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(Spin #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  37,648 ratings  ·  2,414 reviews
One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

Life on Earth is about to get much, m
Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Tor Science Fiction (first published April 2005)
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Heidi If you can live with a somewhat open ending, you do not have to read the other 2 books. I've read stand-alone novels that had endings more open than t…moreIf you can live with a somewhat open ending, you do not have to read the other 2 books. I've read stand-alone novels that had endings more open than this one, so I'd say it's a complete story. I put it down with a solid feeling of closure.(less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  37,648 ratings  ·  2,414 reviews

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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This. Was. Amazing.

The stars and the moon disappear and nobody knows why and how...

Character driven first contact with aliens with lots of science... yes please!
If you enjoyed Contact by Carl Sagan, you ought to give this book a try.

I don't give 5 stars that often but I'm always excited when I get to do it.
This was unique, unexpected, a bit of a slow burn but I couldn't put it down.

A new favorite book, I absolutely recommend it!
mark monday
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-modern
 photo earthspin_zpsnb2alal3.gif

Spin is a Hugo award winner that wonders what would happen if the earth were forced to remain as it is while the universe around us aged at approximately 100 million years per earth year. as far as scifi concepts go, it is a fairly mind-boggling one. to compound matters further, scientists quickly realize that as the universe ages, the earth's chance for utter destruction increases - when and if the shield around the earth is eventually lifted. and that is what creates the human drama within
Paul Bryant
Jan 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
(note - satirical spoiler alerts ahoy)

Robert Charles Wilson appears to be paid by the word - how else to account for such passages, and they are legion, as this :

The day I left Perihelion the support staff summoned me into one of the now seldom-used boardrooms for a farewell party, where I was given the kind of gifts appropriate to yet another departure from a dwindling workforce : a miniature cactus in a terracotta pot, a coffee mug with my name on it, a pewter tie pin in the shape of a caduceu
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes sci-fi
This is one of those rare science fiction books that lets you wonder and imagine and forget that it's science fiction at all. Many sci-fi authors lean too heavily on the science and speculation and not enough on the fiction, creating interesting premises but characters that are two dimensional. Wilson does not have that problem here. His characters are fully fleshed, flawed and realistic and it is these characters that move Spin along so well.

This is not to say that this book lacks in science a
Jan 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
How the FUCK did this book win a Hugo?

It's not hard to explain, I suppose: insert infodumps of "hard" sf every few pages, focus the book on a bland every-man who pines for his untouchable childhood sweetheart, add a couple monologues about how humanity just wants to understand the universe but oh god it's so vast, and boom, a paint-by-the-numbers Hugo winner. It was SO FUCKING MIND-NUMBINGLY BORING.

Putting aside the main character, who has the internal life of a turnip and possibly even less of
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci fi fans
Recommended to carol. by: probably Maggie!
I've always loved star gazing. Perhaps it was Greek mythology that hooked me; I could look up and find the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and later transform them into Ursa Major and Minor. Cassiopeia would appear late in the summer, arms outstretched on her throne. Orion was easy to pick out, and once I found him, I could find the Pleiades--the seven sisters--grouped together running away. Orion held a special spot in my heart, being one of the few strong enough to brave the Los Angeles skies w ...more
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Spin was my third exposure to Robert Charles Wilson, a writer who has yet to disappoint me. He is not a "hard" sci-fi writer. Instead, the author writes about regular people and their ways of coping with major changes in their lives and environments. Spin is a very compelling story with believable, yet not overwhelming, scientific details and realistic characters. This is the type of SF novel that I would not hesitate to recommend to readers of high-quality, literary fiction who may want to expl ...more
James Williams
Sep 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes sci-fi or just wants to see what all the fuss is about
Shelves: favorites
This was some of the best science fiction I've read in years. Heck, it was one of the best books I've read in years.

This is the sort of book that I babble about. It's hard to write down what's good about it because everything about it is good. Everything about it is amazing, really, so there's no good starting place. It all just comes out in a rush of Plot/Big Ideas/writing style/characters/character relationships/tragedy/humor/everything.

If you've ever enjoyed a sci-fi book, read it. If you th
Nov 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Well, the PREMISE of this book is amazing. The science and concept are just sooo interesting, an intelligent being puts a "bubble' around earth, so that time is super slow INSIDE, but 3 or 4 years passes every second OUTSIDE the bubble, in space?! I was so enamored of that world-building, until the lack of interest in the characters made me peter out about 2/3 in. I dunno, lots of people enjoyed this from the reviews, and it won a Hugo, so I guess I'm a bit crazy. Definitely concept-interesting, ...more

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my HUGO WINNERS list.

This is the reading list that follows the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I loved reading the Locus Sci-Fi Award winners so I'm going to crack on with the Hugo winners next (but only the post-1980 winners, I'll follow up w
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up because the ideas were so big & beautiful. It truly was a work of art, but it felt both too long & too short. It also never really grabbed me. The characters seemed real enough, but none of them ever really grabbed me & they should have. They were complex & strong enough in so many ways, but I never really cared if they lived or died.

The scope of the plot was audacious & yet pulled off very well. I've been reading SF for 40 years & it wowed me. It had everything from politics & re
Megan Baxter
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What knocked me out about this book was not the science half of the story, which was great, but the depth of the characters Wilson creates, and varied situations that occur and the breadth of the possible responses people have to a literally incomprehensible change in the way the world works.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smor
One night, the stars go out. The earth has been shielded, and it's soon discovered that time is passing much more rapidly outside the barrier. This means the death of the sun (and the end of the world) is fast approaching. The human race reacts with denial, hedonism, religiosity, despair, and clever scientific schemes which may offer some hope.

Loved the main idea but got tired of the slow pace, language, and characters and eventually skipped through to see how the story would play out.

Just finished it and what a positive surprise! I'm still contemplating if I should round the 4.5 rating up or down (I didn't want to give so many 5 stars this year, so for the time being I go for 4). More often than not the award winners are not exactly to my taste. But here I could easily see why the book was chosen. Most of the SF books I've read lately that dive more into the sciency side of universal phenomena were too explanatory, used too many characters and made none of them relatable.

Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even if RCW’s works aren’t overflowed with optimism, this one was really depressing. It gave me such a feeling of hopelessness, more so because of the first person narration. Tyler Dupree was a child when the stars in the sky vanished on an October evening. He and his only friends, the twins Jason and Diane, watched the event which changed their lives forever.

The Earth was surrounded by a sort of membrane, called the Spin, outside of which times fly by very differently: “One terrestrial second e
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One flavor of sci-fi that I particular enjoy is when the story is set in the present day. Galaxy spanning future worlds are great, but the sort of scenario where we start off with the present day world we are living in and weirdness ensue is often a lot of fun. It also has the advantage of being immediately accessible (usually) as there are less world building and neologism to familiarize with. Some good examples of such sf books would be The Midwich Cuckoos, Childhood's End, The War of the Worl ...more
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle-books, sf
THe earth is suddenly enclosed in a alien forcefield. It blocks out views of the stars, the sun and the moon. Time inside the "Spin membrane" slows on a millennial scale. No apparent change on the planet, but outside the "spin" 100,000 years go by for every earth day that passes. It lets the author (and thereby the characters) play with the universe on a god-like scale. Small events can make huge changes over geologic time frames, and are easy to watch when that means just a few days to the huma ...more
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm going to preface this review with a brief.. Prologue. Honestly, I just can't think of anything else to call it, so I'm going with prologue. My review has a prologue. Deal with it.

I'm a big fan of the fantasy genre. Science fiction? Not so much. It's always driven me nuts that science fiction and fantasy fans are sort of lumped together. Yes, we are forced to share a space at most book stores. But the two genres are so different. I love fantasy.. Swords and castles, heroes and villains, imagi
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I think I might be getting a new author crush. Lol. You know the feeling. The euphoria of finding a new favorite. The urge to rush to the nearest bookstore and wipe out their inventory. Which I tried, my nearest B&N didn't cooperate.

Spin begins with the stars blinking off in the night sky...and that's all I'm going to say. If you plan to read this don't read the synopsis. I didn't read the back of the book until I was a bit into it...and like a movie trailer it gives away some of the best parts.
Wow, where to start. Well I've just added it to my "favourites" shelf, added the 2 sequels to my TBR and given it 5 stars, so that could be some indication of my thoughts.

I've read other peoples reviews of this book and it's almost like we were reading different novels, but then I suppose that's why we are all different.

Personally it reminded me of AC Clarke books, well written, great characterisation and believable technology. What I also liked were the little things, like the conversations; th
Jamie Collins
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jamie by: Julie Carter
Shelves: science-fiction
I loved the first 3/4 of this book. The story of the spin and mankind's reaction to it was fascinating, and the characterization was pretty good, but all the while I could see an unsatisfying ending coming: the author chose to alternate between two time periods and the later one was consistently less appealing to me.

The fast-forwarding of the universe was great: a terraformer's dream. It was a little creepy to be reminded how tiny and insignificant humanity really is.

The revelation of the spin's
4.0 stars. The ideas in this book get at least 5 stars and the novel should be read solely for that. The story and the characters are also pretty good and the overall read is very satisfying.

Winner: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Nominee: John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Maggie K
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really LOVED this book. I had to think about it for a day or two to decide whether to rate it a 4.5 or a 5, but the fact that i was thinking about it brought it over the edge-lol.

The novel follows the thoughts of Tyler Dupree after the stars are just shut off one night. One storyline follows that evening during his teenage years up until it is revealed exactly what happened to them, while the other plot followsthe present day urge to hide from the government fallout of what is happening in the
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a SF novel of ‘what if’ variety. It won Hugo in 2006. I read is as a part of monthly reading in February 2020 at Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels group.

A slight spoiler will follow in order to give an idea about the what if scenario.

The story starts with a trio of teenagers. Jason and Diane are twins, but they chose completely opposite paths: Jase is a scientist, groomed by his entrepreneur father to become a heir to the tech-empire; Diane is much more interested in spiritual and immate
Why did the stars suddenly go out on an October night?

This is the type of book that you wish someone else is reading at the exact same time as you are so that you can immediately discuss all the "did that just happen?" moments. I really wish my husband had been reading it at the same time as me so that I could ask if he'd ever seen any of the various plot elements put together this way in his vast reading of sci-fi. It's a story about time travel, but it's not. It's a story about an apocalyptic
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aliens, sf
"Consider what we’re asking them to believe. We’re talking about, globally, a population with an almost pre-Newtonian grasp of astronomy. How much do you really need to know about the moon and the stars when your life consists of scrounging enough biomass to feed yourself and your family?"

"The only evidence available to the senses was the absence of the stars - absence as evidence, evidence of absence."

* Spin: 5★ (superbe concept & interesting plot, ok characters)
* Axis: 3.5★ (the novelty faded
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
The best way to come at this novel would be completely blind, not knowing a thing of what it’s about. My complaint about most movies these days is that too much is revealed in the trailers, so much so that the movie in its entirety is often a disappointment. For Spin to really work its magic on you the less you know the better. If you’re not expecting it, the awesome plot and the ramifications for the characters involved will hit you like a jack-hammer to the solar plexus. The good news is, if y ...more
ash c
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Spin for me was exactly the sort of thing I can curl up with on the couch on a quiet evening after dinner - it's a thoughtful and character-focused book balanced out with consistent spurts of action that keeps you hooked. The story, in it's core, is centered around the lives of three best friends from chilldhood to adulthood as they experience the Spin, a shield covering planet Earth, clearly put there by alien intelligence. These three people experience and react to the Spin in very different, ...more
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One day in our near future, the moon and all the stars disappear from the sky. All of them at once, all over the world. Decades later and far away, Tyler remembers that night and all the years after as he grew up part of the generation that knew the world was going to end within the next fifty years. And I really cannot describe the plot with any more exactitude, because saying anything else would spoil one of the hundred complex threads woven into this story, and that would be a damn shame.

I ca
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
I absolutely loved the premise and setup to this novel, but I did not entirely love the execution. My favourite aspect of this novel was easily the elements of hard science. However, I didn't love the personal story, particularly the potential romance. I found the writing to be average, but I kept reading for the scientific information. I heard that the second book is weaker so I don't plan to continue. 
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Hugo & Nebula Awa...: February 2020 - Spin (Spoilers) 33 31 Mar 01, 2020 09:48PM  
Hugo & Nebula Awa...: February 2020 - Spin (No Spoilers) 32 28 Feb 11, 2020 09:43PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: "Spin" Final Thoughts *Spoilers* 56 298 Mar 16, 2018 08:14AM  
Time Travel: Spin: 11/1/17-12/31/17 74 109 Jan 06, 2018 07:03AM  
The description is one big spoiler 16 157 Jul 04, 2017 05:00AM  
Hard SF: Spin - BotM December 2006 1 7 Mar 16, 2017 11:54AM  

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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). ...more

Other books in the series

Spin (3 books)
  • Axis (Spin, #2)
  • Vortex (Spin, #3)

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“There are so many kinds of time. The time by which we measure our lives. Months and years. Or the big time, the time that raises mountains and makes stars. Or all the things that happen between one heartbeat and the next. Its hard to live in all those kinds of times. Easy to forget that you live in all of them.” 62 likes
“We're all born strangers to ourselves and each other, and we're seldom formally introduced.” 45 likes
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