{5/5} “A common error in etiquette, among people who had only recently arrived at Izzy, was to talk about Earth as a place that it was possible to go back to. As if this were a temporary mission like all of the previous ones. Dinah said nothing. Markus would realize his mistake, if he hadn’t already.”

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, published in 2015

The moon has been broken into 7 pieces. At first it seems like there’s no danger to humanity, but then scientists realize that the crashing of the pieces into each other is exponential. Eventually there will be a ring around the Earth, and Earth will be bombarded with trillions of meteorites. The people on the International Space Station are told to expect new arrivals in orbit — the world is banding together to send up as many arks as they can.

This has the feel of a Kim Stanley Robinson novel.

It shows humans reacting to situations they haven’t encountered before — on the other hand, humans always act like humans. It’s about survival in difficult situations, and the long game of genetic engineering.

It’s another Stephenson masterpiece, and utterly gripping. When I was getting close to the end I was mildly concerned about how it was going to be wrapped up, but it was done so beautifully.

I’ve read 9 of Stephenson’s books. I previously reviewed Reamde.

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