The Affinities


The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson

Synopsis: In our rapidly changing world of social media, everyday people are more and more able to sort themselves into affinity 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, and behavioral. To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one’s life.

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 Tau, one of the largest. Joining Tau is utopian–at first. Problems in all areas of Adam’s life begin to simply sort themselves out as he becomes part of a worldwide network of people dedicated to helping one another–to helping him.

But there are other Affinities than Tau, with differing skills, strengths, and views about what to do with their newfound powers. As all twenty-two Affinities go global, they rapidly chip away at the power of governments, of corporations, of all the institutions of the old world. Then, with dreadful inevitability, the Affinities begin to go to war–with one another.

For Adam, and for the world, human life will never be the same.

Published: April 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0765384447

Author’s Homepage:

Social media will certainly be one of the main points in any history of our current era.  In The Affinities, Wilson posits the discovery of an algorithm that is able to link people with compatible (not always similar) personalities.  People forming extremely strong social bonds as a result, the novel puts to the test the notion that blood is thicker than water.  Plot is a bit thin, but the book nevertheless strikes a chord that nicely echoes our increasingly non-nuclear unit society and its growing dependence on the technology linking our interaction. – From 10 Great Books on SciFi 3

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