Blind Lake

  • by Robert Charles Wilson
  • Narrated by Jay Snyder
  • 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 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 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....


What the Critics Say

"Thoughtful and deliberately paced, this book will appeal to readers who prefer science fiction with substance." (Publishers Weekly)
"Wilson builds suspense superlatively well, to a resolution that packs all the emotional wallop anyone could wish." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Well, that is what you keep telling yourself and hoping. I became a fan of Wilson after reading Spin. I also liked Mysterium. He has also written several books I would give four stars to. This book seemed to have little to do with the Science it advertises. It is instead another story about divorce. It is heavy on divorce. I listened for over four hours and nothing has happened on the planet they are watching. The aliens are described by those in the book as being very boring. So, why am I reading this. The stuff about the girl with Autism is interesting, but that is not what drew me to the book, nor is it interesting enough for me to care.


Synder has a great narrator voice. He also does well with male voices. When he does female voices it is laughable. He makes all females and kids sound like cartoons.

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- Jim "The Impatient"

Amazing concept, thrilling story

In Blind Lake, Robert Charles Wilson again brings us his unique brand of science fiction: a character story wrapped around a mystery with a meaty sci-fi center. Blind Lake is set in a top-secret government research facility in Minnesota. The facility is doing ground-breaking research into what appears to be a sentient alien species. The strange thing is that no one really understands how the alien images are being recovered by the facility's self-evolving quantum computers. And when the entire facility is quarantined with no warning or explanation, things really start to get weird.

While the characters are well done, most of the story taking place at Blind Lake is actually pretty boring as far as sci-fi goes: we spend a lot of time with Chris, the self-loathing journalist, a mildly autistic little girl, and her narcissistic and paranoid father. The interaction between these characters is standard fare for daytime drama. Frankly, I found some parts of it perfectly yawn-worthy. The only other complaint I have is that the phrase "It could end at any time," was repeated so often that I felt like I was playing a drinking game.

That said, the ideas underlying Blind Lake are incredible. Not since Sagan's Contact and Wilson's later novel Spin have I found myself truly awed by a story's concepts. In addition, this novel contains some of the most beautiful passages I have ever read regarding the human species and our desire to learn and evolve. Wilson breathes life into a seemingly dead universe. He is a true genius.

The narrator a deep, commanding voice that works perfectly for Chris and Ray, but he struggles a bit with female voices. This isn't uncommon with male narrators and Snyder performs admirably. His reading is, for the most part, quite good.
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- J. Rhoderick

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-22-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios