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Last Year

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  209 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
From the author of the bestselling and Hugo Award-winning Spin, comes an SF tale that poses searching questions about tourism and colonization

Two events made September 1st a memorable day for Jesse Cullum. First, he lost a pair of Oakley sunglasses. Second, he saved the life of President Ulysses S. Grant.

It's the near future, and the technology exists to open doorways into
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Tor Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 06, 2016 Standback rated it liked it
A good read, though it kind of doesn't make it to where it's trying to go.

The future has opened up a window into the past. They're sending through tourists, they're opening up trade. They're selling the future to the past, and the past to the future. And they've done everything for this to run smoothly, securely, and with excellent administration.

The premise is great and well executed, and all surrounding the theme of exploitation -- the future is basically saying "Eff the Prime Directive" and i
Dec 18, 2016 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sequel, please? I don't want this story to end the way it did, I want to know more. So...tell me more? In the form of a sequel? Please???
Jan 18, 2017 Tomislav rated it really liked it
I have long been a fan of Robert Charles Wilson, having read every novel he has published. This newest release is a good solid story with robust main characters – on a par with, but unrelated to, his Julian Comstock novel. It is a time travel plot utilizing an open doorway between contemporary times and the late 19th century of an independent parallel history. Contemporary people (and it is pretty clearly right now 2016 or so) are going back to a resort city that has been built in post-civil war ...more
Sara Cutaia
Dec 02, 2016 Sara Cutaia rated it it was amazing
One of - no, THE - best time-traveling book I've ever read. The story takes place in 1876, but people from the 21st century have traveled back in time and are making a "resort" out of the time period. Visitors are able to travel back in time - for a hefty price - and see the world as it was before. However, once this portal to the past has been opened, it is immediately changed. It will never progress into the same future from whence the travelers came. But that's ok - all of these histories are ...more
Arbait Arbaits
Jan 04, 2017 Arbait Arbaits rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Călătorie în timp în scop turistic, comercial de fapt.
Un parc tematic (vezi Jurasic Park) în 186... , în Statele Unite de după Războiul de secesiune, în care patronatul obține profit, simultan, atît de la gazde cît și la vizitatorii din secolul XXI.
Eroul principal este un veteran al războiului civil, angajat local în divizia de securitate a Parcului.
O carte pe care am citit-o cu mare plăcere, plăcere sporită de „cîrligele” puse cu măiestrie în narațiune de către autor: contrabanda cu ipod
Jan 09, 2017 Russ rated it really liked it
Any book that features President Ulysses S. Grant has a good shot at a favorable review from me, but Last Year is great even aside from that. It is like a combination of Michael Crichton's Timeline and Westworld, where people from the twenty-first century are able to travel back in time as tourists to experience what life was like in 1876 with no fear of altering history. The protagonists are an 1876 man and a 21st century woman, and you can guess where that is going, but it's still an enjoyable ...more
Jamie Collins
I love a good time travel story. Opportunists from the year 2032 have established a tourist destination in 1887 Ohio. History buffs from the future come to gawk at 19th century America, while the locals come to marvel at a careful selection of futuristic wonders.

This book stands out partly because of the lack of concern over altering history: apparently there are endless parallel timelines, so nothing done in this 1887 will affect this version of 2032. As a result there are only cursory attempts
Jan 04, 2017 Lasse rated it liked it
Such potential. If the author wouldn't had put it so exactly in our own 201x - it could've been great.

From my point of view, naming exact and current trademarks brakes things just 1 year from now:

I'm specifically pointing at 1) Elizabeth bought music on Apple's Appstore (isn't it itunes where you buy music btw?).. 2) Saying that the video equipment was controlled through Android tablets - if the equipment was so high end .. the OS of the tablets would've been irrelevant since really high end st
Jan 17, 2017 Collene rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Kinkade
Jan 19, 2017 Scott Kinkade rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Last Year. While it starts off slow, it provides a refreshing take on time travel stories and makes us question our values at the same time. Morally speaking, were we better off in the 19th-century, or is our modern era the way to go? Are increased civil rights worth global warming? The narrative doesn't give any easy answers, and I respect it for that. We must decide these things for ourselves.

I also appreciated getting the outsiders perspective on our futuristic technology. We see, t
Danielle Tremblay
Jan 06, 2017 Danielle Tremblay rated it it was amazing
I won this book in GoodReads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

This book was written expressly for me. You don't believe me ? But it contains everything I've loved most in the novels I've read: science fiction, mystery and suspense. I've been a reader of science fiction novels forever; I've even written some. And for many years, I've been reading thrillers. So, yes, this novel was written for me.

Mr Wilson is a very good author. Nothing bad to say about his writing; on the contrary. So I
Dec 10, 2016 Liviu rated it liked it
Starts great and despite being a bit so-so on its blurb, the narrative pull of the first few pages was so great that I kept turning them and reading; unfortunately about half on, the book turned into a political screed and we had enough of such in real life this year, while simultaneously the utter ridiculousness of the book's premise surfaced and I lost all suspension of disbelief when from a cool adventure/romance it turned into a "bad rich guy trying to conquer the universe" stuff

Seems that l
Matt Hlinak
Jan 18, 2017 Matt Hlinak rated it really liked it
Robert Charles Wilson continues his run of smart science fiction with 'Last Year.' The book offers a new look at time travel, with plenty to say about capitalism, cultural relativism and the ethics of tourism. Especially when the tourists come from the future.

Read my full review at Pop Mythology.

I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.

Matt Hlinak
Author of DoG
Dec 19, 2016 astaliegurec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After some of the books I've been reading lately, I found Robert Charles Wilson's "Last Year" to be a breath of fresh air. It's a very well-written book with a well-developed universe, theme, plot, and characters. The science is nicely thought out and consistent, but doesn't dominate the story. I'm rating the book at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5, but would really like to give it an additional half star (to 4-1/2 stars). Really, my only issue with it is that the inner thoughts of the protagonist ...more
Alan Zendell
Jan 08, 2017 Alan Zendell rated it it was amazing
For me this book earns 5 stars simply because I loved it. A real joy to read.

Was it perfect? No, nothing is. But aside from straining the reader's credibility just a little, the main protagonist, Jesse Cullum, remains a wonderful character. Does Jesse seem a little smarter than he should be at times, perhaps more educated than he has a right to be? Maybe, but that does nothing to reduce his charm. We connect with him on page 1, and can't wait to see how fate treats him in the end. I won't say mo
Jan 04, 2017 Jenny rated it it was ok
While I enjoyed the story, I was a little disappointed in the editing. During one flashback, Jesse was said to be 17 years old but two pages later he was 15. His sister was said to be 2 years younger, but another time she was 4 years younger. Also the jacket blurb was completely different than the actual story...including where the story took place (jacket said Ohio, book was Illinois.) Don't editors get paid to catch these things??
Ivy Dally
Jan 08, 2017 Ivy Dally rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A fantastic timey-wimey tale of how things go wrong when you decide to monetize time-travel to parallel universes. Great writing, great characters, and an honest look at how we simultaneously romanticize every time period that isn't here and now, yet vilify those who think differently from ourselves. Highly recommended for fans of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.
Garrison Nelson
Dec 07, 2016 Garrison Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solid main character

I would recommend this book to any individual who enjoys a entertaining read in a theoretical world of remarkable construct. Jesse is a fantastic main character who displays strength and ferocity mixed with the pride and honor one hopes they themselves could display. I truly enjoyed this book!
Jan 02, 2017 Wanda rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the first half of the book, which is historical fiction with a time travel/multiverse science fiction twist. It takes place on the Illinois prairie at the end of Grant's second term where tourists from the future (but not that world's future) come to take in the nineteenth-century sights. The second half gets a little jumbled as the unrest stirred up by the future visitors is mixed into a suspenseful side trip. IMO, the book did not end with enough sense of conclusion to stand o ...more
Brian Houston
Dec 27, 2016 Brian Houston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A page turner of a time travel yarn!

Wilson is back in the time travel sub genre and this book is a great example. Very different from his much earlier Bridge of Years but just as engaging with believable characters and a well-researched historical milieu. If you liked Wilson's early works and time travel, you'll love this book
Dec 06, 2016 Ryan rated it really liked it
Pretty good, but where does it rank?

1. Affinities
2. Chronoliths
3. Spin
4. Other two Spin novels.
5. Last Year
6. Burning Paradise
7. Darwinia
8. Julian Comstock
9. Blind Lake
10. Other RCW books I've yet to read.

Overall, good author. Recommended.
Jan 18, 2017 June rated it liked it
3.5 really but that is not one of the options. Wilson tells a good story but the end, well, I am very critical of endings.
Mark Graham
Jan 11, 2017 Mark Graham rated it it was amazing
Robert Charles Wilson is terrific as always. This is one of the best time travel novels of recent years. Don't miss it.
Dan Paul
Dec 19, 2016 Dan Paul rated it liked it
The first third of the books seems to take an interesting premise and make it kind of boring. The last third really starts to get into some interesting questions.
Renata Barcelos
Jan 10, 2017 Renata Barcelos rated it did not like it
I could not get involved, it was too long and the whole idea seemed way too far fetched for me. So many holes, I honestly couldn't take it seriously...
Horia Ursu
Jan 10, 2017 Horia Ursu rated it really liked it
Solid work by one of my favourite writers. Robert Charles Wilson approaches again the theme of time travel, from a new and interesting angle, as he's previously done before in some of his novels I had the chance to read (Chronoliths, A Bridge of Years, Darwinia). This time, what he chose to examine is (another) what if: a meeting between twenty-first century people and nineteenth century people, as the travelers from a future (very similar to our present) make of the past a tourist resort for we ...more
Paul Wilcock
Jan 19, 2017 Paul Wilcock rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 08, 2016 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best, if not the best, time travel novels I've ever read.
Dave Z
Jan 01, 2017 Dave Z rated it it was amazing
Such a wise and involving book. Recommended!
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Jan 01, 2017 Alvaro Zinos-Amaro rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Review forthcoming.
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Time Travel: LAST YEAR: March & April 2017 5 38 Jan 16, 2017 10:30AM  
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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“One of the tenants here has a tumor on his face. It covers most of his right eye. Where I come from, it would have been treated and removed. So I find myself thinking, what if I get sick? Something as simple as appendicitis could kill me. I've had all the shots, but what happens when the vaccines wear off? As for the charm and innocence I hoped to find -- it exists, it really does, but consider what it's buried in. Racism. Misogyny and homophobia so absolute as to be nearly universal.” 0 likes
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