The Chronoliths and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading The Chronoliths on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Chronoliths [Hardcover]

Robert Charles Wilson
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $12.26  
Mass Market Paperback --  
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Aug. 11 2001 Tor Science Fiction
Scott Warden is a man haunted by the past-and soon to be haunted by the future.

In early twenty-first-century Thailand, Scott is an expatriate slacker. Then, one day, he inadvertently witnesses an impossible event: the violent appearance of a 200-foot stone pillar in the forested interior. Its arrival collapses trees for a quarter mile around its base, freezing ice out of the air and emitting a burst of ionizing radiation. It appears to be composed of an exotic form of matter. And the inscription chiseled into it commemorates a military victory--sixteen years in the future.

Shortly afterwards, another, larger pillar arrives in the center of Bangkok-obliterating the city and killing thousands. Over the next several years, human society is transformed by these mysterious arrivals from, seemingly, our own near future. Who is the warlord "Kuin" whose victories they note?

Scott wants only to rebuild his life. But some strange loop of causality keeps drawing him in, to the central mystery and a final battle with the future.
The Chronoliths is a 2002 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel and the winner of the 2002 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It was Hitch Paley, rolling his beat-up Daimler motorbike across the packed sand of the beach behind the Haat Thai Dance Pavilion, who invited me to witness the end of an age. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Sci-Fi July 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book superior to Darwinia which Wilson wrote first. If he continues to top his previous efforts like this, I look forward to reading his next work.
The basic story follows an initially irresponsible expatriate in Thailand who witnesses the arrival of the first "Chronolith" which has been sent back in time by an unknown conqueror. They continue to appear with dates of victories in the near future.
As everyone scrambles to learn the secret behind them, the expatriate turns out to be something of a catalyst for the story and even a hero of sorts.
The concept is unique and suspenseful with some attempts to explain the phenomonon that don't bog the story down in technicalese. Best of all Wilson pulls the whole thing off in a reasonable length unlike some of the bloated and under edited books inflicted on us lately by "name" authors like David Hamilton.
If you are looking for a taut thriller with some humour and even family drama plus a great Science Fiction concept and a twist ending; pick this up. It is a greaat summer read.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Turbulent Times June 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In Wilson's Chronliths, Scott Warden tells of how the Chronoliths -- giant monuments sent back in time about 20 years by some entity known as Kuin -- have effected his life via his memoirs (this book). Scott was on the scene soon after the arrival of the first Chronolith in Thailand. Because of this, Sue Chopra -- a brilliant physicist -- takes an interest in him. Sue is determined to figure out how Kuin is sending the Chronoliths back in time...and ultimately how to destroy them.
This is the second book I've read by Wilson and this is the second time I have felt like the characterizations Wilson puts together are quite decent, but that the story itself is lacking...though Wilson's ideas on the social upheaval brought on by the arrival of the monuments are worthy of note...I just wish he had gone farther with it. In both the Chronoliths and the other Wilson book I've read, Mysterium, Wilson skips around in time quite a bit. Maybe it is because of this that his plots seem to suffer. The overall concept of the Chronoliths was an interesting one and the general way in which Wilson handles it isn't bad -- via Scott's memoirs -- I just wish he had put a bit more time into drawing the plot better.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the SF? May 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A science fiction story with a great premise: giant monuments, commemorating a conqueror's future victories, start appearing in cities all over Earth, creating social and political chaos--perhaps the very chaos that led to him to power in the first place. It's an original idea, and I love time travel, so I had high hopes for this book.
Unfortunately, the story never lived up to its potential. The mechanics of the Chronoliths and the associated time travel were never explained, he barely touched on the potentially fascinating aspect of how politics and culture would be affected, and the story had a very vague and unsatisfying ending. It barely even qualifies as science fiction; Kuin and the Chronoliths were pushed far in the background in favor of the extremely boring relationship between the father and daughter. You could have taken the Chronoliths out of the story completely, and it wouldn't have made much of a difference at all--definitely not a good sign in a science fiction novel. I was enormously frustrated by the wasted potential in this book.
Loved the idea, disappointed with the execution. Gorgeous cover art, though.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand SF concept, wonderful human protagonists April 20 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is, quite simply, one of the best SF books I have ever read. This book made Wilson my favorite SF author.
It starts with an intriguing SF concept: what if a giant pillar appeared in Bangkok, marking the victory of a future warlord? What would be its impact on society? How could such an event come about and why must people in the future send mementos to the past?
On this premise, "The Chronoliths" fully deliver in intrigue, surprise twists and clever, thoughtful SF. But what makes this novel a masterpiece in my eye is how every bit of clever SF is actually wrapped in very human events.
The protagonist of "The Chronoliths" is a normal guy living in a fantastic time. He suffers marital difficulties, insecure, lacks confidence. That is not to say he wallows in self-pity, far from it; but his choices, whenever they are made, are rooted in believeable, poignant humanity.
Robert Charles Wilson is such a great author, in my opinion, because even though he writes about grand concepts, he never loses sight of his characters. Too often SF authors are so lost in their grand SF plots that they end up propping cardboard cutout characters against their fantastic stories. Wilson not only outdoes them in the scale of his ideas, but his concepts resonate so much more that we see them happening through very human eyes.
I cannot recommend this book enough. If you like it, know that Wilson's style is consistent, and that other novels of his (I recommend "Blind Lake" and "Darwinia") are filled with the same sense of wonder and deep humanity.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for simple reading..... Feb. 24 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you like nice tight simple stories with everything laid out for you to follow then this book is not for you.
The Chronoliths is a tale where our protagonist Scott Warden is reluctantly drawn into the confusing world of theoritical Physics as the world slowly collapses with the appearance of a gigantic monolith from 20 years in the future. A monument dedicating a great victory by the Warlord Kuin.
The first one simply creates confusion and questions. The second one creates fear as it touches down and destorys a city.
Scott's child is hurt, his wife leaves him and the only way home is to do a "favor" for a drug dealer.
He returns home and trys to win back his wife but as always everything continues to fall apart as society slowly falls apart as more Chronoliths appear.
Then an old College Professor Sue Chopra appears; talking about solving the riddle of the monuments and how to detect them! Is she wack nut or a genious? Scott enters a world he thinks he does not belong and has to deal with the collapse of society and the rise of the Kuinists.
There is more but it should be a surprise also it is not a "typical" ending!
Scott is a character that takes awhile to start liking. He is a screwup and yet the reluctant hero. In time he grows on you. Especially, as he tries to set things right in his life and he comes through in times of need.
Sue Chopra is definatly a fun character as you will wonder if she is missing a few screws or if she has the answer for everything.
I am going to look into his other books now!
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story and writing
This novel was amazingly well written, the best I've read this summer. The story is intriguing and keeps you coming back. I'm partial to first person novels. Read more
Published 1 month ago by JF
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks Like Nonsense...
..., I mean: please - The Chronoliths? The vague, futurey/fantasy-inspired cover art?

Despite appearances, however, this is a mature, heartbreaking, but ultimately... Read more
Published on March 11 2009 by Robert Pattison
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn’t put it down, and it made me go look up Calabi-Yau
I’ve been working hard to read a lot of the ARC’s I received at Book Expo America and have read and reviewed three. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2007 by Larry Ketchersid
4.0 out of 5 stars unique ideas
I picked up one of his earlier works -- I want to say 'by accident', but it's tough to 'accidentally read a novel' -- by chance a half-decade ago, and it was one of those few books... Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2007 by B. Salomons
5.0 out of 5 stars What a clever concept.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The concept of a future conqueror sending back victory monuments to influence public opinion and smooth his way for conquest is just brilliant. Read more
Published on March 18 2004 by V. A McCoy
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Science Fiction Writer" Who Can Actually WRITE
I won't add much to the positive reviews this book has already gotten. I first got hooked on Robert Charles Wilson by his wonderful novel "Darwinia," then read his first... Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2004 by John Beadle
4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent, quick read
This is the third book by Mr. Wilson that I've read and all three were intelligent and interesting, although not exactly action packed. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2004 by Dan Donlin
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good Writing, Pointless Story
I tried to read Darwinia, an earlier novel by this author, and put in down due to its inability to interest me in what was a most intriguing plot. Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2003 by Jack M. Walter
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category