Re: Spin, Robert Charles Wilson
- From: Mike Ash <mike@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 04 Mar 2011 11:40:11 -0500
In article <ikr2a6$pm2$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
wdstarr@xxxxxxxxx (William December Starr) wrote:
In article <ub02n652f3aifqv5okvqt5vpmqtmonpt1e@xxxxxxx>,
Howard Brazee <howard@xxxxxxxxxx> said:
Mike Ash <mike@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Third: the ultimate conclusion to the book, in terms of the
nature of the Spin and the arch and so forth was all pretty
satisfying. I just wish we could have gotten there in a more
Spoilers? What were the explanations/reasons?
(It sounds interesting, but I just don't enjoy reading Robert
The entities which created the Spin are naturally-evolved machine
intelligences descended from von Neumann probes, presumably seeded by
some ancient biological civilization. Humanity launches some of these
probes partway through the story, before this is known. At such a huge
time differential, they are able to explore a decent chunk of the galaxy
in a human timeframe. The first sign of the Spin-makers is when the
humans' probes start getting eaten by older and more sophisticated ones
that have evolved beyond their original purpose.
As an interesting aside to this bit, the business of terraforming Mars
was carried out, and then it was colonized. The colony ships are sent
out, and an ambassador from an ancient and powerful Martian civilization
arrives roughly that same afternoon. Amusing stuff. However, shortly
after the ambassador set out, Mars was enclosed in a Spin of its own.
The von Neumann probes are of Martian design.
The machines have noticed that biological civilizations don't last long.
We inevitably overload our planet and collapse. Dreams of moving out to
the stars end up not being practical for squishy biologicals like
ourselves. For whatever reason, the machines are moved by our plight.
The Spin is not punishment, quarantine, or forced extinction as many
believed. Rather, it's *preservation*, a way to keep us collectively
alive while the machines work on the problem of how to keep us from self
After some decades in the Spin (and a couple of billion years outside),
it begins to flicker and eventually shuts off. This allows the
Spin-makers to land the Arch, a thousand-mile hoop of... something,
which embeds itself in the Earth in the Indian Ocean, with the upper
part forming an arch over the sea. The Spin then switches back on, but
only to filter sunlight and keep the Earth from being cooked; the time
effect is gone.
The arch is a gateway to another world. It's intelligent, so it only
passes manned ships. This new world is human friendly but devoid of
intelligent life. It shows clear signs (in terms of the type of life
found there) of being engineered to suit humans. Eventually, another
arch is found, and the implication is that there's a whole network of
habitable worlds out there for us, and presumably others, to use and
Radio Free Earth
Broadcasting from our climate-controlled studios deep inside the Moon
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