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Wilson, Robert Charles

Robert Charles Wilson (born December 15, 1953) is an American-Canadian science fiction author.

Wilson was born in the United States in California, but grew up near Toronto, Ontario. Apart from another short period in the early 1970s spent in Whittier, California, he has lived most of his life in Canada, and in 2007 he became a Canadian citizen. He resided for a while in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and briefly in Vancouver. Currently he lives with his wife Sharry in Concord, Ontario, just north of Toronto. He has two sons, Paul and Devon.

His work has won the Hugo Award (for the novel Spin), the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (for the novel The Chronoliths), the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (for the novelette "The Cartesian Theater"), three Aurora Awards (for the novels Blind Lake and Darwinia, and the short work "The Perseids"), and the Philip K. Dick Award (for the novel Mysterium). Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America is a 2010 Hugo Award nominee in the Best Novel category.

In addition to the novels listed below, he is the author of the short-story collection The Perseids and Other Stories, set in Toronto. His first publication appeared in the February 1975 issue of Analog Science Fiction, under the name Bob Chuck Wilson.

Author Stephen King has called Wilson "probably the finest science-fiction author now writing".

Wilson's literary agent is Shawna McCarthy, and his most recent books (including Blind Lake, Spin, and Axis) have been edited by Teresa Nielsen Hayden of Tor Books.

Spin is the first book of a trilogy that continues in Axis and finishes with Vortex. Spin won the Hugo Award for best novel in 2006.

His novella Julian: A Christmas Story (2006) was published by PS Publishing in 2007 and was a finalist for the Hugo Award. A novel-length expansion, Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America was published by Tor in 2009.

  • Wilson, Robert Charles

    Spin

    One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives. The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk--a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world's artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they'd been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside--more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future. Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who's forged a new religion out of the fears of the masses.Earth sends terraforming machines to Mars to let the onrush of time do its work, turning the planet green. Next they send humans...and immediately get back an emissary with thousands of years of stories to tell about the settling of Mars. Then Earth's probes reveal that an identical barrier has appeared around Mars. Jason, desperate, seeds near space with self-replicating machines that will scatter copies of themselves outward from the sun--and report back on what they find. Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.
  • Wilson, Robert Charles

    Darwinia

    In 1912, history was changed by the Miracle, when the old world of Europe was replaced by Darwinia, a strange land of nightmarish jungle and antedeluvian monsters. To some, the Miracle is an act of divine retribution; to others, it is an opportunity to carve out a new empire.Leaving American now ruled by religious fundamentalism, young Guilford Law travels to Darwinia on a mission of discovery that will take him further than he can possibly imagine...to a shattering revelation about mankind's destiny in the universe.
    Darwinia is a 1999 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel.
  • Wilson, Robert Charles

    The Chronoliths

    Scott Warden is a man haunted by the past-and soon to be haunted by the future. In early twenty-first-century Thailand, Scott is an expatriate slacker. Then, one day, he inadvertently witnesses an impossible event: the violent appearance of a 200-foot stone pillar in the forested interior. Its arrival collapses trees for a quarter mile around its base, freezing ice out of the air and emitting a burst of ionizing radiation. It appears to be composed of an exotic form of matter. And the inscription chiseled into it commemorates a military victory--sixteen years in the future.Shortly afterwards, another, larger pillar arrives in the center of Bangkok-obliterating the city and killing thousands. Over the next several years, human society is transformed by these mysterious arrivals from, seemingly, our own near future. Who is the warlord "Kuin" whose victories they note? Scott wants only to rebuild his life. But some strange loop of causality keeps drawing him in, to the central mystery and a final battle with the future.
    The Chronoliths is a 2002 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel and the winner of the 2002 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
  • Wilson, Robert Charles

    Blind Lake

    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.
  • Wilson, Robert Charles

    Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America

    From the Hugo-winning author of Spin, an exuberant adventure in a post-climate-change AmericaIn the reign of President Deklan Comstock, a reborn United States is struggling back to prosperity. Over a century after the Efflorescence of Oil, after the Fall of the Cities, after the Plague of Infertility, after the False Tribulation, after the days of the Pious Presidents, the sixty stars and thirteen stripes wave from the plains of Athabaska to the national capital in New York City. In Colorado Springs, the Dominion sees to the nation’s spiritual needs. In Labrador, the Army wages war on the Dutch. America, unified, is rising once again.Then out of Labrador come tales of a new Ajax—Captain Commongold, the Youthful Hero of the Saguenay. The ordinary people follow his adventures in the popular press. The Army adores him. The President is…troubled. Especially when the dashing Captain turns out to be his nephew Julian, son of the falsely accused and executed Bryce.Treachery and intrigue dog Julian’s footsteps. Hairsbreadth escapes and daring rescues fill his days. Stern resolve and tender sentiment dice for Julian’s soul, while his admiration for the works of the Secular Ancients, and his adherence to the evolutionary doctrines of the heretical Darwin, set him at fatal odds with the hierarchy of the Dominion. Plague and fire swirl around the Presidential palace when at last he arrives with the acclamation of the mob.As told by Julian’s best friend and faithful companion, a rustic yet observant lad from the west, this tale of the 22nd Century asks— and answers—the age-old question: “Do you want to tell the truth, or do you want to tell a story?”