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Publisher's Summary

Chosen by Barack Obama as one of his favourite reads of 2020

Established in 2025, the purpose of the new organisation was simple: to advocate for the world's future generations and to protect all living creatures, present and future. It soon became known as the Ministry for the Future, and this is its story.

From legendary science-fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson comes a vision of climate change unlike any ever imagined.

Told entirely through fictional eye-witness accounts, The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, the story of how climate change will affect us all over the decades to come.

Its setting is not a desolate, post-apocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us - and in which we might just overcome the extraordinary challenges we face.

It is a novel both immediate and impactful, desperate and hopeful in equal measure, and it is one of the most powerful and original books on climate change ever written.

©2020 Kim Stanley Robinson (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about The Ministry for the Future

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

eco-utopian politics and economics

Fantastic book, almost a manifesto. Lays out a map for transitioning from late capitalist ecocide to... something better. Like the best SF it takes us from our current world into something new in an entirely plausible way, backed by solid research and considered speculation. The story centres on Mary, head of the Ministry and we have just enough engagement with her inner life to humanize and personalise the global events.

At times a couple of the narrators are perhaps a little too eager to "act" the role they are reading, and some of the attempts at accents are questionable, but this is a mere quibble and those passages are short. The bulk of the book as superbly narrated.

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Profile Image for Tom Oldham
  • Tom Oldham
  • 01-23-21

Huge narration pitfall

A wonderful, sprawling, vital book for our times, massively let down by bizarre narration style of Jennifer Fitzgerald as Mary (the main character), who reads her chapters as if reciting a bedtime story to sleepy toddlers, a tone that lies somewhere between patronising and slightly simple. It was utterly impossible to take her seriously as a tough, hugely respected head of an international organisation at a time of global breakdown. Such a shame as the other narrators are largely very good (and a couple of them exceptional). A friend lent me a copy of the physical book and I ended up using that to read the Mary chapters and Audible-ing the rest! It's a fantastic book though.

3 people found this helpful

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  • C. P. McGregor
  • 12-08-20

What a disappointment

I bought this book having read positive reviews in a number of newspapers and as a longstanding fan of the Mars trilogy. Unfortunately I have reached the 4 hour mark and have decided against persevering any further.

The problems lie with both the text and the production. The author's warnings of the risks posed by climate change are clearly very important but on the basis of what I have heard so far he has spent too long on research and not enough time on constructing a story on which to hang it. Detailed descriptions of district and street names may serve to confirm that he has visited various of the places in which the story unfolds but offer scant consolation when characters behave implausibly or when the plot depends upon one too many coincidences.

So far as the production is concerned it embraces a series of single person narratives interspersed with editorial. The multiple narrators should be well suited to this style but none of them are particularly adept and one of them does just about the worst accents that I have ever heard. Given that she is narrating one of the main plot threads and is often discussing really serious topics then the thread of the story is seriously undermined by the urge to laugh at a ludicrous accent.

In short, this might be a book better enjoyed in print.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-25-21

Tedious with near comic narration

Tedious writing - cod climate change ‘what-if’ story interspersed with long factual sections. Like being caught by the bores in a University bar. But the narration is so poor and distracting, people just doing silly voices that border on racist.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stanley Hopea
  • 11-22-20

Brilliant

‘Doughnut’-minded AirMiners of all latitudes and longitudes will love this book. Thank you KSR for writing it. The future is not set. Keep on keeping on!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-16-20

Everyone should read this book

Not heavily plot driven but riveting nonetheless. Enough emotional engagement in the main character, Mary, to keep you invested. But the carefully researched facts and about economics, science and ecology are vital and illuminating.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Natalia Rubiano
  • 03-19-21

Fantastic

multiple characters in the audiobooks make it very appealing.
The book itself is a masterpiece.

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  • Paul Jepson
  • 02-13-21

Intriguing, well researched and thought provoking

This ‘realpolitik’ imagining of the next 60 years is an unusual mix of story, sub-story and essays. The accounts of climate breakdown and of geo-engineering and rewilding solutions are informative, intriguing and well researched. The story contains astute and thought provoking analysis of the roots of the climate crisis and barriers to change. The accents and narration may be annoying for European listeners but for those involved in environmental action this book is a must.

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  • Mr. A. Wittenberg
  • 02-08-21

Great book, terrible narration

I agree with previous comments, the narration of Mary is bad. Unlistenable in fact. I gave up and returned it despite really enjoying the first chapter.

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  • Eoin
  • 02-05-21

Climate change bad. I get it. Where is the story?

Climate change activism pretending to be fiction. Virtue signalling about how we are all one global village and as such responsible for each other. The lack of any real story got too much for me a few hours in.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-25-20

Engrossing

I couldn't put this book down. I found the mix of personal view from the varrying protagonists, with the global state of the world drew me in completely. The subject matter is bleak and unfortunately completely plausible, while the personal journeys are intimate and natural.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Felix Andrews
  • 04-14-21

Intelligent, inspired

How to save the world.

Longer than it could have been perhaps, but full of substance.

I liked most of the narration. The use of so many voices suits the material.

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  • Peter Watts
  • 03-29-21

Starts strong but loses its way towards the end

Interesting premise and global story told from personal perspectives. Story tends to drag when exploring rambling around the town with a narrative that doesn't contribute to the plot nor character development. Narrators are mainly good but the fake Australian accent is horrible and jarring.

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  • Quartstance
  • 02-02-21

One of the most Important books in years, terrible narration

This is one of the most important science “fiction” books ever written, but you would be forgiven for thinking Amazon would rather you didn’t listen to it. The narration is flat and boring in places, and slow and painful in others. Some of the narrators are ok, ironically when reading in the style of a documentary voice over, but other narrators have practically phoned it in.

What a massive shame. I’m reading this instead of listening.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-19-21

Future fiction, so close to future fact

I have read news articles which focus on the ideas in this book. That confirms that ideas in this book will become real very soon. Author does a great job of drawing on what's happening around us and dares to build a future that we can relate to.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-10-21

superb speculative fiction

This is the easiest book to recommend for a possible view of our future, and exemplifies the practice of forecasting by speculative fiction

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  • cspo
  • 12-24-20

Optimistic Dystopia at its Finest

A necessary book for our current times. May it inspire the next generation to take the actions described within.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric
  • 12-09-20

Started out great, then dragged on......and on....

The first chapter grabbed me, then it built from there.

Then, the final third became a real slog