enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Robert Charles Wilson, The Chronoliths

I read this book about 10-Feb-2003. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2001. This note was last modified Sunday, 19-Nov-2006 21:30:49 PST.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


I got some good online recommendations for this, so I'm giving it a try. Not far enough into it to have any opinions yet.

Except that it includes time travel and causality violations, this is really solid hard sf. Of course, since it does involve those things, it's mostly literature instead. But it does very well by those standards, too; the characters and settings are all very good. And it doesn't involve the time travel in the worst way.

In fact, it makes sort of minimal use of the idea, while driving all aspects of the plot off it. Pretty neat, eh?

Monuments from the future start arriving. First only small ones, 300 feet tall or something. Moving up towards huge ones, which destroy most of a city when they land. Each commemorates the capture of the city it lands in by "Kuinn", 20 years in the future. They march across Asia, and one shows up in Mexico, and finally one in Wyoming. Meanwhile of course the economy is going to hell, and all sorts of strange cults and militias are forming. Kuinn himself never seems to turn up, but there are many Kuinist movements.

Around the arrival of one of these monuments, there is "tau turbulence", and people and events and things get strangely cross-connected destinies. And in fact the whole situation probably is just a feedback loop caused by this. Big spoiler there, really.

He does manage to end it on an up note, with the departure of the first probe to Tau Ceti. Overall this was a lot of fun, despite my allergy to time travel. I thought he dealt with it very well indeed. It has an overall dark tone, horrorish to my ears, which I don't like, though.

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David Dyer-Bennet