by Robert Charles Wilson
Library Journal When Tyler was ten years old, he and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, witnessed the night the stars "disappeared," leaving a protective barrier separating Earth from the rest of the universe and slowing the passage of time within the barrier. Jason becomes a scientist devoted to finding a way to break through Earth's artificial shell before the acceleration of time outside the barrier brings about the death of the sun within the world's foreseeable future. Diane joins an apocalyptic cult, and Tyler dedicates his life to preserving the sanity of the people he loves best-even when he discovers Jason's hidden agenda. The author of Darwinia and Blind Lake crafts a tale of apocalyptic proportions, blending the best of hard science and speculative fiction with a poignant tale of childhood's end. Recommended for most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly One night the stars go out. From that breathtaking "what if," Wilson (Blind Lake, etc.) builds an astonishingly successful m?lange of SF thriller, growing-up saga, tender love story, father-son conflict, ecological parable and apocalyptic fable in prose that sings the music of the spheres. The narrative time oscillates effortlessly between Tyler Dupree's early adolescence and his near-future young manhood haunted by the impending death of the sun and the earth. Tyler's best friends, twins Diane and Jason Lawton, take two divergent paths: Diane into a troubling religious cult of the end, Jason into impassioned scientific research to discover the nature of the galactic Hypotheticals whose "Spin" suddenly sealed Earth in a "cosmic baggie," making one of its days equal to a hundred million years in the universe beyond. As convincing as Wilson's scientific hypothesizing is-biological, astrophysical, medical-he excels even more dramatically with the infinitely intricate, minutely nuanced relationships among Jason, Diane and Tyler, whose older self tries to save them both with medicines from Mars, terraformed through Jason's genius into an incubator for new humanity. This brilliant excursion into the deepest inner and farthest outer spaces offers doorways into new worlds-if only humankind strives and seeks and finds and will not yield compassion for our fellow beings. Agent, Shawna McCarthy. (Apr. 14) FYI: Wilson's novel The Chronoliths won the John W. Campbell Award; three of his novels have been Hugo finalists. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Kirkus Another character-oriented, surpassingly strange SF yarn from the ever-reliable author of , most recently, Blind Lake (2003). As ten-year-old Tyler Dupree sits with his friends Jason and Diane Lawton in the back yard of their Big House near Washington, DC, the stars go out. The "sun" that rises the next day is but an image: a barrier now encloses the Earth, generated by huge artifacts hovering over the poles. Weirder yet, time passes one hundred million times more swiftly outside the barrier, so that the sun itself may last only another 40 subjective years. Tyler becomes a doctor; Diane, with whom Tyler is never quite able to develop a satisfactory relationship, marries apocalyptic cultist Simon Townsend; Jason, a brilliant scientist, founds the Perihelion Center in Florida to research the effects of the Spin, as it becomes known. Later, Jason develops an incurable form of multiple sclerosis and asks Tyler, now his personal physician, to conceal the illness from the public and his staff. The staggering time differential turns out to have certain advantages: the terraforming of Mars, for instance, takes only a subjective year or two, and a handful of intrepid colonists rapidly develop an advanced civilization—before another barrier appears around Mars. A visitor from Mars, Wun Ngo Wen, brings advanced knowledge and medical techniques—they may save Jason's life—together with a plan to seed the distant, iceball-filled Kuiper Belt with slow-growing, living machines capable of investigating the activities of the so-called Hypotheticals. Others, however, suspect Wun has a hidden agenda. A far-fetched yet fascinating time-odyssey that pushes the envelope in every direction. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.