{5/5} “You may think you are inured, that nothing outside the mind can really interest you anymore, as sophisticated and knowledgeable as you are. But you would be wrong. You are a creature of the sun. The beauty and terror of it seen from so close can empty any mind, thrust anyone into a trance… The sight of it can strike thought clean out of your head. People seek it out precisely for that.”

Swan’s grandmother Alex has died. She soon finds out that Alex was involved in some secret activities — Swan follows in her footsteps to various planets and habitats, and eventually to Earth. Earth was in trouble as always, but Alex and her friends had an ingenious plan to help it out. Meanwhile they were also concerned about the suspicious activities of some artificial intelligences.

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson was published in 2012.

In between the regular chapters are short chapters with snippets that flesh out the background of this future. I’m usually impatient with such things but here I found most of them interesting.

Like Marooned in Realtime, people are trying to figure out what humanity should do with itself. But since there are billions of humans, they don’t all have to agree.

The action ranges all the way from Mercury to Pluto.

It’s a thoughtful story, involved with things like music, art, and helping people whether they like it or not. One concept I thought was interesting was the pseudoiterative: “one performs the ritual of the day attentive to both the joy of the familiar and the shiver of the accidental.”

If you read science fiction, you should put this on your list.

I read Robinson’s Three Californias trilogy years ago and loved it. I also read Red Mars — I liked it but it didn’t grab me as much as I wanted it to. I will read more of his work.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 3rd, 2014 at 10:37 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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