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Publisher's Summary

Scott Warden is a man haunted by the past - and soon to be haunted by the future. In early 21st-century Thailand, Scott is an expatriate slacker. Then, one day, he inadvertently witnesses an impossible event: the violent appearance of a 200-foot stone pillar in the forested interior. Its arrival collapses trees for a quarter mile around its base, freezing ice out of the air and emitting a burst of ionizing radiation. It appears to be composed of an exotic form of matter. And the inscription chiseled into it commemorates a military victory - 16 years in the future. Shortly afterwards, another, larger pillar arrives in the center of Bangkok - obliterating the city and killing thousands. Over the next several years, human society is transformed by these mysterious arrivals from, seemingly, our own near future. Who is the warlord "Kuin" whose victories they note?
Scott wants only to rebuild his life. But some strange loop of causality keeps drawing him in, to the central mystery and a final battle with the future.
©2002 Robert Charles Wilson (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 07-23-11

good writing kept me going

Some writers just know how to put words and thoughts together well enough that you have to listen. This book is depressing and exciting. I am not a fan of books with bleak outlooks, but RW is such a good writer that he can keep your interest with his thoughts, even though you may not like the subject matter. The science in this is exciting, but seems to be a very small part of the book until toward the end. It is written as a narrative, which is not my favorite style. Often in the book he mentions how awful something is and then follows that with, but not as awful as it would become. I believe these type of teasers to be a cheap way out for the writer, and it is especially cheap if the ending does not live up to the billing. Through 75% of it, the book had my full attention, but toward the end my mind started to wonder and I was a little disappointed in the ending, though it keep true to the mood of the whole book.

It may sound like I am hard on the book, but I did give it 4 stars which I do not do lightly. I think it is worth the money, it just might not be your favorite. If you have not read RW, then you should start with Spin.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By M. Stephenson on 11-20-09

A haunting, beautiful work...

I was taken by Robert Charles Wilson's work first with "Bios" (hint, Audible, hint, hint...) and then with the wonderfully weird and epic "Darwinia." I think "The Chronoliths" is my favorite. This is a compelling, often melancholy novel peopled by sympathetic characters who come alive in their vulnerability, ambivalence and, in the end, profound commitment to helping each other cope with a world made despairing and dysfunctional by forces beyond understanding. The reading is flawless and perfect for this novel, well-paced with good character differentiation and a keen sense of irony, wit and melancholy. My sincerest compliments to Mr. Wyman. While my library of Audible SF readings is ridiculously large, almost begging clinical intervention, this is one that I will be happy to experience more than once. A fine work of character-centered science fiction. God, I wish I could write like RCW!

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 07-26-12

A totally engrossing Sci-Fi Classic

The Chronoliths is a temporal paradox story. The central question of who or what is "Kuin" pulls you in like a black hole. The first person narrative of protagonist Scott Wardon makes the character incredibly authentic. And if you have downloaded Gateway or Man Plus, both by Frederik Pohl, thae you are guaranteed to enjoy The Chronoliths, too.

The story never strays from the mysterious appearances, creating a strong plot that does not overshadow the characters, yet provides plenty of opportunity for drama.

Oliver Wyman gives a marvellous performance--both of male and female characters--without rushing the story. And his rather staid yet sarcastic intonations serve to contrast the dour humour against Wardon's ever worsening predicament; you can't help but sympathise and like Wardon, who reveals himself to be all too human, though witty, which makes him an appealing character with whom to spend time.

A definite download.

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