Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

A Story of 22nd-Century America
cover of Julian Comstock paperback Julian Comstock (2009)
2010 Hugo Award Nominee

Tor books paperback (left)
cover art by Steve Stone
689 pages

Tor hadcover (right)
416 pages

cover of Julian Comstock hardover

From the front flap of the hardback:
       In 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 60 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.  Hair's-breadth 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?"

Read for group discussion on July 28, 2010

This book is an expansion of the 2006 novella "Julian: A Christmas Story"
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 - Barb -
Aaron - Cynthia -
Jackie - Ron u
Bob - Molly -
Eneasz 6 Stephanie 6

Our book group has also read the following books by Robert Charles Wilson:
-- Blind Lake  in October 2004
-- Spin  in August 2006

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 Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson
Our book club's page for Spin 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
SF Signal: REVIEW: Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson
The SF Site Featured Review: Julian Comstock
The Mumpsimus: Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson

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This page was last updated August 13, 2010