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.
©2012 Kim Stanley Robinson (P)2012 Hachette Audio
When listening to an audiobook the reader's voice can really either make or break a listener's experience, and I truly enjoyed listening to Sarah Zimmerman. The story itself was right up my alley; I enjoyed the refreshing mixture of science fiction and philosophy, almost all of the events seemed entirely plausible, but most of all it wasn't your typical "Hollywood"-esque sci-fi action story. The extraterrestrial scenes which Robinson painted were absolutely stunning, and they perfectly captured so many of my hopes for the future of space travel. Overall this was a wonderful depiction of what human civilization could be like in a couple of centuries, and I'm so happy I read this book!
(Spoiler) One of my favorite moments was the re-introduction of a multitude of animal species back onto the Earth. I was actually a bit choked up!
This book takes some time--you definitely could not handle it all in one sitting.
I am surprised by the many negative reviews of the book! But then again, it's definitely not for everyone--it is a very long book and some of the story lines did kind of drag on, but overall I thought it was very well-done.
I only made it ~18% of the way into this book. I rarely give up on a book, but life is too short to read this one. Characters are flat. Too many irrelevant asides. Boring story. A real disappointment after the Mars series which I read many years ago and really enjoyed.
This is another great story from Kim Stanley Robinson which could be, but not necessarily, set in the same universe as the Mars series. I found the plot to be weaker than the Mars books, but the characters were extremely interesting. The story is about events leading up to the year 2312 and involves characters from Mercury, Earth, Venus and Saturn. There are descriptions of the rolling city on Mercury, and really cleaver ways of turning asteroids into cities and what might happen if we could do this. There are thousands of large asteroids out there. If we could hollow them out, we coudl put different environments in each of them. The plot involves people, politics, the way different societies respond to stimuli, and the way youth perceive things as opposed to those with more experience. For example, the sun walkers on Mercury walk along the edge of the sunrise as the planet rotates. Some walk for the glory of the walk, some walk for the excitement of the continuously rising sun, some walk for the beauty, some walk for the challenge. The lead character, Swan, is a sun walker, but her current view is much different than her younger days.
For hard core SF fans really- great detective story..terraforming...AI ...problems with the help..ha..ha..extraordinary characters and political intrigue...great love story too..get it!
No on both. Robinson must have been paid by the word, and I found myself skipping (2x speed) over most of them.
Ms Zimmerman's narration was barely tolerable. I listened to the book at 1.5x speed (with bursts of 2x and 3x).
Robert Charles Wilson
Not before listening to a sampling.
Robinson seemed to have researched his material (terraforming and climate change). But he wrapped those topics in a long story with a small plot.
I have read science fiction for over 40 years (Asimov, Heinlein, Herbert, Neal Stephenson, Jim McDevitt, Robert Charles Wilson) . This is one of the 3 or 4 books during that time that I could not complete. I had had Mr Robinson on my reading list for some time. He is no longer on it. This is just my view and personal preference, and I wish Mr Robinson every success with his audience.
As a huge fan of The Mars Trilogy, I was very excited to find out this book takes place in the same universe, so to speak. The sample first chapter really caught my interest, as it takes place on Terminator, Mercury--the city where one of the most memorable scenes in Blue Mars takes place. But in the end, the book did not captivate me even remotely as much as those previous books.
Partly it may be because of erroneous expectation on my part--I expected another epic story with complex multiple characters. 2312, instead of being a multiple protagonist story, is focused mainly on one character, Swan Er Hong. And therein lies the first problem: she's just not very interesting. In the Mars Trilogy, Robinson created some smashing female characters, very complex, very flawed. Swan is no comparison to Nadia, Maya, Hiroko, Anne, Jackie and Zo. Instead of being complex and flawed, she comes off as a bit of a pill.
The other characters are also not very interesting. Supposedly, there's a love story here, but it didn't resonate with me.
The tone of 2312 is far more pessimistic than the Mars Trilogy, perhaps because we're living in a more pessimistic time than when the Mars Trilogy was written. The story is not entirely hopeless, but it's still kind of a drag to think that even 300 years into the future, Terrans will be just as short-sighted as many are now. Especially since Blue Mars left us with a more hopeful vision of the future.
As usual, Robinson includes a ton of science that is very interesting, but without amazing characters and story, it comes off as very dry. There are some amazing moments, such as the description of Manhattan post-flood, and the reintroduction on Earth of extinct animals that have been bred in space. However, for the most part, it is a bit of a slog.
The performance is adequate (she's at least a better reader than the fellow who narrates the Mars Trilogy) but nothing special.
gee & unlay
Readers who love super hard core science fiction.
Something science fiction.
Yes. It was interesting but dragged on and on about subtle things about the main character that I just did not find interesting.
If you like hard core sci-fi that's ponderous and has a lot of techno babble this is your book.
Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work
This is a very wordy author who goes off on tangents that are barely relevant to the story. There are many interesting SCI-FI hooks - interesting weapon, nano-computing, cool space drives, and a fun vision of the future. But getting through all the rhetoric is very hard.
The audio book is well performed (I think the reader gets bored at times) and it can be mono-tomic at times. But overall a good performance.
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
I had some expectations for this book, but .....
I think that all possible factors agreed to combine and create the worst book I read this year.
This is unfortunate to say but I could not WAIT for this book to end. This is coming from someone who actually does research on a lot of areas that Robinson talks about. The story felt very inconsequential. Many times the author tries to invoke a sense of empathy or grand disaster that just falls flat. A major for this could be the actual format, at 80+ "chapters" long, only 1/3 of those are actual story and it feels like over half of the 20 hours it takes to listen to this audio book are spent in these in between chapters. Perhaps this style works much better in written form, but here, about any time i started getting interested, it cut away to a meaningless list, or recipe, which lost there affect after the third time... and then they repeated another 20. Again perhaps as a written book it flows better and you can scan these parts, but listening to the performer go on and on and on was miserable.
The performer is another reason to consider another book. The reader had no meaningful range, every character she performed felt exactly the same. Several times i was actually confused as to who was talking, as each character she performed felt, emoted, and talked the same way.
I ignored other reviews i saw for this book and after hour 3 i regretted it. I LOVE Kim Stanley Robinson and I adore super hard SciFi and he does it very well. But this audio book was as hard to finish as Blue Mars.
If you haven't read/listened to them yet, give Red Mars and it's sequel Green Mars a try. They are phenomenal with some of the most memorable characters in literature i can recall, and a books we may all give our grand kids as they colonize Mars. Or try Galileo's Dream which is as entertaining as it is historically educational (with liberties taken of course).
But seriously, avoid this audio book.
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