Time Travel discussion

Spin (Spin, #1)
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Book Club Discussions > Spin: 11/1/17-12/31/17

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message 1: by Nancy (last edited Oct 30, 2017 06:35PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Spin (Spin, #1) by Robert Charles Wilson Spin by Robert Charles Wilson


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, much stranger.


Reading Timeline:

November and December 2017

Where to find:

$8.99 Kindle
$7.45 Paperback
Most local libraries


Pre-reading question:
Have any of you experienced an unexpected/startling event like what Tej described happened in London? Or a startling celestial event that you didnt expect, like a blood moon (Lunar eclipse)?


Cheryl (cherylllr) | 870 comments I've read it years ago, but would be delighted to again, assuming my library fills my request!


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I've read it years ago, but would be delighted to again, assuming my library fills my request!"

Someone has it checked out at my library as well. I’ll have to put it n hold.


message 4: by Amy, Queen of Time (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
I was just re-reading my review from when I read this. Here's part of it just to whet your appetites:

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. It's a story about time travel, but it's not. It's a story about an apocalyptic event, but it's not. It's a story about alien contact, but it's not. It's a story about meeting god, but it's not. And that's about all that I can say without giving away entirely too much. It's much better to go in blind.



message 5: by Nancy (last edited Oct 17, 2017 05:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Amy wrote: "I was just re-reading my review from when I read this. Here's part of it just to whet your appetites:

This is the type of book that you wish someone else is reading at the exact same time as you a..."


Time travel, apocalypse and aliens? I can’t wait!!!!

I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. Some books you just wish you had someone to talk to when your done. Those are some of the best books.


message 6: by Tej (last edited Oct 18, 2017 03:29AM) (new) - added it

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1725 comments Mod
I have the book on my Kindle, glad to be joining in, it has been a while for me! Thanks for hosting, Nancy. Looking forward to it.

Amy, Cheryl, I notice its the first of a series but is this sufficiently standalone?

Here in UK, we had a very startling event on Monday, when at 3pm daytime, it suddenly went all nearly dark and very cold! Daylight rapidly dipped faster than a normal sunset, more akin to a solar eclipse and everywhere had a strange yellow tint. The clouds were distinctly yellow and looking post apocalyptic. Turns out to be a rare combination of Sahara dust and forest fire from Spain/Portugal being swept to the UK by a storm called Ophelia which is causing havoc in Ireland. But it was so eery and sudden.

If something like that startled me, I cant imagine how I would react if the stars disappeared...mind you, in London, we hardly see any stars, anyway. Same with any of you living in heavy light polluted cities.

Talking of solar eclipses, I hope you all enjoyed your special celestial event last August, be it a full eclipse or partial one.

Apart from the solar eclipse, which you were all embraced for anyway, have any of you experienced an unexpected/startling event like what I described happened in London? Or a startling celestial event that you didnt expect, like a blood moon (Lunar eclipse)?

Edit: Nancy, perhaps that can be a pre-read question, to tie in with stars blacking out synopsis?


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Great pre-reading question!

And to answer your question about it being a series, Someone posted in the question and answers section of the book that it can be read stand alone. The other books have different characters and go in a completely different direction.


message 8: by Nancy (last edited Oct 18, 2017 05:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Tej, that sounds very eery and like something preceding an apocalyptic event. It sounds like a great beginning to a book, the way you describe it!

Nope, can’t say that I have ever experienced anything that strange or startling. Maybe this counts since it was celestial. once while driving at night I did see a meteor (aka shooting star). I had never seen one before and it was pretty cool to see. It was a little startling and then and an “ooh and ah”moment.


message 9: by Tej (last edited Oct 18, 2017 07:17AM) (new) - added it

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1725 comments Mod
Oh good for you, Nancy! Its lovely seeing "shooting stars". You can aim to see more of them at specific times of the year during what are called meteor showers. There are several such events in the year, some with higher mph (meteors per hour) rate than others. Meteor showers occur when the Earth intercepts the dust trail of comets. Its these specs of dust (size of a grain of sand) hitting our atmosphere at such high velocity that creates that lovely shooting star effect.

If you wish to see more, then look up to the hopefully clear skies (preferably away from areas of light pollution), sat in a comfortable reclining deck chair, wrapped up well, in a blanket and a cuppa cocoa in your hand on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night 20th-22nd October. These are the peak nights of The Orionid metoer shower. rate: up to 20-30 meteors per hour. Its not the highest meteor rate but high enough to enjoy across 3 peak evenings. This shower will also stand out more due to the mostly moonless evenings as moonshine diminishes many of the fainter meteors. So if any of you have time, do plan a relaxing evening in the garden looking up...or if you can, drive to the darkest skies away from light pollution. Just for added info, this particular shower is the dust trail of Halley's Comet. Perhaps some of you had witnessed its spectacular last visit in 1986? I think the best time to view the shower is just after midnight to around 2-3am ish. I know, its a rather unsociable hours! But worth it.

There many different meteor showers throughout the year but the best showers are Perseid and Geminid in August and December. I frequently take trips to darker skies outside the city to enjoy and photograph these showers. Here is a timelapse I did a couple of years ago on the Geminid meteor shower, turned out to be the best show I had ever seen since and I was at a small campsite owned by a lovely family who didnt know about the meteor shower and so I had them all join me to watch it. They have since welcome me as part of the family, every time I go camping there and insist I dont pay any camping fee!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sZLh...

The video shows a mixture of planes and meteors. You can tell the difference by observing the ones that momentarily appears and dont travel edge to edge of frame, those are the meteors. The longer dotted trails that travel edge to edge of frame are planes. But in latter part of video I isolate the meteors in still pictures form.

If you are really lucky, some people witness "fireballs". I saw my first and only one myself amongst a group of fellow astronomers at one of our monthly stargazing sessions. Fireballs are larger meteors that burn up more brightly in the atmosphere leaving a lingering trail in the sky that almost looks like Doc Brown's Delorean's trail after hitting 88mph! Quite a spectacular treat. Fireballs are often reported as UFOs :)


Cheryl (cherylllr) | 870 comments The most I've seen are eerie mirages in the clouds, and sometimes the rays of the sun showing up like in classical religious paintings.

It's interesting for me to learn that you're near enough to the Sahara to be affected by it. We need better map projections to become more common, because no matter how often I remind myself that Europe is small, and Africa is huge, I still subconsciously think of the Mercator that I grew up with.


message 11: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
Not certain if this qualifies as a suitable answer to the pre-reading question but years ago I awoke in the morning and sat up in bed and immediately reacted to both a stomach ache and headache.

I was handed a small cup full of what I thought was nyquil. I downed it and settled back in bed hopeful of being able to fall back to sleep.

I blinked my eyes, I did not drift to sleep I did not wake up fitfully in my sleep I simply blinked my eyes and I found myself still in bed but the time of day completely different.

before taking the "nyquil" it was early morning 6:30 AM after the blink it was instantly 10:30 PM.

I suppose it was time travel but going from early morning light to complete darkness in an instant threw for a loop...or shall we say a "spin"


Cheryl (cherylllr) | 870 comments Eek - too close to TT for me!


message 13: by Tej (last edited Oct 18, 2017 05:31PM) (new) - added it

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1725 comments Mod
Lincoln wrote: "Not certain if this qualifies as a suitable answer to the pre-reading question but years ago I awoke in the morning and sat up in bed and immediately reacted to both a stomach ache and headache.

I..."


Bloody hell! I'm guessing nyquil is supposedly a sleep inducing drink? I'd like to try some of that! But I wonder if there is one for blinking oneself to the day before...maybe you did!


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Tej wrote: "Lincoln wrote: "Not certain if this qualifies as a suitable answer to the pre-reading question but years ago I awoke in the morning and sat up in bed and immediately reacted to both a stomach ache ..."

It’s a liquid cold medications! I think it has antihistamine in it, so yes it knocks you out.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Lincoln wrote: "Not certain if this qualifies as a suitable answer to the pre-reading question but years ago I awoke in the morning and sat up in bed and immediately reacted to both a stomach ache and headache.

I..."


How much NyQuil did you take? That is really creepy.


message 16: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod

"Nancy wrote: How much NyQuil did you take? That is really creepy."


You know the small plastic cups they put on top of the bottles for the purposes of taking a dose that is what it was a very small plastic cap cup..one dose...to this day I am not sure what it was...I only assumed it to be nyquil.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
That is still really freaky. Scary too because if it was NyQuil, that’s seems very strong to me to put you out like that.


message 18: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Macaire | 59 comments This looks really good - I've just ordered it & can't wait to start!


message 19: by Dean (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dean | 155 comments I have to admit I couldn't wait to read this so bought it in the summer. I did really enjoy it though, and will be interested to follow the discussion about it.

@ Tej - Monday here was weird and a bit unexpected (for us anyway). We are fairly rural in Kent and the sky went so yellow, and all the birds went quiet. Was very atmospheric. Nice video btw - enjoyed that.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Dean wrote: "I have to admit I couldn't wait to read this so bought it in the summer. I did really enjoy it though, and will be interested to follow the discussion about it.

@ Tej - Monday here was weird and a..."


I hope you also join in the the discussion. I’m glad you enjoyed it.


message 21: by Dean (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dean | 155 comments I'll try, though my memory is shockingly poor these days. Hopefully others comments will bring it all back!


message 22: by Anna (new)

Anna Beack (annabeack) | 1 comments I’m going to attempt! First time!


message 23: by Tej (new) - added it

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1725 comments Mod
Dean wrote: "I have to admit I couldn't wait to read this so bought it in the summer. I did really enjoy it though, and will be interested to follow the discussion about it.

@ Tej - Monday here was weird and a..."


Glad you will still join the discussion and thanks for your kind words on my video. I sometimes go to Lynsted in Kent, to take advantage of some relative dark skies. Hope you have dark enough skies to enjoy more starlight than I get in London!

Regards that same "yellow clouds" incident, the news channels also showed pictures of a blood red sun that people saw around UK. I didnt see that but gosh, that sounds even more spine tingling. Sure we see the sun reddish at times during sunset but not in the middle of daytime.


message 24: by Tej (last edited Oct 26, 2017 07:55AM) (new) - added it

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1725 comments Mod
Anna wrote: "I’m going to attempt! First time!"

Welcome to the group read, enjoy!


For everyone new to the group reading, do use the spoiler tags.

eg:



where
eg: and

tags hide everything in between. Like this:

Fake spoiler from Chapter 4: (view spoiler)


Not sure how Nancy structure the discussions as I havent done a group read for a while myself but I suggest the above practice. Important thing is indicate what chapter spoiler begins from...unless Nancy suggests something else of course.


message 25: by Dean (last edited Oct 27, 2017 12:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dean | 155 comments Tej wrote: "Dean wrote: "I have to admit I couldn't wait to read this so bought it in the summer. I did really enjoy it though, and will be interested to follow the discussion about it.

@ Tej - Monday here wa..."


Tej, we are on the outskirts of Lenham, which is only about 5 miles from Lynsted, so the sky's are pretty dark here. Luckily for me, there was a hot tub in the garden when we bought the house and it's amazing sitting in the tub looking up at the stars late at night - with a good book of course (something like Spin is perfect because of its subject matter!).

Thanks for the advice on spoilers - I have been meaning to find out how that is done!


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Tej wrote: "Anna wrote: "I’m going to attempt! First time!"

Welcome to the group read, enjoy!


For everyone new to the group reading, do use the spoiler tags.

eg:



where
eg: and

tags hide everything..."


Since the discussion goes until the end of December, please use spoiler tags like Tej’s example since some people might start later.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Dean wrote: "Tej wrote: "Dean wrote: "I have to admit I couldn't wait to read this so bought it in the summer. I did really enjoy it though, and will be interested to follow the discussion about it.

@ Tej - Mo..."


When you type a post there is a little pop up you can open that gives tips like spoiler tags. Just click on “(some html is ok)” above in the top left of your comment box.


message 28: by Jennifer (last edited Oct 28, 2017 07:03AM) (new) - added it

Jennifer | 179 comments I am going to be starting this in the next 2 weeks or so.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
The book has been returned to the library. I need to remember to pick it up tomorrow.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
I started this today and I am enjoying it.


message 31: by Tej (last edited Nov 02, 2017 07:04PM) (new) - added it

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1725 comments Mod
I started it too!

Spoiler discussion for prologue or more specifically, the title of the first chapter, lol!

(view spoiler)

Of course these are current scientific conjectures but base on trend observation and good science. However, theories and predictions can change over time and for the sake of a good narrative...I think it's ok to deviate from current theories but only to an extent :)

Reading question 1 (relating to prologue): How do you see the state of our planet and humanity's place in a very very far future? What seem realistic to you? What would you desire for humanity's future?


message 32: by Nancy (last edited Nov 02, 2017 06:52PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Regarding your spoiler...you need to keep reading.

That’s what supposed to happen but (view spoiler).

I am up to page 154 of the paperback.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
I’d have to think about your reading question.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
By the way, I have been waiting for some one else to start reading and comment on the title of the first chapter!


Cheryl (cherylllr) | 870 comments Pre-reading - I don't think humanity even has a far future....


Wally Mountz (wallymountz) Nancy wrote: "By the way, I have been waiting for some one else to start reading and comment on the title of the first chapter!"

Well, Nancy. I am reading it but only about 15% through it. As far as the first chapter, I am no math wiz. Is this 4 times 10 with 9 zeros?


message 37: by Tej (last edited Nov 04, 2017 07:38AM) (new) - added it

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1725 comments Mod
Wally wrote: "Nancy wrote: "By the way, I have been waiting for some one else to start reading and comment on the title of the first chapter!"

Well, Nancy. I am reading it but only about 15% through it. As far ..."


Hi Wally, yes indeed, so its 4,000,000,000 which is 4 billion. 10^3 = 1,000 (thousand). 10^6 = 1,000,000 (million). (view spoiler)


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
Yep, what Tej just said. I had to look at it twice and I was definitely startled.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
I am up to 261. I had to stop n the middle of a chapter. I don’t like to do that but hubby gave me a frown face when he wanted me to watch tv with him.


Cheryl (cherylllr) | 870 comments This is longer than I remembered, small font, and I had trouble getting into it last night, fell asleep. Try again today.


message 41: by Tej (last edited Nov 04, 2017 09:40AM) (new) - added it

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1725 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Pre-reading - I don't think humanity even has a far future...." A high probablity :( There are so many ways humanity can easily end in the relative near future and most of those ways, self inflicted!

But the wold is also accelerating with technology and perhaps may able to spread out amongst other worlds to avoid complete extinction.

Nancy wrote: "I started this today and I am enjoying it."

I am really enjoying it too at 5 chapters in. I am finding it a bonus for me that this is starting out with...

(view spoiler)


With a fair bit of stargazing featured in the second chapter, if any of you like the sound of what you can see through binos, I recommend a 10x50 as the ideal weight/power compromise to enjoy beautiful star clusters comfortably such as the Pleiades, or Beehive (or I believe in US, is referred to as Praesepe?). I hope some of you were able to see the Orionids meteor shower couple weeks back? it was cloudy where I live so I couldnt see any.


Wally Mountz (wallymountz) Tej wrote: "I started it too!

Spoiler discussion for prologue or more specifically, the title of the first chapter, lol!

4 billion years AD !! What the heck! I dont think I read any novel that went was bas..."


These details were really helpful. Although I kinda knew all this, you put it into a time scale so I could better understand it. Thanks Tej.


Wally Mountz (wallymountz) Tej wrote: "Wally wrote: "Nancy wrote: "By the way, I have been waiting for some one else to start reading and comment on the title of the first chapter!"

Well, Nancy. I am reading it but only about 15% throu..."


Thanks.


Cheryl (cherylllr) | 870 comments So, second read, and I'm still not figuring out why the event is called the Spin. What's spinning? Or... ??


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
I don’t think anything was spinning. I thought it referred to just things spinning out of control. From the book:

"Spin" was a dumb but inevitable name for what had been done to the Earth. That is, it was bad physics - nothing was actually spinning any harder or faster than it used to - but it was an apt metaphor. In reality the Earth was more static than it had ever been. But did it feel like it was spinning out of control? In every important sense, yes.


Cheryl (cherylllr) | 870 comments Huh. Well I find that annoying. Usually memes are more apt.


Nancy (paper_addict) | 988 comments Mod
I finished this last night. It was good. I liked the ending. A lot of character development. There were a few areas that could have been condensed in the character development area but overall a good story.


Cheryl (cherylllr) | 870 comments Nearly done. I'm not as impressed. (view spoiler)


message 49: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul | 341 comments Nancy wrote: "I don’t think anything was spinning. I thought it referred to just things spinning out of control. From the book:

"Spin" was a dumb but inevitable name for what had been done to the Earth. That is..."


Glad I'm not the only one wondering. An author can assign any name she or he chooses, but I'd prefer not skimming back, wondering, "what did I miss?" Mystery solved. Pushing on. Plenty of stars here last night.


Cheryl (cherylllr) | 870 comments Ending was fine, though too transparently telegraphed. Is the second book better?


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