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Aurora Hardcover – July 7, 2015
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"The thrilling creation of plausible future technology and the grandness of imagination...magnificent."―Sunday Times on Aurora
"[Robinson is] a rare contemporary writer to earn a reputation on par with earlier masters such as Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke."―Chicago Tribune on Aurora
"If Interstellar left you wanting more, then this novel might just fill that longing."―io9 on Aurora
"Aurora may well be Robinson's best novel...breaks us out of our well-ingrained, supremely well-rehearsed habits of apocalypse - and lets us see the option of a different future than permanent, hopeless standoff." ―Los Angeles Review of Books on Aurora
"Humanity's first trip to another star is incredibly ambitious, impeccably planned and executed on a grand scale in Aurora."―SPACE.com on Aurora
"The Apollo 13 of interstellar travel."―SciFi
"[A] near-perfect marriage of the technical and the psychological."―NPR Books on Aurora
"[A] heart-warming, provocative tale."―Scientific American on Aurora
"This ambitious hard SF epic shows Robinson at the top of his game... [A] poignant story, which admirably stretches the limits of human imagination."―Publishers Weekly on Aurora
"This is hard SF the way it's mean to be written: technical, scientific, with big ideas and a fully realized society. Robinson is an acknowledged sf master-his Mars trilogy and his stand-alone novel 2312 (2012) were multiple award winners and nominees-and this latest novel is sure to be a big hit with devoted fans of old-school science fiction."―Booklist on Aurora
"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 on 2312
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Top Customer Reviews
Generations ago, a starship left Earth with plans to set up a colony in the Tau Ceti system. Aurora begins in the final stage of the journey, with the ship only a few years out. Early on we’re introduced to a young teen, Freya, daughter of the ship’s chief engineer, Devi. The novel moves quickly through the years as Freya grows older, documenting the problems the ship faces as landfall nears: a host of mechanical/environmental issues (power plant problems, crop failures, etc.), biological obstacles (especially island devolution), and social problems. With landfall, new issues arise as the ship’s population lands a small number of early settlers who begin building the colony and preparing it to receive the rest of the ship. Eventually, the colonists come face to face with the basic question of viability—is this mission even possible? This problem — the social division it causes and its eventual compromise solution — drive the second half of the book.Read more ›
I enjoyed “Aurora” more than any other book Robinson has written since the Mars series. The style and pacing has been criticized by some, but I found the framing (the story is narrated by the starship’s computer) valid and certainly much more readable than a lot of recent experimental styles.
In truth, I enjoyed the first half, maybe two-thirds, of “Aurora”, but the last third was so depressing that I believe it actually made me feel moody throughout the days I finished the book. I don’t usually like to spoil in a review, but this book takes such a turn that I feel disclosure of its nature is necessary. First, the book is mistitled, as “Aurora” is the name of the planetary body the colonists attempt to settle. That implies the story focuses on that place, but in fact, less than 10% of the book involves it. A more apt title for this book would be, “The Failed Mission to, and Attempted Return from, Aurora”.Read more ›
- from Kim Stanley Robinson's "Aurora"
At it's core, Kim Stanley Robinson's new novel is a story of microevolution and survival of a relatively small ecosystem over long periods of time. "Aurora" is a creative peek at what civilization-transfer would be on a barren new world several hundred light years away from Earth.
"Two thousand, one hundred twenty-two people are living in a multigenerational starship, headed for Tau Ceti, 11.9 light-years from Earth. The ship is made of two rings...attached by spokes to a central spine. Each cylinder...contains within it a particular specific Terran ecosystem." The journey will last over 160 years. "One could say it is like Noah's Ark. In a manner of speaking."
The novel is not unlike a fable. It's told in broad strokes; lightweight in characterization, middling on plot, heavy on science and the ethical dissertation of a machine intelligence, philosophy of consciousness, closed societies and ecosystem. I didn't love the characters - they're the center point of the story but not actually the focus. Robinson shades the characters in opaque blemishes building very little emotional pull or attachment to the characters themselves.
Robinson hammers home his central theme of balance: ecological, social, emotional. Unfortunately, his balance of plot, characterizations, and narrative does not hold up.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was excited about the premise of this book. Unfortunately, it was not satisfying. Read more
I've thought a lot about this book since I read it a couple of weeks ago--mostly about how very much I did not like it. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Kindle Customer
"Hard" science fiction is supposed to depict a future reality that is at least plausible. This book has some interesting characters and good writing but it really fails the... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jon
It almost felt like a descriptive narrative of events rather than a story. I kept waiting for something to happen that would grab me. It just wasn't all that interesting.Published 5 days ago by james
There is a meditative quality to Robinson's tone that I find unique in SF writing. It was a feature I loved in the Mars trilogy and is back in full force with Aurora. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Jonathan Seyfried
Part of the book is told from the POV of the AI that controls the ship. The AI is learning to tell stories as it writes, so it has some funny moments deciding what is important to... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Citotoxico