At Blind Lake, a federal research installation in 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 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 is cut off with the outside world, and no one knows why.The scientists go on with their research. Among them are Marguerite Hauser and the man she recently divorced, Raymond Scutter. Ray believes their efforts are doomed; that culture is arbitrary, and the lobsters will forever be an enigma. Marguerite believes there is a commonality of sentient thought; our failure to understand is our own ignorance.The behavior of the alien she has been tracking seems to be developing an elusive logic and she comes to feel that the alien is somehow aware of the project's observations. But her time is running out. Ray is turning hostile, stalking her. The military cordon is tightening. Understanding had better come soon. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
- Hugo Awards
- New York Times Notable Books of the Year
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1 . waiting for sequel
Posted January 02, 2010 by imsoweird , BrewsterAfter reading Spin, which is a straight 5, I was anxious to read Blind Lake. This was a very good read and I am now going into book withdrawals since I have finished it. My hope is that there is a sequel, for the ending, in my opinion, needs a more complete explanation. It is for that reason that I have given a 4, not a 5. However, I will be first in line for the sequel.
August 04, 2003
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Excerpt from Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson
The New Astronomy
Telescopes of surpassing power revealed to her the unrevealed depths of the cosmos on polished mirrors of floating mercury. The dead worlds of Sirius, the half-formed worlds of Arcturus, the rich but lifeless worlds whirling around vast Antares and Betelgeuse -- these she studied, without avail.
-- Polton Cross, "Wings Across the Cosmos," 1938
It could end at any time.
Chris Carmody rolled into a zone of warmth in an unfamiliar bed: a depression in the cotton sheets where someone had lately been. Someone: her name was elusive, still lost in layers of sleep. But he craved the warmth of her recent presence, the author of this lingering heat. He pictured a face, benevolent and smiling and a little bit walleyed. He wondered where she had gone.
It had been a while since he had shared anyone's bed. Strange how what he relished, as much as anything, was the heat she left behind. This space he entered in her absence.
It could end at any time. Had he dreamed the words No. He had written them in his notebook three weeks ago, transcribing a comment from a grad student he had met in the cafeteria at Crossbank half a continent away. We're doing amazing work, and there's a kind of rush, knowing it could end at any time...
Reluctantly, he opened his eyes. Across this small bedroom, the woman with whom he had slept was wrangling herself into a pair of pantyhose. She caught his glance and smiled cautiously. "Hey, baby," she said. "Not to rush you, but didn't you say you had an appointment somewhere "
Memory caught up with him. Her name was Lacy. No surname offered. She was a waitress at the local Denny's. Her hair was red and long in the current style and she was at least ten years younger than Chris. She had read his book. Or claimed to have read it. Or at least to have heard of it. She suffered from a lazy eye, which gave her a look of constant abstraction. While he blinked away sleep, she shrugged a sleeveless dress over freckled shoulders.
Lacy wasn't much of a housekeeper. He noted a scattering of dead flies on the sunny windowsill. The makeup mirror on the side table, where, the night before, she had razored out skinny, precise lines of cocaine. A fifty-dollar bill lay on the carpet beside the bed, rolled so tightly it resembled a budding palm leaf or some bizarre stick-insect, a rust spot of dried blood on one end.
It was early fall, still warm in Constance, Minnesota. Balmy air turned gauzy curtains. Chris relished the sense of being in a place he had never been and to which he would in all likelihood never return.
"You're actually going to the Lake today, huh "
He reclaimed his watch from a stack of the print edition of People on the nightstand. He had an hour to make his connection. "Actually going there." He wondered how much he had said to this woman last night.