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
robinson does a great job of weaving a human story through a solar system trotting explanation of humanity's possible future. however, the narrator speech pattern expresses about as much emotion as stephan hawking's.
The author made the population of the other planets seem real, as well as the tension between Earth and the other worlds and their differences in economic situations
I didn't like the main character, but she's damaged and has ADHD as well as many other mental problems, which doesn't fully come out until late in the book. Yet, all the contracting characters and locations are wonderfully brought to life.
I never thought I would ever say a book is too descriptive. The story just gets lost in the ongoing descriptions of the planets, the characters weird life, and biology. In the middle the story diverts to Earth and it lends nothing to the main story line. The ending was so dull I practically fell asleep during it.
2312 ranks below average among the audiobooks I have listened to so far. Robinson spends to much time describing the scenery and not enough time developing the plot and the characters.
I probably would recommend other audio books before recommending this one, but I would add that the descriptions of the locations off-world were vivid and captivating.
Zimmerman worked relatively well with the dialogue but became somewhat monotonous with the rambling descriptions.
I became bored at times and had to fight the temptation to skip ahead.
The story failed to deliver what the promotion promised.
This book tries to present interesting ideas as story. But in fact there is no story, or none that I could detect before I gave up with ear fatigue after about 8 hours. The collection of characters have unique characteristics but in this effort become unbearably dull. There are chapters, or minutes of time given over to lists of ideas/concepts/factoids , which seem to add no value to the book. Perhaps there is a point to the lists but it eluded me.
Others have commented on the narration but frankly i thought she was the only bright spot to the book. I may have been digging but I don't think she had much to work with yet somehow kept me listening for a bit longer than I should have.
Much of the book is given over to describe interesting ideas about how man could live in space and to how varied societies and their habitation could become. Charitably I think the author is trying to contrast that potential with earth both in its current state and its likely state in 2312. However there appears to be no purpose to this and the ideas themselves are too thin and too varied to hold interest.
Spoiler alert. The thread that attempts hold these ideas together is the apparent plot destroy space based colonies with some hint that there is involvement by machine intelligence. But if that's the plot, its presented far too weakly
Bottom line: Weak plot, dull characters, and a shotgun of interesting ideas aimed at nothing substantial.
Get rid of the apparently useless lists which seem to exist only to add pages/minutes to the book. Cynically I would argue that the author was trying to write a long book out of a short story, regrettably losing the short story.
I enjoyed the Mars Trilogy, but nothing else KSR has written has measured up.
The world building was fantastic (as always). The people are a little too "post-human" for me to care about them or their decisions.
Zimmerman's character distinctions are subtle, but still make it easily to determine who is speaking. Though Pauline's part is small, she had the most distinctive voice (and the only comic relief in the novel).
Probably not. I felt a lot of those moments where I was just powering through to finish.
Sarah Zimmerman deserves a lot of credit for reading the book. It is full of technical language, scientific jargon, spiritual woo-woo and imported words from foreign languages. She ably and confidently tackles it all, and does a very good job holding the listeners' hand through the more treacherous passages. Only because I speak French did some of those phrases fall a little flat to my ear. In particular, the word 'passe-partout' comes up repeatedly, and was mispronounced every time. In general, though, she does a fine job of what must be an audiobook performer's worst nightmare.
Science writer in America's heartland
Kim Stanley Robinson excels especially at two things: creating plausible science-fiction futures, and populating his stories with characters who are at once deeply flawed and highly sympathetic.
The first he accomplishes by working with scientists, a long list of whom he thanks at the end of the audiobook. He weaves together science and technology with social, political, and economic aspects of our current society to create a very solid and multi-dimensional model of a possible future -- one where humans have filled every habitable nook and cranny in the solar system.
Humans must depend on technology to live in space, and Robinson portrays several instances where technology goes awry or is vulnerable to attack, and uses these moments to highlight the fragility of life to touching effect. The same holds true during his depictions of life on post-climate-change Earth. There are moments of peace and beauty, and also danger.
The main characters, Swan and Wahram, are so realistic in their flaws as to be frustrating at times -- just as real people can be frustrating. Readers will undoubtedly connect with Swan, even if they don't always agree with her or approve of her actions. Fans of Robinson's Mars series, meanwhile, will see shades of Frank, Maya, and even Hiroko in the characters of 2312.
As to the narration, Sarah Zimmerman does a remarkable job, considering that Robinson's sentence structure is truly complex. There are portions of the book that give only snippets of a historical text (as if someone were skimming a document), and others that simply list concepts or offer a character's train of thought, and reading these out loud in an understandable way must have been very difficult. Yet she made these passages easy enough to follow.
Finally, though 2312 leaves some of the plot points open-ended (thus making a sequel possible, though it's my understanding that there won't be one), it resolves the other aspects of the plot in satisfying ways. At the end is a lengthy denouement that makes the characters' long struggles worthwhile.
I am in no way affiliated with the writer, publisher, ad agency or Audible.com. I am just an average Joe with a 15 year love affair of good audio books.
I downloaded 2312 on a whim because it happened to be highlighted on the front page of the site and I was in a hurry to get a new book for my commute home.
Robinson's depiction of this detailed, fictional world follows in the footsteps of the great science fiction authors such as Asimov and Clarke. The fabricated details of this future are not only technically feasible, but also rich in their creative overlay of the story. The emotional interaction of the characters is contemporary and easily draws in the reader.
The narrator's performance is pristine and almost feels like you are listening to a documentary about this nonexistent new universe.
I am so glad that I took a chance on this book. It has inspired me to cut a much wider swath in my book choices in the future. A+
No plot, no story
Not if I had to pay for it. Now that I think about it not even for free.
anybody says this was great read, well (a case of the kings cloths)
No . I love KSR but I would rather bang my head on a wall than listen to this again from this narrator .
More characters . I enjoyed the time when the small group travelled the tunnel underground on Mercury
Very unwilling . I am really not sure ( Sorry Sarah ) if I could , Maybe this book was ot her style .
I have read and listened and enjoyed the Mars Trilogy and understand the style of KSR but the narration for 2312 killed this book . I may try to swap this book and one day purchase a hard copy and read for myself or maybe listen again if re-narrated .
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