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The Chronoliths
 
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The Chronoliths [Format Kindle]

Robert Charles Wilson
3.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Robert Charles Wilson is an accomplished and acclaimed writer with an impressive body of work. The Chronoliths is his best novel yet, an intelligent, fascinating, and frightening account of a unique incarnation of time travel.

American software developer Scott Warden is living a careless expatriate life on the beaches of 21st century Thailand when a monolithic pillar, sheathed in ice and composed of an unknown, indestructible material, appears in the jungle. The artifact is a chronolith, a memorial commemorating the conquest of Thailand--20 years in the future. As Warden follows his estranged wife and badly injured daughter back to the U.S., more chronoliths celebrating future victories appear, to devastating effect. Bangkok and Jerusalem are destroyed, and societies worldwide dissolve in chaos or teeter on the brink of collapse. As the chronoliths close in on America, Scott joins with biker and undercover agent Hitch Paley and experimental physicist Sue Chopra in a literal race against time to find a way to change the future--which has already happened. --Cynthia Ward

From Publishers Weekly

A talented SF writer who has never gained the name recognition he deserves, Wilson (Darwinia) is a master of character development, comparable to the late Theodore Sturgeon in his believable portrayals of emotionally scarred loners. Scott Warden, an abuse survivor, first drags his family off to Thailand for a short-lived programming job and then refuses to leave the country when his job ends, forcing his wife and daughter into poverty. One fateful day, Scott takes off for the backcountry to witness the advent of the first Chronolith, an enormous high-tech monument sent from 20 years in the future to commemorate the military victory of an Asian tyrant named Kuin. By the time Scott returns home he discovers that his family has fled to the U.S. and that his marriage is effectively over. Soon after, another Chronolith appears, destroying Bangkok, and it's followed by many more, each one proclaiming the victories of the mysterious Kuin. Scott is contacted by a former teacher, the physicist Sue Chopra, who believes that Scott's proximity to the original Chronolith has connected him to the ongoing disaster in some strange fashion. As Sue and Scott attempt to figure out what's going on, society gradually collapses around them. People begin to worship Kuin as a virtual god and, as the years pass, the date on which the first Chronolith was launched draws near. This superb novel, combining Wilson's trademark well-developed characters and fine prose with stunning high-tech physics, should strongly appeal to connoisseurs of quality science fiction. (Aug. 20)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 391 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 324 pages
  • Editeur : Tor Books; Édition : Reprint (6 mai 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004V4GMXA
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°136.434 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires en ligne

3.3 étoiles sur 5
3.3 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Une invasion venue du futur 15 décembre 2010
Format:Poche
"The Chronoliths" est un petit roman de science-fiction de Robert Charles Wilson qui relate en à peine plus de trois cents pages une histoire d'invasion. Mais une invasion pour le moins particulière, puisque elle ne surviendra que vingt ans plus tard, et qu'elle est annoncée par des obélisques commémoratifs envoyés dans le passé et destinés à impressioner les futures victimes. Le texte est porté par l'excellent talent de conteur de Wilson. Pas une seule seconde on ne doute du futur qu'il décrit ou des conséquences tragiques sur l'humanité qu'entraîne le simple fait de savoir que vingt ans plus tard, un seigneur de la guerre encore inconnu régnera sur la plus grande partie de la planète. Narré à la première personne du singulier par un personnage intimement mêlé aux événements sans qu'il sache réellement quel rôle il jouera dans le futur - et qui ressemble un peu au personnage de Roy Neary dans Rencontres du 3ème type, le récit reste captivant du début à la fin.

La problématique du paradoxe temporel est abordée sous un angle original, aussi bien par la présence des chronolithes envoyés dans le passé pour asseoir la victoire de Kuin avant même qu'elle n'ait lieu, que par le dénouement inattendu. Les explications scientifiques à l'existence-même des monuments et à leur façon de se matérialiser ont l'apparence de la crédibilité et n'entament pas le réalisme du futur ainsi décrit.
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Format:Broché
Having thoroughly enjoyed ‘Spin’, I was keen to read more of Wilson’s work. However, perhaps my expectations were too high. Like ‘Spin’, the narrative is primarily character based with the science fiction providing the plot lines; this is a good thing and made for a readable tale. The apocalyptic, gloomy atmosphere is superbly handled, but the tau-thingy science lost me, I couldn’t really see the purpose of the Chronoliths in the first place (why would a future warlord bother to send monuments back in time?) and the ending was a rushed & baffling damp squib (reading the last couple of chapters twice didn’t help at all). Perhaps I am being a little harsh and maybe I missed the point as, on reflection, the post-non-war recovery and the application of the tau-thingy stuff to star travel is a reaffirmation of the old ‘ it’s an ill wind…blah…blah’ adage. I definitely like Wilson’s style, however, so I’ve just ordered ‘Blind Lake’. Watch this space…
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 Ingénierie litéraire 21 mai 2011
Par Jacky P.
Format:Broché
J'ai lu 6 des livres de cet auteur, et ils ont tous la meme structure: Une partie science fiction tres bien pensee, et mise dans un contexte social. Il y a toujours le personnage "principal", qui est le conteur, et dans la plupart des cas le vrai personnage principal qui arrive a sauver la situation, et qui est gay (soit homme, soit, dans le cas des Chronolithes, femme). Autour de ces personnages sont construites des situations familiales suscitant une forme d'empathie de la part du lecteur. Genre: Personnes autistes, le pere qui n'aime pas ses enfants, ou qui s'en sert, la mere alcoolique et lesbienne (Spin), la mere cinglee (Chronolithes), des divorces, familles recomposees, etc. Cerise sur le gateau, on peut avoir aussi des references a des sujets d'actualité polemiques: religion/atheisme (Julian Comstock), evacuation d'arabes de Jerusalem (Chronolithes)... Enfin, tout ce qui peut choquer et attirer l'attention. Meme si je trouve les idees sci-fi de l'auteur tres bien, je n'en peux plus de me faire manipuler d'une maniere tellement evidente avec des sujets "chocs". Dommage que l'auteur consomme son talent de telle sorte.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  155 commentaires
59 internautes sur 66 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Refreshing plot, good science.... 5 juillet 2002
Par Lawrence J. Hines - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
I once read an interview with Peter F. Hamilton (author of the Night's Dawn Trilogy) where he stated that the trick to writing good science fiction was including enough detail to make the story plausible, but not enough that it evoked serious criticism from the reader. "The devil", the common wisdom goes, "is in the details."
In "The Chronoliths", Robert Charles Wilson demonstrates an understanding of that balance. Moreover, he has artfully wrapped it in a refreshing plot and sprinkled it with characters that seem to be underappreciated by other reviewers who have written here. The details surrounding the space-time concepts and exotic particle physics seem plausible enough for the near-future genre, but the crisp ideas that give this book strength lie not in the hard sciences, but in sociology. Wilson firmly grasps one of the most fundamental concepts in sociology - the concept of reification. As the chronoliths appear, marking sites where Kuin is victorious in battles 20 years into the future, the idea of reification emerges as the backdrop of the novel. Though Kuin is unknown, posses no army or resources, he comes to be recognized as the unstoppable conqueror in the minds of people who begin seeking to join him - it is the monuments that created Kuin. The central question becomes, "How is it that an idea that exists in the minds of people becomes external to them and coercive of them?"
Despite what some reviewers have submitted, I think Wilson demonstrates talent for character development; the problem is that he doesn't seem to favor these characters consistently. Scott is undeniably developed, anyone can relate to his inconsistencies, his loyalties, his fears and his needs. Sue - a respectable soul, heroic in action and personality - had all of the right ingredients for a great character, but these ingredients just didn't bake long enough. Wilson is to be credited, however, in developing Sue as a gay character whose sexuality was no more remarkable than that of her straight counterparts - notable, if not deep. Still, Wilson introduces literary devices which excuse these problems, even if the story does not completely recuperate.
The story is refreshing, strong in science and deftly leveraging concepts in social dynamics that sociologists and marketing executives will envy. You will not be disappointed!
41 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A quietly written, thoroughly involving grabber 6 février 2002
Par Michael K. Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
What would you do if, very suddenly, an enormous blue glass obelisk appeared in the middle of your city, destroying much of it and killing thousands? And the inscription at its base indicated that it was a monument raised by a victorious warlord a couple of decades in the future? That's the armature around which Wilson has constructed this story of Scott Warden, skilled mid-level computer tech, and his ex-wife and daughter. There's also his sort-of buddy, Hitch Paley, and Sue Chopra, his sometime employer and perhaps the only person who can get a handle on what the monuments mean. Because they continue to appear over the years, apparently mirroring the conquests of Kuin, all across Asia and the Middle East and then Latin America. Who is Kuin -- or, rather, who will he be? Should the world prepare to try to fight him? Or just regard his ascendancy as inevitable and accommodate him? But there might not be much of a society left by the time of Kuin's arrival. The thing is, this is actually the story of the people involved, what they go through over the course of the pre-Kuin years, how they adapt to economic collapse and the spread of military & governmental secrecy and power born of desperation. It's a very powerful story and it's the first work by Wilson I've read, but it certainly won't be the last.
34 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A good story, extraordinarily well told 16 août 2002
Par John S. Ryan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
I haven't read any of Robert Charles Wilson's other books, so I don't know how typical this one is of his output. But it's a darned fine book. It's difficult to review it without including any spoilers, but I won't give away any details that you wouldn't learn in the first few pages.
Here's the deal: It's 2021, and software developer Scott Warden is hanging out in Thailand with his wife and daughter when a big giant monument just sort of _appears_ out of nowhere, causing massive damage and death. What's even odder is that an inscription on the monument (dubbed a "Chronolith" by journalists) makes clear that it commemorates some sort of military victory by somebody named "Kuin" -- twenty years and three months in the future.
The rest of the story, of course, I'm not going to tell you. But it's very cool.
It will probably take you eighty or a hundred pages to get your mind around Warden (at least it did me). He's not in general a very sympathetic character, but give him time to grow on you; he's as interestingly flawed as, say, Charlie Armstead in Spider and Jeanne Robinson's _Stardance_, and you'll find that there _are_ reasons he's the way he is.
You'll also like Sulamith (Sue) Chopra, an academic odd duck who is both an engaging character and a handy person to have around for another reason.
See, most of the actual _science_ in this book takes place offstage, and Wilson relies on a device that's at least as old as Dr. John H. Watson's chronicles of Sherlock Holmes: there really _is_ some science behind the events in the novel, but the narrator isn't the one who knows it, so he conveniently doesn't have to explain it. Well, Sue Chopra does know it, and she gets to give little bits of pseudo-explanation in terms of "tau turbulence" and such -- but since Warden, rather implausibly, just can't get a handle on her explanations, the reader never really learns much about it. (That's the main reason I deducted a star from the book's rating.)
But boy, does the narrative draw you in. You'll probably have a hard time putting it down. You won't have any trouble keeping the characters straight, either; Wilson paces things nicely and gets everybody properly introduced. And it does all come together in the end, very neatly.
Don't expect a hope-filled, Spider-Robinson-like resolution, though; this is a pretty dark book and the characters are put pretty thoroughly through the mill.
(By the way, extra points to Tor Books for a very nice piece of cover art. Unlike Baen, Tor seems to have its covers designed by people who actually read the books, and that view of the giant Chronolith next to the Wat comes straight out of the text.)
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good, but not great. 27 mai 2003
Par Robert Blanchette - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
As many other reviewers have said, the concept of this book is very interesting. However, two things annoyed me about the book. First, there are numerous plot mistakes in the story. Stupid little things that probably won't annoy everyone but did annoy me. For example, characters don thermal protective suits in order to avoid freezing during an arrival. However, these suits don't seem to include gloves as people routinely touch freezing metal and leave skin behind. A minor oversight perhaps, but hard to believe that they would forget to include gloves. Small technical discrepencies like this abound and are distracting because they hurt the story's plausibility.
Second, the ending was not very satisfying. The end just doesn't have any real payoff. You don't cheer for the hero because he isn't very likeable. You don't really cheer for anyone. This book reminded me of Robert Silverberg's The Alien Years. Both books have a similar melancholy tone and unsatisfying endings.
I wanted to like this book but cannot heartily recommend it.
32 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A one sitting read 1 août 2001
Par Harriet Klausner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In the twenty-first century, American expatriate Scott Warden wastes his life enjoying the pleasures of a Thailand beach community while ignoring the needs of his wife and daughter. However, his wastrel life abruptly ends when the monolith suddenly appears in the nearby forest, destroying trees and dispensing high levels of radiation. On the artifact is an inscription celebrating a military victory that happened sixteen years into the future.
A second pillar lands in downtown Bangkok, destroying the city and killing many of its residents. Once again a military victory that occurred in the future is commemorated with a plaque. Other Chronoliths land all over Southeast Asia, causing havoc and sending Scott and his peers fleeing across the Pacific back to America. In Baltimore, Scott meets physicist Dr. Sue Chopra, who is studying the Chronoliths. She believes that the future is reaching back through time to create its past. Scott, now working for Sue, wonders whether the linear inevitability of the future with its conquering warlord Kuin can be stopped by the present choosing the path to the future?
When it comes to a thinking person's science fiction novel, genre fans know Robert Charles Wilson is one of the best. His latest tale, THE CHRONOLITHS, is a strong story focusing on the time-space continuum with the future seemingly stretching its hand into the present. Mindful in many ways of the basic theme behind The Terminator, readers will accept the time travel premise and not care that it appears conceptually flawed. Mr. Wilson provides a powerful appealing story line that hypnotizes the audience into a one sitting read.

Harriet Klausner
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