I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m delighted to see that the sf writer Kim Stanley Robinson seems to have got his mojo back in his latest novel, 2312. IMO he’s the most significant figure to emerge from the so-called ‘cyberpunks’ vs. ‘humanists’ debate of the 1980s (although I suspect the Gibsonites wouldn’t agree). As a great admirer of his earlier Mars trilogy and Three Californias trilogy, I have been undewhelmed with just about everything since, including Galileo’s Dream. But this, his 17th novel, is back on the nose. (I’m still trying to cope with the notion of Earth being hit with angular momentum by a sufficiently large comet/asteroid, so that it spins into a 5-hour day….).
KSR also shows something important, I think: that it’s possible for a sf writer to be a social activist. Logically, activism around issues of importance to sf – the environment, the impact of social and technological changes on the planet, on animals and/or on human lives – IMO should go along with the genre turf.
» read article