Daily GUIDE-ance:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mysterium (a book by Robert Charles Wilson)

I am utterly enthralled by this scifi writer. He puts the sci back in sci fi. I’ve compared him before to Michael Crichton, but with a better imagination, and better basic story telling skills. The basic premise: a small vacation town in the west one day vanishes into thin air, simply replaced by old growth jungle. Or from the point of view of the town: the world vanishes and is replaced by another Earth with an alternative history.

He just spins a great yarn, and makes you think.

Here's a quote from Mysterium, that sort of sums up a bit of why I dig this author:

"Do you ever wonder, Howard, about the questions we can't ask?"

"Can't answer, you mean?"

"No. Can't ask."

"I don't understand."

"We're sitting here asking spectacular questions, you and I. About the universe, how it began. And if we can ask a question, probably, sooner or later, we can answer it. So we assume there's no limit to knowledge. But maybe your dog makes the same mistake! He doesn't know what lies beyond the neighborhood, but if he found himself in a strange place he would approach it with the tools of comprehension available to him, and soon he would understand it-dog fashion, by sight and smell and so on. There are no limits to his comprehension, Howard, except the limits he does not and cannot ever experience So how different are we? We can ask many, many more questions than your dog. And we can answer them. But if there are limits to our comprehension, they would be as invisible to us as they are to your dog.

So: is there anything in the universe we simply cannot know? Is there a question we can't ask?"

More tomorrow.


Brad Carter said...

I'm intrigued enough by your post that I just purchased this book on my Kindle. I'm going to read it right now and if it's not interesting, I'm holding you fully responsible.

Anonymous said...

You might hate it. I dunno anyone else who likes him. But I think he's awesome. Spin is maybe his best book.

Let me KNOW either way


Brad Carter said...

I stayed up long enough to read 20% of the book last night. So far it's awesome. It kind of reminds me of the pilot episode of Sliders, where they end up in an America that's a communist country.

By the way, sorry to start problems with your friends on FB today. I didn't think that person would take me seriously.

Brad Carter said...

This book kept me up til 3am last night. I've been tired all day today because of you. Thanks a lot John. It was awesome though! I'll have to look into his other stuff.

Anonymous said...


Now I know someone else who likes him!

Let me know what else of his you read. I've read... Blind lake, Spin, Axis, the Chronoliths, Gypsies... I think gypsies is tied to Mysterium a bit. Spin was my favorite so far, although I like em all.


Anonymous said...

He's a little bit hard to find though...

Brad Carter said...

I plan to see what's available by him next time I go to the library. I'll keep those titles in mind.

timpani76 said...

I'll give Mysterium a try, see how it goes. I ordered it from the library.

Anonymous said...

you have chosen wisely.

lemme know whatcha think


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