Axis is the follow up to Robert Charles Wilson’s Hugo-Winning Spin. It felt like a typical sequel that comes after a strong sci-fi/fantasy start: It’s weak, unfocused, and trying to weave more supporting lattice for the arc of the entire story. The writing feels formulaic, the author tried a bit too hard to tie things to the first book, and there’s very little new stuff going on. The pacing and excitement and mystery of Spin is missing, and instead it’s a boring journey along with the book’s protagonists as they plod along towards the uneventful conclusion.
Which, in short, translates to: This book is a pile of crap, poorly written, and obviously just stalling a filler for Vortex.
Here, I’ll spoil the entire book, so you can just jump straight from Spin to Vortex. Some people inject the hypothetical-communication drug into a fetus which grows up to be about twelve until the planet gets covered with hypothetical residue, and we discover that the hypotheticals shed themselves and rebuild their memory every ten thousand years or so. The boy is uploaded to the collective memory, where it can also access the collective memory of Jason and so forth, and all the good guys that don’t continue to the end of the book also get uploaded. There’s some filler along the way such as another arch popping out of the ground, a failed marriage, and a poorly written romance. 2/10.