Robert Charles Wilson
Author of the Hugo Award-winning SPIN
Available at the usual sources. You can find a complete listing of my work in the curriculum vitae.
An intriguing and seriously innovative attempt to grapple with some of the issues raised by the 21st century's obsession with social media.
-- Kirkus (starred review)
Wilson works a fascinating transformation on one of the oldest plot devices in SF: people who are widely hated for their inherent difference from the rest of humankind... Wilson's trademark well-developed characters and understated but compelling prose are very much in evidence in this quietly believable tale of the near future.
-- Publishers Weekly
In this thought-provoking novel, Wilson deftly explores the drawbacks of groupthink and social networks that come to replace more inclusive, complex personal relationships. What’s chilling is how closely this futuristic plot mirrors our current reality.
-- Washington Post
Wilson must have tapped into the Zeitgeist because whenever I shared the premise of The Affinities with others, they were instantly intrigued . . . Wilson takes readers from the mundane to a surreal future in just 300 pages . . . I was hooked from start to finish.
-- Fantasy Literature
Robert Charles Wilson’s latest describes a social network that has evolved into something even more invasive and threatening than Facebook and Google . . . As always, Wilson has grounded his speculations in a suspenseful story focused on real people coping with these changes. It’s a troubling vision of the future, made all the more so by the ambiguity at its heart: are the affinities a good thing? Is this progress, or regression to a more primitive state?
-- Alex Good, The Toronto Star
Wilson has always written strongly humanistic tales of relationships within SF frameworks, and sometimes the SF itself is mostly a way of exploring the ways in which we cope, or fail to cope, with change. This may be Wilson’s grand theme, and it’s no less skillfully handled here.
-- Gary Wolfe, Locus
The distinguishing features of a Robert Charles Wilson novel are a deep and abiding humanism and empathy; delicate yet robust prose; and a commitment to taking core tropes of the SF field, turning them inside out, and then pursuing the implications of their new shapes . . . Wilson’s newest, The Affinities, does not depart from his usual high standards. Beyond the social media hook, there lies a family drama akin to something Karen Joy Fowler or Mary Rickert might write, as well as multiple love stories and the coming-of-age of our protagonist . . . [This is] bedrock science fiction that earns its eternal classicism by embodying human values and concerns as old as the species, no matter what futuristic trappings they wear.
-- Paul Di Filippo, The Speculator
Hugo-winner Wilson (The Chronoliths) casts a cold eye at SF clichés in this powerful novel... This is a deeply thoughtful, deliberately discomfiting book that will linger long and uneasily in the reader’s mind.
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Hugo Award-winning author of Spin has written a story of gradual suspense and quiet terror, with believable characters and a compelling plot.
-- Library Journal
Robert Charles Wilson is a Canadian writer whose work combines finely nuanced character development with some very high-concept sci-fi ideas... The serious issues Wilson raises involve the cost of freedom, the value of free will, and the question of whether we ought to accept a peaceful world at any price.
-- The Chicago Tribune
Hugo Award winner in the Best Novel category, Spin has also won the French Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, the Japanese Seiun Award, the Israeli Geffen Prize, and the German Kurd Lasswitz Prize, among others. A Locus Bestseller.
"Here's a book that features speculative conceits as brash and thrilling as those found in any space opera, along with insights into the human condition as rich as those contained within any mainstream mimetic fiction, with both its ceonceits and insights beautifuly embedded in crystalline prose." -- The Washington Post
"Breathtaking!" (Starred Review) -- Publishers Weekly
"Spin is many things: psychological novel, technological thriller, apocalyptic picaresque, cosmological meditation. . . Another triumph for Robert Charles Wilson in a long string of triumphs." -- Locus
A sequel to Spin.
"This absolutely worthy, abundantly marvelous sequel to Spin (2005) conjures humanity after an event so strange it's almost unimaginable." -- Booklist
"The various science and thriller plot elements are successful, but this is first and foremost a novel of character. Turk and Lise, who might well be played by Bogart and Bacall, are powerfully drawn protagonists, and their strong presence in the novel makes the wonders provided all the more satisfying. Those unfamiliar with Spin may flounder a bit, but Wilson's fans will be ecstatic."
-- Publishers Weekly, starred review
The final volume of the Spin trilogy.
"It's rare that the concluding volume of a trilogy can easily draw in newcomers unfamiliar with the back-story, but Hugo-winner Wilson does so without breaking a sweat . . . With relentless momentum Wilson's plot will propel readers along, and the subtle characterizations and sophisticated plotting elevate this to the top ranks of the genre." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review.
"A stunningly good work of science fiction . . . This novel, this series, reveals a thoughtful, seasoned author who went deep and came up with gold." -- The Globe and Mail
"Vortex is Wilson's final, bittersweet farewell to a soaring science-fiction conceit that has provided his readers with so many small, thoughtful -- and compellingly human -- pleasures."
-- NPR Books
"Wilson’s ideas and imagery evoke a wide-eyed, childlike feeling of awe and wonder in the reader. Not to mention the fact that all the characters are very well drawn, something which far too few science fiction writers pay attention to." -- National Post
"Robert Charles Wilson [has] nearly perfected a narrative technique which had already defined him as one of the most distinctive voices in modern SF: juxtaposing stunning high-concept SF spectacle with intimate personal dramas and closely observed characterization . . . As a conclusion to one of the most important series in recent SF, [Vortex] does not disappoint, and attains moments of true brilliance."
"A compelling read and a great series ending. SF that combines far-future sense of wonder with human interest and great characters does not come around that often, and I strongly recommend not to miss it in Vortex." -- Fantasy Book Critic
"Politically astute, romantic, philosophical, compassionate, and often uproariously funny, Julian Comstock may be Wilson's best book yet."
-- Cory Doctorow
"Post-apocalyptic power struggle from Hugo Award winner Wilson... Expertly handled prognostication with more than a touch of somber magnificence."
-- Kirkus (starred review)
"Julian Comstock is beautifully written, populated with engaging and sympathetic, if conflicted, characters, and unlike anything else [Robert Charles Wilson] has done to date." -- Locus
"[Julian Comstock] is a sprawling, gorgeous meditation on the inexplicable ways that history mutates culture, from its religious institutions to its pop culture."
"Wilson's 14th novel is unlike anything else we've seen from the author. The only traits that mark it as a Robert Charles Wilson novel are its nearly flawless writing and pitch-perfect characterizations... The narrative moves without hurrying, and the voice, both colloquial and formal, is irresistibly pleasant. Julian Comstock is science fiction with a broad appeal, from a writer who continues to surprise." -- The Globe and Mail
A Philip K. Dick Award winner.
"Suspensful in the best sense." -- The New York Times
"Wilson blends science, religion, philosophy and alternate history into an intelligent, compelling work of fiction." -- Publishers Weekly
"A dystopian thriller . . . Wilson deals with the intellectual drives that propel the best SF." -- Locus
A Hugo Award finalist.
"Rich, lucid and literate . . . Comparable to Philip K. Dick or A. E. van Vogt. Remarkable indeed." -- Publishers Weekly
"Wilson starts Darwinia at a brisk clip and never slackens the pace. What starts as a variation on Conan Doyle's The Lost World develops into an intricate meditation on morality and duty." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"A remarkable book, worthy of the highest honors of our field. Don't miss it." -- Locus
John W. Campbell Memorial Award Winner, Hugo Award finalist, and New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
"Superb." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"One of the most impressive bodies of work in contemporary science fiction... The Chronoliths stands with Wilson's best."
-- The New York Times
A Bridge of Years
"A rewarding time-travel fantasy, which compares favorably with such classics as Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson and Jack Finney's Time and Again." -- Atlanta Constitution
"I very much doubt you'll find a finer, more compelling science fiction novel this year." -- Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"A marvelous blend of adventure and serious themes, in a very unconventional story of time travel. With each book, Wilson futher establishes himself as one of the major new writers of the 1990's."
-- Science Fiction Chronicle
A Hidden Place
My first novel.
"Toronto author Robert Wilson’s A Hidden Place is an astonishing debut. Set in the American Depression, it is first and foremost a novel of character -- of Travis Fisher’s coming of age when he is transplanted to the Midwest; of his girlfriend Nancy Wilcox, trapped in a small town with its small town bigotries; of Travis’s uncle, a strong man forced to accept his limitations; and most of all the strange hobo, Bone, and the mysterious boarder that Travis’s uncle has taken in.... Whether dealing with such dramas, or the quiet moments between Travis and Nancy, Wilson proves his remarkable talent on every page. Recommended." -- Charles de Lint, The Ottawa Citizen
"A Hidden Place is an impressive first novel, and Wilson is clearly a writer to watch." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"A Hidden Place will please you, and Wilson has a good deal to say to us all -- let’s hope for more of it." -- Locus
A New York Times Notable Book and Hugo Award finalist.
" Wilson (The Chronoliths) grapples with the ineffable in a superior SF thriller notable for credible characters and a well-crafted plot. ..
Thoughtful and deliberately paced, this book will appeal to readers who prefer science fiction with substance." -- Publishers Weekly
"An expert creator of sf thrillers provides another superior example. Wilson builds suspense superlatively well, to a resolution that packs all the emotional wallop anyone could wish. Wilson's fans will come looking for this one, and others will follow. -- Booklist
The Perseids and Other Stories
My first (and to date, only) short story collection. The stories are all set in Toronto -- in the words of the jacket flap, "a haunted, numinous Toronto of past, present and future, buzzing with strangeness."
"Beautifully observed, skillfully worked out: stories that flow subtly, almost imperceptibly, from the prosaic to the preternatural."
-- Kirkus (Starred Review)
"There is in these tales such an affection for the numinous, the astronomical sublime, the ineffable -- for the basic stuff of SF and fantasy -- that they are . . . well-nigh irresistable. Wilson sets out to remind us, and possibly himself, of what there is to fall in love with in SF, and he succeeds." -- Locus
"These stories by the author of the prizewinning best-seller Darwinia (1998) are mostly urban fantasies set in Wilson's hometown, Toronto. Readers familiar with that other Canadian master of urban fantasy, Charles De Lint, will certainly find echoes of him in them, and they will enjoy a feast. " -- Booklist