Thursday, 17 January 2008


Spin was another spur-of-the-moment purchase. I had heard a lot about it and knew it won the Hugo in 2006 but the synopsis of the book put me off.

"[three teenagers] witness the erection of a planet-spanning shield around the globe, blocking out the universe. Spin chronicles the next 30 odd years in the lives of the trio, during which 300 billion years will pass outside the shield"

Don't laugh but it was the "300 billion" thing that put me off, I thought it was ridiculous, but I managed to overcome my misgivings and picked it up when i found it for €7 in a local bookshop.

When I started the book I happily discovered that whomever wrote the synopsis got it wrong and only 4 Billion years pass outside the shield (dubbed 'The Spin') which of course is way more plausible. Spin is a rare book in science fiction (at least in my experience) in that the many wonderful hard-scifi elements are keenly balanced by the protagonists reaction to them. How they cope with the inescapable fact that a vastly superior intelligence has taken an unexplained interest in humanity and the dawning realisation that outside the spin, the sun is dying and their prison is now a lifeboat.

Spin is a superb book, an exhilarating read and definitely recommended.