Robert Charles Wilson, says The New York Times, "writes superior science fiction thrillers." His Darwinia won Canada's Aurora Award; his most recent novel, The Chronoliths, won the prestigious John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Now he tells a gripping tale of alien contact and human love in a mysterious but hopeful universe.
At Blind Lake, a large federal research installation in northern Minnesota, scientists are using a technology they barely understand to watch everyday life in a city of lobster like aliens upon a distant planet. They can't contact the aliens in any way or understand their language. All they can do is watch.
Then, without warning, a military cordon is imposed on the Blind Lake site. All communication with the outside world is cut off. Food and other vital supplies are delivered by remote control. No one knows why.
The scientists, nevertheless, go on with their research. Among them are Nerissa Iverson and the man she recently divorced, Raymond Scutter. They continue to work together despite the difficult conditions and the bitterness between them. Ray believes their efforts are doomed; that culture is arbitrary, and the aliens will forever be an enigma.
Nerissa believes there is a commonality of sentient thought, and that our failure to understand is our own ignorance, not a fact of nature. The behavior of the alien she has been tracking seems to be developing an elusive narrative logic--and she comes to feel that the alien is somehow, impossibly, aware of the project's observers.
But her time is running out. Ray is turning hostile, stalking her. The military cordon is tightening. Understanding had better come soon.... Blind Lake is a 2004 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel.
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Praise for Robert Charles Wilson
"In his quiet way, Robert Charles Wilson has produced one of the most impressive bodies of work in contemporary science fiction."
--The New York Times
"Wilson sets out to remind us, and possibly himself, of what there is to fall in love with in SF, and he succeeds."
and for The Chronoliths
"Wilson is a master of character development, comparable to the late Theodore Sturgeon....This superb novel, combining 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)
"Wilson's writing is assured.... Satisfaction lingers even after the last bit of suspense fades away."
"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."
Robert Charles Wilson was born in California and grew up in Canada. He is the author of many acclaimed SF novels, including A Hidden Place, The Divide, Gypsies, Bios, Darwinia, and The Chronoliths. His work has won the John W. Campbell Award, the Aurora Award, and two Philip K. Dick Awards. He lives near Toronto.
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