Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Blind Lake hardcover Blind Lake (2003)
2004 Hugo Award nominee
A New York Times Notable Book

Tor books hardcover (left)
Tor books paperback (right)
cover art by Jim Burns
400 pages both editions
Blind Lake paperback

From the dust jacket of the hardcover:
       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 lobsterlike aliens on 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 Marguerite Hauser 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.
       Marguerite 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. . . .

Read for group discussion on October 27, 2004

(Note: The back cover blurb for the paperback edition - which is similar but shorter than the blurb above - has the character Marguerite Hauser's name wrong, it mistakenly calls her Nerissa Iverson.)

How we each rated this book
Dan - Amy 6 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 8 Barb -
Aaron - Cynthia 4
Jackie 6 Ron -
Christine 7 Deb -
Mike - Stephanie -
Gary 7 Monte -

Our book group has also read the following books by Robert Charles Wilson:
-- Spin  in August 2006
-- Julian Comstock  in July 2010

Robert Charles Wilson (1953-     ) is a Canadian writer of primarily science fiction. He was born in the US but moved to Canada at age nine.

1994 Philip K. Dick award for novel Mysterium
1996 Aurora Award for Best Short-Form Work in English for "The Perseids"
1999 Aurora Award for Best Long-Form Work in English for Darwinia
2002 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for novel The Chronoliths
2004 Aurora Award for Best Long-Form Work in English for Blind Lake
2006 Hugo Award for Best Novel Spin
2007 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the novelette "The Cartesian Theater"

Hugo Award nominations for best novel
1999 Hugo Award nominee for Darwinia
2002 Hugo Award nominee for The Chronoliths
2004 Hugo Award nominee for Blind Lake
2010 Hugo Award nominee for Julian Comstock

-- A Hidden Place (1986), his first novel, set during the great depression with an alternate faery world
-- Memory Wire (1987), is a lost world, futuristic, cyberpunk thriller
-- Gypsies (1989), alternate worlds adventure with parallel existences
-- The Divide (1990), genetically enhanced man with a split personality
-- A Bridge of Years (1991) features time travel, battling realities, and introspection
-- The Harvest (1992), about the humans who turn down aliens' offer of immortality.
-- Mysterium (1994), is dystopian nightmare when part of Michigan is transported to an alternate America
-- Darwinia (1998), Europe is transformed overnight in 1912 into an untamed jungle
-- Bios (1999), far-future hard SF book about exploring a dangerous planet
-- The Chronoliths (2001), mysterious monoliths suddenly appear from the future
-- Blind Lake (2003), quantum computers allow us to observe life on a distant planet
-- Julian Comstock (2009), dystopian story about a changed America in the 22nd century

Spin series novels
-- Spin (2006), science fiction concerning an artificial shield around the Earth
-- Axis (2007), a direct sequel to Spin
-- Vortex (forthcoming)

Story Collections
The Perseids and Other Stories (2000)

Our book club's page for Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
Our book club's page for Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson
Aaron's book review of Bios by Robert Charles Wilson on Fantastic Reviews
Robert Charles Wilson - Home
Robert Charles Wilson - Wikipedia
Locus Online: Robert Charles Wilson interview excerpts
NESFA review: Blind Lake -- Robert Charles Wilson
Steven Silver's Reviews: Robert Charles Wilson: Blind Lake
SF REVIEWS.NET: Blind Lake / Robert Charles Wilson

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This page was last updated August 05, 2010