The Affinities

  • by Robert Charles Wilson
  • Narrated by Scott Brick
  • 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In our rapidly-changing world of "social media", everyday people are more and more able to sort themselves into social groups based on finer and finer criteria. In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities, this process is supercharged by new analytic technologies - genetic, brain-mapping, behavioral.
To join one of the 22 Affinities is to change one's life. It's like family, and more than family. Your fellow members aren't just like you, and they aren't just people who are likely to like you. They're also the people with whom you can best cooperate in all areas of life - creative, interpersonal, even financial. At loose ends both professional and personal, young Adam Fisk takes the suite of tests to see if he qualifies for any of the Affinities, and finds that he's a match for one of the largest, the one called Tau. It's utopian - at first.
Problems in all areas of his life begin to simply sort themselves out, as he becomes part of a global network of people dedicated to helping one another - to helping him. But as the differing Affinities put their new powers to the test, they begin to rapidly chip away at the power of governments, of global corporations, of all the institutions of the old world. Then, with dreadful inevitability, the different Affinities begin to go to war - with one another. What happens next will change Adam, and his world, forever.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Compelling Concepts

This was the first R.C. Wilson novel I have read. I have a particular love of social science fiction of all types. The Affinities has a nice meaty premise; social personality matching taken to the extreme. It's a competently written book - not at all literary, style-wise, but good.

The overall structure of the plot was solid and goes along at a pretty fast clip, but I found the character development a little lacking. Especially when it came to antagonistic characters. They felt very cardboardish to me.

I'm also one of the few people who is not a massive Scott Brick fan. I find him over-dramatically emotive in his readings.

But if you like this narrator, and enjoy a clever, fast-paced alternative fiction thriller, I think this might hit the spot.
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- Madeleine

Originality: What Makes RCW's Works Stand Apart.

I loved this book. It's quite a trick to write something that is

1) Populated with characters who feel real, that we can connect to
2) Actually says something; make you think
3) Is genuinely original

The way 1 & 3 are artfully combined is what I think makes Wilson's books so enjoyable. Often originality is synonymous with 'weird' and hard to relate to. Not so The Affinities. The concepts of the novel are borne of a substrate made up of solid characters; indeed you could almost lose the science fiction aspect and still have a pretty decent book.

I agree with some other reviewers who have said that The Affinities could've been a bit longer. That's true, but the "fill in your own blanks" feeling one may be left with at book's end is I think even better. The reader is forced to think; in my case, not so much along the lines of "what happened next?" No, nothing like that. I was left in a place of newness; considering ideas new to me, some clear, others half formed, nicely coloured with an emotional aspect, also with its own unique flavour.

That, in my opinion, is science fiction gold.
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- Shellbin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-21-2015
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio