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.
The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk--a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world's artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they'd been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside--more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future.
Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who's forged a new religion out of the fears of the masses.
Earth sends terraforming machines to Mars to let the onrush of time do its work, turning the planet green. Next they send humans...and immediately get back an emissary with thousands of years of stories to tell about the settling of Mars. Then Earth's probes reveal that an identical barrier has appeared around Mars. Jason, desperate, seeds near space with self-replicating machines that will scatter copies of themselves outward from the sun--and report back on what they find.
Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.
About the Author
Born in California, Robert Charles Wilson lives in Toronto. "Darwinia "won Canada's Aurora Award, "The Chronoliths" won the John W. Campbell Award, and "Blind Lake" is a "New York Times" Notable Book. All three were Hugo finalists.
"Robert Charles Wilson continues to surprise and delight. I can't think of another science fiction writer who understands the strengths of the genre so well and who works with such confidence within its elastic boundaries...Wilson never loses sight of the human angle. His theme is the importance of communication, which, as his characters come to learn, should never remain one-way."
--The New York Times
"A superior SF thriller."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Blind Lake
"Fizzing with ideas...Intense, absorbing, memorable."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Blind Lake
"The steely quiet of Blind Lake draws you in like a magnet...Wilson does not ever raise his voice, which does not mean he speaks softly. How he speaks is still. In his calm, stony exile's gaze upon the prisons of the world, and in his measured adherence to storylines that say that everything may become a little better with much work, he is the most purely Canadian of all the writers brought together here, and Blind Lake is the finest Canadian novel of all these."
-John Clute, Toronto Globe and Mail
"Reads like a combination of Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen King."
--Rocky Mountain News on Blind Lake
"Wilson is a master of character development, comparable to the late Theodore Sturgeon...This superb novel, combing Wilson's trademark well-developed characters and fine prose with stunning high-tech physics, should strongly appeal to connoisseurs of quality science fiction."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on the Chronoliths
"If you read science fiction for its scientific extrapolations, then there's much here to satisfy. If, like me, you read the genre for its examinations of human lives in a crucible, then The Chronoliths also delivers the goods."
--Nalo Hopkinson, Quill & Quire on the Chronoliths