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Blind Lake (2004)

Blind Lake (2004)

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3.65 of 5 Votes: 4
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0765341603 (ISBN13: 9780765341600)
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About book Blind Lake (2004)

I started reading this book thinking that it would be entertaining and a light read. I had liked Robert Charles Wilson’s “Chronoliths” and I thought “Spin” was extremely good. So, when I got an recommendation for “Blind Lake,” I thought it sounded interesting enough to order. I expected it would be a three or four star book; it turned out to be amazing. The science part is good, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of the book. Wilson does an amazing job of developing his characters. And, the ending is just phenomenal. Wilson takes the incredible and makes it believable.Where “Spin” is a novel about the Earth being cut off from the universe and what that isolation does to humanity, “Blind Lake” is about a community being cut off from the rest of Earth and what that does to the people who are trapped there. The town of Blind Lake is home to a government research facility observing alien life on a planet far, far away. The technology used in this research is so new that even its developers don’t understand how it works. As the novel progresses, we begin to guess how it’s working, but we never get the full picture until the end. One day, the gates to the community are locked. Robotic drones kill anyone who tries to get outside the perimeter. Food and supplies are brought in by remote-controlled big rigs. There is no explanation and no contact with the outside world.Every action of every character is believable. The way Wilson gets inside the heads of control-freak Ray Scutter and his mildly autistic (maybe) 11 year-old daughter, Tessa Hauser, is especially good. Tessa is a very realistic child. She isn’t mature beyond her years like so many children in science fiction novels. In fact, she is slightly less mature than most children her age. Although she’s been diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome, Wilson doesn’t use that as a platform to teach us about autism. Instead, it’s just a small part of who Tessa is and it may be a part of the reason why she becomes so central to the climax of the novel. He treats her with the utmost respect and her attitudes and fears are completely authentic. I found myself identifying with her more than any other character. She reminded me a bit of myself as a child; a stranger looking in.Ray Scutter is probably one of the creepiest characters I’ve met in any kind of fiction. He’s every divorced mother’s worst nightmare of an ex-husband. He’s a stalker. He refuses to relinquish ownership of his ex-wife or his daughter. He got a position at the Blind Lake facility and arranged it so he got there a few months before his ex-wife did so it would look like she was following him. He can’t even refer to her as his ex-wife; he calls her his wife. He’s a control freak and doesn’t handle contradictions to his world view very well. The longer the unexplained quarantine of Blind Lake goes on, the less of a hold on sanity Ray has. The more he tries to regain control, the more unstable he becomes. He ends up being every bit as frightening as any character I’ve met. Yet, he’s also pathetic. Wilson makes it clear that Ray is what he is because he’s really messed up. We fear him and hate him, but we also pity him.I didn’t expect to be reading a five-star book, but that’s what I got.

(This was the Audiobook)This book did hold my interest until the end and it is well crafted, so I was initially going for a a 3 stars. But the last 50 pages dragged on so much and the final payoff was a let-down, so I went with 2.5, rounding down.This author seems to have a following and the reviews often mention his great-character development. I agree, there was a lot of character development...I mean soap-opera-level character development. I'd finish a chapter and think "hum, the story didn't move at all, guess this was a character-development chapter." And there's the problem: if you actually realize you're reading character development, it breaks the spell.Don't get me wrong, I did end up believing in (and caring for) the characters, mostly. Though Tess did come off as being more like 6-7 than 11 (maybe blame the narator).I also did find the lock-downees took way too long to react to their situation. It took them 3-4 months for someone to finaly think about looking into the upper-management e-mails? Really? These are some of the brightest people in the country? No one's working on a coordinated effort to get out or communicate with the outside or understand what's happening? Just business as usual? You're trapped in a qurantine, with no contact to the outside world and no idea why you're held there, and you keep doing your research? Even when there's rumours your research may be the reason for the lock-down? Shut the damn thing down!

Do You like book Blind Lake (2004)?[return][return]I liked this book. It's about a community of research scientists in the very near future who have been able (for reasons they don't fully understand) to observe remotely a community of aliens on a planet far far away. Their research facility is suddenly isolated from the outside world, with no communication possible, and the human relationships between the researchers churn out of control. I thought it was much more successful in this regard than "Chronoliths", by the same author, nominated last year. However, as with "Chronoliths", I felt the ending was a bit weak and left too little explained. I've been trying to think of books that managed the trick of leaving you with the sensawunda without explaining What Was really Going On, and really only "Solaris" by Stanislaw Lem and "Roadside Picnic" by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky come close; and of course 2001. But I thought the central human story was very well told, the aliens were very good too, and the failure of imagination of the human scientists studying them all too plausible.
—Nicholas Whyte

Dies ist bereits mein zweites Hörbuch von Robert C. Wilson und ich erkläre mich hiermit zum Wilson-Fan.Dieses Hörbuch wurde 13 Stunden und 20 Minuten lang von Oliver Siebeck vorgelesen. Spannende Science Fiction, ähnlich dem Roman “Die Chronolithen” vom gleichen Autor und eher unkonventionell.Mein pasteurisiertes Urteil:5 von 5 Sterne für dieses Abenteuer.Worum geht’s? Die Menschheit hat Quantencomputer auf biologischer, selbstlernender Basis entwickelt und setzt diese zu astronomischen Zwecken ein. Die Beobachtungstechnik verselbstständigt sich und erreicht eine extrem hohe Auflösung, die verwendet werden kann einzelne Subjekte auf fremden Planeten hautnah zu verfolgen.Das Camp, in dem diese Computer installiert sind wird jedoch eines Tages unter Quarantäne gestellt. Keiner darf den Ort verlassen.Die Protagonisten, die im Camp gefangen sind, versuchen die Gründe dafür zu enträtseln. Ein Teil der Inhaftierten fordert den Abbruch des Experiments (die Beobachtung des Subjekts) und damit das Abschalten der Computer. Ein anderer Teil will weitermachen und sucht darin die Ursache für die Quarantäne.Am Ende kommt es dann zu einem extraterrestrischen Kontakt mit dem Subjekt und die Geschichte löst sich auf.

In future America, a scientific installation observes life on a very distant planet through complicated quantum whatsits, trying to make sense of behavior with no commonality or context. But then the facility is locked down from the outside with no communication or explanation, leaving an astrobiologist, her troubled daughter and crazy ex-husband, and a reporter inside.All right, now there's a book. A three-star Wilson book is a four-star for most other scifi authors. This isn't the best of him – it has some timing problems, and he shorthands some of the emotional depth. But there's such thematic richness here: it's a book about transitioning from objective observationalism to subjective narratives. It's about Heisenberg uncertainty and observer effects and subject/object positioning. And it's all tense and clever and mysterious, right up to the very end.Not the best of Wilson, like I said. He handicaps himself a bit by closing the universe of the book down to the facility, because one thing he's very good at is depicting global crisis in meaningful and personal ways (see Spin, which I still really, really like). And this book doesn't quite juggle the interpersonal intensity against the nifty science with the grace he does later. But it's still a damn good book.

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