Seveneves

seveneves jacketSeveneves by Neal Stephenson

To begin with, this is a massive book that feels like two different novels. Most of the book is set in the near future, with an epilogue at the end set 5,000 years in the future. At the start of the book, Earth’s moon breaks apart into seven massive pieces. Scientists don’t know why, but soon realize that the rocks will start colliding with each other, forming smaller and smaller boulders that will eventually result in a destructive hard rain of debris. Estimated time to the hard rain is two years. Stephenson has put a lot of thought into what might happen if we had two years to prepare for disaster, including the political, social, and technological challenges, and puts most of these thoughts in the book. His readers are used to these info dumps, but they are unusual. What happens is that the International Space Station gets a lot bigger and busier, with Earth trying to send as many people into space as possible. These challenges take up most of the book, with an intriguing glimpse at a new civilization in a marvelous setting in and around Earth 5,000 years later. The characters, settings, and plot are all compelling reading, but a few events seemed forced to me, unrealistic even for ambitious science fiction. I really would like to read more about the people of the future, and hope Stephenson writes more about their world.
Brenda


One Comment on “Seveneves”

  1. Philomath says:

    Great book. My favourite from Neal Stephenson. I do like the near future portion at the beginning. I can understand how outlandish and speculative the future can be and think he did an ok job, working on the evolution side. I can imagine there is more to right about thousands of years into the future than can fit in any book. His restraint from too much fantacy, was also well appreciated. Also a great ending!


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