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2312

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,8151087,307 (3.4)103
"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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» See also 103 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
This book is about the investigation into an attack on a Mercury outpost. The main character, Swan Er Hong, is on Mercury during the attack and is lead on a mystery from her recently deceased relative, Alex. Swan is an expert in building ecosystems, mostly in Asteroids. Alex had left her a message that leads her to Fitz Wahram from Titan who Swan describes as a toad, big chest, big stomach, short legs. He is the main supporting character we don’t really know much about except he seems to be an official of some sort and had access to a lot of resources.

Earth’s global warming had destroyed most ecosystem and most of the animal life. During the investigation, Swan and Wahram take it upon themselves to fix the Earth by parachuting animals throughout the world in aerogel bubbles. I’m guessing Kim Stanley Robinson (KSR) doesn’t understand either aerogel nor bouyancy.

Swan, as a protagonist, doesn’t seem to make many decisions. During the majority of the book she is a passive observer and just goes with the flow of events. I understand that KSR writes a lot about politics and our pollution issues, but the Earth repopulation seems to be given more thought than the main plot. And it seems peculiar that Swan and Wahram are of one mind on how to go about a solution. It’s even more surprising that this simplistic action would actually work without first restoring ecosystems for the animals.

The pacing of the book is odd. For the most part it is very slow. This is compounded by the tendency of KSR to use unusual words that you either have to look up or ignore. Admittedly, many of them are interesting, but the habit just slows the reading process. Too often there are simpler synonyms that would have worked just as well, except for slowing down the reader.

The other issue in pacing is that between paragraphs too much can happen. After leaving Mercury for Pluto, there is only one blank line between being barely underway and arriving, there is no indication of time passing.

Clear to the end, I was expecting the book to pick up, I’ve liked other books he’s written. This one just didn’t pan out and the ending really felt anticlimactic. ( )
  Nodosaurus | Jan 15, 2022 |
Not as amazing as New York 2140, but still enjoyable. ( )
  Venarain | Jan 10, 2022 |
September 25, 2014
In spite of a glowing, enthusiastic recommendation from a good friend with very similar tastes, I had to bail on this one. It started off slow and then...

LISTS

and not just ANY lists - lists of authors and scientists and composers, both well-known and obscure. Was there a point to these lists? Doubtful, except to show the author's pretentiousness ("oh, look, I name-dropped PROUST! I must be SOOOO intellectual"). Maybe it's because I'd recently finished The Hyperion Cantos, but I'm very weary of books with long lists that prove nothing except the author's research skills.

This is the line that finally did it for me:

There is an escarpment named Pourquoi Pas.

I have no idea what that means. It's the final line in a chapter comprised solely of geographical names based on the afore-mentioned authors, scientists and composers. I'm a pretty smart guy, but I guess I'm not smart enough to read this book. And it seems that the author wants to PROVE that I'm not smart enough, but I'm not going to stick around to give him that chance.

Perhaps this book really is as good as everyone says it is. Maybe the LIST issue is not that big of a problem when you're reading the book with your own eyeballs and can quickly skim over them, but as an audiobook listener, that's not as easy to do.

So I'll have to add this to the gave-up-on shelf ( )
1 vote KrakenTamer | Oct 23, 2021 |
The scenarios for the future solar system were interesting. That part gets 5 stars. The changes to humanity and social structure was new and complex. I was less interested than that but it was well done. The main characters, one mercurial from the planet Mercury and one saturnine from Saturn and their relationship took a little too much of the stage but that is probably what helped the book get a Nebula award nomination.

Finally, the story revolves around a couple of central mysteries that are solved about 20 pages before the book finishes. My interest lagged after the mysteries were solved.

Overall, a good book. ( )
  mgplavin | Oct 3, 2021 |
I recommend Kim Stanley Robinson if you like your science fiction hard and you love reading about technology. I love reading him because his books (and this one is no different) is chock-full of ideas of what a Earth and colonization of our solar system might look like a few hundred years from now. Don't read it for characters to love--he always manages to create some characters that you feel ambivalent about. I can't really say I connected with the hero. But the ideas!? Yes. The ideas. ( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (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 editionscalculated
Benshoff, KirkCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmidt, JakobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The sun is always just about to rise.
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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"--

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Orbit Books

2 editions of this book were published by Orbit Books.

Editions: 0316098124, 0316098116

 

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