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2312 Mass Market Paperback – 25 June 2013
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- Publisher : Orbit (25 June 2013)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 657 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316098116
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316098113
- Dimensions : 10.8 x 3.81 x 19.05 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 831,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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she helps smuggle a guy to Venus then returns to Mercury where an accident occurs which causes her and a friend to spend days walking in a tunnel to safety. It is put forth that the accident may have been an attack. Swearing.
Top reviews from other countries
The world building is as ever excellent. We jump forward three centuries; the Solar System is colonised and ‘humans’ are not just humans anymore – a vast array of genetic modifications means there are dozens of types of people. All are represented – spacers, smalls, mixed sex, the list goes on. Our lead is Swan, a middle-aged artist, adventurer and well, all sorts. Her home is Terminator, a city on Mercury that moves with the sun to avoid burning up. Here KSR takes us on an evocative tour of the planet, and later we get the same treatment for asteroids turned into farms, spacecraft, zoos, and tourist attractions, we tour the moons and rings of Saturn, the skies of Venus and a climate change devasted Earth. Swan is slowly pulled into the world of politics, following in her grandmother’s footsteps as an unofficial representative of one of the main power blocks in the Solar System.
There are some oddities. The book is littered with chapters called ‘extracts’ which appear to be, well, random extracts from some text or other, and ‘lists’ which are, lists of stuff. I am not entirely sure of the purpose of these sections and I could have done without them. There is also a long chapter where Swan and another character as stuck in a long tunnel – perhaps there is some deeper meaning to it, but it passed me by.
Overall, this is worth a read for the world-building if nothing else – it is absolutely superb. The surfing on Saturn, the sailing on an ocean terrarium (terraformed asteroids), the trips around the ‘drowned’ planet Earth, which is always central to people – the homeland as it were.
This is a great crossover book for those that like mainstream science fiction but think that they may wish to visit the "Dark Side" and enter the strange realms of Hard Sci-fi. In that, at least, Mr Robinson has done a good job.
But, there's virtually no plot, no story, no arc of problems overcome. The protagonists are not attractive; being selfish, irritating and barely even character sketches. At least, Red Mars had some memorable people. I was disappointed.
If you're a big fan of sci fi and you want to experience Kim Stanley Robinson's possible future and revel in the level of detail and complexity, definitely read this book. If you're looking for a great, compelling story, I don't think this book is for you.
The basic premise is that the dying earth has seeded the solar system with habitats; enormous hollowed out asteroids forming their basic structure. Mars, Venus, even Mercury are colonised. The moons of the gas giants have their own politie. Humans are transcending evolution and are becoming gender-combined chimera. A new form of sentience embodied in artificial bodies, based on quantum processing is emerging.
Some of the other reviewers have described this as being plotless. I disagree; but much of the story line is there to immerse the reader in the worlds of 300 years hence which KSR believes will be very different to the present. However, the moral of the story is one familiar to many: that mankind, mired on Earth, is unwilling and unable to save itself, requires the intervention of a "higher" power to save itself and destroys the enabler of its salvation through ignorance and fear. Only the enlightened artists keep the faith.