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2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
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2312 (edition 2012)

by Kim Stanley Robinson

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6675214,382 (3.41)59
Member:cshalizi
Title:2312
Authors:Kim Stanley Robinson
Info:Orbit (2012), Kindle Edition, 568 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, Electronic book
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Tags:science fiction, Kindle

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2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

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» See also 59 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
2312 is an audacious work. Within its confines we find ourselves presented with a future humanity that has somehow managed to populate our solar system - in its near entirety - in a meaningful way. Robinson manages to pull off the unthinkable by somehow rationalizing, and explaining, how life has come to exist in each of these confines. On that level, it's a monumental achievement, in and of itself, given the relative plausibility of the technology outlined.

We follow the trail of our main protagonist, Swan, as she attempts to uncover a plot that destroyed her beloved home city of Terminator on Mercury.

Throughout the work, political, ideological, and personal struggles come to the fore, as we are taken down the road of this space-opera whodunit.

So, on the pro side, the science was well thought out and, for the most part, it was an engaging read. On the con side, however, for me it was just too wordy. A lot more 'extra stuff' seemed to be present than seemed necessary. Further, it seemed to vacillate between making me feel like a lexicon-deprived moron, and a genius listening to a glib conversation at a local Wal-Mart. Specifically, the writing style seemed to ebb and flow in places, in what I can only surmise were lingering evidences of Robinson's wrapping up a section that required a goodly amount of passion and research, and then leading into something that just 'moved the story along'. The reason, perhaps, it stuck out so plainly - in my opinion - is that I, too, suffer from this malady when writing. And I make myself crazy, believe me.

In closing, this is a recommendable read, if for no other reason than the concepts presented within will make you think. If you enjoyed Ian McDonald's "River Of Gods", Eric S. Nylund's "Signal To Noise", or Larry Niven's "Ringworld", I believe that you would enjoy this one as well. ( )
  HeathDAlberts | Sep 14, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book, but it was not about plot. Rather, the plot was buried under a ton of writing. I'm not sure if that was purposeful or not. It made this book seem like the introduction to a series, because so little actually happened, and there really wasn't much resolution at the end. The book begins immediately after the death of Alex, Lion of Mercury. Her adult granddaughter, Swan, has difficulty with her grief which is not helped when she finds out Alex left her only a message to carry information to some colleagues. Swan meets them, falls in with their intrigues, visits most of the inhabited planets in the system, and is trapped underground with Wahram from Saturn after a terrorist attack. It goes on like this for about 640 pages. ( )
  Pferdina | Aug 17, 2014 |
Years ago I used to consume science fiction in great quantities, but somehow I moved onto other kinds of novels. Then [b:Rav Hisda's Daughter, Book I: Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery|13542525|Rav Hisda's Daughter, Book I Apprentice A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery|Maggie Anton|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333225010s/13542525.jpg|19106814] was selected by Library Journal as Best Historical Fiction for 2012 and while on their website, I saw that "2312" was chosen best Science Fiction. I waited 3 months for my name to get to the top of my library's hold list, and the wait was worth it.

This book is wonderfully creative and superbly crafted, with a tight plot that is not only science fiction but political thriller, murder mystery, and romance all in one story. Robinson takes us into a future world without any information dump, letting us learn about it as his characters experience it. His science is so plausible that I never had to suspend disbelieve, no matter how fantastic the various worlds and inhabitants become. All the various and varied threads come together to form a whole at the finale, with a happy and satisfying ending.

As an author who must bring my readers into ancient worlds almost as bizarre as Robinson's future ones, I learned so much from his writing. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough.

[a:Maggie Anton|79249|Maggie Anton|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1337899260p2/79249.jpg] ( )
  Maggie.Anton | Jul 18, 2014 |
Reader, I liked it a lot.

I am a sucker for solid and imaginative world-building, and KSR does an excellent job here- and not just with 1 world, but with many; many ways in which humans expend into the greater Solar System and both adapt themselves and adapt the Solar system to fit well.

The plot? well, it's often amorphous, and is definitely secondary to the world-building... though it does spring organically from that. Similarly with the characters- they are interesting, and decently drawn, and fairly true to themselves, but that's not the focus of the book.

There's certainly some utopia/dystopia elements, with Earth being both necessary and a dystopic developmental sink (mainly due to archaic politics). Sadly, this is happening now, has been happening for centuries, and does not look likely to stop. The other settlements are more in the utopic line (with the exception of Venus), but the variety is breathtaking, and they do offer a hope that we can make it as a species if we can finally throw off more of the archaic forms.

It's a huge book, and parts read more quickly and easily than others. I know I'm going to re-read it in a couple of years. ( )
  cissa | Mar 22, 2014 |
In general I'm fine with scifi that has a certain amount of science rich gobblygook, pages and pages about the science behind the strange future world or worlds in which the main characters find themselves, provided that the central story is compelling and the character are relatable. Solariscomes to mind as a book that pulls this off very well. The science was so strange as to be truly fascinating and I genuinely cared about what happened to the character.

I'm not sure 2312 worked as well for me, though I can see why many people loved it. The solar system, from Mercury to Pluto to various asteroids are populated by settlers, some on worlds an some on moons, and each settlement has a different means of adaptation or terraforming to ensure the survival of the populace. Much of the details of these worlds and their cultures are filled out in a multitude of side chapters, which provide either lists of information, extracts from scientific or sociological research, or chapters focused only on describing the world. All of this certainly paints a vivid picture and it's clear the author had a clear vision of a complex future society spread out among planets and moons.

There were really two problems in this for me. The first is that there were so many worlds and spaceships (called terrariums) with indiviu ecosystems that after a while it became information overload. I started out fascinated by the civilization of Mercury, with its giant domed city, set on tracks that span the planet like a belt in order to keep the city on the shadow side of the planet and avoid the burning sun. It also has the sun walkers (among whom is the main character Song), who are able to traverse the planet on foot, because the planet rotates just slowly enough for them to stay well ahead of the sunrise.

But by the time I got to, oh, about the fifth world or spaceship to be described in detail, I was kind of over it and was just wanting to get back to the story.

The second problem is that the story doesn't seem to have quite a strong enough plot. Ultimately, the resolution was satisfying, but Song was all over the place in terms of personality of travel. Throughout she sets off across the solar system to accomplish a goal only to not have not much happen half the time. It began to seem that te plot had been twisted into this form and insisted on all these travels just to give the author an excuse to describe in detail all these various ships and worlds. I think I would have preferred to have had a focus on fewer world, which would have let me immerse in them more completely and get to know the characters better in relation to the local culture.

That said, I also get that all the detail of the worlds and the scientific asides are a part of the appeal for a lot of people. It just wasn't for me. ( )
  andreablythe | Mar 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
In his vibrant, often moving new novel, "2312," Robinson's extrapolation is hard-wired to a truly affecting personal love story.
 
Kim Stanley Robinson's 17th novel is complex and sometimes bewildering, 500 pages crammed full of strange but decent characters whose actions play out against a vastly constructed utopian background.
added by karenb | editThe Guardian, M John Harrison (Jun 14, 2012)
 
... [Robinson's] boldest trip into all of the marvelous SF genres—ethnography, future shock, screed against capitalism, road to earth—and all of the ways to thrill and be thrilled. It's a future history that's so secure and comprehensive that it reads as an account of the past—a trick of craft that belongs almost exclusively to the supreme SF task force of Le Guin and Margaret Atwood.
added by karenb | editSlate, Choire Sicha (Jun 1, 2012)
 
(Starred review) In a spectacularly depicted future of interplanetary colonization, humanity has spread across the entire solar system, from miniature biomes in hollowed-out asteroids to a moving city racing the fatal rays of the sun on Mercury.
added by karenb | editPublishers Weekly (Mar 5, 2012)
 
A small, clever novel obscured rather than enlightened by philosophy, synthesis, analysis and travelogue.
added by karenb | editKirkus Reviews (Mar 1, 2012)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kim Stanley Robinsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benshoff, KirkCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity's only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future. The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them"--… (more)

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Orbit Books

Two editions of this book were published by Orbit Books.

Editions: 0316098124, 0316098116

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