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2312 Hardcover – May 22, 2012
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"A magnificent achievement...hugely imaginative and beautifully written."―Booklist (Starred Review) on 2312
"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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Top Customer Reviews
By the halfway point I was only continuing because "there's got to be SOMETHING interesting here". By 80% I was only reading to finish the damn thing.
Audio narration is even worse. Listening to the various "lists X" crammed in between chapters is maddening. What's the only thing worse than being stuck in traffic? Being stuck in traffic listening to someone recite a long list of mental illnesses.
After about half the book, that begins to change, but it never entirely goes away.
The cool: Kim really messes around with gender and science - and from what I can tell he is well informed on the philosophy and scientific theory of both. His knowledge of history and art are both impressive as well. There are some areas where I think his physics maybe a bit wonky, but it doesn't really hurt the story. The asides between the chapters eventually coalesce into something interesting which surprised me.
Initially I didn't realize that I had already read this book. When I remembered, I thought it would be worth a second read. Now I'm not so sure. I did finish reading it the second time, but I kind of wish I hadn't.
The story takes place in the year 2312 when humanity is busily populating the solar system while Earth itself sinks ever further into the swamp of pollution and overpopulation that we are experiencing today. There are three or four main characters, depending on how you look at it. Actually, you could say there are 0 main characters because the author seems to feel character development is overrated.
The book is heavy on science and technologies that can be used in various ways to allow humans to freely and expediently travel the solar system. Some of these are quite innovative, or seemed so to me. Okay, that's pretty much it on the good side, but that is actually quite a lot. Enough to make it worth reading once, but not twice.
As I already mentioned, character development is not the author's strong point. The dialog is especially terrible. There is no way any of it sounds like real people. And all of the characters sound identical. And the narrator, too, not surprisingly. One really annoying aspect of this--and it could just be me--is the use of the word "so." It starts many, many sentences and sometimes weasels itself in mid-sentence as if discontent at being always in the lead. Of course, the narrator's voice would not want to miss out on this delightful little word.
Why do humans have to spend one in every seven years back on Earth itself? No simulation will do, it's got to be Earth. The author says that no one knows why this is, but that falls flat to me.
A big deal is made of how oppressive 1 G is to "spacers." They have to wear a body brace to deal with it during their Earth sabbaticals. But their interplanetary travel takes place on terraria that are maintained at 1 G and this doesn't seem to bother anyone.
In this future, human sexuality has broadened to the point of ridiculousness. It seems that heterosexuality doesn't even exist anymore. Most people seem to have both sets of functional reproductive organs. That's a bit hard to believe. Can human anatomy be redesigned to accommodate this physiology. I think the author is trying to present a more sexually open world but he should probably look into his biological facts as closely as he does his physical ones.
There's also a really major flaw concerning ecology that I don't want to discuss due to spoilers.
I would recommend this book if you're interested in technology but not if you're interested in characters or social issues.
2312 includes a dose of Robinson's signature political and environmental thinking as he describes mankind's future three hundred years in the future. He does so as plausibly as ever which makes me sad that I'm unlikely to live to see 2312 (The year, not the book. I saw the book and read it, hence the review).
I think Robinson's greatest strength is painting that plausible picture of the future that is, despite dangers and upheavels, optimistic. Rational political and economic systems, citizen scientists, and societies which value all human contributions to society. I want to live there.
But seriously, Mr. Robinson, can we be friends?
I am a sucker for solid and imaginative world-building, and KSR does an excellent job here- and not just with 1 world, but with many; many ways in which humans expend into the greater Solar System and both adapt themselves and adapt the Solar system to fit well.
The plot? well, it's often amorphous, and is definitely secondary to the world-building... though it does spring organically from that. Similarly with the characters- they are interesting, and decently drawn, and fairly true to themselves, but that's not the focus of the book.
There's certainly some utopia/dystopia elements, with Earth being both necessary and a dystopic developmental sink (mainly due to archaic politics). Sadly, this is happening now, has been happening for centuries, and does not look likely to stop. The other settlements are more in the utopic line (with the exception of Venus), but the variety is breathtaking, and they do offer a hope that we can make it as a species if we can finally throw off more of the archaic forms.
It's a huge book, and parts read more quickly and easily than others. I know I'm going to re-read it in a couple of years.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
He actually used the word "dhalgren" which I have been in search of...Read more