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The Affinities
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read, Open EPUB eBook)

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Published:
Tom Doherty Associates 2015
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Description

In our rapidly-changing world of "social media", everyday people are more and more able to sort themselves into social groups based on finer and finer criteria. In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities, this process is supercharged by new analytic technologies—genetic, brain-mapping, behavioral. To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one's life. It's like family, and more than family. Your fellow members aren't just like you, and they aren't just people who are likely to like you. They're also the people with whom you can best cooperate in all areas of life—creative, interpersonal, even financial. At loose ends both professional and personal, young Adam Fisk takes the suite of tests to see if he qualifies for any of the Affinities, and finds that he's a match for one of the largest, the one called Tau. It's utopian—at first. Problems in all areas of his life begin to simply sort themselves out, as he becomes part of a global network of people dedicated to helping one another—to helping him. But as the differing Affinities put their new powers to the test, they begin to rapidly chip away at the power of governments, of global corporations, of all the institutions of the old world. Then, with dreadful inevitability, the different Affinities begin to go to war—with one another. What happens next will change Adam, and his world, forever.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read, Open EPUB eBook
Street Date:
04/21/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781466800779
ASIN:
B00O0FZQ4G
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Robert Charles Wilson. (2015). The Affinities. Tom Doherty Associates.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Robert Charles Wilson. 2015. The Affinities. Tom Doherty Associates.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Robert Charles Wilson, The Affinities. Tom Doherty Associates, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Robert Charles Wilson. The Affinities. Tom Doherty Associates, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 19:38:50
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 19:38:50
Last Metadata Check:
Feb 21, 2021 11:03:29
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OverDrive Product Record

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        Robert Charles Wilson was born in California and lives in Toronto. His novel Spin won science fiction's Hugo Award in 2006. Earlier, he won the Philip K. Dick Award for his debut novel A Hidden Place; Canada's Aurora Award for Darwinia; and the John W. Campbell Award for The Chronoliths.

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shortDescription

In our rapidly-changing world of "social media", everyday people are more and more able to sort themselves into social groups based on finer and finer criteria. In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities, this process is supercharged by new analytic technologies—genetic, brain-mapping, behavioral. To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one's life. It's like family, and more than family. Your fellow members aren't just like you, and they aren't just people who are likely to like you. They're also the people with whom you can best cooperate in all areas of life—creative, interpersonal, even financial. At loose ends both professional and personal, young Adam Fisk takes the suite of tests to see if he qualifies for any of the Affinities, and finds that he's a match for one of the largest, the one called Tau. It's utopian—at first. Problems in all areas of his life begin to simply sort themselves out, as he becomes...

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title
The Affinities
fullDescription

In our rapidly-changing world of "social media", everyday people are more and more able to sort themselves into social groups based on finer and finer criteria. In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities, this process is supercharged by new analytic technologies—genetic, brain-mapping, behavioral. To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one's life. It's like family, and more than family. Your fellow members aren't just like you, and they aren't just people who are likely to like you. They're also the people with whom you can best cooperate in all areas of life—creative, interpersonal, even financial. At loose ends both professional and personal, young Adam Fisk takes the suite of tests to see if he qualifies for any of the Affinities, and finds that he's a match for one of the largest, the one called Tau. It's utopian—at first. Problems in all areas of his life begin to simply sort themselves out, as he becomes part of a global network of people dedicated to helping one another—to helping him. But as the differing Affinities put their new powers to the test, they begin to rapidly chip away at the power of governments, of global corporations, of all the institutions of the old world. Then, with dreadful inevitability, the different Affinities begin to go to war—with one another. What happens next will change Adam, and his world, forever.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content:

        "Wilson's trademark well-developed characters and understated but compelling prose are very much in evidence in this quietly believable tale of the near future."

      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews

      • content: "An intriguing and seriously innovative attempt to grapple with some of the issues raised by the 21st century's obsession with social media."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 2, 2015
        Wilson (Burning Paradise) works a fascinating transformation on one of the oldest plot devices in SF: people who are widely hated for their inherent difference from the rest of humankind. Those who join one of the 22 Affinity groups are normal people with normal abilities, but careful screening by InterAlia, a private company, places them in groups of particularly compatible fellow members, allowing for an unusual degree of cooperation and happiness. Adam Fisk, dissatisfied with his life and his unhappy family, gets tested and is assigned to the Tau group. At his first Tau gathering, he feels like he’s finally come home. As the years pass, however, laid-back Tau and the stiff-necked Het group consistently outperform the others, as well as the unaffiliated. InterAlia goes bankrupt, portable test kits become available, and international tensions soar; the U.S. government considers legislation designed to corral the Affinities’ successes, and Tau and Het increasingly come into conflict. Adam is caught up in the growing violence with no idea of how to stop it. Wilson’s trademark well-developed characters and understated but compelling prose are very much in evidence in this quietly believable tale of the near future.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2015
        Social science fiction from the author of Burning Paradise (2013, etc.).Genius researcher Meir Klein of InterAlia develops reliable methods for sorting clients into social affinity groups. The members of such Affinities enjoy an intuitive, almost telepathic rapport, enabling them to cooperate to better themselves and their Affinities. (Think Facebook "friends" but genuine and extended to all phases of life, with a dab of Isaac Asimov's psychohistory.) The drawback is that many people qualify for none of the groups, putting them at a huge disadvantage. Graphic design student Adam Fisk's life is falling apart until he tests into Tau, the largest Affinity. To his astonished gratification he finds that his problems-job, money, family, accommodation-rapidly disappear. In turn he is able to contribute to the needs and desires of his fellow Taus. However, Adam does note a distinct antipathy toward those not of the Affinity, even family members. Then Klein, who has disassociated himself from monopolistic InterAlia, requests Tau's help in releasing the codes underpinning the testing system. Adam, with Tau bigwig Damian Levay and girlfriend Amanda Mehta, meets secretly with Klein, who's dying. Klein's further research predicts that current geopolitical instabilities (most notably, dangerous disputes between China and India) will worsen-because of the Affinities' very existence. Not only that, but the groups will soon come to view each other as rivals. Soon, sure enough, Klein is murdered. But who's responsible? InterAlia? Or Het, Tau's powerful, hierarchical rival Affinity? And what did Klein mean when he hinted at the possibility of still other and perhaps vastly superior methods of social engagement and cooperation? All this unfolds as a series of slow epiphanies as Adam understands via his experiences the implications of his journey from bewildered disconnection to unequivocal engagement and back. An intriguing and seriously innovative attempt to grapple with some of the issues raised by the 21st century's obsession with social media.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 15, 2015

        In the near future, a sociologist invents an algorithm that can be used to find people who will get along with each other, collaborate well together--share an affinity, in other words. Adam Fisk signs up to get tested for an affinity and his life changes permanently when he is placed in the Tau group. What begins as a social media service develops into cultlike cliques are resented by those left out. Adam and his new friends will do anything to protect Tau from those who seek to dismantle the affinities and from a rival relation who seeks to consolidate power in their own hands. VERDICT An exciting conceptual premise of social media run amok is given a shallow treatment here. Wilson (author of the sf series that began with the Hugo Award-winning Spin) forms his groups and sets them at odds without giving any compelling reason other than the plot-needed conflict.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        April 15, 2015
        Acclaimed SF veteran Wilson speculates on the evolution of social media and its implications on for? the long-standing institutions that command our loyalty. Today, people can follow their likes on Facebook or find companionship through the sophisticated algorithms of dating sites, but in Wilson's near-future story, a company called InterAlia boasts that you can find yourself within others and transcend relationships bound by family, faith, or political party. Adam Fisk takes the test and finds himself aligned with the Taus, one of the 22 Affinity groups. His life immediately changes for the better: he has more friends, better lovers, and mentors who want to help him find his way. As the Affinity groups gain power and vie for supremacy, they threaten to change the structure of society; governments and other institutions begin to push back for control. Wilson does a passable job at balancing Fisk's personal story with greater societal themes, but the resolution to the overall story is a bit rushed. Still, this will interest SF fans with a little technogeek in them.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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