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The Chronoliths Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of The Chronoliths



Tor, Aug 2001, 22.95, 301 pp.
ISBN: 0312873840

    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
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner





Tor, Aug 2001, 22.95, 301 pp.
ISBN: 0312873840

    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
This report prepared by Harriet Klausne








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Chapter Analysis of The Chronoliths

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Plot & Themes

Time Travel:    -   largely backwards/past Spying & Investigations    -   Yes Tech./$$$/Info hunt    -   Yes Stealing/recovering/destroying    -   info about lifeform(s)/society/phenomena    -   state secrets Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Time Travel story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed    -   wealthy Age:    -   20's-30's

Setting

Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a moderate amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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