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2312 Hardcover – May 22, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"2312 paints an absolutely credible and astonishingly beautiful picture of the centuries to come, of the sort of schism and war, the art and love, the industry and ethics that might emerge from humanity going to space without conquering it and without solving all its problems."—Boingboing

"Robinson's extraordinary completeness of vision results in a magnificently realized, meticulously detailed future in which social and biological changes keep pace with technological developments."—Publishers Weekly

"Intellectually engaged and intensely humane in a way SF rarely is, exuberantly speculative in a way only the best SF can be, this is the work of a writer at or approaching the top of his game."—Iain M. Banks

"2312 is a monumental tour-de-force that re-imagines the solar system in ways no one has envisioned before. Whether comparing the compositions of Beethoven to those of skylarks and warblers, or describing a life-threatening sunrise on Mercury, Robinson fills 2312 with joy and exuberance, danger and fear, and the steadily mounting suspense of a mystery that spans the planets. This is the finest novel yet from the author who gave us the Mars Trilogy and GALILEO'S DREAM. An amazing accomplishment."—Robert Crais

"Inherently epic stuff... expect interplanetary strife, conspiracies, more big ideas than most SF authors pack into a trilogy... [yet] this is ultimately in so many respects a book about Earth... a wise and wondrous novel"—SFX

"Complex and sometimes bewildering, 500 pages crammed full of strange but decent characters whose actions play out against a vastly constructed utopian background."—Guardian

"A feast for the imagination and intellect - shockingly clever"—Sun (UK)

"A brilliant, plausible account of how humans might colonize planets, moons and asteroids, 2312 is also about the future of art and family."—NPR Books

"This is a grand tour of an intensely imagined interplanetary future of modified human beings, terraformed planets, experiments in economics and sociology and hundreds of other delights. All of it is in Robinson's eloquent, enthusiastic and inimitable prose"—Morning Star (UK)

"In his vibrant, often moving new novel, "2312," Robinson's extrapolation is hard-wired to a truly affecting personal love story. [...] Perhaps Robinson's finest novel, "2312" is a treasured gift to fans of passionate storytelling; readers will be with Swan and Wahram in the tunnel long after reaching the last page."—LA Times

"An sf masterpiece."—Library Journal

"Beautifully written and with strong mental imagery... will change both your imagination and your intellect."—SciFi Now

About the Author

Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt and 2312. In 2008, he was named a "Hero of the Environment" by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. He lives in Davis, California.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; First Edition edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316098124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316098120
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kim Stanley Robinson is a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. He is the author of eleven previous books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Fifty Degrees Below, Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt, and Antarctica--for which he was sent to the Antarctic by the U.S. National Science Foundation as part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers' Program. He lives in Davis, California.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

409 of 454 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Murphy on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Two separate reviews in one, here: one for people that have read Kim Stanley Robinson (KSR) before, and one for those who have not.

Review 1: For those that have read and enjoyed KSR in the past (e.g. veterans of the massive Red Mars, Blue Mars, Green Mars trilogy), the message is simple. Get your hands on this book, kick back, and enjoy. KSR is at his terraforming best here; the Solar System a fabulous playground for the relentless expansion of Earth's most potent primate species. If you liked what KSR did with Mars, you'll find what he does with the rest of the Solar System breathtaking. And, you'll get, almost as an afterthought, a plot involving the elements of murder mystery, romance, political intrigue, and thriller all in one. 2312, in several senses, outdoes the Mars Trilogy, and builds on it. There is not a trace of succinctness in the entire book. But, fan, you already knew that about KSR.

Review 2: Never read KSR? KSR is a must read, if you think of yourself as a sci-fi buff. Not doing so would be like claiming to be a fan of English literature, but not having read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (or if length is a criteria, George Eliot's Mill on the Floss). And if you're going to read KSR, 2312 is a wonderful place to start.

KSR writes hard sci-fi. Virtually nothing included in this deeply imaginative exploration of what mankind's expansion throughout our solar system might look like by 2312, is without scientific foundation. KSR is a modern day polymath, with a knowledge base that is spectacularly broad, and not lacking in depth. What you'll be treated to in 2312 is page after page (after page, after page, after page) of KSR's informed and spectacularly innovative vision of where the marriage of technology and the human genome is headed.
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196 of 216 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Worldbuilding" has been a popular buzz word in the modern era of science fiction, and Kim Stanley Robinson has always scored points for his detailed construction of alien environments. In 2312, he turns his attention to asteroid building: asteroids are captured, hollowed out, fitted with propulsion systems, made into terraria that double as transport vehicles, and populated with animals like arks designed by futuristic Noahs. He also gives Mercury a city that travels on rails to avoid sunlight and imagines an Earth that has seen better days (particularly Florida, which is mostly underwater). Yet worldbuilding alone does not a successful novel make.

2312 gets off to a promising start as a terrarium designer and cutting edge artist named Swan Er Hong, rocked by the unexpected death of her elderly mentor Alex, discovers that Alex left her a message to be delivered to Wang Wei. Accompanied by Saturn's liason, Wahrum, Swan travels to Io where she learns that Alex had a plan to revivify a moribund Earth. Alex was also worried that the quantum computers (qubes) that run everything appeared to be going rogue. Another of Alex's friends, Inspector Genette, enlists Swan's help as he tries to complete the investigation he started with Alex. On a visit to Earth, Swan arranges for a kid named Kiran to escape his dreary life (the reader knows, of course, that Kiran will eventually reappear and play a crucial role in the story) before she returns to Mercury, where either a natural disaster or (more likely) a devastating attack briefly energizes the novel.

The energy, unfortunately, fizzles out, reigniting in spurts from time to time but never sustaining. When the plot moves along -- when things happen -- 2312 is an imaginative and entertaining novel.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By DJSauvage on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading about the descriptions of the solar system imagined by Robinson, but spent the whole book waiting for a real plot I could get swept up in, and about 3/4 of the way through that the somewhat independent stories that strictly didn't need each other was all the plot that I'd get. I think I'd rate this a 3 or 4 as a collection of short stories/novellas with the same universe and characters, but as a novel it didn't cut it.

My second issue was the 137 y/o central character was basically written to have the personality of a petulant teenager, yet be a world renown figure. This seems unlikely, but maybe I just don't know enough moody self absorbed adrenaline junky centenarians.
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215 of 278 people found the following review helpful By Frank Richards on June 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've read science fiction for over 50 years. I was excited to see this new Robinson book at the bookstore, and thought I'd give it a read.

I was disappointed.

In the first part, "The dialogue looks like this," he said. "You mean a statement with a simple attribution in the tag?" she said. "Yes." he said. "And it goes on like that for quite a while I suppose," she said. "Yes," he said. "So he doesn't even bury the tag in the text, then" she said. "No, just hangs it on the end," he said. Etc.

"Later in the book, the dialogue tags become infested with adverbs," he said, critically. "Really?" she inquired, doubtfully. "Yes," he said, forcefully. "Are there any Tom Swifties?" she asked, quizzically. "Close," he said, knowingly. Etc.

The characters aren't adequately described. Swan, the key POV character, isn't physically described at all until about 20% of the book has been read.

There are beautiful, lyrical descriptions of some settings, but some of the settings thus described have no bearing on the plot.

The author inserts John Dos Passos-like lists here and there in the text. Not quite sure that works, however (These lists are distorted and truncated in the Kindle edition). John Brunner did that sort of thing much better.

I do not recommend the book.
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