Posted by : atcampbell | On : January 5, 2009

Axis by Robert Charles Wilson

Ten people attended this discussion at A. T.’s house, and three submitted comments by email. Our topic was Robert Charles Wilson’s Axis, the sequel to the Hugo-winning novel Spin. At the end of Spin, a gateway had been opened to a strange alien world. The plot of Axis takes place thirty years later, featuring various groups of humans who have settled in the new world. It’s a complicated story involving government conspiracy, romance, genetic engineering, and attempts to communicate with aliens. All of us had read Wilson before, and all had read Spin. We all started Axis, but only three finished the book and three more planned to finish.

Our opinions of this book were fairly similar. We think that this book has well-crafted prose, but the story and characters are less engaging than those of Spin. The speculative ideas in Axis do not generate much emotional impact, and we found it hard to care about the characters.  One of the major characters is not completely human, and it’s hard for other characters (and us readers) to relate to him. We also felt that this book was clearly the second book in a trilogy, and suffers from having neither a beginning nor an end. Many of us simply found this book too easy to put down.

Since our opinions of the book were so similar, the meeting was fairly short. Afterward, many of us had a nice dinner at Chili’s.
— A.T. Campbell, III