Thursday, July 05, 2012


by Kim Stanley Robinson

With 2312, Robinson seems comfortably at the top of his game. This is clearly the same storyteller who brought us the Red Mars series, but he’s aged - he’s willing now to gloss over some of the details and let his mind take him where it will. Which is generally a good thing - we get a whirlwind tour of our own Solar System, a system chock full of humans, and therefore full of art, culture, sex, violence, and engineering. Robinson’s love of the natural world(s) is in evidence in every chapter, but instead of the long passages on Martian geology, we get lists, extracts, found poetry, and jaunty hikes. Still, those with short attention spans may never appreciate Robinson’s style: though we encounter murder mysteries, terrorism and catastrophe, this novel is more concerned with wonder than suspense. We follow the long, unfolding evolution of the human race - and its individuals - as only Robinson can deliver it. And, at its heart, this is a romance, both literally and metaphorically.

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