{4.5/5} “There were always only a few people alive in the ship at any given time who had a real understanding of how the quantum computer worked, or even what it was. Now that group was smaller than ever before. In fact maybe no one had ever understand what it was.”

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, published in 2015

Freya is on board a ship that’s getting close to its destination — a new world for humans to live on. But in the meantime her mother Devi, the chief engineer, is busy fixing things that are breaking. Freya goes on wanderjahr, a tradition for teenagers — she gets to know many people on the ship and what they like and don’t like about living on it. Meanwhile, Devi instructs the ship’s AI to compose a narrative of all the important things that happened.

It’s a bit science-y but the story is worth reading. Parts are from Freya’s point of view and parts are from the AI’s point of view.

In addition to the human characters — mostly Freya, her parents, and her friend Euan — the AI proves to be an interesting character as well.

It’s about how 2000 people — and one AI — make decisions. It does a great job at showing the complexity of an interstellar voyage, as well as the possibilities of living on a planet other than Earth.

Robinson comes to a different conclusion than in most books like this. But his argument is persuasive, as he’s obviously done lots of research. We’ll see what kind of response he gets.

I’ve read 7 of Robinson’s books. I previously reviewed his novel Shaman.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 15th, 2017 at 5:43 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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