Kim Stanley Robinson
Orbit Books, May 2012
Envision a future where it is possible to capture, then terraform asteroids, moons, far off planets, and even comets. New homes for humans, habitats for extinct creatures resurrected from ancient DNA, all have become quite normal as earth has run its course. But now, in this year, more changes are coming about. Designer of worlds, Swan Er Hong, is responsible for much of this terraforming, only now she, along with a small group of others, is beginning to wonder if what humans have accomplished in space is the correct choice. And if it is not, what corrections should be made?
As the author explains what he calls the ascension of worlds (the terraformed biomass of asteroids and such), you’re almost certain to believe it’s possible. Maybe it is. I’m not well enough versed in such things to agree or disagree. All I know is, the idea is fascinating. And yet, for me, this is the best part of the novel. Unfortunately, I’m not drawn to Swan as a character and I’m a reader who likes to relate to the main protagonist. Others, of course, are likely have a different reaction.
This is a big, imaginative novel, with lots of science to assimilate, lots of speculation to ponder, and really quite wondrous in scope.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, September 2012.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.