Summary

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 22 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.
©2015 Robert Charles Wilson (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Madeleine on 20-05-15

Compelling Concepts

This was the first R.C. Wilson novel I have read. I have a particular love of social science fiction of all types. The Affinities has a nice meaty premise; social personality matching taken to the extreme. It's a competently written book - not at all literary, style-wise, but good.

The overall structure of the plot was solid and goes along at a pretty fast clip, but I found the character development a little lacking. Especially when it came to antagonistic characters. They felt very cardboardish to me.

I'm also one of the few people who is not a massive Scott Brick fan. I find him over-dramatically emotive in his readings.

But if you like this narrator, and enjoy a clever, fast-paced alternative fiction thriller, I think this might hit the spot.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Phillip on 05-08-15

This could be amazing...

... if he'd given us the whole story, not just the first half. Once again, Robert Charles Wilson commits a home run in concept, if not in execution. It turns out that a 60% majority of humanity can be divided into one of 26 groups known as Affinities. An Affinity is a group where the members share a common psychological as well as genetic similarity. Some Affinities are larger than others, and our main character is a member of Tau, the largest Affinity. Over the course of the book, we see the Affinities go from a privately owned, Facebook like service, to something that is predicted to supplant governments and alter the trajectory of the human race.

Now the reason for the low review. The book only takes us to the point where we don't know specifically what is going to happen between governments and the Affinities but we know it is immanent, as the book stops rather abruptly. I know multiple book stories sell better than single books, but I would rather have a 12 hundred page complete story than wait a year for what is effectively the next page of the manuscript. Bad cess to the publisher, the editor, and Mr. Wilson. One of them should have put their foot down and published this as a single story.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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