Sunday, December 16, 2007

SFFWorld's 2007 Reader's Poll & Spin

Over at, we are running our annual member poll for favorite reads of 2007.

Hobbit also posted the first part of SFFWorld's annual review., wherein we discuss the books, authors, films, and events in Speculative Fiction. In the past, it was just Hobbit and I who put this thing together. This year we invited some of the regular visitors/bloggers from the forum: Adam/Werthead (, Deornoth/Graeme (, Robert/Cervantor (, and Aidan/'al Kael (

I finished Robert Charles Wilson's Spin a couple of days ago, and had it fit the eligibility rules we set in place, I might have given it one of my top spots. This book was as good as everybody said it was, not the least of whom are Stephen King and the people who awarded it the Hugo award.

This was an epic book filled with human, well drawn characters who had to deal with earth-shattering (or rather earth-encompassing) events. Diane (the primary female character) seemed to get a bit of the short end of the stick, compared to the other two characters. I think that is mainly due to the smaller amount of screen time given to her character compared to Jase (her brother) and Tyler (narrator/protagonist). That being said, her character in its absences, still exhibited a certain power that neither Jase or Tyler did.

I think the title was a metaphor of sorts, and maybe an inverse metaphor. People are constantly told to stop and not let the world pass by them. In this case the world was stopped and the life, the universe, and everything nearly passed by us. Or so it seemed for much of the novel. I also saw the metaphor of how the story began and ended, for the most part, at the same location.

The political climate RCW depicted seemed very accurately presented. However, we didn't quite get to see the everyman's point of view of what happened. I suppose Tyler was intended to fit this role to a degree, but being the best friend of one of the most powerful men on the planet isn't so everyman.

On the whole, I really REALLY enjoyed this book. I thought it was an extremely human look at a near future where people were confronted with a technological event far beyond anything people in the world are capable of doing. I am not surprised it received the Hugo and think it will be considered a top SF book for a while. The ending was a little frustrating because I wanted to see what would happen next, but I also consider the ending to be appropriate.

The only other novel I've read by RCW is Darwinia, which I also enjoyed. The ending "event" reminded me of that novel. I will be picking up Axis, as well as some of his other backlist titles, as if I don't have enough unread books on the shelf.

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