Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

One night every star in the sky disappeared.

A membrane – dubbed the Spin by authorities – was placed around the Earth by an unknown race of aliens referred to as Hypotheticals. The Spin membrane has slowed down the earth so that thousands of years pass outside the membrane while only seconds pass inside. Tyler Dupree is caught in the middle when his childhood friend becomes the head of a new government research lab dedicated to finding out what the Hypotheticals want and how to give it to them before time runs out.

Robert Charles Wilson tells a terrifyingly real story about the end of the world, apocalyptic cults, overachieving scientists and some of the scariest aliens I’ve ever read about. I think if he wanted to write legal treatises I might still enjoy reading them. He seems to be one of those authors who can’t put a wrong word on the page. The book starts and never seems to reach a stopping point.

This is a very human story. It encompasses huge ideas with vast scope and a unique setting where human beings can watch Mars being terraformed in a single lifetime. Millennia pass in just a few moments but at the heart it is about people living with the threat of the end of the world hanging over their heads.

What would you do, if the stars went out and it meant that you only had forty more years to live?

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