choosing this book I was excited about such a great concept, of this other world plopped into Europe. The first half of the book was a quick read, then I hit the second half and it tore at my existence. I had such a hard time understanding what the author meant with the psilife, Archive, sentience stuff. When thinking about the book I knew the author had this grand scheme in his mind but it seemed he may have had trouble getting it out of his head coherently; or maybe I don't read nearly en ...more
Fantasy Literature
In 1912, continental Europe suddenly changed into a foreign wilderness. Where there once were European nations arming for war, there are now new ecosystems and alien creatures. There is even a baffling, new evolutionary history. Christians declare “Darwinia” a miracle — what else could explain what’s happened but Biblical precedent? America, meanwhile, declares the continent open for exploration and settlement.

Guilford Law, originally from Boston, is an ambitious photographer who travels to Engl
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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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“I won't put my ignorance on an altar and call it God. It feels like idolatry, like the worst kind of idolatry.” 15 likes
“Guilford thought he knew what science was. It was nothing more than curiosity … tempered by humility, disciplined with patience. Science” 1 likes
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